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Bury Lenin's Body and the Rest of Communism: In Red Square He Lies in State, Mocking Humanity

November 24, 2014 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

Moscow—Red Square remains one of the globe’s most iconic locales. Enter by walking past the statue of World War II general Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov on horseback. The Kremlin dominates on the right, GUM Department Store on the left, and St. Basil’s Cathedral looms in front. Before the Kremlin wall is a small, squat, pyramidal building: Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov Lenin’s mausoleum.

The tomb may be most famous as the reviewing stand for Communist Party leaders. Studying who stood where was an important part of the game of Kremlinology. Who was to the General Secretary’s right and left, who was moving up or down in the Kremlin power ladder? No where was the leadership symbolism more dramatic.

Kremlinology has disappeared as an occupation. But the mausoleum remains. Along with Lenin’s body. Dressed in a black suit, his face is grim and his right fist is clenched, as if he was ready to smite the capitalists who now dominate even his own nation’s economy.

Lenin is one of history’s most consequential individuals. Without him there likely would have been no Bolshevik Revolution, slaughter of the Czarist royal family, and murderous civil war. No Joseph Stalin, brutal party purges, mass starvation in Ukraine, and Hitler-Stalin pact to fuel what became World War II. No post-conflict occupation of Eastern Europe and Cold War with the West. No Soviet support for China’s revolution and a mix of dictatorship and insurgency in smaller states around the globe. No North Korea and Korean War. No Cuban missile crisis. No Berlin Wall to fall in 1989. No tens of millions of people murdered by what Ronald Reagan rightly called the Evil Empire.

Of course, without Lenin there still would have been a Bolshevik movement. But it would have lacked his intellect, tactical skills, and, most important, determination. He promoted Marxist revolution while imprisoned and in exile. He insisted on dictatorial leadership within the social democratic party, holding his Bolshevik (“majority”) faction together against the Menshevik (“minority”) members and even some of his own supporters angered by his intransigence. So feared was he by his enemies that he became Germany’s secret weapon against Russia; in 1917 Berlin allowed him to travel in a sealed train from his exile in Zurich to Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) in order to spread the bacillus of radical revolution. And he did, with devastating effect.

Lenin pushed the Bolsheviks toward power as the authority of the moderate Provisional Government, …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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