Forwarded from Jurriaan Bendien (Lenin and lawsuits?)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Mar 27 09:22:06 MST 2001

I am not aware Lenin sued anybody for libel. What is true is that after the
October 1917 insurrection a lot of old political scores were settled by the
victors. Stalin actively persecuted Martov, without objection from Lenin
(see the book by Antonov-Ovseyenko, "The time of Stalin"). In the post-1917
period Lenin of course did not need to sue anybody for libel, he just had
people locked up or banished/deported. As Pipes notes for instance, "No
head of the Tsarist Okhrana ever tracked dissident intellectuals so closely
as he [i.e. Lenin] did, classifying them according to their attitude to his
regime and turning the information over to the Cheka or GPU for repressive
action. He had lists drawn up of those he wanted expelled from Soviet
Russia: he ordered the GPU to prepare a roster of "several hundred
intellectuals who must be deported abroad without mercy". The case of a
minor Menshevik historian with a Bolshevik past, N. A. Rozhkov, bothered
him so much that he brought it up on several occasions before the
Politburo, unable to decide whether to send him into exile inside Russia or
to deport him abroad" (Richard Pipes, The unknown Lenin, p. 12).



Louis Proyect
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