Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (his true last name was Ulyanov) is a charismatic champion of philosophical materialism of Modern Times. He was born on April 22nd, 1870, in the city of Simbirsk (now Ulyanovsk) in the Russian Empire. His father was a high-ranking official in the sphere of education having the right to hereditary nobility. Among his father’s ancestors there had been Chuvashes and Kalmyks, while his mother was half-Jewish, half-German and Swedish. As a result, there appeared, although red-haired and burring, but a broadly Russian, “sun-faced” child, in whom the real scale and “pantophagy” of the Russian nation as such could clearly be evidenced.
Soon after his birth, Volodya Ulyanov was baptized into the Russian Orthodox Church. At the age of 9, he entered the Simbirsk Men’s Gymnasium, the director of which at the time was the father of the Interim Government’s chairman-to-be A. F. Kerensky. As a gymnasium student, Volodya was noted for his diligent behaviour and excellent performance, which, however, was combined with reticence and unsociability.
Despite the head of the family’s high-ranking position, a critical attitude to the ruling regime prevailed at the Ulyanovs. There, under discussion would often be the “darkness” and downtroddenness of the bulk of the common people, on the one hand, and the tyranny of government, on the other. Perhaps, this is where Volodya’s “unsociability” came from; he must have learned it very early what could be spoken in public, and what could not.
In his gymnasium years, the leader of the world proletariat-to-be read avidly, in particular, Russian classical literature. Among his favourite authors were A. S. Pushkin, I. S. Turgenev, N. A. Nekrasov, and L. N. Tolstoy. Also at that time, he had a chance to get acquainted with the works of Russian revolutionary writers, such as V. G. Belinsky and A. I. Herzen.
Vladimir’s youth was darkened by a series of tragic events. When he was 16, his father died. In the next, 1887, his elder brother, who majored in biology at St. Petersburg University, was executed for taking part in preparing an assassination of the tsar Alexander III. It appeared that he had been actively involved in Populism, or Narodnichestvo, a movement aimed at accomplishing a peasant revolution in Russia, and he was a member of its terrorist faction. The cruelty of the punishment could also be accounted for by the fact that the previous Russian emperor Alexander II had been assassinated by terrorists just a few years ago. One can imagine what shock it was to the young Vladimir, since his elder brother had always been his idol.
As a result, the Ulyanov family was not only left without a breadwinner, but also found itself rejected by “society”. But, as the saying goes, all the keys hang not at one man’s girdle. The same director of the gymnasium did not leave the Ulyanovs in distress. Thanks to his support, Vladimir finished the gymnasium with a gold medal and soon entered Kazan University. Considering Vladimir’s achievements in Latin and literature, he was earnestly advised to study at the faculty of philology. But his interests were concentrated in the field of law at the time, so he chose jurisprudence.
However, Vladimir’s mishaps continued in Kazan. At the city’s university, again, a terrorist-leaning group for Populist studies was operating. Naturally, Ulyanov the Junior could not help joining it – he was surely going to repeat his elder brother’s fate. But again, according to the saying, there’s a silver lining to the cloud. One day, unrest began among the students – they came out in defence of their rights. V. Ulyanov was in the first ranks of the “rebels”. Together with other activists, he was briefly arrested and, after explanatory discourse, exiled from Kazan to his grandfathers’ estate situated near the city. Incidentally, this grandfather, né Israel Blank, had been an outstanding physician, who pioneered in the country’s balneology.
While in his first “exile”, Vladimir again got down to reading. Most of all, he became keen on works by N. G. Chernyshevsky – they “breathed the spirit of the class struggle”. Vladimir especially liked Chernyshevsky’s artistically weak, but ideologically sustained novel “What is to be done?” The novel’s lead character, the ascetic and single-minded revolutionary Rakhmetov, became a model for Vladimir.
In 1888, Vladimir Ulyanov was allowed to return to Kazan. He again joined one of secret revolutionary groups, this time related to the study of Marxism. But it was not Marx, but G. V. Plekhanov, who became his idol at the time. Vladimir still adhered to Populism, that is, he supported the accomplishment of a peasant revolution in Russia. But, influenced by Plekhanov, and unlike his brother, he would reject terror as a method of struggle.
In 1890, V. Ulyanov was permitted to continue his studies. In 1891, he externally completed a law degree at the University of St. Petersburg. From 1892 on, he took up the duties of a lawyer – first in the city of Samara, then in St. Petersburg. During that period of time, the young Lenin, again influenced by Plekhanov, evolved from Populism to Marxism. So, the not yet numerous, but steadily growing social class of wage labourers became to Vladimir the main driving force of the upcoming Revolution in Russia. He formulated his views in his articles, the bulk of which were published legally.
