On August 30, 1918, Vladimir Lenin had just given a speech at the Hammer and Sickle arms manufacturing facility in Moscow. As he was leaving, a woman called out his name and he stopped to see who was calling to him. Why he would have done this is unclear, as by this point Lenin was the most important man in Russia. He had lots of people who wanted a minute of his time. Nonetheless, he stopped to address the woman, who produced a pistol and shot Lenin three times.
The woman was not just any woman. She was Fanny Kaplan, who had been involved in radical politics since she was a teenager. She was a member of the SR’s, a very radical group that had been aligned with the Bolsheviks at times. She had spent time in a Siberian labor camp for having taken part in terrorist bombing attacks in Kiev, as well as other activities. She had been released by the Bolsheviks after the February revolution and gone right back to radical politics.
Lenin survived the assassination attempt, although he was never quite the same physically or psychologically. This was terrifying to Lenin and his inner circle not just due to the attack itself, but what it represented. The Bolsheviks were no longer the revolutionary force from the left, but the established order that had to contend with threats from all corners of the political space. The Bolsheviks had real power so that meant wielding that power to maintain that power.
There was also the issue of how Kaplan was able to get so close to Lenin in order to take a shot at him. Lenin had security, but it became clear that the SR radicals had friends and sympathizers in the security apparatus. The Cheka was filled with people who were not entirely loyal to the Bolsheviks. Many had been aligned with coalition partners, like the SR’s. If revolution was going to stay alive, it meant the system had to be purged and that meant unleashing political terror.
This was an important step, especially given the fact that Lenin and the Bolsheviks were students of the French Revolution. They knew how the terror worked out for the Jacobins and they were determined to avoid the same fate. Yet from the perspective of Lenin lying in a bed with a hole in his neck and a bullet in his shoulder, the only logical path forward was to unleash the forces of political terror. The same logic would eventually motivate Stalin to follow the same course.
The reason this matters at all to those living in this spot on the space-time continuum is that the people in charge of the empire are facing similar choices. In fact, they have been in this spot since the 2020 coup. In the fullness of time, that election will probably be looked at the same way as other radical coups in revolutionary times. Maybe Trump is actually our version of Kerensky, the radical liberal reformer who tried to head off the radical socialists but was eventually defeated by them.
Putting that aside, what mattered to Lenin as doctors patched him up was his perspective on the situation. The same can be said of the regime in the aftermath of the January 6th protests. Like Lenin and the Bolsheviks, the people who engineered Biden into the White House suffered from a similar lack of confidence. They had pulled off the great coup, but they were still unsure of their position. People climbing barricades brought to mind people more radical than themselves.
In other words, the people now in charge of the system see themselves as radicals, facing threats from all sides as they seek to consolidate power. This may sound a bit nuts but radicalism is powered by strong belief. Even when they have total control of the state, radicals will believe themselves to be the underdog, fighting a much more powerful enemy. You see that in this advertisement by a former J6 prosecutor, who seems to think he is David facing the Goliath of MAGA.
Mr. Rollins sounds deranged and delusional, but he believes what he is saying not because the facts support those beliefs. He believes because there are no better beliefs for him to hold at the moment. That is one of those things about political believers that normal people struggle to grasp. These people genuinely believe what they say, and they will not drop those beliefs when you present facts and reason. They will only abandon those beliefs in favor of better beliefs.
This is why it is foolish to think that the people we call the Left are running out of juice or having second thoughts. This is not how the revolutionary mind works. Those polls we now see showing Biden losing to Trump in the key states are not intended to boost your spirits, but to terrify the radicals. It is a reminder that there is always a Kerensky, or a Trump in this case. More importantly, there is always a Fanny Kaplan, so the radicals better not lose focus or let down their guard.
This is why they continue to persecute the J6 people. Almost three years on and they are still hunting for new victims. It is why there will be renewed efforts to eliminate Trump from the ballot. The bizarreness of the New York court case against Trump should be a reminder that that the radicals will never let something as petty as facts or the law get in the way of their efforts. Every setback is a reminder that they must renew their efforts to complete the revolution.
The regime is Lenin, lying on a couch with two holes put there by someone with help from the inside. The reality of that thinking is not important. What matters is the belief that the revolution is in mortal danger. Our revolutionaries are just as aware of the past as the prior revolutionaries, but they are just as trapped by the dynamics of revolution, so they will be compelled to follow the same path. What lies ahead is not a break from the madness, but a renewed assault by the radicals.
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