Attitude to Religion and
to the Evsektsia
IN CHAPTER 2, which dealt with Trotsky's Jewish background, his religious upbringing was discussed. After his early teens he was no longer concerned with religious matters, considering these to be a distraction from the real social issue: the class struggle. In this he followed the orthodox Marxist line. On reading Darwin's works while still a youth, he was converted to atheism, coming to the conclusion that socialism and religion are mutually exclusive. In a speech he made years later, he said: "This was understood by such a counterrevolutionary (according to his political sympathies) but deep-sighted psychologist as Dostoyevsky, who said: 'Atheism is unthinkable without socialism, and socialism, without atheism. Religion negates not only atheism, but also socialism.'"1
Unlike Marx, Trotsky felt--at least ostensibly--free of any religious qualms. Marx's diatribes against Judaism and Jews were almost certainly due in part to his peculiar position as a convert. His wild reactions were presumably made to cover up psychological embarrassments caused by his Jewish origin. (This peculiar status of converts also explains the ambiguous attitude of both Heine and Disraeli, inasmuch as some of their utterances combine praise as well as criticism of their ancestry.) 2 Not being a convert, Trotsky
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Publication information: Book title: Trotsky and the Jews. Contributors: Joseph Nedava - Author. Publisher: Jewish Publication Society of America. Place of publication: Philadelphia. Publication year: 1972. Page number: 100.
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