THE DEATH OF LENIN makes the world poorer by the loss of one of the really great men produced by the war. It seems probable that our age will go down to history as that of Lenin and Einstein — the two men who have succeeded in .a- great work of synthesis in an, analytic age, one in thought, the other in action. Lenin appeared to the outraged bourgeoisie of the world as a destroyer, but it was not the work of destruction that made him pre-eminent. Others could have destroyed, but I doubt whether any other living man could have built so well on the new foundations. His mind was orderly and creative: he was a philosophic system-maker in the sphere of practice. In revolutions, three types of men come to the fore. There are those who love revolution because they have an anarchic and turbulent temperament. There are those who are embittered by personal grievances. And there are those who have a definite conception of a society different from that which exists, who, if the revolution succeeds, set to work to create a stable world in accordance with their conception. Lenin belonged to this third type — the rarest, but by far the most beneficent of the three.
Recommended CitationRussell, Bertrand, Lenin: An Impression, Australian Left Review, 1(24), 1970, 38-39.