Leon Trotsky’s remarkable work Problems of Everyday Life
28 September 2011
Mehring Books is pleased to make available to readers of the World Socialist Web Site Problems of Everyday Life by Leon Trotsky.
This is a truly remarkable work. Two thirds of its nearly 40 pieces were published in 1923 and 1924, significant years in the struggle against the emerging Stalinist bureaucracy. Trotsky identified a “monstrous” spiritual and cultural backwardness as a chief obstacle to the laying of socialist foundations in the Soviet Union and took up a determined struggle against it.
The volume of essays and speeches, living up to its title, addresses a wide variety of issues, from family and personal relations to science and the curve of capitalist development. “Not by politics alone,” “Vodka, the church, and the cinema,” “The family and ceremony,” “Attention to trifles!,” “Alas, we are not accurate enough!,” “Don’t spread yourself too thin,” “The newspaper and its readers,” and the unforgettable “A few words on how to raise a human being”—the titles of certain essays alone convey the concreteness and humanity of Trotsky’s approach.
“We take people as they have been made by nature,” he writes in a typical passage, concerned with cultural development and the cinema in particular, “and as they have been in part educated and in part distorted by the old order. We seek a point of support in this vital human material.... The longing for amusement, distraction, sight-seeing, and laughter is the most legitimate desire of human nature.”
No one has yet surpassed Trotsky in examining these issues and shedding light from a socialist point of view on the most intimate and intricate human problems. This is an indispensable work. Click here to order.
Title: Problems of Everyday Life
Author: Leon Trotsky
Publisher: Pathfinder Press