Vladimir Lenin Biography

Vladimir Lenin was born to a moderately prosperous middle-class family in Simbirsk. Lenin embraced revolutionary socialist politics following his brother’s 1887 execution.

Expelled from Kazan Imperial University for participating in protests against the Russian Empire’s Tsarist government, he devoted the following years to a law degree.

He moved to Saint Petersburg in 1893. In 1897, police arrested him for sedition and exiled to Shushenskoye for three years.

After his exile, he moved to Western Europe, where he became a prominent theorist in the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP).

In 1903, he took a key role in a RSDLP ideological split, leading the Bolshevik faction against Julius Martov’s Mensheviks.

Encouraging insurrection during Russia’s failed Revolution of 1905, he later campaigned for the First World War to be transformed into a Europe-wide proletarian revolution.

After the 1917 February Revolution ousted the Tsar and established a Provisional Government. He returned to Russia to play a leading role in the October Revolution, in which the Bolsheviks overthrew the new regime.

Lenin’s Bolshevik government initially shared power with the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, elected soviets, and a multi-party Constituent Assembly. Although by 1918 it had centralised power in the new Communist Party.

Soon Lenin’s administration redistributed land among the peasantry and nationalised banks and large-scale industry.

It withdrew from the First World War by signing a treaty with the Central Powers and promoted world revolution through the Communist International.

Later state security services administered the violent campaign to suppress opposition. They killed and interned tens of thousands in concentration camps.

Responding to wartime devastation, famine, and popular uprisings, in 1921 Lenin encouraged economic growth through the market-oriented New Economic Policy.

In increasingly poor health, Lenin died at his dacha in Gorki, with Joseph Stalin succeeding him as the pre-eminent figure in the Soviet government.

Vladimir Lenin Definition

Lenin was a devout Marxist. Later e believed that his interpretation of Marxism was the sole authentic and orthodox one.

Lenin’s Marxist beliefs led him to the view that society could not transform directly from its present state to communism. He must first enter a period of socialism. So his main concern was how to convert Russia into a socialist society.

To do so, he believed that a “dictatorship of the proletariat” was necessary to suppress the bourgeoisie and develop a socialist economy.

He defined socialism as “an order of civilized co-operators in which the means of production are socially owned”. Later he believed that this economic system had to be expanded until it could create a society of abundance.

To achieve this, he saw bringing the Russian economy under state control to be his central concern, with – in his words – “all citizens” becoming “hired employees of the state”.

Later Lenin’s explained socialism as centralised, planned, and statist, with both production and distribution strictly controlled.

Later he believed that all workers throughout the country would voluntarily join together to enable the state’s economic and political centralisation.

In this way, his calls for “workers’ control” of the means of production referred not to the direct control of enterprises by their workers, but the operation of all enterprises under the control of a “workers’ state”.

This resulted in what some perceive as two conflicting themes within Lenin’s thought: popular workers’ control, and a centralised, hierarchical, coercive state apparatus.

Vladimir Lenin Quotes

The most important thing when ill is to never lose heart.

While the State exists there can be no freedom; when there is freedom there will be no State

The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency.

Our program necessarily includes the propaganda of atheism.

Vladimir Lenin Tomb

Lenin’s Tomb, situated in Red Square in the centre of Moscow, is a mausoleum that currently serves as the resting place of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin.

His preserved body has been on public display there since shortly after his death in 1924, with rare exceptions in wartime.

Alexey Shchusev’s diminutive but monumental granite structure incorporates some elements from ancient mausoleums.

This included  the Step Pyramid, the Tomb of Cyrus the Great and, to some degree, Temple of the Inscriptions.

Vladimir Lenin Facts

Lenin graduated from school at the top of his class with a gold medal for exceptional performance.

In February 1897, court sentenced him without trial to three years’ exile in eastern Siberia.

Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin

Lenin had been an intensely emotional young man, who exhibited strong hatred for the Tsarist authorities.

Lenin showed no sign of sadism or of personally desiring to commit violent acts, but he endorsed the violent actions of others and exhibited no remorse for those killed for the revolutionary cause.

Vladimir Lenin Cause of Death

Lenin was seriously ill by the latter half of 1921, suffering from hyperacusis, insomnia, and regular headaches.

At the Politburo’s insistence, in July he left Moscow for a month’s leave at his Gorki mansion, where he was cared for by his wife and sister.

Lenin began to contemplate the possibility of suicide, asking both Krupskaya and Stalin to acquire potassium cyanide for him.

In March 1923, Lenin suffered a third stroke and lost his ability to speak: that month, he experienced partial paralysis on his right side and began exhibiting sensory aphasia.

By May, he appeared to be making a slow recovery, regaining some of his mobility, speech, and writing skills. In October, he made a final visit to the Kremlin.

On 21 January 1924, Lenin fell into a coma and died later that day. His official cause of death was recorded as an incurable disease of the blood vessels.

Vladimir Lenin Books

“Left-Wing” Communism: An Infantile Disorder(1920)

The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky(1918)

Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism(1916)

Vladimir Lenin Height

He was 165 cm or 5’4” tall.

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