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Trotsky succeeds Lenin instead of Stalin

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  • Trotsky succeeds Lenin instead of Stalin

    Let's say that Lenin's Testament is made public after his death, and Stalin loses his power or is kicking out of the Party. Trotsky succeeds Lenin, and becomes General Secretary. How would the USSR have differed under him, and what does this mean for the world?

    I don't believe that Trotsky would have been so adamant about industrializing and militarizing. However, if he wanted to support global Communist revolution, then he certainly would have had to make large investments into the military.

    Your thoughts?
    A wild liberal appears! Conservative uses logical reasoning and empirical evidence! It's super effective! Wild liberal faints.

  • #2
    I don't think he'd turn the army into a pathetic joke, or foolishly invade Finland.

    Comment


    • #3
      It will be interesting to see the perspective of the Russian members on this one.
      "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
      Samuel Johnson.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think Trotsky may have been more inclined to internationalise the revolution than Stalin - not a good idea. This would have drawn more suspicion and lack of trust on the USSR than "Socialism in One Country".

        Collectivisation may or may not have gone ahead - hard one to call. I think both Stalin and Trotsky did want to see an alternative to relying on peasant agriculture.

        Rapid industrialisation would probably follow under - Trotsky was smart enough to see that the revolution needed to be protected from a hostile world. It would have been accompanied by the same misery.

        Purges and elimination of rivals - I don't know enough about Trotsy's personality to comment. I suspect there would have been a degree of both, but maybe not to the same extent.

        Stalin would have been kept on as the commissar for minorities.

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        • #5
          I don't think he'd turn the army into a pathetic joke, or foolishly invade Finland.
          Wat ?


          I think that the difference between Stalin and Trotsky wouldn't be that big. Trotsky at my opinion was more internationnaly oriented that Stalin and less bureaucratic.
          There are no Nazis in Ukraine. Idiots

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          • #6
            I do think that Trotsky would have been more open to foreign relations and even some controlled investment in the USSR than Stalin was. I can't see him being the hardline dictator Stalin was.

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            • #7
              Not an expert on Trotsky here, but I'll take a stab.

              First, if he plans to survive he'll have to get smarter. He'll need to sideline Stalin - preferably permanently. Stalin was infinitely better at playing power games than Trotsky and he was one of the all time masters of eliminating & manipulating opponents.

              Trotsky won't go for widespread purges the way Stalin did. He was certainly capable of considerable brutality, but he won't be wiping out entire political or social classes.

              Lenin was ruthless with the nation, but he deployed violence for specific reasons & when it came to his colleagues he relied on force of personality. I suspect Trotsky would try that path, fail somewhat through lack of argumentative skill, but make up for it by purging some of his colleagues. Trotsky will have an advantage Lenin & Stalin didn't - he will have a power base in the Red Army.

              He will push the 'international' dimension harder than Stalin. Hard to know quite what this will mean. probably good news for Mao & the Spanish Communists, don't know enough about other European interwar Communist movements, but you have to assume the nations on Russia's periphery will be less stable. It may be that under Trotsky Russia is even more internationally unpopular than it was under Stalin. There could be all sorts of implications for European alliance structures if the USSR is seen as more aggressive. It may be that Weimar Germany is less of an 'outcast' in Europe. No playing footsie with the USSR, potentially greater co-operation with the neighbours. A weakened Germany may be less objectionable than an overtly aggressive USSR.

              As pointed out, Trotsky probably won't collectivize agriculture. That will be a huge benefit. Millions don't die, massive disruption to the economy doesn't take place. He also won't push industrialization quite the way Stalin did. That doesn't mean he won't push it hard. As an Army man he will understand the need for a decent industrial base.

              Interesting scenario.
              Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

              Comment


              • #8
                He would need to eliminate rivals, especially Stalin and more importantly Beria.

                Everthing else is for others who know Trotsky better than me, but it would be interesting to follow this.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Roddoss72 View Post
                  He would need to eliminate rivals, especially Stalin and more importantly Beria.

                  Everthing else is for others who know Trotsky better than me, but it would be interesting to follow this.
                  If Trotsky succeeds Lenin Beria remains an obscure Georgian party official. He was a creature of Stalin who only became powerful by his patronage. Trotsky would have had to keep Dzerzhinsky & after his death possibly Yagoda on side.
                  Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

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                  • #10
                    Nothing,no difference at all.
                    Josef would be disappeared and if Soviet Russia is to play any part in World politics then we would see Trotskys ten year plan,same suffering,same deaths,same same,same.
                    You see,they all read from the same hymn book,there isn't a viable alternative,they are communists and as such must and can only take that line.
                    We shouldn't forget that during the inter war period Germanys only friends were the commmunists and funnily enough,vice versa,seems it takes one to know one.
                    No difference at all.

                    Cheers,Tony.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by flash View Post
                      Nothing,no difference at all.
                      Josef would be disappeared and if Soviet Russia is to play any part in World politics then we would see Trotskys ten year plan,same suffering,same deaths,same same,same.
                      You see,they all read from the same hymn book,there isn't a viable alternative,they are communists and as such must and can only take that line.
                      We shouldn't forget that during the inter war period Germanys only friends were the commmunists and funnily enough,vice versa,seems it takes one to know one.
                      No difference at all.

