Author Topic: Why is Lenin still praised?  (Read 1770 times)

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Offline The Test Card Girl

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Why is Lenin still praised?
« on: May 03, 2018, 11:10:46 PM »
He was just as brutal to opposition to communist rule and banned other parties when they dared not to support "the Revolution" (that's not democracy) but because he died early, he seems to have been let off easy.

Lenin seems to have acquired very little of the stink that Stalin did.

The more you know about Lenin, the more you learn about what a ruthless bastard he was. I wouldn't be remotely shocked if he had turned out to be just as bloody as Stalin was if he'd lived longer.

Molotov, who knew both of them, said that Lenin was more ruthless and murderous than Stalin.

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Why is Lenin still praised?
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2018, 10:41:50 PM »
This is just a guess, but I think what you said about him being just as bloody as Stalin if he'd lived longer holds the clue to why he's got a better reputation: Stalin was in power longer and thus was able to kill more.  According to Rummel's estimates, Lenin was responsible for the murder of 4 million, while Stalin was responsible for 62 million.  Had Lenin lived longer and killed more, and/or had he not been overshadowed by the tyrant who succeeded him, he would probably have a similar reputation in the West.  I think 75 years of a cult of personality also helped to gloss over his crimes.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

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Offline TimM

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Re: Why is Lenin still praised?
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2018, 11:41:09 AM »
I agree.  Lenin's crimes were eclipsed by those of Stalin. 

No doubt that if he'd lived longer, he would have racked up a body count just a bad as Stalin's.

Of course, there are deluded idiots out there who think Stalin was a swell guy, never mind the millions that died under his rule.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2018, 11:48:16 AM by TimM »
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Offline Превед

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Re: Why is Lenin still praised?
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2018, 12:02:27 PM »
I think Lenin was in the same league as Hitler. Ruthless and genocidal in their drive for an ideological goal. Stalin was not just ruthless, but despite his extremely high intelligence he was aimless, random and pathological in his quest to kill and destroy enemies and rule by fear. Do also remember that Lenin and Hitler hailed from the opposite ends of large imperial bureaucracies, with regard to the environment they were brought up in: Lenin from the upper end of the Table of Ranks and Hitler from the lower end. Stalin was not from the educated or petty bourgeoisie, he was from the real working class, from a tribal society and was way more Asiatic in outlook than the other two. He had just as much in common with Mao, the North Korean Kims and Pol Pot than with the chinovnik's sons Hitler and Lenin.

I am not saying that all Asians are barbaric, but human rights are something that developed in Europe, not in Asia. That is due to several influences, one being that populations and nations were smaller in Europe compared to the enormous civilisations in Asia, so the individual stood more out and was assigned more value in Europe compared to Asia.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2018, 12:08:28 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: Ивы и берёзы, 1843 / 1856)

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Why is Lenin still praised?
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2018, 01:54:41 PM »
Hitler believed in biological determinism, just as Lenin believed in historical determinism.  Lenin and Hitler actually had similar backgrounds.  Both were the sons of minor bureaucrats.  Neither ever seriously attempted to make a living by any means other than politics, and both were only really at home in a world where the pursuit of power by conspiracy, agitation and force was the chief object and satisfaction of existence.  But in that world both were masters.  They had the same intellectual egoism, lack of self-doubt, ruthlessness in personal relations, preference for force as opposed to discussion, and the ability to combine absolute fidelity to a long-term aim with skillful opportunism.  They even shared a certain puritanism: both had little personal vanity and were not corrupted by the more meretricious aspects of power. 
The Austrian racist theorist Lanz von Liebenfels, who developed a systematic program  of race-breeding and extermination "for the extirpation of the animal-man and the propagation of the higher new-man," claimed both Lenin and Hitler among his disciples, seeing an analogy between the extermination of classes "thrown into the dust-bin of history" and races eliminated by breeding programs, two forms of social Darwinism. 
Hitler, Lenin and Stalin were all superb practitioners of social engineering.  Both Hitler and Lenin had nothing but contempt for parliamentary democracy or any other aspect of liberalism.  I read somewhere that the October Revolution inspired Hitler to carry out the Beer Hall Putsch.  It was either Lenin or Trotsky that was the first European to use the term "concentration camp."  The word "exterminate" was also one that Lenin frequently used.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

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Offline Превед

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Re: Why is Lenin still praised?
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2018, 04:00:04 PM »
Hitler believed in biological determinism, just as Lenin believed in historical determinism.  Lenin and Hitler actually had similar backgrounds.  Both were the sons of minor bureaucrats.  Neither ever seriously attempted to make a living by any means other than politics, and both were only really at home in a world where the pursuit of power by conspiracy, agitation and force was the chief object and satisfaction of existence.  But in that world both were masters.  They had the same intellectual egoism, lack of self-doubt, ruthlessness in personal relations, preference for force as opposed to discussion, and the ability to combine absolute fidelity to a long-term aim with skillful opportunism.  They even shared a certain puritanism: both had little personal vanity and were not corrupted by the more meretricious aspects of power. 

