Lenin as "dictator"

TimW333521 at aol.com TimW333521 at aol.com
Tue Jun 20 07:02:31 MDT 1995

I have sympathy with the notion of moving beyond the old debates about Lenin,
the Bolsheviks, etc.  This is fine as long as those advocating such a view
are willing to abandon the "Leninist" party model and the "October"
revolution model.  Even they adhere to both then a discussion of what
actually happened in 1917-1921 cannot be avoided.

You are right to crediting Lenin for the NEP and thus having been an
originator of "market socialism."  Much that was bad about the USSR stemmed
from Stalin's betrayal of Leninism on this score.  The best writer on this is
of course Stephen Cohen.  Also Moishe Lewin is helpful.

However, it is historically honest to note that Lenin combined advocacy of
"market socialism" with suppression of all other working class tendencies,
even though the Civil War was over.  This aspect of Leninism set the stage
for Stalin's absolute power.  Stalin then was able to utilize this absolute
power to overthrow other, more positive,  aspects of Leninism.

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