Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 43

Thread: What were the differences among Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin?

  1. #1

    Default What were the differences among Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin?

    In their way of thinking about both politics and economy. For example if Lenin had lived much longer, would have he survived during Stalin's regime? Would have Stalin killed him?
    Last edited by twgamer20197; April 02, 2021 at 01:58 PM.

  2. #2
    The Noble Lord's Avatar Holy Arab Nation
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Peshawar, Pakistan - Kabul, Afghanistan
    Posts
    7,806

    Default Re: What were the differences among Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin?

    Quote Originally Posted by twgamer20197 View Post
    In their way of thinking about both politics and economy. For example if Lenin had lived much longer, would have he survived during Stalin's regime? Would have Stalin killed him?
    1. Lenin was a theory and brains behind the revolution but he was not state-builder. He was absent-minded revolutionary.
    2. Trotsky was a true believer in the world revolution and he wanted to keep on trying for perpetual revolution. Again, he was a dreamer.
    3. He was the first two put together plus the empire-builder. Stalin was fanatical Marxist but also he was a Russian nationalist.
    [IMG][/IMG]
    أسد العراق Asad al-Iraq
    KOSOVO IS SERBIA!!!
    Under the proud patronage of the magnificent Tzar


  3. #3

    Default Re: What were the differences among Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin?

    He was the first two put together plus the empire-builder. Stalin was fanatical Marxist but also he was a Russian nationalist.
    A Russian Nationalist not Born in Russia.

  4. #4

    Default Re: What were the differences among Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Noble Lord View Post
    3. He was the first two put together plus the empire-builder. Stalin was fanatical Marxist but also he was a Russian nationalist.
    I think it's fair to say that he was mostly an unhinged psychopath.

  5. #5
    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Colfax WA, neat I have a barn and 49 acres - I have 2 horses, 15 chickens - but no more pigs
    Posts
    14,156

    Default Re: What were the differences among Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin?

    Quote Originally Posted by athanaric View Post
    I think it's fair to say that he was mostly an unhinged psychopath.
    I would disagree rather a well hinged high functioning psychopath
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

    'One day when I fly with my hands - up down the sky, like a bird'

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

  6. #6
    Tribunus
    Citizen

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    7,167

    Default Re: What were the differences among Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin?

    Lenin was a successful gangster boss who pulled off a coup. He kept horses like Stalin and Trotsky (very different characters who did not get along) in the traces and his regime had the roster of operatives to overthrow Kerensky and the Mensheviks, accept defeat at the hands of Germany but also survive the vicious civil war against forces supported by Russia's very disappointed former allies. Yes the Entente was exhausted but so was Russia and much of the army went White. Died in power...or was he pushed? A successful revolutionary, but less than a decade in power.

    Trotsky was a big brain operative with problem solving skills. Not saying he was good or bad but probably less of a murderer than the other two, which maybe why he died in exile with an icepick in his wherever, and the others died in their beds (possibly both poisoned, but still in power). Probably the worst politician of the three in that he lacked a loyal enough entourage to fully grasp or hold on to power (was he ever clearly Top Dog? Or just the bright star?), but many of the successes of Stalin and Lenin's reign can be credited to Trotsky's programs.

    Stalin was a mass murdering scum but also able to handle a stable of operatives who could take over the state from within (so a better politicians than Trotsky and probably than Lenin too). Amoral, happy to use anti-semitism and nationalism as he was to use Marxism and Socialism as the methodology of his rule. Adapted slowly but effectively eg in WWII he slowly granted his generals initiative and freedom of action (in inverse ratio to Hitler seemingly).

    Stalin was the least subtle of the three ("hmm if I initiate waves of mass murder, people are scared and make less trouble [spam gulag key]"), maybe circumstances played into his hands (Hitler's suicide play caught the Soviets with their pants down but unified the Soviet state, led to lend lease and "Uncle Joe" propaganda, altruistic scientists sharing nuclear secrets because...socialism good smh?) but left the Soviet Union far stronger and survived decades in power longer than the other two.
    Jatte lambastes Calico Rat

  7. #7

    Default Re: What were the differences among Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Noble Lord View Post
    Stalin was fanatical Marxist but also he was a Russian nationalist.
    Quote Originally Posted by Knight of Heaven View Post
    A Russian Nationalist not Born in Russia.
    Where do you get that Russian nationalist from? Stalin was not Russian and did not pretend to be.

  8. #8
    Akar's Avatar I am not a clever man
    Patrician Citizen Censor

    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    a 7/11 parking lot with Patron and LaCroix
    Posts
    17,083
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: What were the differences among Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin?

    In their way of thinking about both politics and economy. For example if Lenin had lived much longer, would have he survived during Stalin's regime? Would have Stalin killed him?
    Are you asking about the differences between Leninism, Stalinism and and Trotskyism or are you asking the differences between them as individuals?

    Want to play TWC D&D? Click here | Join the Thema Devia Discord here
    If you'd like you see my graphics workshop click here
    Son, Heir, and Wartime Consigliere of King Athelstan

    Proud Patron of Sara Temer and Cope






  9. #9
    Tribunus
    Citizen

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    7,167

    Default Re: What were the differences among Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Septentrionalis View Post
    Where do you get that Russian nationalist from? Stalin was not Russian and did not pretend to be.
    At the end of WWII he made a toast at a state function "to the Great Russian People" (ie Black or Muscovite Russians over Little (Byelo)Russians, Ukrainians etc as well as non-Slavic Soviet ethnicities), and in the course of WWII he increasingly deployed a bunch of "Mother Russia" propaganda (as well as stereotypical anti-German nationalism "White Witch" etc).

    IIRC a defector claimed Stalin staffed his nuclear facilities with "real Moscow district farm boys" as the most loyal functionaries, so while at the outset of his rule in the 1930's he was a typical "race blind" socialist he came to rely on one nationality above others as a source of loyal support for his regime.
    Jatte lambastes Calico Rat

  10. #10

    Default Re: What were the differences among Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin?

