Russians must face up to Lenin’s brutal legacy – as Germans did Hitler’s.
Vladimir Lenin’s embalmed body has been on display in Moscow’s Red Square since 1924. Today, momentum is building to finally bury the man-god of Soviet Russia in a plot of common ground. Russia’s leading political party even hosted an online poll recently allowing Russians to vote on the idea. About two-thirds backed it.
Burying Lenin would be terribly dishonest. It would risk erasing the brutally violent communist legacy he spawned. His strain of socialism bankrupted Russia morally and economically, leaving it in many respects a third-world country – even today. It saddled the Soviet Union with an economy designed in the 1920s, symbolized by a hammer and sickle, trying to compete in the age of the microchip.
The Leninist promise of a new international world order became a stratagem as well as a devious excuse for restoration of the old Russian imperial empire. Lenin’s new communist world order promised to abolish colonialism and imperialism but it perpetuated both shamefully, enslaving millions beyond Russia’s borders.
It may be the Russian tradition “not to take your garbage outside the hut,” as one peasant proverb says, but it is important for present and future generations of Russians to understand that mere mortals never become gods. The Roman emperors never pulled it off; neither could Joseph Stalin or Mao Zedong.
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