Exactly 100 years have passed since the first attack that paralyzed the proto-leader of the modern Russian state, V.I. Lenin. It seemed that after that he would never recover, and the countdown of the last days of his life began. However, by October 1922, Lenin again somehow gathered his strength, began to hold meetings and began to implement one of the most grandiose political reversals - from the victorious left-wing communism to some, however, very "uncertain" semblance of bourgeois liberalism. And by the end of the year, he composed his famous Testament (“Letter to the Congress”), in which, despite all its shocking explosiveness, he did not give any specific instructions. There is no reason to doubt that almost the God of the revolution, later embalmed like a Pharaoh and buried by the party in a glass coffin for viewing, could well afford to write: "I command!". Remove Stalin, appoint Trotsky, keep everyone behind my beloved Bukharin, develop the NEP, and so on.
However, for some reason, Lenin did not do this.
Partly, apparently, because the brain still failed. Partly, because he was afraid that his “command” would not be fulfilled, and then the entire heritage would collapse and the path to the glass coffin of life after death would be ordered. Or maybe all because of the same uncertainty, because he was afraid of fateful consequences. Still, NEP Russia was oh so unpredictable, just like Yeltsin's Russia.
One way or another, but after the death of the “initiator of great changes”, the NEP flashed very quickly, Trotsky was not only not exalted, but expelled from the country. Power, as is usually the case in Russia, was given to a certain “chef, lover of spicy dishes,” whom Lenin advised to beware of. For his part, he proceeded with this power to the consistent extermination of the left "Leninist guard". That's what we are celebrating a century - the century of a systemic goal-setting error.
But it was not the dates that made me remember this memorial episode, although they are also important, but the political escapades of the left communist Sergei Udaltsov and his famous wife Anastasia, who has now become an influential deputy in the Duma from the bloc of communists and the Left Front.
It is curious that all of them, the current "leftists", are moving in politics not towards Lenin, but away from Lenin. Although in March I found the following entry: “The victim of the regime, Sergei Udaltsov, believes that Lenin should be made president, that’s, as it were, directly from the one in the mausoleum. On his behalf, Udaltsov is going to get rid of the shackles of the West - jeans, hamburgers, gadgets, sneakers - after which everyone will put on felt boots from Red October and transfer to carts. The perfect plan".
Probably, I had some reason to write like that, apparently, Udaltsov, along with the loud slogans “Socialism or death”, “Let's revive the State Planning Commission”, “Let's force the oligarchs to chip in on the people” at that time dreamed of “his own” president of the level of Lenin. As for his economic wishes, they were 100% realized even without me, Lenin, and Udaltsov. Although the historical Lenin never proposed to stop Russia from trading with foreign countries, to break with the world bourgeoisie, on the contrary, he proposed to expand concessions! In other words, no matter what we anti-communists say about Lenin – both a bloody tyrant, and an ideologue of totalitarianism, and the life of an individual person was worth nothing to him – he remained an absolutely Western politician in terms of political culture, experience and rationality.
If something did not work out for him according to Marx, he, without any hesitation, chose another option. It is precisely the discrepancy between the historical Lenin and many ideas about him, in particular, the ideas of the current “left”, that revives the slogan of all our eras of change: “Shouldn’t we revive Lenin’s norms?”
In other words, let's at least start with this, if there is nothing else.
The paradox of this statement lies in the fact that this is now being written by a staunch anti-communist-anti-Leninist, who, as it were, is trying to return Lenin's norms to the communists and Leninists on the Left Front. But this isn't the first time this has happened. The slogan of restoring Leninist norms always arose at moments of the imperative of a major political turnaround. They tried to return Lenin's norms after the overthrow of Stalin from the pedestal of greatness. Then the practical side of such a "return" was outlined in the section "Issues of ideological work" in the report of N. S. Khrushchev at the XX Congress of the CPSU. The same was proposed by Mikhail Gorbachev at the January plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU in 1987, which definitely indicates that in 1956 the return to Leninist norms did not take place.
