Debate: Lenin, Tyrant or Savior?
The debate is still going on between high profile historians as to whether or not Lenin was a Tyrant or a Savior. It is hard to just take one side, as it is not clear cut. To understand better why it is so hard to put Lenin under one of theses profiles, I will study the arguments as to why he was a Tyrant. Then I will go over the arguments which support the idea that Lenin was in fact a Savior. I will then be able to take an opinion.
Lenin was very interested in political activism since he was young. His brother had been involved in the assassination of the Tsar, and was therefore executed in public. He started to attend Socialist Marxist gatherings, and was taken in by Karl Marx’s ideology. Later on in his life he took the lead of the Russian political group called the Social Democrats. His faction of the party, the Bolsheviks, were a non- violent group at the start. Although this might be seen as a pacifist start for Lenin, he was only really scheming for his future coup: he waited for the others to do the hard job and overthrow the Tsar, before him and his party stepped in. This isn’t really what you would expect of a Savior, though nor would you expect that of a Tyrant. Indeed we can start to see that Lenin doesn’t really belong to either of theses categories. Once the Provisional govt. had been installed, Lenin decided it was time to act and took power by force. Of course, his first intentions where good, as he let the elections go as planned, but when the results turned out, he was rather disappointed, and saw that he only had 25% of the seats in parliament. This wouldn’t be enough for him to make the changes he had planned. So, he ordered his forces to throw out the other parties of the Assembly. Lenin argues that this was for the good of the country, but was it really? Of course, this enabled him to pull Russia out of World War I, but it also enables him to have near-absolute power. Now…which one of these was the...
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