    Stalin was certainly not a Russian nationalist. Reading his pre-revolutionary "works" one notices that they are full of openly rusophobic lamentations on how evil Russian people are.
    Stalin's policies also hardly relate to Russian nationalism - it was Stalin that annexed many Russian regions to non-Russian "socialist republics", he did that with other ethnicities as well. Except for his own - Georgians were enjoying privileges and had Osetia and Abkhazia annexed to their "republic". Stalin was indeed a nationalist... but Georgian one.
    He did implore to somewhat tepid Russian nationalistic sentiment briefly at the worst point of WW2, primarily because Russians and other Soviet citizens begun defecting to German side in droves.

  11. #11
    dogukan's Avatar Praeses
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Middle freaking east
    Posts
    7,674

    Default Re: What were the differences among Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin?

    Quote Originally Posted by twgamer20197 View Post
    In their way of thinking about both politics and economy. For example if Lenin had lived much longer, would have he survived during Stalin's regime? Would have Stalin killed him?

    Well, the differences are quite political and theoretical. One has to understand that despite the decades of various communist writing on "how to do a revolution, seize power and control the state towards achieving communism", no one really knew what to do.

    So at every step of their exercise of power, communists would have to find the answer to "what would jesus" do, as in, what is the right communist thing to do in the given circumstances. The leader was Lenin and he had immense popularity throughout the world as the leader of "revolutionary" communists, so his word had a lot of weight behind him. I am saying this because he exits the game early by dying and his words become the source material to interpret for those who remain to derive legitimacy from for their actions.

    We do not know what choice Lenin would have made if he lived longer. But one of the major issues between these groups emerge during the late World War 1 on how to handle the future of revolution when dealing with imperialist powers.
    I would suggest this piece to get an understanding of how various factions formed within the Bolshevik party: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9idVbVOJCGI&t=2s

    The first debate starts around communism in one country and Trotsky&Bukharin's permanent revolution (that is the idea that revolution needs to be constantly exported with propganda and military intervention). Lenin sort of leans towards consolidating power and disagreed with Trotsky who's theoretical productions are quite important along with Bukharin. Note that Stalin was a mere servant with little intellectual capacity on Marxist literature, he was more of a power-hungry bureucrat servant that understood the "rhetoric" of communism well enough to use it to legitimize his actions.

    So early on, Stalin is not really an important actor, whereas Trotsky, Bukharin and Lenin are important Marxist intellectuals. Though I would argue that Lenin was also a person geared towards "power exercise and agitation" as opposed to Trotsky who was more of a true, honest intellectual that is looking for honest theoretizations.

    After Lenin's death, Stalin, through maneuvring and playing people against each other takes the control of the party. His political writings from then on are more about legitimizing his consolidation of power and extreme "reforms". This ends up in Trotsky followers being declared counter-revolutionaries. Stalin becomes more concerned with building a powerful authotarian state under a "communist" name whereas Trotsky escapes to Europe and later to Latin America, writing about the right ways to achieve communism and how to understand the global capitalism.
    "Therefore I am not in favour of raising any dogmatic banner. On the contrary, we must try to help the dogmatists to clarify their propositions for themselves. Thus, communism, in particular, is a dogmatic abstraction; in which connection, however, I am not thinking of some imaginary and possible communism, but actually existing communism as taught by Cabet, Dézamy, Weitling, etc. This communism is itself only a special expression of the humanistic principle, an expression which is still infected by its antithesis – the private system. Hence the abolition of private property and communism are by no means identical, and it is not accidental but inevitable that communism has seen other socialist doctrines – such as those of Fourier, Proudhon, etc. – arising to confront it because it is itself only a special, one-sided realisation of the socialist principle."
    Marx to A.Ruge

  12. #12
    Derc's Avatar Campidoctor
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    __DIR__
    Posts
    1,646

    Default Re: What were the differences among Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin?

    They all were products of their time. So are we. I can't say anymore than that.

  13. #13
    Cookiegod's Avatar Civus Divus Ex Clibane
    Citizen

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    In Derc's schizophrenic mind
    Posts
    4,182

    Default Re: What were the differences among Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin?

    Obligatory reminder that the causal relationship doesn't have to go the way one expects it to go. In this example I do not believe that Stalin and Trotsky had a falling out over their own ideological opinions in so much as their need to diverge and set themselves apart was quite much driven by their rivalry, which in turn was simply driven by hunger for power. It is, depending on time and oversimplified, true that Trotsky took the internationalism a bit further than Stalin did and did try to present himself as a purer version of a communist, but those political differences, whilst used as an excuse, most certainly cannot have been the cause for that. We all know that people are perfectly able to sit down and settle things peacefully if it serves their interests. Stalin and Trotsky weren't able to do this as their primary interest was to be the top dog, once Lenin's illness and death had created a vacuum.

    And as has happened in practically every revolution before and after, people who are perfectly able to kill people for one reason, won't have a hard time finding reasons to kill their former allies as well.

    The revolution ended up eating Trotsky rather than Stalin, but it could have gone the other way, and in that case the outcome would have differed little. Stalin's earnest push for less anti-Russianism (nationalism is quite the misnomer here) and less repression of religion came only in 1941, and then for well known existential reasons. And the internationalist version of communism had already failed at Warszaw. Both turning points were, if we disregard the incompetence of both Trotsky and Stalin in handling these, outside of their control. We can see the same pattern repeat with Khrushchev and Bresznew both attempting to once more set themselves apart from their predecessor. We can also see the same pattern in e.g. the French revolution, Chinese revolution, as well as many others. It wasn't ideology that caused Louis XVI, Danton and Robespierre to lose their heads. The hunger for power of the latter did it. The same power hunger that also expressed itself in the totalitarian mindset that saw people as mere playthings to be commanded what to think and what to speak.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclops View Post
    At the end of WWII he made a toast at a state function "to the Great Russian People" (ie Black or Muscovite Russians over Little (Byelo)Russians, Ukrainians etc as well as non-Slavic Soviet ethnicities), and in the course of WWII he increasingly deployed a bunch of "Mother Russia" propaganda (as well as stereotypical anti-German nationalism "White Witch" etc).

