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Another declares “he has rejected the science of the world…he knows only one science, that of destruction”.
Or should we accept that an important question has been legitimately left open for further debate?
Or, perhaps most importantly, should we not bring Lenin back and note that the party Lenin built, its communist principles, its commitment to working class self-emancipation and dreams for the future, were the antidote to Russian terror?
This expounds the connection between Russian revolutionary “terror” against the monstrous Tsarist feudal state in the 19th century, Russian classical literature from the period and the state murder of Lenin’s older brother, Sasha (for planning to assassinate the Tsar).
Knowledge of these influences on Lenin is essential for understanding his formation as the 20th century’s greatest revolutionary. When its light shone it revealed the whole world, its history, its sorrows, its stupidities, its shams, and above all its wrongs.
And Lenin’s intervention with his “pamphlet to haul back the destructive ultra-leftism of the nascent Communist parties that sprang up in Europe inspired by the Bolsheviks’ victory, needed recognition.
The comparisons of the Russian Revolution with the Chinese Revolution will be rejected. It is a thoughtful and original way of introducing the man and some of his ideas to a new audience in the hostile environment that is the second decade of the 21st century.
Its first seven paragraphs concern psychology rather than political economy.
One begins, “the revolutionary is a lost man, he has…no cause of his own…absorbed by…a single passion—the revolution”.
Verso (2017), £16.99 Can we rescue Lenin for the 21st century?
In this the year of the centenary of the 1917 Russian Revolution we have to admit we are struggling. It’s the mummified Lenin presented in the Royal Academy and British Library exhibitions and Vladimir Putin’s Russia is officially ignoring both Lenin and the centenary.