Leon Trotsky

(1879_1940 / Bereslavka)

Leon Trotsky Quotes

  • ''Insurrection is an art, and like all arts has its own laws.''
    Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), Russian revolutionary. The History of the Russian Revolution, vol. 3, ch. 6 (1933).
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  • ''There is no example in history of a revolutionary movement involving such gigantic masses being so bloodless.''
    Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), Russian revolutionary. The History of the Russian Revolution, vol. 2, ch. 7 (1933). On the initial stages of the Russian Revolution (which included the storming of Moscow's Winter Palace).
  • ''In Stalin each [Soviet bureaucrat] easily finds himself. But Stalin also finds in each one a small part of his own spirit. Stalin is the personification of the bureaucracy. That is the substance of his political personality.''
    Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), Russian revolutionary. The Revolution Betrayed, ch. 11 (1937).
  • ''Where force is necessary, there it must be applied boldly, decisively and completely. But one must know the limitations of force; one must know when to blend force with a manoeuver, a blow with an agreement.''
    Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), Russian revolutionary. What Next? Ch. 14 (1932).
  • ''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.''
    Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), Russian revolutionary. "Conclusions," vol. 3, The History of the Russian Revolution (1933).
  • ''England is nothing but the last ward of the European madhouse, and quite possibly it will prove to be the ward for particularly violent cases.''
    Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), Russian revolutionary. Diary in Exile, entry for April 11, 1935 (1959).
  • ''Old age is the most unexpected of all things that happen to a man.''
    Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), Russian revolutionary. Diary in Exile, entry for May 8, 1935 (1959).
  • ''Life is not an easy matter.... You cannot live through it without falling into frustration and cynicism unless you have before you a great idea which raises you above personal misery, above weakness, above all kinds of perfidy and baseness.''
    Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), Russian revolutionary. Diary in Exile, entry for April 5, 1935 (1959).
  • ''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.''
    Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), Russian revolutionary. Diary in Exile, diary entry for April 5, 1935 (1959).
  • ''You are pitiful isolated individuals; you are bankrupts; your role is played out. Go where you belong from now on—into the dustbin of history!''
    Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), Russian revolutionary. History of the Russian Revolution, vol. 3, ch. 10 (1933). Addressed to the Mensheviks, who participated in Kerensky's provisional government in 1917, overthrown by the Bolsheviks.

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