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Author Topic: Trotsky's objection and non-Czarist Russia: My questions  (Read 8946 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 10, 2009, 08:46:21 PM »

My first question is about an objection (or observation, depending on how you look at it) that Leon Trotsky makes in his short piece 'Vodka, the Church, and the Cinema' (published July 12, 1923). He writes

Religiousness among the Russian working class does practically does not exist. It actually never existed. The Orthodox Church was a daily custom and a government institution. It was never successful in penetrating deeply into the consciousness of the masses, not in blending its dogmas and canons with the inner emotions of the people. The reason for this is the same - the uncultured condition of Old Russia, and of her Church. Hence, when awakened for culture, the Russian worker easily throws off his purely external relation to the Church, a relation which grew on him purely by habit. For the peasent, certainly, this becomes harder, not because the peasent has more intimately and profoundly entered the Church teaching - this has, of course, never been the case - but because the inertia and monotony of his life are closely bound up with the inertia and monotony of Church practices.

He goes on to speak of how, though the life and culture of the Russian people, even the proletariat and peasents is bound up with Orthodoxy, he makes the claim that this is purely by habit, and not out of inner faith or love for the Church as a religious body, but as a distraction, with little or no respect for the ritual of the Church, or the clergy.

This is certainly a far cry from the picture of 'Holy Russia' under the Czars. What are your thoughts? Please provide reasons and sources for your opinion.

Secondly, I hear of many Russian saints (St. Elizabeth the New Martyr, etc, not to mention the proposed canonization of the Romanovs) who were killed, and were part of the Czarist establishment. Are there any Russian saints who did not identify themselves with the Czarists, or even were anti-Czarist, perhaps involved in Socialist or other Workers groups?
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2009, 09:37:29 PM »

Just a few general comments. Trotsky was hardly an objective commentator and what you cited falls nicely in line with the Marxist belief that religion is the opium of the masses. The question then remains: what was the actual piety of the Russian people? I think the answer may be found in Dostoevsky and Solzhenitsyn, among the more accessible sources. Finally, the Romanovs have been canonized, along with thousand other martyrs of the Leninist/Stalinist version of scientific socialism.
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2009, 10:14:54 PM »

Just a few general comments. Trotsky was hardly an objective commentator and what you cited falls nicely in line with the Marxist belief that religion is the opium of the masses. The question then remains: what was the actual piety of the Russian people? I think the answer may be found in Dostoevsky and Solzhenitsyn, among the more accessible sources. Finally, the Romanovs have been canonized, along with thousand other martyrs of the Leninist/Stalinist version of scientific socialism.

I agree, this is like looking at a Nazi's assessment of the faith of Christians in Germany.  Probably not the best source.
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2009, 10:32:10 PM »

Finally, the Romanovs have been canonized
Well, Tsar Nicholas II and many in his family were canonized, but the whole of the Romanov Dynasty?  That's a bit of a stretch.
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2009, 05:12:05 PM »

Whoever said he wasn't biased? I was asking if one could agree with this assessment, at least to a certain extent. The two whom you have mentioned are certainly evidence of many who were devoutly Orthodox in Russia. However, this does not mean that the average worker and peasent was as devout from a real, intimate faith, as opposed to Russian culture which they participated in.

I have always found it hard to understand why Tsar Nicholas was consecrated as a passion-bearer. The reason he was executed was because he was the Tsar, and the Bolsheviks saw him as an opresser and enemy of the Revolution. I'm not saying that what they did was right, it was most certainly a brutal capture and murder, I'm just saying that it isn't as if he was executed for his faith.

Also, what about the crimes committed under his reign (the anti-Semitic pogroms and Bloody Sunday, as well as opression of opposition groups). He only allowed certain reforms after it became clear that his autocratic agenda would fail because of public opposition.

And lest I am called a Bolshevik supporter, it isn't as if opposition to the one means acceptance of the other.
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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2009, 05:57:03 PM »

Pilgrim,

How do you think it would go over if you went to a Jewish message board, quoted Goebbels on the topic of Jewish influence in pre-WWII Europe, and then said, "I know he's a biased source, but would you agree at any point with his assessment?" Or if you found a Cambodian message board and quote Pol Pot on pre-Khmer Rouge regime and then said "I know he's a biased source, but does he maybe have a point about the old rulers?"

Trotsky was an integral cog in the death of millions of Orthodox Christians. As such, I don't care if he was biased or not or how accurate this particular statement may be. Leaders of genocide have no place in discussions with or about their victims.
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« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2009, 06:08:13 PM »

Good point. Let's leave Trotsky out of it.

Then lets just give the question, how deeply faithful do you think the general workers and peasents were? Was it an intimate faith in Christ, or a cultural thing? And do you think that faithfullness contributed one way or the other to the Russian Revolution?
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« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2009, 07:07:30 PM »

I think I do agree with his statement to a certain extent. To understand how enormously far from anything remotedly resembling the "formal" (or "Western") Christianity was the faith of Russian peasants, just read Tolstoy's "War and Peace," the fragments where Pierre Bezouchoff, being captured by the French, talks to his fellow inmate, Platon Karataev. On the other hand, of course, Leon Trotsky (Leib Bronstein) is not in any position to judge about spirituality of the Slavs, about just what is "external" and just what is "internal" in their relationship to the Church. He grew up a Jew, separated from these Russian and Ukrainian peasants by walls and walls and more walls and more walls...

As per your second question - I really do not know. In Ukraine, a number of non-Tzarist or anti-Tzarist priests were canonized by the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (notably Vasyl' Lypkivs'kyj, who was executed by the Soviet secret police as a Ukrainian nationalist), but then the UAOC is still, unfortunately, "non-canonical," so go figure. The "canonical" ROC might as well soon canonize Stalin and Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya (see posts of our own Simkins...)
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« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2009, 07:10:40 PM »

I have always found it hard to understand why Tsar Nicholas was consecrated as a passion-bearer. The reason he was executed was because he was the Tsar, and the Bolsheviks saw him as an opresser and enemy of the Revolution. I'm not saying that what they did was right, it was most certainly a brutal capture and murder, I'm just saying that it isn't as if he was executed for his faith.

As stated else where, passion-bearers are not those killed for their faith. That's a martyr. A passion-bearer is saint who when facing death, faced it in a reflection of how Christ faced the Cross. With love, humility, and the acceptance of God's will. It doesn't matter why the Tsar was executed or by whom, or why he was killed. The only thing that matters is how he faced his death.

