Happy 100th Birthday, Bolshevik SCUM!

Discussion in 'Grandpa's Basement' started by il ragno, Nov 25, 2017.

  1. il ragno Proud American Deplorable

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    Below is Derbyshire's squib on the commemoration; above is a reminder to the far-left shitstains who enjoy the no-blowback thrill of calling Russians scum of just who they would never dare to impugn, on paper and in public.

    Comsymps wallow in nostalgia.

    The centenary of Lenin's Bolshevik revolution in Russia, November 7th, passed off without much commemorative commentary. Considering it was the most important event of the 20th century, and an inspiration for several of the other big events — for the rises of Hitler and Mao Tse-tung, for example; they both copied Lenin's model of party organization — considering its huge importance, the neglect of the centenary is mildly surprising.

    I grew up in the years after WW2 hearing very little about the Russian revolution. By the time I started taking an interest in such things, in my late teens, I had fallen in with a crowd of young socialists who vaguely regarded Stalin as having gone a bit too far in some respects, but who admired Lenin for having overthrown a reactionary monarchy, and who looked on Stalin's successors as reasonable progressives sometimes goaded into error by American belligerence.

    Later, after some reading and traveling, I got a fuller picture. The idea that Stalin had distorted, or even betrayed, Lenin's worthy revolution, was a fable put about by Trotsky and his followers: Lenin was every bit as cruel and ruthless as Stalin.

    Bertrand Russell, whose political sympathies were leftist-progressive, was granted an interview with Lenin in 1920. Russell recorded his impression thus:

    The Tsarist Russia that Lenin overthrew, on the other hand, was making good social and commercial progress until it got bogged down in WW1. Nikita Khrushchev was a skilled young factory worker at that time — skilled enough to be exempt from military service. In his memoirs he wrote about owning a motorbike — quite a middle-class accoutrement in early 20th-century Europe. A factory worker in the Soviet Union of fifty years later, when Khrushchev was in charge of the show, would have thought well of himself for owning a motorbike.

    Tsarist Russia was fast transforming itself into a modern, fairly open state. Lenin and Stalin were monsters; their revolution was a long step backwards into oriental despotism; the post-Stalin USSR was an authoritarian slum in which, as the Russians themselves used to quip, "the factory pretends to pay us and we pretend to work."

    The road to that dismal point had passed through mass killings of harmless people, mass conscripton into slave labor, and dreadful artificial famines.

    All this is well-documented and not hard to find out. It is in fact better documented than it used to be. After the USSR fell apart in 1991, Soviet archives were for a time made available, and confirmed all the worst of emigres' and survivors' stories.

    It's therefore astonishing that you can still find — easily find — well-spoken, well-educated people with kind words for Lenin and his revolution; people who still believe the things that my little circle of provincial English Young Socialists believed fifty-plus years ago. The New York Times has been running a series of commemorative articles telling us that while no doubt mistakes were made, we should appreciate the upside of Soviet power.

    For the other side — the side of truth — if you have ten minutes to spare, I recommend the article on Lenin by my colleague Anatoly Karlin in The Unz Review, November 7th, title "The Real Lenin: Traitor, Parasite, Failure." And yes: the true believers are there in the comment thread: still with us, always with us.

    John Derbyshire
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  2. il ragno Proud American Deplorable

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    Speaking of which.....


    The Real Lenin: Traitor, Parasite, Failure

    There is a general consensus that Stalin was a sadistic tyrant. But the ghost of his predecessor remains “handshakeworthy” on the left hand side of the political spectrum. The SWPLy bobos of Seattle, who would not have been long for the Communist world, erected a statue to him in the city center. The New York Times “celebrated” the centenary of the Russian Revolution with odes to the Bolsheviks’ progressivism on the environment, sex, and race (not that Terell J. Starr with his strange ideas of how the USSR “centered the Russian slav” would appreciate it).

