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Why don't anarchists like Lenin? Why don't anarchists like Leninism?

+3 votes
There was a Lenin Piñata Party: http://atlanta.indymedia.org/fun/lenin-pi%C3%B1ata-party
MLMs were pissed
Someone wrote something tl;dr: http://atlanta.indymedia.org/local/smashing-orderly-party-anarchists-critique-leninism
So I ask Anarchy 101
asked Sep 23, 2012 by anonymous

2 Answers

+3 votes
1. Lenin constantly demonized and/or destroyed any anti-capitalist idea or group not under the direct control of the Bolshevik vanguard party. "Left-Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder" is a particularly well-known example in writing, and his crushing of the Kronstadt rebellion is a particularly well-known example in action.

2. He instituted state capitalism, the rapid industrialization of Russia, the idea of the vanguard party being the only legitimate authority on revolution, the idea that any competing factions were inherently counter-revolutionary, the secret police who detained or executed or exiled any and all opponents of Bolshevik hegemony... Shit, if you can't see the reasons for anarchists hating the guy (and his followers into the modern day), you're missing something crucial.

3. For me personally, nearly every single Marxist-Leninist I've ever met has been a condescending asshole or boring as shit.

Someone else can probably expand further on this, but it really seems like the answers are pretty obvious?
answered Sep 23, 2012 by Rice Boy (10,100 points)
Up voted, particularly due to statement number 3. That seems to be fact, rather than opinion.
0 votes
I'm not trying to represent all anarchists, but many ideas of anarchy really resonate with me, and these are some reasons that I disagree with how Lenin went about things. Perhaps others who also align themselves with anarchist thoughts can agree on some levels.
His style of teachings were not necessarily designed to empower individuals (the common person) to think and act for themselves and for the movement. He believed that professional revolutionaries should be leaders of the movement, and that the masses should follow those leaders. Instead of replacing the train tracks of the people's mindset from following a czar to socialism, he basically envisioned putting a new Socialist train on the same tracks for people to ride on and follow. It was kind of like, "instead of listening to him, listen to ME but just let me do everything because the few professional revolutionaries that i want to put in power know what is best for the movement and thus for you." See what I'm saying?

This is why that was so deterimental.
After the overthrow of the czar in February/March 1917, the Russians were still using a system the that the czar had set up during his rule, and thus a dual government system consisting of the provisionary government (what that system turned into) and the Soviet. The provisional government was more assisting of the upper class' needs and consisted mostly of aristocrats and wealthy businessmen. The Soviets consisted of the soldiers, peasants, and workers, whom the majority believed very strongly in the Bolshevik revolution, and thus had the most real people power. The provisional government really only existed because the Soviet let them. But why did they let them? Because they had all this power and didn't know what to do with it. Why? Because Lenin had taught that only him and "professional revolutionaries" should lead them into the revolution. Lenin at this time was currently in exile and out of the country, and thus the revolution would not happen without him, so they let the provisional government exist while they remained stagnant. They knew what they believed and wanted, but didn't know how to execute it or achieve the steps necessary to get there. That knowledge was with Lenin and his professional revolutionaries.

So, my point is that Lenin, while revealing to people how they were previously being treated unfairly, why they need to have a revolution, and introducing them to a new society that most people really liked, he did not empower, inform, or provide them with the knowledge and resources necessary for the people to bring about the revolution on their own. He stressed a dependency on the intellectual and dedicated few to lead the majority instead of bringing everyone to the intellectual level (that those few were at) required for revolution. His reasoning may have been that he did not have enough time (he was fortunate enough to be educated, a lawyer, and to have studied Marx and intellectual ideas for years)- to bring 150 million people to that level would have taken years and he saw an opening for revolution *now*. Resources to do this (higher level education for millions of people, including millions of peasants, at an affordable or free cost) would have been near impossible to obtain, or at least he could not figure out a way to obtain them. Or maybe he thought that too many people trying to bring about a revolution created too many unknown variables. I'm sure there is some logic behind this.

That's my criticism of Lenin. I like his intent and a lot of his ideas, but I dislike his encouragement of dependency on him and his peers. My ideal revolution would have an emphasis on radical self-reliance, ability to critically analyze and observe, movement and thought as a collective unit, and equal power in the hands of everyone (instead of *following* a *select* *few*).
answered Oct 20, 2012 by lotus.rising (120 points)
edited Oct 20, 2012 by lotus.rising