    IIRC a defector claimed Stalin staffed his nuclear facilities with "real Moscow district farm boys" as the most loyal functionaries, so while at the outset of his rule in the 1930's he was a typical "race blind" socialist he came to rely on one nationality above others as a source of loyal support for his regime.
    Modern day Ukrainian propaganda detected.

    First of all, absolutely no one refers to Russia past the 17th century (at the latest) as "Muscovite", apart from Ukrainian nationalists who want to lay sole claim to what is a shared history. "Little Russia" = Malorossiya referred to only one half of modern day Ukraine and not to white Russia. Nor was it a diminuitive as implied by you. Your quote of the "great Russian people" as simply referring to modern day Russians is likewise wrong. Russians, White Russians and Ukrainians (literally meaning "at the border") were by the Russian empire and the Soviet Union alike regarded as having the same heritage, the "Rus'". The term "velikaya Rus'" (whilst also having a second meaning as Russia proper, which by the Soviet time was already falling out of disuse) in the context mentioned by you as well as in other Soviet texts refers to all three combined, not to just one of them. E.g. in the 1944 Soviet Anthem the line "Сплотила навеки Великая Русь" states that the great Rus (Russia+Ukraine+Belarus) have united forever.

    Secondly, even though Korenisatsiya had cooled down slightly, it's completely bonkers to speak of any favouritism towards the Russians.

    Here's some homework for you: Go through the list of the leaders of the Soviet Union post Stalin and count those with Ukrainian origins, and count those with non-minority Russian origins.

    Then tell me how that could happen if the apparatus had been dominated by ethnical Russians as presented by you.

    Thirdly, ethnic Germans living in the Soviet Union during the second world war had an experience not too dissimilar from the Japanese living in the US. One of my relatives got sent in and out of the Gulag thrice simply for being of German origin. But it cooled down practically immediately the moment the war ended, nor was the war on the Soviet side, some hysteria aside, ever waged as a Vernichtungskrieg against the German people as claimed by the increasingly desperate Nazis.

    The "Mother Russia" part also displays some ignorance regarding the language. in Russian it's "Родина-мать" = "Birthland-Mother". This is explicitly non-ethnic and doesn't even refer to Russia by name. The birthland is also strongly related to the Russian tradition to, apart from culture and language, distinguishing people on location of birth rather than the origin of the parents. You're applying a Western European mindset to then make a claim that isn't supported at all.

    The fact that the Russian federation even today features far more official languages than the entire European Union combined (never mind the hundreds of languages spoken by communities too small to be made official for an entire region) shows that for all the faults of the Soviet Union (of which there were a great many) - the one thing they didn't do in contrast to e.g. post-revolutionary France, was to force one ethnic suppremacist agenda on everyone.
    Last edited by Cookiegod; July 24, 2021 at 10:02 AM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    From Socrates over Jesus to me it has always been the lot of any true visionary to be rejected by the reactionary bourgeoisie
    Qualis noncives pereo! #justiceforcookie #egalitéfraternitécookié #CLM

  14. #14
    Axalon's Avatar She-Hulk wills it!
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Sverige
    Posts
    1,223

    Default Re: What were the differences among Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin?

    Personally, I would say that…

    Lenin was the first leader to make sure Marxism/communism would be put to actual practice - no matter the cost in Russia and beyond. This before anybody else had done it (at that point in history) – and that makes him special in terms of world history. Btw, in that very process Lenin is responsible for killing millions of people - in typical Marxist, communist and socialist fashion, one might add. Setting that familiar template for others (Marxists/communists and socialists) to follow - which they did. Lenin is – as far as I know – usually credited for at least 3 million deaths - this of the very people that he supposedly would lead to Marxist/communist utopia. As they (his victims) would not conform or objected to his grand communist plans - they had to die (by his logic)….

    Stalin was the infamous (and even more ruthless) successor of Lenin, and the second most successful Marxist/communist "statebutcher" in world history (only surpassed by Mao). Again, the endgame was the old familiar communist/socialist utopia. The estimates vary, but somewhere around 20-40 million people lost their lives due to the communist whims and schemes of this one man and his efforts to get there...

    Trotskij was a fully convinced Marxist/communist too, an eager theorist and party-buddy of Lenin – he probably was responsible for the deaths/executions of lots of people as well - I have no idea how many, nor have I seen any clear estimates - but it is nowhere close to the quantities of the other two mentioned above. Aside from all that, he formulated lots of communist theory and method - “entryism” for instance (see wikipedia) - in order to secure and ensure communist power, long term. He also openly supported and defended the “red terror”-purges in Russia which is estimated to have killed 100.000+ people. He had no problems with that, as his cause – Marxism/communism – were more important then their lives. Again, this in typical, if not classical Marxist/communist and socialist fashion. If people don’t agree, conform or play ball - force them, oppress them or just kill them. As has been done repeatedly in both socialist and communist states across the world again and again ever since (with varying intensity and frequency)…


    ***

    All three, were avid supporters of revolution as a tool and method to get their grand scale ideas/plans realized – as in via force, violence and blood making/forcing all others to conform to their ideas and plans of a supposedly superior society. In this case, it was the ‘ol Marxist utopia - were class were supposedly eradicated, and everybody was imagined to serve as a small gear in the grand communist/socialist state-machinery/super-collective – were the party and state is all, and the individual is “ideally” reduced to an obedient and interchangeable “comrade” tax-slave, or something along those lines.

