The Long Strange Posthumous Life of Leon Trotsky, worth reading in it’s entirety, not just for the insights on Trotsky’s legacy on the Left, but for a really disturbing look at the fractures that consumed the American left for most of the 21st century. The money shot below:
“But always and always, those who took Trotsky’s side cannot help but look back and think what the Soviet Union might have been if only Stalin had lost that fight. I’m very much among those who feel that American socialists need to look to American history — not Russian or Chinese or Cuban history — to chart our course. But no one who has looked back at the early part of the 20th century can fail to be thrilled by that moment when it seemed as if the workers were actually in control of history. It was this painful memory Trotsky carried with him as he began the first of his exiles in Turkey.May I suggest — though my Trotskyist and Leninist friends will not hear me — that the greatest honor one could pay to Leon Trotsky would be to let him rest with the honor he earned. And, as he broke with Stalin, so let us break with all undemocratic efforts at revolution, which would make human beings merely “means to the end”. Humanity — each life — is an end in itself. As A.J. Muste said, “there is no way to peace — peace is the way”. So too, revolution begins now, as we empower ourselves to think for our own time.