History vs. Vladimir Lenin – Alex Gendler

He was one of the most influential figures of the 20th century, forever changing the course of one of the world’s largest countries. But was he a hero who toppled an oppressive tyranny or a villain who replaced it with another? It’s time to put Lenin on the stand in History vs. Lenin. “Order, order, hmm. Now, wasn’t it your fault that the band broke up?” “Your honor, this is Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, AKA Lenin, the rabblerouser who helped overthrow
the Russian tsar Nicholas II in 1917 and founded the Soviet Union, one of the worst dictatorships of the 20th century.” “Ohh.” “The tsar was a bloody tyrant under whom the masses toiled in slavery.” “This is rubbish. Serfdom had already been abolished in 1861.” “And replaced by something worse. The factory bosses treated the people far worse than their former feudal landlords. And unlike the landlords, they were always there. Russian workers toiled for eleven hours a day and were the lowest paid in all of Europe.” “But Tsar Nicholas made laws to protect the workers.” “He reluctantly did the bare minimum to avert revolution, and even there, he failed. Remember what happened in 1905 after his troops fired on peaceful petitioners?” “Yes, and the tsar ended the rebellion by introducing a constitution and an elected parliament, the Duma.” “While retaining absolute power and dissolving them whenever he wanted.” “Perhaps there would’ve been more reforms in due time if radicals, like Lenin, weren’t always stirring up trouble.” “Your Honor, Lenin had seen his older brother Aleksandr executed by the previous tsar for revolutionary activity, and even after the reforms, Nicholas continued the same mass repression and executions, as well as the unpopular involvement in World War I, that cost Russia so many lives and resources.” “Hm, this tsar doesn’t sound like such a capital fellow.” “Your Honor, maybe Nicholas II did doom himself with bad decisions, but Lenin deserves no credit for this. When the February 1917 uprisings finally forced the tsar to abdicate, Lenin was still exiled in Switzerland.” “Hm, so who came to power?” “The Duma formed a provisional government, led by Alexander Kerensky, an incompetent bourgeois failure. He even launched another failed offensive in the war, where Russia had already lost so much, instead of ending it like the people wanted.” “It was a constitutional social democratic government, the most progressive of its time. And it could have succeeded eventually if Lenin hadn’t returned in April, sent by the Germans to undermine the Russian war effort and instigate riots.” “Such slander! The July Days were a spontaneous and justified reaction against the government’s failures. And Kerensky showed his true colors when he blamed Lenin and arrested and outlawed his Bolshevik party, forcing him to flee into exile again. Some democracy! It’s a good thing the government collapsed under their own incompetence and greed when they tried to stage a military coup then had to ask the Bolsheviks for help when it backfired. After that, all Lenin had to do was return in October and take charge. The government was peacefully overthrown overnight.” “But what the Bolsheviks did after gaining power wasn’t very peaceful. How many people did they execute without trial? And was it really necessary to murder the tsar’s entire family, even the children?” “Russia was being attacked by foreign imperialists, trying to restore the tsar. Any royal heir that was rescued would be recognized as ruler by foreign governments. It would’ve been the end of everything the people had fought so hard to achieve. Besides, Lenin may not have given the order.” “But it was not only imperialists that the Bolsheviks killed. What about the purges and executions of other socialist and anarchist parties, their old allies? What about the Tambov Rebellion, where peasants, resisting grain confiscation, were killed with poison gas? Or sending the army to crush the workers in Kronstadt, who were demanding democratic self-management? Was this still fighting for the people?” “Yes! The measures were difficult, but it was a difficult time. The new government needed to secure itself while being attacked from all sides, so that the socialist order could be established.” “And what good came of this socialist order? Even after the civil war was won, there were famines, repression and millions executed or sent to die in camps, while Lenin’s successor Stalin established a cult of personality and absolute power.” “That wasn’t the plan. Lenin never cared for personal gains, even his enemies admitted that he fully believed in his cause, living modestly and working tirelessly from his student days until his too early death. He saw how power-hungry Stalin was and tried to warn the party, but it was too late.” “And the decades of totalitarianism that followed after?” “You could call it that, but it was Lenin’s efforts that changed Russia in a few decades from a backward and undeveloped monarchy full of illiterate peasants to a modern, industrial superpower, with one of the world’s best educated populations, unprecedented opportunities for women, and some of the most important scientific advancements of the century. Life may not have been luxurious, but nearly everyone had a roof over their head and food on their plate, which few countries have achieved.” “But these advances could still have happened, even without Lenin and the repressive regime he established.” “Yes, and I could’ve been a famous rock and roll singer. But how would I have sounded?” We can never be sure how things could’ve unfolded if different people were in power or different decisions were made, but to avoid the mistakes of the past, we must always be willing to put historical figures on trial.

