Vladimir Ilyich LENIN (1870 – 1924)

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Vladimir Ilyich LENIN (1870 – 1924)

V.I. Lenin / elcomercio.com

V.I. Lenin / elcomercio.com

While the present Spanish government is Stalinist in concept, and Leninist in its leaders’ outlook, it might be as well to examine the biography of Lenin, whose actual family name was Ulyanov. Vladimir was born at Simbirsk on the middle Volga in Russia, the son of a school inspector. When the young man was only sixteen he suffered the death of a brother, hanged for his complicity in a conspiracy to kill the Tzar of All the Russias.

It is more than certain that this provided Lenin with the traumas necessary to drive his natural leadership qualities into revolution. He studied Law as an external student at St. Petersburg University (there was naturally no money), while living a restricted life in a place called Samara, at least one thousand miles from St. Petersburg. Here he read Karl Marx, was in contact with political exiles, got arrested, escaped the death sentence, and spent three years in Sibera.

Lenin left Russia in 1900 and went to live in Germany for a while, before moving to Paris, Brussels and finally London. By now he was publishing political pamphlets of a fiery nature, and his name as editor was becoming known. The pamphlets carried a penetrating analysis of what must be called a ‘post-Marx’ socialism. He published a newspaper called Iskra (the Spark) and was recognised as leader of the militant wing of the Russian Social Democrats, better known as The Bolsheviks, from 1903. He returned to Russia in November 1905, and for three months incited the resistance of workers in St. Petersburg, but he was ‘persuaded’ to leave Russia again and went abroad in 1906.

By 1914 Lenin was living in Switzerland. Others fomented the Russian Revolution, but by March 1917 Lenin had returned to Petrograd, travelling through Germany in a specially protected train provided by the German General Staff. The Germans (who must therefore bear the blame) were counting on Lenin to spread disaffection and revolt among Russian soldiers. This he certainly did. Lenin remained in Petrograd from April to July 1917, when he helped organise a Bolshevik revolt and coup d’état, which failed. He fled to Finland, yet another European country which accepted this cuckoo with open arms.

But he was back in Russia by October, where, from his headquarters in the Smolny Institute, he led the popular rising that captured the government offices (6 November). Lenin became the Head of the Government, called the ‘Council of People’s Commissars’. It was he who carried out a major ‘distribution of land’, and nationalization of banks and property, rather in the present day style of the ape Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, who might have learned his mode of governing at Lenin’s knee. Lenin alsao arranged for an armistice to be declared between Russia and the Central Powers (Germany etc.), and in March 1918 he authorized the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.

After this, the very model of modern Socialism was first engendered, when Lenin’s attempt to achieve a communist economic revolution while at the same time waging a civil war and killing thousands, led to the almost complete collapse of the Russian economy by 1920. In March 1921 he was in effect forced to adopt ‘The New Economic Policy’ which actually represented a retreat from ‘War Communism’. Lenin’s health was drastically affected in 1923 by an attempt on his life by a fellow communist. He died in January 1924. The great Russian city of Petrograd was re-named Leningrad in his honour only five days after his demise.

Dean Swift

By | 2011-02-03T17:04:57+00:00 February 3rd, 2011|Russian history, World History|0 Comments

About the Author:

‘Dean Swift’ is a pen name: the author has been a soldier; he has worked in sales, TV, the making of films, as a teacher of English and history and a journalist. He is married with three grown-up children. They live in Spain.

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