It has been 100 years since the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew Russia’s provisional government and established the world’s first self-proclaimed socialist state, which would later become the Soviet Union.
Lenin may have promised his new system of government would free the proletariat from oppression and create a land where everyone had what they needed to live, but reality played out much differently: Lenin and his successor, Josef Stalin, would imprison, torture and murder millions of Russians, and their policies created famines that led millions more to starve to death.
As author William Murray writes in his book “Utopian Road to Hell:”
“Lenin had the blood of many innocents on his hands during the creation of his version of utopia, which could not even manage to keep the lights on in Moscow once the Marxists came to power. Seeing that Lenin’s utopian dream could never be realized with anything less than brutal force, Stalin determined to carry forward the dream no matter the cost in human life.”
In fact, the communist rulers of the Soviet Union directly or indirectly killed roughly 20 million of their own people. But communism did not limit its damage to the Soviet Union. “The Black Book of Communism,” published in 1997, estimated the total number of deaths caused by communist regimes around the world to be nearly 100 million:
- 20 million in the Soviet Union
- 65 million in China
- 2 million in Cambodia
- 2 million in North Korea
- 1.7 million in Africa
- 1.5 million in Afghanistan
- 1 million in Eastern Europe
- 1 million in Vietnam
- 150,000 in Latin America
However, despite the fact communism has caused poverty, misery and death for scores of millions around the world, the dream of a collectivist society has survived to this day, a hundred years after Lenin’s forces seized control of what then was called Petrograd.
The revolution, known as the “October Revolution,” occurred in that month on the old Julian calendar, which Russia was using at the time. Much of the rest of the world already was on the Gregorian calendar, and when Russia made that move the anniversary date for the revolution became Nov. 7.
Recent polls have shown a majority of young American adults view socialism favorably; some polls show young adults view socialism more favorably than capitalism. Bernie Sanders, an admitted socialist, attracted enough votes to nearly upset Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Party presidential primary last year. Sanders was buoyed by passionate support from younger voters.
It’s proof that countless Americans still long to turn their society into a collectivist utopia, according to historian and author Charles Sasser.
“Even though socialism in its many forms has never succeeded in producing anything but death and chaos – the proletariat dictatorship never withers away; in fact, it only grows stronger in a totalitarian centralized government – dreams of a perfectly just and equal society never fade,” Sasser told WND. “In fact, like a monster from an old sci-fi movie, they continue to jump back up out of the swamp just when you think the monster is dead.
“The monster that is socialism (in both its major forms – communism or fascism) lives on in fresh new minds being indoctrinated in ‘social justice’ to bring about equality, redistribute wealth, rid the world of the most successful and wealthiest, and put a dictator like Lenin over the entire world.”
Sasser, whose most recent book, “Crushing the Collective: The Last Chance to Keep America Free and Self-Governing,” explores the history of collectivism, said Americans are like pigs at a feeding trough: They are increasingly being conditioned to depend upon government for their livelihood and to govern their everyday lives. Hence the enduring faith that a collectivist government can solve all the country’s problems.
“The wreckage of failed socialist societies, of 30 million people gassed, shot, starved or worked to death through the combined efforts of the Soviets and Nazis from 1920 to 1954, reminds us that to surrender our individualism for a utopia that remains forever over the next hill is to follow a dark path into the valleys of death,” Sasser warned.
The historian pointed out that when Lenin declared as early as 1902 that the proletariat must rise up to destroy capitalism, he also called for leaders who would create, recruit and train a vanguard of professional revolutionaries to incite this workers’ revolt. Incidentally, those leaders would also become the workers’ masters once the revolution succeeded, so the workers were never truly set free.
Toward the end of his life, Lenin lamented the fact that no matter what he tried, socialism could not completely stamp out every trace of individuality, according to Sasser.
“Now, a century later, a growing mainstream sentiment in the United States seems obsessed with knocking the individual back into the herd, with government regulating all personal behavior, protecting us from every catastrophe, including ourselves, and nurturing us from day care to old age care – as long as we remain inside the pig sty and the trough of free stuff,” Sasser said.
Sasser thinks the father of the Bolshevik Revolution would be delighted if he could see what his revolution has produced since he died.
“Vladimir Lenin would be pleased at the course the world is taking toward socialism, world socialism, were he to return on this his centennial anniversary of the first successful socialist revolution,” Sasser declared. “He would be pleased especially at the ‘group think’ of America’s brave new utopian citizens as they drive America into the swamp to join the monster that will never die.
“The chuckling from the swamp, the monster who once again emerges with slime and moss dripping from his fangs and low countenance – might it not be Vladimir Lenin celebrating his successes from 100 years ago and anticipating similar successes today?”
WND reported the October date passed with almost no acknowledgement.
Even the website of the Communist Party USA didn’t appear to have a single paragraph about any celebration of the anniversary.
Instead, its profiled issues were “Long Live May Day,” “The African American Liberation Struggle” and “Remembering James W. Ford.”
Professor Paul Kengor, a Ph.D. whose works include “The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism” and “11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative,” and who has written for publications such as USA Today and the New York Times, told WND, “We should have learned that communism is the deadliest ideology in human history.”
He elaborated: “No ideology has killed as many people. The total deaths in communism governments in the 20th century was between 100 million and 140 million.”
Kengor said many of the lower estimates likely don’t account for those killed by Mao in China and by the Kim clan in North Korea.
President Reagan, he noted, once referred to communism as a “disease,” but Kengor said he’s been unable to identify any disease with such a record of killing.
The professor said it’s more a form of “insanity,” “when you consider the political pathology.”
Joseph Farah, WND founder and CEO, said that in his youth he was a “small-c communist.”
“It’s amazing how little attention the 100th anniversary of Red October and the birth of the Soviet Union is getting this year,” he said. “Some 60 million or more were murdered by this regime. Even the left doesn’t celebrate this nightmarish historical reality, nor talk about it.”
Farah said the lack of attention suggest to him “we haven’t really learned the critical hard lessons of communism.”
“What an opportunity we have to make people understand there was another holocaust – one even bigger and longer than the Nazi Holocaust. Our motto should be the same: Never again,” said Farah, author of “The Restitution of All Things.”
The Bolshevik.info site says the “tremendous impact of the Russian October Revolution was due to one irrefutable fact: the working class, for the first time in history, had captured state power and used it to overthrow the existing order and transform society and existing social relations.”
The site blames the later “rise of Stalinism” for the “eventual collapse.”