months in which those staunch, faithful and
true men and women of the Russian Revolution fought side by side with us in our own
movement shed a bright glow upon this first
anniversary of the Soviet Republic, for we feel
that we are flesh of their flesh and spirit of
When Trotzky landed here his name was
known only to his own countrymen and to a
handful of German Socialists. In the ten weeks
of his stay he had become one of our most
popular speakers and writers. Notwithstanding
the difficulties that lie in the way of a man understanding and speaking only a few words of the
English language, in not quite three months
Trotzky played such an important part in the
party movement of the City of New York
that the future promised much for him and
for the ideas and forces that he represented.
Had Trotzky remained a year in the United
States, our movement would have found in
him a great and splendid leader.
For Trotzky is born to lead men. His unusual talent as a speaker won the hearts and
minds of his hearers everywhere. Without
pose, strikingly free from the arts and arti-
rices that most speakers use to enhance the
effectiveness of their speeches, he was yet able
to stir an audience of thousands with the
same personal magnetism that made itself so
unmistakably felt in the smallest gathering.
And to his great credit be it said that Trotzky
was always as ready to speak to twenty persons as he was to address a mass meeting" ot
as many thousands—unlike so many of our
miniature "leaders" who consider it beneath
their dignity to speak to small audiences.
Leon Trotzky belongs to that rare class of
Socialist speakers who are at once theoreticians and propagandists. In his speeches, in
other words, there was nothing of gray, dry
and abstract theory. He used the events of
the day to prove the reality of Socialist
theory, he made them the basis of scientific
research and explanation. Thus every one
of his speeches became a discussion of scientific Socialism, a profession of faith in the
theories of Marx, and at the same time,
a plea for development away from the old,
outworn tactics of pure and simple parlia
mentarism to a live stirring up of the masses,
to revolutionary mass action.
Trotzky's political method is the historic
method. Like a red line this historic materialistic conception of world development permeates his speeches and his writings. He applies it mercilessly and unsparingly to every
new situation that arises, analyzing it in the
light of its historic and its material background, dividing what seems to others an inseparable whole into its component parts. And
then in one bold stroke, with the keenness and
certainty of an inspired prophet he reveals
coming events while they still are hidden behind the dark curtain of the future from the
eyes of ordinary mortals.
Like all Russians, he is an inspired pamphleteer. In less than no time, almost as if by
magic, he produces one brochure after the
other as event follows event. What would
take another months to produce he accomplishes in a few days. And then thousand
times more effectively.
Every single phase of the Revolution is
treated with a clearness of vision that amounts
to genius; in them the great social revolution
of the Russian proletariat has been chronicled.
One of Trotzky's books, "From the October
Revolution to Brest Litovsk," that will make
its appearance shortly in the English language, is an excellent example of this method.
The freshness of style, the sureness of its presentation remind one forcibly of Karl Marx's
"Eighteenth Brumaire." In this brochure of
about one hundred pages the author gives us
an undying picture of the third phase of the
Russian Revolution. Trotzky, the far-seeing
statesman, the brilliant journalist, the enthusiastic agitator, is not a pioneer in thought and
creation as Marx was.
But far more than the founder of the
modern socialist movement, he stands in the
roaring current of events and is therefore
destined to play an important role in their
historical development. His analysis thus
becomes, in a certain sense, more forceful than
that of the socialist master. It is more spontaneous, more empirical, it is reality, life itself.
It is a noteworthy fact that in every country
Russians have taken a leading part in the
national movements. This is not only because