Insurrection Through the Eyes of Trotsky and Maccabeus


The October Revolution of 1917 witnessed the politically violent overthrow of Czarist Russian government (Corney 2004). There were many key events, but among them were several abuses of power, including political use of force by the state to suppress basic human rights. These manifested in an pivotal event called Bloody Sunday (Gapon and Vasimov 1905). Several political exiles and Marxist intellectuals, in this revolution, including Leon Trotsky (McCalden), returned to Russia to participate in the revolution which succeed in overthrowing the czars and establishing the political state of the Soviet Union. Many of the elements of the Russian Insurrection are written in a essay written by Leon Trosky under the same title of Insurrection.

In another time and place, around a 165-170 years before the birth of Christ, the Jewish people inhabited the land of Judea but, were occupied by Hellenist Greeks who, unlike Alexander before them, were intent on changing the culture, to the point of imposition against the Jews (Eordaea 2012). They polluted their temple with pagan worship (Frojimovics and Komoroczy 1999) and brought strange customs and practices like the Gymnasium (Unknown 1 Maccabees 1:14 135 B.C.)— which were naked sports to the circumcised Jews. The capitol of Jerusalem was captured by Antiochus’s Seleucid armies and as an insult to the Jewish homeland, its name was changed to Antioch (Unknown 2 maccabees 4:9 135 B.C.). Much of the story of the Hasmodean Revolt of the Jews is told in Judeo-christian scripture in the book of Maccabees.

Comparative Analysis. Trotsky and his Marxist revolutionaries view their struggle through the lens of class in the examination of the Russian Revolution. Trotsky points out that his insurrection involves the up rise of the preliterate and the use of the middle-class against an upper class to overturn the social fabric. In order to be successful in their revolution, it must encompass a complete social upheaval which Trotsky advocates as a unique attribute to this brand of revolution.

When examining the Maccabean Revolt, the Hasmodian Jews are revolting against and external oppressor to liberate their people from the abuses of statist power. Their cause is seen through a religious lens—almost as a freedom fighters. The primary conflict in the Book of Maccabees deals with the Jews who are Hellenized and their Selecucid rulers and the emergence of insurgence of the Hasmodian Jews against this occupation.

The similarities between these two revolutions are that the common man takes control of their destinies through political violence against perceived oppression. Marxism was sold to the Russian people as a democratic concept when in actuality, its implementation was an oligarchic standard. For the Maccabees, while their temple was restored after being defiled, the priest class, the Jewish Oligarchs of their day, ruled Judea for a time until their defeat by the Romans around 80 years before the common era began. Another similarity is the sourcing of the documents regarding insurrection. Both are written accounts of through the eyes of the political victor. With this perspective there are usually some embellishments or obfuscations of the true historical record.

Their differences are the Russian revolution was designed to alter the political fabric of Russia to a Leninist political ideology while the Maccabeean Revolt focused on restoring the cultural integrity of the Jewish people from Hellenization. Another difference was the use of political violence where the Jews were using it to expel an enemy of state and the political tools of violence were thrown against the Russian people who were politically opposed to the imposition of Marxists. Another difference was the terms of scale in which this violence was conducted. The Russian Revolution and its after-effects led to the death and destruction of millions of people in the 20th century and the removal of their political freedoms, rather than the protections of them by the state, and the Maccabeean Revolt resulted in the death of many thousands of Greek non-Jewish Selecids who were in a period of decline.


Arguing from a political bias that the state exists to protect the human rights of its citizens, the lack of pluralistic tolerance exercised by the Seleucids became a terminal point of failure when they attempted to impose their Hellenistic culture on the Jewish people. This is supported by other historical evidence, and while not an exhaustive or complete list, it includes the U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the Russian and British occupations of Afghanistan almost a century earlier. Furthermore, while the initial aspects of the Russian revolution were successful in overthrowing the social fabric and czarist governments, and using the preliterate to achieve the political goals of instituting a Marxist oligarchy, the state’s ignorance of human rights resulted in the death of millions in the Ukraine through mass starvation and other Satellite conflicts through out the latter half of the 20th Century. Furthermore, evidence of Marxist ideologies have infused Political Islam with virulent strands of revolution that continue to allow the Islamic states, politely called the Arab Spring of 2009-Present, to oppress basic human rights forcing Western countries to spend trillions of dollars, pounds, francs and euros, on security— changing much of the social fabric of the world. Evidence of this includes the molestation of babies and nuns at airport security check points in the U.S., and the fiscal insolvency of socialist systems— similar to Marxism in economics. In France, Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy violent revolution wasn’t the causation of their political process but, the implementation of popular vote where the  these masses believed they could vote themselves rich. Lastly, for each of  politically violent events, there was opportunity perceived by the masses which lead to the revolt. This popularization was misappropriated by the Russians in replacing the czars with the soviet political apparatus and with the Jews by instituting social institutions which failed to stand up to invasion until the Diaspora, around 70AD. This shift moved the temple and the centre of Jewish life away from temple life and toward the family. It allowed the Jewish people to remain culturally intact for another 1900 years which is unseen almost any-place else in human history.


Corney, Frederick C. 2004. Telling October: Memoir and the making of the bolshevik revolution: Cornell University Press.

Eordaea. 2012. Hellenistic period in judea and the hasmonean revolt. Jerusalem, Israel: Youtube.

Frojimovics, Kinga and Geza Komoroczy. 1999. Hanukkah. In Jewish Budapest: Monuments, rites, history:183. New York: Central European University Press.

Gapon, Geregorii and Ivan Vasimov. 1905. Petition prepared for presentation to Nicholas II January 09, 1905: Documents in Russian History Wiki.

McCalden, David. Leon trotsky. In The Holocaust Historiography Project.

Unknown. 135 B.C. 1 maccabees 1:14. In 1 maccabees.

________. 135 B.C. 2 maccabees 4:9. In 2 maccabees.


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