╌>

"Angel or antichrist’: Russia grapples with Lenin’s legacy 100 years after death

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  s  •  one month ago  •  41 comments

"Angel or antichrist’: Russia grapples with Lenin’s legacy 100 years after death

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Once the lodestar of international revolutionary movements, Lenin’s influence has waned in the century since his death as his role in creating conditions for the brutal Communist dictatorship that emerged from the 1917 Russian revolution became ever more stark.

“I’m still undecided about Lenin’s heritage and his inheritance in the sense of what it means today,” said Christopher Read, a professor of history at Warwick University, who has written a biography of Lenin as well as the new   Lenin Lives? , a review of his life and ideas. On the one hand, he said, the Chinese and other ruling Communist parties still trace their heritage back to Leninism. “But the idea that there’s a Leninist toolkit that radicals could reach into is probably inapplicable these days,” he added.

His international appeal in the west was strongest directly after the revolution until the events of 1956, when the brutality of his successor,   Joseph Stalin , was denounced by the then Soviet Communist party leader, Nikita Khrushchev.

“What attracted people to Leninism was basically his anti-imperialism – the Soviet Union for better or worse was the most solid starting point for any anti-imperialist movement at that time,” said Read. “That’s why so many intellectuals, certainly mistakenly, had the idea that somehow Stalin’s Russia in the 1930s was the great new civilisation.”

Lenin’s influence on modern politics may be most keenly felt in China, where his vision of the party-state led by an ideological vanguard has become a political reality.   Xi Jinping , the head of the Chinese Communist party, studied Marxist theory and ideological education at Tsinghua University from the late 1990s when he was a senior official in Fujian province. When he assumed power in 2012, he soon gave a speech to party officials in which he called on them to “practise core socialist values”, including Marxism-Leninism.

Not so in Russia, where Lenin has been roundly denounced and recast as a villain by Putin. In speeches dating back to 2016, Putin has blamed Lenin for appeasing nationalists and drawing faultlines into the Soviet system, creating national republics that would later have the right to secede from the Soviet Union.   “What was this if not a timebomb?”   he asked.

Lenin’s recognition that Ukrainians and Russians should live in different states, as well as his insistence that the industrial Donbas region remain in the Ukrainian republic, helped to bring Ukraine back into the fold after declaring independence in 1918,   noted Serhii Plokhy   , a professor of history at Harvard University. “But the price he paid for doing so seems excessive to present-day Russian opinion makers.”

In   Ukraine , the countless city squares and statues named for Lenin before 2014 were seen as a relic of Russian colonialism, and the country in 2015 launched a broad campaign of decommunisation, taking down thousands of monuments and renaming tens of thousands of streets and squares, and sometimes whole towns and villages.

The ubiquitous statues of Lenin were a particular target - more than 1,300 were removed by 2016. When crowds in the city of Kharkiv managed to pull down a statue of Lenin, the tallest in the world at 8.5 metres, the regional government was forced to backdate an order for its removal after believing the crowds could not topple the statue. They were proven wrong.

Putin, announcing the most important decision of his presidency, the launch of the full-scale   war in Ukraine , mentioned Lenin 11 times, as he angrily accused him of appeasing nationalists and of creating “Vladimir Lenin’s Ukraine”, which includes lands Russia has now occupied in the east and south.

“You want decommunisation?” Putin said angrily in a speech just days before he launched the invasion. “Very well, this suits us just fine. But why stop halfway? We are ready to show what real decommunisation would mean for Ukraine.”

Yet even for some among the pro-Kremlin conservatives fighting in Ukraine, there is a nostalgia for Lenin as a powerful historical figure.

“The centenary of Lenin’s passing is being hushed up because he remains extremely pertinent, because Lenin is here, Lenin is alive, Lenin is at the forefront of a new world reconstruction,” wrote Zakhar Prilepin, a pro-Kremlin writer and paramilitary leader. “Every thinking Russian is proud that we had Lenin, that we have Lenin.”