    Westerners, at least, have a good excuse for subscribing to the self-serving Trotskyite belief that Stalin “betrayed” Lenin’s revolution – after all, the bacillus that Germany unleashed upon Russia during its moment of weakness and disarray did more than anyone else to derail De Tocqueville’s prophesy and ensure that the 20th century would be an exclusively American one.

    And yet, as of the centenary of Red October, 56% of Russians – up from 40% in 2006 – maintained a positive view of the grandfather of this dismal experiment. To this day, Lenin’s pyramid-like tomb occupies the center of Moscow, the heart of Russia, as if he was a Pharaoh of old – though perhaps that is ironically appropriate, in light of his zealous drive to drag Russia into the Communist future instead depositing it in a world with the ethical norms of the 3rd millennium BC.

    There is thus no better and no more urgent time to consign the “Communist fable of a Lenin supposedly gentler than Stalin” (as Stephen Kotkin put it) to its well-deserved place in the dustbin of history.

    Who was Lenin?

    The brother of a terrorist. In the totalitarian state that he built, which operated by blood guilt, this would have been as good as a death sentence. Fortunately for Lenin, he lived in the Russian Empire, not the USSR.

    Lenin’s “administrative exile” to Siberia – a rite of passage for Russian revolutionaries – might as well have been a holiday. He brought along his mother, wife, and even hired a maid to keep house (how bourgeois). He whiled away his time in Siberia fishing, hunting, and corresponding with other revolutionaries. Needless to say, consequent Siberian vacations would not be near as fun for the 3,777,380 people convicted under the Soviet “counter-revolutionary” articles implemented under Lenin and his successors from 1921-53.

    A student who never finished university, a lawyer who never plied his trade. After Siberia, he would spend most of the next seventeen years in European exile, writing articles for low-circulation journals that alternated between rehashing Marx and Engels, engaging in disputes with fellow Marxists who were famous in narrow circles, and penning bromides against “reactionary” Russia from the comfort of London and Geneva, much like latter day liberal Bolsheviks such as Garry Karparov and Ilya Ponomarev today.

    Supported and inspired terrorist attacks on Russian police and state bureaucrats. Around 4,500 Tsarist officials were murdered just in 1905-1907. Bolshevik propaganda about “Bloody Nikolashka” aside, only around 6,321 people were executed for all offenses (including purely criminal ones, like murder) in the Russian Empire from 1825-1917. The Red Terror that Lenin would unleash in response to the assassination of just one Bolshevik functionary would claim two orders of magnitude more lives.

    Zealotry aside, Lenin wouldn’t be Lenin without a side dish in treason.

    Supported Japan in the Russo-Japanese at the 3rd Congress of the RSDRP.

    From an article in January 1905:

    On the outbreak of World War I, Lenin happened to be in Krakow, where he was arrested by the Austro-Hungarian authorities as an “enemy alien.” Fortunately, an Austrian socialist leader was there to vouch for him, assuring them that he was no spy, but a “bitter enemy” of Russia and a proponent of Ukrainian separatism. He was dispatched to Switzerland in early September, where he would continue scribbling away.

    Letter to Shlyapnikov, 1914:

    Article in “Social Democrat,” March 1915:

    Article in “Social Democrat”, November 1916:

    Letter to Suvarin, December 1916:

    But he was growing despondent: In January 1917, he told a socialist gathering that “we old-timers may not live to see the decisive battles of the coming revolution.”

    Fortunately for Lenin, he got a big break with the February Revolution, the elite led coup against the Tsarist regime. Soon after, the Germans arranged for him, along with other Bolshevik activists, to be transported to Russia in a “sealed train” (actually sealed in propaganda only; in practice, there were plenty of stop-overs). It is worth noting that the guy who arranged this, the German Communist Fritz Platten, also tried to enlist Socialist Revolutionary exiles for the purpose of destabilizing Russian. To their credit, none of them accepted, not wishing to be associated with Lenin’s overt treason.

