The terrorist state emerged directly from the terrorist movement

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

After 1917, Socialists-Revolutionaries and anarchists denounced the Bolsheviks as betrayers of the cause, Gary Saul Morson notes, but all the Bolsheviks did was direct the same tactics against them that they had directed against others:

The terrorist state emerged directly from the terrorist movement and did so without a break. The Bolsheviks employed terror — including random killing, taking hostages, and seizing property by force — as soon as they took power. Lenin set up the Cheka, his secret police force, in December 1917, before the Bolsheviks faced any serious armed resistance. That same month Trotsky declaimed: “There is nothing immoral in the proletariat finishing off the dying class…. Be put on notice that in one month at most this terror will assume more frightful forms.” Concentration camps were set up in 1918. We “must execute not only the guilty,” Nikolai Krylenko, a top Bolshevik, demanded. “Execution of the innocent will impress the masses even more.” Even in relatively peaceful 1922, Lenin wrote that in any new criminal code “jurisprudence must not eliminate terror…. It must vindicate and legalize it.’”


  1. Lu An Li says:

    Dog eat dog. Enemies everywhere, and if no enemies, make enemies.

  2. Buckethead says:

    That last quote — I’ve frequently been amazed at the stunned disbelief visible whenever I’ve deployed it. Haven’t for a while, red baiting got rather tiresome after a couple decades.

    It still blows my mind, even though I know why, that Nazism is considered far the eviler compared to Communism. Nearly the very first act of the Bolsheviks on seizing power was to create the Cheka and charge it with terrorizing the people. It’s not even just the relative death tolls, for all of Nazism’s many and obvious faults, there’s still something a little human left in it. Communism was society with everything human ripped out or terrorized.

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