Headed for The Dustheap

Once upon a time, communism claimed to be the future. How Lenin's party rose to power and then disintegrated is this century's most gripping tale

"This music makes me want to speak sweet nonsense and pat on the head people who can create such beauty while living in this filthy hell. Nowadays we can't pat heads. We've got to hit heads, hit them without mercy."

-- Lenin, on listening to Beethoven

The first Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party, later to become the Communist Party, consisted of just nine delegates representing four labor unions, a workers' newspaper and the Jewish Social Democratic Bund. The nine delegates met in Minsk on the first three days of March 1898, proclaimed themselves a party, called for the...

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