100 Years since Lenin’s Coup in Russia

By | November 7, 2017

[November 7, 2017]  I have wanted to write an article on the communism for a long time; to tie it in with the idea that the ideology in practice is by any measure unadulterated evil.  Maybe that is too predictable, too has-been, too … who cares anymore?   The beginning was with the coup, began by Vladimir Lenin on this date November 7, 1917 in Russia, was both long in coming and formed from the ashes of a failed Tsarist state.

I will deviate from my original desire to give communism – and its ideological sister socialism – the historical context it so much needs for a better understanding.  There are, however, many historians and political analysts who are far better doing so than I.  Two of my recent favorites, both well-known and exceptional academicians, are Dr. Stephen Kotkin1 at Princeton University and Dr. Robert Service, Stanford University.2

Of course, it is only expected to ask about the leadership of Lenin but also of Joseph Stalin and the many followers … those who pursued his dreams of a classless society that rose above capitalism; even if it meant slaughtering and starving millions.  Lenin, the communist political theorists and practitioner, was the ideological figurehead behind Marxism-Leninism and a major influence over the international communist movement.3

From my own wish to drive home the point that this ideological system is insightful, mysterious, and possesses a certain allure, it must be emphasized that it was created by a group of men who stopped at nothing to obtain ideological perfection.  There was no cost too high, no one important enough not to be sacrificed at the ideological alter – except, of course, those like Linen and Stalin who drove that terrible engine of dramatic change.

Communism is a failed system.  Anyone who denies that fact ignores history but more importantly ignores the basic psychology of humans.  People want certain things in their lives; property, family, friends, a good time, belief in something important (religion), etc.  All variants of communism fail to deliver on those needs and desires.

It has been written that somewhere between 75 and 100 million people have died because of communism (and this doesn’t include 25 million under Hitler’s Nazi German socialist state).4  Evil comes in many shapes and forms.  Yet while an ideology itself cannot be considered evil, the efforts by humans to implement it certainly can be judged as such.

That is why we must all, especially leaders, be familiar with our history so that we may learn from those hard lessons so that evil may not be repeated.

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  1. https://history.princeton.edu/people/stephen-kotkin
  2. http://www.sant.ox.ac.uk/people/robert-service
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Lenin
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Book_of_Communism
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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.