I am amazed that Tariq Ali still respectfully mentions Lenin and Trotsky as being formative influences — “ok, they may not have got it all right, they may have made a few mistakes” Ali says in the video.
Trotsky was an authoritarian, repressive force, that inflicted real violence on working class people, strugglers,intellectuals, anarchists, and those genuinely seeking freedom from the yoke of oppressive, coercive states — The massive struggles against Trotsky in the Ukraine and in the wider uprisings all over Russia from 1918 to 1922 prove the amount of feeling against him and rejection of the Bolsheviks, and Trotsky’s brutal crushing of the anarchist Cossacks and village-democratic communities prove the extreme violent ends Trotsky was willing to go to, to destroy any dissenting voices.
I don’t know how Ali can still mention him in a good , approving light : I would expect an approving view of Trotsky from a young and green student who perhaps hadn’t read that much — but from a man of Ali’s age and experience? It is surprising, if not staggering . A reading of primary sources such as Nestor Makhno, Voline, and Arshinov proves what a repressive force and non egalitarian Trotsky actually was, and secondary sources from Paul Avrich, Emma Goldman and Skirda support such a rejection of view of Trotsky and the bolsheviks. Chomsky rejects Ttrotsky on the same grounds too.
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