Tags

jrDiscussion - desc
[]
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
1  seeder  Sean Treacy    one month ago

It never ceases to amaze me how Lenin gets treated with kid gloves by left wingers and their media, despite his  being one of the monsters of the 20th century.  Tens of millions of people died because of him and his socialist policies.  Imagine a news outlet titling an article about Hitler, "angel or anti-christ?", as if its an open question. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2  TᵢG    one month ago

Lenin was obviously no angel.   His tactics were brutal and his leadership was based on lies.   Although I think he believed that he was operating for the greater good, that is no excuse for his acts.   

Of course Lenin, as bad as he was, does not compare in brutality (and arguably sheer evil) with his successor Stalin.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
2.1  seeder  Sean Treacy  replied to  TᵢG @2    one month ago
hough I think he believed that he was operating for the greater good

So has pretty much every monster who's ever lived. That's how fanatics justify doing horrible things. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  Sean Treacy @2.1    one month ago

I think many of the most tyrannical leaders were after their own personal glory and often in spite of the greater good.    The greater good for themselves, sure, but not the people.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2.1.2  JBB  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.1    one month ago

original

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
2.1.3  seeder  Sean Treacy  replied to  JBB @2.1.2    one month ago

Please keep your personal porn private.

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2.1.4  JBB  replied to  Sean Treacy @2.1.3    one month ago

original

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2.1.5  JohnRussell  replied to  JBB @2.1.4    one month ago

She didnt want to waste any time getting on her knees. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.1.6  Tessylo  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.5    one month ago

jrSmiley_91_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
2.1.7  seeder  Sean Treacy  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.1    one month ago
of the most tyrannical leaders were after their own personal glory and often in spite of the greater good.

Not really. They certainly equate the greater good with their personal advancement and believe themselves indispensable to their cause, but Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Cromwell, Caesar etc all believed they were acting for the greater good and that the importance of the ends they sought justified whatever means they deemed necessary. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.1.8  TᵢG  replied to  Sean Treacy @2.1.7    one month ago

It is not possible to know what these men truly believed or how they defined the greater good.

But we can observe their actions and get a hint.   For example, if Stalin believed he was operating for the greater good of the former Soviet Union people then he either had an exotic definition of 'greater good' or he believed the greater good that will come to the people will be realized far into the future.   During his reign, Stalin was a brutal dictator who worked his people to death, murdered his rivals, and pursued a path that increased his personal power, safety, and wealth.

In contrast, Lenin engaged in brutality (not even close to that of Stalin) but was working in the short term (and failing) to build what he that would be an ideal system.   He realized (shortly before his death) that his plan to leap into socialism was not going to work and that he had to go back to Marxist roots and first establish a mature industrial base.   

And let's look at another leader:  Saddam Hussein.   He of course might have had some exotic delusion that he was building a greater Iraq for the benefit of the people of Iraq.   But his regime was one of terror and exploitation.   He lived the life of a monarch with the nation's wealth providing palaces, king's guard, etc. while the Iraq people suffered.

Again, one can always claim that these leaders genuinely were trying to do right by the people of their nation, but their actions were typically in direct opposition to that.   They may have had the delusion that their actions would eventually be good for the people, but what we can observe (since nobody can know their true thoughts ... what they claimed in life should not simply be accepted as honest) suggests that their priorities were narcissistic rather than altruistic.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
2.1.9  seeder  Sean Treacy  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.8    one month ago
enin engaged in brutality (not even close to that of Stalin)

THe only distinction between the two regarding brutality  was the length of time they ruled.  Lenin's Red Terror was as brutal as as Stalin's purges.  Lenin embraced governmental terror, murder and starvation as weapons, much like Stalin. The whitewashing of Lenin is inconsistent with his actual record. 

 example, if Stalin believed he was operating for the greater good of the former Soviet Union people then he either had an exotic definition of 'greater good' or he believed the greater good that will come to the people will be realized far into the future

Stalin was a dedicated and obsessive Marxist. His brutality was justified in his mind as (1) necessary to protect a Marxist state from foreign  Capitalists (2) to rid the system of those tainted by imperialism , he wanted power to flow the young, those who grew up as New Soviet Men, with no connection to Capitalism or tsarism.  He was doing what Marxism taught him was necessary. 

ork and that he had to go back to Marxist roots and first establish a mature industrial base.   

