Monday, 27 February 2017

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Lenin & Humanity

"Man is broad. Too broad even. I would narrow him down."

 Dmitri Karamazov from Dostoevsky's 'The Brothers Karamazov.'

Naturally enough the political ethos of Adolf Hitler & the Nazis is seen as particularly vicious in its consideration of the status of those it sees as ‘underlings’ or a lower class of humans, their inferiority justifying any kind of treatment even to the point of total extermination as an actual good, it purifying the human population of lower defiling tendencies. To see the attitude of Lenin and the Bolsheviks in a similar vein though I’ve not seen receive much censure or revulsion. Is this because it would be a very unfair criticism, & so unmerited? Perhaps in an ethnic sense it would – though I do recall Engels' description of the Slavic peoples as ‘human trash’, which is naturally very much Hitler’s kind of language.
With regards Lenin though, he tends to get a comparatively free ride, & in terms of the tragedy of Russia under Communism the tendency is to view Stalin as a corrupter of the true path of Communism, or for the sake of argument Leninism.

The following for the sake of saving me time might be pretty jagged & brief.

First to show Lenin's attitude to democracy. After allowing general elections to Constituent Assembly in November 1917 the more moderate Socialist Revolutionaries won 41% of the vote, Lenin's Bolsheviks gained 23.5%. Lenin's response was to dissolve the assembly. So clearly he had no interest in a democratic system but instead wished for a "dictatorship of the proletariat"- this of course meaning dictatorship of Lenin and the party of which he was the head.

Take a phrase like “Enemy of the people” by which was meant bourgeoisie & other elements, all of which implied those opposed to Lenin’s dictatorship. This conveniently included farmers who didn't wish to surrender their crops to the Bolshevik state apparatus. And that is another key point. Compared to even Nazism, this is a far greater  degree of totalitarianism - the State owns everything. Under the superficial veneer of idealism attached to an idea like "no private property", the reality is that this means the dictatorship owns everything. To resist this taking of one's property, even the grain that might keep you and your family alive is to be an 'enemy of the people'.

To take a closer look at this very important phrase, which perhaps the intellect tends to sleep-walk past without analysing closer. Again like the abolition of private property, it perhaps even has the veneer of humanitarian idealism, the erecting of a fair system for the oppressed. This is the central point of this essay, whether Lenin was like Hitler genocidal in his ideological core.

                                     Enemy of the people

Like so many catchy propagandist phrases, the intellect isn't supposed to get too active in examining such a phrase but to commit the heresy of trying to do so . . . All people are self-evidently people. So how are any people enemies of the people? It is a narrowing down of the definition of humanity. Now those in support of the Bolshevik dictatorship under Lenin are “the people.” The enemies of the 'dictatorship of the proletariat" are not people at all! And so there is no need to bother with thoughts of the violation of these people's human rights, since to be a person with human rights you have to first of all be a person! Now any manner of evil in suppression of your false being is justified. This is actually a far more comprehensive philosophy of inhumanity than Hitler’s, the sectors comprising non-people far greater than the comparatively limited categories of Jews, Slavs, homosexuals, etc.

To add a little more. Hatred of the false bourgeoisie was obviously a staple of the likes of Marxist-Leninist rhetoric - purity of self accorded to the oppressed proletariat. There being of course truth to the idea of their oppression but people like Marx and Lenin were themselves of course completely of the bourgeois intellectual class. Lenin though wished to obliterate this class from all reckoning (remember the "dictatorship of the proletariat.") Why? Partly as the proletariat, by and large very much uneducated would simply be lumpen mass or material in the hands of the dictatorship by self-chosen bourgeoisie like Lenin, Trotsky, etc. The power of the unthinking, proletariat masses were the means to their individual power, the weapon or weight of their will-to-power; and also some kind of triumph by these theory and power obsessed freaks over their own entire class. Lenin and the gang don't just get to sit atop their middle-class fellows, they get to actually wipe them from all consideration and existence.

And a final thought on one of the key tactical means to Lenin's initial acquisition of power which was the wish to take Russia out of the madness of WW1 - which has a lot going for it. How much does this really speak of Lenin's humanitarianism though? Well several years before WW1 Lenin spoke with longing for just such a conflict as a "treat" he would like the Euopean powers to give such as he as a window of opportunity to seize power out of the ensuing chaos of a mass post-Industrial Revolution European conflict. How much compassion does anyone have who yearns for horror as a supposed means to improving the world, or views terror, and the more rather than less of it the better, as a very valid political tool? And also the Civil War his immediate shutting down of democracy brought about was very much a hellish continuation of such horror on a very comparable scale.