When the Germans smuggled arguably the world’s most evil man into Russia 100 years ago, they did not imagine the harm they were unleashing on the human race. Once Lenin had prevailed, he decided to forge a new consciousness, New Soviet Man, as the Bolshies called it, someone who would overcome ‘the antinomies of subjective and objective, body and spirit, family and party’. Leave it to a horror like Lenin to design a new human being (although a certain Austrian tried to emulate him less than 20 years later) and you get Yakov Sverdlov, who ordered the murder of the Tsar and his family, and the hanging of their dogs.
We hear a lot about the Nazis nowadays, and very little about monsters such as Lenin and Sverdlov, and their enablers. If anyone copied Lenin’s methods of winning big through terror and murder, it was Hitler and Goebbels.
But let’s forget about the fierce persecution of the aristocracy by the Bolsheviks, the destruction of an entire class, the chilling tales of looted palaces and the murder of millions, and stick to the creation of New Man. What was required was transparency between the individual and the collective. The bourgeois family had to be erased from one’s consciousness — family attachments, domesticity, wives, children and lovers, and whatever else pre-Lenin humans indulged in. Lefty intellectuals concurred, many of them, like the Webbs and Bertrand Russell, British. This is a stain that academics defend to this day — more vigorously than ever, come to think of it. When Robert Conquest first published his litany of the great terror and its tens of millions dead, he was ignored by that very same academic establishment, and instead of being awarded a dukedom for his work, he was more or less ostracised by lefty professors and the so-called elite.