Bolshevik Revolution Centennial: Deadly Legacy 100 Years Later

Today marks a dark moment in history: the centennial of the Bolshevik Revolution that metastasized in Soviet Russia.

From Lenin, this movement empowered Joseph Stalin, Mao Zhedong, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot, and countless other dictators across the globe to order their henchmen—or they personally—to carry out policies on torture, starvation, collectivization, confiscation of private property, and outlawing religion.

Since 1917, over 100 million have died at the hands of socialism in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and South America. The late historian RJ Rummel estimated a high of 148 million murdered as a result of the tyrannical regimes Bolshevik Revolution spawned.  But that doesn’t bother most academics, media elites, and historians. To them, Soviet communism is misinterpreted or was, gasp, poorly executed! Look at “Red Century” columns published at the New York Times over the last year. Many of the articles, which were absolutely ridiculous in nature, affirmed  the spirit of Walter Duranty (their famed propagandist and Stalin apologist) lives on.

We hear these people clamor and say, “Well if we had another chance to retry it, it won’t turn out like this!” Oh really? Bless their hearts.

This centennial perhaps is personal for me because my family, especially my grandparents, suffered at the hands of Stalinist policies born out of this bloody movement.

It was Stalin’s gulag system that broke my grandpa’s spirit when he was imprisoned at the Belomor Canal on the Finnish-Russian border for eighteen months. By some act of God, really, he survived. Surviving this barren tundra, built on the bones of prisoners, was virtually impossible. Due to my grandpa being able-bodied from farm work all his life, he miraculously survived. Many of his fellow prisoners weren’t so lucky—ultimately succumbing to the deadly effects of life in a gulag.

My parents grew up in post-Stalinist Soviet-occupied Lithuania, but similarly encountered limited opportunities due to this movement deep-rooted infection in their homeland. While the death camps slowly disappeared, many oppressive policies were still in tact after Stalin died. Racism was rampant, opportunities were limited, kids snitched on their parents, and food was heavily rationed, for example. This was the reality of life in the Soviet Union—not some rosy fairy tale we hear from many on the Left.

These horror stories aren’t isolated to countries previously (and illegally) occupied by the former Soviet Union. Look at the blood that was shed in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and South America. So many families were wrecked by this movement and not a peep or sympathy from scholars, academics, celebrities, and supposed reporters.

The White House issued its first-ever National Day for the Victims of Communism honor those who were oppressed by communism. Below is the statement:

Today, the National Day for the Victims of Communism, marks 100 years since the Bolshevik Revolution took place in Russia. The Bolshevik Revolution gave rise to the Soviet Union and its dark decades of oppressive communism, a political philosophy incompatible with liberty, prosperity, and the dignity of human life.

Over the past century, communist totalitarian regimes around the world have killed more than 100 million people and subjected countless more to exploitation, violence, and untold devastation. These movements, under the false pretense of liberation, systematically robbed innocent people of their God-given rights of free worship, freedom of association, and countless other rights we hold sacrosanct. Citizens yearning for freedom were subjugated by the state through the use of coercion, violence, and fear.

Today, we remember those who have died and all who continue to suffer under communism. In their memory and in honor of the indomitable spirit of those who have fought courageously to spread freedom and opportunity around the world, our Nation reaffirms its steadfast resolve to shine the light of liberty for all who yearn for a brighter, freer future.

Bolshevism in 1917 gave rise to global communism. It’s time this horrible movement in history be rejected and its effects be condemned like its ugly cousin, National Socialism. Please take this week to honor the victims of communism and honor their memories.


*Updated article to include White House declaration honoring victims of communism.

NYT: Lenin Pioneered Conservation in USSR, So Let’s Excuse His Bloody Past

Did you know V.I. Lenin was an avowed conservationist who loved hiking and the outdoors? Me neither. That’s why the New York Times’ latest attempt to humanize this evil guy will continue to fail.

In the latest installment of their “Red Century” series, the NYT printed an op-ed by Fred Strebeigh called “Lenin’s Eco-Warriors” where he highlighted V.I. Lenin’s supposedly conservationist policies:

How did Russia — hardly considered a cradle of environmentalism, given Joseph Stalin’s crash program of industrialization — become a global pioneer in conservation?