Quote
Also, what about the crimes committed under his reign (the anti-Semitic pogroms and Bloody Sunday, as well as opression of opposition groups). He only allowed certain reforms after it became clear that his autocratic agenda would fail because of public opposition.

Crimes that in many cases he had no control over?? He didn't order Bloody Sunday, he wasn't even in the city, and he was extremely remorseful.
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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2009, 07:25:08 PM »

I have always found it hard to understand why Tsar Nicholas was consecrated as a passion-bearer. The reason he was executed was because he was the Tsar, and the Bolsheviks saw him as an opresser and enemy of the Revolution. I'm not saying that what they did was right, it was most certainly a brutal capture and murder, I'm just saying that it isn't as if he was executed for his faith.
That's exactly why Moscow canonized Tsar St. Nicholas a passion-bearer and NOT a martyr.
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« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2009, 08:09:23 PM »

Thanks. I didn't know about the difference between the two terms.
I think I do agree with his statement to a certain extent. To understand how enormously far from anything remotedly resembling the "formal" (or "Western") Christianity was the faith of Russian peasants, just read Tolstoy's "War and Peace," the fragments where Pierre Bezouchoff, being captured by the French, talks to his fellow inmate, Platon Karataev. On the other hand, of course, Leon Trotsky (Leib Bronstein) is not in any position to judge about spirituality of the Slavs, about just what is "external" and just what is "internal" in their relationship to the Church. He grew up a Jew, separated from these Russian and Ukrainian peasants by walls and walls and more walls and more walls...

As per your second question - I really do not know. In Ukraine, a number of non-Tzarist or anti-Tzarist priests were canonized by the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (notably Vasyl' Lypkivs'kyj, who was executed by the Soviet secret police as a Ukrainian nationalist), but then the UAOC is still, unfortunately, "non-canonical," so go figure. The "canonical" ROC might as well soon canonize Stalin and Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya (see posts of our own Simkins...)

I hope and pray that such is not the case. The canonization as saints of political leaders is always touchy, but Stalin....could you provide a reference for this? I've not heard about Ms. Kosmodemyanskaya. From wikipedia, I gather she was a brave young woman, and a patriot, but I would support the ROC's hesitation in canonization, for the reasons given.

Many labour organizations, as well as socialists and communists accused clergy of defending those viewed as exploiters, and were viewed as representing the establishment. Do you think that the Russian Church was too involved in politics, and state matters? This is coming from someone who has not intensley studied this subject. Let me give one example, a paragraph out of the Rosa Luxembourg's 'Socialism and the Churches', published by Merlin Press in 1905:

But it is in vain that you put yourselves about, you degenerate servants of Christianity, who have become the servants of Nero. It is in vain that you help our murderers and our killers, in vain that you protect the exploiters of the proletariat under the sign of the cross. Your cruelties and your calumnies in former times could not prevent the victory of the Christian idea, the idea which you have sacrificed to the Golden Calf....

She goes on to describe the Christians as new pagans and Socialism as the new Christianity. I would obviously disagree with this, but my question is the same: do you think the Church became too involved in the politics of the time?
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« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2009, 08:32:07 PM »

I think I do agree with his statement to a certain extent. To understand how enormously far from anything remotedly resembling the "formal" (or "Western") Christianity was the faith of Russian peasants, just read Tolstoy's "War and Peace," the fragments where Pierre Bezouchoff, being captured by the French, talks to his fellow inmate, Platon Karataev. On the other hand, of course, Leon Trotsky (Leib Bronstein) is not in any position to judge about spirituality of the Slavs, about just what is "external" and just what is "internal" in their relationship to the Church. He grew up a Jew, separated from these Russian and Ukrainian peasants by walls and walls and more walls and more walls...

As per your second question - I really do not know. In Ukraine, a number of non-Tzarist or anti-Tzarist priests were canonized by the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (notably Vasyl' Lypkivs'kyj, who was executed by the Soviet secret police as a Ukrainian nationalist), but then the UAOC is still, unfortunately, "non-canonical," so go figure. The "canonical" ROC might as well soon canonize Stalin and Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya (see posts of our own Simkins...)

Which, if you actually read those threads, shows that there isn't a snow balls chance in..., no chance that the canonical ROC (no quotation marks warranted) will canonize Stalin or Zoya.
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« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2009, 08:37:45 PM »

My first question is about an objection (or observation, depending on how you look at it) that Leon Trotsky makes in his short piece 'Vodka, the Church, and the Cinema' (published July 12, 1923). He writes

Religiousness among the Russian working class does practically does not exist. It actually never existed. The Orthodox Church was a daily custom and a government institution. It was never successful in penetrating deeply into the consciousness of the masses, not in blending its dogmas and canons with the inner emotions of the people. The reason for this is the same - the uncultured condition of Old Russia, and of her Church. Hence, when awakened for culture, the Russian worker easily throws off his purely external relation to the Church, a relation which grew on him purely by habit. For the peasent, certainly, this becomes harder, not because the peasent has more intimately and profoundly entered the Church teaching - this has, of course, never been the case - but because the inertia and monotony of his life are closely bound up with the inertia and monotony of Church practices.

He goes on to speak of how, though the life and culture of the Russian people, even the proletariat and peasents is bound up with Orthodoxy, he makes the claim that this is purely by habit, and not out of inner faith or love for the Church as a religious body, but as a distraction, with little or no respect for the ritual of the Church, or the clergy.

This is certainly a far cry from the picture of 'Holy Russia' under the Czars. What are your thoughts? Please provide reasons and sources for your opinion.

Secondly, I hear of many Russian saints (St. Elizabeth the New Martyr, etc, not to mention the proposed canonization of the Romanovs) who were killed, and were part of the Czarist establishment. Are there any Russian saints who did not identify themselves with the Czarists, or even were anti-Czarist, perhaps involved in Socialist or other Workers groups?

Christ is Risen!

Trotsky is dead.

If he was even remotely accurate, I do say that the Soviets would have had a bigger success in getting rid of the Church.  A related historical fact is that most of Alaska was converted after the Czar sold it.
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« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2009, 09:02:38 PM »

I have always found it hard to understand why Tsar Nicholas was consecrated as a passion-bearer. The reason he was executed was because he was the Tsar, and the Bolsheviks saw him as an opresser and enemy of the Revolution. I'm not saying that what they did was right, it was most certainly a brutal capture and murder, I'm just saying that it isn't as if he was executed for his faith.

