Lenin’s shadow is over us all

Lenin’s shadow is over us all, by Troy Bramston.

A century ago, the Bolshevik Red Guards stormed the Winter Palace and seized power in Russia. What followed was not the communist utopia promised by Vladimir Lenin but oppression, starv­ation and mass murder. This bloody legacy should finally be recognised by those on the left who continue to proclaim Lenin as a secular saint. …

Lenin sought to transpose the writings of Karl Marx into the world’s first communist state. When anybody has sought to implement this ideology, or a version of it, it has been coupled with the destruction of human rights, misery and death. Russia plunged into civil war and for the next 75 years, the people suffered.

The inconvenient truth for those who continue to propagate the myth of Marxist-Leninism is that its leaders empowered the state to subjugate and impoverish its own people. The short-lived reign of Lenin beget the regime of Stalin. It was under Lenin that the purges, the gulags and the murders began.

Echoes today in the left’s idea that it is OK to use political violence against its opponents and to suppress their speech:

As Victor Sebestyen writes in his superb Lenin the Dictator (Hachette), it would be mistaken to compare him to Stalin, Adolf Hitler or Mao Zedong. Lenin was idealistic, not sadistic. But he was also pragmatic. “He built a system based on the idea that political terror against opponents was justified for a greater end,” Sebestyen writes. “It was perfected by Stalin but the ideas were Lenin’s.” …

{lenin] was a mesmerising speaker who spouted a simplistic slogan: “Peace, bread and land.” This was a simple solution to complex problems but appealed to the Russian people, who were desperate for change. He told crowds they were being ignored, left behind and had no stake in their country’s future. Sound familiar?

“In many ways he was a thoroughly modern political phenomenon — the kind of demagogue familiar to us in Western democracies, as well as in dictatorships,” Sebestyen writes. “He promised people anything and everything … Lenin was the godfather of what commentators a century after his time call ‘post-truth politics’.”

hat-tip Stephen Neil