Chapter 2 – Marxism-Leninism Communist Roots of the Cold War to the Eve of the Second World War—1848 to 1939

The government considers it the greatest of crimes against humanity to continue this war over the issue of how to divide among the strong and rich nations the weak nationalities they have conquered, and solemnly announces its determination immediately to sign terms of peace to stop this war on the terms indicated, which are equally just for all nationalities without exception.
 . . . [In] peace terms . . . there should be absolute clarity and the complete absence of all ambiguity and secrecy.
The government abolishes secret diplomacy, and, for its part, announces its firm intention to conduct all negotiations quite openly in full view of the whole people. (emphasis added)3
Lenin’s Cynicism and Betrayals. Every word in Lenin’s cynical decree about freedom, independence, and transparency was contradicted by Lenin’s prior and subsequent diplomacy and dictatorship and that of his Soviet successors. Lenin followed his “peace” decree by entering Soviet-German negotiations on the basis of German demands on December 22, 1917 and concluded a treaty in March 1918 in which Lenin abandoned large Russian territories and its East European neighbors, and Russia’s Western Allies to German occupation and to intensified war. At the same time, he was violently imposing his Bolshevik’s Marxist-Leninist blueprint, occupation, and permanent civil war on the Russian people.
Lenin’s Brest-Litovsk Treaty with Imperial Germany—March 1918. On March 3, 1918, Lenin signed the Soviet-German Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. The treaty directly contradicted the terms of Lenin’s Decree on Peace and the hopes of Russia’s Western allies and neighbors, as well as of many Russians. It confirmed a formal armistice beyond that of November 1917 to be in force between the Soviet Union and Germany and its Central Power allies Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey. The dimensions of Lenin’s betrayals of Russia, her neighbors, and the Western democracies were affirmed in the Treaty’s Article I, declaring “that the condition of war between them has ceased. They have decided to live in peace and accord in the future.”4
Brest-Litovsk’s Betrayal of the Russian People. In spite of their war weariness, the Russian Provisional Government and the bulk of the Russian people would have been unlikely to surrender so readily to foreign military occupation, given the size of Russia’s landmass and population. With Lenin’s de facto surrender and subsequent Russian demobilization along the front lines, Germany gained an extremely advantageous position. The line of German forces far inside the Russian homeland ran from just west of Petrograd, southward to Kharkov, Rostov, and the Black Sea, and could readily either break out and advance eastward on Petrograd, or shift large forces to the Western Front, or both.
Brest-Litovsk’s Betrayal of Russia’s Independent East-European Neighbors. The Brest-Litovsk Treaty also betrayed the non-Russian peoples of Eastern Europe seeking full independence both from Soviet Russia and from Imperial Germany. In the year before the treaty was signed, the Russian Provisional Government had recognized an independent Poland on March 30, 1917. After Lenin’s coup, the Ukrainian “Rada” proclaimed independence on November 20, 1917, followed by Finland on December 6, 1917, Moldavia on December 23, 1917, Lithuania on February 16, 1918, Latvia on February 21, 1918, and Estonia on February 24, 1918. Notwithstanding these and other national proclamations and diplomatic initiatives for independence, including U.S. President Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points of January 8,1918, Lenin’s Brest-Litovsk Treaty coldly abandoned all of the new nations and their people to German occupation. These betrayals and others that followed mark important Cold War history, especially as these nations were subsequently invaded by Soviet forces under imperialist orders from Lenin and Stalin.
Brest-Litovsk’s Betrayal of Russia’s Western Democratic Allies. A final betrayal, and another significant moment in the development shaping Cold War history was Lenin’s betrayal of Russia’s democratic allies on the Western Front, most notably France, Great Britain, and the Commonwealth countries, and the United States. Like Marx, Lenin identified all of the West European industrial democracies (and the United States) as irredeemably evil “capitalists” and “imperialists,” deserving of self-destruction in fratricidal war. His actions flew in the face of America’s stated aims on processes and principles for ending the war and securing peace and freedom, notably stated earlier by Woodrow Wilson.
Wilson’s Fourteen Points. Wilson’s Fourteen Points declaration made on January 8, 1918 clearly stated U.S. war and peace aims as follows:
[Overall Aims and Principles] It will be our wish and purpose that the processes of peace, when they are begun, shall be absolutely open and that they shall involve and permit henceforth no secret understandings of any kind. . . .
[Book pg. 31]