Before his death in 1918, Plekhanov, a Russian revolutionary theoretician who later broke up with Lenin, left a dictated will, which was written down by his close friend L.G. Deutsch and secretly collected by N.Nizhegorodov. The will stated that as long as the Bolsheviks were in power, the will could not be published.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the will was published by the newspaper Independent on November 30, 1999, and in 2000 it was published in a publication of the Mann-Leninist Compilation Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, with a translation of 30,000 words. To the immense surprise of posterity, the will, despite its perceived limitations, predicted several things, including the collapse of the Soviet Union, which were fulfilled decades later.
Predicting the inevitable collapse of the Soviet Communist regime built on terror
Bolshevism, which emerged in 1903 as the far-left wing of the Russian Social Democratic Party, grew rapidly during the prewar years and is now one of the most influential political, ideological, and organizational forces. According to Plekhanov, there was only one new thing in Bolshevism, and that was “unrestricted and total class terror”.
In his will, Plekhanov denounced the actions of the Bolsheviks under Lenin, saying that they had committed one crime after another, such as their deprivations, which were outrageous violations of law and order and civilization, and unsupervised plunder (as in the case of private banks); their reliance on rifles and revolutionary slogans to take the last hen from the peasants; their seizure of newspapers and magazines in less than six months; and their seizure of more newspapers and magazines than the Shah’s. They seized more newspapers and magazines in less than half a year than the Tsarist authorities had done in the entire Romanov dynasty.
He predicted that the Bolshevik regime would evolve as follows: Lenin’s dictatorship of the proletariat would rapidly become a one-party dictatorship, and the dictatorship of the party would become the dictatorship of the party leader, whose power would be maintained at first by class terror and later by full-scale national terror. The Bolsheviks could not give democracy and freedom to the people, because they would immediately lose power as soon as they implemented them. Lenin knew this very well.
This being so, the Bolsheviks had no way out but through terror, deception, intimidation and coercion. But terror, deception, intimidation and coercion do not lead to the rapid development of productive forces and a just society.
Plekhanov pointed out that if Lenin and his followers could maintain their power for a long time, the future of Russia would be miserable and the fate of the Inca Empire would await it (note: the powerful Inca Empire fell in 1533). The Bolshevik path, however short or long, will inevitably be impressive for falsifying history, committing crimes, lying, demagoguery and behaving dishonorably.
Everything said about the Bolsheviks – their tactics, their ideology, their attitude toward deprivation, their unrestrained terror one by one – led Plekhanov to conclude with certainty that the fall of the Bolsheviks was inevitable! Sooner or later everyone would understand the fallacy of Lenin’s ideas, and Bolshevik socialism would then collapse like a small house made of cards.
In 1991, after Plekhanov’s prediction, the Soviet Union fell apart and split into several countries, and at the time of its collapse, neither Soviet officials nor ordinary people showed any special attachment to the Soviet Union, because the past reign of terror, official corruption and social injustice had already made people see through the Communist Party, and the Soviet Union had lost its popular support at this moment. And Plekhanov’s prediction that “Bolshevik socialism will collapse like a small house made of cards” also came true.
The prediction of the collapse of the Bolshevik Party after four crises
In the light of the objective historical conditions prevailing in Russia, the logic of developments, the Bolshevik tactics and ideologically motivated actions, Plekhanov predicted that the Bolsheviks would encounter four crises, one more complex than the other, on their way to consolidating power, and that the length of their rule would depend on which of these crises they would fall into.
The first was the famine crisis, the second was the crisis of collapse, the third was the socio-economic crisis, and the fourth was the ideological crisis. In this fourth crisis, the Bolshevik regime began to disintegrate from within, but the process of disintegration could drag on for decades because Russia had never known what democracy was.
According to Plekhanov, the reason why it will take decades is that the Bolshevik regime will be accepted by the Russians with respect and obedience. Plus this regime could be strengthened with the help of superior demagogic propaganda, developed surveillance and repressive apparatus. However, this ending could not be changed by anyone.
All four of the crises predicted by Plekhanov occurred one after another in the Soviet Union, and it was in the midst of an ideological crisis that the Soviet regime came to an end. According to the American David Coates’ book “Top-Down Revolution,” in June 1991, an American social research organization conducted a survey in Moscow on ideological issues, targeting key party officials who held high levels of power. The survey was conducted in small groups, usually for four to five hours, to determine the ideological views of the respondents. The results of the analysis were that about 9.6 percent had a communist ideology and clearly supported the pre-reform socialist model; 12.3 percent had a democratic socialist view, supported the reforms and wanted socialism to be democratized; and 76.7 percent believed that capitalism should be implemented.
Obviously, the percentage of Soviet Communist Party executives who advocate the capitalist path is quite high, and this precisely reflects the lack of necessary confidence in communism and in the Communist Party’s ideology within the Soviet Communist Party. And this means that they fell back on capitalism as soon as the society faced the critical moment of where to go.
The book also makes the new point that the United States and the West did play a large role in the collapse of the Soviet Union, but that this role was not primarily political or economic, but that the ideology represented by liberalism penetrated very effectively into the minds of Soviet intellectuals and party cadres. in 1991, American economists studied the ideological tendencies of Soviet economists and compared them to British economists and found that they were more supportive of marketization and privatization.
In 1987, for example, former Soviet Communist Party General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev set out his analysis of the crisis and its solutions in his book Reform and New Thinking. In the book, he listed various ills of the Soviet economy, such as waste of raw materials, inefficiency, technological obsolescence and centralized management and rigidity. Gorbachev points out that the crisis is not only capitalist, but “historical experience proves that socialist societies cannot guarantee …… the absence of major socio-political crises either.”
