Monday, September 23, 2013

Vladimir I. Lenin

Six Principles of Propaganda 
Lenin Used to Consolidate Power

 by Monica Showalter (edited and truncated by FT)

Posted 09/20/2013 07:12 PM ET

Having attained power in late 1917 on a raft of promises — land to Russia's peasants, bread to Russia's starving cities and peace to Russia's World War I-weary soldiers — V.I. Lenin was able to dispense with every one of them by advancing civil war from 1918 to 1921 to justify his acts by crisis.

In place of ... liberty and rights, Lenin gave Russians propaganda, empowering the Bolsheviks to govern through knoutish messages, if not the barrel of the gun. In so doing, he sought to undermine Russia's weak democracy and to transform her society fundamentally.

"The Russian Revolution was permeated with forceful propaganda of a brutal kind ... This was used not so much to win people over with ideas, but [through] coercion, repression and making examples[i.e. selective prosecutions]. ...

A number of patterns emerged

The Ends Justify the Means

Lenin's promises delivered just the opposite. He guaranteed a free press, but ... he halted it, and ordered opposition newspapers shut down and censorship re-instituted. He called it temporary, but it wasn't.

Lenin also [promised] to broaden land ownership, but immediately issued 60 decrees to end private property, including a secret directive to destroy state archives of land, factory and building title deeds before anyone could protest. To war-weary soldiers, Lenin promised peace, but immediately impressed them into the new Red Army, holding their families hostage to ensure their loyalty.

All this was justified in his mind by one idea: consolidating power. ...

Firstest With The Mostest

... Lenin also was quick to seize the semantic high ground ...

Like Nathan Bedford Forrest, the "firstest with the mostest" general in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War, Lenin swiftly altered and manipulated the meanings of words, intellectually disarming opponents.

As early as 1903, at a party congress, Lenin won a membership issue by a single vote. But from then on he called his faction "the Bolsheviks," or majoritarians, and his opponents "Mensheviks," or minoritarians. It didn't matter that the Bolsheviks never were a true majority among Russia's revolutionaries; what mattered was the perception of power.

Lenin repeated the tactic by dubbing Bolsheviks "Reds" to signal an affinity with the bloody violence of the French Revolution, while their battlefield opponents were saddled with "Whites" to link them with the discredited French Bourbon dynasty. Lenin also took title to the word "democracy," disarming opponents who were then unable to project a coherent message. By controlling words, Lenin controlled perceptions of reality.

Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste

As propagandists, however, the Bolsheviks were not especially persuasive.  ...
Their newspapers were notoriously gray, mechanically spouting simple, choppy messages such as "All Power to the Soviets!" "Create a New Socialist Man!" and "Bread! Peace! Land!"

They were expert, however, at tuning these gray organs into monopolies. Instead of persuading with words, Lenin simply closed competing papers, leaving only the Bolshevik publications. ...

Vilification and Mischaracterization

In denouncing opponents, Lenin was obsessive, virulent and personal, calling them "bloodsuckers," "insects," "spiders," "leeches" and "vampires." The bourgeois were "ex-people." The murder of Czar Nicholas II and his family was termed "a humane act."

Then there were "hoarders," "wreckers," "saboteurs" and, worst of all, "Kulaks" — the prosperous and industrious peasants of whom Lenin spoke only with virulent hatred ...

Lenin rarely made such statements in public, however. ... Most of these characterizations were secretly hidden in Soviet archives. In public, Lenin wanted to be pictured as a jolly apostle of Marxism.

Use of Selective Prosecutions (Example)

Perhaps the most propaganda against Russia's mostly illiterate population was the use of selective prosecutions as part of a reign of terror. Public hangings and shootings served as well as any written material to force Russians into submission. "These swine have to be dealt with so that everyone will remember it for years," Lenin wrote.

Terror wasn't confined to those who defied Lenin. "We must execute not only the guilty. Execution of the innocent will impress the masses even more," wrote Lenin's commissar for justice ...

To reinforce the Bolsheviks' monopoly of ideas, churches were targeted for destruction,  sacred objects were looted ... and tossed into the dirt, while priests were shot.  ...

... Lenin ordered the use of poison gas on at least one village before it was leveled. "The dictatorship means — take note of this once and for all — unrestrained power based on force, not law," wrote Lenin.

