Part 1. Almost associates
Stalin and Trotsky are by no means Russian by nationality - without a doubt, Russian revolutionaries. And everything written by them (and this is, let's say, almost exclusively revolutionary prose) should be included in the asset of Russian literature.
A Marxist must write. The first generation - Marx and Engels really took up the pen only with the "Manifesto", and only then like-minded people were drawn to them. Representatives of the second wave (starting with Plekhanov, Zasulich, Potresov and ending with Lenin and Martov) were also in no hurry to publish programmatic publications.
However, the third Social Democratic appeal was actually not given too much time. People like Trotsky and Stalin had to take up propaganda and agitation as soon as they joined the cohort of experienced Marxists.
In their ranks, Vladimir Ulyanov, in his early 30s, was already called "the old man". This was the very time when the Bolshevik writers, who at first were far inferior to the editors of the old Iskra, were being selected with great difficulty.
Young Social Democrats began to write when the opposition press in Russia was not widespread. But the liberal press was already enough, and most importantly, there was demand among comrades-in-arms, and simply in the ranks of the thinking intelligentsia, students and literate workers.
Today, Stalin and Trotsky are recognized classics not only of Marxism, but also of Russian literature. Although the writers who consider themselves "real", the neighborhood with them is clearly uncomfortable. But it is worth recalling that one of the most famous Nobel laureates in literature was Winston Churchill, a politician and military man, and even a very good artist.
He was probably the toughest opponent of Trotsky, many believe that it was Churchill who called him "the demon of the revolution." And then Stalin, the leader of the peoples, awarded the title of Generalissimo. Which clearly confused the English aristocrat, whose ancestor the Duke of Marlborough was also a Generalissimo.
During the revolutionary years, Trotsky more than once put in his place an enterprising British minister who became the instigator of the intervention and promised to "strangle Bolshevism in the cradle." After taking the post of People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs in the Bolshevik government, the demon of revolution used the powerful "First radio station of the Comintern" from Moscow's Gorokhov Pole for this.
Two decades later, Stalin openly outplayed Premier Churchill both in correspondence with him and in direct dialogues. American President Roosevelt not without difficulty restrained the pressure of the expressive British prime minister. In his memoirs, Churchill even complained that he, like everyone else, always wanted to get up when the Soviet leader entered the room.
War with publishers
As is known, neither Stalin nor Trotsky had any literary regalia. Today, most of Trotsky's writings are regarded as rampant propaganda. And for some reason, many Stalinist works are considered to be deliberately simplified, forgetting the principle that whoever thinks clearly expresses it clearly.
However, during their lifetime, both of them had practically no problems with publications. And not only in the social democratic and liberal press. Both were published a lot both in Russia and abroad.
Trotsky's profound research on the Russian revolutions, on Lenin and Stalin is now recognized as the most important component of the new Marxist anthology. Literary critics have not yet reached the majority of Stalin's works. But about Trotsky's works are written not only by Trotskyists, but also by many "independent", up to the notorious Dmitry Bykov.
The works of Trotsky (then still Lenin's closest ally) began to be published at the State Publishing House in 1924-1927, that is, before the author was turned into a political outcast and an emigrant. The plans were to publish 23 volumes in 27 books, but only 12 volumes and 15 books managed to see the light.
As a result, the collection turned out to be somewhat ragged, haphazard, not to mention the difficulties with systematization by topic and chronology. Now Trotsky's books are being republished quite regularly, although by no means in record print runs. Either there is no sponsor, or there is no demand for a new edition of the collected works.
And this despite the fact that the two-volume "History Russian Revolution ”, the three-volume“ Stalin ”and the autobiography“ My Life ”have been reprinted many times in many languages of the world. These are recognized historical bestsellers.
One can only wonder why, among the writings of Trotsky, there is not so much written during the Civil War. These are only two books of 17 volumes, and in many respects such a deficit can be explained by the fact that the People's Commissariat for Military Affairs and the chairman of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic was really up to the neck busy with specific front-line work.
The compilers of his collected works did not consider it possible to include even in a multivolume edition a number of operational orders, orders, minutes of countless meetings. In addition, a lot of what could be considered written personally by Trotsky during the Civil War came from the pen of his deputy in the RVSR Sklyansky. Quite a few were also performed in the secretariat and simply signed by Trotsky.
Leader of nations, writer and poet
The fate of Stalin's writings is no less difficult than that of his long-term opponent. The leader of the peoples, in fact, personally cut them down to 13 volumes, removing, among other things, everything that could be regarded as positive in relation not only to Trotsky, but also to many other "enemies of the Revolution" or "enemies of the people."
Through the efforts of researchers from the Tver Publishing House of Stalin's volumes, only in 1997 there were 14, and by 2006 - already 18. The replenishment was made up of pre-revolutionary, pre-war and post-war journalism, interviews, correspondence and even poetry of Stalin. As well as orders, directives and his key speeches during the war years.
But the main content of the new volumes must be recognized as J. Stalin's famous letters to US President F.D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister W. Churchill. And although not all letters were included in the multivolume book, this is the recognized peak of Stalin's military-strategic (let's call it that way) creativity.
