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Thursday, January 21, 2021

The great Lenin

By Ernesto Estévez Ramos / Granma.

In describing the events of the October Revolution, John Reed, in the prologue to his extraordinary work Ten Days That Shook the World, recounts the forces that were fighting for power, in the midst of a rising Revolution.

On the one hand, what he calls the possessing classes that aspired to remove the Tsar and replace him with a bourgeois power, in the style of the western democracies of the United States and France; on the other, the Bolsheviks, who demanded to center the Revolution on the class struggle and the need for all power to go to the Soviets.

Between these two forces that he describes as extreme, John places the “moderate” socialists (the quotes are his, not mine). The moderates believed that Russia was not ready for a Revolution that would bring the popular masses to power, that is, a social Revolution: “Consequently, they insisted on the collaboration of the powerful classes in government. From there to supporting them there was only one step. The “moderate socialists needed the bourgeoisie”. From that moderation emerged treason or, in Reed's words, when the Bolsheviks disrupted the entire alleged compromise between the classes, these moderates “found themselves fighting on the side of the possessing classes ... Today, in almost all the countries of the world you can observe the same phenomenon ”. 

To close his judgment of what was happening, the American journalist does not hesitate to place his militancy at one of the extremes: “Contrary to being a destructive force, in my opinion the Bolsheviks were the only party in Russia with a constructive program (…). If they had not come to government when they did, I have no doubt that the armies of Imperial Germany would have been in Petrograd and Moscow in December, and that Russia would once again have been dominated by a Tsar. “The Bolshevik Communists were the only real trench against the imperial power that threatened them.

At the head of the extremist force “the great Lenin”, as John Reed called him, who described him “as a small and stocky figure, a large, bald, and protruding head, nailed to the shoulders; small eyes, blunt nose, wide and generous mouth, and solid chin. (…) Of little relevant appearance to be the idol of crowds who was loved and respected, like perhaps few leaders in history. A strange popular leader, who was one only by virtue of his intellect (...) with the power to explain profound ideas in simple terms, the power to concretely analyze situations. And, combined with sagacity, the greatest intellectual audacity”.

Lenin, 97 years after his death, we remember here as we remember Fidel, our Lenin, and the Lenin of the peoples of the Third World. We remember him here on this Island, where the Bolsheviks of today remain determined to be a trench against the empire, convinced that these 62 years of shaking the world are the eve of taking heaven by storm. (Photo: Taken from Pinterest / Granma)