Standing out among Lenin’s early opuses is his work “What are the “friends of the people” and how they fight Social-Democrats?” In it, the author tries to defend Marxism against the attacks by one of the ideologists of the Populist movement, N. K. Mikhailovsky. This is where Lenin’s certain lack of culture and education started to show. He could never make out what Marxism was being criticized for. In the meantime, Mikhailovsky came out not quite against Marxism. As a matter of fact, he came out against dogmatic interpretations of Marxism, against the simplistic ideas of social development, against a science that “arrogantly disposes of life and death of the people”. In other words, Mikhailovsky rose in opposition to Marxism as a religion – that was what his criticism was all about. As Mikhailovsky put it, “in searching for Truth it is not at all necessary to only choose between Populism and Marxism”. Anyway, V. Ulyanov soon became well-known in many circles of the Russian society opposing the ruling regime.
In 1895, V. Ulyanov was sent by his fellow-Marxists abroad on an assignment. In particular, he was due to establish contacts with the Liberation of Labour group, based in Switzerland, and meet with the “father of Russian Marxism” G. V. Plekhanov. His mission proved successful, and, on his return to St. Petersburg he, together with his comrades, united the city’s scattered Marxist groups into a single “Union for the Struggle for the Liberation of the Working Class”. Thereafter, propaganda of Marxism among the city’s factory workers intensified, larger-scale strikes were organized, and the ties were forged with Marxist groups in other cities of Russia. The labourers’ living and working conditions in the country were horrific at the time, so the ideas of Marxism about the conquest of political power by the proletariat, would find a broad response.
That very year, V. Ulyanov together with many other members of the “Union” was arrested. He spent several months in prison. The conditions of his confinement were not too bad. There he had a spacious, heated, solitary cell with parquet flooring; correspondence and ordering books from city libraries were permitted. During his confinement, V. Ulyanov read heaps of literature necessary for him to do further work. To limber up, V. Ulyanov would do exercises or polish the floor. He was neither beaten nor tortured, nor given out to criminal offenders, nor coerced into forced labour (incidentally, he was serving his term for activities aimed at a forcible overthrow of the existing regime, even if “non-constitutional”). But V. Ulyanov did not feel like heeding such “trifles”. Marxism had become for him a kind of obsession, and nothing could shake his obstinate determination to change the World. This fact confirms once again that, effectively, Marxism was already a religion for him by then. In the meantime, as a certificated lawyer, V. Ulyanov could have done much more good to himself and his country by defending the interests of the poor in court; the more so that the latter represented a fairly independent branch of Russia’s government at the time.
Then V. Ulyanov was exiled to Siberia for 3 years. Before too long, his wife, N. K. Krupskaya, with her mother, followed him. There, they lived in rooms rented in local peasants’ houses. Despite the geographical remoteness, V. Ulyanov did not feel very much detached from the outside world. He would order lots of books and periodicals, including foreign editions, from the “mainland”. Surely, the deficiency of personal contacts did make itself felt there. But, again, not so acutely – in the neighbouring villages there were quite a number of his exiled comrades, with whom V. Ulyanov could discuss current issues of the revolutionary struggle. Besides, surrounding him there was a virgin and mighty Siberian wildlife, where he could every day admire sunsets over the full-flowing Yenisey River. Nevertheless, nothing could mollify V. Ulyanov and shake his “good intentions”, which were commonly known to pave the road to hell.
V. Ulyanov’s stay in the Siberian exile proved very fruitful. Works written by him there dealt largely with setting up a workers’ party in Russia. But there were also theoretical works proper, among which most noteworthy was “The development of capitalism in Russia”. In it, he tried to prove that capitalism had already gained the upper hand in Russia, both in industry and agriculture. So, the applicability of Marxism in this country should not raise any doubt in anybody’s mind any more.
In 1900, V. Ulyanov’s Siberian exile was over. Now he was obsessed with another idea, the creation of an all-Russia Marxist newspaper. After visiting a number of Russian cities, he went to Switzerland. There, he reached an agreement with Plekhanov and his comrades to publish the newspaper “Iskra” (The Spark) and theoretical journal “Zarya” (The Dawn). Then V. Ulyanov moved to Munich, where the editorial office was to be situated. One of his first articles contributed there V. Ulyanov signed with the pseudonym “Lenin” derived from the name of the Siberian Lena River.
