Re: [xmca] Vygotsky and Trotsky (question)

From: David Kellogg <vaughndogblack who-is-at>
Date: Tue Nov 11 2008 - 14:50:48 PST

Dear Achilles:
I think everybody is right all around. The problem is that Vygotsky was not a party member, and the Bolshevik Party tended to keep its disagreements to itself until fairly late. Remember that although Pedagogical Psychology was publishedi n 1926, most of it was written earlier for teaching purposes.
By 1926, Lenin was dead, and Trotsky was already in opposition. Stalin, however, was not well known outside the party; he'd been not particularly distinguished editor of Pravda, and written (with Lenin's help) a book on the nationalities question, but that was about it.
Trotsky, on the other hand, was extremely well known as the man who had led the first unsuccessful Soviet in 1905, written prolifically on art, literature, science, and the history he had helped to make. Popularly, he was the man perceived to have almost single-handedly created the Red Army and saved the USSR during the civil war. He was the obvious person to quote, particularly if you were Jewish, kind of intellectual, and inclinded to cross-disciplinary intellectual interests.
 I think the real affinity between Trotsky and Vygotsky (and even more, between Trotsky and Luria) is to be found a little deeper. It's not something that he would have left on the surface, and even if he had, it would have been expunged for obvious reasons.
Nevertheless, it's really there, particularly in the idea of permanent revolution, where development consists not of the Stalin like mechanical replication of stages, but in the Trotsky like compression of stages, where "the first shall be last" and the "rock that was despised by the builders shall be the cornerstone".
David Kellogg
Seoul National University of Education

--- On Tue, 11/11/08, Achilles Delari Junior <> wrote:

From: Achilles Delari Junior <>
Subject: [xmca] Vygotsky and Trotsky (question)
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <>
Date: Tuesday, November 11, 2008, 2:39 PM


It´s only a simple question,

Alex Kozulin (1990, Vygotsky: a biography of ideas) in his chapter about
"Pedagogical Psychology", see this book almost like a non-vygotskyan
I will not touch the problem of pavlovian trends of Vygotsky at this time.
But, about Trotsky, Kozulin think that Vygotsky quotes him only as a political
mean to be accepted in official marxist scene of the time, and nothing really
conceptually relevant. But, I had asked for myself, since 1994 when I have
read Kozulin excellent book: why then Trotsky? Why not Lenin or Stalin him-
self. Is not Pedagogical psychology a book published at 1926? Tom Bottomore
said that since 1923, Trotsky was leading opposition movements against so-
viet bureaucracy, what culminate with his expulsion from USSR in 1929 by
Stalin. Many years after read Kozulin's book, Vygostky's Pedagogical
logy was published in Portuguese... I don't know exactly what happens after
with his political trends, but I feel that his quotations seems to be not so
artificial, nor conveniently "official".

What do you think about?

Thank you, very much. It's only to share a simple historical doubt.

Best wishes.

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