From what I have read, I understand that the decision to consecrate him was not based solely on his martyrdom in the hands of Shaya Goloshchekin, Jankel Chaimovich Yurovskiy and others, but on his entire life. He was really, truly a devout Orthodox since his childhood and youth. When he was enthroned, he was only 26 years old and a shy, introvert, unassuming young man of (by his own admission) rather limited intellectual abilities. He had always been in the deep shade of his father, the big, loud, robust emperor Alexander III, who died most unexpectedly at the age of only 49. Nicholas II was a complete opposite of his court, which consisted of "libertines" like his uncle, Great Prince Nikolay Nikolayevich, his relative Prince Felix Yusupov (a notorious drunkard, bisexual adventurer and Spiritist-Theosophe), and others of the kind. "Nikki" annoyed many people because in the morning, he would not receive any suitor until he would complete his morning prayers that lasted for about 2 hours, from 8 to 10 a.m. (and he used to go to bed, as V. Shul'gin wrote in his journals, at about 3 a.m., because he was always busy at night reading, writing, talking to his cabinet ministers, etc.). And he especially angered the rising class of Russian capitalists, industrial tycoons like Alexander Guchkov, because he always said, very openly and strongly, that no matter how much he appreciated their insight, it was still he who, as a sovereign of the Russian Empire, had the God-given responsibility for making decisions. So, all in all, I believe the Russian Orthodox Church did, after all, have a point when she initiated the campaign of Nicholas II's consecration - not for any particular achievements, but, rather, for his steady, stubborn, uncompromising WITNESSING of the Orthodox faith in the midst of secular people who did not understand this faith and hated him for sticking to it.

Also, what about the crimes committed under his reign (the anti-Semitic pogroms and Bloody Sunday, as well as opression of opposition groups). He only allowed certain reforms after it became clear that his autocratic agenda would fail because of public opposition.

See above posts about the Bloody Sunday. Nicholas II can certainly not be blamed for it because on that day he was not even physically present in St. Petersburgh and he knew absolutely nothing about the events until after. As for the "anti-Semitic pogroms," a lot is written about them; it seems, all things considered, that the Tzar and the entire royal family knew nothing about them and, moreover, when they were briefed about those sad events, expressed their dismay. Just like the account of the Bloody Sunday, the account of the "pogroms" was colossally twisted by the leftist press of the day. There are objective accounts that say that during the "pogroms," oftentimes the number of the attackers killed by the Jewish "self-defense" militia was far greater than the number of the killed Jews, and sometimes actually no Jews were killed at all while the "Russian" "Orthodox" hoodlums were slaughtered by the Jewish "self-defense" militia. (I will be happy to provide you with references if you like.)

Please note that I, a Ukrainian nationalist, can less of all be accused in any bias against the Romanov dynasty.
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« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2009, 09:02:38 PM »

I hope and pray that such is not the case. The canonization as saints of political leaders is always touchy, but Stalin....could you provide a reference for this?

Just Google:

http://www.cogwriter.com/news/religious-news/canonize-joseph-stalin/

http://www.revleft.com/vb/saint-stalin-russian-t85836/index.html?s=9837c09aaeafa8a5972a392f9f7b6240&

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=214&topic_id=212956&mesg_id=212956

http://www.uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?action=printpage;topic=101791.0

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/2445683/Could-Josef-Stalin-be-made-a-saint.html

There are many other references in Russian, including testimonies from canonically ordained Russian Orthodox priests, in Russian language, about how good and rightful it is to revere Stalin as the head of the truly Russian state against the various "western" and "decadent" and other "enemies." If you are interested, I would be happy to do a search on the Internet and get back to you.

I've not heard about Ms. Kosmodemyanskaya. From wikipedia, I gather she was a brave young woman, and a patriot, but I would support the ROC's hesitation in canonization, for the reasons given.

Just do a quick search on this site, OC.net, entering the name Simkins. He is a young Russian who claims that true Orthodoxy means that God is the emanation of the particular people (like Russian God for Russian people), and that St. Zoya deserves to be canonized. I am sure there are thousands upon thousands of "patriots" like him in Russia today, and I am afraid there is no strong opposition to their activities from ROC. I asked Simkins a while ago, just what does his parish priest think of his writings - but he never answered...
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« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2009, 11:01:58 PM »


Religiousness among the Russian working class does practically does not exist. It actually never existed. The Orthodox Church was a daily custom and a government institution. It was never successful in penetrating deeply into the consciousness of the masses, not in blending its dogmas and canons with the inner emotions of the people. The reason for this is the same - the uncultured condition of Old Russia, and of her Church. Hence, when awakened for culture, the Russian worker easily throws off his purely external relation to the Church, a relation which grew on him purely by habit. For the peasent, certainly, this becomes harder, not because the peasent has more intimately and profoundly entered the Church teaching - this has, of course, never been the case - but because the inertia and monotony of his life are closely bound up with the inertia and monotony of Church practices.

He goes on to speak of how, though the life and culture of the Russian people, even the proletariat and peasents is bound up with Orthodoxy, he makes the claim that this is purely by habit, and not out of inner faith or love for the Church as a religious body, but as a distraction, with little or no respect for the ritual of the Church, or the clergy.

This is certainly a far cry from the picture of 'Holy Russia' under the Czars. What are your thoughts? Please provide reasons and sources for your opinion.

Why Trotsky felt a need to insult the peasant workers and their church is unknown.  Possibly this is because his idea of the perfect “state” never came to fruition.   Clearly he believed that his Marxist ideas would save the ignorant peasants but he was booted and prohibited from becoming their “savior”. Trotsky’s  father was prosperous and Jewish and his mother was moderately educated (both very unlike peasant serfs).  He lived outside of Russia for decades starting in his childhood to receive an education. IMO, Trotsky was not exposed to the faith of Russian Orthodox Christian peasants. 

There are half a dozen churches in my area that are filled with the descendants of many poorly educated Russians from Trotsky’s generation.  Most are over 100 years old. They were built by very indigent but faith-filled Russians.  IMO, this is a better testament on the faith of poorly educated Russians from the late 1800s.
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« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2009, 11:46:05 AM »

I think I do agree with his statement to a certain extent. To understand how enormously far from anything remotedly resembling the "formal" (or "Western") Christianity was the faith of Russian peasants, just read Tolstoy's "War and Peace," the fragments where Pierre Bezouchoff, being captured by the French, talks to his fellow inmate, Platon Karataev. On the other hand, of course, Leon Trotsky (Leib Bronstein) is not in any position to judge about spirituality of the Slavs, about just what is "external" and just what is "internal" in their relationship to the Church. He grew up a Jew, separated from these Russian and Ukrainian peasants by walls and walls and more walls and more walls...

