I posted this on MyT a few years ago in response to an American blogger who saw ‘Trotskyism’ almost everywhere he looked.
Many years ago I had some Trotskyist acquaintances, and I knew a fair bit about Trotsky’s ideas at that time. One thing about him is absolutely clear – he hated ‘bourgeois democracy’. In order to have true (socialist) democracy, he felt, capitalism would have to be swept away. If the workers’ lives were controlled by their bosses, the right to elect members of parliament was immaterial.
Trotsky envisioned democracy through ‘workers’ councils’; he felt that this was the core idea of Bolshevism but it had been betrayed by Lenin and Stalin’s dictatorial instincts. He was on a mission to rescue it; the ice-pick put an end to that, but it couldn’t have succeeded in any case – Trotsky had a naïve view of human nature. He thought that if capitalism were overthrown in one country, that country would be attacked and overcome by others where capitalism persisted – hence the need for worldwide revolution. Continue reading