    - A

  15. #15
    dogukan's Avatar Praeses
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Middle freaking east
    Posts
    7,674

    Default Re: What were the differences among Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    Obligatory reminder that the causal relationship doesn't have to go the way one expects it to go. In this example I do not believe that Stalin and Trotsky had a falling out over their own ideological opinions in so much as their need to diverge and set themselves apart was quite much driven by their rivalry, which in turn was simply driven by hunger for power. It is, depending on time and oversimplified, true that Trotsky took the internationalism a bit further than Stalin did and did try to present himself as a purer version of a communist, but those political differences, whilst used as an excuse, most certainly cannot have been the cause for that. We all know that people are perfectly able to sit down and settle things peacefully if it serves their interests. Stalin and Trotsky weren't able to do this as their primary interest was to be the top dog, once Lenin's illness and death had created a vacuum.

    And as has happened in practically every revolution before and after, people who are perfectly able to kill people for one reason, won't have a hard time finding reasons to kill their former allies as well.

    The revolution ended up eating Trotsky rather than Stalin, but it could have gone the other way, and in that case the outcome would have differed little. Stalin's earnest push for less anti-Russianism (nationalism is quite the misnomer here) and less repression of religion came only in 1941, and then for well known existential reasons. And the internationalist version of communism had already failed at Warszaw. Both turning points were, if we disregard the incompetence of both Trotsky and Stalin in handling these, outside of their control. We can see the same pattern repeat with Khrushchev and Bresznew both attempting to once more set themselves apart from their predecessor. We can also see the same pattern in e.g. the French revolution, Chinese revolution, as well as many others. It wasn't ideology that caused Louis XVI, Danton and Robespierre to lose their heads. The hunger for power of the latter did it. The same power hunger that also expressed itself in the totalitarian mindset that saw people as mere playthings to be commanded what to think and what to speak.
    Modern day Ukrainian propaganda detected.

    First of all, absolutely no one refers to Russia past the 17th century (at the latest) as "Muscovite", apart from Ukrainian nationalists who want to lay sole claim to what is a shared history. "Little Russia" = Malorossiya referred to only one half of modern day Ukraine and not to white Russia. Nor was it a diminuitive as implied by you. Your quote of the "great Russian people" as simply referring to modern day Russians is likewise wrong. Russians, White Russians and Ukrainians (literally meaning "at the border") were by the Russian empire and the Soviet Union alike regarded as having the same heritage, the "Rus'". The term "velikaya Rus'" (whilst also having a second meaning as Russia proper, which by the Soviet time was already falling out of disuse) in the context mentioned by you as well as in other Soviet texts refers to all three combined, not to just one of them. E.g. in the 1944 Soviet Anthem the line "Сплотила навеки Великая Русь" states that the great Rus (Russia+Ukraine+Belarus) have united forever.

    Secondly, even though Korenisatsiya had cooled down slightly, it's completely bonkers to speak of any favouritism towards the Russians.

    Here's some homework for you: Go through the list of the leaders of the Soviet Union post Stalin and count those with Ukrainian origins, and count those with non-minority Russian origins.

    Then tell me how that could happen if the apparatus had been dominated by ethnical Russians as presented by you.

    Thirdly, ethnic Germans living in the Soviet Union during the second world war had an experience not too dissimilar from the Japanese living in the US. One of my relatives got sent in and out of the Gulag thrice simply for being of German origin. But it cooled down practically immediately the moment the war ended, nor was the war on the Soviet side, some hysteria aside, ever waged as a Vernichtungskrieg against the German people as claimed by the increasingly desperate Nazis.

    The "Mother Russia" part also displays some ignorance regarding the language. in Russian it's "Родина-мать" = "Birthland-Mother". This is explicitly non-ethnic and doesn't even refer to Russia by name. The birthland is also strongly related to the Russian tradition to, apart from culture and language, distinguishing people on location of birth rather than the origin of the parents. You're applying a Western European mindset to then make a claim that isn't supported at all.

    The fact that the Russian federation even today features far more official languages than the entire European Union combined (never mind the hundreds of languages spoken by communities too small to be made official for an entire region) shows that for all the faults of the Soviet Union (of which there were a great many) - the one thing they didn't do in contrast to e.g. post-revolutionary France, was to force one ethnic suppremacist agenda on everyone.
    This is an interesting insight.

    Eurasia does indeed seem to appear as a unique geography with a lot of multi-culturalism but at the same time it seems to be under solid control of Russian nationalism.

    The way I see it is that the Russian state-mindset plays the long game as almost all of it's neighbours are weak and therefore they did not take a very aggresive stance towards assimilation, except in few instances where there were resistance to it. We have to consider how much deportation and colony building Russian state did throughout the centuries. From then on, the rest had been mostly playing for the time in assimilation, thus reduced pressure on aggresive policies. Many of the Russia neighbours also have a good deal of settled Russians who have immense influence in their countries.

    I'd say the relative relaxed stance of Russia is due to centuries of succesfull demographic engineering.

    By today, it is difficult for me to decide whether the main Russian ideological force is the belief in a coercive-state or in ethnic-Russian nationalism.
    "Therefore I am not in favour of raising any dogmatic banner. On the contrary, we must try to help the dogmatists to clarify their propositions for themselves. Thus, communism, in particular, is a dogmatic abstraction; in which connection, however, I am not thinking of some imaginary and possible communism, but actually existing communism as taught by Cabet, Dézamy, Weitling, etc. This communism is itself only a special expression of the humanistic principle, an expression which is still infected by its antithesis – the private system. Hence the abolition of private property and communism are by no means identical, and it is not accidental but inevitable that communism has seen other socialist doctrines – such as those of Fourier, Proudhon, etc. – arising to confront it because it is itself only a special, one-sided realisation of the socialist principle."
    Marx to A.Ruge

  16. #16
    Kritias's Avatar Petite bourgeois
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Greece
    Posts
    2,343

    Default Re: What were the differences among Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin?

    Some observations:

    Marxism is not an economic system; it’s just a critique of capitalism. Marx understands that capitalism is a NECESSARY STEP for socialism, because only in capitalism there’s a motive to create an abundance of industry and factories, which is needed to create a working-class consciousness. His criticism is basically three-fold: a) just like previous economic systems (slavery, feudalism) capitalism is based on the unequal relationship between those who produce (employees) and those who profit from the selling of the products (capitalists); b) unlike the previous systems, capitalism is extremely unstable, crashing every few years, and creates increasing inequality between peoples with every crash; c) the profit motive leads capitalists to destroy parts of production to jack up prices, or create artificial shortages, instead of selling them for less than their profit margin.

