Favorite 3 Paragraphs of History Writing: Churchill on Lenin

Churchill in The World Crisis, Volume 4

“Lenin was the Great Repudiator. He repudiated everything. He repudiated God, King, Country, morals, treaties, debt, rents, interest, the laws and customs of centuries, all contracts written or implied, the whole structure – such as it is – of human society. In the end he repudiated himself. He repudiated the Communist system. He confessed its failure in an all important sphere. He proclaimed the New Economic Policy and recognized private trade. He repudiated what he had slaughtered so many for not believing. There were right it seemed after all. They were unlucky that he did not find it out before. But these things happen sometimes: and how great is the man who acknowledges his mistake! Back again to wash the dishes and give the child a sweetmeat. Thence once more to the rescue of mankind. This time perhaps the shot will be better aimed. It may kill those who are wrong: not those who are right. But after all what are men? If Imperialism had its cannon food, should the Communist laboratory be denied the raw material for sociological experiment?

 When the subtle acids he had secreted ate through the physical texture of his brain Lenin mowed the ground. The walls of the Kremlin were not the only witness of a strange decay. It was reported that for several months before his death he mumbled old prayers to the deposed gods with ceaseless iteration. If it be true, it shows that Irony is not unknown on Mount Olympus. But this gibbering creature was no longer Lenin. He had already gone. His body lingered for a space to mock the vanished soul. It is still preserved in pickle for the curiousity of the Moscow public and for the consolation of the faithful.

 Lenin’s intellect failed at the moment when its destructive force was exhausted, and when sovereign remedial functions were its quest. He alone could have led Russia into the enchanted quagmire; he alone could have found a way back to the causeway. He saw; he turned; he perished. The strong illuminant that guided him was cut off at the moment when he had turned resolutely for home. The Russian people were left floundering in the bog. Their worst misfortune was his birth; their next worst – his death.”

I am a guy who survived the Covid lockdown by reading 63 history books and writing a 164 page study book and a synthesis, which is published here.