100 years ago today, on August 30th, 1918, a counter-revolutionary named Fanny Kaplan attempted to assassinate Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin in Moscow. The attempt failed but Lenin was grievously wounded and he sought retribution for his injury. The result was known as the “Red Terror”. The Bolsheviks (especially their secret police) initiated a campaign of fear and mass murder in the country, primarily against the counter-revolutionaries competing for power (known as the White Movement), but also against anyone who stood in their way. An estimated 100,000 to 200,000 Russians died in the reprisals.
It’s a striking image, but it also reflects the social, cultural and political climate of the world today. Just a little over 4 years before the assassination attempt on Lenin, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated by an anarchist and plunged the globe into World War I. You look at the current events today – White Power and Antifa, tumult in the Roman Church, rising and falling dictatorships, power grabs, megalomaniacs leading countries, etc. etc.
It only takes one instant, one spark, one moment in time to spark something disastrous. Whether it be war, anarchy, riots or another social disturbance, bad things can happen at a moment’s notice.
Have we learned nothing from our history?