Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Criticizing your predecessors

Well, George Washington was a slaveholder. Mao "made mistakes." But Lenin was "delirious"?

And do you recognize the reference to reinforcing cleavages?

Putin denounces Soviet founder Lenin
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday criticized Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin, accusing him of placing a ‘‘time bomb’’ under the state and sharply denouncing brutal repressions by the Bolshevik government.

The harsh criticism of Lenin, who is still revered by communists and many others in Russia, is unusual for Putin…

Putin’s assessment of Lenin’s role in Russian history came during Monday’s meeting with pro-Kremlin activists in the southern city of Stavropol. Putin denounced Lenin and his government for brutally executing Russia’s last czar along with all his family and servants, killing thousands of priests, and undermining the Russian state by drawing administrative borders along ethnic lines…

Lenin
Putin was particularly critical of Lenin’s concept of a federative state with its entities having the right to secede, saying it heavily contributed to the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union. ‘‘It was a time bomb under our state,’’ he said, adding that Lenin’s was wrong in a dispute with Josef Stalin who advocated a unitary state model.

Putin also blasted the Bolsheviks for making Russia lose World War I in their quest for power, making Russia suffer defeat by Germany and cede large chunks of territory just months before it lost World War I. ‘‘We lost to the losing party, a unique case in history,’’ Putin said.

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