“Insurrection of the masses does not require a justification. And what took place was indeed an insurrection and not a conspiracy. We openly forged the will of the masses for an insurrection… To those who left from here and who are proposing other courses of action, we have only this to say: You are pitiful isolated individuals; you are bankrupts; your role is played out. Go where you belong from now on — into the dustbin of history!” Thus spoke Leon Trotsky addressing the Second All-Russian Congress of the Soviets on the day of the October coup of 1917, directing his remarks against those delegates who objected to the Bolshevik seizure of power, of which he was one of the main organizers. Roughly ten years after he made this speech, it was Trotsky himself together with his allies in the intra-party opposition who would end up in the “dustbin of history,” put there by the victorious group of Stalin.
C. P. Cavafy Professor Emeritus of Classical Studies and Comparative Literature
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