Trotsky, Leninism and Trotskyism

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Trotsky, Leninism and Trotskyism
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In general, I agreed with this article ( about the origins of Leninism and the cult of Lenin. However in reading Trotsky, he also uses the term "Leninism" without qualification and calls himself a Leninist as his followers also call themselves Leninists. His followers also call themselves Trotskyists. What were the main reasons why Trotsky failed to see through the Stalinist personality cult of Lenin? Also why did Trotsky allow a sort of personality cult to develop around him?

@ hmmm

To be honest I don't understand all the fuss about the term Leninism or Leninist. Cult of personality is a whitewash by Khrushchevites.

Also, Wael Ghonim definitely has a Trotsky thing going.


Personally, I've never seen the problem with 'nameism'. If you agree with someone, what's the problem with saying that you're a follower of them? In Trotsky's case there was probably an aspect of political pressure on him to make himself look as in congruence with Lenin as possible in opposition to the Stalinists who accused him of holding ideas which were contrary to Lenin's political outlook. But aside from that, Trotsky in his later years came to see that Lenin had been correct in forging the split between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, and agreed with Lenin on the large majority of issues in the Soviet Union until the latter's incapacitation. I don't see what's wrong with Trotsky describing himself as a Leninist or his followers calling themselves Trotskyists.

I mean, if you really want to push the point further, why not argue that 'Marxism' itself is a term that should be abanoned? One criticism of Marxists that occasionally gets pushed by Anarchists is that we're too hung up on following individual thinkers. Incidentally, the name 'Marxists' was originally conocted by Bakunin, similar to how I believe the term 'Leninism' was originally used by the Mensheviks and 'Trotskyism' by the Stalinists. In point of fact, the reason Engels began to self-describe as a Marxist later in his life was to spite the Bakuninists for giving them the name in the first place.

Marx once remarked that he

Marx once remarked that he was in fact not a Marxist. I'd really like to know what the "Krushchevites" stand for? Are there any around today?

'I am not a Marxist' quote

jk1921 wrote:
Marx once remarked that he was in fact not a Marxist.


As JohnSmith said, this was not a rejection of the label 'Marxist', it was him distancing himself from the ideas being propagated by Paul Lagargue and Jules Guesde under the label of 'Marxism'. Engels had no problem with calling himself a Marxist (He was the first to use the term in a non-perjorative sense), but he did use the 'I am not a Marxist' quote a couple of times in reference to people who he believed were distorting or misusing Marx's ideas.