Day 69, No. 69. Lenin

Vladimir LeninOne more for Colin… HAIRCUT 100: Day 69, No. 69. Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, more commonly known as Lenin (1870–1924): Head of Russian Republic, 1917 to 1918; Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, 1918 to 1924; the Soviet Union, 1922 to 1924. Lenin was a bourgeois Russian lawyer whose political consciousness grew after his brother was executed by the Tsarist regime in 1887. By the end of the century, he was a senior figure in the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. Exiled for sedition, he led the Bolshevik faction of the RSDLP to victory over Julius Martov’s Mensheviks. After the February 1917 Revolution overthrew the Romanov Dynasty, Lenin returned to Russia to play a leading role in the October Revolution, in which the Bolsheviks (renamed the Communist Party) overthrew the new regime, leading to civil war and, ultimately, the formation of the Soviet Union in 1922. Before his death, Lenin expressed his opposition to the growing power of Joseph Stalin. He died after falling into a coma following a stroke in January, 1924. His body was mummified for long-term public display in the Red Square mausoleum. Lenin’s legacy has divided global opinion ever since, as have the competing ideologies of communism and capitalism, although none can say he was not one of the most influence political figures of the twentieth century: a champion of revolutionary socialism to some, the architect of a brutal dictatorship to others. ‘The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them in parliament.’

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