Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 17 >> Lemurs to Lied Von Der Glocke >> Lenine

Lenine

york, russia, party, russian, faction, german and consult

LENINE, Nikolai (also known under his real name NIKOLAI ILYITCH ULYANOV, and un der another pseudonym, VLADIMIR ILYIN), Russian socialist: b. 1870, of a noble origin. Like a brother, who was hanged when Lenine was 17 years old, for plotting to kill the Tsar, Lenine began his revolutionary activity when he was still quite young. Most of Lenine's life has been spent in exile, chiefly in Switzerland, where many of his economic and political writ ings were produced. This exile was imposed upon him by the necessity of avoiding imprison ment in Russia for the propagation of anti Tsarist and Socialistic views. Even before the opening of the European War in 1914, Lenine had long been occupied with the problems of the international Socialist movement; his works (printed in the Russian language in various parts of Europe) dealt with the problems of imperialism and opportunism and revealed a profound understanding of the function of finance and industry in forcing imperialistic wars, as well as a hatred of the political lead ers who supported wars of this type. Among his works published in Russian were 'What Next? Burning Questions of Our Movement' (Stuttgart 1902) ; 'Two Tactics of the Social Democratic Party in the Democratic Revolu tion) (Geneva 1905) ; 'On Rural Poverty) (Geneva 1905) ; (The Dispersal of the Duma and the Tasks of the Proletariat' (Moscow 1906) ; and Cherevanin in the Bour geois Press) (Saint Petersburg 1906), and a Russian translation of Karl Marx's 'Civil War in France) with Engels' Preface (Odessa 1905). His hatred of opportunism expressed itself in a pamphlet attacking Karl Kautsky (Saint Petersburg 1906), as well as in numer ous subsequent attacks on that leader of the Centre faction of the German Social-Demo cratic party. Such also is the content of the periodicals edited by Lenine in Switzerland (Kommunist, 1915; Sbornik, 1916). After the outbreak of the Revolution in Russia, March 1917, while Leon Trotz (q.v.) was attempt ing to reach home from York, Lenine suc ceeded in passing into Russia through Ger many. Immediately on his arrival in Petrograd he began to oppose the opportunist and coali tion policy of the Menshevik faction of the Social-Democratic party in Russia (Lenine him self was a member of the Bolshevist, or °Max imalist° faction, after the split that had oc curred at the party convention in 1903), which was aided by the right wing of the Social Revolutionaries. Kerensky, who had joined the

latter party after the success of the March Rev olution, was for a continuation of the war with Germany, which was opposed by the tortured and wearied Russian population. After the July (1917) offensive, which threw thousands of ill-equipped troops into the slaughter, Keren sky and the Menshevik faction became un popular, and this unpopularity grew until the Bolsheviki, under the guidance of Lenine and Trotzky, overthrew the Kerensky government and established a °dictatorship of the prole (6 Nov. 1917, N.S.). Lenine, in a ses sion of the Workers' and Soldiers' Council (Soviet), introduced his famous proposals on land and peace, which were both passed with a great majority on 7 November. Within a few days came the publication of the "Secret treaties° (reprinted January 1918 by the New York Post), the apportionment of land to the peasants and the opening of preliminary peace discussions with the German delegates at Brest Litovsk. Lenine himself in numerous articles defended the signing of a separate peace with Germany (consult the Class Struggle, New York 1918, and The Revolutionary Age, Bos ton 1918). In February 1918 the German troops advanced further into Russia, contrary to the stipulations of the treaty, and imposed still more humiliating conditions upon that country. Consult Nuorteva, Santari, Open Letter to American Liberals) (New York 1918) ; Reed, John, (The Sisson Documents) (New York 1918), also numerous articles in The Liberator, New York 1918-19. Consult also, in English, Lenine's 'Political Parties in Russia) (New York 1917) ; (The Soviets at Work) (New York 1918) ; Letter to American Working men) (New York 1918) ; State and the Revolution' (New York 1919) ; Lessons of the (New York 1919).