Quotes by Leon Trotsky

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The depth and strength of a human character are defined by its moral reserves. People reveal themselves completely only when they are thrown out of the customary conditions of their life, for only then do they have to fall back on their reserves.

The end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end.
Life is not an easy matter. You cannot live through it without falling into frustration and cynicism unless you have before you a great idea which raises you above personal misery, above weakness, above all kinds of perfidy and baseness.
Under all conditions well-organized violence seems to him the shortest distance between two points.
Technique is noticed most markedly in the case of those who have not mastered it.
If we had more time for discussion we should probably have made a great many more mistakes.
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!
Insurrection is an art, and like all arts has its own laws.
Revolutions are always verbose.
The slanders poured down like Niagara. If you take into consideration the setting -- the war and the revolution -- and the character of the accused -- revolutionary leaders of millions who were conducting their party to the sovereign power -- you can say without exaggeration that July 1917 was the month of the most gigantic slander in world history.
In a serious struggle there is no worse cruelty than to be magnanimous at an inopportune time.
Learning carries within itself certain dangers because out of necessity one has to learn from one's enemies.
Ideas that enter the mind under fire remain there securely and for ever.
Not believing in force is the same as not believing in gravitation.
Where force is necessary, there it must be applied boldly, decisively and completely. But one must know the limitations of force; one must know when to blend force with a maneuver, a blow with an agreement.
Fascism is nothing but capitalist reaction.
The historic ascent of humanity, taken as a whole, may be summarized as a succession of victories of consciousness over blind forces -- in nature, in society, in man himself.
In inner-party politics, these methods lead, as we shall yet see, to this: the party organization substitutes itself for the party, the central committee substitutes itself for the organization, and, finally, a dictator substitutes himself for the central committee.
There is a limit to the application of democratic methods. You can inquire of all the passengers as to what type of car they like to ride in, but it is impossible to question them as to whether to apply the brakes when the train is at full speed and accident threatens.
Man will become immeasurably stronger, wiser, and subtler; his body will become more harmonious, his movements more rhythmic, his voice more musical. The forms of life will become dynamically dramatic. The average human type will rise to the heights of an Aristotle, a Goethe, or a Marx. And above these heights, new peaks will rise.
Let a man find himself, in distinction from others, on top of two wheels with a chain -- at least in a poor country like Russia -- and his vanity begins to swell out like his tires. In America it takes an automobile to produce this effect.
If the Revolution has the right to destroy bridges and art monuments whenever necessary, it will stop still less from laying its hand on any tendency in art which, no matter how great its achievement in form, threatens to disintegrate the revolutionary environment or to arouse the internal forces of the Revolution, that is, the proletariat, the peasantry and the intelligentsia, to a hostile opposition to one another. Our standard is, clearly, political, imperative and intolerant.
Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that can happen to a man.