Sunday, July 10, 2011

Paul D’Amato: The lies they tell about Lenin

Generations of historians have distorted the facts about Russian revolutionary Lenin.

Socialist Worker, June 2, 2011

NEVER IN history has there been such a deliberately misunderstood and misrepresented historical figure as Lenin. It is extremely difficult to disentangle myth from reality because the Russian revolutionary was deified in the East and systematically vilified in the West.

Columnist: Paul D’Amato
Paul D'Amato Paul D’Amato is managing editor of the International Socialist Review and author of The Meaning of Marxism, a lively and accessible introduction to the ideas of Karl Marx and the tradition he founded. Paul can be contacted at pdamato@isreview.org.
In Russia, following his death in 1924 and up until 1991 and the collapse of the ex-USSR, something called “Leninism” was converted into a state religion to justify policies that Lenin would never have countenanced when he was alive.

His own introduction to his work State and Revolution describes how after the death of revolutionaries, “attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons.” The Stalinist bureaucracy turned Lenin into just such a harmless icon. Lenin was quite literally mummified, his embalmed body displayed in a mausoleum in Red Square–something that would have horrified Lenin had he known about it.

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