Much of the answer begins with Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. In 1919, a young agronomist named Nikolai Podyapolski traveled north from the Volga River delta, where hunting had almost eliminated many species, to Moscow, where he met Lenin. Arriving at the Bolshevik leader’s office to seek approval for a new zapovednik, Podyapolski felt “worried,” he said, “as before an exam in high school.” But Lenin, a longtime enthusiast for hiking and camping, agreed that protecting nature had “urgent value.”

Two years later, Lenin signed legislation ordering that “significant areas of nature” across the continent be protected. Within three decades, some 30 million acres (equal in area to about 40 states of Rhode Island) from the European peaks of the Caucasus to the Pacific volcanoes of Kamchatka were set aside in a system of 128 reserves.

Recent articles in the series highlighting “history and legacy of Communism, 100 years after the Russian Revolution” include Socialism’s Future May Be Its Past (the usual defense of perfecting socialism) and The Unexpected Afterlife of American Communism (how communism allegedly combats racism). Laughable, if you ask me.

Strebeigh’s Twitter bio reads that he teaches non-fiction writing at Yale University.

Per his official Yale University biography, he is a Senior Lecturer of English and Forestry & Environmental Studies Course Director, English 120.

Throughout the article, he went on to praise the “Communist conservation movement” for its efforts –including…praising Putin!?

In 2015, President Vladimir Putin, who famously enjoys photo opportunities in nature with tigers, bears and whales, announced that the centennial year for Russia’s zapodneviks, 2017, would be the “Year of Protected Areas.” His government pledged to increase Russia’s protected acreage by 18 percent over the next eight years.

Was the Soviet Union environmentally-friendly? Far from it.

In the now-defunct Multinational Monitor, previously owned by Ralph Nadar, this 1990 article examined environmental conditions in the former Soviet Union:

40% of the Soviet people live in areas where air pollutants are three to four times the maximum allowable levels. Sanitation is primitive. Where it exists, for example in Moscow, it doesn’t work properly. Half of all industrial waste water in the capital city goes untreated. In Leningrad, nearly half of the children have intestinal disorders caused by drinking contaminated water from what was once Europe’s most pristine supply.

In a 1996 Russia Country Study published by the Library of Congress, Russia’s environmental conditions were categorized as heavily polluted, unclean, and disastrous by American standards. Only 15% of the nation’s urban population “breathes air that is not harmful.” As for water conditions in the former USSR, the same study found that “75 percent of Russia’s surface water is now polluted, 50 percent of all water is not potable according to quality standards established in 1992, and an estimated 30 percent of groundwater available for use is highly polluted.”

Moreover, three crises in the country — most famously Chernobyl in 1986 — paint an equally grim picture of environmental standards in the USSR:

Dangerous environmental conditions came to the attention of the public in the Soviet Union under the glasnost policy of the regime of Mikhail S. Gorbachev (in office 1985-91), which liberated the exchange of information in the late 1980s. The three situations that gripped public attention were the April 1986 nuclear explosion at the Chernobyl’ Nuclear Power Station in Ukraine, the long-term and ongoing desiccation of the Aral Sea between Uzbekistan and Kazakstan, and the irradiation of northern Kazakstan by the Semipalatinsk (present-day Semey) nuclear testing site. The overall cost of rectifying these three disasters is staggering, dwarfing the cost of cleanups elsewhere, such as the superfund campaign to eliminate toxic waste sites in the United States. By the time the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, such conditions had become symbols of that system’s disregard for the quality of the environment.

Yes, New York Times, let’s look to Lenin and the former USSR for inspiration when it comes to raising environmental standards. (Not!)

If you recall history or want some context behind NYT’s affinity for the Bolshevik Revolution and a return to the “good ol’ days” of communism, examine their past associates. Walter Duranty, who headed the publication’s Moscow bureau from 1922-1936, was an avowed Stalin apologist. He was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his “award-winning” coverage in the USSR despite whitewashing accounts of Soviet prisoners starving there. Despite condemnation by his colleagues, Duranty remained with the NYT until 1941. See the connection now?

Let me be clear: Lenin was a great steward of the environment. He and his Bolshevik successors believed in composting–the composting of dead bodies comprising Russians, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Latvians, Estonians, Belorussians, and other nationalities they abused and killed under their regime for most of the 20th century. By their standards, that’s environmental justice — don’t you know?

As many have said in years’ prior: green is the new red. Unlike many on the Left, I’ll be honoring the 100 million + victims of communism this year by not giving license to the Bolshevik Revolution’s bloody history. Learn how to honor its victims here.