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By Leon Trotsky

No matter if calling for an finish to the capitalist procedure, addressing the crowds after the Russian Revolution, or attacking Stalin in the course of his years of exile, Trotsky's speeches provide a rare perception right into a guy whose phrases and activities made up our minds the fates of hundreds of thousands.

Throughout heritage, a few books have replaced the area. they've got reworked the best way we see ourselves — and every different. they've got encouraged debate, dissent, warfare and revolution. they've got enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. they've got enriched lives — and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the nice thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose principles shook civilization and helped make us who we are.

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Additional info for An Appeal to the Toiling, Oppressed and Exhausted Peoples of Europe (Penguin Great Ideas)

Sample text

There is no other way. The crimes of the ruling, explOiting classes in this war have been countless. These crimes cry out for revolutionary revenge. Toiling humanity would be forswearing itself and its future if it continued meekly to bear on its shoulders the yoke of Faced with civil war and invasion by the AUies, the Bolsheviks appOinted Trotsky commissar ofwar in March 1918. He gave this speech in Moscow on April 14, in the wake of having the previous month signed the punitive Brest-Litovsk treaty with the Central Powers that ended Russia's formal involvement in the First World War and in the wake ofarrests ofanarchists across Moscow.

And we shall hold out, comrades, and shall carry our fight to a successful end. we shall repair the railways, the locomotives, we shall put production on a firm basis, straighten out the food supply, do all that is necessary - if only we keep in our bodies a cheerful mind and a strong stout heart. ' Let us then, comrades, remember and remind the less conscious of us that we stand as a city on the mount, and that the workers of all countries look at us and ask 79 Leon Trotsky A n Appeal to the Toiling Peoples ofEurope themselves with bated breath, whether we shall tumble here, but I shall answer only those which are of general off or not, whether we fail or stand our ground.

But we say: we shall not only touch it, but take it over ioto our hands and run it io our own ioterests, for the abolition of private property, for the emancipation of the working class. But, comrades, however mistaken the doctrine of the anarchists, it is perfectly ioadmissible to persecute them for it. Many anarchists are perfectly honest champions of the working class; only they don't koow how the lock can be opened, how to open the door ioto the kingdom of freedom, and they crowd at the door, elbowiog one another, but unable to guess how to turn the key.

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