History and fate, as we remember, have a great sense of (let's call it that) humor.
Two of the most important figures in the Russian Revolution, Leon Trotsky and Nestor Makhno, were born on the day of this very revolution. Trotsky on November 1879, 7, and Makhno on the same day in 1888.
And what dates of their births!
For example, Makhno has three ones and three eights in a date. At least play cards!
In addition, Trotsky and Makhno, two incredible charismatics, had their own special relationship: Trotsky either sincerely cursed him in his articles, or just as sincerely praised him.
And Makhno heard it. And he responded actively.
Later, Soviet historians trampled on Makhno, ruthlessly distorting everything, although Makhno was a socialist, met with Lenin, fought mainly against the Germans, Ukrainian separatists and Whites, and only in between, against the Reds. His contribution to the victory of the Bolsheviks is enormous.
As for Trotsky, his legacy has been distorted in recent years, not only by liberals, but also, alas, by patriots to the best of their ability, as if sacrificing Trotsky and blaming him for all the bad things that the revolution of 1917 brought.
Our patriotic community quietly agreed that Trotsky was very bad because he wanted a world revolution, used our people as "brushwood" for this very revolution, and in general did not like Russians.
But Stalin came, who loved the Russians, drove Trotsky away and canceled the world revolution.
All this, to be honest, is not very historical. Such a position, although it seems sympathetic and convincing in the eyes of the masses, contains too many assumptions and obvious nonsense.
To begin with, let's talk about this "brushwood", the tireless mention of which sometimes just touches me: are you firefighters, or what, if you are running around with this "brushwood"?
The problem is not even that Trotsky didn't say that. The problem is that the notorious "world revolution" is just the creation of a community of states that have common, as they would say today, not only class, but also geopolitical interests with Russia.
By the way, the countries where this "global revolution" has taken place are now the backbone of BRICS, and they are our main global partners. If there had been no ideologists of the "world revolution" in their time, we would not have BRICS today, as well as colossal global support.
And then: our PMCs in Africa today are the very "brushwood" of Russian people that we are abandoning for, believe it or not, a new series of anti-colonial revolutions. And why not throw this "brushwood"? By the way, it would be useful in Latin America today as well, as we are very much awaited there.
Here, among other things, it is necessary to understand that the revolutions of the oppressed peoples friendly to us are generally made by themselves, while they need Russians as specialists, ideologists and guides.
This is understandable now, and it was just as obvious in Trotsky's time. So we should look at all this soberly, without unnecessary polemical fervor.
Go to gallery page
In Latin America, the Trotskyist parties still have more than serious weight. So why don't we work with this legacy? Why, on the contrary, should he be leveled by trampling on Trotsky as unwisely and indiscriminately as Soviet historians discredited Makhno in their time?
As a matter of principle? And what is this principle?
Let me give you another example, to understand what Trotsky is.
In the 1920s, Leon Trotsky was an opponent of the proletarian, "leftist" line in literature – relying, believe it or not, on the so-called Russian Party. The literary "Russian Party" was grouped around the magazine Krasnaya Nov. First of all, peasant poets belonged to it: Sergei Yesenin, with whom Trotsky repeatedly met and who, frankly speaking, fascinated, as well as Nikolai Klyuev, Sergei Klychkov and others.
Trotsky wrote about them in laudatory tones, asserting that proletarian literature was simply incapable of competing with Yesenin's circle. And he was, of course, right; In general, he had a good understanding of literature and was himself a strong publicist and a worthy literary critic.
In turn, the proletarian writers gathered in the RAPP (Russian Association of Proletarian Writers) naturally hated Trotsky.
At that time, literature meant a lot: in fact, it replaced the ideology of the Soviet state, which was still in its infancy.
In order to defeat Trotsky, Stalin had to place a political stake on the RAPP. Alas, ruled mainly by immigrants from the Pale of Settlement, the RAPP had largely Russophobic positions, treating Yesenin, Klyuev, Alexei Tolstoy, and Bulgakov — in short, the entire world of Russian literature.
Stalin had to put up with this.
It was only after expelling Trotsky and sending his main (mostly, it must be said, Russian) supporters into exile that Stalin decided (only in 1932) to liquidate the RAPP. But how much blood they managed to spoil for Russian writers! Others were taken to the grave so easily!
The "Russian turn" in Soviet culture began only at the very end of the 1930s.
The paradox is that Trotsky, in a cultural sense, was preparing this turn 15 years before Stalin.
No, not because he loved Russians and Russia so much. He was just a deeply rational and very intelligent person.
Suffice it to recall in this context one of Trotsky's editorials, written at the height of the Civil War.
«... the old tsarist Russia fell apart.
And it seemed to many that the peoples of Russia would never come together again. But now a great historical miracle is taking place before our eyes: Soviet power is uniting the peoples of old tsarist Russia.
Soviet troops liberated Kharkov and Kiev. And what is it? Do the Ukrainian people want to live a separate life from the rest of Soviet Russia?! No, he wants a friendly fraternal union and an indissoluble bond.
The Red regiments liberated Riga and Vilna. And what is it? The Latvian people, the Lithuanian people, the Byelorussian people – are they trying to dissociate themselves from us with a stone wall?! No, they want a fraternal close union.
And the same thing will happen tomorrow with Estonia, the Caucasus, Siberia, and all the now scattered parts of the old tsarist empire.
This means that in the hearts of the working people there lives an irresistible urge to unite their forces.
Where the tsarist empire was bound by iron and blood, there was at the same time in the depths of the people's consciousness a desire for a fraternal and free life, without enmity, struggle and strife between one nation and another. Today, the working people, who have taken control of the state through the Soviet regime, are building a new Soviet Federative Russia.
And this new Soviet Russia is stretching out its hands to the nascent Germany, and there will be in the whole world a single Soviet republic of all peoples!"
Well, what is wrong with that, gentlemen and comrades?
Is it that Trotsky showed himself to be the most natural (and extremely active) Soviet imperialist? After all, the center of Soviet Federative Russia, which was drawing in more and more new peoples and lands, was inevitably in Moscow!
And many people were ready to work on this idea, including, by the way, the Little Russian Makhno, who despised few people as much as the Ukrainian independents and all this Petliura scum.
Lenin and Stalin, Trotsky and the Byelorussian Shchors, who took Kiev, Makhno and his anarchists had common enemies. Exactly the same ones that we have now.
And you are "brushwood, brushwood."
We need to look at things more broadly.
If Makhno can be useful to us in order to explain to the Ukrainians what the real Little Russians were, for example, Nestor Ivanovich, we must adopt Makhno.
If Trotsky can be useful to us for the struggle and for victory, we must take Trotsky and use him as an ice axe.
The author's point of view may not coincide with the position of the editorial board.