In 1902, Lenin, together with the editorial board moved to London. At about that time, Lenin’s another landmark work appeared, titled just as Chernyshevsky’s novel that had once enraptured him, “What is to be done?” Unlike Chernyshevsky, Lenin answered this question distinctly and unequivocally: “To set up a political party”. But what kind of party?
Here, Lenin patently tries to outstrip the natural course of events and jumps the gun. Contrary to “obvious” dogmas of dialectical materialism, he contends that the proletariat is a purely elemental Substance, Which, in and of Itself, cannot develop to rationality, that is, to Marxism. Therefore, class consciousness, according to Lenin, must be brought into the working class movement by the most advanced representatives of the propertied class. Life itself pushes Lenin to admit that “corporeality” cannot give rise to rationality of its own accord. So, Lenin, as a materialist, has to dodge and make concessions to idealism, citing the “role of the subjective factor”.
The political party to be set up was supposed exactly to engage in introducing consciousness, that is, Marxism, into the working class. To attain this objective, it, in Lenin’s view, should be of a “new type”; in other words, it should effectively be a caste of priests based on the unity of command. Thus, foundations of the coming party bureaucracy were laid down. By the way, even Marx had warned that Society should not be divided into two parts, one of which would dominate over Society (as, for example, the case with R. Owen had been). But that was how Marxism was transforming into Leninism, which, in turn, paved the way for Stalinism.
The Marxist political party in Russia (the Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Party) was formally set up as early as in 1898. Lenin could only take part in its 2nd congress, which was held in 1903 in London. He had been working on the party’s draft Programme and Rules jointly with his older comrade, Plekhanov. As a result, the “Minimum Programme” and the “Maximum Programme” appeared. The former implied eliminating the remnants of serfdom and establishing a democratic republic; the latter, bringing about a socialist revolution, imposing the dictatorship of the proletariat and building a socialist society. As for the Rules, Lenin was insisting that each individual party member should not act independently, but only as part of one of party organizations. Lenin’s proposal received a majority of votes. From then on, his supporters became to be called the “Bolsheviks”, while all the rest of the RSDWP members, the “Mensheviks”.
Differences between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks intensified at the time of the 1st Russian revolution of 1905–1907. The Mensheviks believed that since it was a bourgeois revolution, liberal bourgeoisie was meant to be its vanguard. The Bolsheviks, however, with regard to the prospects, placed stake on the proletariat. Moreover, they put forward the idea of the “bourgeois-democratic revolution growing over into the socialist revolution” and started preparations for an armed revolt. After the defeat of the latter and the fading of the Revolution, both factions, again, each stuck to its guns. The Mensheviks said “one should not have taken up to arms”, while the Bolsheviks persevered that “one should have, but more resolutely”, etc.
During the time period from 1908 to 1917, Lenin was hiding from the tsarist regime in Western European countries. From there, he directed the activities of the RSDWP’s Bolshevik faction. From 1912 on, in St. Petersburg, the Bolshevik newspaper “Pravda” started coming out, where Lenin forwarded his numerous letters and articles to. And yet, the bulk of Lenin’s attention in the early years of his 2nd emigration was focused on the philosophical substantiation of Marxism. In 1909, his “Materialism and Empiriocriticism” was published, where he formulated his article of faith: “In the world there is nothing, but moving Matter”.
Successful dissemination of Marxist Philosophy raised with renewed vigour the question of Absolute Truth. Here, opinions differed. Some, “the God-builders”, proposed to openly recognize Matter as God, and philosophical materialism, as a religion. Others, “the empiriocritics”, on the contrary, proposed to altogether reject the “obsolete” and “mystical” Matter, as well as Absolute Truth as such, and, instead, put forward the “up-to-date” and “neutral” category of Experience. Lenin resolutely came out against both extremes. First of all, he took up the cause of Absolute Truth. Secondly, he stood up for recognizing Matter in the capacity of Such and offered Its renewed, “dialectical” interpretation. Finally, he resolutely opposed identifying Matter as God. In other words, Lenin cast away Kant’s doubt as to Nature’s true existence. Moreover, he put forward Matter, i. e. the Body of Nature as Its Arche, Which, while developing, gives birth to Life, then to Mind.
