“Fascism is capitalism in decay.”

Vladimir Lenin

 

Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov, later known as Vladimir Lenin, was born 150 years ago on April 22, in Simbirsk, Russia. His parents, both educated and highly cultured, invoked a passion for learning in their children, especially Vladimir. He excelled at school and went on to study law. At university, he was exposed to radical thinking, and his views were also influenced by the execution of his elder brother, a member of a revolutionary group.

Like many of his contemporaries, he was arrested and exiled to Siberia, where he married Nadezhda Krupskaya. After his Siberian exile, Lenin spent most of the subsequent decade and a half in western Europe, where he emerged as a prominent figure in the international revolutionary movement and became the leader of the ‘Bolshevik’ faction of the Russian Social Democratic Worker’s Party.

In 1917, exhausted by World War One, Russia was ripe for change. Lenin returned home and started working against the provisional government that had overthrown the tsarist regime. He eventually led what was soon to be known as the October Revolution.

Today, on Lenin’s sesquicentennial, April 22, the country he created no longer exists and its successor state — Russia — seems decidedly uninterested in marking 150 years since his birth.