Blame Your Predecessor

... Lenin's ... civil war cost 13 million lives and his ruinous economic policies triggered the famine of 1921-1922. Y... Many videos of Lenin speaking, demonstrate his propensity to blame Czar Nicolas, for the economic havoc.

Eventually, he would have to backtrack on communism to hold on to power. But error was never admitted and his New Economic Plan proved just a breather ahead of  even worse horrors to come under Joseph Stalin.

[NEXT: Lenin tries to build a New Soviet Man through education and indoctrination.]


  1. By controlling words, Lenin controlled perceptions of reality.

    Controlling language also controls the mind's ability to reason -- something to do with neurological imprint, or so I've been told by a neurologist.

    Communication is skewed if definitions differ.

  2. "Their newspapers were notoriously gray ... "

    Maybe this guy should study Rodchenko and the Russian graphic arts movement.

  3. The comparison to modern-day progressives of the past 100 years is stunning.

    The democrats have learned Lennon's lessons well and they've been deftly employing his tactics for decades.

    Harlan from Leftwatch -- Somebody's gotta keep an eye on 'em!

  4. "The democrats have learned Lennon's lessons well and they've been deftly employing his tactics for decades."

    "All that we're saying is give peace a chance." --Lennon

    Sorry, couldn't resist.


    AOW has singled out what-I-believe-to-be the most significant part of the editorial -- taking forceful control of the language by REDEFINING or DISTORTING the MEANING of terms long in use as something completely different from their original intent and refashioning the established laws of English USAGE to suit Marxian purposes.

    We're all familiar with the practice, whether we know it or not.

    Marxism and Communism became Socialism, Fabian Socialism, Liberalism then Progressivism. As the public began to discover how odious and downright threatening these things really were, the guiding geniuses behind the hoped for Marxist Takeover of the World kept CHANGING the NAME of their MOVEMENT adamantly insisting later on that Communism, Marxism, Socialism, Progressivism, and the modern Democratic Party Platform were NOT the SAME thing at ALL, and that anyone who thought so was IGNORANT, ILL-INFORMED, UNEDUCATED, BOORISH, or downright STUPID.

    The idea behind the Marxian assault on Western Christian Civilization has been to foster and spread as much SELF-DOUBT, inappropriate feelings of GUILT, ANGER, RESENTMENT, ENVY, CONFUSION, INVERSION of VALUES, SPITE, MALICE and PERVERSION of TRUTH as possible. Because these fiends -- these moral and intellectual TERMITES -- long ago grabbed control of the levers of power in Education, Communications, and Entertainment, they have in truth TAKEN OVER. The signs have been everywhere for many decades only few of us had the perspicacity to notice.


    Why do you suppose all of a sudden Peking HAD to become BEIIJING? Bombay MUMBAI? Burma MYANMAR? Ceylon SRI LANKHA?

    Why has MS replaced MISS and MRS?

    Why all the commotion about the traditional, customary use of HIS and HIM when the sex of the individual in question is unknown?

    Why MUST we call American Negroes first AFRO-AMERICANS, then AFRICAN-AMERICANS or PEOPLE of COLOR, or BLACKS?

    Why must we suddenly call Hispanics LATINOS?

    Why are our Indians now called NATIVE AMERICANS?

    Why are WAITERS and WAITRESSES now called SERVERS?

    Why are stewardesses and stewards now called FLIGHT ATTENDANTS?

    Why are actors and actresses now called ACTORS as though we are not supposed to notice any difference between males and females anymore?

    If you're lucky enough to have the services of a maid, butler or valet, you'd better call each your DOMESTIC ASSISTANT, or you could get into serious trouble with the Parlance Police.

    Did you know that if your gums are swollen, bleeding and oozing pus, you no longer have PYORRHEA, you have "GUM DISEASE."

    Why is VENEREAL DISEASE now called STD (Sexually transmitted Disease)?

    Why have we lost A) the SUBJUNCTIVE B) the POSSESSIVE? Why do we now use verbs as nouns and vice versa?

    Do you even know what I am TALKING about? Could you provide an example of each if your life depended on it?

    Why do we regularly SPLIT INFINITIVES today, and no one is supposed to care, and gets hooted down, if he registers a complaint?

