Monday, September 5, 2011

Know Your Bolsheviks

Nikolai Bukharin

Although Bukharin and Lenin were often in disagreement over how Marx’s socialist system was to be put into practice, among many other things, the two began a strong relationship and had respect for each other. Lenin spoke of Bukharin as being “the greatest and most valuable theoretician in the party,” and “deservedly the favourite of the party.” Bukharin’s work influenced Lenin, in particular his book on imperialism, Imperialism and World Economy, which Lenin borrowed from in his own writings on the subject. After Lenin’s death Bukharin became the leading theorist of the party and was chief of staff of the Bolshevik Party.

In 1937 Bukharin was arrested by Stalin on charges of Trotskyist activities and convicted during one of the Stalin purge trials. In February 1988, fifty years after Bukharin’s execution as a traitor, the verdict was reversed and his name cleared by the Soviet Supreme Court.

I always like this one because he was a thinker and a scamp who inspired the firebrands as much as he partied with them. He could have been the bridge between the past and the future if not for the paranoid thug that was Stalin. Bukharin was the exact type of 'college boy' that Stalin always felt inferior to. He didn't trust anyone with too much education especially when that person was also charming and popular.

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