    Marx in his manifesto proposed that the capitalist stage is essential for communism because it creates technological innovation, builds factories and industries; but he also warned that its inherent profit-reliance limits the possibilities of humanity. As a response, he proposed that the workers take over the factories in late capitalist societies, and then turn them away from profit—orientation to usher in communism. You need to understand here that when Marx wrote the Capital, he was expecting socialism to take root in the UK, or Germany – not in backwater Russia.

    Communism, on the other hand, is the stage of socialism where the profit motive has been eradicated completely, and technological progress allows for hyper-production: that means that, without profit-margins leading to the destruction of products, workers & machines can continue to produce to the point products are so abundant that they can be readily available to anyone cheaply. The end goal is to create a society where products are produced with little human labour and are equally distributed according to everyone’s needs, thus freeing up humanity from work to invest their lives in other pursuits.

    Leninism is basically the rulebook of revolution in countries that hadn’t had a capitalist revolution. It was tailor-made for the Soviet Union since there was little to no industry back in 1917 in the Russian empire – most people were still serfs, or worse. To respond to the lack of capitalist development and the existence of a trained workforce to produce industrial products, Lenin promoted the creation of the Vanguard Party (aka the Communist Party) that would assume the role of the capitalists in a State Capitalism stage. Their job was to build the necessary infrastructure through planned economy to usher in the next stage of revolution. The difference of Lenin to the other two was that he believed in the elitist, authoritarian rule of the VP where communism would be achieved in a two-step strategy: a) get the means of production and industrialize, b) reach hyper-production stage. Lenin, an elitist authoritarian, basically believed it’s better for everybody to dismiss todays’ needs to build communism faster.

    Stalinism isn’t so much different to what Lenin or Trotsky suggested, HOWEVER the means of achieving these ends were radically different. You can see this from Trotsky who, despite being very salty with Uncle Joe, he never questions what the goals are – he just incessantly criticizes how these goals are pursued. Stalin believed in a strong army to safeguard the revolution so the majority of his efforts went towards building up the Red Army; since 1933 when Trotsky openly called for revolution against Stalin (and was subsequently murdered), he also became obsessed with keeping power against those he thought as “counter-revolutionaries”: the Red Army effort was complimented with a huge State Apparatus in the NKVD, the Great Purge and a prison system to dispose those who made strong enough waves against the regime. He also believed in what is named ‘Socialism in One Country’ which addressed the issue of foreign communist movements. Both Lenin and Trotsky believed in financial and technical aid towards third parties, while Stalin was more inclined to incorporate new countries into the USSR. This doctrine led to war with Finland, the invasion of Poland, and the occupation of Latvia, Esthonia, Lithuania and parts of Romania, Tannu Tova in the East etc and the formation of the Eastern Bloc after the war.

    Trotskyism is more closely related to Leninism than Stalinism, and it’s the romanticized version of communism. Fun fact, Christopher Hitchens was counting himself as a Trotskyist, which never fails to crack me up when I see alt-right members worshipping the ‘Hitch’ for his slam downs on bad religions (by which they only think of Islam). Trotsky did not believe in the two-step implementation like Lenin or Stalin but promoted the idea of permanent revolution, combined with a balance between building communism and satisfying today’s needs. This doctrine proposed that a revolution did not need a vanguard party to set its industry up – instead Trotsky believed that workers and peasants could do this task without Lenin’s ‘elite’ guidance. Raising the question of what would happen if the revolution failed, Trotsky believed that this working coalition would lead to a state of continuous revolution where bad elements were left behind and new ideas of doing things would be created through the struggle to bring about communism. In the matter of international communism, Trotsky was also very much opposed to the idea of incorporating other countries into the USSR, suggesting that they could show ‘international solidarity’ by lending equipment, money and expertise to see other countries succeed in their revolutions.

    PS: Having said that, I cannot but notice that many people lately have this bizarre obsession to count the dead of communism as a perverse way to disprove it. Aside the creepy joy they seem to get out of this, which is concerning, I would suggest to them not to forget that almost 8 million people die of hunger every year as a direct outcome of a profit-based economy. The simple proof for that is to count how many million tons of foodstuff we destroy every year, instead of selling them under the profit-margin. That’s just one example of the capitalist economy – we could also consider all those who die every year due to lack of access to medical treatment. Like, for example, half a million of Americans who died within the space of a few months because of a sloppy reaction to COVID-19 and lack of access to healthcare. Let’s not even mention four hundred years of colonialism, two world wars, countless invasions for corporate resources, death squads in Third Word countries, etc etc etc. Maybe someone should crunch these numbers and see how many dead that makes us. Wouldn’t that be a hoot, guys?
    Under the valued patronage of Abdülmecid I

  17. #17

    Default Re: What were the differences among Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kritias View Post
    Some observations:

    Marxism is not an economic system; itÂ’s just a critique of capitalism.
    And a highly reductive and outdated teleological world view oriented towards a promise of paradise, as the rest of your first paragraphs demonstrates.


    PS: Having said that, I cannot but notice that many people lately have this bizarre obsession to count the dead of communism as a perverse way to disprove it. Aside the creepy joy they seem to get out of this, which is concerning, [...]
    Let's rephrase this: "I cannot but notice that many people lately have this bizarre obsession to count the dead of National Socialism as a perverse way to disprove it. Aside the creepy joy they seem to get out of this, which is concerning, [...]"

    Recognize a pattern here?
    Maybe all that death and destruction might be a sign that your ideology is dysfunctional and gets people killed by the millions. And that's without mentioning the incredible environmental damage caused by SocialismTM, which also gets lots of people killed, just more slowly.


    I would suggest to them not to forget that almost 8 million people die of hunger every year as a direct outcome of a profit-based economy.
    I would suggest to you to not forget that relative to global population size and growth rate, fewer people than ever are dying of hunger each year. As a direct outcome of a profit-based economy.


