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28 February 2021


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Aya Thompson

I don't know about Lenin not being a "vanguard" or dictator type from the outing. Everything he pushes for ultimately gives himself power. And "the pot calling the kettle black" argument for discounting an accusation is a classic logical fallacy.

The mensheviks being elitist does not in any way, shape, or form seem to excuse Lenin from discounting all leadership structures other than ones that give him power. The pot calling the kettle black just means they're both black, in fact they should both know better than others what it takes to be black. They should be experts on such.

Konstantin T.

Let us consider Lenin's attitude towards the peasants. How sincere was he at the time of the London Congress considering his anti-peasant policies during the Civil Wars of 1918-1923? It was indeed Lenin, who instituted mass terror against rural populations, starting with the policy of taking entire villages hostage for the perceived insurrectionary activity of their kin and neighbors and ending with indiscriminate use of chemical weapons against entire rural regions during the peasant uprisings of the 1920s.

Jake Humphrey

Good to see I'm not the only one who struggles to take Mike seriously on this topic regarding Lenin.

John Poole

If Lenin was not about a vanguard party running everything then why did everything he did look like a vanguard party running everything? I guess it will be clear as we get into the 1917 Revolution.


People in the comments should read Lars Lih, whom Mike cites on the matter of Lenin and "vanguardism." There's a handy audiobook here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sCjTRN7l5g&t=769s

J.R. Murray

Read Lars Lih everyone. Especially his translation of What Is To Be Done. But at least read Lih's short bio of Lenin. If your only sources are Conquest, Pipes, and Figes then i highly recommend checking out Rabinowitz, Lih, Smith, Liebman, and Carr


The mention of Rosa Luxemburg made me remember that the 2nd International was active during this time. What was the 2nd International's role in all of this?

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