A very good assessment, but some remarks:
- Neither Hitler's nor Lenin's fathers were minor bureaucrats. Ilya Ulyanov ended up in class IV, corresponding to a major-general. I'm not sure if Austria-Hungary had a complete, corresponding version of the Table of Ranks, but I read that Alois Hitler, as a senior customs official, held the rank equivalent to a captain (which would be class VII in the Russian Table of Ranks, which has 14 classes).

- I'd rather say that Hitler's personal vanity in terms of mass adulation was huge. But, like Lenin, he was also rather materially ascetic in his personal life. Hitler was no doubt much more emotional than Lenin, but could his vanity and need for adulation be due to different social backgrounds? Not only was Hitler's family complicated and abusive / scarring, whereas Lenin's was internally harmonious and supportive, but Hitler, despite his father's prominent social position, had never had Lenin's experience of being "the young lord" / "the master's son" on a landed estate with peasants bowing and scraping (and mocking him behind his back?). In that respect Lenin was more similar to the Romanovs themselves, cured of the desire of having the masses worship the earth he walked upon.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2018, 04:02:32 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: Ивы и берёзы, 1843 / 1856)

Offline Nictionary

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Re: Why is Lenin still praised?
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2018, 04:32:54 PM »
Quote
Neither Hitler's nor Lenin's fathers were minor bureaucrats. Ilya Ulyanov ended up in class IV, corresponding to a major-general. I'm not sure if Austria-Hungary had a complete, corresponding version of the Table of Ranks, but I read that Alois Hitler, as a senior customs official, held the rank equivalent to a captain (which would be class VII in the Russian Table of Ranks, which has 14 classes).

Forgive me, I totally forgot to take the historical context into account.  I was looking at them through a contemporary American mindset, where a school superintendent and a customs official would usually be considered minor bureaucrats.

Quote
Hitler's personal vanity in terms of mass adulation was huge. But, like Lenin, he was also rather materially ascetic in his personal life.

The latter is what I had in mind.  But you're right that in terms of mass adulation, Hitler and Lenin were totally different.  I think Lenin was less of a megalomaniac.
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

Albert Einstein

Offline Превед

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Re: Why is Lenin still praised?
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2018, 02:17:35 PM »
Glad we agree, Nictionary. Lol, the US is quite another world than Imperial Russia and Imperial Austria, which fetishized bureaucracy!

Not only was Hitler's family complicated and abusive / scarring, whereas Lenin's was internally harmonious and supportive, but Hitler, despite his father's prominent social position, had never had Lenin's experience of being "the young lord" / "the master's son" on a landed estate with peasants bowing and scraping (and mocking him behind his back?). In that respect Lenin was more similar to the Romanovs themselves, cured of the desire of having the masses worship the earth he walked upon.

Speaking of which, does anybody know if those peasants were Muslims? See this thread.
Берёзы севера мне милы,
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: Ивы и берёзы, 1843 / 1856)

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Why is Lenin still praised?
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2018, 03:47:15 PM »
Lenin was the man who seized power and set up the worlds first Communist state. He also started the Russian Civil War death toll 9-13 million with about 2 million people fleeing the country. It should be pointed out that in 1917-18 Lenin was often opposed by most or in some cases all of the other Bolshevik leaders in some of his decisions. There is a book "The Collected What If?" one chapter is No Finland Station which deals with what might have happened if Lenin had not made it back to Russia.  We would have had no Communisim, no Stalin and his mass murders, no WW II, No cold war ect.
 I do agree that some people give Lenin a free pass but if He had lived longer he would have racked up a body count about the same as Stalin's. I believe it was Trotsky who was the first Bolshevik official to recommend the use of concentration camps in 1918. This is from the book "The Russian Revolution " R Pipes
 Sometimes one wonders how Lenin pulled it off. I can say he was really lucky to have had some really inept enemies and allies.

Offline TimM

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Re: Why is Lenin still praised?
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2018, 11:36:47 AM »
I don't give Lenin a free pass.  Yes, he didn't kill as many as Stalin did, but he made it all happen to begin with.  That's all on him.
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