Vladimir Lenin is known as one of the leading political figures and revolutionary thinkers of the 20th century . He masterminded the Bolshevik take-over of power in Russia in 1917 and was the first head of the USSR.
He was born in Simbirsk on the Volga River on 22 April 1870 into a well-educated family. He excelled at school and after that he studied law. At university, he was exposed to radical thinking, and his elder brother’s views influenced him a lot. He was a member of a renowned revolutionary group.
After being expelled from the university for his radical policies , he completed his law degree as an external student in 1891. Then he moved to St Petersburg and became a professional revolutionary. Because of this he was arrested also and exiled to Siberia like his contemporaries . In Siberia he married Nadezhda Krupskaya. After his Siberian exile, he emerged as a prominent figure in the international revolutionary movement and became the leader of the ‘Bolshevik’ party of the Russian Social Democratic Worker’s Party.
In 1917, exhausted by World War One, Russia wanted a change . He was assisted by the Germans, as they hoped that he would undermine the Russian war effort. After few years Lenin returned home and started working against the provisional government that had overthrown the czsarist regime. He eventually led the October Revolution.
The civil war resumed for three years and at the end the Bolsheviks were victorious and assumed total control of the country. But during this period of revolution, war and famine, Lenin demonstrated a chilling disregard for the sufferings of his fellow countrymen and mercilessly crushed any opposition.
Though he was ruthless he was pragmatic too. He introduced the New Economic Policy after a lot of efforts and transformed the Russian economy to a socialist model. Under this model, a measure was taken to give permission to private enterprise. This policy that continued for several years after his death.
In 1918, Lenin narrowly escaped an assassination attempt but was severely wounded and it affected his health. During his declining years, he was worried about the bureaucratization of the regime.H e also expressed concern over the increasing power of his eventual successor Joseph Stalin. He died on 24 January 1924.
His body was buried and was placed in a tomb on the Red Square of Moscow.
A lie told often enough becomes the truth
Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in ancient Greek republics: Freedom for slave owners.
There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel
Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world.
War cannot be abolished unless classes are abolished and Socialism is created.
Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.
There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.
The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.
It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.
If it were necessary to give the briefest possible definition of imperialism, we should have to say that imperialism is the monopoly stage of capitalism.
Can a nation be free if it oppresses other nations? It cannot.
Sometimes – history needs a push.
Give us the child for 8 years and it will be a Bolshevik forever.
A revolution is impossible without a revolutionary situation; furthermore, not every revolutionary situation leads to revolution.
The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.
It is more pleasant and useful to go through the ‘experience of the revolution’ than to write about it.
One man with a gun can control 100 without one…. Make mass searches and hold executions for found arms.
One of the basic conditions for the victory of socialism is the arming of the workers and the disarming of the bourgeoisie (the middle class).
Fascism is capitalism in decay.
Capitalists are no more capable of self-sacrifice than a man is capable of lifting himself up by his own bootstraps.
Crime is a product of social excess.
Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country.
Politics begin where the masses are, not where there are thousands, but where there are millions, that is where serious politics begin.
The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency.
He who now talks about the “freedom of the press” goes backward, and halts our headlong course towards Socialism.
Whenever the cause of the people is entrusted to professors, it is lost.
No amount of political freedom will satisfy the hungry masses.
It is impossible to predict the time and progress of revolution. It is governed by its own more or less mysterious laws.
The history of all countries shows that the working class exclusively by its own effort is able to develop only trade-union consciousness.
In the history of modern socialism this is a phenomenon, that the strife of the various trends within the socialist movement has from national become international.