Comments 100

  • pq ta nim ingres poe nim brasileiro

  • в описании к видео – ложь.

  • I hate communist

  • No should’ve would’ve could’ve. In the end. The ends didn’t justify the means. Especially when ussr was not reliable on putting food on the table, medical support included medical testing, required forced labor and even at times state control on birthing. And there is no such thing as a free lunch. Socialist or communist. Someone had to die for their meals.

  • it seems they are trying to blame lenin for what stalin did

  • Hope I live to see History vs Donald Trump

  • History vs Soeharto (the smiling general/the most corrupt leader) pls

  • Do History vs Emilio Aguinaldo

  • Communism is great guys

  • Well i guess hes right the gulags had to provide some food to its human slaves.. ahm sorry i meant enemys of the state/ political dissidents cant have them dying they had to be reformed and provide the labor for all those great public works projects

  • I'm African, but I must admit I appreciate the USSR. They were the only country who dared to stand toe to toe with USA.

  • Glorious Lenin


  • So… Stalin is bad by default, huh?

  • I am happy that the Soviet union colappsed

  • TED-Ed just invented a new accent(Russian-Scottish)

  • Lenin was dictator ok so uncle Sam was vampire

  • Lenin: Stop looking at me, Stalin did it

  • 4:40 YES!

  • That's all BS

  • Please do Winston Churchill!

  • glory to arstotska!

  • history vs stalin is something i want to see like if u agree!!!!

  • History vs. Otto Von Bismarck.

  • On a more serious note: while I do sympathize with the bolsheviks and Lenin's cause I think Lenin's and his bolshevik party's heavy-handedness after seizing power that really undermined their revolution.

    Though In all fairness if it werent for Lenin then Russia would not be where it is today…

  • These guys are bolshevik supporters pathetic really. I wonder why they didn't mention the death of 110 million people. All of this is bs

  • Lenin changed not just the lives of the Russian, the history, and even changed the internet and games like Minecraft.

  • ted doing fake accent 😛

  • !enin's successor was Leon Trotsky not stalin

  • 0:56 when an american says rubish it sounds wrong. But what do I know I am Austrian

  • “Men like him (Lenin) are the guardians and renewers of mankind.”

    -Albert Einstein.

  • How much time should people repeat that? It was not Lenin who overthrowed Nicholas the Second. It was the February Revolution. Lenin was not even in Russia while it was happening. He overthrowed Russian Provisional Government during October revolution, not a damn tsar!

  • the union union.

  • 3:58 "not just the tsar, but the women and the children!"

  • The deaths during Czar Nicholas II was because of his ignorance and obliviousness towards running a country while the deaths during communist regime such as Lenin and Stalin is due to their greed and blood lust.

    Like what the video said Czar Nicholas II may have doomed himself (and the country) with bad decisions but at least he was FAR FROM A MAD RULER like Russias rulers in history i.e Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Lenin, Stalin, Kruschev and even Putin.

    It is ironic that the Romanovs died as martyrs and canonised as saints while Lenin is always going to be remembered as a terrorist that introduced a more darker part of Russia's history.

