THE BOLSHEVIKI AND WORLD PEACE
BY LEON TROTZKY
INTRODUCTION BY LINCOLN STEFFENS
BONI AND LIVERIGHT
Boni & Liveright Inc.
Introduction by Lincoln Steffens
The voice that speaks in this book is the voice of Leon Trotzky, the Bolshevik Minister of Foreign Affairs for Revolutionary Russia. It is expressing ideas and views which lighted him on the course of his policy toward the War, Peace and the Revolution. It throws light, therefore, on that policy; it helps to an understanding of it, if one wishes to understand. But that isn't all. The spirit that flames and casts shadows upon these pages is not only Trotzky's. It is the spirit also of the Bolsheviki; of the red left of the left wing of the revolutionary movement of New Russia. It flashed from Petrograd to Vladivostok, in the first week of the revolt; it burned all along the Russian Front before Trotzky appeared on the scene. It will smoulder long after he is gone. It is a hot Fact which has to be picked up and examined, this spirit. Whether we like it or don't, it is there; in Russia; it is elsewhere; it is everywhere to-day. It is the spirit of war; class war, but war. It is in this book.
Nor is that all.
The mind in this book--the point of view from which it starts, the views to which it points--Trotzky's mind is the international mind. We have heard before of this new intelligence; we have read books, heard speeches, witnessed acts demonstrative of thoughts and feelings which are not national, but international; not patriotic, but loyal only to the lower-class-conscious war aims of the workers of the world. The class warrior is as familiar a figure to us as the red spirit is of the red left of revolution. But the voice which utters here the spirit and the mind, not only of the Russian, but of the world revolution is the voice of one having authority.
And Trotzky, in power, has been as red as he is in this book. The minister of foreign affairs practised in Petrograd what he preached in Switzerland, where he wrote most of the chapters of his book. And he practised also what all the other great International Socialist leaders talked and wrote.
That's what makes him so hard to understand, him and his party and the Bolshevik policy. We are accustomed to the sight of Socialists and Radicals going into office and being "sobered by the responsibilities of power." French and Italian Socialists in the Liberal ministries of their countries; British Labor leaders in Parliament in England or in the governments of their Colonies; and the whole Socialist party in Germany and Austria (except Liebknecht in prison)--all are examples of the effect of power upon the International Mind. The phenomenon of compromise and surrender is so common that many radicals oppose the taking of any responsible office by any member of their parties; and some of the extremists are advocating no political action whatsoever, nothing but industrial, economic or what they call "direct action." (Our I.W.W.'s don't vote, on principle.) This is anarchism.
Leon Trotzky is not an anarchist; except in the ignorant sense of the word as used by educated people. He is a Socialist; an orthodox Marxian Socialist. But he has seen vividly the