    Once he was in Russia, Lenin began to implement his program of “revolutionary defeatism.” First proposed at the Zimmerwald Peace Conference in 1915, publication of the doctrine was squashed by the German Foreign Office, on the fear that its contents would let the Okhrana justify mass arrests of Russian socialists. This didn’t sway Lenin from repeating it in his April Theses, whose slogan “down with the war” and call for the abolition of the Russian Army was so radical than even the Bolsheviks’ newspaper, Pravda, initially refused to print it.

    All this was sustained in large part thanks to German money. In 1917, a grand total of around 50 million gold marks were transferred to Lenin’s party in Petrograd (this translates to an amzing $1 billion in today’s currency). This helped fund the Bolshevik printing presses, and there are numerous accounts of money being handed out for protests against the Provisional Government throughout 1917 (all standard features of modern color revolutions). This was all done with the firm knowledge that the Bolsheviks served the interests of Germany. Parvus, aka Israel Gelfand, said in a meeting with the German ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in 1915, “The interests of the German Imperial Government are identical with those of the Russian revolutionaries.” The second key intermediary, Alexander Kesküla, was a one-time socialist who had become a hardcore Estonian nationalist; his motivations for working with Germany were, in his words, simple: “Hatred of Russia.”

    To Lenin belongs the dubious honor of carrying out the world’s first color revolution, and its color was red.

    Russian Constituent Assembly election, 1917: Brown = Social Revolutionaries; Red = Bolsheviks; Green = Regional SR’s; Yellow = Local parties.

    Rejected the results of the last democratic election in Russian history until 1990 because he didn’t like that the Bolsheviks only won 24.5% of the vote.

    Even Rosa Luxemburg, criticizing Lenin for his ultra-liberal attitudes towards small nationalisms, pointed out the irony:

    In other words, a German Communist revolutionary, in practice, cared more for Russia’s territorial integrity and the democratic viewpoints of the Russian people than the man whose statues still dot the expanses of the Russian Federation.

    In effect capitulated to Germany at Brest-Litovsk, ceded massive territories without military need, and betrayed Russia’s war allies.

    What could have been: Map of the “Future Europe” (not like Wilhelm II would have liked it!)

    As Winston Churchill wrote in his book The World Crisis (1916-1918):

    Talk of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

    In December 1917, set up the Cheka. At the outset, they were predominantly staffed by non-Russians – mostly Latvians – headed by the Pole Felix Dzerzhinsky.

    Anecdote about Dzerzhinsky: Before the war, he managed to get beaten up by Polish factory workers, whom he had tried to agitate against the Tsar. There must be some kind of achievement trophy for that level of fail.

    But the Cheka was another matter, and no laughing matter.

    In August 1918, the Cheka’s Petrograd head Moisei Uritsky was assassinated. The killer, incidentally, was one of history’s forgotten heroes, Leonid Kannegisser, who explained his motives thus:

    One successful assassination and one attempted assasination against Lenin was enough to kickstart the Red Terror.

    The famous August 11, 1918 cable to the Communists in Penza:

    Whereas previously, mass shootings had numbered in the dozens at most, they would now climb into the thousands, once Sovnarkom authorized mass terror on September 5th. The repressions would now directly affect even other leftist groups. Local Soviets were to arrest all Social Revolutionaries, take hostages from the families of Tsarist officers, and summarily execute anyone suspected of involvement in White Guard activities.

    Though statistics are much harder to come by than in the better documented Stalinist period, it is plausible that around one million Russians were killed in the Red Terror – two orders of magnitude more than what the Russian Empire was responsible in the preceeding century, and entirely comparable to the victims of Stalinism.

    With zero economic education outside regurgitating Marx and Engels, Lenin implemented war communism.

    Within a year, an Empire with one of the world’s highest economic growth rates became a desert, where those who could, fled, and those who could not, died of hunger and typhus. Even amidst the instability of two revolutions, industrial production had remained at 80% during 1917 relative to 1913 figures; it plummeted to around 10% by 1920, as the Bolsheviks confiscated everything from banks and factories to ordinary people’s windmills, workshops, apartments, and private savings. You have a complaint? Justice system now consists of black-leather jacketed thugs that operate on hostage taking and mass shootings. Good luck suing them.

