The Origins of Trotsky’s Ill-Discipline


Trotskyite followers tend to perpetuate the ‘myth’ that somehow Leon Trotsky was Lenin’s successor in-waiting, and that the nasty Joseph Stalin ‘stole’ that role. However, even a cursory examination of Bolshevik history reveals how Lenin was continuously criticising Trotsky, and did not view him as a ‘reliable’ candidate. This stems from the 1903 ‘split’ between the Bolsheviks (under Lenin) and the Mensheviks – with Leon Trotsky never losing his support for the latter, or his resistance to the former. Trotsky would never submit to Bolshevik Party Discipline – and it was this failure to behave in ‘solidarity’ with the workers that Lenin saw as the basis for Trotsky’s ill-disciplined production of thought. As there was no self-imposed discipline at the beginning, there was no production of disciplined thought at the end. Lenin stated:

‘It is impossible to argue with Trotsky on any point of substance since he has no opinions. He is always creeping through the crack of this or that controversy and running from one side to the other.’

Lenin also said that Trotsky deployed ‘resounding but hollow phrases’ to deliver his ‘incredible bombast’! As Trotsky would not conform to the pristine order of Bolshevik Party Discipline, his opinions were highly unstable, and bourgeois in nature. This is why Lenin did not trust Trotsky with the leadership of the Bolshevik Movement. The Mensheviks – being a party of bourgeois tolerance – lacked the ability to lead any revolution due to their collective siding with capitalism and opposition to any genuine workers’ movement.


The Bolshevik Revolution (Vol, I), by EH Carr, Macmillan, (1950), Page 63

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