Thursday, February 14, 2008

What does, "inner Lenin" mean?

David Seaton's News Links
A reader asked me exactly what I meant by my "inner Lenin".

Wasn't he a terrible monster, she wrote.

I would answer the way Zhou Enlai did when asked his opinion of the French Revolution, "It's too early to tell."

Lenin created the Soviet Union and without him, Stalin who was surely a monster, would never have existed, but without the Soviet Union or Joseph Stalin, Hitler would have probably won the Second World War. Would Hitler have ever come to power if Germany's elites were not so afraid of a Communist revolution in Germany? History chases its tail like a puppy.

The Soviet Union no longer exists and Lenin is a wax puppet in Moscow. What could the word "Lenin" still mean?

In a sense "Lenin" means the same thing as Nike's "swoosh"... "Just do it!" or the Adidas slogan, "Impossible is Nothing". People are throwing the word "change" around a lot these days, "Lenin" really means change.

He was one of the most unsentimental readers of reality that has ever existed. His cold analysis of reality as a means to action and his fearlessness in executing his analysis are unequaled to this day.

He despised sentiment as "petite bourgeois", but he was not a cold man: my favorite Lenin quote comes from when he once walked out of a concert saying, "If I keep listening to Beethoven's Appassionata, I won't be able to finish the revolution." That is what I mean when I speak humorously of my "inner Lenin". As a mental exercise I try to imagine how America could be changed as radically as Lenin changed tsarist Russia, but I can't stop listening to "
Beethoven's Appassionata".

There are contradictions boiling up in and around America and its society that could bring down the entire system if they are not correctly addressed. My inner Lenin views that with cool detachment, but my "inner Beethoven" cringes at the
human cost. DS


Andre said...

Yea, well the feeling is even worse if you're sitting here in Massachusetts!

Anonymous said...

you are a life saver! I've been searching for that Lenin quote "if I keep listening to Beethoven's appassionata, I wont be able to finish my revolution" for over an hour. I needed it for my English exam. Thank-you. Thank-you. Thank-you!