                      Cheers,Tony.
                      Communism is Communism, and don't let any idiot Marxist have you think otherwise, but there are most definitely different flavors, and Trotsky had a different one than Stalin did. "Trotskyism" is much closer, ideologically to Marxism and Leninism, rather than Stalinism. It will still be the same old brutal, authoritarian, "transitional", dictatorship of the proletariat, as Communism will always be, but it won't be the same as it was under Stalin. They were two very different people, with two very different world views, goals and ambitions.
                      A wild liberal appears! Conservative uses logical reasoning and empirical evidence! It's super effective! Wild liberal faints.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by flash View Post
                        Nothing,no difference at all.
                        Josef would be disappeared and if Soviet Russia is to play any part in World politics then we would see Trotskys ten year plan,same suffering,same deaths,same same,same.
                        You see,they all read from the same hymn book,there isn't a viable alternative,they are communists and as such must and can only take that line.
                        We shouldn't forget that during the inter war period Germanys only friends were the commmunists and funnily enough,vice versa,seems it takes one to know one.
                        No difference at all.

                        Cheers,Tony.
                        Gonna have to burst your bubble. While they are both singing from the same song sheet, they've picked different songs. Trotsky was more interested in reviving the economy than Stalin and would probably have moved earlier on industrialisation. He had been Commissar of Foreign Affairs and knew a fair amount concerning international relations. I think he would have been voicing support for communist parties louder than Stalin did during the 20s, but this would probably have had little affect as the immediate neighbours were various grades of right wing reactionaries. There may have been a reproachment with Poland, but this is pure speculation.

                        With regard to agriculture and commerce, Trotsky would probably have retained the NEP for longer - it worked well during the 20s. Peasant agriculture was in need of reform though: the USSR relied on grain sales for foreign exchange and came close to famine in the late 20s due to the weather. Something had to change and "Fordism" applied to the grain farms was going to happen. Foreign trade and a degree of investment would have been encouraged, if only to grow the Party's natural constituency, the proletariat.

                        There would have been fewer and smaller purges, probably. Trotsky seems to have held fewer grudges, but Stalin would have found life difficult - he may be killed, it's hard to be definite. But the Red Army would have been well looked after, if only because the USSR was surrounded by hostile regimes.

                        Once we move out of the 20s and into the 30s, it does get difficult to predict what will be happening, but accelerated industrial growth would be predicted, if only to build the heavy industry to supply the toys for defending the revolution.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
                          Gonna have to burst your bubble. While they are both singing from the same song sheet, they've picked different songs. Trotsky was more interested in reviving the economy than Stalin and would probably have moved earlier on industrialisation. He had been Commissar of Foreign Affairs and knew a fair amount concerning international relations. I think he would have been voicing support for communist parties louder than Stalin did during the 20s, but this would probably have had little affect as the immediate neighbours were various grades of right wing reactionaries. There may have been a reproachment with Poland, but this is pure speculation.

                          With regard to agriculture and commerce, Trotsky would probably have retained the NEP for longer - it worked well during the 20s. Peasant agriculture was in need of reform though: the USSR relied on grain sales for foreign exchange and came close to famine in the late 20s due to the weather. Something had to change and "Fordism" applied to the grain farms was going to happen. Foreign trade and a degree of investment would have been encouraged, if only to grow the Party's natural constituency, the proletariat.

                          There would have been fewer and smaller purges, probably. Trotsky seems to have held fewer grudges, but Stalin would have found life difficult - he may be killed, it's hard to be definite. But the Red Army would have been well looked after, if only because the USSR was surrounded by hostile regimes.

                          Once we move out of the 20s and into the 30s, it does get difficult to predict what will be happening, but accelerated industrial growth would be predicted, if only to build the heavy industry to supply the toys for defending the revolution.
                          Right,so what you're saying is Trotsky would have done just about exactly what Stalin did do?
                          If you're not saying that,then what would Trotsky have done?
                          Bearing in mind that Russia had virtually no industrial capacity in 1920.
                          What option did anybody in charge of this giant sedentary,predominantly agricultural country have?
                          Stalin dragged the USSR screaming into the twentieth century in a ruthless display of ambition,he was actually successful in that.
                          Had anybody else been at the helm,they would have had to do the same in order to convert a backwards nation into an industrial superpower within twenty years.
                          It was actually an incredible feat and could only have been achieved by considering your own countrymen as completely expendable.
                          It takes a very distinct type of person to do this,Stalin was one.
                          Trotsky was indeed more familiar with international relations and would have been even more cognisant of Europes complete apathy towards Russia,basically nobody gave a damn what was happening inside this strange new country.

                          Cheers,Tony.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by flash View Post
                            Right,so what you're saying is Trotsky would have done just about exactly what Stalin did do?
                            Not even close.

                            If you're not saying that,then what would Trotsky have done?
                            Extend NEP, not collectivize agriculture, murder lots fewer people, not gut Red Army of lots of officers & completely pick apart its structure.


                            Bearing in mind that Russia had virtually no industrial capacity in 1920.
                            What option did anybody in charge of this giant sedentary,predominantly agricultural country have?
                            Extend NEP, not collectivize agriculture, murder lots fewer people, not gut Red Army of lots of officers & completely pick apart its structure.

                            Industrialization didn't necessitate anywhere near the sort of brutality that Stalin employed. Indeed, most of it was entirely unrelated.
                            Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Trotsky was committed to collectivisation.
                              He was also quite the brutal and evil man so little would change internally in the USSR.
                              As some one mentioned we would see more support for communists in Spain and China.
                              Perhaps enough in Spain to ensure a Republican victory.
                              We may see earlier moves against the Baltic states, Poland and Romania.
                              I cant see a Nazi-Soviet pact happening.
                              This maybe enough to deter Hitler from invading Poland when he did but I doubt it would last indefinitely.
                              It is hard to say what would happen in this situation.

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