"Those Who Are Inspired By An Idealism Rather Than Self Interest Make The Biggest Impact On History." To What Extent Does The Study Of Leon Trotsky Support This View?

1184 words - 5 pages

Lev Davidovich Bronstein (Leon Trotsky) has made a major impact on history. Trotsky, influenced by the ideals and beliefs of Karl Marx and socialism, helped a number of revolutions in Russia that would prove to be critical in Russia's political, economical and social development. Over the span of his life, Trotsky would prove to be inspired to succeed by his idealism for international communism rather than a vision of himself being leader of the Soviet Regime.Trotsky was very interested in working in the media, and believed that the press was an important tool in conveying the Bolshevik message to the public. He edited many soviet newspapers and journals, believing that the general masses would read, become inspired by and act on his revolutionary articles. After starting work in New York, Trotsky "almost overnight became a towering figure in the half - world of the Russian revolutionary intelligentsia in New York." By use of the media Trotsky had spread the message of idealist and "utopian" communism.After Lenin, Trotsky was called "the second man of the revolution." Trotsky met Lenin in London where Trotsky joined the Social Democratic Party. This friendship was to begin a partnership of Bolshevik leadership between the two. Trotsky found Lenin inspiring in his leadership, yet "Trotsky called him absolutely ruthless and said it was not without significance that 'irreconcilable' and 'relentless' were among his favourite words. He found Lenin's conduct unpardonable at times but later conceded that it was correct from the revolutionary point of view." This quote proves that although Trotsky at times found Lenin's strategies and conduct "unpardonable", it was needed at the time in order for the revolution to go ahead and to ultimately succeed. It shows that Trotsky is inspired by the idealism of international communism and despite his better humane judgment, overlooks the perhaps callous decisions of Lenin in the name of the revolution for Russia.Perhaps the most important point in evaluation of Trotsky's inspiration from ideology rather than self - interest is the incident of Lenin's proposal of Trotsky for head of the All - Bolshevik government. " At first Lenin did not want to head the Government and proposed Trotsky. Trotsky violently objected. Lenin was the leader; there could be no other choice. 'Why not?' Lenin said. 'You were the head of the Petrograd Soviet that seized power.' On Trotsky's motion the proposal was tabled. Lenin became Chairman, Trotsky Foreign Commissar." This point declares Trotsky's total inspiration for the goal of communism rather than self - achievement. When suggested to become an important leader in the Bolshevik government, Trotsky declined because he believed Lenin deserved the position rather than he."Lenin greatly valued Trotsky's ability to rally the men and inspire them with vigour."The Menshevik leader Fyodor Dan was once quoted as saying, "There was no other man who for 24 hours a day was occupied with...

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