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Will History Ever be Kind to Lenin?

Discussion in 'Politics Forum' started by Trotsky, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. Trotsky


    This is a topic that popped into my mind yesterday while reading The Economist. They had a piece documenting the anniversary of "the world's most fateful railway journey," Lenin's train ride into Petrograd from Switzerland, and how the decision not to bar him from entry was the fateful decision that killed millions. Thereafter, the commenters unanimously swarmed on Lenin as being the mass murderer psychopath who "was more cruel than Stalin."

    While I understand that history is written by the victors, the demonization of Vladimir Lenin has always been particularly troubling to me, not simply because he is someone who I do admire, but because his narrative is very similar to those of many celebrated Western figures. Tens of thousands died at Lenin's hands, but did so as an extension of the--at times selfless and self-sacrificial--efforts by Lenin to liberate oppressed people. More than a million died because of Abraham Lincoln's decision to march on the South to free slaves. 10,000 died because of Washington and co's decision to resist British imperialism. Thousands of Japanese Americans were brutalized by FDR as an attempt to safeguard the American citizenry, yet those who died in Lenin's revolutionary undertakings are seen, not as the tragic collateral damage of a virtuous cause, but as the act of a mass murderer.

    Subsequently, some of the world's most vulnerable and starved states took up Marxist-Leninism and have mustered underwhelming-to-horrific results and the Soviet Union destroyed many millions of lives. Will there ever be a time when socialism/socialist variants take sufficient root to cast Lenin as a hero, or will he always be a villain?

    What say you?
    Wharf Rat and Contender like this.