As a result, Lenin managed to not only defend Matter in the new social and historical conditions and in the light of the latest scientific discoveries, but also to markedly raise Its status. Lenin admitted that Matter’s existence could be neither corroborated nor refuted altogether. Still, he demanded to unreservedly recognize Its existence and, proceeding from this standpoint, wage a merciless battle both against traditional religion and philosophical idealism and agnosticism.
So, thanks to Lenin’s efforts and despite his verbal dissociation from the “God-builders”, philosophical materialism was becoming a full-fledged religion, and Matter, God, to be worshiped and offered sacrifices. Even Lenin’s closest comrades had warned of the dangers of such a development. They quite rightfully contended that consistent atheism was only possible, when Absolute Truth was rejected. On the other hand, such a “rejection”, is, again, had no prospects, because Absolute Truth does exist and, moreover, It is God. At that historical time period, Absolute Truth was meant to manifest Itself as Matter. Being a God, It, too, seeks incarnation, which is expressed in the emergence of philosophical materialism, Marxism, Leninism, and, finally, Stalinism, as the stages of this incarnation. But Lenin “did not know” that the only truly existing Thing was God. Therefore, overthrowing Him and erecting Matter in His place, he sincerely thought that he was thereby defending atheism.
In 1914, the First World War broke out. It caught Lenin in Austria-Hungary, where he was arrested on suspicion of spying for Russia. He was soon freed, however, thanks to the interference of some of the host country’s MPs. Thereafter, Lenin settled in Switzerland.
His attitude towards this war was unequivocal. He regarded it as an unjust and predatory war, which had been unleashed by the bourgeoisie in pursuit of bigger profits and which had nothing to do with the interests of indigent social classes, above all, the proletariat. So, Lenin came out for this “imperialist” war to grow into a civil war aimed to overthrow the bourgeois governments taking part in it. This was exactly how the idea of the “victory of the socialist revolution initially in one, separately taken country” was born. In this connection the slogan of “revolutionary defeatism”, that is, the defeat of one’s own government was put forward. Such a stance, despite its apparently humanistic spirit, if translated into a habitual, “bourgeois” language, meant nothing more than “high treason”.
The above range of problems was elaborated in Lenin’s work “Imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism” out in 1916. In it, Lenin contended that capitalism, as a socio-economic formation, had entered into its highest and final stage of development, “imperialism” which immediately preceded the proletarian revolution. Free market competition eventually results in the emergence of a handful of huge monopolies that focus on deriving super-profits out of economically backward countries and colonies. In this light, the First World War appeared as nothing but a struggle for a re-division of spheres of influence between such monopolies.
Despite his definitions of the “revolutionary situation”, which have become classic, Lenin failed to foresee a revolution in his own country. He learned the news about the February 1917 bourgeois-democratic revolution in Russia from Swiss papers. He immediately started making efforts in order to return to his homeland. And those efforts proved successful. The German government, considering Lenin’s idea of defeating “one’s own government”, gave its consent to the transit of Lenin and his fellow émigrés through the German territory, and even supplied a special, closely guarded train for this purpose.
In St. Petersburg, now renamed into Petrograd, Lenin was given a pompous welcome by the social-democratic community. Some papers presented him bluntly as the “leader of the world proletariat”. The very next day, Lenin came out with his “April Theses”, which put many into a shock. The acclaimed classic of Marxism G. V. Plekhanov characterized them as a “reckless and extremely harmful attempt to sow anarchic embroilment on Russian Soil”, while the Bolshevik A. A. Bogdanov branded them as ”ravings of a madman” and a “disgrace to the Marxists”. The point was that after the victory of the February revolution the Russian social democrats largely stood up for the support of the Provisional Government, for the expansion of bourgeois-democratic reforms in the country, and for the defence of the revolutionary motherland in the war against Germany (“revolutionary defencism”). Lenin, however, urged by the fond memories of the 1905 “rehearsal”, was calling on everyone to immediately turn arms against the Provisional Government and transform the bourgeois-democratic revolution into the proletarian revolution, and the imperialist war, into the civil war and then, into the world revolution.
For all that, Lenin’s charisma proved so powerful that within a matter of days the Bolsheviks almost unanimously accepted his “ravings”. Interestingly, Joseph Stalin was among the first to do so – he unerringly found out which way the wind was blowing.
