The official cause of Lenin’s death was recorded as an incurable disease of the blood vessels. He died on 21 January 1924.

Vladimir Lenin was only 53 when he died having led the Russian people in one the most famous revolutions in human history.

During his life time he became an ideological figurehead behind Marxism–Leninism and thus a prominent influence over the international ‘communist’ movement. A controversial and highly divisive historical figure, Lenin is viewed by supporters as a champion of socialism and the working class, while critics on both the left and right emphasise his role as founder and leader of an authoritarian regime responsible for political repression and mass killings.

Whatever ideological view we have of the eventual Soviet block of which Russia played a dominant role, the actual praxis was never ‘communist’. Lenin did not create a socialist or a communist state or bloc. He died as an ambassador of state capitalism in reality no matter what the propagandists might say.

Socialism and then communism is an economic, political, social and cultural phenomena that requires acceptance by all individual parts. It is not imposed through fear. That is totalitarianism/fascism and should be named as such. To build a socialist and then finally a communist experience requires (probably) centuries and also depends upon not being surrounded by powerful capitalist states that seek to undermine by adopting and utilising a malevolent omnipotence. 

Lenin died without being able to reflect and change his ideas and the arrival of Stalin created a paranoid thuggery that in no shape or form can be characterised as either socialism or communism. 

However, as Professor Richard Wolff points out, Lenin’s death and consequent legacy should not be about his outcomes but about his ability to inspire people to keep looking for alternatives to the mass destruction and exploitative nature of capitalism.

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