by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The next day, November 8, Lenin installed himself and his Marxist Bolshevik cronies as the new government of Russia, dubbed the Council of People’s Commissars. Barely a shot had been fired; the number of people killed in the Bolshevik coup in the Russian capital would hardly fill a Cadillac Escalade. But from that day until today, Lenin’s legacy would be the single most lethal political system ever devised.
A year after seizing power Lenin would change this system’s name from Bolshevism to Communism, and as we reflect on the centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution, the salient fact to remember is that it has been 100 years of hell — of revolution, oppression, starvation, mass murder, genocide, and terror without historical parallel.
It’s quite simple, really: From the Soviet Union and Mao’s China to Mengistu’s Ethiopia, Castro’s Cuba, and Pol Pot’s Cambodia, untold millions were shot or killed by the agents of an oppressive totalitarian system aiming at total control and the elimination of “class enemies” or any form or even thought of opposition. Many millions more were slowly starved to death in Communist-generated mass famines that were either the result of deliberate engineering (Stalin’s Great Famine in Ukraine) or spectacular mismanagement of the food supply (Mao’s Great Leap Forward and modern-day North Korea). Tens of millions more survived, forced to live under the thumb of a vicious and unrelenting police state in a state of perpetual psychological fear and material poverty. They’re still suffering today.