Lenin ... not such a nice guy!
All sorts of nonsense is talked about Lenin by his fans today, below I collect some of the quotes you are less likly to hear. Feel free to email me any additional ones but do include a reference to where they were said.
Lenin, on August 9th, 1918, sent the following telegram to the chairman of the Executive Committee of the Nizhnii Novgorod provincial soviet:
"Clearly a Whiteguardist rising is brewing i Nizhnii. You must exert every effort, form a troika of dictators (you Markin and another), instantly introduce mass terror, shoot and deport hundreds of prostitutes who get the soldiers drunk, ex-officers etc. Not a minute to be wasted."
[Lenin (5) Voume L, page 142, item 257]
"Class political consciousness can be brought to workers only from without, that is, only from outside the sphere of relations between workers and employers"
Lenin, Vol 5, p 422
"the proletariat...is not in a position to create a party embracing the entire working class.."
Lenin Vol 9 p363
"The history of all countries shows that the working class, exclusively by its own effort, is able to develop only trade-union consciousness..."
Lenin vol 5 p375
"The organisational principle of revolutionary Social-Democracy...strives to proceed from the top downward, and upholds as extension of the rights and powers of the centre in relation to the parts".
Lenin Vol 7, p396-397
"Obedience, and unquestioning obedience at that, during work to the one-man decisions of Soviet directors, of the dictators elected or appointed by Soviet institutions, vested with dictatorial powers."
Lenin, Six Theses on the Immediate Tasks of the Soviet Government, April/May 1918
According to Trotskys recollection in 'My Life' p157 in 1903 they had the following exchange
"We are the stable centre, Lenin said, 'we are stronger in ideas, and we must exercise the guidance from here.'
'Then this will mean a complete dictatorship of the editoral board?' I asked
'Well, what wrong with that?' retorted Lenin"
At the start of 1917 (22/1/1917) Lenins clear historic vision led him to conclude that
"We of the older generation may not live to see the decisive battles of this coming revolution"
Lenin, Vol 23, p253
"We must combat ideological disharmony and those unhealthy elements of the opposition who renounce any 'militarization of economy;' thus rejecting not only the 'methods of appointment' which have been in practise until now, but any possible 'system of appointments' (rather than elections); in the last analysis this means the denial of the leading role of the Party in regard to the mass of non-party people. We must fight against this syndicalist deviation, which will ruin the party, if adopted".
Lenin, The Party Crisis, 1921
"After two years of Soviet power we openly declared at the Communist International to the entire world that the dictatorship of the proletariat is possible only through the Communist Party. . . Despite all this, there are people 'class conscious people, who tell us that 'organising management of national economy belongs to the All-Russian Convention of Producers.' An All-Russian Convention of Producers-what would that be? Should we waste our time on such oppositions within the party? It seems to me that we have had enough of this. All this talk of freedom of speech and freedom of criticism constitutes nine tenths of the meaning of the speeches of the 'Workers Opposition,' which in reality have no meaning at all.
....The All-Russian Convention of Producers should manage production? I am really at loss when I try to characterise this jumble of words. But I am comforted by the thought that we have here party and soviet workers who have been engaging in revolutionary activities for the last one, two or three years, and it would be a mere waste of time to criticise such phrases before these comrades, for they themselves close discussion when they hear such speeches; these are boring and it shows a lack of seriousness when people talk about an All-Russian Convention of Producers which is to manage the national economy".
Lenin, Report on the Political Activity of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, 1921 (10th Party Congress)
Send to Penza To Comrades Kuraev, Bosh, Minkin and other Penza communists
Comrades! The revolt by the five kulak volost's must be suppressed without mercy. The interest of the entire revolution demands this, because we have now before us our final decisive battle "with the kulaks." We need to set an example.
1.You need to hang (hang without fail, so that the public sees) at least 100 notorious kulaks, the rich, and the bloodsuckers.
2.Publish their names.
3.Take away all of their grain.
4.Execute the hostages - in accordance with yesterday's telegram.
This needs to be accomplished in such a way, that people for hundreds of miles around will see, tremble, know and scream out: let's choke andstrangle those blood-sucking kulaks.
Telegraph us acknowledging receipt and execution of this.
P.S. Use your toughest people for this."
"The peculiarity of war communism consisted in the fact that we really took from the peasants all their surpluses, and some times even what was not surplus, but part of what was necessary to feed the peasant... We took it for the most part on credit..."
.... an understatement by V.I. Lenin (source unknown, email me if you know it)
Actually 9 of a decree, signed by Lenin, from 14 November 1919 stated that:
"Particular obstructive workers who refuse to submit to disciplinary measures will be subject, as non-workers, to discharge and confinement in concentration camps."
(James Bunyan: "The Origin of Forced Labor in the Soviet State, 1917-1921. Documents and Materials" (John Hopkins Press,1967), page 88; and George Legget: "The Cheka: Lenin's politcal police" (Clarendon Press, rev.utg. 1986), page 179)
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