  • …. Stalin is a hero

  • It seems like, even if the Boshelviks lost, the republic would have still fallen.

  • Mass murder is what happens when freedom is curtailed. Every time.

  • the judge is just the biggest g ever

  • 6:01 to 6:08 when he said all the scientific advances would've had done without Lenin, I have to say It would've not had without Lenin and the communist rule on the Soviet union because after ww2 stalin was In charge on that time and after the use of the bomb in japan, stalin felt betrayed by the allies cause they did not tell him about it and got paranoid, then things got tense in both sides till the cold war started, and basically the cold war was mostly cause the west and the east wanted to prove that they are better then each other and then scientific advances started like going to the moon or the ballistic missile that can go way far and more, I mean it would've without Lenin but we would've not had all does things in a short period of time like probably then moon thing would've have done in the 2000s and barely had technology like smartphones if it wasn't because of Lenin and his death.

  • Cringe

  • Long live lenin and long live the ussr!!

  • His Russian accent sounds like a corrupted Scottish one….

  • Poor Russia, can't find a decent Commander….

  • Weren't there letter from Lenin to his successor Stalin on expression of anti-Semitic views? And what about the pact the U.S.S.R. made with the Nazis to divide Poland, with them contributing to the mass murder of Polish people?

  • the fake accent is really distracting lol

  • Shrek, is that you?

  • History vs Lincoln

  • It's a trap to believe that just because Stalin was horrible, Lenin or Trotsky would have been any better. Lenin had his justifications, but he wasn't the only idealistic revolutionary in Russia, just the luckiest and the most ruthless.

    The Bolsheviks didn't believe in democracy. They held power because they held the cities and central power, not because they were the most popular party. Free elections gave the Bolsheviks only 25% of the vote, so Lenin dissolved the country's Parliament within the next two months and banned other political parties. He crushed his opposition, persecuted kulaks as enemies of the state, and in the process, destroyed Russia's agricultural base, exacerbating the starvation of millions.

    Stalin inherited an apparatus of state which was already tyrannical, which already had a secret police rounding up traitors, which had already shot down democratic demonstrators. Really all Stalin did differently was purge his internal enemies and clamp down on the Republics. Lenin set it all up. The state might have differed in some of its superficial aspects, but oppression was what it was created to do from the very start.

    Don't even get me started on Trotsky. A wartime general who believed that the system of material deprivation which was starving the country should be kept in place indefinitely because it was the most pure form of Communism. He opposed the loosening of market restrictions which was the only thing that saved the country from starvation on ideological grounds. At least you could say Lenin was a pragmatist and Stalin had his own sort of paranoid logic. Trotsky was a brutal, uncompromising ideologue. He would have been a vicious failure of a dictator.

  • America: Why do I hear Boss Music The Soviet Anthem?

  • According to this video Lenin, Stalin and communism were wonderful bunny hugging heroes. Yay for oppression!

  • Bad people can do good things as well.

  • History vs augusto pinochet

  • Wait a minute Lenin didn't overthrow Nicholas II!

  • Whataboutism definition:
    the technique or practice of responding to an accusation or difficult question by making a counter-accusation or raising a different issue.

    Example- (4:17)

  • I don’t know Russia’s always had tyrants, dictators ruling her from the time of Ivan the terrible; all of them have had unprecedented mental issues who’ve slain hundreds of thousands and why it’s happened is a mystery but then again so have other countries except the US call them what you will but one thing for sure they’ve at least never mass murdered their own citizens

  • Russian guy: almost everyone had food on their plate

  • so this channel belongs to left Marxist idiots. Themselves capitalist these people propose socialist ideologies on others. Hypocrisy at it's best

  • I think Lenin might be considered a good guy only by:
    1. post soviet citizens after brainwash
    2. american (or western in general) hipsters

  • Lenin was a monster

  • Давайте начнем с того, что Ленин практически никак не участвовал в свержении царя.