Which Stalin also focused on doing. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.1.10  TᵢG  replied to  Sean Treacy @2.1.9    one month ago
THe only distinction between the two regarding brutality  was the length of time they ruled. 

You are comparing a period from 1917-1924 to one of 1924-1953.   A period of 6 years to one of 28 years.   A period of seizing power via revolution and securing that power vs. a period that would have allowed using that power for the greater good of the people.

The critical factor is still "doing right by the people".   Lenin's brutality was political;  he was seizing and maintaining power in a young regime.  Stalin, in direct contrast, surpassed the brutality of Lenin (e.g. the Great Purge, gulag camps, etc.) and then on top of that brutally exploited the people of the Soviet Union (killing millions by working them to death under poor conditions) to build his industrial base and, in particular, his war machine.

Stalin was a dedicated and obsessive Marxist. 

Stalin claimed Marxism.  It was propaganda.  Trotsky was a Marxist; his beliefs based on his writings were based on actual Marxism.  Stalin's views were nowhere near Trotsky's;  Stalin did not engage in any practices of Marxism.   Claiming to be a dedicated Marxist while violating its principles is known as "bullshit".    In particular, and this gets right back to the greater good for the people, a Marxist would have as their top long-term priority a system wherein the people democratically controlled the economy (and the nation).   Where powerful state authoritarians do not exist.   You can believe, if you want, that this was Stalin's goal but pretty much everything he did in his life suggests the opposite.

Which Stalin also focused on doing. 

For an entirely different purpose.   Stalin was building an industrial nation to empower the Soviet Union to empower himself as the authoritarian ruler.   Lenin's purpose (as best anyone can tell) was to try to achieve the idealistic goals of Marx (described above).

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.2  Vic Eldred  replied to  TᵢG @2    one month ago
Although I think he believed that he was operating for the greater good

That spirit has damned even democratic leaders as well. 

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
2.2.1  JBB  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2    one month ago

original

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.2.2  Vic Eldred  replied to  JBB @2.2.1    one month ago

It would be better if you could manage to debate issues.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
2.2.3  seeder  Sean Treacy  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2.2    one month ago

You can’t ask a dog to to do your taxes. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.2.4  TᵢG  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2    one month ago

What, specifically, are you referring to?

Your comment is so vague, it has no meaning other than to reflect a partisan viewpoint.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.2.5  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @2.2.1    one month ago

Hasn't the Biden WH been whining and crying about how the media has portrayed his Administration and some of its more disastrous policies?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.2.6  Texan1211  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2.2    one month ago
It would be better if you could manage to debate issues.

Some really need to learn that memes aren't debating.

Maybe that is all there is?

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
2.2.7  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  TᵢG @2.2.4    one month ago
What, specifically, are you referring to?

Discuss rather than posting memes ad nauseum. That should be obvious 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.2.8  Texan1211  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.2.7    one month ago
Discuss rather than posting memes ad nauseum. That should be obvious

That sure seemed obviously clear to me.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.2.10  TᵢG  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.2.7    one month ago

This seems to be a new game.   You, et. al. do not follow the thread and then just write whatever comes to mind.

This is the exchange:

TiG @2 ☞ Although I think he [ Lenin ] believed that he was operating for the greater good

ViC @2.2 ☞ That spirit has damned even democratic leaders as well. 

TiG @2.2.4 ☞ What, specifically, are you referring to?  Your comment is so vague, it has no meaning other than to reflect a partisan viewpoint.

You then offer this non sequitur nonsense:

JustJim @2.2.7 ☞ Discuss rather than posting memes ad nauseum. That should be obvious 

non-sequitur-fallacy-examples-1024x724.jpg

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.2.11  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @2.2.8    one month ago
That sure seemed obviously clear to me.

@2.2.10 applies to you too.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.2.12  Texan1211  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.2.7    one month ago
That should be obvious 

For some very strange reason, it is not obvious to all.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Professor Principal
2.2.13  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  TᵢG @2.2.10    one month ago

Looked at 2.2.2 instead of what you were referencing. exCUUUUUUUUUSE me.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.2.15  Vic Eldred  replied to  TᵢG @2.2.4    one month ago
What, specifically, are you referring to?

