Monday, 2 July 2012

"an immense crime against socialism"

The population of Petrograd (until 1914 called St. Petersburg) fell from 2,500,000 in 1917 to 700,000 in 1920, a reduction of 72%. source

A couple of extracts from an article by Lenin:

How to Organise Competition?
By Vladimir Lenin, December 1917
"... this greatest change in human history from working under compulsion to working for oneself cannot take place without friction, difficulties, conflicts and violence against the inveterate parasites and their hangers-on. ...
No mercy for these enemies of the people, the enemies of socialism, the enemies of the working people! War to the death against the rich and their hangers-on, the bourgeois intellectuals; war on the rogues, the idlers and the rowdies! ...
The rich and the rogues are two sides of the same coin, they are the two principal categories of parasites which capitalism fostered; they are the principal enemies of socialism. These enemies must be placed under the special surveillance of the entire people; they must be ruthlessly punished for the slightest violation of the laws and regulations of socialist society. Any display of weakness, hesitation or sentimentality in this respect would be an immense crime against socialism ...
(In the following two paragraphs Lenin explains why him and his cohorts are incompetent at real work, but must be the vanguard of the People's Republic. And why the people must simply work—the people can not lead the People's Republic) 
We cannot dispense with the advice, the instruction of educated people, of intellectuals and specialists. Every sensible worker and peasant understands this perfectly well, and the intellectuals in our midst cannot complain of a lack of attention and comradely respect on the part of the workers and peasants. Advice and instruction, however, is one thing, and the organisation of practical accounting and control is another. Very often the intellectuals give excellent advice and instruction, but they prove to be ridiculously, absurdly, shamefully "unhandy" and incapable of carrying out this advice and instruction, of exercising practical control over the translation of words into deeds.
In this very respect it is utterly impossible to dispense with the help and the leading role of the practical organisers from among the "people", from among the factory workers and working peasants. "It is not the gods who make pots"—this is the truth that the workers and peasants should get well drilled into their minds. They must understand that the whole thing now is practical work; that the historical moment has arrived when theory is being transformed into practice, vitalised by practice, corrected by practice, tested by practice; when the words of Marx, "Every step of real movement is more important than a dozen programmes", become particularly true—every step in really curbing in practice, restricting, fully registering the rich and the rogues and keeping them under control is worth more than a dozen excellent arguments about socialism. For, "theory, my friend, is grey, but green is the eternal tree of life". ...
In one place half a score of rich, a dozen rogues, half a dozen workers who shirk their work ... will be put in prison. In another place they will be put to cleaning latrines. In a third place they will be provided with "yellow tickets" (what prostitutes were traditional required to carry) after they have served their time, so that everyone shall keep an eye on them, as harmful persons, until they reform. In a fourth place, one out of every ten idlers will be shot on the spot.

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