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Lenin’s Achievements

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Source A: Lenin was a great leader yet the most humble of men. For his achievements in the October revolution, in defending the foreign invaders and destroying the whites, in bringing peace and prosperity, we are forever in his debt.

(A Russian view of Lenin written at the same time of his death in 1924)

Was this an accurate assessment of Lenin and his achievements?

One man with a gun can control 100 without one.” Lenin, Vladimir Ilich 1917

Lenin was a man with principles that tried his best to get what he wanted. He had an overwhelming charisma that hypnotized the people of Russia from 1917 to 1924 when he died. As an experienced ex-revolutionary Lenin ruled a communist Russia with ideas that he didn’t let anybody interfere with. Although he had a strong personality and favored putting his foot down, Source A is not totally accurate. Source a is mostly opinion and incorrect fact put together. In my opinion a great leader can’t be humble at the same time. The October revolution was won most probably because of Trotsky’s small military force. And to destroy the whites, Lenin had to create war not peace and prosperity.

Most people like for example source A think that during the October revolution, where the Bolsheviks kicked the provisional government out and took power, was let by great Lenin. However the real man behind this was Trotsky. Trotsky led masses of armed workers and Bolshevik soldiers and simply kicked out the provisional government. This is one reason why source A is not accurate. Also, it is not accurate because it uses the word “humble” to describe Lenin.

A definition of humble: Having a low estimate of one’s self. Synonyms Modest, Meek. For a person to become a leader and have the support of billions of people in 1917 you must be almost the opposite of humble and modest. You must show the people that you mean what you say and you feel that you can do it by yourself. This is what Lenin did. After the Tsar was out of power and the provisional government led by Kerensky was in power, Lenin came back and found this as a wind of opportunity to offer Russia a Marxist government. For Lenin to come to power he had to get rid of this government first.

As I mentioned before Trotsky organized and led masses of workers and Bolshevik soldiers to simply kick out the parliament. After the provisional government was down, Lenin wanted to get into power by convincing the people. He offered Peace, bread, and land. And this is just what the people needed. What source A is saying is that Mr. Lenin was not bragging about his ideas and his leadership-personallity, however by trying to show the people that he is a great man, he contradicted source A’s thesis. Lenin promises convinced the people of Russia and he became leader, however he did not know what was in store for him.

In 1919 WWI allies (France, Britain and the USA) wanted to get rid of communism in Russia because they didn’t want to have a communist ally. Also at this point the White Russians (Tsarist Russians who want the Tsar back) attempted to invade the communist government from all sides.

This was called the Russian civil war (1918-1921). This attack was unsuccessful because the allies and all the different white generals attacked at different times while attacking at once would be easy to defeat such a small Red (communist) army. Again, many people think it was Lenin that commanded this Red army, however it was again Trotsky. Although it was a surprise attack that the Whites and the Allies created, Trotsky efficiently and quickly arranged and commanded Bolshevik forces. He placed them in strategic positions and successfully convinced them that communism was the right way. The whites and the allies were defeated in 1921, most probably because of the concept of war communism (putting all resources towards the war effort). What might be surprising is that humans think that it was Lenin that started this concept. Yet again reliable sources say it was Trotsky who organized this policy. After the defeat of the whites, the Bolsheviks established the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, other known as the USSR.

From my research I can conclude that source A has some opinion and some very wrong fact in it. I can conclude that Trotsky was the main man in the October revolution, the defeating of the whites, and war communism. Lenin was the man on the podium giving speeches and I agree that he has an overwhelming charisma. But Trotsky was the man with the real ideas and a charisma that would keep the army on Bolsheviks side.

Learning carries within itself certain dangers because out of necessity one has to learn from one’s enemies. – Leon Trotsky

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