As per your second question - I really do not know. In Ukraine, a number of non-Tzarist or anti-Tzarist priests were canonized by the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (notably Vasyl' Lypkivs'kyj, who was executed by the Soviet secret police as a Ukrainian nationalist), but then the UAOC is still, unfortunately, "non-canonical," so go figure. The "canonical" ROC might as well soon canonize Stalin and Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya (see posts of our own Simkins...)

Which, if you actually read those threads, shows that there isn't a snow balls chance in..., no chance that the canonical ROC (no quotation marks warranted) will canonize Stalin or Zoya.

We are over exposed to the Westernized version of the Russian Revolution which almost solely focuses on the over turn of economic relations. But in reality, I believe the Russian Revolution was just as much Anti-Christian .

The Communists saw a direct tie between the Church and the backwardness of the population. Rather than seeking material solutions to life's hardships they turned to God.  That is not a good thing in their World View which wanted them to simply be Units of Production and Consumption, not animated spiritual beings.

On a point of history, it was Stalin who had the most to do with the repression of the Church not Lenin or Trotsky. Lenin died in short order after the Revolution and Trotsky was quickly maneuvered out of power by Stalin. That is not to say that Trotsky didn't agree with the standard Marxist analysis of religion so he certainly has a degree of guilt due to his leadership in the Revolution. But it's a stretch to accuse him of genocide. Stalin would be your man in that regard.
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« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2009, 12:22:17 PM »

On a point of history, it was Stalin who had the most to do with the repression of the Church not Lenin or Trotsky. Lenin died in short order after the Revolution and Trotsky was quickly maneuvered out of power by Stalin. That is not to say that Trotsky didn't agree with the standard Marxist analysis of religion so he certainly has a degree of guilt due to his leadership in the Revolution. But it's a stretch to accuse him of genocide. Stalin would be your man in that regard.

Please see the Gulag Archipelago for a most effective dismantling of this post-Stalinist myth. Originally propagated by Kruschev and adopted by many Western Communist sympathizers, it went something like "well, yeah, we have to admit that Stalin was awful, but he hijacked the original purity of the revolution and if Lenin (and his right-hand man Trotsky) had been running things it would have been different".

It's true Lenin's death toll was not as bad as Stalin's, but given that conservative estimates of Stalin start at 10 million, that's not a difficult standard to achieve (Hitler didn't reach Stalin's death toll either).
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« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2009, 01:51:30 PM »

On a point of history, it was Stalin who had the most to do with the repression of the Church not Lenin or Trotsky. Lenin died in short order after the Revolution and Trotsky was quickly maneuvered out of power by Stalin. That is not to say that Trotsky didn't agree with the standard Marxist analysis of religion so he certainly has a degree of guilt due to his leadership in the Revolution. But it's a stretch to accuse him of genocide. Stalin would be your man in that regard.

Please see the Gulag Archipelago for a most effective dismantling of this post-Stalinist myth. Originally propagated by Kruschev and adopted by many Western Communist sympathizers, it went something like "well, yeah, we have to admit that Stalin was awful, but he hijacked the original purity of the revolution and if Lenin (and his right-hand man Trotsky) had been running things it would have been different".

It's true Lenin's death toll was not as bad as Stalin's, but given that conservative estimates of Stalin start at 10 million, that's not a difficult standard to achieve (Hitler didn't reach Stalin's death toll either).

Kruschev was not sympathetic to Trotsky by any stretch of the imagination. He was a Stalist Dictator in the same mold as Stalin himself. The CPSU felt the need to distance themselves from Stalin's obvious barbarity but their political system stayed exactly the same.

Yes, the outcome of the Russian Revolution would have been far different under Lenin and Trotsky.

I knew several members of Trotsky's household while he was in exile in Mexico ( they are all long dead now). I did research for Joseph Hansen who was Trotsky's secretary and body guard. I had access to Trotsky's FBI file which is kept at the US Achieves in Suitland Maryland. I read all of the old hand written reports of his assignation... It was pretty cool.
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« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2009, 03:09:15 PM »

Could you elaborate on differences?
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« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2009, 03:31:02 PM »


Secondly, I hear of many Russian saints (St. Elizabeth the New Martyr, etc, not to mention the proposed canonization of the Romanovs) who were killed, and were part of the Czarist establishment. Are there any Russian saints who did not identify themselves with the Czarists, or even were anti-Czarist, perhaps involved in Socialist or other Workers groups?
There are many saints and iurodstvoi (fool for Christ) that were not “czarist”.  Here are a few examples of  “non- czarists” saints:  St. John of Kronstadt; St.  Kseniya of St Petersburg; and St. Seraphim of Sarov.
St. John of Kronstadt was a member of the group called The Alliance of the Russian People.

(The Russian Orthodox Church also venerates the same saints as all the other “branches” of the Orthodox Church.)
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« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2009, 03:36:20 PM »

Thanks!

Although, looking it up, the Alliance seems to me to be Czarist and Nationalist (I assume it was one of the Black Hundreds successors mentioned on wikipedia).
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« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2009, 03:45:10 PM »

Could you elaborate on differences?
Between Stalin and Trotsky?  The difference can be measured by Dr. Michael Stone’s Gradations of Evil Scale. IMO, Stalin would be a 21 or 22 and Trotsky is a 10-11.  (I could be a little biased since many of my relatives “disappeared” in Russia or died in forced labor camps.)
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« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2009, 04:03:24 PM »

Could you elaborate on differences?
Between Stalin and Trotsky?  The difference can be measured by Dr. Michael Stone’s Gradations of Evil Scale. IMO, Stalin would be a 21 or 22 and Trotsky is a 10-11.  (I could be a little biased since many of my relatives “disappeared” in Russia or died in forced labor camps.)

I dont think Trotsky sent anyone to a forced labor camp. In fact, Stalin sent him to Siberia in 1928 and then exiled him from Russia in 1929.. I think he was also sent to Siberia by the Czarist regime.
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« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2009, 04:04:30 PM »

Could you elaborate on differences?

Between who? The Soviet Union under Lenin and Trotsky if they had stayed in power and Stalin?

Great question.. Let me know if that is what you are asking for.
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« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2009, 04:06:46 PM »

I meant how you think things would have been different in the USSR if Trotsky had succeeded Lenin instead of Stalin.
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« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2009, 04:57:09 PM »

Could you elaborate on differences?
Between Stalin and Trotsky?  The difference can be measured by Dr. Michael Stone’s Gradations of Evil Scale. IMO, Stalin would be a 21 or 22 and Trotsky is a 10-11.  (I could be a little biased since many of my relatives “disappeared” in Russia or died in forced labor camps.)