All letters came directly from the pen of the long-term Soviet leader. It is no coincidence that this incomparable correspondence between Stalin and his Western partners in the anti-Hitler coalition is regularly published both in Russia and abroad.
Completely or excerpts. And in Russia recently - with detailed historical commentaries. This is the best answer to falsifiers and scribes. This is the undistorted truth of the Great War. Alas, in contrast to Russia, where its circulation is again in the tens of thousands, the legendary "Correspondence" in the West is actually still accessible only to a narrow circle of researchers.
However, this did not prevent her from becoming one of the main sources in the preparation of the official histories of the war in the USA and Great Britain, as well as being widely quoted in Churchill's famous 6-volume book. Michael Howard was not shy about talking about Correspondence as a source of inspiration for his Grand Strategy.
On parallel courses
At the beginning of the revolutionary upsurge, our authors were still very young. But both are already experienced revolutionaries: one has the underground behind him, the other has two exiles.
And also the real revolutionary struggle, strikes, uprisings, exes and ... numerous regular (no matter what) publications. In exile, in exile, underground, in the midst of battles with the tsarist satraps.
So a revolutionary is obliged to write. And write a lot. Even if there are mistakes, he will learn from them faster and better. This is much later, both Trotsky and Stalin will make every effort to prove that they had mistakes, if they did, they corrected them long ago.
The main thing is that both, following parallel courses, were, by and large, Leninists. Joseph Dzhugashvili (then not Stalin yet) immediately and forever recognized himself as his student. In one of his "Letters from Kutaisi", criticizing Olminsky's article "Down with Bonapartism," he complimented the Bolshevik leader in a very Caucasian manner:
“The person who stands in our position must speak in a voice that is firm and unyielding. In this respect, Lenin is a real mountain eagle. "
But Trotsky was still swept away, until the summer of 1917. It was then that the addition to the still small party of the Bolsheviks of the faction or group of Mezhraiontsy (whose leader was 37-year-old Lev Davidovich) turned him into one of the main leaders of the October coup.
How they got started
22-year-old Dzhugashvili begins with a lengthy, but at the same time programmatic work "The Russian Social Democratic Party and its tasks." It is immediately published by the Tiflis "Brdzola" (Wrestling). Despite the fact that this article slightly resembles a student's essay.
However, her theses are so accurate that a young revolutionary with already five years of experience in the underground is delegated to all party events of the Social Democrats, which are possible. It seems that he left the seminary for a reason, finding a job at the Tiflis observatory.
Stalin returned to the military theme in the proclamation of the Allied Committee of the Caucasian Union of the RSDLP. It was published in January 1905. And it spread across Transcaucasia under the catchy headline "Workers of the Caucasus, it's time to take revenge!"
In a short but succinct proclamation, the main ideas from the first large work of the author were developed. In two short paragraphs referring to a letter from one of the officers from the Far East, the author actually delivered a ruthless verdict on the decaying tsarist army. The verdict, then never fatal.
Key theses on how to prepare for a decisive battle with tsarism, Koba will set out already in July 1905 in the article "Armed uprising and our tactics." It was immediately published in the Georgian language in the Tiflis Social-Democratic newspaper Proletariatis Brdzola (Proletarian Struggle).
However, this article, translated into Russian, became a real guide to action for the Caucasian revolutionaries only 12 years later, when it was distributed in leaflets in the trenches of the Caucasian front of the First World War.
Trotsky, as a publicist-Marxist, took a very quick start in the Irkutsk newspaper Vostochnoye Obozreniye under the pseudonym Antid Otto. He immediately distinguished himself with a series of articles, but very little was written about military affairs.
Most likely, Leiba Bronstein could not have imagined that revolutionary military practice would soon fall to his lot. Having inscribed the name of one of his prison guards, Trotsky, in his passport, he managed to go to exile, quarrel with Plekhanov and get to know Lenin.
His friends became the Menshevik Axelrod and Parvus, much better known for the history of the sealed carriage than as the author of the notorious theory of the Permanent Revolution. It was picked up for the rest of his life and made, in fact, his Trotsky.
But then he fought with all his might to restore the unity of Russian Social-Democracy, writing a brochure "Our political tasks" with harsh criticism of Lenin's work "One Step Forward, Two Steps Back." Lenin responded by responding to this brochure as
“Blatant lies” and “perversion of facts”.
However, ideological differences did not prevent them from becoming associates later, and Trotsky emphasized this with all his might to the end of his days. But this did not save him from being hit by an ice ax in the skull.
With all the Caucasian directness
By the beginning of the first Russian revolution, the Caucasian Stalin was already considered one of the main experts on the national question in the ranks of the Bolsheviks. Historians report little about the noticeable participation of the future leader of the peoples in revolutionary events, and at that time he himself wrote mainly on the national question.
But he did not shy away from the military theme either. The later voluminous work "Anarchism or Socialism" can also be considered a development of the main theses on the uprising. The brochure was printed at the turn of 1906 and 1907 in parts in the Tiflis editions of the Bolsheviks Akhali Droeba (New Time), Chveni Tskhovreba (Our Life) and Dro (Time) signed by Ko.
