Someone wrote a piece on Facebook quoting V.I. Lenin, favorably if snarkily, vis a vis Sandernistaism being a version of "Leftwing Communism: An Infantile Disorder" (see the collected works of V.I. Lenin for details.).
To which I was prompted to write the following:
I'm anti-Bolshevik, not that it matters much these days. But I don't think Lenin would have become the vicious, power-hungry, anti-Semitic — geopolitically and militarily incompetent mass-murderer — Stalin became. Again, I'm anti-Bolshevik. The Civil War, brought on by Lenin, was more ruinous for Russians than even World War I.
But I think the world would have been better if Lenin had not been cut down and, say, Hitler had been. I know, I know, irony is lost in cyberspace.
But to go on being unironic, Lenin would not have made it a matter of principle to kill all the old Bolsheviks in Russia, exile Trotsky, then hunt him down in Mexico.
Lenin believed the end justified the means, and had no problem with cruelty that implied, even relished it, but he was not, beyond that, inherently bloodthirsty, or so I prefer to think.
(I think I'm being too soft on Lenin here.)
Then there is that Lenin was smart, a man of principle, however wrong, whereas Stalin was a dull brute, a scheming thug.
Lenin knew something about the world, and would not have advised the German Communist Party to attack the German Socialist Party as if it was fascistic.
Had those two parties united, Hitler might not have come to power.
Had Lenin lived.
Lenin would never have pushed anything like the outrageously anti-Semitic Doctor's Plot that Stalin was engineering before he dropped dead.
We'll never know what would have been had Lenin lived. Some wild-eyed Sandernista Islamicist Social Revolutionary Narodnik — the party of bombing and assassination — killed his ass.
It would be an interesting counter-history to explore what might have happened had Lenin lived.
My first guess is that Stalin would have tried to take him out.
Beyond that, Lenin would not have tried to become a new Tsar, as Stalin did, in effect, and as Mao succeeded in becoming a new Chinese Emperor.
Had Lenin survived the assassination attempt. Had Ulyanov lived.