Recently I have seen a documentary film from "Star Media" (this is Russian film) called "The first world war". Up to this moment, I thought that the February Revolution had happened, because there was a huge economic problem and people were living in very poor conditions. Now I understand that the world war continued and this problem is obvious (but I didn't think about it before). Next, according to the film (and I believe it's true), the Bolsheviks signed a treaty of peace with very bad conditions for the Russian Empire (the Russian Empire had to pay reparations and lost some territories).

So now I'm confused, how did the Bolshevik's leader become so popular in Russia and have a lot of monuments?

  • 6
    (Never judge a History by a "documentary" made by modern TV companies - these things are made solely to push certain political agenda and contain mostly nothing but an ahistorical crap). Speaking of the Treaty of Brest - essentially, in USSR it was seen as just a minor episode of much bigger events (and after all, most of the key territories, e.g. Ukraine, were back just a year after that). And it wasn't Bolsheviks who lost the war and put the country into the state of collapse. – seven-phases-max May 5 '19 at 8:56
  • 9
    What has your research shown you so far? Where have you already searched? Please help us to help you. Can you explain why the relevant Wikipedia pages and google searches didn't answer the question? SE sites work best if the questions are supported by preliminary research – MCW May 5 '19 at 10:03
  • 3
    An answer for millennials: He is a forced meme. ;) – Oleg Lobachev May 5 '19 at 11:49
  • 4
    Why is the title in present tense? Is your intent to know why he was popular (& when: 1918, 1922, 1930, 1990), or whether he is now? How do you even arrive at "popular" (what's the base for this assertion, the documentary? How does that movie reason or explain or state things? – LаngLаngС May 5 '19 at 12:18
  • @LangLangC I'm not native English speaker, so my English remain wanting. I want to know why he was popular in 1918, in the USSR times (especially in the Stalin times) and still popular now(in Russia). Did the living standards increase when he had come to the government? – not a Programmer May 6 '19 at 4:56

This contains several questions. First, why was Lenin (more exactly, his party) popular in 1918-1922. The short answer is "because they distributed landowners land among peasants" (Only to seize it back after 15 years of dictatorship).

Second, why was he popular after his death, and until now. Because his successors who established a dictatorship in the country with total control and huge propaganda apparatus created a cult of Lenin. They, the ruling party, not the people, erected all those monuments. For several generations the population was intensively brainwashed (and the part of it which resisted brainwashing was physically exterminated). These rulers maintained the cult of Lenin which exists (to a smaller extent) even now.

In the independent Ukraine people destroyed all monuments to Lenin in a short period since 2014. But another revolution (of 2014) was necessary to make this possible.

You may compare this with the cult of Mao. His rule led to death of more people than Stalin and Hitler combined, and completely ruined the economy. Still his cult exists. Because the party created by Mao still rules in China.

  • 1
    This is patently false: "they erected the monuments" (and already Lenin "established a dictatorship") But: Look at Noginsk or "The oldest statue of Lenin in Krasnodar (sculptor K. Dietrich) is in the park to VI Lenin, on the street Vishnyakova. The monument was built in 1925, a year after the death of the Soviet leader. A decision on its creation was accepted 23 January 1924 at a meeting of workers of Krasnodar. It was funded by public donations." Stalin took a while longer to gain absolute control. Lenin was "popular" on his own and this "brainwashing" is propaganda in itself. – LаngLаngС May 5 '19 at 12:19
  • 2
    @LangLangC: so you are saying that "a meeting of workers of Krasnodar" represented public opinion in 1925. Perhaps. After all enemies of Bolsheviks were physically exterminated, and the rest were scared to death. But I addressed the Bolshevik party popularity in 1920s in my answer. – Alex May 5 '19 at 16:17
  • 3
    No. I say that no dictatorship can survive that long without (some or many) people loving their masters and that Lenin had popularity, of mythical proportions, on his own, already during his lifetime, for bringing peace, land a fresh start with progress and NEP, and that Stalin and successors only expanded on that creating the personality cult we all know and love, that made Lenin into the USSR's Washington & Jefferson combined. The peasants were not executed under Lenin but were taken out of the power game by conceding a few acres of ownership, & intellectuals came from all over the world. – LаngLаngС May 5 '19 at 16:25
  • And by peace I include the end of the civil war were the whites wanted together with the British and Americans restore tsarism and whatsnot included within the old order. Liberal democracy, westminster style wasn't on the menu? – LаngLаngС May 5 '19 at 16:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.