    Why do we use the stock phrases, tattered shibboleths, and stupid buzzwords we hear ad nauseam in the media, instead of clear, well-phrased English with a colorful and varied vocabulary?

    If nouning verbs and verbing nouns is supposed justified as a simplification of the language, why then have we fallen into the abominable habit of ending sentences unnecessarily with a preposition and adding extraneous prepositions everywhere they are no needed?


    I don't know where she's AT.

    It's not that big OF a deal.

    Costs mount UP faster than you can shake a stick AT.

    I'd have to prepare a full blown TEXTBOOK, if I were to provide you with adequate examples to make my case.

    But you may be sure that this unwelcome dissolution and degeneration of STANDARDS is not the result of NATURAL evolutionary changes in the language as many like to assert whenever I dare to make complaints of this sort.

    It has been the result of an ingenious, ruthlessly plotted CAMPAIGN to destroy the integrity of our culture by debasing and degrading our use of language.

    Lenin, himself, Trotsky, certainly Stalin and later such figures as Gramsci, every single member of The Frankfurt School, Saul Alinsky, Edward Bernays along with their many demonic disciples have frequently SPELLED OUT their INTENTIONS, most of us have been too busy tryng to make a living to take any notice.

  7. Vladimir I. Lenin, Progressive, Marxist, Socialist, Monster In Chief.

  8. FT, don’t you realize that (O)CT(O)PUS is constantly trying to insult you, belittle you, attack you by indirect, and underhanded means. But more than this he is trying his best to make you look foolish. And yet you seem to take it all for granted, so that you could possibly regain his friendship. I say this because I really hate to see him do this to you.

  9. OH, and we have just seen a gentle, seemingly innocuous example of another tactic used by the Left -- the determination to portray those on the right in the most negative light possible by persistently LAUGHING at them as though anything they might have to say was bound to be patently ridiculous.

    MOCK, SCORN, DERIDE, LAMPOON, DISMISS, IGNORE or VILIFY or meet with affected OUTRAGE accompanied by a strenuous attempt to INTIMIDATE through the inculcation of SHAME, GUILT, EMBARRASSMENT, FEAR of OSTRACISM, FEAR of LOSING ONE'S JOB, fear even of IMPRISONMENT for harboring and articulating WRONG THOUGHTS.

    It's as obvious as have had a bucket of RED PAINT splashed all over your elegant ivory and gold drawing room's elegantly panelled walls, parquet floors, carved mantelpiece, priceless antiques, damask draperies, fine oil paintings, and handwoven Aubusson carpet.

    THAT in essence IS what has happened to our NATIONAL DRAWING ROOM, if you'll permit the analogy, and it's considered boorish, insensitive, anachronistic and RACIST of "us," if we dare take notice or register any form of complaint against the perpetrators of this vicious desecration.

  10. With friends like you, Anonymous, I don't need enemies. I have always detested tattletales and troublemakers.

    I refuse to engage in personal feuds or grudge matches. I say what I have to say, and feel perfectly comfortable allowing others to respond as they will -- UNLESS their responses are merely childish, malicious, moronic attempts to exacerbate and inflame established differences.

    Please go and get your cheap thrills elsewhere. I have no fear of the person to whom you have referred nor any others of his persuasion.

    I closed this blog back in June not because I was hurt or afraid, or even annoyed. I closed it because I was DISGUSTED at the low-level of witless, pointless, ineptly phrased remarks that kept pouring in.

    If I find myself in the same situation again, I will have no choice but to turn off the taps and make access virtually impossible again through Comment Moderation.

  11. FT,
    AOW has singled out what-I-believe-to-be the most significant part of the editorial

    Thank you for the compliment!

    As a student of language, I view most matters through that particular prism. I must have had a good language arts teacher along the way.

  12. FT,
    With friends like you, Anonymous, I don't need enemies. I have always detested tattletales and troublemakers.

    I refuse to engage in personal feuds or grudge matches.

    I'm inclined that way too. As you have seen, I handle the matter a bit differently. Nobody forces me to close my blog. I'm a determined German, you know. **wink**

    And my Welsh ancestry serves to make my German ancestry even more stubborn. Like Annie Sullivan, I dig in my heels.



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