About Leon Trotsky

(1879-1940) led the Bolshevik insurrection of 1917 and subsequently became . Joseph Stalin, who took power of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) in the late 1920's and ruthlessly suppressed his opponents, ordered Trotsky be killed by an assassin in 1940.

For all of Leon Trotsky's momentous accomplishments in his own life, much of his legacy has, largely for reasons over which he could have had no control following his murder in 1940, not assisted the advancement of humankind.

Leon Trotsky's flawed understanding of the Second World War

After 1939, Trotsky crudely transplanted Lenin's essentially correct analysis of the bloody inter-imperialist war, otherwise known as the First World War, to the Second World War. This analysis held that no capitalist nation fighting in the Second World War was any better than any other. Thus, Great Britain, the United States, Australia and New Zealand were no better than Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and imperial Japan. Therefore, the duty of communists in these countries was to oppose their own government's war. (In Australia, this policy was carried out by the group known as the "Balmain Trotskyists" led by (1908-1996) and (1915-2009))

However, Trotsky drew a distinction between, on the one hand, the "inter-imperialist war", between the fascist states and the western capitalist allies and, on the other hand, the war between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. He still saw the latter as a post-capitalist "workers' state" in spite of Stalin's tyranny and, hence, humanity had a stake in supporting the Soviet Union.

So, whilst opposing U.S, participation in the war, Trotskyists, particularly in the U.S., supported the provision of aid by the U.S. government to the Soviet Union. A number of U.S. Trotskyists actually served as merchant seamen on the convoys which sailed through the perilous icy, U-boat-infested northern Atlantic waters to deliver cargo to the Soviet port of Murmansk.

Whether or not military action, by the U.S. Navy or Air Force, in defence of the convoys against or German U-boats or bombers would have constituted participation in the "inter-imperialist war", was not explained as far as I can recall.

Leon Trotsky's dismissal of non-Marxist political leaders

In Trotsky's world view, the only political leaders likely to be of any enduring worth, were those who fully embraced his program for world socialist revolution. Those who were not were reactionary or, at best, vacillating "petty bourgeoisie". Thus, in the Trotskyist world view, there was no merit to be found in U.S. and, or if he had still been around, President (JFK), and .

Jim Garrison could have ended the Vietnam War far sooner than the 'anti-war' Movement

This 'line' was effectively carried out in the 1960's by those who wore the label 'Trotskyist'. JFK and Bobby Kennedy were dismissed by the far-left as no better than other capitalist politicians. They chose not to dispute the fraudulent Warren Commission, which held that the solitary gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, murdered JFK.

Jim Garrison's attempts to prosecute the murderers of JFK, as told in Oliver Stone's movie JFK (1991) would almost certainly have ended the bloody Vietnam War long before 1975 had he got assistance from just a few of the many thousands of activists participating in the protest movement. As an example, it would not have been far less likely that JFK's murderers would have then been able to murder Bobby Kennedy just as he was about to win the nomination for President of the United States at the Democratic Convention in 1968. The Vietnam War would have ended on the day of Bobby Kennedy's Presidential inauguration in January 1969, if not before.

Whatever may have been the motivations of the leaders of this protest movement, the practical outcome was the prolongation, and not the ending, of that war. The consequences for the people of Indo-China were far more tragic than they need have been.

The demise of an Australian Marxist blog site

has disappeared! The now displays the message:

Blog has been removed
Sorry, the blog at has been removed.
This address is not available for new blogs.

A google search returned a fragment of presumably the last entry on the now non-existent web site : :

This is the last entry in my political diary and blog. This activity has served its ...

I believe I recall elsewhere that the next word in the unfinished sentence was 'purpose'. There was also a link to the full archive of the blog as a pdf document, but the first time I looked the link was broken and the second time I looked I could not even find that record.

Why the author suddenly decided not only to discontinue his diary, but to completely remove it from the Internet, together with the archives, is a mystery. The cost of keeping the blog on the Internet as it was would either have been nothing or very little. Others, including myself, who had commented on the site and may have mislaid their local backups will find that their contributions have been lost forever, and any links back to his site will now be broken.

Dialogue in regard to the finiteness of our planet, population and immigration needed.

As referred to in , I had posted comments to his web site. A few of these sought to challenge the cornucopianism of Marxism which causes most Marxist adherents to either advocate open borders or, at best, to discourage discussion of the issue. None of my posts drew a response from the author personally. This has been surprisingly typical of Marxists, in spite of the claims of Marxism to be the most advanced of all political philosophies and most able to sustain critical scrutiny by other philosophical schools.

Another web-site of a person who sees value in Marxist thought, but who is, nevertheless critical of its unthinking cornucopianism of many of its adherents, maintained by Sandy Irvine of the United Kingdom. It's home page states (emphases included are my own):

This website promotes the cause of ecological sustainability. By that, we mean that the conservation of environmental systems, biodiversity and bioregional human cultures must be society's overriding goal. We are committed to a politics for life on earth, all life not just its human form. This politics is founded on an ethos of 'enoughness', sharing the Earth's bounty, rather than the avaricious 'moreness' that dominates contemporary culture.

To put it another way, we oppose the suicidal politics of unlimited expectations and open-ended entitlements, be they under the guise of the so-called 'free' market', 'mixed' economies or centrally planned economic systems. We are therefore against unrestrained population growth and the pursuit of open-ended economic expansion. We similarly dissent from the modern cult of salvation through technological miracles. Equally, we seek to unmask fraudulent goals and policies such as so-called sustainable development.

Tragically, most organisations and indeed large sections of the general public are living in a fantasy world. They behave as if it were possible for society to continue on it present course without disaster. They are living as if there were no tomorrow, thus ensuring that the future will be bleak indeed. The overriding and all-embracing issue today is that the foundations of life on Earth are crumbling. The only truly realistic politics is one that address that reality.

The primary challenge of our times, then, is to cut down the scale of human activity and live within natural limits, to 'think shrink'. All else is a matter, as Fritz Schumacher once put it, of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Overall, our culture, our technologies, our political and economic systems, must be rooted in the checks and balances of life on Earth ... and the sooner we begin to make the transition, the easier and more satisfactory it is likely to be.

The ecological alternative -- a society sustainably in balance with the Earth's capacities, patterns and rhythms -- is also one which most likely a way of life more satisfying and, indeed, more convivial than the destructive rat race that is the hallmark of contemporary lifestyles. Ecocentrism -- Earth first -- not egocentrism must be the watchword.

So if one trail has gone cold, at least there is now another one which is very warm.