Trotsky on Kronstadt

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Jun 11 06:51:15 MDT 1996

On 11 Jun 1996, Chris, London wrote:

> So I thought when the subject of Kronstadt came round again
> I would  check the references, in the volume
> The Serge-Trotsky Papers ed David Cotterill, Pluto Press
> London 1994, as I recalled reading that Trotsky was not directly
> involved in suppressing the rebellion.

Louis: Trotsky was the primary apologist for the suppression of Kronstadt.
He may have not directed the cannon fire, but he was the Soviet leader who
argued most forcefully for its purpose.

The whole question of the legitimacy of Bolshevik rule after 1917 is
extremely complicated. Lenin and others understood that to completely open
up the political process to all elements of society would in effect open
up the door to counter-revolution. They had a point of view that Castro
has adopted as a guiding principle for the Cuban CP.

The problem with this is that dissident viewpoints *within* the
working-class, such as the Kronstadtists, may interpret this is an
invitation to armed struggle since no other option is open to them.

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