    The simple proof for that is to count how many million tons of foodstuff we destroy every year,
    Insert obligatory mention of SocialistTM environmental destruction, like, say, causing two of the three worst nuclear catastrophes in history, draining one of the biggest lakes on Earth, causing irreparable damage to several cetacean species through continued illegal whaling, and causing human suffering including mass starvation through SocialistTM planned economy.


    instead of selling them under the profit-margin.
    Selling excess produce of first-world countries in developing countries under the profit margin is a tried and proven way of ruining local economies and putting local farmers out of business.


    That’s just one example of the capitalist economy – we could also consider all those who die every year due to lack of access to medical treatment. Like, for example, half a million of Americans who died within the space of a few months because of a sloppy reaction to COVID-19 and lack of access to healthcare. Let’s not even mention four hundred years of colonialism, two world wars, countless invasions for corporate resources, death squads in Third Word countries, etc etc etc. Maybe someone should crunch these numbers and see how many dead that makes us. Wouldn’t that be a hoot, guys?
    Ah yes, because that's all due to CapitalismTM. Because the National Socialists and Marxists who caused most of the deaths of WW2 were such avid and enthusiastic capitalists, as are the multitudes of fascist dictatorships small and large from Mussolini to Xi. Not to mention various colonial powers past and present, who as we know always united under the flag of capitalism, and definitely never endorsed such ideas as Mercantilism, Fascism, National Socialism, Marxism, or theocracy, amirite?

  18. #18
    Tribunus
    Citizen

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    7,167

    Default Re: What were the differences among Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin?

    Sorry missed this, thanks for the helpful critique. Apparently I must "spread some reputation around before.." I can click on the button again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    Obligatory reminder that the causal relationship doesn't have to go the way one expects it to go. In this example I do not believe that Stalin and Trotsky had a falling out over their own ideological opinions in so much as their need to diverge and set themselves apart was quite much driven by their rivalry, which in turn was simply driven by hunger for power.
    An excellent point. Opportunistic shibboleths can be mistaken for irrevocable dogmatic differences (I am reminded of the persecution of the early church). I suspect Stalin in particular selected his ideological tools for their utility in eliminating rivals. Trotsky seems to have been an ideas man, maybe even a true believer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    And as has happened in practically every revolution before and after, people who are perfectly able to kill people for one reason, won't have a hard time finding reasons to kill their former allies as well.
    Indeed, and the skills that make for a successful revolutionary can make for a very corrupt and/or violent ruler. Jacob Zuma springs to mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    Modern day Ukrainian propaganda detected.
    I had felt it was plain Australian ignorance, but am happy to be corrected.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    First of all, absolutely no one refers to Russia past the 17th century (at the latest) as "Muscovite", apart from Ukrainian nationalists who want to lay sole claim to what is a shared history. "Little Russia" = Malorossiya referred to only one half of modern day Ukraine and not to white Russia. Nor was it a diminuitive as implied by you. Your quote of the "great Russian people" as simply referring to modern day Russians is likewise wrong. Russians, White Russians and Ukrainians (literally meaning "at the border") were by the Russian empire and the Soviet Union alike regarded as having the same heritage, the "Rus'". The term "velikaya Rus'" (whilst also having a second meaning as Russia proper, which by the Soviet time was already falling out of disuse) in the context mentioned by you as well as in other Soviet texts refers to all three combined, not to just one of them. E.g. in the 1944 Soviet Anthem the line "Сплотила навеки Великая Русь" states that the great Rus (Russia+Ukraine+Belarus) have united forever.
    Thanks for the correction here, I am very muddled in my distinctions between white, black, great, small and other Russians.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    Secondly, even though Korenisatsiya had cooled down slightly, it's completely bonkers to speak of any favouritism towards the Russians.
    My basis for doing so is two half remembered elements: one a toast made by Stalin toward the end of the war "to the great Russian people", and the other a report by a defector that Stalin preferred to place his nuclear arms under the care of "Moscow farm boys", so its probably as flimsy as you suggest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    Here's some homework for you: Go through the list of the leaders of the Soviet Union post Stalin and count those with Ukrainian origins, and count those with non-minority Russian origins.

    Then tell me how that could happen if the apparatus had been dominated by ethnical Russians as presented by you.
    Very happy to be corrected.

    Just for the sake of clarity don't most of them have "Russian + (almost all Ukrainian)" ancestry? Often they were children of the educated class of the empire, is that right? Stalin the ex-seminarian etc, so I am guessing the next generation were the children of that class? Perhaps similar to the same way Irish and Scots are over-represented in the Imperial elite of the British Empire?

    However I take the point the elite of the revolution were obviously more likely to be drawn from educated elites excluded from the central positions of power by the tsarist regime. Was the tsarist regime extremely Russophile? Obviously the royal family were germanised by blood and Frenchified by culture, my very few brushes with tsarist history suggest a patchwork of repression and tolerance. I imagine the imperial apparatus was varied. I recall ethnic Germans from the Baltic regions were over-represented in the Army officer corps (not without tension eg Samsoncov/Rennenkampf), perhaps the administrative services were likewise open to some groups but not others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    Thirdly, ethnic Germans living in the Soviet Union during the second world war had an experience not too dissimilar from the Japanese living in the US. One of my relatives got sent in and out of the Gulag thrice simply for being of German origin. But it cooled down practically immediately the moment the war ended, nor was the war on the Soviet side, some hysteria aside, ever waged as a Vernichtungskrieg against the German people as claimed by the increasingly desperate Nazis.
    I am glad Soviets distinguished between regimes and ethnicities, the nazis seemed not to and committed atrocities on that basis. Once again my thinking here was based on material I studied decades ago. I thought the Soviet propaganda included elements like characterising Germany as "the White Witch", and there were some horrible atrocities, but glad to hear it cooled down quickly. It took many decades after WWII for anti-Japanese hatred to cool in my country.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    The "Mother Russia" part also displays some ignorance regarding the language. in Russian it's "Родина-мать" = "Birthland-Mother". This is explicitly non-ethnic and doesn't even refer to Russia by name. The birthland is also strongly related to the Russian tradition to, apart from culture and language, distinguishing people on location of birth rather than the origin of the parents. You're applying a Western European mindset to then make a claim that isn't supported at all.
    Thanks for the correction, good to have my ignorance demolished.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    The fact that the Russian federation even today features far more official languages than the entire European Union combined (never mind the hundreds of languages spoken by communities too small to be made official for an entire region) shows that for all the faults of the Soviet Union (of which there were a great many) - the one thing they didn't do in contrast to e.g. post-revolutionary France, was to force one ethnic supremacist agenda on everyone.
    Was it the Third Republic the went full erasure on local languages? At some point the Academie got extremely heavy handed and things like lists of approved names came in, just bonkers.