I dont think Trotsky sent anyone to a forced labor camp. In fact, Stalin sent him to Siberia in 1928 and then exiled him from Russia in 1929.. I think he was also sent to Siberia by the Czarist regime.

First concentration camps were built in the Communist Russia in 1918-19, when Stalin was yet a rather insignificant figure. I don't have English-language sources at hand, but here:

http://www.wco.ru/biblio/books/solouh1/Main.htm

V. Soloukhin gives a verbatim quote from Lenin's letter of August 12, 1918, addressed to Yevgeniya Bosh, where he says, "Необходимо организовать усиленную охрану из отборно надежных людей, провести беспощадный массовый террор... сомнительных запереть в концентрационный лагерь вне города" ("you have to organize armed detachment from selected ultra-loyal people and to carry out merciless mass terror... those in whom you have no trust must be locked into the concentration camp outside of the city"). This letter was published in the 5th edition of Lenin's Complete Works, Gospolitizdat Publishing House, Moscow, 1962.

There are a number of other quotes from Lenin's letters in this book by Soloukhin, where Lenin instructs his henchmen (including Trotsky) to shoot, hang, and deport into concentration camps peasants who are unwilling to give up their bread, workers who strike, etc. (and of course the clergy - by the end of 1919, about 320,000 priests, and many thousands of monks and nuuns were shot, drowned, strangled, burned alive, bayonetted, suffocated in latrines etc.).
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« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2009, 05:25:12 PM »

I meant how you think things would have been different in the USSR if Trotsky had succeeded Lenin instead of Stalin.
Here are some opinions from the armchairgenerals.  Most believe Trotsky was ruthless and could have brought international suffering.

http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67100

edit: Make the above say "more international suffering".
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« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2009, 06:05:56 PM »

I meant how you think things would have been different in the USSR if Trotsky had succeeded Lenin instead of Stalin.

Trotsky held an internationalist view that saw the world in terms of classes rather than states. He promoted the theory of Permanent Revolution as a way to rationalize a Socialist Revolution in a backward nonindustrial country. Basically it says that workers and peasants form an alliance and keep pushing the Revolution until conditions are more developed. He would have subordinated building Socialism in Russia in support of Workers in industrial countries especially Germany. So in the first place, you may not have had the rise of Fascism and Hitler if Russia had supported the workers in Germany against Hitler..Who knows.

Stalin had an opposing theory, "Socialism in one Country" which meant they would not think so much in international working class terms but rather as a Nation State, building up Socialism in Russia alone and set it as an example...

Second, there would have been a sort of internal democracy within the Communist Party in Russia. There would have been the freedom to speak openly and form factions and oppose the leadership within the Party. Who knows what that would have resulted in.

Third, they would have maintained the actual Soviets, which were standing committees of Workers and Peasants who had a degree of autonomy. Of course there couldn't have been the invasion   by Allied Armies that pressured them to Socialize everything quickly and end such organizations .

And finally there would not have been the the same type of massive repression and purges foisted by Stalin on the Party and the nation.
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« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2009, 06:51:44 PM »

I personally do not think things would have been "better" under Trotsky than Stalin.

Trotsky pushed for worldwide revolution whereas Stalin pushed "socialism in one country." (World War II upset things slightly). Let's not forget one minor contribution Trotsky had to the USSR... what was it called?... Oh yeah, the RED ARMY.

There were also the neo-Trotskyites, among whom was Irving Kristol, the intellectual godfather of neoconservatism. "Hmmm, wage war on foreign soil to spread socialism/"democracy?"

Wonder how well that turned out....
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« Reply #30 on: October 12, 2009, 09:56:19 PM »

I think I do agree with his statement to a certain extent. To understand how enormously far from anything remotedly resembling the "formal" (or "Western") Christianity was the faith of Russian peasants, just read Tolstoy's "War and Peace," the fragments where Pierre Bezouchoff, being captured by the French, talks to his fellow inmate, Platon Karataev. On the other hand, of course, Leon Trotsky (Leib Bronstein) is not in any position to judge about spirituality of the Slavs, about just what is "external" and just what is "internal" in their relationship to the Church. He grew up a Jew, separated from these Russian and Ukrainian peasants by walls and walls and more walls and more walls...

As per your second question - I really do not know. In Ukraine, a number of non-Tzarist or anti-Tzarist priests were canonized by the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (notably Vasyl' Lypkivs'kyj, who was executed by the Soviet secret police as a Ukrainian nationalist), but then the UAOC is still, unfortunately, "non-canonical," so go figure. The "canonical" ROC might as well soon canonize Stalin and Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya (see posts of our own Simkins...)

Which, if you actually read those threads, shows that there isn't a snow balls chance in..., no chance that the canonical ROC (no quotation marks warranted) will canonize Stalin or Zoya.
Did you read this today?

http://news.aol.com/article/grandson-yevgeny-dzhugashvili-sues/713555

“The authorities are trying to build a bridge to the Soviet Union over the Yeltsin years to idealize Stalin," said Nikita Petrov, a historian with the Memorial human rights group. "They have decided it was too dangerous to delve into the horrors of our history.
Very sad."

You are correct.  The snowball doesn't have a chance. There are similarities between USA's government/people whitewashing some of our historic horrors.  I could list many that would cause long arguments. I will only mention that the destination of the Trail of Tears was a very unpleasant, open-air gulag.  Very sad.
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« Reply #31 on: October 12, 2009, 11:08:49 PM »

I personally do not think things would have been "better" under Trotsky than Stalin.

Trotsky pushed for worldwide revolution whereas Stalin pushed "socialism in one country." (World War II upset things slightly). Let's not forget one minor contribution Trotsky had to the USSR... what was it called?... Oh yeah, the RED ARMY.

There were also the neo-Trotskyites, among whom was Irving Kristol, the intellectual godfather of neoconservatism. "Hmmm, wage war on foreign soil to spread socialism/"democracy?"

Wonder how well that turned out....

Some people urged Trotsky to use the Red Army which he commanded to overthrow Stalin and win his fight with him. He refused to do so.

The Red Army under Trotsky was hardly the same animal as the modern Red Army...
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« Reply #32 on: October 12, 2009, 11:26:54 PM »

Good point. Let's leave Trotsky out of it.

Then lets just give the question, how deeply faithful do you think the general workers and peasents were? Was it an intimate faith in Christ, or a cultural thing? And do you think that faithfullness contributed one way or the other to the Russian Revolution?

