Lenin, demonized by most western media outlets. Blamed for Stalin, blamed for the totalitarian nature of the Soviet-Union. When stalinism collapsed in 1991 in the USSR, the media of the capitalists started a massive campaign to demonize the first Soviet leader. Blaming Lenin for Stalin’s crimes is what many anticommunists do today. But they have very little to stand on. The only thing they have against Lenin is the Red Terror, the period between September 1918 and February 1922.
After the revolution triumphed in Petrograd, the new Soviet government needed an agency to defend the first socialist state. On 20 December 1917, Lenin created the Emergency Commission or Cheka. The task of the Emergency Commission was to defend the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic by any means necessary. As the White Terror killed many workers and supporters of the Bolsheviks, the Cheka grew in numbers. Felix Dzerzhinsky led the organisation and by 1922, employed more then 200.000 people. After surviving two assassination attempts on his life, Lenin ordered Dzerzhinsky to start the Red Terror. Anticommunists call Lenin evil because of the brutality which Felix Dzerzhinsky used against suspected counter-revolutionaries!
What many anticommunists never know is that the Red Terror did not start in November 1917. Lenin only started the Red Terror after the whites killed Soviet supporters for over 10 months. Also the invasion of 200.000 foreign soldiers led by 40.000 British troops, was a big problem for the weak Soviet government. Between 1917 and 1921, the Red Army had to fight very hard to survive. Lenin knew what the anticommunists would do after they defeated him. In Finland the anticommunists were victorious and murdered more then 8.000 Finish Bolsheviks, another 10.000 would die in prison camps. In Hungary 5.000 Jews and supporters of the short lived Hungarian Soviet Republic were killed, 75.000 were jailed. In Germany the revolution also failed, 21.000 German revolutionaries died including Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht who were brutally murdered by anticommunist forces. Lenin knew the consequences of defeat and ordered the Cheka to be as equal brutal as the anticommunists!
Anticommunists think that Lenin was like Stalin, because he ordered the execution of people, like the order to murder 100 Cossacks. This famous hanging-order was issued in August 1918, after Lenin was told that anticommunist Cossack forces destroyed towns loyal to the Soviet government. Therefore Lenin ordered his soldiers to put an end to their White Terror by hanging 100 Cossacks. Many Cossack families were victims of both the White and Red Terror. Some were loyal to anticommunist forces and were punished because of this. By today´s standards the Red Terror was indeed cruel and brutal, but in 1918 all participants of the Russian Civil War acted brutal even the so called ”democratic” nation of Europe. British imperialist forces had no problems watching while anticommunist Russians executed supporters of Lenin. In the capital of Azerbaijan, 26 Soviet leaders were murdered by nationalist Azerbaijani forces under British supervision!
British imperialism wanted Russia to remain in the war against Imperial Germany. When the Soviet revolution ended Russia’s participation in the world war, the Germans were able to pull armies from the eastern front. Winston Churchill was secretary for war in 1919 until 1921, he supported the deployment of 40.000 British troops to aid the White Armies of the anticommunists. The British soldiers were sent to fight in the Arkhangelsk and Vladivostok regions.
Churchill was supported in his war plans by the French. Their objectives in Russia were:
- Prevent the capture of Allied material stockpiles in Arkhangelsk
- Mount an attack helping the Czechoslovak Legions stranded on the Trans-Siberian Railroad
- Resurrect the Eastern Front by defeating the Red Army with help from the Czechoslovak Legions and an expanded anti-Bolshevik force of local citizens and stop the spread of world communism!
However by 1920 it became clear that workers in western Europe were rebelling. Germans were in uprising since November 1918 and even in Britain workers went on strikes. Fearing a socialist revolution in western Europe, the armies of Britain, France and most European nations were pulled out of Russia. Japanese soldiers remained in Vladivostok until 1922. This port-city was the last bastion of imperialism to be liberated by the Red Army.
