With that as a context, Trotsky provides an analysis of events from 1917 to 1918. Being a communist, the article is full of techno-babble worthy of a Star Trek script, which makes this a little challenging to follow and will always leave me somewhat in doubt as to whether or not I understand what it is that he thinks he understands, or at least that I understand the message that he intends for me to understand. Or maybe it is his intent that I misunderstand what it is that he understands. One can never quite be sure with communists.
In the beginning of this book, Trotsky discusses how the collapse of the czarist regime is accompanied by various middle class educated types being looked to for guidance by army units and soviets. The EB article, however, maintains that there was no real "middle class". Trotsky portrays his movement as being against that of "Bourgeois Liberalism", which I understand to be classic Liberalism, which is what we would label Reactionary Tea Party Conservatism today. As is clear from EB article, this never really ever got a foothold in Russia, so we have the classic leftist reaction against a fictitious hegemony that is supposedly ruling, but in fact never existed. The czarist regime's bureaucracy is denounced, while the educated middle class is deemed incompetent, and thus the only hope Trotsky sees remaining is leadership and authority coming from the oppressed serfs. As if the uneducated serfs might spontaneously produce a profound and workable concept of empire governance out of a vacuum.
So this work is just starting on my play list. I doubt that I can begin to grasp this period sensibly from one book. It remains a great wonder that a people who were utterly exasperated at universal slavery under a hereditary nobility should have embraced a promise of freedom, only to find themselves under a new system of universal slavery under a communist thugocracy. This thugocracy remained until recently when Russia finally embraced "Bourgeois Liberalism", not as BL was intended, but as the communist intellectuals misrepresented it. So let's listen to more of Trotsky's blathering.