It's important to understand the reason behind Lenin's violence and that underlay further examples of Communist tragedies. Why did Lenin and other Communist leaders we'll examine later—Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot—become crazed murderers?
The reason is the materialist philosophy they held, and its view of human beings. As we saw at the beginning, Communism is basically materialist philosophy applied to history, in total harmony with Darwin's theory of evolution—which, in turn, is the adaptation of materialist philosophy to the natural world. Some basic elements of this perverse philosophy can be outlined as follows:
1. A human being is composed only of matter, with no spirit or soul.
2. A human is a highly evolved species of animal. Essentially, there is no difference between human beings and animals. The only difference between a human being and other animals is that his environment has tamed him.
3. In nature and in human society, the only unchanging law is the one of conflict. Conflicting interests result in struggle. At the end of any struggle, it is natural—even necessary—that one side lose, suffer and die.
4. Therefore, from the Communist point of view, for any development to take place—for example, for the "revolution" to succeed—it's inevitable, even necessary, that many people will suffer, be subjected to torture, and die.
5. To legitimize these convictions, Communism—and every other ideology that adopts a materialist philosophy—resorts to destroying a society's faith in God. Actually, the aim of materialism is to alienate society from its belief in God and in religious and moral values, and bring into being a mass of human beings who consider themselves an assortment of soulless animals. In this way, these ideologues believe that they can control the masses, establish their own power, and prepare a legitimate foundation for any immorality or cruelty they wish to commit.
Given that Communism regards human being in this way, it follows that its major efforts have been towards "bestializing" them—beating them like wild animals, "training" them by instilling fear and inflicting pain and, when necessary, cutting their throats.
Very clearly, Lenin accepted this materialist-Darwinist philosophy that regards human beings as animals. After speaking privately with Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, the Russian scientist famous for his experiments on the conditioned reflexes of animals, Lenin tried applying Pavlov's methods to Russian society. In his book, A People's Tragedy: A History of the Russian Revolution, Orlando Figes writes about Lenin's desire to "educate" the Russian people as an animal trainer would, and how the roots of this ambition lie in Darwinism:
In October 1919, according to legend, Lenin paid a secret visit to the laboratory of the great physiologist I. P. Pavlov to find out if his work on the conditional reflexes of the brain might help the Bolsheviks control human behaviour. 'I want the masses of Russia to follow a Communistic pattern of thinking and reacting,' Lenin explained… Pavlov was astounded. It seemed that Lenin wanted him to do for humans what he had already done for dogs. 'Do you mean that you would like to standardize the population of Russia? Make them all behave in the same way?' he asked. 'Exactly' replied Lenin. 'Man can be corrected. Man can be made what we want him to be.'… [T]he ultimate aim of the Communist system was the transformation of human nature. It was an aim shared by the other so-called totalitarian regimes of the inter-war period…As one of the pioneers of the eugenics movement in Nazi Germany put in 1920, 'it could almost seem as if we have witnessed a change in the concept of humanity…We were forced by the terrible exigencies of war to ascribe a different value to the life of the individual than was the case before.'...The notion of creating a new type of man through the enlightenment of the masses had always been the messianic mission of the nineteenth-century Russian intelligentsia, from whom the Bolsheviks emerged. Marxist philosophy likewise taught that human nature was a product of historical development and could thus be transformed by a revolution. The scientific materialism of Darwin and Huxley, which had the status of a religion among the Russian intelligentsia during Lenin's youth, equally lent itself to the view that man was determined by the world in which he lived.Thus the Bolsheviks were led to conclude that their revolution, with the help of science, could create a new type of man...
Conditional Reflex Indoctrination
Trotsky gives a propaganda speech to a mass crowd in Red Square in 1918. Lenin and Trotsky believed they could train human beings like animals, using methods to evoking a conditioned response. The Soviet Union organized the Communist Party according to this logic.
...Although Pavlov was an outspoken critic of the revolution and had often threatened to emigrate, he was patronized by the Bolsheviks. After two years of growing his own carrots, Pavlov was awarded a handsome ration and a spacious Moscow apartment... Lenin spoke of Pavlov's work as 'hugely significant' for the revolution. Bukharin called it 'a weapon from the iron arsenal of materialism.'21
Trotsky, an important theoretician of Communist ideology and Lenin's most important associate, agreed with Lenin's views about "the transformation of human nature" that had their origin in Darwinism. As Trotsky wrote:
What is man? He is by no means a finished or harmonious being. No, he is still a highly awkward creature. Man, as an animal, has not evolved by plan but spontaneously, and has accumulated many contradictions. The question of how to educate and regulate, of how to improve and complete the physical and spiritual construction of man, is a colossal problem which can only be conceived on the basis of Socialism. We can construct a railway across the Sahara, we can build the Eiffel Tower and talk directly with New York, but we surely cannot improve man. No, we can! To produce a new, 'improved version' of man — that is the future task of Communism…Man must look at himself and see himself as a raw material, or at best as a semi-manufactured product, and say: 'At last, my dear homo sapiens, I will work on you.'22
Along with Lenin and Trotsky, other Bolsheviks believed that human beings were an animal species, nothing more than an agglomeration of matter. Because they saw no value in human life, millions of persons could easily be sacrificed for the sake of the revolution. According to Richard Pipes's The Unknown Lenin, "For humankind at large Lenin had nothing but scorn:the documents confirm Gorky's assertion that individual human beings held for Lenin 'almost no interest,' and that he treated the working class much as a metalworker treated iron ore." 23