In July, 1917, Lenin, again, had to go underground. A demonstration organized by the Bolsheviks, grew into a skirmish with government troops, and many Bolshevik leaders found themselves under the threat of arrest. At that time, Lenin wrote his work “The state and revolution”. In it, he again insisted on forcibly overthrowing the bourgeois state, or the bourgeois dictatorship, and replacing it with the proletarian state, or the proletarian dictatorship. Developing the Marxist ideas of the state, he asserts that after the final suppression of the resistance of the bourgeoisie, social classes will disappear, and the state, as a weapon of class domination, will die out.
In the meantime, chaos was mounting in the country. The situation in the German front was disastrous, the urban areas were affected by workers’ strikes, and the country-side abounded with peasant uprisings. The Provisional Government was patently failing to catch up with the logic of revolutionary development. The convocation of the Constituent Assembly was being protracted. In the parallel government bodies, the Soviets (Councils), the Bolsheviks gained the upper hand. Moreover, in an attempt to prevent “reaction”, the socialist-leaning premier A. F. Kerensky proclaimed the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, general L. G. Kornilov, a rebel. In doing so, he ordered a handout of guns to the Petrograd workers and also the release of the arrested Bolsheviks, who by then had already charted a course toward an armed revolt.
So, “the workers’ and peasants’ revolution, about the necessity of which the Bolsheviks have always spoken, has been accomplished”, – proclaimed Lenin on November 7th, 1917, at the 2nd All-Russia Congress of Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies. At the same event, he was elected chairman of the new government, the Council of People’s Commissars. Politically, however, the Bolsheviks again found themselves in the minority – the October Revolution had been supported by the only one political party, the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries. On the other hand, the Bolsheviks not so much needed other political parties, because the proletarian state was meant to be created, first and foremost, to break down the resistance of the bourgeoisie, i. e. of those who disagreed with the Bolsheviks.
Having seized the power, the Bolsheviks started to take measures outlined by Marx and Engels in their “Communist Manifesto”. Among these there were: nationalization of land and subsoil, of large property and banks, and the introduction of workers’ control in private companies. The new regime refused to pay foreign debts incurred by the Tsarist government. Opposition newspapers and political parties, rallies and demonstrations were banned. The long-awaited Constituent Assembly was dismissed, and peaceful demonstrators, who took to the streets to support it, were shot.
Nevertheless, quite positive steps were also taken. Russia managed to drop out of the war, although at the cost of great losses and concessions. Economically controversially, but humanly justifiable measures were taken, for example, free education and health care, as well as the 8-hour work day were introduced. In the field of ethnic relationships, the right of a nation to self-determination up to secession and the formation of an independent state was proclaimed (this right remained only on paper during the Bolshevik dictatorship and eventually proved to be a time bomb). Echoing the French Revolution, there appeared the abolition of social estates, titles, and ranks, and the establishment of the only title for all, “the citizens of the Russian Republic”. At the same time, women got equal rights as men. Besides, the church was separated from the state, and the school, from the church, which, however, was not meant to be the freedom of conscience.
Certainly, by no means all the Russians welcomed the Bolsheviks’ actions. In 1918, a full-scale and merciless civil war broke out in the country, and it was aggravated by foreign intervention. Lenin found himself in the thick of it. A series of attempts on his life was arranged. As a result of one of them, he was badly wounded, and this injury’s after-effects would apparently lead to his premature death. Who shot him, and who was behind the shooting has never been ascertained. Anyway, it gave the Bolsheviks occasion to unleash the “Red Terror” against their opponents.
Immediately after his recovery, Lenin took an active part in the Red Terror. His instructions on how to treat estate owners, “exploiter farmers”, industrial capitalists, priests, “bourgeois intellectuals” and other “enemies of the people” abounded with such recommendations as “shoot”, “hang”, “jail”, or “send to a concentration camp”. And yet, one should not over-demonize this executor of the ideas of philosophical materialism. Sometimes, he would gently warn his acquaintances, for example, former fellow students at Kazan University: “Leave here, otherwise I’ll arrest you”. For most eminent scientists and cultural figures, who opposed Bolshevik actions, instead of shooting, special “philosopher’s ships” were arranged, meant to carry them to “bourgeois democratic” countries.
And yet, mass actions against the new regime forced the Bolsheviks to back down, to a certain extent. In 1921, the “New Economic Policy” was introduced in Russia. Private property and market relations, although with lots of limitations, returned to the country. Suddenly, the Bolsheviks came to their senses and realized that the needed abundance of goods and services to be socialized under Communism could only be created under the odious “bourgeois” mode of production. But the peculiarity of such “capitalism” was that all the commanding heights in the economy should be retained in the hands of the Bolsheviks.
