The Assassination Of Leon Trotsky

For a time in the 1920s Leon Trotsky was second in importance in Soviet Russia only to Lenin himself.  Many believed him to be the natural choice to succeed Lenin.  But it was not to be; in the Byzantine power struggles that characterized Soviet politics, Trotsky would prove to be an amateur.  His personality—arrogant, dismissive, and lacking in tact and forbearance—would ensure that few voices were raised in his defense as Stalin slowly put him in a vice.  Trotsky was eventually stripped of his posts and forced into internal exile; he would eventually have to flee the country.

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2 thoughts on “The Assassination Of Leon Trotsky

  1. Great storytelling, Quintus. Mirabile lectu. At first, it almost read like a James Bond tale: a secret/double agent infiltrates the inner circle of a paranoid government agent, complete with a romantic love interest by means of which Mercador gained the trust of his target. But as one reads further, the tale is twisted and antagonized by Mercador’s loyalty to his leader and government. It’s like an inverted hero’s tale, wherein the farther the hero persists in his quest, the blacker and bleaker the tale becomes,.

    What struck me most was his final reward. Consider, the greatest commendation medal to be awarded in the West, or the US, comes not from killing the greatest number of the enemy or even the highest ranking enemy, though that may have been a by-product of one’s actions; instead, in the West, say the Victoria Cross or the Medal of Honor, comes generally from the gallant actions necessary to save one’s comrades (no pun intended) in the face of mortal danger. To me, it highlights the stark difference between our Western moral underpinnings or justifications vis-a-vis those of a Communist regime.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What’s crazy to me about it is that the assassin’s own mother actually participated in the operation. The whole family were true fanatics. The assassin was willing to do 20 years in prison, too.


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