04 December 2005
I quite like this:
Hey -- some socialist guy with a blog (Brit living in Ciudad de MÃ©xico) has severely slagged Trotsky over Brest-Litovsk (it's a new blog, but he's apparently picking up readership fast. He's quite entertaining). He thinx Trotsky was a complete wanker -- and has apparently even physically pissed metabolized beer all over Trotsky's grave in Coyoacan with his drinking buddies.I am sorry to ruin a good tale, but no, I have never had a slash over the grave in question, but it was the habit of some members of the old Mexican Comunist Party so to do in years gone by. So I'm told at any rate. It may be an urban myth.
On the subject of Brest-Litovsk my objection to Trotsky is basically that his actions were not just those of a wanker, but a criminal wanker to boot. Russia had lost the war and her army was no longer willing to fight. Lenin gave clear instructions to the lad Trotsky to get his arse westwards and sign whatever treaty the Germans placed in front of him. It was as simple as that.
Now, those instructions strike me as pretty bloody straightforward. Only a Trotsky could sit around, dragging out the negotiations, in the hope that revolution would break out in Germany. The bloody Huns were winning the war - their soldiers were well chuffed with the socio-economic set-up in the fatherland and would remain well chuffed until November of 1918. Defeat may help a revolutionary cause, but Germany was not facing defeat in late 1917. Trotsky should have realised that - just because he had hair all around his mouth was no reason to behave like a cunt. . .
So the Germans tell him that if he doesn't stop playing silly buggers they will restart the war. Trotsky, in the best tradition of purile adventurism, comes up with the notion of no war and no peace. He announces to the delighted Germans that he was leaving the peace talks and that Russia would cease to resist Germany. So the Germans say "cheers mate," or whatever the German version of that is, and they then advance further in five days than they had managed since the war broke out in August 1914! Lenin gets to hear about all this and basically gives Trotsky the Russian version of an American bitch slapping. Trotsky is sent back and told to just sign whatever the Germans want.
The problem now is that Russia has lost a lot more territory and that loss is now included in the treaty that Trotsky has to sign. Just as importantly, an awful lot of Russians were outraged by the whole thing and joined the White Russian forces for the coming civil war. Many of them would have done it anyway, but the earlier terms were better, so probably some of them would have remained neutral or supported the Reds. Making enemies when you do not need to is silly. Makng them because you believe in gesture politics takes my breath away.
That was Trotsky all over: he was a dreamer and a fantasist. It is perhaps fitting that former Trotskyists -and note I said former Trotskyists - became the founding fathers of American neoconservatism. They stopped being socialists, but they still had the old dream. That dream will lead to the death of American imperialism, so something good might come out of Trotsky's lunacy yet.