The anticommunist propaganda in Russia portrayed Lenin as the devil. Since many Bolsheviks were Jews, the White Armies used classic antisemitism against the supporters of the revolution. In Ukraine, the nationalist anticommunists participated in massive anti-Jewish pogroms, killing between 50.000 and 200.000 Jews. Their hatred was fueled by the antisemitic propaganda spread by nationalists about a ”Jewish Bolshevik” plot to destroy ”Christian Ukraine”. With Stalin’s mass terror in the 1930’s, this hatred was only strengthen. When Nazi Germany invaded the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic in June 1941, many antisemitic and anticommunist Ukrainians participated in the murder of 1,3 million Soviet workers and peasants!
In 1922, the armies of the anticommunists were defeated. After more then five years of brutal civil war, the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics was born in December of that year. Western anticommunists lost the civil war in Russia, so the new USSR was isolated and ignored. It was not until the start of the Cold War that Lenin was equaled with Stalin. The stalinists claimed to be leninists and portrayed themselves next to the founding father of the USSR. Although Stalin and his successors praised Lenin into heaven, their politics were not revolutionary socialist at all. Still it was enough for the anticommunist media, who used the totalitarian culture of the Soviet-Union and Maoist China against the communist movement.
Vietnam, Angola and Mozambique were declared ”socialist” republics in the 1970’s. World ”communism” seemed very powerful and many supporters of communists parties were blinded in their dogmatic believes that they were building socialism. In reality none of these so called ”people’s” or ”socialist” republics were healthy workers nations, most were build on the bourgeois state model with a parliament and ministers. Cuba is still called the Republic of Cuba, not the Socialist Republic of Cuba or the People’s Republic of Cuba. The economy of many ”socialist” nations were based on the Stalinist top-down model, with no workers councils nor democratic participation rights. Only the ruling communist party was allowed to run the economy. Since party bureaucrats are not economists, the economies of Stalinist nations stalled by 1980, unable to complete with the dynamic international capitalist system!
Lenin’s face became the model for failure. The capitalist media praised the market reforms in China, as Deng Xiaoping replaced the planned economy with a market one. Micheal Gorbachev in the Soviet-Union was also praised for his limited capitalist reforms started in 1988. After the failed coup of August 1991, the Communist Party of the Soviet-Union was banned. Lenin’s party was now gone and Boris Yeltsin made his move to replace the red banner with the czarist colors. On 25 December 1991, the banner of the czars was raised and the USSR ceased to exist.
Many Lenin statues were destroyed in former Soviet republics. In the Baltic nations all statues of the first Soviet leader were removed. People blamed Lenin for Stalin crimes, as they were told that Lenin started it all. It is understandable that they could not see the difference between Stalin and Lenin, because the dogma between 1927 and 1991 was called; ”Marxism-Leninism”. After been forced to worship Lenin as god for almost 40 years, many Baltic people became very anticommunist and remain very hostile to his ideals. In Ukraine, Lenin is both hated and praised. Many ethnic Ukrainians are anti-Lenin and see him as a ”Russian” oppressor, while Russians in Ukraine still glorify him as a ”Russian” leader. The real Lenin however was never a Russian chauvinist nor a supporter of a Russian cultural empire. In fact Lenin was very critical of Stalin’s great Russian chauvinism in Georgia. But most people do not know the true Lenin, they only know the Lenin of the propaganda of either the anticommunists or the stalinists!
The Lenin of the anticommunist propaganda is not the true Lenin. However because our media is owned by capitalists, they portray him as a ruthless, bloody and evil dictator. The Red Terror is used to claim Lenin was just as evil as Stalin, totally ignoring the fact that Churchill supported the White Armies, the antisemitic, anti-democratic Russians. It was the western world who aided the Whites in the hope, Russia would remain in the war. 1 million supporters of the Soviet revolution were murdered between 1917 and 1923. Lenin was not afraid to use terror against those who stood against him, history had learned him that his opponents would not hesitate to murder him and his allies. Still the Lenin of the anticommunist propaganda remains the Lenin most people see. The first dictatorial leader of the USSR, the first in line of many. Lenin’s face is put next to Stalin and Mao and even next to Adolf Hitler. This is how the anticommunist propaganda works and the Stalinist communist parties who glorified the Lenin of the Soviet state propaganda, only aided the anticommunists in spreading this false picture!