What If Trotsky Won – If Trotsky Won Paperback

If Joseph Stalin had not assumed the helm of the U.S.S.R. after Vladimir Lenin’s death in 1924, than the most likely candidate for this task would have been Leon Trotsky. Trotsky did appear on paper to have all the characteristics of an able leader, but much of this would have come into question if he had actually become General Secretary of the Communist Party. Trotsky was a man who very much wanted to be left alone, to his writing and thinking. He was influential because of his intellect and ability to organize thoughts. But he was not one who could in any form deal with with too much contact with people. This issue was not one which could be changed, and a very different type of government would have existed under his management. It is likely that just like Stalin he would have had great purges, as Trotsky believed in the use of violence to create a future Communist State. He also believed that outside forces were preventing this from happening. Like Stalin, Trotsky had no issue on denial of human rights and expedient but highly unjust decisions being levied on citizens. Trotsky would have been much better than Stalin in two very important areas, economics and military planning.

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Economically Trotsky had suggested after the Civil War ended in 1920 to create a market for grain to raise production, this would have worked and much of the forced collectivization that Stalin created would have been avoided. There never would have famines which weakened the Soviet Union before it’s epic battle with Hitler. Trotsky also had experience outside of the Russian Empire, he had been in Switzerland before the Revolution. And, after the Revolution he had negotiated treaties with outside powers. Stalin never had this first hand experience. Trotsky had also gone against Lenin and nearly split the Communist Party, much of this was due to the way economic policy was being handled and how the military was being run after the revolution. The fact that he could believe so fervently, showed that he was unlike Stalin who used political games to gain power. Trotsky was a visionary and better suited to bringing a lasting revolution.

In 1919, Trotsky would correctly advise Lenin to end hostilities with Poland. As the U.S.S.R. was to weak to make any impact there. But, Lenin believed that after the Civil War it would be no great task to spread the revolution to Poland. In 1920, the U.S.S.R. would find itself actually defeated by Poland in the Battle of Warsaw. And, finally this would lead to peace treaty. All of this would have been quite unnecessary if Lenin had listened to Trotsky. It seems that Lenin learned very late, that Trotsky truly was one the greatest assets the Revolution had on it’s side. After suffering the first of several debilitating strokes, Lenin would try create a succession which would have balanced the Communist party between Trotsky and Stalin’s troika. Lenin encouraged Trotsky to stop Stalin and it is stated that he even devised the method by which this could happen. But when the time came to go on stage and denounce Stalin’s latest propaganda policy on the Russian Nationalistic Campaign, Trotsky skipped over the agreed upon script. But, even by doing so it not would create peace between himself and Stalin, as Trotsky’s role in winning the revolution was becoming clearer and was expounded. Thus, Trotsky had missed his opportunity for taking on Stalin when he still could have. Lenin would pass away shortly after this missed opportunity.

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Trotsky might have been successful in raising the issue of Russian Nationalism trumping all the other Soviet Republics. It would have created a more democratic party orientation. However, this would had led to a very different Soviet Union. A nation can be built without a majority ethnicity imposing their identity on all other groups, a truly multicultural nation can thus be made. It is probable that it may have actually created a stronger state in the long run. Stalin’s ability to be a social being was also quite short lived, as his true nature came out soon after assuming power. He too would begin isolating himself and not dealing with many people other than his inner circle. At as time progressed his mental condition became one of paranoia and just as much as vicious persecution and imprisonment of those who had ideas and plans which might outshine his own. Trotsky would have been similar, but had better plans than what Stalin could conceive. His more intellectual orientation would never have allowed the Soviet Army to have been in a position of being without experienced Commanders, such as Stalin’s Red Army had become by the late 1930’s. Trotsky also would have realized that the equipment being made by Soviet Armament Manufacturers was not up to the task of defending the Soviet Union. He had demonstrated this ability many times during the Civil War. Trotsky also would have most likely not trusted Hitler to any significant level. It is quite likely that war would have broken out sooner with Germany, and the Soviet Union would have fared better early on, instead of the near death comeback like what actually happened under Stalin’s rule.

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Trotsky’s Soviet Union would have been a better a socialist state in many ways. There still would have come a Cold War, and it actually may have started some years earlier. As it is unlikely that Hitler would have been able to invade deep into the U.S.S.R. as he did because of Stalin’s complete inability to plan or prepare as well as Trotsky. Even so, it was Stalin’s marginal social skills which allowed him to form an alliance with the West to defeat Germany in World War II. Trotsky may not have been able to do this, and it is quite likely he may not have needed to this. As Trotsky’s Soviet Union would have been ready when war came. The cold war which would have come about would have been different, as the U.S.S.R. would never have been an Ally in the epic struggle against Fascism. Trotsky also would not have likely agreed to not spreading Socialism all over the world, as Stalin did in order to get Allied Assistance. For under Trotsky the Soviet Union would have not needed assistance from the West. Thus, there is a high probability that after World War II ended in Europe, Winston Churchill’s desire for a continuation of the War and attacking the Soviet Union would have happened if Trotsky’s U.S.S.R. existed. It may indeed be stated that sometimes the way things turn out is for the better. The weakness that Stalin endowed the Soviet Union may have well prevented a greater conflict in 1945.


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