  • Вова Саранин Владимир (14.09.2001) 17 лет

  • Why is history always on the US’ side?

  • 4:00 wrong the Bolsheviks didn’t kill them the Ural Soviet was extremely radical even by Bolshevik standards

  • USA and Russia HATE eachother!. So they also backbite eachother.

  • Idk about you guys but the Russian accent doesn’t bother me at all

  • "Everyone had a roof over their head and food on their table"….umm are we so sure about that?


  • Educated and industrial superpower are big words for Russia.

  • Vladimir Lenin: 22 April 1870
    Me : 22 April 2005

  • Lenin wasn't a good guy.

  • Lenin himself was involved in establishing the gulags, or is that wrong?

  • Sounds like shrek from sml

  • USA vs any country that using democracy on it government after WW2

  • Loool the Scottish accent killed me

  • History vs Poroshenko

  • Who approved that god awful accent

  • History is scared of our comrade lenin
    Edit: the american is quite annoying and the russian is worse

  • So one kills people and he’s bad the other kills people and “it was a tough time for the country”.

  • Soviet Union wasn’t even close communism Lenin had great ideology revolution but Stalin ruined it supposed to be for people

  • 2:50, wait wasn’t that the Brusilov offensive? That was the most successful offensives in the world?

  • Lenin was for many years an active agent of the German Secret Service.

    Documents detailing orders from German ambassador Hans Freiherr von Wangenheim,
    to two Russian agents codenamed “der Bankier” (the banker) and
    “Maulwurf” (the mole), which have been identified respectively as
    Alexander Parvus and Vladimir Lenin.

    According to these
    documents, Parvus would have served as Lenin’s liaison officer,
    transmitting him the orders and the material that came from the Germans
    through Jakob Fürstenberg, Lenin’s most trusted agent who was also known
    by various aliases such as Hanecki, Kuba, or his Party name, Ganetsky.

    An elaborate account of a meeting that took place between the Bolshevik
    leader, Parvus and Baron von Wangenheim on April 13 1917, during
    Lenin’s stopover in Stockholm, provides an incredible new perspective on
    the October revolution, as it now seems clear that the action was
    planned by the German military.

    The three men discuss the events to come and plan their course of action. The obvious aim of the
    operation was to spread revolutionary unrest. The documents show that
    Lenin was in fact an agent part of an elaborate three-point proposal:
    the infiltration of Bolshevik propaganda into Russia; an international
    press campaign against Czarism; organizing massive strikes under the
    slogan “Freedom and Peace.”

    “They transported Lenin in a sealed truck like a plague bacillus from Switzerland into Russia“- Winston Churchill.

  • Ha! This video was about as accurate as the Russian accent!

  • Me: scrolls down to comment section expecting to see debates between Lenin’s supporters and his opponents

    The comment section: fAKe ruSsIAn ACcEnT

  • Lol the Bolsheviks melted the Royals..


  • Well I’m a Trotskyist communist

  • Thats illegal

  • The Russian accent is terrible. I can't stand it. please remake this using real Russian voice or just without the accent.

  • The argument made here is the same argument neo-Marxist liberals make for communism: "Communism works. It just hasn't been done correctly yet. If I was in charge, things might have been different."

  • De ssssaar vas a blooooodie tirant, in vich vorkers toiiiled in slllavery

  • Fake history can't be an argument. You like bourgeois propaganda lie about points of the Russian history.

  • Lenin's era is nearly 100 years behind ours, so we can't think of him in modern terms. Those who vilify him without cause will not know what a progressive example Lenin was in his backward age.

  • Ok people, we got it after the 7000th comment about the fake accent. Now even the % summarizers are getting annoying. 95% fake accent, 5% Yo mamma! Shut up! Lol

  • whats that word at 2:42

  • Hmm….

  • I heard his name in my 9th standard history textbook

    And i also know what they are discussing

  • Plz tell me about the best book on the lenin which is available in hindi language

  • I am very excited to read about lenin

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