Don't you think liberals like LBJ meant well?

How did those reform Benevolent policies work out?  What did welfare accomplish?  The "war on poverty?"

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Participates
2.2.16  Greg Jones  replied to  TᵢG @2.2.4    one month ago

Probably referring to the Biden misadministration. Pointing that out to reality deniers is not necessarily partisan

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.2.17  Texan1211  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2    one month ago
That spirit has damned even democratic leaders as well. 

That comment may be too "cryptic" for all to get.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.2.18  TᵢG  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @2.2.13    one month ago

Thank you for being honest about that.   You are the first to do so.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.2.19  Vic Eldred  replied to  Texan1211 @2.2.17    one month ago

Amazing, isn't it?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.2.20  TᵢG  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2.15    one month ago
Don't you think liberals like LBJ meant well?

LBJ was a complicated man.   Let's look at the civil rights legislation.   One could argue that LBJ was trying to do right by the people with this legislation.  On the flip-side, one could argue that LBJ was engaging in a partisan master-stroke to secure the "black vote".   Personally, I suspect it is more the latter than the former.

Now, what do you think about JFK?   Do you think he was operating for the good of the people or that he had some sinister ulterior motive?   How about Carter?  Carter made all sorts of mistakes and had a miserable presidency.  Do you think he was trying to do right by the people?   I do.

And then we have Trump who you apparently believe is genuinely working for the people rather than for his own benefit.   Yet Trump is, to me, the best example of a self-serving narcissist of any PotUS in my lifetime (and before even).    I think that spirit has "damned" Trump more than any other example (R or D).

In general, most of our PotUS' (at least Coolidge forward) were trying to do what is best for the nation (regardless of their achieved success).   Some were focused more on party than nation (i.e. LBJ IMO), and two were focused more on themselves (Nixon and ... much more extreme ... Trump).

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.2.21  TᵢG  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2.19    one month ago

There is nothing amazing about a vague comment being vague.

If you want people to engage you thoughtfully, you need to offer comments with at least some level of specificity.   Otherwise the response can easily miss the point that you hold but did not communicate.

Note that you are engaging in an attempt to criticize me because I asked you:  "What, specifically, are you referring to?".   I did not presume, I asked you for clarification.   And that is a problem?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.2.22  TᵢG  replied to  Greg Jones @2.2.16    one month ago

Well his example (later) was LBJ so your guess might be incorrect.   I think he could have had quite a few Ds in mind.   Ergo my request for specificity.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.2.23  Vic Eldred  replied to  TᵢG @2.2.20    one month ago
 Let's look at the civil rights legislation. 

I deliberately didn't include Civil Rights. JFK fought for a Civil Rights Provision. Southern Democrats prevented that. That was something that strengthened what was already on the books. Not relevant to what I am talking about.


Now, what do you think about JFK?   Do you think he was operating for the good of the people or that he had some sinister ulterior motive?   How about Carter?  Carter made all sorts of mistakes and had a miserable presidency.  Do you think he was trying to do right by the people?   I do.

I think you are missing my point.  Have you ever heard of this expression:

"More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones". The quote is attributed to  Saint Teresa of Ávila

I'm not questioning their motives to do good. I'm questioning their naiveté about governing and the consequences that can flow from giving women with kids who were abandoned welfare. There wasn't much thought about what welfare would do to those families.


And then we have Trump who you apparently believe is genuinely working for the people rather than for his own benefit.   Yet Trump is, to me, the best example of a self-serving narcissist of any PotUS in my lifetime (and before even).    I think that spirit has "damned" Trump more than any other example (R or D).

He is a good example of the triumph of good over evil, but not to my point about benevolent dictators.

It is up there. I'm sure our readers get it.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.2.24  Texan1211  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2.23    one month ago
[deleted]
 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.2.25  TᵢG  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2.23    one month ago
I deliberately didn't include Civil Rights.

Well then you should now clearly understand why I asked for specificity.   Mentioning LBJ kind of brings Civil Rights with it. 

