Trotsky's prose

Justin Schwartz jschwart at
Wed Feb 14 18:18:34 MST 1996

On Wed, 14 Feb 1996, Scott Marshall wrote:

> Justin,
> You'll make a good lawyer - especially when pompousness is called for.

Gee, Scott, that's not like you. Perhaps the tone of some of your comrades
is starting to influence you. I do think I'll make a good lawyer, though.

> said 'not exposed' - people have been giving me his stuff since I was
> thirteen and briefly around the YSA. I said I tryed to read him and found
> him abstract and convoluted. (Granted I have not read much of his narative
> stuff but more selections of his theoretical stuff.)

Well, try the narrative stuff. It's a wonderful read.

 Just a flash I haven't
> read much of Stalin either and found him wooden and pedantic.

Agreed there. 

 I'm glad you
> like Trotsky but what is clear to your analytical mind is not nessessary so
> for others. By contrast I've always found Lenin and Marx very clear and
> understandable except for certain parts of capital.

Hm. Lenin, probably. Marx is difficult even when he's being easy and

> Lastly, I don't think what one has read is the best indication of ones
> understanding of anything - absent a lot more rounding out it means little -
> just check out the 'marxism' being taught in most universities.
Well, I agree that reading isn't the only or best indication. But if you
haven't had the personal experience--your present and earlier posts are
somewhat contradictory on this--and you don't read the stuff, how can you
understand it? Where else are you going to findf out? Watching TV?

> Scott
> ps. since you are neither a Trotskyite nor a Trotskyist maybe I should wait
> for them to publish the definitive tract on proper nomenclature.

I'm a group with a lot of former and some presernt Trotskyists. When I
made the mistake early on, the correct nomenclature was hammered home to
me quite decisively. Apparantly Trotskyists think that "Trotskyite" is a
sTalinist slur, bearing some implication of a cult of T's personality.
Personally, I think we should defer to people in what they want to be
called unless there is a good reason not to. I don't see one here.

Adam, is your understanding that followerrs of TRotsky are called
Trotskyists (not "ites")?

 I don't
> recall Trotsky ever declaring, "I am not a Trotskyist."

I'm sure he did, though. He thought of himself as a Bolshevik Leninist,
not a Trotskyist. He certianly wasn't a follower of himself!


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