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Leon Trotsky


1879 - 21 August 1940) Russian Marxist, intellectual, and revolutionary.
Leon Trotsky
As for us, we were never concerned with the Kantian-priestly and vegetarian-Quaker prattle about the "sacredness of human life."
Trotsky quotes
Root out the counterrevolutionaries without mercy, lock up suspicious characters in concentration camps... Shirkers will be shot, regardless of past service.
Trotsky
Socialist authors promise not only wealth for all, but also happiness in love for everybody, the full physical and spiritual development of each individual, the unfolding of great artistic and scientific talents in all men, etc. Only recently Trotsky stated in one of his writings that in the socialist society "the average human type will rise to the heights of an Aristotle, a Goethe, or a Marx. And above this ridge new peaks will rise. 1 The socialist paradise will be the kingdom of perfection, populated by completely happy supermen. All socialist literature is full of such nonsense. But it is just this nonsense that wins it the most supporters.




Trotsky Leon quotes
The historic ascent of humanity, taken as a whole, may be summarized as a succession of victories of consciousness over blind forces in nature, in society, in man himself.
Trotsky Leon
Lenin's methods [of "hard" centralism and mistrust of the working class] lead to this: the party organization substitutes itself for the party, the central committee substitutes itself for the organization, and, finally, a "dictator" substitutes himself for the central committee. ... The party must seek the guarantee of its stability in its own base, in an active and self-reliant proletariat, and not in its top caucus ... which the revolution may suddenly sweep away with its wing.
Leon Trotsky quotes
Natasha and I said more than once that one may arrive at such a physical condition that it would be better to cut short one's own life or, more correctly, the too slow process of dying ... But whatever may be the circumstances of my death I shall die with unshaken faith in the communist future. This faith in man and in his future gives me even now such power of resistance as cannot be given by any religion.
Leon Trotsky
The struggle against war, properly understood and executed, presupposes the uncompromising hostility of the proletariat and its organizations, always and everywhere, toward its own and every other imperialist bourgeoisie...
Trotsky Leon quotes
Art, it is said, is not a mirror, but a hammer: it does not reflect, it shapes. But at present even the handling of a hammer is taught with the help of a mirror, a sensitive film that records all the movements. Photography and motion-picture photography, owing to their passive accuracy of depiction, are becoming important educational instruments in the field of labor. If one cannot get along without a mirror, even in shaving oneself, how can one resconstruct oneself or one's life, without seeing oneself in the "mirror" of literature? Of course no one speaks about an exact mirror. No one even thinks of asking the new literature to have mirror-like impassivity. The deeper literature is, and the more it is imbued with the desire to shape life, the more significantly and dynamically it will be able to "picture" life.
Trotsky
We can only be right with and by the Party, for history has provided no other way of being in the right... And if the Party adopts a decision which one or other of us thinks unjust, he will say, just or unjust, it is my party, and I shall support the consequences of the decision to the end.
Trotsky Leon
I thank warmly the friends who remained loyal to me through the most difficult hours of my life.  I do not name anyone in particular because I cannot name them all.
However, I consider myself justified in making an exception in the case of my companion, Natalia Ivanovna Sedova. In addition to the happiness of being a fighter for the cause of socialism, fate gave me the happiness of being her husband. During the almost forty years of our life together she remained an inexhaustible source of love, magnanimity, and tenderness. She underwent great sufferings, especially in the last period of our lives. But I find some comfort in the fact that she also knew days of happiness.
Leon Trotsky
A means can be justified only by its end. But the end in its turn needs to be justified. (Also quoted as "The end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end.")




Leon Trotsky quotes
In a serious struggle there is no worse cruelty than to be magnanimous at an inopportune time.
Leon Trotsky
A sledgehammer breaks glass but forges steel.
Trotsky quotes
The obliging Trotsky is more dangerous than an enemy! /.../ Trotsky has never yet held a firm opinion on any important question of Marxism. He always contrives to worm his way into the cracks of any given difference of opinion, and desert one side for the other. At the present moment he is in the company of the Bundists and the liquidators.
Trotsky Leon
The depth and strength of a human character are defined by its moral reserves. People reveal themselves completely only when they are thrown out of the customary conditions of their life, for only then do they have to fall back on their reserves.
Trotsky Leon quotes
An ally has to be watched just like an enemy.
Leon Trotsky
The bourgeoisie today is a falling class... We are forced to tear it off, to chop it away. The Red Terror is a weapon utilized against a class, doomed to destruction, which does not wish to perish. If the White Terror can only retard the historical rise of the proletariat, the Red Terror hastens the destruction of the bourgeoisie.
Leon Trotsky quotes
The concrete is a combination of abstractions not an arbitrary or subjective combination but one that corresponds to the laws of the movement of a given phenomenon.
Leon Trotsky
As long as I breathe I hope. As long as I breathe I shall fight for the future, that radiant future, in which man, strong and beautiful, will become master of the drifting stream of his history and will direct it towards the boundless horizons of beauty, joy and happiness!
Trotsky Leon
Art is not a mirror held up to society, but a hammer with which to shape it.


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