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Lenin's legacy

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Introduction

The Radical Lenin & The Russian Revolution September 8, 2006 "Without a revolutionary theory there cannot be a revolutionary movement." Vladimir Lenin And indeed... a theory was how it all began, the birth of one of the most recognized events in history, the Russian Revolution. The world remembers one man, Vladimir Lenin as the man who turned Karl Marx's distant dream of a communist society into a deviant reality. Known as the pedant and architect of the revolutionary movement and the leader of the Bolshevik party, however significant Lenin's role may have been, it can be argued that Lenin did not act alone, and that other factors contributed to the events that include the October 17th coup leading up to the consolidation of the Soviet State. To Lenin, the revolution was his life. A man of remarkable political reverence, Lenin's brilliance lay within the simple expression of his concepts and strong leadership skills. He was as crafty as he was orderly, with all the qualities of a revolutionary who was ready to make radical changes- even if that meant radical tactics. In one text, historian Chris Corin sums up Lenin as a man who "had a strong streak of ruthlessness and cruelty." (Corin) Lenin possessed a fierce determination and strength of focus that at the time was deemed impossible to challenge. Lenin is also described as a man with a "hypnotic influence" that always managed to bring the party together. ...read more.

Middle

uproar at a pre-parliament meeting where Leon Trotsky, Lenin's right hand man and the "famous leader of the bandits and hooligans," accused the government and bourgeoisie of promoting the "bony hand of hunger" simply in order to prevent a revolution. Trotsky's claims that the government planned to give up the capital as a part of a conspiracy elicit an outcry. The Bolsheviks all walked out of the meeting fueled with the lust for blood and extreme hatred needed to plan the perfect takeover against the autocratic regime, starting with tactics and deception- two things that Trotsky only knew all too well. (Kreis) As Corin states, "Lenin is given a key role as the leader who directed the party and had the insight to make crucial decisions." Lenin made one such decision when he called for the revolution to be carried out, even when others opposed him. In a letter written by Zinoviev and Kamenev that was published in Novaia zhizn on 18 October 1917, the two important Bolshevik leaders speculate on the current political situation. "If we take power now and are forced into a revolutionary war; the mass of soldiers will not support us." Both leaders were echoing the fears of many of those in the party; for fear that there would be a lack of support available for their upheaval. Even Trotsky urged Lenin to wait until the Second Congress of All-Russian Soviets on 26 October as to put on the appearance that the "seizure of power was done with the support of the soviets rather than by the Bolsheviks." ...read more.

Conclusion

They had expected the revolution to be the first of many revolutions to sweep across the world and destroy all capitalist governments while reinstating the workers rule. Fast-forward, and we today know that was not how the story ended. There was no international revolution. In fact if anything was proven, it was that communism is not meant to be in our co-existence. The terms "economical failure" and "political repression" now stain the concept of what once was deemed to be a "dawn in human history." (Lynch) As indispensable as Lenin's actions were, when it comes to assessing his role in the revolution up to the time of the state's consolidation which almost coincide with his death, it is plausible to conclude that, although Lenin played a key role in all aspects of the movement, the causes or upheavals that occurred and inspired revolution would have happened with or without him. The drive for land and freedom that triggered revolts in the peasant population are a prime example. Another example is the mutinies that took place in response to the war. However, it is also important to note that without the Bolsheviks it is highly unlikely that a collection of workers, soldiers and peasants would succeed alone in establishing rule. If we can accredit Lenin's contribution to the party, we can also therefore recognize him for playing a major part in the revolution. Vladimir Lenin is a man to be both admired and feared for the audacious leap of faith that we now remember as an attempt to transform human society, to transform the world. ...read more.

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