In those conditions, the role of the Bolshevik Party, which had been named the “Communist Party” after the October Revolution, was set to grow. In 1922, Josef Stalin was appointed its secretary general. He spearheaded the consolidation of power and the bureaucratization of the party apparatus. In doing so, he would decide many issues at his sole discretion. Lenin could not but notice these quite explicable, but still alarming trends. However, his health condition deteriorated to such a great extent that he was no longer able to exert any sizable influence on the course of events.
In his last works, written in periods between bouts of his disease, Lenin appeared not so irreconcilable and merciless as he had been before and disposed rather critical towards what was going on in Russia. He advocated an alliance with non-communists in various fields. He was worried about the bureaucratization of the party and state apparatus in the country, about Stalin’s and Trotsky’s cult of the leader, and also about their rivalry. He was anxious about Russia’s backwardness, not so much economic, but rather a cultural one. In this connection, he put forward a triune task: “industrialization, cooperation, and cultural revolution”.
“Industrialization,” according to Lenin, was meant to not only equip Russia’s economy with up-to-date technical basis, but also forge peasants, who were in great number in Russia, into proletarians. “Cooperation” was meant to encourage any voluntary integration of small property owners in agriculture. Finally, Marxism had always been treated by Lenin as the acmé of world culture. “Proletarian culture, – he maintained – must be the logical development of the store of knowledge mankind has accumulated under the yoke of capitalist, landowner, and bureaucratic society”, and “one can become a communist only when one has enriched one’s memory with a knowledge of all the riches produced by mankind”. Therefore the “cultural revolution” was aimed to “impart the supreme spiritual values to the working people”.
Lenin was respectful towards classical art. His favourite branch of art was music, the love for which had apparently been cultivated in him by his mother, who had played the piano quite well. Among his favourite composers there were Wagner, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky. Well known is his opinion on Beethoven’s 23d piano sonata (which, however, he may well have confused with the 8th, but it makes little difference): “I know of nothing better than the “Appassionata” and could listen to it every day. What astonishing, superhuman music! It always makes me proud, perhaps with a childish naiveté, to think that people can work such miracles..!”
In autumn, 1923, Lenin underwent medical treatment at the “Gorki” estate near Moscow. Having felt some improvement in his condition, he asked his driver to take him to the city to have a look at his Kremlin flat. He was startled, when he opened the door: his flat had evidently been searched. His papers and other objects were in a mess, some of them missing. Lenin’s property had been overshadowed by the new Proprietor. Lenin felt very nervous, his breath hitched, he teetered, and the driver could narrowly catch him. On his return to Gorki, Lenin was hit by another paroxysm of the disease, from which he never recovered.
Lenin died on the 21st of January, 1924. Having learned of his death, his closest comrades wept like children. His dedication to philosophical materialism still failed to completely overshadow His purely human qualities. He never gave Himself credit for His leadership in the common cause and would oppose any attempts at establishing his personality cult. He enjoyed exceptional esteem, but He was not feared, and would be half-jocosely called only by His patronymic name, just “Ilych”, behind His back. Having come to power, He tried to avoid violence towards His worthy opponents; He would rather advise them to emigrate, saying: “I respect you, but you hinder me”.
Anyway, His cruelty towards His “enemies” would never be turned against His comrades, and, at bottom, His heart was overwhelmed with sympathy to all the “toiling and burdened ones”. He would never forget that Revolution was being accomplished for the sake of Man, although interpreted in a peculiar way. He dreamed of a “world where every neighbour is a friend”, and did all He could, within the historical limits He found Himself in, to make this dream come true.
So, in the person of Lenin, Matter, or the Body of Nature, reached Its incarnation. Philosophical materialism became a religion, although it was not yet developed into a full-scale religious cult. True, Lenin was given a superhuman posthumous tribute; pilgrims began to flock to His body, and the latter had to be embalmed. The position of a living Deity was bound to be taken by a man more primitive and fully free from “humanistic prejudices”, so the cult of the incarnated Matter would reach its climax under Stalin. Then it would be no longer necessary to “enrich one’s mind with the knowledge of all the treasures created by mankind”. It would be sufficient just to bow down unto this “historically limited” Image of God.
Finally, what conclusions can one draw from the deification of Nature’s Body and Its subsequent incarnation? What new features does this Attempt add to the Image of God being painted? Apparently, here lies a hint of the Divine Person abiding not amid those who are well-off, but, rather, amid the needy.