November 7, 1917 If we are not careful, this is where those without talent or foresight are taking us.

Lenin in July 1920

The Face of Evil…. Lenin in July 1920

Vladimir Lenin (born Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, 1870–1924) was a Russian communist revolutionary, politician and political theorist. He was the first head of government of the Soviet Union, which under his administration became a one-party state governed by the Communist Party. Ideologically a Marxist, he developed political theories known as Leninism. After the 1917 February Revolution ousted the Tsar, he played a leading role in the 7 November 1917 insurrection commonly known as the October Revolution, in which the Bolsheviks overthrew the new regime. Lenin’s administration redistributed land among the peasantry and nationalized banks and large-scale industry. It withdrew from the First World War by signing a treaty with the Central Powers, and promoted world revolution through the Communist International. Widely considered one of the most influential figures of the 20th century, Lenin is viewed by supporters as a champion of socialism and the working class, while critics on both the left and right emphasize his role as founder and leader of an authoritarian regime responsible for political repression and mass killings.

His administration defeated right and left-wing anti-Bolshevik armies in the Russian Civil War from 1917 to 1922 and oversaw the Polish–Soviet War of 1919–1921. Responding to wartime devastation, famine, and popular uprisings, in 1921 Lenin encouraged economic growth through the market-orientated New Economic Policy. Several non-Russian nations secured independence after 1917, but three re-united with Russia through the formation of the Soviet Union in 1922. In increasingly poor health, Lenin expressed opposition to the growing power of his successor, Joseph Stalin, before dying at his dacha in Gorki.

Lenin was a devout Marxist, and believed that his interpretation of Marxism – first termed “Leninism” by Martov in 1904 – was the sole authentic and orthodox one. According to his Marxist perspective, humanity would eventually reach pure communism, becoming a stateless, classless, egalitarian society of workers who were free from exploitation and alienation, controlled their own destiny, and abided by the rule “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs“. According to Volkogonov, Lenin “deeply and sincerely” believed that the path he was setting Russia on would ultimately lead to the establishment of this communist society.

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