#61: The Incompetent Authoritarianism of Vladimir Lenin
Updated: May 17
(05/10/2023) Having grown up in a time when anarchism was the ubiquitous form of revolutionary politics, Daniel of What Is Politics? and Arnold talk with bewilderment about the current proliferation of authoritarian leftism. Heavily referencing the amazing A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891-1924, we discuss the persistent myth that the Bolsheviks in some sense planned the Russian Revolution or deposed the Czar; ask why Ukrainian peasants succeeded in briefly defending an agrarian anarchist society while Russian peasants did not; and discuss the importance of having any idea what is happening around you if you want to run a country. But first! Arnold frames this discussion by reading from a draft of his book about the psychology of charismatic authoritarians, a psychology that unites everyone from Lenin to Trump, Hitler to the leader of the New Age cult he grew up in. Be sure to check out the highly complementary video on Daniel's channel Why the Russian Revolution Failed.
Thanks to Megan Pettit for generating this Lenin-as-pharaoh image,
not to mention taking care of me after my kidney transplant,
letting me build a house in her back yard, etc.