Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Left

The balding fellow above is one Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, a.k.a. Vladimir Lenin, born this day 1870 in Simbirsk, Russia. Since I have labeled both a Republican, and a conservative in the last week by people I know, I figured it was time to trot out a good, old-fashioned revolutionary as a hero of the day. When he was 17, his eldest brother was hanged after participating in a terrorist plot to assassinate the Czar. It was this event, more than any other in his early life, that put Lenin on the path to revolution. He entered Kazan University in order to study law, but as the brother of a known terrorist, and after taking part in a student riot, he was expelled and refused admission to any other Russian university. He studied independently, and was awarded a law degree, and three years later he was allowed to study at Saint Petersburg University. In 1892, he obtained a first class degree in law (like I know what the hell that is), he practiced law in the town of Samara for a while before moving back to Saint Petersburg. It was here, and now that Lenin started down the path that lead him to the front of the revolution that would make him the leader of Russia. He was famous for being a tireless worker, he would usually work 14-16 hours a day. He would work all the time, on major issues, minor details, and mundane matters. Of course he is know as one of the major thinkers/writers of the Bolshevik movement, and it is a well earned reputation. One of my favourite quotes from him is as follows

If Socialism can only be realized when the intellectual development of all the people permits it, then we shall not see Socialism for at least five hundred years. Lenin-1917.

Good stuff coming from the guy would is the man that was attempting to make Russia a state founded upon socialist ideas. He survived a couple of attempts to end his life, and worked hard until a series of strokes made it impossible for him to work. These strokes were to have dire results for Russia. While he was laid low by the strokes the power struggle to succeed him was won, eventually, by a fucking maniac by the name of Stalin. It would not have been his choice, but his voice had been silenced by his illness, and Stalin was fairly good at positioning himself to take control. Take control he did, and with disastrous results. However, the blame for that disaster can not be lain entirely at Lenin's feet. So, for be a damn, fine rabble rouster, and a pretty smart cookie as well, Vladimir Lenin (April 22nd, 1870-January 21st, 1924, at the age of 53), you are my (238th) hero of the day.

No comments: