WaPo: Neocon movement began with Leon Trotsky

Leon Trotsky

Here’s the WaPo chart: The Neocons: An illustrated progression. It starts with Leon Trotsky. Yes, that Leon Trotsky. But not for the reasons one might assume.

Lenin’s Tomb is not amused.

But [the chart] does so all to the purpose of linking it all back to a dead revolutionary, who in all likelihood would have had the neocons taken on a blind date with a firing squad (I like that phrase).

But the neocon-Trotsky link genuinely exists. From a rant.

The Trotskyist pedigree of neoconservatism is no secret; the original neocon, Irving Kristol, acknowledges it with relish: “I regard myself to have been a young Trotskyite and I have not a single bitter memory.”

Maybe this explains it better.

What is a NeoCon? Neocon is a neo-conservative who began as anti-Stalinist Trotskyist before moving to the far right in U.S. politics. NeoCons have roots in the Leon Trotskyist movement of the 1930s and 1940s. In the 1950s and 1970s that movement morphed into anti-communist liberalism. Today the NeoCons are embedded in the imperial right and militarism of the U.S. defense and foreign affairs departments.

Trotsky vehemently opposed Stalinism and he and his followers were instrumental in getting the truth about what Stalin was doing out to the world at large. But that hardly makes him the fountainhead of the neocon movement. That many neocons began as Trotskyites then went sharply to the right is not because of anything Trotsky did. He opposed Stalin because he thought the revolution had been betrayed.

Peter Camejo comments.

Leon Trotsky’s efforts to argue that the Russian revolution of 1917 was betrayed and that one should not associate Stalinism with socialism was supported by only a small number of those considering themselves socialist.

The factual information on the crimes of Stalinism and truth about the internal regime in the USSR put out by the Trotskyist movement in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s is now accepted by almost everyone. In fact, all research has confirmed that the factual description of the internal reality of Stalinist society by Leon Trotsky was completely accurate.

Thus, the primary similarity between neocons and Trotsky is that both viewed Stalin as the monster he was. (Another might be his belief in the need for “permanent revolution.”) That some former Trots morphed into early, influential neocons yet still remained sympathetic to Trotsky appears a journey understandable only to those who were part of it. Doubtless the tangled history and resultant differences of far left sects are incomprehensible to outsiders too.

Trotsky of course paid dearly for his views. He was assassinated in Mexico in 1940 by a Soviet agent.

Trotsky’s last words were “I will not survive this attack. Stalin has finally accomplished the task he attempted unsuccessfully before.”


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