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Rhetorical Analysis of The Speeches of Leon Trotsky

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Throughout European history, there has been countless wars and military struggles all over the continent. Some have been civil wars, while others were conflicts with another countries, but they all are part of Europe’s innumerable armed conflicts. In those situations, in times of war, true leaders have stepped up to represent their followers and fight for what they think is right. Many of them eventually became national heroes. Despite differences in methods and ideologies, these leaders ended up becoming symbols of their countries. In Moscow, Russia, on March 19th, 1918, a man called Leon Trotsky encouraged the people to form an army in order to overthrow the government. He passionately exclaimed, “Comrades! Our Soviet Socialist Republic needs a well-organized army”.

The speeches of Leon Trotsky will forever be remembered in the history of Russia. Trotsky made the best speeches that convinced many people to join his army during the civil war in Russia. His speech of ‘We need an army’ will be remembered by all Russians as that changed the course of history for the country, into following his views and ideologies such as Marxism and even further than that his own Trotskyism.

Leon Trotsky was born on November 7th of the year 1879. He was a Russian revolutionary, and a politician of the Soviet Union. He was known for his view on Marxism, also known as Trotskyism. In the Russian civil war he became a Commissar for War and he created the Red Army. He and his new army lived in an armored train. His speeches and manifestations caught the peoples’ minds and he finally brought up an army that could beat the Whites, their contrary side.

The purpose of Leon Trotsky in this speech is to bring more attention to the army that he is forming. Trotsky not only is asking for more people to join his army as it is seen her in the opening sentence,

“Comrades! Our Soviet Socialist Republic needs a well-organized army.” 

Here it is seen that he is asking for the soviet people to join him in his revolt to the power of the capital. Trotsky is also asking for his army to work for more time and harder to be able to overthrow the power of the capital, here he says,

“We shall work twice as hard, we shall harness ourselves together, we shall go forward along the road of labor discipline and creative work.” 

This shows that he needs everyone to work really hard to get to where he dreams the country should be. This speech is directed to the citizens of Russia. They are his audience. It is directed to them so that they can join in his army and fight towards a common goal, revolt against the powerful capital government of Russia.

The topic of the speech is about the power of the people. The power that Leon Trotsky generates with his speech and the message he gets through to the audience that its incentives the people to risk their lives for the ideals of this man and overthrow the government. That is what a person can do when using his voice, power and position. This was during a time of terror. Russia was having a crisis. There were revolts, the government was trying to keep power, but the people were revolting. This man, with other revolutionaries, all led to Russia changing and becoming a socialist country with more Marxist ideals. The context is during Russians civil war.

The main idea of this speech was to call for a change in government by leading an army of the people to take the present government away and start a more socialist government. Trotsky wanted a revolt and to get there he needed an army. He wanted to work with an army till they became very powerful to manage to win power over the government. Key points in this speech are the willingness to form an army, and that the army has to have discipline and work a lot. As seen throughout the whole speech, Leon is trying to convince the people to join him in an army to represent his ideals of Trotskyism. One example of this would be shown here,

“We need an army, which would give us powerful strength for the inevitable coming struggle with international imperialism. With the aid of this army we shall not only defend ourselves but shall be in a position to help the struggle of international proletariat.” 

This shows the need for an army. Trotsky uses very strong vocabulary to catch the readers’ attention to their need of an army. The army that is formed needs discipline and that is why Trotsky says,

“For proper organization of the army and, in particular for expedient utilization of the specialists, we need revolutionary discipline.” 

This shows that no matter how many people the army has recruited, they have to be disciplined, and organized in battles to follow instructions and win the war. Work is also very important in forming an army,

“We shall not be halted by any difficulties. It may be that, in order to bring our cause to triumph and accomplish our great tasks, we shall have for a time to word not eight hours but ten and twelve hours a day.” 

This part of the speech shows the audience how important it is to work hard for this to be a successful revolt against the government.

Pathos, ethos and logos are not very used in this speech. Although not, an example of pathos would be,

“For there can be no doubt that m the more international imperialism grabs and strangles, the more passionate and terrible will be the wrath of the European worker-soldier who, emerging from the trenches, will find at home, as the result of his inhuman sufferings, his family reduced to poverty and hunger, and his country in a state of economic collapse.”

This shows that even though international imperialism is not really strangling anyone, Leon perceives as though it is and that is his emotion towards the international imperialism, as if it were strangling the common people of the country.

There is no ethos because the Trotsky had no military experience before this, he had no experiences to share with the people. Logos is also not found in this speech as the author talks about the future if they revolt, yet, never mentions any facts. Leon Trotsky finally died on august 21st of the year 1940. He will forever be remembered in Russia for his revolutionary views and specially for his ideology of Trotskyism named after himself.

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Rhetorical Analysis Of The Speeches Of Leon Trotsky. (2021, October 25). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 19, 2022, from
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