Joseph Dzhugashvili (who in other cases often used the provocative pseudonym Besoshvili) as Koba was known to very few then. This work (essentially also programmatic) was written on behalf of the Bolshevik Central Committee after the revolution was replaced by widespread reaction.
In it, Dzhugashvili, point by point, refuted the criticism of Kropotkin and the Kropotkinites against the Social Democrats. Including on the topic of a purely military - about an armed uprising.
The inexplicable naivete of the anarchists, who did not believe in the dictatorship of the proletariat and relied on some kind of "movement of the masses" (something more like a rebellion, senseless and merciless), the author opposed an unequivocal call for scrupulous preparation of an armed uprising.
That is, to the creation of a revolutionary army with its battalions and companies, like the Paris Commune. Stalin will have time to develop these ideas in another small, but also programmatic and at the same time polemical work - "Marx and Engels on the uprising."
Perhaps the main thing for Koba is the refutation of the essentially anarchist theses of his political opponent - the Menshevik Noah Khomeriki, who
"He does not want to have any" battle tactics ", nor" organized detachments ", nor an organized performance!"
All this, as the author notes, turns out to be something insignificant and unnecessary. Koba right there, in addition to Marx and Engels, just and rightly quotes Lenin:
“We must collect the experience of the Moscow, Donetsk, Rostov and other uprisings, disseminate this experience, train persistently and patiently new combat forces, train and temper them in a number of partisan combat actions. A new explosion, perhaps, will not come yet in the spring, but it is coming, it is, in all likelihood, not too far away. We must meet him armed, organized in a military manner, capable of decisive offensive actions. "
First in the first revolution
Trotsky, 25, was the first and generally one of the few Social Democrats who managed to get to Russia during its first revolution. Already in March 1905 he was in St. Petersburg and put forward the slogan of a Provisional Revolutionary Government.
Under the threat of arrest, Trotsky was forced into hiding in Finland, but in October he returned to the raging capital. He is a member of the St. Petersburg Soviet of Workers' Deputies and writes in three editions at once: Izvestia of the council, in Russkaya Gazeta and in the Menshevik Nachala (which he will remember many years later).
Trotsky's military theme is almost in the first place. Among a whole series of articles that are militant to the limit, direct appeals and appeals to the army (as real experiments in revolutionary propaganda) are clearly distinguished.
The then Trotsky was not a professional military writer. Like many of his comrades, he mostly uses quotations, and not only the elders of the classics. But the irrepressible Leo calls for the Provisional Revolutionary Government to come by no means a peaceful way - through an uprising.
The uprising, as you know, will still be - but not in St. Petersburg, but in Moscow, but it's too late. Trotsky will be arrested by that time. In the fall of 1905, he was already the de facto leader of the Petrosovet, as its former chairman Khrustalyov-Nosar was captured by the tsarist secret police. But Trotsky, having become one of the three co-chairmen of the council, very soon ended up in jail himself.
However, the reason for the arrest was not at all the bellicose articles of Trotsky, published under pseudonyms or without a signature, but his almost neutral "Financial Manifesto" edited by him.
However, what kind of neutral is there? If the Manifesto contained direct calls
"Not to pay taxes and taxes" and "not a penny to the tsarist government."
The authorities are always keenly aware of the real threat.
From revolution to war
The defeat of the first Russian revolution became a powerful incentive for the writing Bolsheviks, although they spent too much energy on internal party disassembly. However, in the officially published works of Stalin for the period from 1907 to 1913 there is a gap, which can hardly be explained only by a prolonged exile to the Turukhansk region.
During these same years Trotsky managed to write not only a number of important articles and books, including a large-scale study "Russia in the Revolution", but also gained experience as a war correspondent. The liberal Kievskaya Mysl (where they knew that after the publication of Lenin's Pravda, Trotsky closed his newspaper of the same name) offered the famous journalist a trip to the Balkans.
The new reporter managed to write more than fifty articles, letters, frontline and biographical sketches during the two Balkan wars. From them, the 6th volume of Trotsky's works was formed, almost the best in the collection.
A peculiar self-censorship and the author's almost complete rejection of social democratic rhetoric turned regular and largely routine newspaper publications into a kind of encyclopedia on the Eastern question.
It is no coincidence that in the 6th volume there was also a place for Trotsky's later studies, in which history and politics, economics and ethnography are harmoniously combined. And also a correspondence polemic with the leader of the cadets Pavel Milyukov. To whom, by the way, belongs the authorship of the very term "Trotskyism".
The author unobtrusively, but very transparently, helped the readers to understand the entire inconsistency of the claims of the Russian Empire to the possession of Constantinople and the Straits (an idea so dear to Milyukov's heart).
History is known to be full of irony. And consistently, first Milyukov, and only six months later - Trotsky, heads of the Russian diplomatic department. One - in the Provisional Government, the other - in the Leninist Council of People's Commissars.
In the October Revolution, the classic Marxists Trotsky and Stalin will take part as true comrades-in-arms. In the Civil War - too, although they will swear on every occasion almost like enemies.
And then their paths will diverge. And they will write about the war in their own way.
But more on this in the following essays from the series "Classics and War".