See how easy it is for someone to offer a response that does not directly align with what you had in mind but did not articulate?

I think you are missing my point. 

Well I am trying, Vic, but you have not actually stated a clear point.   And if you disagree, let me remind you what I have had to work with:

TiG @2 ☞ Although I think he [ Lenin ] believed that he was operating for the greater good

ViC @2.2 ☞ That spirit has damned even democratic leaders as well. 

TiG @2.2.4 ☞ What, specifically, are you referring to?  Your comment is so vague, it has no meaning other than to reflect a partisan viewpoint.

Vic@2.2.15 Don't you think liberals like LBJ meant well?  How did those reform Benevolent policies work out?  What did welfare accomplish?  The "war on poverty?"

I'm not questioning their motives to do good. I'm questioning their naiveté about governing and the consequences that can flow from giving women with kids who were abandoned welfare. There wasn't much thought about what welfare would do to those families.

Oh.   Well, see, the context prior to your first comment was on motives.   Specifically it was dealing with the notion that Lenin was operating for the greater good of the people even though he engaged in brutality as a means to the end.   So naturally I assumed your comment had something to do with that context.

So you want to talk about naiveté in governing.   You want to talk about unintended consequences.   And, I suppose, you want to argue that only Ds engage in naive governing with unintended consequences.   Right?

He [Trump] is a good example of the triumph of good over evil, but not to my point about benevolent dictators.

No reasoning with someone who holds that Trump is a triumph of good over evil in response to my argument that Trump is an example of a narcissistic leader vs an altruistic leader.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.2.26  Vic Eldred  replied to  TᵢG @2.2.25    one month ago
 Mentioning LBJ kind of brings Civil Rights with it. 

Only if you are a liberal.


And, I suppose, you want to argue that only Ds engage in naive governing with unintended consequences.   Right?

Well, TiG, the two parties have hardly been equal. The senior political party has a long dark legacy of slavery, socialism, paternalism and finally Marxism. They also play dirty, and control/embody the bureaucracy.


No reasoning with someone who holds that Trump is a triumph of good over evil 

Have a good day.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.2.27  TᵢG  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2.26    one month ago
Only if you are a liberal.

That is factually wrong.  What a stupid claim.

LBJ was the champion of both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  These were critical accomplishments in his legacy.   This is fact.   If only liberals can understand this fact (as you claim) then that speaks poorly for conservatives.

Well, TiG, the two parties have hardly been equal.

Not the point.   The two parties are never equal and neither is perfect.   That is why criticism of one party to the exclusion to the other shows an unhealthy partisan bias.   Partisan bias distorts clear thought and makes critical thinking impossible.   That leads to getting things wrong ... such as your opening declaration.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.2.28  Vic Eldred  replied to  TᵢG @2.2.27    one month ago
LBJ was the champion of both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 

He passed with Republican help what JFK could not. Do you remember what he said about it?


That is why criticism of one party to the exclusion to the other shows an unhealthy partisan bias. 

As you correctly said, the two parties are never equal. That much you got right. Congrats.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.2.29  TᵢG  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2.28    one month ago
He passed with Republican help what JFK could not. Do you remember what he said about it?

Absolutely.   That is why he is an example of a politician who was more concerned with power and party than for doing what was right for the American people:

TiG@2.2.20On the flip-side, one could argue that LBJ was engaging in a partisan master-stroke to secure the "black vote".   Personally, I suspect it is more the latter than the former.

Odd how I must constantly quote myself for some of a particular political persuasion to actually read my words.

As you correctly said, the two parties are never equal. That much you got right. Congrats.

A feeble exit.   Here is my full statement:

TiG@2.2.27The two parties are never equal and neither is perfect.   That is why criticism of one party to the exclusion to the other shows an unhealthy partisan bias.   Partisan bias distorts clear thought and makes critical thinking impossible.   That leads to getting things wrong ... such as your opening declaration.
 
 

Who is online

Just Jim NC TttH
Ed-NavDoc
JohnRussell
Ozzwald
Kavika
Outis
Eat The Press Do Not Read It


42 visitors