Having critiqued the Jesus myths we must do the same for the Lenin phenomenon, but for an at first odd reason: we simply have no real information about Lenin and the result is leftist belief and imitation based on false assumptions…compare the works of Robert Service and Lars Lin. Which is the correct Lenin? It is almost impossible to determine! That is, for a determined activist determined to ‘do it right’. I defy anyone to arrive at the correct view of Lenin and then convince a group of activists. You will either adopt the very violent version of his critics or a sanitized version of his adherents: in either case you will be applying a imaginary historical example incorrectly. The same is true in many ways of marxism.
This standpoint is itself flawed no doubt, but the point is that while we must learn from history we must always start over in the present because we can’t be sure what happened in the past.
This is unreasonable!? Surely we can go to the library and find out the real Lenin and imitate his tactics. In fact, it won’t work. And there is a further obvious problem. We might not quite have the facts, but we have a rough idea. Then of course the question arises of the sequence of events that lead to a given position. We could not easily replicate that sequence.
This is extreme, but not so extreme that it warns us to not adopt a new strategy: self-creation in the present.
Try reading this essay, an attempt along the lines of what we have said, to get the issue of Lenin straight: https://www.marxist.com/in-defence-of-lenin.htm. Success? or apologetic? We must re-research the record, and then re-research the record. And it matters because the process of imitation can easily produce a wrong result.
Actually Lenin is not so impossible. But the Jesus example is impossible and it lead to generations of gandhian idiocy on the left.
So our distancing from Lenin and marxism in general is based on this general perception. If Jesus wasn’t a non-violent gandhian consider the amount of confused and wasted effort in the imitation.
In general marxism suffers a similar fate and at multiple points we cannot correctly determine the real meaning of a given tenet. That’s bit extreme and we must attempt to determine the legacy, but in the end we must always act on the basis of principles laid down in our present and which we can apply because we know what thy are.
Actually once we understand this we might well redouble efforts to study Lenin. But in the end we must have plan based on principles stated in our present and ready to be carried out as an experiment. That’s the strong argument for our ‘blowing hot/cold’ on marxism. The amount of sophistical cultic belief here is considerable, and not surprising. We must restate what we are doing, and take a chance we got it right. We can’t quite determine the sequence of past events and we can’t seriously attempt to imitate what we thought happened. Unfortunately we can’t help but to do that, more or less. But in the more or less we have the leeway to act creatively, counseled but not fixated by a past series of events who authenticity and meaning is never fully clear. The case of Jesus we suspect was far worse: we have gone in the wrong direction for centuries based on unsupported texts. It is called a ‘bum steer’/.