lenin impoverished and murdered his people

From Paul Johnson, in his book Modern Times:

We have to assume that what drove Lenin on to do what he did was a burning humanitarianism, akin to the love of the saints for God, for he had none of the customary blemishes of the politically ambitious: no vanity, no self-consciousness, no obvious relish for the exercise of authority. But his humanitarianism was a very abstract passion. It embraced humanity in general but he seems to have had little love for, or even interest in, humanity in particular. He saw the people with whom he dealt, his comrades, not as individuals but as receptacles for his ideas. On that basis, and on no other, they were judged. So he had no hierarchy of friendships; no friendships in fact, merely ideological alliances. He judged men not by their moral qualities but by their views, or rather the degree to which they accepted his. He bore no grudges. A man like Trotsky, whom he fought bitterly in the years before the Great War, and with whom he exchanged the vilest insults, was welcomed back with bland cordiality once he accepted Lenin’s viewpoint. Equally, no colleague, however close, could bank the smallest capital in Lenin’s heart…

While the last Tsars had executed an average of seventeen a year (for all crimes), by 1918-19 the Cheka was averaging 1,000 executions a month for political offences alone…

Many years later, Alexander Solzhenitsyn listed just a few of the groups who thus found themselves condemned to destruction as ‘insects’. They included ‘former zemstvo members, people in the Cooper movements, homeowners, high-school teachers, parish councils and choirs, priests, monks and nuns, Tolstoyan pacifists, officials of trade unions’ – soon all to be classified as ‘former people’…

Once Lenin had abolished the idea of personal guilt, and had started to ‘exterminate’ (a word he frequently employed) whole classes, merely on account of occupation or parentage, there was no limit to which this deadly principle might be carried…

On his return, Bernard Baruch asked him what Lenin’s Russia was like, and Steffens replied, ‘I have been over into the future – and it works! ‘ This was one of the earliest comments by a western liberal on the new kind of totalitarianism, and it set the pattern for much that was to come. What on earth can Steffens have seen? The whole object of Lenin’s ‘vanguard élite’ revolution was to speed up the industrialization of the country and thus the victory of the proletariat. Yet once Lenin took over the reverse happened. Before the war, Russian industrial production was increasing very fast: 62 per cent between 1900 and 1913. Until the end of 1916 at any rate it continued to expand in some directions. But once the peasants refused to hand over their 1917 harvest (to Lenin’s delight and profit) and food ceased to flow into the towns, the industrial workers, many of them born peasants, began to drift back to their native villages. Lenin’s revolution turned the drift into a stampede. Beginning in the winter of 1917-18, the population of Petrograd fell from 2.4 to 1.5 million; by 1920 it was a ghost town, having lost 71.5 per cent of its population; Moscow lost 44.5 per cent. The year Steffens ‘went over into the future’, the Russian industrial labour force had fallen to 76 per cent of its 1917 total, and the wastage was greatest among skilled workers. Production of iron ore and cast iron fell to only 1.6 and 2.4 per cent of their 1913 totals, and total output of manufactured goods, by 1920, was a mere 12.9 per cent of pre-war.

About christopher fisher

The blog is meant for educational/entertainment purposes. All material can be used and reproduced in any length for any purpose as long as I am cited as the source.
This entry was posted in Economics, Goverment, History. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to lenin impoverished and murdered his people

  1. Pingback: lenin the prohibitionist | reality is not optional

  2. So it’s not the “glorious revolution of the motherland”.

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