To cheer up Legal Eagle

By DeusExMacintosh

leninlaysexplosiveegg

One of Russia’s most famous statues of Vladimir Lenin has been bombed, leaving the Bolshevik revolutionary with a gaping hole in his rear.

The bronze statue, in the city of St Petersburg, was badly damaged before dawn on Wednesday, when the blast blew a hole in Lenin’s coat. No-one was hurt in the attack, the motive for which was unknown.

The statue, outside the Finland Station, marks the Bolshevik leader’s return from exile in April 1917.

“Today at 0430 [0030 GMT] there was an explosion at the Lenin monument at the Finland Station in the city centre,” a spokesman for the Saint Petersburg branch of the Russian emergency situations ministry told the AFP news agency.

“As a result of the explosion a crater of 80-100cm [31-39in] appeared on the monument,” he added.

Lenin gave a speech at the railway station after his return from exile. Later that year he would lead the revolution that overthrew the government and would take the Communists to power for more than 70 years.

BBC News

27 Comments

  1. Posted April 14, 2009 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    The Leninabomber definitely has a sense of humour. That’s funny even without the photoshoppery…

  2. Lang Mack
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    ??????????? ???? ?????? ? ???????? ?? ?? ????

  3. Posey
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    LE, it is very clever and funny and achieved exactly what was intended, I reckon.

    There is a very idiosyncratic, irreverent, anti-authoritarian yet passive streak in Russians and Czechs in particular, born of centuries of cruel, autocratic rule, which of course continues to this day. In Prague in 1968 when the Russian tanks occupied the city, the citizens famously crept out and painted some of the tanks pink while their Russian occupants slept.

    Since this was probably done by young people who’d never themselves been force-fed Lenin at school, and had no particular reason to hate him politically, I’d say it was done because they wanted to say that this serious old fart and national figure in such a portentous pose needed a right royal blast up his arse. Too good.

    Not sure of the provenance of this stature but presume it was of the Stalin-era. Unlike Stalin, Lenin hated and rejected personal adulation, and the idea of monuments of himself was anathema to him. I reckon he would’ve heartily approved of this excellent visual joke.

  4. Tim Quilty
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    I think to a certain extent the Russian schoolkids are still being force-fed Lenin as a great leader. Ranking right up along there with Stalin and Putin. In fact I won’t be suprised to see official propaganda posters emerge, with the three of them standing there together, surveying their domain.

    As I understand it, Lenin was actually quite vain about his appearance, and, perhaps suprisingly for a revolutionary, he always had the latest in hand-tailored fashion. I suspect he wouldn’t have had much of an issue with all the statues of him errected around the place, unless he didn’t think the likeness was good enough.

    For that matter, I reckon the only problem Lenin would have had with Stalin’s reign of terror is that it wasn’t him in charge of it. He certainly laid the foundations for it, and had hands soaked in blood.

    Can’t stand the “Lenin Good, Stalin Bad” myth. Though the current generation of young Russians have the “Lenin Good, Stalin tough but misunderstood and still great leader” line going, and I suppose that is worse.

    I’d blame the national bolsheviks, but they like to appropriate the soviet symbols, so probably not. Still, I’m sure someone in authority will be blaming them for it shortly.

  5. Posted April 14, 2009 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Ah chuckle. That’s the funniest thing I’ve seen all day.

  6. Posted April 14, 2009 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Shoulda been Hitler tho’. It would’ve been more historically accurate considering his flatulence.

  7. Posey
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    “Lenin’s philosophy was that terror was justified if it suppressed counterrevolutionaries and brought in the new world order.”

    mmm, sounds familiar, now where have I heard/learnt/read of that before?

    Lenin abhorred Stalin and warned the rest of the Bolshevik Party about him after his stroke and before he died in the early 1920s. It is all there in the history books, which I have studied, I might add.

  8. Tim Quilty
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Lenin was well aware of Stalin’s history and character, long before his stroke. I believe he is on record as saying that they needed more criminals of his calible to implement their revolution, or something similar. You’ll find that in the history books too, at least the ones not written by fellow travellers still trying to sanitise the revolution.

  9. Posey
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Citations please Tim re Lenin saying he wanted more criminals to implement his revolution.

    Oh and please some citations on the personal vanity riff. I especially want to see those Tim.

  10. Tim Quilty
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    OK, I got the Lenin on Stalin quote most recently from the book by Richard Pipes; Russia under the Bolshevik Regime, 1919-1924. London : Harvill, 1994. Written after spending a couple of years combing the Soviet archives after the SU collapse. I was reading it about 18 months ago. But I believe I have come across the quote before.

