Leon Trotsky, a Leader of the Bolshevik Revolution and Early Architect of the Soviet State
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Most historians agree that throughout his political career Trotsky displayed various talents and abilities. However, these skills alone were not enough to enable him to become the supreme leader of the USSR. In the context of the workings of the Bolshevik party to rise to the highest office of the politburo required certain traits and qualities as well as an ability to utilise the party machine and exploit its members-talents, traits and qualities Trotsky clearly lacked. For these reasons the statement is highly accurate because in spite of his ability, Trotsky’s failure to rise to the ‘highest office in the land’ was a consequence of his arrogance, political naivety and inability to turn success into political capital.
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Furthermore, the many roles that Trotsky undertook in his political career, notably Commissar for War prove that Trotsky was most definitely ‘the most able of men’. According to Service, Trotsky as Commissar for War ‘surprised everyone with his organisational capacity and ruthlessness as he transformed the Red Army into a fighting force’. During his role as commissar Trotsky was able to increase the size of the Red army to three million, introduced conscription, maintained obedience and discipline by enforcing the oath of the red warrior and the death penalty for deserters and used ex-Tsarist officers to assist in the organisation of the army. Trotsky’s ability to successfully transform the Red Army and the significant role he played in Civil War are largely the reason for the Bolshevik victory and further highlight that Trotsky ‘was the most able of men’.
However, despite his ability Trotsky was not able to rise to the highest office in the Land, as he lack political motivation, the personality traits required and a utilisation of the party apparatus.
Trotsky despite his talents and status as a communist leader was disliked by his peers. His arrogance, condescension and perceived intellectual superiority alienated many of members of the politburo. If in an address that bored Trotsky he was known to have openly read a novel instead. Lenin himself raised concerns regarding the assured arrogance of Trotsky in his last testament writing that “he is perhaps the most capable