“How did the Co…

“How did the Compromisers explain their conduct? One explanation had a doctrinaire character: Since the revolution is bourgeois, the socialists must not compromise themselves with the power–let the bourgeoisie answer for itself. This sounded very implacable.”–Leon Trotsky, from History of the Russian Revolution

Showing you all how not to write.  As we will explore in the course this fall (and wait!  I forgot!  Last day to enroll!), language like this is unclear and thus constitutes poor writing.  One author on our list says “the great enemy of clear language is insincerity.”  That might be part of it.

In any event, how can a revolution be “bourgeois”?  Perhaps its leaders were bourgeois–though Trotsky says elsewhere that the revolution’s leaders were the Bolshevik faction feeding the ideas to the masses, who are hardly middle class–but the revolution itself certainly cannot be described in such a fashion.

Moreover, the use of the word “implacable” makes Trotsky (and his translator) look just plain stupid.  It makes no sense in this context.  A person can be implacable.  So can an animal.  My own fat cat is often implacable.  But an explanation cannot be implacable.

Anyone still wonder why Soviet Russia didn’t work?

Again, this is not taught in schools.  Look at many of the writings that are read in schools–they take on just this same character!  And then we wonder why so many of the things we read don’t make a whole lot of sense?

You know what to do!

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