Speaking a revolutionary socialist one can criticize Lenin and the bolsheviks if only because time has moved on and we are out of time to defend the failures of the marxist past. We confront a very different situation than that of Tsarist Russia the world of Lenin had to deal with.
That context is misleading to the left now and will lead to false conclusions.
We confront a stage of mature capitalism (mature to rotten, some might say), and not an industrializing monarchic armed with a hopeless muddle of theory about the need to industrialize first followed by Lenin’s (intelligent) refusal of such nonsense. The whole context of the early socialist world will mislead us now.
It is a mistake to constantly defend the past here. Drop the past and start over, time is short and Lenin is not our model.
150 years ago on 22 April, Vladimir Lenin, the great Marxist and leader of the Russian Revolution, was born. For over a century, there has been a sustained campaign to slander his name and distort his ideas, ranging from bourgeois historians and apologists to various reformists, liberals and assorted anarchists. Their task has been to discredit Lenin, Marxism and the Russian Revolution in the interests of the “democratic” rule of bankers and capitalists.