The emergence of the legend of the Leninist norms is logical due to the obscurity of the last ideas of the main ideologist, the lack of articulation of his final Plan, which could turn out to be completely different from the one proposed by the Soviet bureaucracy, the mystery of Lenin’s last visit to the Kremlin on October 18-19, 1923, when Lenin looked gloomily at his table, which had been cleaned by his associates, and left without a word, leaving everyone who saw him in confusion. During perestroika, some even wrote about the terrible radioactivity of this visit. What if he thus wanted to tell us that everything here is wrong, perverted, and we must start over again?
However, the Soviet bureaucracy also turned out to be not the bast of a shield. I already wrote how the nomenklatura pop satirist Arkady Raikin, who was patronized by Brezhnev, was banned from performing a play consisting of Lenin's anti-bureaucratic quotes. There are also "big" theoretical works explaining why the "Leninist norms" are hostile to the Soviet system and therefore adopted by the anti-communist opposition.
“Behind the scenes, the implementation of the line of returning to Leninist principles meant a new round in the psychological war against the USSR, a transition to a new strategy of ideologists. As is known, V. I. Lenin acted in a specific situation 35-40 years ago, mainly associated with the revolution. Although, of course, a number of provisions of V. I. Lenin had a meaning far beyond the framework of his era, but the historical conditions have changed significantly. And the crossing out of a huge array of concrete experience and achievements of the Soviet period after Lenin brought with it pronounced negative consequences. Paradoxically, in fact, the return to Leninist principles was an ideological bomb in an attractive, elegant package". (“War after the war: information occupation continues”, Lisichkin V. A.)
It makes sense to talk about "norms", remembering that the first leader of the country did not directly subordinate himself to the power apparatus, that he was a collectivist - he made all his decisions through meetings and congresses, there were currents under him, which we do not see point-blank today in the elite, and acted for the most part by persuasion, even the anti-Stalinist coup tried to pass a decision through the Congress, obviously remembering how the French revolutionaries got rid of Robespierre in a similar way.
In 2015, Gleb Pavlovsky gave a lecture on Lenin, in which he discovered another "norm" - the institutionalization of jumps into the political unknown.
When the situation of state building came to a standstill, Lenin "jumped" to the side. It was in his nature, and consistent with his philosophy of a professional revolutionary burglar. It is no coincidence that Lenin cheerfully replied to the words that his policy of extremes leads “hell knows where”: “And it’s wonderful... This is water for my mill”. I cannot get rid of the thought that although such jumps are a purely negative thing, if not harmful, today we all clearly lack a side jump.
The leftists never understood their leader, his “norm”, but at times they were “likeable” even for liberals, which gave rise to the hope that we would someday be able to reach an agreement. The same Udaltsov, along with the chant “Death or socialism”, suggested milking the oligarchs, which means that the oligarchs in his picture of the world, that is, the market, continued to be present, while under the final and irrevocable socialism there would be no one to milk.
Competing with the authorities in patriotism - who loves the Motherland more, the left and their yesterday's leader, convict Udaltsov, timidly condemn both the persecution of thought and the persecution for statements. For which a big thanks to them. Nevertheless, while making a career that suddenly failed, they are forced to obey corporate ethics, the rules of the common game. Brilliant Anastasia fades, Sergei becomes unintelligible. Seven years for saying? Yes, it's too much. Undoubtedly. You can limit yourself to a fine or administrative punishment. Or ... flogging in the stable.
But how far is this from the “Leninist norm of party honesty”, about which Boris Slutsky once wrote in the 70s:
Lenin's norms of democracy -
it means: stand up and speak
all in good conscience and all in truth and
personally create these standards.
This means - at a large meeting
in the hall of a thousand for two people
go out, if necessary, against everyone,
having thought it all out, having experienced it in advance.
It is to obey the majority
but first prove and express
everything that I exist and live.
Do not show fear before the majority .
( Soviet poetry. In 2 volumes. Library of World Literature, 1977 )