    The vain Lenin bit, I’m not sure where I picked that up. Something I read at school, back in year 11, I believe. Couldn’t defend it with my life.

  11. Posey
    Posted April 14, 2009 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Tim, I am not a fellow traveller if by that is meant a blind, dogmatic adherent to any ideology or political system. I am the antithesis of that and pretty much always have been: a born, congenital questioner, contrarian and outsider.

    I also abhor knee-jerk anti-intellectualism, tribal gate-keeping, mindless recycling of inaccurate historical cliches, competitive personal defensiveness and mob bullying, all of which are rife on many political blogs. Such blogs are fundamentally unhealthy and counterproductive for these very reasons.

    This blog is not like that.

    I like this blog for two main reasons. The posts are generally beautifully written, clear, yet often complex, nor in the least condescending; written with the expectation of being understood, but also with the intention of instructing, sharing, persuading. Pedagogy at its best. Personal too. And the often lengthy, dense and considered comments and the dialogue that gets going are an unsurprising consequence of such an approach.

    And secondly, the women running this blog can handle and accept disagreement or people even acting out a bit without taking it personally or brutally lashing out. And in an interesting way I think this both encourages “good behavior” in general from all parties and allows for a more open, honest, heartfelt, worthwhile and interesting interchange to take place than occurs on any other comparable Australian blog. Though to be fair, there isn’t a lot of competition. I think the blogosphere has a long way to go. Who knows. It might always remain a very small minority taste. And God knows there are a million other things to do and miles to go before we sleep.

  12. Posted April 16, 2009 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    The bombers didn’t go far enough! Lenin would have pulled the whole thing down (and buried himself (if you can!) beside his wife,as he wanted.)

    I think the vain reference might be to Trotsky, who I understand was a snappy dresser.

    The comments raise an important question – did Lenin lead to Stalin?
    I stand with Trotsky who called Stalin the gravedigger of the revolution.

    Stalin established a regime that became capitalist in its essence – exploiting workers to make a profit for reinvestment. through the centralised state.

    As i wrote recently on my blog,Lenin and Trotsky were trapped in history.

    As Lenin said, without a revolution in Germany we are lost.

    The Bolsheviks always understood that their regime could not survive without revolutions in Western Europe to provide them with the material base to develop. They saw the workers’ revolution in Russia as a spark for that, and in fact it was.

    Revolution in Germany ended the first world war, worker regimes came to power in less developed European countries for short periods, Germany shook with revolutionary potential between 1918 and 1923, China was on the brink of revolution (but Stalin ended that), Stalin’s policies helped Hitler come to power, etc etc.

    If the Bolsheviks had surrendered or been defeated in the Civil War fascism would have been a Russian word.

    But the victory, with the de-classing of the working class, the civil war, the foreign intervention, and the failure of the revolution to succeed elsewhere, sowed the seeds for it defeat from within.

    Stalin has nothing to do with socialism.

    Here endeth the sermon.

  13. Posted April 16, 2009 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Sigh. I can never decide if God-botherers or Marx-botherers are the most boring critters in the blogosphere.

    But one thing is certain, the number of Marxists who’ve actually read all of Marx’s seminal works is smaller than the number of obese God-botherers who can dance on a pin head.

    And LE- don’t worry, be lazy. Works for me.

  14. Posted April 17, 2009 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    [email protected]
    > who’ve actually read all of Marx’s seminal works
    * Haven’t read much of his PhD on Epicurus
    * Have read M&E Manifesto
    * Also, Utopia, Plato’s (and Machivelli’s) Republics
    * Aristophanes’ socialist play is the most interesting exposition – if only because it is a gigglefest

  15. tal
    Posted April 17, 2009 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    So LE did it work? Are you feeling better about things?

  16. tal
    Posted April 17, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Meh, take sometime off Fiji isn’t going anywhere.

  17. Posted April 17, 2009 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    [email protected]: Not Lysistrata…. Congresswomen/Assemblywomen… not as well known. The women turn up early to the assembly dressed as men, vote for the women to take control of Athens, then establish a communist state… but even your PRIVATE parts become public property. (Yeah, well it was a play by Aristophanes). Not as well constructed as Lysistrata, but there is some good political analysis, and it is VERY bawdy. (Men in nighties because their cloaks have been stolen having a bog is a memorable scene…. and suspect the stoning “bag of gravel for the boy” scene in Life of Brian was inspired by Scene 1).

    More notes/links in the post I mentioned.

    Find a translation… (modern one)… it’ll cheer you up no end.

  18. Posted April 19, 2009 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Cheer up 🙂

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