Behind the Iron Curtain: Lenin’s Birthday

Lenin and Me Today, on April 22nd all progressive humanity celebrates the n-Th birthday of the Leader of the World Proletariat, founder of the USSR and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Vladimir Illyich Lenin. Something like this would make a traditional headline in every newspaper in the USSR as recently as twenty years ago. For years Lenin’s likeness was everywhere, every classroom had a portrait, every school had a bust, every city had a monument or ten, and then there were countless pins, flags, medals, certificates, photos, paintings and other visual aids. On this picture I am posing with Lenin in the parade uniform which I had to borrow because I was too lazy to sew the badges onto my own. In my day, Lenin was not as revered as he was in years before, but we still had to read the stories about his childhood, his love for the common men, his wisdom, his humbleness, his bravery and genius. We didn’t care but it was something that had to be done. As we grew up he was growing up with us, from “Grandpa Lenin” to “Comrade Lenin”, always omnipresent, always watching us from every wall and every city square. Stories of his childhood were replaced by his works that we had to study and quote. Every respectable establishment would have all 55 volumes of his “Collected Works“,which were lovingly translated into every language known to man.We didn’t know about “Red Terror“, hunger, repressions, killings,murder of the Romanov family; people who remembered knew better not to discuss it, every mention of the horrors wiped out or edited to look necessary to establish and protect the new country. Just a kindly old man who cared about us.
No one knows how the world history would have turned out without Lenin. Probably the same. Lenin wasn’t the one killing, robbing, kicking out of the country, starving and raping. He was just issuing the orders.

His body is still out there as a morbid reminder of his genius, evil and determination, a lethal combination which affected billions of people in every corner of the world for generations to come.


  • Kinda makes me wonder about OUR history books…the books seem to retell history from one side or another. In Bosnia, you have three sides to the Bosnian war, so it’s difficult to figure out which to teach in schools. Each side picks and chooses its history to tell, because even though it’s the same event, there are many perspectives.

  • Ah, memories!

    The good old days when war was cold and only the sabre rattling was heated.

    The world was a much safer place when we had thousands of armed, targeted, MRV-enabled nukes pointed at each other.

    Remember the images of American jet fighters intercepting the old piston driven Bison bombers in Alaskan airspace? Something that nostalgia-loving Putin has been trying to recreate?

    It concentrated the mind and focused the attention, didn’t it?

    Gave a sense of urgency to the concept of talking to your enemies.

    Anybody remember SALT?

    The ABM Treaty?




  • most of us didn’t really give a crap, and after serving in the military it was the biggest joke ever.nukes worked though 🙂

  • Great picture of you and Lenin!

    I think that should be on all of your singles profiles.

    “Commie Bastard Seeking Capitalist Pig-Slut”

    It has a certain ring to it. I like it.

  • midtown miscreant

    really good post M. I always like your posts about thee mother land.

  • midtown miscreant

    so whats the deal with the mouse/bear/pokeman avatar creature?

  • Burrowowl

    You certainly know a lot more about Lenin than I do, a product of a late-cold-war American public education, but to say that he changed the world when no-one asked strikes me as patently incorrect. If it weren’t for the union movement catching a toe-hold, capitalistic democracy would have had a much rougher time of it around here. For a lot of the industrialized world there were times when the pivotal choice was between a flavor of Fascism or of Marxism; few people thought the middle path (democratic socialism) could work.

    Lenin made of lot of terrible decisions during the revolution and the period just following, but I think we all know that there were plenty of those people lined up to pick up his cause.

  • It’s Cheburashka– famous cartoon character of my childhood.

  • AF

    “Commie Bastard Seeking Capitalist Pig-Slut”

    That was funny shit.

  • The winner writes the history books, an old but true statement.

    As for the little Cheburashka it reminds me of my cousins Mon-Chi-Chi (sp?) when we were kids.

  • travel

    Kind of makes one think (or should) of how one powerful person can deceive almost an entire nation.

    Yes He Can !