    At times the British Empire managed to be tolerant but in the usual playbook there was a steamroller annihilating local languages (in the Home Islands languages were extirpated too but it was laissez faire, private individuals expelling and impoverishing their own kin).

    Was some degree of tolerance also a feature of tsarist rule? Beyond the fact the dominions included a vast diversity?
    Jatte lambastes Calico Rat

  19. #19
    Kritias's Avatar Petite bourgeois
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Greece
    Posts
    2,343

    Default Re: What were the differences among Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin?

    Quote Originally Posted by athanaric View Post
    And a highly reductive and outdated teleological world view oriented towards a promise of paradise, as the rest of your first paragraphs demonstrates.


    Let's rephrase this: "I cannot but notice that many people lately have this bizarre obsession to count the dead of National Socialism as a perverse way to disprove it. Aside the creepy joy they seem to get out of this, which is concerning, [...]"

    Recognize a pattern here?
    Maybe all that death and destruction might be a sign that your ideology is dysfunctional and gets people killed by the millions. And that's without mentioning the incredible environmental damage caused by SocialismTM, which also gets lots of people killed, just more slowly.



    I would suggest to you to not forget that relative to global population size and growth rate, fewer people than ever are dying of hunger each year. As a direct outcome of a profit-based economy.



    Insert obligatory mention of SocialistTM environmental destruction, like, say, causing two of the three worst nuclear catastrophes in history, draining one of the biggest lakes on Earth, causing irreparable damage to several cetacean species through continued illegal whaling, and causing human suffering including mass starvation through SocialistTM planned economy.



    Selling excess produce of first-world countries in developing countries under the profit margin is a tried and proven way of ruining local economies and putting local farmers out of business.


    Ah yes, because that's all due to CapitalismTM. Because the National Socialists and Marxists who caused most of the deaths of WW2 were such avid and enthusiastic capitalists, as are the multitudes of fascist dictatorships small and large from Mussolini to Xi. Not to mention various colonial powers past and present, who as we know always united under the flag of capitalism, and definitely never endorsed such ideas as Mercantilism, Fascism, National Socialism, Marxism, or theocracy, amirite?
    Answers to previous commenter

    (Please see my argument on the base of the post for further clarification of where I am coming from on this subject.)

    Let’s not rephrase anything. Let’s instead educate ourselves on the economic system of the Nazis, according to all historical evidence. When Nazis came to power in 1933, they privatized everything owed by the German state: steel yards, mines, shipyards, banking, public utilities… Everything. Throughout the war, the Germans sold off every bit of scrap they could from the occupied countries to Big Business. The rest they just plundered. Now I might be wrong, but Socialism means nationalizing the means of production. Not privatize them for the benefit of the corporate elite. There’s another name for that – capitalism. What about the Holocaust, or the German war effort? Well, here’s a list of companies involved in the running and supplying of the death camps. And last I checked Coca-cola, BMW, Ford, General Motors, IBM and Nestle aren’t exactly the bastions of Socialism. Only in capitalism you get to have an American company making engines for German rockets used against civilians in the UK and Belgium. Or providing oil to German submarines, aiding them to sink Allied vessels. For profit. So, despite your eagerness to couple the Nazis to the Soviets, based no doubt on the clever marketing trick of the Nazis to call themselves ‘socialists’, unfortunately your argument is just one big, fat lie. The Nazis were anything but socialists. In fact, they put socialists in concentration camps. Of course, I don’t blame you; there has been a hard turn in the West to this type of argumentation these last thirty years.

    Regarding your WW2 comment, look above, read carefully then check how many people the Nazis killed. Aided by American companies. It’s also very amusing that you keep confusing the Nazis to the Soviets when the former invaded the latter and killed, by conservative estimations, around 27 million Soviet people. Who somehow are pictured in your post as victims of socialism? By which I guess you mean that the Soviets should have just rolled over and surrendered, instead of driving the Nazis back to Berlin and winning WW2 no matter the cost. The main issue of course is that it is a morally bankrupt argument to claim that waging war explicitly to exterminate the sub-humans and staging a revolution to change your economic system (even if said system implementation turns out a failure) is the same thing. But it is no less bankrupt than believing this is the best system humanity can hope for; no doubt the priests, feudal Lords and Kings argued the same way. Go look at them now.

    Regarding starvation. To argue that in 400 years of capitalism, the free markets haven’t figured out a way to feed starving people but only to make (somewhat) less of them starve to death every year is the biggest indictment against the capitalist system. Surely, enough time has passed to iron out any bugs in the system, right? However, not even this claim is true: since 2008 the trend has reversed and now more people starve to death than three decades ago. Let’s not mention what has happened during this last crisis. Profit-based economy systematically produces hunger for a tenth of global population according to the UN’s statistics. A tenth.