I would make the simple observation that familiarity breeds contempt. I have noticed this sometimes when I encounter Ethiopians in Atlanta who are not active in the Church. I have never been to Ethiopia, and I have a deep love for my Church. So I automatically assume that the Ethiopians I meet will be interested in the Faith and willing to teach me. But I often find that I know more about our Church than they do. This is not a criticism, because all cultures are like this. It is human nature to take for granted what is common to us. But when we are removed from it, especially by force, then we quickly realize the value of it and our love for it is rekindled. That is why in most large cities in America today you will find an Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Away from their country and their rich Christian heritage, the Ethiopian community has naturally established their Church and worship here (thanks be to Haile Selassie and Abuna Yesehaq!) Just think about your own freedom. We rarely consider what it would be like to be in prison, and so we take our freedom for granted. But if we were to suddenly find ourselves in prison, then we would immediately begin thinking about all the things we would want to do as soon as our freedom were restored to us.

I don't know if that made any sense or not. I hope it contributed to the question.

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« Reply #33 on: October 13, 2009, 10:16:57 AM »

Some people urged Trotsky to use the Red Army which he commanded to overthrow Stalin and win his fight with him. He refused to do so.

That seems questionable historically. When Trotsky was the People's Comissar of Army and Navy ("Narkomvoenmor") (March 1918-January 1925), there was nothing for Stalin to be "overthrown" from. In those years, Stalin was a very secondary figure - the position of "General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party" (Gensek) was created specially for him by Zinoviev and Kamenev in 1922, and he remained at that position throughout the 1920-s (see details here, http://www.hrono.info/biograf/trotski.html). Back then, that position was merely technical: Stalin was indeed a SECRETARY, albeit "glorified" with the adjective "General." His formal responsibilities were, basically, just to keep track of the cadres, sort of like a Human Resources office does it. By creating the Gensek position, Zinoviev and Kamenev were actually trying to put Stalin into a deep shade, themselves keeping much more prestigeous positions and a lot more formal power: Zinoviev was the Chairman of the Communist International (formally the Communist number one in the whole world, the leader of the World Revolution), and Kamenev was the head of the most powerful Moscow Soviet and the Chairman of the People's Economics Council ("Sovnarkhoz").

My grandmother (born in 1909) used to say that when she was a little girl, in 1918-~1922, she and her younger brother used to think that there existed one person with this strange long name, "Leninandtrotsky." Smiley The reason was that these two names were used always together in newspapers and in speeches of various agitators during meetings. So, the kids heard the adults read a newspaper aloud and say, "Leninandtrotsky this," "Leninandtrotsky that." In ~1922=23, however, the name of Trotsky began to disappear from newspapers, controlled by Trotsky's rivals Zinoviev and Kamenev. Yet, Trotsky, as a symbol of the victories of the Red Army in Civil War of 1918-1920, continued to inspire various Bolshevik orators-agitators, and his pictures were everywhere.

The name of Stalin, however, remained absolutely unknown to masses. Again, my grandma said that in December 1929, on Stalin's 50th birthday, newspapers published a greeting and a huge photograph of Stalin on the first page, but many people were wondering, just who in the world was that Georgian with big moustache. Stalin became personally known and popular only in the early 1930-s, especially after the 16th annual Congress of the Communist Party (January 1934), which officially heralded the completion of the first Five-Year Plan. On that Congress, Stalin delivered a speech that contained these very "populistic" words, "comrades, our lives became better, we are now living more merrily."

The Red Army under Trotsky was hardly the same animal as the modern Red Army...

It's really hard to say. Again, in this source, http://www.hrono.info/biograf/trotski.html, there are many examples of Trotsky's bestial, demonic cruelty. He personally shot delegates from workers or soldiers if he thought that they were rebelious; there are numerous documents certifying that Trotsky personally gave orders to burn whole villages together with their inhabitants, etc.
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« Reply #34 on: October 13, 2009, 11:36:35 AM »

Some people urged Trotsky to use the Red Army which he commanded to overthrow Stalin and win his fight with him. He refused to do so.

That seems questionable historically. When Trotsky was the People's Comissar of Army and Navy ("Narkomvoenmor") (March 1918-January 1925), there was nothing for Stalin to be "overthrown" from. In those years, Stalin was a very secondary figure - the position of "General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party" (Gensek) was created specially for him by Zinoviev and Kamenev in 1922, and he remained at that position throughout the 1920-s (see details here, http://www.hrono.info/biograf/trotski.html). Back then, that position was merely technical: Stalin was indeed a SECRETARY, albeit "glorified" with the adjective "General." His formal responsibilities were, basically, just to keep track of the cadres, sort of like a Human Resources office does it. By creating the Gensek position, Zinoviev and Kamenev were actually trying to put Stalin into a deep shade, themselves keeping much more prestigeous positions and a lot more formal power: Zinoviev was the Chairman of the Communist International (formally the Communist number one in the whole world, the leader of the World Revolution), and Kamenev was the head of the most powerful Moscow Soviet and the Chairman of the People's Economics Council ("Sovnarkhoz").

My grandmother (born in 1909) used to say that when she was a little girl, in 1918-~1922, she and her younger brother used to think that there existed one person with this strange long name, "Leninandtrotsky." Smiley The reason was that these two names were used always together in newspapers and in speeches of various agitators during meetings. So, the kids heard the adults read a newspaper aloud and say, "Leninandtrotsky this," "Leninandtrotsky that." In ~1922=23, however, the name of Trotsky began to disappear from newspapers, controlled by Trotsky's rivals Zinoviev and Kamenev. Yet, Trotsky, as a symbol of the victories of the Red Army in Civil War of 1918-1920, continued to inspire various Bolshevik orators-agitators, and his pictures were everywhere.

The name of Stalin, however, remained absolutely unknown to masses. Again, my grandma said that in December 1929, on Stalin's 50th birthday, newspapers published a greeting and a huge photograph of Stalin on the first page, but many people were wondering, just who in the world was that Georgian with big moustache. Stalin became personally known and popular only in the early 1930-s, especially after the 16th annual Congress of the Communist Party (January 1934), which officially heralded the completion of the first Five-Year Plan. On that Congress, Stalin delivered a speech that contained these very "populistic" words, "comrades, our lives became better, we are now living more merrily."

The Red Army under Trotsky was hardly the same animal as the modern Red Army...

It's really hard to say. Again, in this source, http://www.hrono.info/biograf/trotski.html, there are many examples of Trotsky's bestial, demonic cruelty. He personally shot delegates from workers or soldiers if he thought that they were rebelious; there are numerous documents certifying that Trotsky personally gave orders to burn whole villages together with their inhabitants, etc.

