“Lenin always insisted on the most violent solutions”

NEW CRITERION
Leninthink
by Gary Saul Morson
October 2019

…As we approach the 150th anniversary of Lenin’s birth, understanding him grows ever more important. Despite the fall of the Soviet Union, Leninist ways of thinking continue to spread, especially among Western radicals who have never read a word of Lenin…Those who do not understand him mistake his ideas for those of radicals like the anarchist Peter Kropotkin, who argued that violence was permitted when necessary. That squishy formulation suggests that other solutions would be preferable. But for Lenin maximal violence was the default position. He was constantly rebuking subordinates for not using enough force, for restraining mobs from lynchings, and for hesitating to shoot randomly chosen hostages.READ MORE

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