David Shub’s essay on the relationship between Lenin and Kropotkin was was written shortly after the author’s biography of Lenin in 1948 and draws a striking contrast between the two famous Russian revolutionaries. While initially deferential to the gentle and polite Kropotkin – at the time far more famous and influential both inside and outside Russia than the Bolshevik leader – Lenin quickly came to despise Kropotkin and his constant criticism of Bolshevism. The anarchist proclaimed Lenin’s government would be the “burial of the Russian Revolution”. Kropotkin’s predictions of the horrors of the Bolshevik State (“a Soviet Union only in name”) came true even before his death in 1921, and foretold the horrors of the Stalinist regime to come. This pamphlet is a brief illustration of their strained relationship and history.
“Even if the dictatorship of the party were an appropriate means to bring about a blow to the capitalist system (which I strongly doubt), it is nevertheless harmful for the creation of a new socialist system. What are necessary and needed are local institutions, local forces; but there are none, anywhere.”
Part IV – Lenin’s Vision of the Bolshevik State – Anarchist critique of the Russian revolution by Ron Tabor.