As the founding commander of the Red Army he retained great loyalty within the Army and could have easily called upon them to rise up in a coup de tat. He specifically refused to do so. I believe he talks about it in his book "Revolution Betrayed"

I think there was plenty of bestiality on both sides. The Czar sent his troop into the hellish trenches of WW One, unarmed. They resorted to throwing stones at the Germans until they had enough and killed their own officers and deserted in droves.

Sherman burned whole cities in the South.. War is a bummer, to paraphrase.
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« Reply #35 on: March 16, 2013, 12:49:58 PM »

Although dated, this is a very interesting thread and although Trotsky was biased, he did have some valid observations which are given little attention by Orthodox Christians. 

In my opinion, with all respect to Leon Trotsky, he is not the best choice of an example to make the point which 'Pilgrim' was trying to make. 
To his credit, Trotsky was brilliant - mch more so than Lenin whose intellectual analysis was comparatively crude comapred to Trotsky's.  He was also very literate - more than most Bolsheviks.  I actually posess two of his books about Stalin written in the 1930's which are not bad at all and far more discriminating than his earlier stuff.  It seems that Trotsky reaped from Stalin what he sowed with others. 

Trotsky's atheist prejudice leads him astray of the truth when he asserts that Old Russian piety never existed. 
Trotsky's mistake in this is that he assumes and attributes to all of the Orthodox Church and Russia the inconsistencies which he observed. 
What of the Optina monastery?
What about the genuineness of devout peasant Christians throughout Russia? 
It seems that he rather grouped their Christianity in the same class with St Petersburg aristocrats. 
How can he dismiss the Church and culture of Old Russia? 

"Pilgrim" mentioned the Marxist Rosa Luxemburg (co-founder of the Spartacist League and the German communist party), but she actually criticized the Bolshevik revolution and called it a mistake!
Lenin and Stalin's own friend Maxim Gorky wrote a very critical history of the revolution entitled 'Untimely Thoughts!'
It was a Social Revolutionary and not a western agent who shot Lenin after she understood what a hypocrite he was. 
The sailors at Kronstadt were brutalized. 
It was the western non-Orthodox countries who actually bankrolled Trotsky and the Bolshevik government. 
Reference Antony Sutton's 'Wall Street and the Boshevik Revolution' or his three volume 'Western Technology and Soviet Economic Development.'
The same goes for the anarcho-communist Emma Goldmann who wrote "My Disillusionment with Russia."
The anarchist Peter Kropotkin also dismissed the Bolshevik revolution out of hand as a return to the abusive system which the February revolution had partially expunged.  Anarchist generally have this conclusion.  Noam Chomsky who has been the intellectual backbone of the american left since the 1970's has the same attitude towards the Bolshevik revolution. 

It is interesting how people of such diverse backgrounds can arrive at the same conclusions. 

Both the whites and the reds were anti-tsarist.  The tsar went away with the February revolution and was replaced by Prince Lvov and later by Kerensky.  I have to concede that Kerensky should have stopped the war which was quite stupid and which nobody else wanted.  If he had done differently in that one thing, then he probably would have held onto power and the Bolshevik revolution would not have occurred.  Trotsky may have had a popint in claiming that Kerensky was a British puppet. 

It is sad that older revolutions that were more tied to peasants and Old Believers and generally more connected to the people such as Stenka Razin and Pugachev failed.  It is doubly sad that the tsars which rebels like Pugachev fought against (Catherine II) were much closer to the spirit of Bolshevism than Nicholas II who in my view was an average Orthodox Christian.  I must say that he was killed because he was a king rather than because of his faith.  With all respect, I am not so sure that makes him saint.  I have also seen pictures of Tikhon as an oecumenist concelebrating with heretics which makes me question the legitimacy of claining that he is a saint. 

I do respect both of these (Tikhon and Nicholas II), but Optina was indeed not characteristic of all Russia which is why I believe God permitted people like Leon Trotsky to come to power.  Voloshin said that Peter the Great was the first Bolshevik, and to the extent that the synod established by Peter I was shown to be uncanonical in order that the right way be made known, then we might find good in the runis of evil. 

I fear that Bakunin's assertion that all civilization must first be annihilated before a worthwhile civilization can be erected is ironically in accord with the Byzantine apocalytic tradition.
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« Reply #36 on: March 16, 2013, 01:10:07 PM »

It is sad that older revolutions that were more tied to peasants and Old Believers and generally more connected to the people such as Stenka Razin and Pugachev failed.  It is doubly sad that the tsars which rebels like Pugachev fought against (Catherine II) were much closer to the spirit of Bolshevism than Nicholas II who in my view was an average Orthodox Christian.  I must say that he was killed because he was a king rather than because of his faith.  With all respect, I am not so sure that makes him saint.  I have also seen pictures of Tikhon as an oecumenist concelebrating with heretics which makes me question the legitimacy of claining that he is a saint. 

I do respect both of these (Tikhon and Nicholas II), but Optina was indeed not characteristic of all Russia which is why I believe God permitted people like Leon Trotsky to come to power.  Voloshin said that Peter the Great was the first Bolshevik

This is a link to a photo of Patriarch Tikhon concelebrating with heretics:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/asdamick/823027206

It seems that Pugachev's rebellion against Catherine in the 1770's was the last Russian rebellion that was not completely manipulated or controlled in some sinister way.  The Decembrists of the 1820's were heavily masonic.  A few years back Paul Avrich wrote a really nice history of Russian rebellions which appreciates this distinction.
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« Reply #37 on: March 16, 2013, 01:23:41 PM »

I personally do not think things would have been "better" under Trotsky than Stalin.

Trotsky pushed for worldwide revolution whereas Stalin pushed "socialism in one country." (World War II upset things slightly). Let's not forget one minor contribution Trotsky had to the USSR... what was it called?... Oh yeah, the RED ARMY.

There were also the neo-Trotskyites, among whom was Irving Kristol, the intellectual godfather of neoconservatism. "Hmmm, wage war on foreign soil to spread socialism/"democracy?"

Wonder how well that turned out....

Some people urged Trotsky to use the Red Army which he commanded to overthrow Stalin and win his fight with him. He refused to do so.

The Red Army under Trotsky was hardly the same animal as the modern Red Army...
Yeah, the Red Army doesn't exist.
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« Reply #38 on: March 16, 2013, 01:48:29 PM »

The Red Army under Trotsky was hardly the same animal as the modern Red Army...