He pointed out that the root cause of the Soviet crisis lay in the defects contained in the particular form of socialism established in the Soviet Union, in particular “excessive centralization in management, neglect of the rich diversity of human interests, underestimation of the active role of the people in public life ……”. According to Gorbachev, the fundamental defect of this system is the lack of democracy; the way out lies in the “broad democratization of all spheres of society”.
In 1989, the authorities embarked on the democratization of the political system. New people’s congresses, some municipalities and oblast governments were elected in a semi-free manner throughout the country, and the opposition won the elections, openly criticizing the Communist Party and socialism. Just two years later, the Soviet Union collapsed, and communism was spurned in each of the Soviet Union’s once-franchised republics one after another.
Lenin was predicted to kill many people
In Plekhanov’s eyes, Lenin was a “chameleon” who, although well-versed in Marxism, was obsessed with “developing” Marxism in one direction (the direction of falsification) and with one goal (proving his erroneous conclusions to be correct). Lenin was “morbidly facetious, absolutely intolerant of criticism”, “immoral, ruthless, unprincipled, and by nature an adventurer”.
Plekhanov pointed out that “Lenin was able to kill the other half of the Russians in order to drive them into a happy socialist future, he would do anything to achieve his goal, he would even ally himself with the devil if necessary”.
He also compared Lenin to the 20th century Robespierre, the supreme leader of the French Revolution during the reign of terror of the Jacobin dictatorship, who killed many people. Plekhanov wrote that if Robespierre cut off the heads of hundreds of innocent people, Lenin would cut off the heads of millions of people. For Lenin once said, “The Jacobin Republic fell because too few heads were cut off.”
It is true that Lenin in history also killed without blinking. For example, Lenin killed the family of the last Tsar Nikolai, who had given him relative freedom. After the February Revolution, the Nicholas family was originally agreed to go to England, but was opposed by the Bolsheviks. After being transferred to captivity, the Nikolai family was shot to death by order of the Soviet Executive Committee without trial. 11 people were executed: the Nikolai’s, their four daughters and a minor son. There were also Dr. Botkin, two servants and a cook. Initial plans to bury the bodies in abandoned mines were unsuccessful, and they were finally buried under a road, where the bodies were burned and disfigured by acid.
For example, after the October 1917 coup, Lenin made a brutal decision to dissolve the parliament, the Constituent Assembly, which led to popular protests, and demonstrators were shot dead. According to the book “State Security in Russia: History and Reality” published in 2004, 258 riots broke out in 32 provinces of Soviet Russia in 1918 (mainly in the second half of the year), according to the incomplete statistics of the All-Russian Purges Committee. More than 2,000 people died in 15 provinces alone to suppress them, while in 24 provinces the number of “riot-related” deaths was about 900. In other words, there were an average of 8 riots in each province, resulting in about 170 deaths. Lenin was to blame.
In addition, Lenin also suppressed religion, persecuted intellectuals, and established labor camps. Since Lenin’s time, Soviet people under the Red Terror could be deprived of their lifelong wealth under the name of “nationalization”, arrested for a joke or a complaint against the leader, or imprisoned for drunken talk after drinking …… In other words, people who committed minor crimes or told jokes about the Soviet leadership were sent to labor camps.
As Plekhanov predicted, Lenin was able to kill the other half of Russians in order to drive half of them into a happy socialist future. And in recent years, as the historical truth has been restored, more and more statues of Lenin throughout the Soviet Union have been torn down or destroyed, just as the people want them to be.
On January 21, 2016, the 92nd anniversary of Lenin’s death, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the end of a meeting of the Scientific and Educational Council on that day that Lenin’s ideas eventually led to the collapse of the Soviet Union, and that it was like a nuclear bomb placed under the “Russia” building, which later exploded.
Predicted that sooner or later Russia would return to the normal path of development
According to Plekhanov’s observation, since there would be no democracy in Lenin’s society, the Bolsheviks could not guarantee class harmony and protect the interests of workers, and the future of Russia depended to a large extent on the length of Bolshevik rule. Sooner or later Russia would return to the normal path of development, but the longer the Bolshevik dictatorship existed, the more painful the road to this return would be.
According to Plekhanov, a country cannot be great as long as its citizens remain poor! What determines the true greatness of a country is not its vast territory or even its long history, but its democratic traditions, the standard of living of its citizens. As long as the citizens are still poor, as long as there is no democracy, it is difficult to guarantee that the country will not experience social unrest, or even disintegration.
The process of the Soviet Union from its seeming power to its disintegration is proof of what Plekhanov said, and Russia today, although free from the Communist Party, is still slowly on the road back to normal development, a process that will continue.
Predicting the obsolescence of Marx’s proletarian theory
In his will, Plekhanov also predicted that “the dictatorship of the proletariat, as Marx understood it, can never be realized, either now or in the future”, because the ranks of the intelligentsia are growing faster than the proletariat, and therefore their role in the productive forces has jumped to the top. The growth of the number of intellectuals would fundamentally change the social environment.
Moreover, Plekhanov believed that “capitalism will not be buried soon”. He believes that “capitalism is a flexible social structure, which reacts to social struggles, constantly changes and humanizes itself” and therefore “capitalism does not need gravediggers” and “in any case, the future of capitalism is enviable. future is enviable”.
Plekhanov’s will does not only signal the end of the Soviet Union, but also the end of the Chinese Communist Party, which has done more than the Soviet Union. Undoubtedly, it can also be said that as long as the citizens are poor and as long as there is no democracy, there is no guarantee that China will not experience social unrest or even disintegration. And no matter what the path of the CCP is, short or long, it will inevitably be impressive and forever nailed to the pillar of shame of history for falsifying history, committing crimes, lying, demagoguing and behaving dishonorably.