    Despite not performing a single day’s worth of “productive” work in his life, Lenin loved to call all sorts of people parasites. For instance, those well-known exploiters, peasants.

    From a speech in November 1919:

    The death toll of war communism: 5-10 million deaths, a number that is once again entirely comparable to the Stalinist famines of the early 1930s (5-7 million) and 1946-47 (1 million), and again, an order of magnitude worse than the worst famine of the Russian Empire in 1891-92 (500,000 victims).

    The ruthless grain requisitions (prodrazvyorstka) provoked the Tambov uprising, which the Bolsheviks crushed with the use of poison gas and concentration camps. Upwards of 200,000 deaths.

    Finally, it would be amiss to speak of Lenin’s legacy without mentioning his attitude towards Russia and Russians in the widest sense of the word.

    Although formally Russian, Lenin was in reality the métis par excellence: Around 1/4 German-Swedish, 1/4 Jewish, 1/4 Russian, and 1/4 token ethnic minority (Kalmyk).

    Come to think of it – remarkably representative of 20th century Communism.

    In that respect, it is perhaps of little surprise that the state he founded was based on a rather pecular mixture of socialist and nationalist principles.

    From On the Question of the Nationalities, 1922:

    The result: An Affirmative Action Empire, as Terry Martin styled it:

    What polemicists against the Stalinist USSR’s destruction of national intellentsias in the Ukraine or the Baltics leave out is that the Bolsheviks started out with Russia’s.

    Just one example: There was a Kiev Club of Russian Nationalists operating from 1908, a tea club of conservative intellectuals who promoted the theory of the triune Russian nation, which saw Malorossiyans (Ukrainians) as one branch of the Russian people. It is conceivable that in a surviving Russian Empire or Republic, these intellectuals would have helped foster the growth of a Malorossiyan identity subsumed to an overarching Russian one, as in Bavaria with respect to Germany, or even subsumed them entirely, as with the Occitans with respect to France. A fascinating what if. But this was not to be. The Bolsheviks got a list of their members on capturing Kiev in January 1919, and all 68 of their members were rounded up and shot.


    The 1920s were to be a period of aggressive Ukranization, which Stalin cemented with the Holodomor.

    Needless to say, Bolshevik reprisals against the Russian intelligentsia were not aimed exclusively at its overtly nationalist elements.

    At the very top, there was, of course, the execution of the Romanov family (the French revolutionaries, at least, had the decency to spare Louis XVI’s children, and the last Chinese Emperor lived out his twilight days as an ordinary citizen of Maoist China).

    The cream of Russia’s intellectual elites left the country. There would be no Sikorsky Airlines, no Zworykin TVs, no Dobzhansky Institutes. Just the “philosopher’s ship” carried away names like Sergey Bulgakov, Nikolay Berdyaev, and Ivan Ilyin.

    A large percentage of those who stayed out of patriotic considerations would be killed by Stalin in the late 1930s, or forced to work as cognitive slaves in sharashkas.

    Those who left, a “White emigration” numbering 2-3 millions, would instead enrich other countries.


    In the early 1970s, Russian-Americans had the highest median family income, highest % of college graduates (26% vs. 12% US average), highest percentage of white-collar workers relative to all other European ethnic groups in the United States.

    There was an aggressive campaign against Orthodox priests, who were conflated with nationalists.

    Lenin in a March 1922 letter to the Politburo:

    Lenin had an exceedingly poor opinion of the great classics of the Russian Silver Age. His learned thoughts on Tolstoy and Dostoevsky:

    Even the Cyrillic alphabet was an expression of Great Russian privilege. As Lenin told Anatoly Lunacharsky, the Soviet Minister of Education: “I am under no doubt that there will come a time when the Russian alphabet is Latinized… when we gather enough energy for this, all of this will be trivially easy.” This moment seemed to arrive in 1929, when a commission on the matter officially proclaimed that “the imminent transition of Russian to a single international alphabet is inevitable.”

