Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin misguidedly approved the use of terror and was also wrong to abolish all private property and create a system of forced labor camps, a Soviet literary journal says.
Such criticism would have been forbidden before the era of "glasnost," or greater openness, ushered in by Mikhail S. Gorbachev.Still, the overall tone of the article in the monthly Novy Mir is moderate, and it concludes that Lenin made the mistakes early on, realized he was wrong and deserves praise.
Vassily Selyunin, the author of the 30-page article, said that in the first few years after the Bolsheviks took power in 1917, Lenin favored overly harsh measures for putting the country's economy back on track.
Selyunin wrote in the May edition of Novy Mir that Lenin considered using violent means to shore up the economy, as was done in the French Revolution.
In November 1917, Lenin declared that "speculators" were "enemies of the people" who should be shot when found, according to Selyunin. Speculation then meant anything outside government trade.