I
Origins of the Communist International

About the turn of the century, when the Russian Social- Democratic Labour Party was still in an embryonic state, a young man started to spread among its tiny membership what was later to be known as the fascist theory of élites. He was Vladimar Ilyitch Ulyanov, later known as Lenin. His father had been a leading educationalist, an organizer of schools of a quite unusual efficiency (by Russian standards), a stern disciplinarian, a devout pravoslav Christian; his mother came from German puritanical stock, from Swabian sectarians settled on the lower Volga by Catherine the Great. Lenin's father had acquired a title of hereditary nobility, which he handed on to his son. There was, in contrast to the later official legend, nothing in the family traditions which could be called liberal in any serious sense.

The imagination of Lenin's older brother was caught by the heroic traditions of the extinct revolutionary party calling itself 'The People's Will'. In their footsteps, he attempted to assassinate the Tsar, was caught and hanged. Since his earliest years, young Vladimar had followed the model of his older brother in everything. The latter's heroic death seems to have been the determinant factor in making a revolutionary of him, at the age of seventeen; there is no sign that before this event, the boy had ever shown the slightest inclination towards an attitude of opposition, let alone one of rebellion.

Into his revolutionary work young Vladimar I. Ulyanov, who had no trace in himself of the usual young revolutionary's revolt against his own family's traditions, introduced both his father's stern authoritarianism and religious dogmatism and his mother's

-25-

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