    Since we’re on the topic of hunger, you must know that every country on earth has food production capabilities; starvation isn’t caused due to food waste in the US or Europe. Every country grows its native, climate-appropriate food locally, and what it lacks is imported. Starvation is caused by food waste in the countries themselves. Simplest proof of that is that even in the most starvation-stricken country (Liberia or Sierra Leone) you can eat like a King – if you can afford it. If you were to fly to Liberia tomorrow with your currency, you would not see any difference in your diet; they have McDonalds. The simple fact is that local supermarkets and local businesses simply charge an exorbitant amount of money for foodstuff, sums that a good part of the local population simply cannot meet and so they die. For making a profit. Cool and normal.

    Lastly, we come to the environment. It’s extremely funny to see someone arguing that socialism is the only system that has caused environmental catastrophe while all scientists have been warning us for years about impending climate devastation caused by CO2 emissions! Maybe we can blame the socialists and their regulations… In all seriousness, if you just see the ten greatest environmental catastrophes in the world, Chernobyl makes the list and all the rest have happened in capitalist countries. You mentioned the nuclear accidents; of course, there’s not a peep from you on the deliberate drop of nuclear devices on human populations. Once again, intention counts. I don’t think anyone could argue the Soviets wanted Chernobyl to happen for example, whereas this can’t be said for Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    There is also a fundamental difference between the State failing to do something and having to clean up its own mess, and individuals failing and having the State clean up their mess while they keep all their money. The greatest indictment against the capitalist system is the fact that private corporations responsible for climate pollution have been lobbying successfully for years now to avoid any obligation to pay money to safeguard the environment. Just look at what was announced in the last G7 summit and what experts are saying about it. But when accidents happen, and they do every now and then, the State (that the capitalists trash talk daily about stifling competition and imposing regulations and taxes) comes in and rescues the day and ‘we’re all in this together’. That is, the State takes your tax money to tackle the crisis, while corporations walk away with their profits intact. You know, just like they did when the economy melted down in ’08 when no one went to jail but instead the banks that caused the crisis got bailed out with the taxpayer’s money.

    PS: You mentioned whales yet forgot the multi-billion industry of shark finning that kills around 150 million sharks every year, just so that they can turn their fins into soup across the world. The fins themselves are completely tasteless, the soup is seasoned with chicken or pork broth – 150 million animals we do not eat slaughtered every year because it’s ‘cool’ to serve shark in restaurants. At least we can use the whale blob. The biggest shark fisheries, incidentally, are in such bastions of communism like California, Costa Rica and Ecuador. Also, you might want to see how many capitalist countries still engage in whaling, too. Sorry.


    Your reply does not answer a simple question: if we were to seriously count, as you obviously do, all the dead people capitalism has generated throughout the world in its 400 years of existence, what figure would we come up to? And, having reached your own tally of the dead, wouldn’t you agree that your argumentation feels somewhat hypocritical now? I think you will agree with me that either we value human lives or we don't. We can't both value and not value them on a case by case scenario. Unless we don't value them at all and we're just pretending. Same goes for the environment, healthcare, the economy and so on and so on.

    My argument is very simple: let's agree for a second to judge economic systems only on how many people they get killed. Let's also use the Black Book of Communism which claims communism has killed 100 million people in roughly a hundred years. What would be capitalism's tally in such a case? If we just look at starvation as a cause of death, that's 9 million a year. Ninety million in a decade. How many more for capitalism's 400 years-run? And that's just one cause of death, matching the dead for every way the communists could come up to kill us. What happens with every other cause of death? And more importantly, why are these deaths normalized and not even taken into consideration?

    I am sure you can now see that if we judged economic systems this way then support for the current financial system is unsustainable. Personally, I'd suggest to focus on real flaws and shortcomings and not on misguided slogans. I can argue this more if you like, but let's take this to an appropriate thread so we're not being disruptive. I think my first post answered the OP question somewhat.
    Last edited by Kritias; August 03, 2021 at 08:34 PM. Reason: Making it easier to seperate answers to previous commenter and my own argument
    Under the valued patronage of Abdülmecid I

  20. #20

    Default Re: What were the differences among Trotsky, Lenin and Stalin?

    The Second World War was not caused by capitalism. If anything, it was caused by the NSDAP’s desire to break away from systems of international finance, global trade and free enterprise, all of which were characterized as Jewish control mechanisms. The party attempted to achieve national self-sufficiency (autarky) via a centrally planned, Alexandrian scale conquest of eastern Europe, the purpose of which was to provide the Reich with agricultural and fuel security. Of particularly importance were the farmlands of Ukraine and the oil fields of the Caucuses (oddly, the NSDAP’s intention of perpetrating a comprehensive, state-sponsored theft of Ukrainian land largely mirrored Soviet policy from less than a decade prior which had resulted in the liquidation of the kulaks). Had the invasion been successful, Germany’s reliance on the western democracies would have been eliminated and the possibility of an effective blockade (as occurred in WW1) would have been prevented. Thus, the Reich could have become a global hegemon – the NSDAP’s ultimate objective.

    The party’s alliance with the industrialists was one of convenience, not ideology (as is plainly evidenced by Nazi theory dating back to the early 1920’s). Here is a brief video on that. The initial purpose of the alignment was to resist the internal communist threat, but later the Nazis viewed it as the most expedient route to rapid militarization (in a manner not dissimilar to Lenin’s use of the NEP to protect the Bolsheviks takeover). The purpose of industrial sales was never to satisfy the interests of the corporate elite; it was an act of short-termism intended to maximize the rearmament effort. Even so, by 1944-45, the German war machine had been almost entirely nationalized.

    On the point about American companies, it is overwhelmingly the case that they assisted in the defeat of fascism, both via their involvement with the US and British militaries and the lend-lease program to the USSR which supplied the Russians with millions of tons of modern equipment, including tanks, trucks and planes. The claim that American companies were “involved in the running and supplying of the death camps” is mostly misleading, particularly given that the liquidation of the Jewish people was not known about outside of the Reich until the final weeks of the war. Nevertheless, it goes without saying that state/government involvement in the Holocaust and other atrocities of the war (including by the USSR) was far more substantial than anything perpetrated by corporations.
    Last edited by Cope; August 03, 2021 at 10:56 PM.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •