How would life in the Soviet Union under Leon Trotsky be any different than it was under Stalin?

I know Leon Trotsky was no angel, so the Soviet Union would probably retain a degree of government oppression (such as Stalin-esque policies regarding industrialization which led to the OTL Holodomor), but aside from that, how would life under Trotsky be any different than what life was under Stalin?
 
I know Leon Trotsky was no angel, so the Soviet Union would probably retain a degree of government oppression (such as Stalin-esque policies regarding industrialization which led to the OTL Holodomor), but aside from that, how would life under Trotsky be any different than what life was under Stalin?

Very, in that the Germans successfully arrange Pan-Western support for them to attack and destroy the Soviet Union, with its aggressive policies threatening everyone.
 
Very, in that the Germans successfully arrange Pan-Western support for them to attack and destroy the Soviet Union, with its aggressive policies threatening everyone.

I very much agree. Much that I hate agreeing with Stalin, he was right for once. Trotsky's policies would almost certainly lead to very strong Western intervention which the USSR couldn't survive at the time. As it turns out that would have been a great for the Russian people, not so great for the Communists.
 
Very, in that the Germans successfully arrange Pan-Western support for them to attack and destroy the Soviet Union, with its aggressive policies threatening everyone.
How would Hitler, who hatted France and in fact agreed to the MRP specifically to attack France with impunity get them to sign on to a military intervention that would be as costly as WW1? Why would France, who hated Germany and had strong Communist parties (which would grow under a USSR looking to an international revolution) agree to a military adventure that is sure to be wildly bloody when they couldn't be arsed to stop Hitler from openly breaking the treaty they signed? Why would England agree to spend blood and treasure when it was struggling to administer its empire and saw a powerful Germany as a direct threat to European peace agree to help make Germany much stronger? Why would the US abandon isolationism at the height of the Great Depression to invade a country it has no interest in at the behest of a country it was just at war with?

Certainly, Trotsky would have been provocative but not only would no one on Earth agree with Germany to fight them no one was in a position to do so. Like the USSR wasn't in the best position in event of Western invasion, but literally no one in the West had the resources to starts said invasion. Germany had just been forcibly demilitarized and had little in the way of war materials. France's people would revolt at the mere mention of a massive military adventure into Russia. So would England. The US was focused on far more important things.
 
I could see a scenario where Trotsky’s USSR attacks Nazi Germany before the latter launches Barbarossa. That could be bad given that Germany starting from a defensive position may make Germany seem more legitimate and better prepared to fight and also as mentioned Trotsky would likely not have industrialized the USSR as much as Stalin did. Expect a bloodier war on the eastern front and less guarantees the USSR will be a superpower in the aftermath.
 
How would Hitler, who hatted France and in fact agreed to the MRP specifically to attack France with impunity get them to sign on to a military intervention that would be as costly as WW1? Why would France, who hated Germany and had strong Communist parties (which would grow under a USSR looking to an international revolution) agree to a military adventure that is sure to be wildly bloody when they couldn't be arsed to stop Hitler from openly breaking the treaty they signed? Why would England agree to spend blood and treasure when it was struggling to administer its empire and saw a powerful Germany as a direct threat to European peace agree to help make Germany much stronger? Why would the US abandon isolationism at the height of the Great Depression to invade a country it has no interest in at the behest of a country it was just at war with?

Certainly, Trotsky would have been provocative but not only would no one on Earth agree with Germany to fight them no one was in a position to do so. Like the USSR wasn't in the best position in event of Western invasion, but literally no one in the West had the resources to starts said invasion. Germany had just been forcibly demilitarized and had little in the way of war materials. France's people would revolt at the mere mention of a massive military adventure into Russia. So would England. The US was focused on far more important things.

I don't agree with any of this for the most part, but in short, I said support not direct intervention: they could sell to the Germans the materials they need just as they had done for other factions.
 
I don't agree with any of this for the most part, but in short, I said support not direct intervention: they could sell to the Germans the materials they need just as they had done for other factions.
Ok, how does the French government especially sell the idea to its populace that they need to sell war materials to Germany, the nation that had just invaded them and they just fought the bloodiest war in history up to that point to ensure they would never again be a threat? On that note how would Germany be able to fight said war? They were in no condition to fight and would lose any sort of war against the Soviets. Like for sure Trotsky wouldn't enforce the level of industrialization that Stalin did, but it's not like Trotsky was foolish or incompetent. He would have pushed for an industrial program, and since he was also not a bloodthirsty tyrant likely wouldn't cause mass famine or kill most of his command staff to ensure his own power. Trotsky was also a very accomplished general and was all for total war efforts. Germany wouldn't have stood a chance. Their pool of manpower, their industrial capacity, and their own people wouldn't support any massive invasion. Hitler barely managed it after a massive build-up based on stolen industrial capacity and slave labor thanks to his invasions of most of the rest of Europe. Without that he simply wouldn't have the capacity for total war on the scale necessary to win against the Soviets.

This idea that Germany would be leading a broad coalition of the West against the Soviets because Trotsky would be just so bellicose and dangerous they'd support all efforts to remove him is just not reflective of the realities of the world at the time.
 
Ok, how does the French government especially sell the idea to its populace that they need to sell war materials to Germany, the nation that had just invaded them and they just fought the bloodiest war in history up to that point to ensure they would never again be a threat? On that note how would Germany be able to fight said war? They were in no condition to fight and would lose any sort of war against the Soviets. Like for sure Trotsky wouldn't enforce the level of industrialization that Stalin did, but it's not like Trotsky was foolish or incompetent. He would have pushed for an industrial program, and since he was also not a bloodthirsty tyrant likely wouldn't cause mass famine or kill most of his command staff to ensure his own power. Trotsky was also a very accomplished general and was all for total war efforts. Germany wouldn't have stood a chance. Their pool of manpower, their industrial capacity, and their own people wouldn't support any massive invasion. Hitler barely managed it after a massive build-up based on stolen industrial capacity and slave labor thanks to his invasions of most of the rest of Europe. Without that he simply wouldn't have the capacity for total war on the scale necessary to win against the Soviets.

This idea that Germany would be leading a broad coalition of the West against the Soviets because Trotsky would be just so bellicose and dangerous they'd support all efforts to remove him is just not reflective of the realities of the world at the time.

Because the French were the German's main trading partners before both world wars and this never agitated the population. Likewise, Germany could defeat the USSR the same way it almost did IOTL; by building itself up and then striking after that. The Germans don't need to loot if the Anglo-French are materially and financially supporting them.
 
Why do people have this bizarre image that Trotsky would suicidally seek to expand the Soviet Union at the tip of the bayonet or something? That's in fact the Stalinist propaganda that was levelled against Trotsky.
 
Because the French were the German's main trading partners before both world wars and this never agitated the population. Likewise, Germany could defeat the USSR the same way it almost did IOTL; by building itself up and then striking after that. The Germans don't need to loot if the Anglo-French are materially and financially supporting them.
Umm yes they do. Hitler's policies were financially ruinous for Germany and it was only thanks to stripping the wealth from their eventual murder victims and looting whole nations that they avoided a massive economic crash. Like let's assume for a second France and Britan do decide to support Germany, how much cash are they floating them? Because they have their own nations to look after and there's a massive worldwide depression happening. More than likely any support for Germany would have to come from independent banks, who are not going to float the number of loans Germany would need to build up as you suggest. They know Germany has no hope of paying that off anytime soon, especially if they're planning to start a massive war. Those tend to be pretty expensive. On top of that Germany is going to be importing a ton of raw materials since they can't take them from places like Norway or Sweden like they did in OTL. So now they're paying for massive amounts of raw materials.

If the idea is that the French and British would just give war materials to Germany, well then they're either getting second-hand guns that those nations no longer need, or they're getting stuff straight off the factory floor. Why would the French people support that? Like trade partners is one thing, but wholesale giving Germany weapons, in violation of the treat France itself wrote in order to support an invasion of Russia is not going to sit well with the French population. Like there are a shit ton of French communists and left-leaning French parties at this point in time. They're not about to support a government that is giving weapons to a nation that would turn right around and use them on France when they're done with Russia. Like that's not idle speculation, Hitler had dreamed about invading France and talked about it often. Especially with Trotsky in power given that he'd seek to fund and empower Communist groups around the world.
 

yourworstnightmare

Banned
Donor
He would end NEP much earlier, as he was one of the loudest opponents of it.

There is also the fact that the doctrine of Permanent Revolution sounds much scarier than Socialism in Once Country. Stalin used the pretense that the USSR did not seek to expand the revolution (which of course was just a convenient lie) to semi- normalize Soviet relations with other countries (some more than other). I think a USSR under Trotsky would be more isolationist since Trotsky really wasn't that interested in normalizing foreign relations.
 
A Trotsky run Soviet Union would be far more democratic in the 1920s because the central committee would remove him from power before 1927.
 
And why is that?

1) Doesn't play well with others.
2) New Party Member
3) Suspected of Bonapartism
4) Party equipped historically to deal with Bonapartism
5) Clear positional left analysis: pisses off the centrists, opportunists and rights
6) Left analyses weren't needed until workers got so pissed off that the started the Ural Siberian method themselves, in 1929, which leaves 8 years of Trotsky being off the chops
7) And the left analysis isn't going to solve the peasantry problem

So Leon is going to get the chop sometime through the 20s. Somewhat like reality.

yours,
Sam R.
 

Stenz

Monthly Donor
So Leon is going to get the chop sometime through the 20s. Somewhat like reality.

But if he survives to lead the USSR post-Lenin, that surely would assume he's built a power-base in said Party, a-la Stalin OTL? Therefore, the Party would be more disposed to allow his "Bonapartism" which would be viewed as more of a "hero of the Revolution" ATL?
 
But if he survives to lead the USSR post-Lenin, that surely would assume he's built a power-base in said Party, a-la Stalin OTL? Therefore, the Party would be more disposed to allow his "Bonapartism" which would be viewed as more of a "hero of the Revolution" ATL?

Notsky? It isn't very persuasive. A Notsky who doesn't run around alienating potential allies never ends up as floating ejectum after February looking for a serious party. Or, as far as a Notsky goes who is dedicated to a left line solidly, well there are events in Petrograd and with the Workers' Opposition that need explaining.

yours,
Sam R.
 

Stenz

Monthly Donor
Notsky? It isn't very persuasive. A Notsky who doesn't run around alienating potential allies never ends up as floating ejectum after February looking for a serious party. Or, as far as a Notsky goes who is dedicated to a left line solidly, well there are events in Petrograd and with the Workers' Opposition that need explaining.

yours,
Sam R.

Hardly, just an ATL where those that wavered in their support for Trotsky lump in behind him, or the opposition to Stalin manages to unify and Trotsky manages to come out on top later on.

Maybe it’s just a case of Lenin’s Testament getting published unaltered?
 
Trotsky was no less dedicated to state terror against "enemies of the revolution" than Stalin. Also, he opposed the NEP all along, whereas Stalin went along with it. (Stalin turned to all-out collectivization only after becoming General Secretary; it gave him a club to wield against the Right Opposition, which was associated with the NEP.)

The difference would have been in their relations with the Party. Here I think it may be useful to contrast Stalin with Hitler. Hitler had genuine personal charisma and oratorical skills. His Nazi henchmen were completely obedient to him; the Nazi rank and file adored him. He "purged" a few rivals and old enemies in 1933, but otherwise counted on (and got) the loyalty of the Party, the army, and the state. (To be sure, the Gestapo was there to suppress dissent; but the Gestapo was far smaller than the Soviet Cheka.) His personal hold on the nation was so strong that the Schwarz Kapelle dared not try to act against him till he had been discredited by the disaster of Stalingrad.

Stalin had no such personal political strengths. He built up power by exploiting his position as Party administrator for several years to fill the apparatus with followers. He eliminated his rivals in the Politburo by playing them against each other. Then when he had secured supreme power, he launched the Great Purge to liquidate anyone who was not completely loyal or had any independent political credit - i.e. the surviving "Old Bolsheviks".

Trotsky would have been more like Hitler. He had IIRC real oratorical skills and didn't feel the need to buy loyalty with favors. Nor did he view anyone with revolutionary credentials as a personal danger.

Therefore, no Great Purge.
 
Top