I changed the blog layout two weeks ago ago and found out that the blog name After the Dinner Party needed to be replaced too. The old title was too long. It occupied too much space in the blog header of the new layout design. So I came up with an even better name: Hello Lenin.
Not only does the name sound like Hello Kitty, it remains loyal to the original meaning present in the old name. Hello Lenin still reaffirms my present self-identification as a committed partisan for universal emancipation that do not settle for mere (mis)readings, as this blog’s first name implied.
“Philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it,” Karl Marx’s famous line goes. Hello Lenin still captures this appeal while remaining short. The name Hello Lenin is also a response to that 2003 German film entitled Good Bye Lenin. Set in the dramatic years of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Good Bye Lenin attempts to finally bring closure to what it describes as a massively flawed and repressive state that was borne out of the legacy of Lenin.
In the film we have a brother and a sister tending to their mother who just woke up from a long coma. When the mother was unconscious, the Berlin Wall fell, East and West Germany is about to be reunited, and so on. Their mother was a staunch supporter of the old regime, hence the two siblings takes to extreme lengths to make it appear as if there are no drastic changes. Of course, it turns out that the siblings didn’t have to do all that because their mother was not actually a real believer of the old regime but was only pretending to do so.
Thus the film rehashes the usual canard about the futility of socialism and the superiority of capitalism when in fact what fell in the late 80s and the early 90s in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were Modern Revisionist states that used the name of Marx and Lenin in words but oppressed and exploited the working people in deeds. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the full restoration of capitalism was only the culmination of their prior betrayal of the revolutionary ideals represented by the name Lenin.
The full restoration of capitalism in the former Soviet Union in 1991 after decades of revisionist rule with Stalin’s death in 1953, as well as the embracing of the capitalist road by Red China after Mao’s death in 1976, has led bourgeois intellectuals and their imperialist masters to crow about a “New World Order” and global capitalism as the “End of History.”
But the continuing crisis of the world capitalist system and the recent resurgence of people’s movements and revolutionary struggles on a worldwide scale has quickly swept the rug under their feet and effectively debunked the illusion of a seamless capitalist utopia. We are still in the age of imperialism and world revolution as Lenin diagnosed a Century hence.
It is therefore but fitting to say hello to Lenin once more.