It's really hard to say. Again, in this source, http://www.hrono.info/biograf/trotski.html, there are many examples of Trotsky's bestial, demonic cruelty. He personally shot delegates from workers or soldiers if he thought that they were rebelious; there are numerous documents certifying that Trotsky personally gave orders to burn whole villages together with their inhabitants, etc.

I quite agree.  While I think his later writing about Stalin and 1930's issues such as the Spanish civil war are spot on, evidence forced me to change my mind about Trotsky.  I earlier had copy of Trotsky's History of the Russian Revolution which I dumped in the trash bin in favor of Sukhanov's more objective and informative history of the same event - written by someone who was there.

What changed my mind about Trotsky was his book on literature and revolution in which he mentioned something called the Serapion Society with which I was unfamiliar.  I discovered that the founder was Zamyatin who had been a Bolshevik while the tsar was in power but who joined the Social Revolutionaries during the revolution due to digust with what the Bolsheviks had become.  He became an outstanding critic of Bolshevism and wrote the novel 'We' which was the basis of George Orwell's '1984' and 'Animal Farm' and Aldous Huxley's 'Brave New World.'  Zamyatin wrote a personal letter to Stalin circa 1928 that frankly stated his opinions, but he wasa friend of Maxim Gorky who convinced Stalin to let Zamyatin move abroad as being not worth the trouble to liquidate and Zamyatin moved to Paris. 

After researching this, I returned to Trotsky's book on literature and looked up the Serapion Society which was a group of independent Russian writers in the 1920's mostly living inside of Russia.  Trotsky dismissed them as juvenile without explanation, and he talked condescendingly of Zamyatin.  This is when I realized that I needed to take Trotsky off of his pedestal and subject him to the same analysis to which I subjected any other writer, and I realized that he was actually the ruin of the Russian revolution. 

I like Marx's political and social analysis in spite of his atheism, and I have even seen Hierotheos Vlachos quote a pertinent criticism which Marx levelled against religion which he said that we can accept.  I think that Lenin and Trotsky did many things to which Marx would have been opposed.  I think that Marx and Bakunin were closer in spirit than were Marx and Lenin.
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« Reply #39 on: March 16, 2013, 02:04:14 PM »

Wow..And just before Lent too..

There are a few factual errors in the new op posted today but also some good observations IMHO

I'll keep it to just a few points

Troktsky's analysis of the Russian Revolution and how it went wrong is the best there is. His book is called "Revolution Betrayed"
He was also spot on with his analysis of German Nazism..

In hindsight (for me as a former Trotskist) his central error is the one you pointed out, his Atheism. This blinded him and led him into all kinds errors simply because Atheism is untrue.

The Capitalist oriented West tells us the biggest mistake of the Bolsheviks was their Socialism. That is because Socialism is what threatens them the most. However, what may really be the main thing was their profound Anti-Christianity. The Socialism part actually worked pretty well minus the demonic terror Stalin unleashed after he got rid of Trotsky.

Most of the original Bolsheviks were killed or exiled by Stalin. 

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« Reply #40 on: March 16, 2013, 02:14:53 PM »

Wow..And just before Lent too..

There are a few factual errors in the new op posted today but also some good observations IMHO

I'll keep it to just a few points

Troktsky's analysis of the Russian Revolution and how it went wrong is the best there is. His book is called "Revolution Betrayed"
He was also spot on with his analysis of German Nazism..

In hindsight (for me as a former Trotskist) his central error is the one you pointed out, his Atheism. This blinded him and led him into all kinds errors simply because Atheism is untrue.

The Capitalist oriented West tells us the biggest mistake of the Bolsheviks was their Socialism. That is because Socialism is what threatens them the most. However, what may really be the main thing was their profound Anti-Christianity. The Socialism part actually worked pretty well minus the demonic terror Stalin unleashed after he got rid of Trotsky.

Most of the original Bolsheviks were killed or exiled by Stalin.

I concur about Trotsky's analysis of Nazism.  Although I do not posess it, I understand that his book the Revolution Betrayed is a debunking of Stalinist revisionism, but I do have a copy of The Stalin School of Falsification.  I have not read all of your posts, but we might possibly have a different view of the OCtober revolution.  In any case, we concur on the main thing that Trotsky's chief problem was his atheism.  

I second all of your comments here - most significantly the one about where my mind should be at Lent.

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God bless you.
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« Reply #41 on: March 16, 2013, 03:21:25 PM »

I realized after the fact as to the prohibition of political posts and my apologies. 
However, I think the thread can perhaps be taken as discusson of an historical topic among comrades.
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« Reply #42 on: March 16, 2013, 04:49:10 PM »

This is a link to a photo of Patriarch Tikhon concelebrating with heretics:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/asdamick/823027206

I see no concelebration.
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« Reply #43 on: March 16, 2013, 06:15:05 PM »

This is a link to a photo of Patriarch Tikhon concelebrating with heretics:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/asdamick/823027206

I see no concelebration.

The occasion of this event which took place in 1900 A.D. was the consecration of an Episcopal bishop.  Although Bishop Tikhon (later Patriarch of Russia) did not participate in physically laying on ahnds, he did sit through the entire Episcopal service in the place of honour on the bishop's throne as if he were the presiding official, and he was deliberately there by a specific invitation which had accepted.  As far as I am concerned, that goes beyond dialogue into participation in common church services.

'Archbishop Tikhon and Bishop Grafton'
http://anglicanhistory.org/grafton/haskell1967.pdf

Furthermore (this is admittedtly off the topic of Leon Trotsky), Bishop Khrapovitsky insisted that Anglican heretics have a legitimate line of apostolic succession.
'Why Anglican Clergy Could Be Received in Their Orders'
By Bishop Antony Khrapovitsky
http://anglicanhistory.org/orthodoxy/khrapovitsky_orders1927.html

I do not know the position of the ROCOR synod or its derivatves on that, but at least Patr. Tikhon did not do that.  
Patr. Tikhon seems to have been humbler than Metr. Khrapovitsky.   Given Patr. Tikhon's repentance for implemented the Gregorian calendar, and his concelebration with Archimandrite David while Archman. Arch. David led the Name Glorifyers in the early 1920's after having much earlier condemned them at Khrapovitsky's suggestion, Patr. Tikhon seems to be the kind of Christian who learned from and repented of his mistakes.  In that sense, Patr. Tikhon is a good model for lent.

MK was here
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« Reply #44 on: March 16, 2013, 06:22:31 PM »

As a moderator I ask you to adress hierarchs with their proper titles. Ignoring this request will result in official warning.
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