[Lenin] alone could have found the way back to the causeway . . . The Russian people were left floundering in the bog. Their worst misfortune was his birth . . . their next worst his death.
DeLong passes along this classic quote from the Bolshevik:
I know nothing that is greater than the Appassionata [by Beethoven]; I'd like to listen to it every day [Lenin said]. It is marvelous superhuman music. I always think with pride—perhaps it is naive of me—what marvelous things human beings can do!
But I can’t listen to music too often. It affects your nerves, makes you want to say stupid nice things, and stroke the heads of people who could create such beauty while living in this vile hell. And now you must not stroke anyone's head: you might get your hand bitten off. You have to strike them on the head, without any mercy, although our ideal is not to use force against anyone.
Hm, hm, our duty is infernally hard.
How much different might the 20th century have been if Vladimir Ilyich Lenin had stopped to listen to Beethoven every day?