    Their arguments are too “powerful” not to cite in full:

    It was none other than Stalin, who had been criticized as a Great Russian chauvinist by Lenin – and I suppose he was, at least by Lenin’s standards, if not by any other one – who put an abrupt stop to this project: “Tell [them] to stop work on the Latinization of the Russian alphabet.”

    Incidentally, at this point you might be getting an inkling of the real reason why Western intellectuals like Lenin a lot more than Stalin.

    It is also worth emphasizing that Lenin’s famous Testament on Stalin’s unfitness for office, contrary to its presentation as a premonition of Stalin’s capacity for tyranny – hardly a matter of concern to either man – actually arose as a result of a dispute between the two men on the nationalities policy.

    Once again citing Affirmative Action Empire:

    Ultimately, it was Lenin’s nationality policy that more than anything else doomed his creation.

    Once the socialist system – what Lenin and Co. saw as revealed truth – ran into terminal epistemic and economic failure, the Soviet carapace fell away, revealing the petty nationalisms they had nurtured all that while, and, married to the unleashed appetites of the nomenklatura, the resultant centrifugal forces blew the whole artificial contraption apart. And (Great) Russian (chauvinists), the only ethnicity without a place of their own in the Soviet communal apartment (in Yuri Slezkine’s metaphor), had no good incentives to try to keep it together.

    As Vladimir Putin himself remarked in 2016:

    This brings me to the final point I wish to make about Lenin: The state he built as a failure.

    By extension, Lenin was not just a sadist, a Russophobe, and a tyrant.

    He was also a failure.

    The slogan “Land, Bread, Peace” turned into a lie as soon as it was implemented. In the end, Russia got two much bloodier wars, the Civil War and World War II, for the price of one – the one that it had as good as won by 1917, with Austria-Hungary and Turkey as good as knocked out the war. Nor was there much bread. The Civil War resulted in a famine ten times worse than than anything seen in the ancien regime, and the populations of Petrograd and Moscow declined by around 70% and 50%, respectively, as civilization went into literal reverse. And what had been an increasingly prosperous peasantry thanks to Stolypin’s reforms and the construction of a mass schooling system in the last two decades of the Empire was soon deprived of both its lands and rights under collectivization; Soviet peasants only gained the right to a passport in 1974.

    The world that Lenin and his successors built was a world based on lies; lies with aggressive, impudent, and often deadly pretensions to truth, as lampooned from Koestler to Kundera.

    This was a world where the fictive dictatorship of the proletariat was almost immediately replaced by an all too real dictatorship of the nomenklatura based on renewed class privileges, judicial “telephone law,” no division of powers, and but a lame parody of an electoral process.

    There would be no world revolution. Apart from military conquest in Eastern Europe, and China setting off down its own demented Maoist experiment, the only other Communist takeovers would only happen in irrelevant parts of the Third World, which would quickly fall apart though not before consuming dollops of Soviet foreign aid, which it generously parcelled out even as it gained the dubious distinction of being the first industrialized country to see a sustained rise in infant mortality during peacetime. The last surviving relicts of that world, Cuba and North Korea, stand as testaments to total failure.

    Even a robot realizes this.

    A world that by the 1970s was a vast expanse of unproductive rustbelts, unable to compete with the capitalist world and kept afloat by an oil windfall that would peter out by the late 1980s.

    A world whose own citizens abandoned it for the promise of a pair of jeans, and whose own masters ended up selling it for real estate in Monaco and Miami.

    This is the world that Lenin built and which collapsed during the 1990s.

    “The intelligentsia is not the brains of the nation, but its shit.” It’s as if he was talking about himself.

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  3. WFHermans Forum Veteran

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    This wasn't the kind of passport needed to travel abroad; Soviet Union citizens needed a passport just to move outside of their district.

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