Osho on Trotsky, Lenin, Stalin and Russian revolution in 1917
Question - Beloved Osho, How can we keep the most beautiful gathering of rebels and seekers who ever existed on the earth from becoming an established society?
Osho - Prem Dipamo, the authentic rebellious man has no such problem; he never becomes part of any establishment. There was a very unexpected experience in the communist revolution in Russia. When the revolution happened, that was in 1917, a great uneasiness was felt in the revolutionaries. The topmost revolutionaries, Lenin, Trotsky, and their colleagues, were all in a strange situation, and one man, Joseph Stalin, took advantage of their puzzled state.
Stalin was not a revolutionary, he was one of the great establishment makers. Just to create the establishment -- because the country was in a chaos after the revolution; there was no order, no law -- the idea of the revolutionaries was to have individuals as free as possible, teach them to be responsible so there would be no need of law and no need of the law-establishing agencies of the police, the court, the judges.
Lenin was also of the opinion that marriage should disappear, because it is one of the fundamental establishments. All other establishments use it as their foundation. But when they were not in power, it was easy to think such things; when they came into power, then the real problems were there.
Leaving individuals free, society was becoming full of crime. Responsibility was not arising, because responsibility is not just an idea -- unless one is alert enough, meditative enough, silent enough, to take all the responsibility of his life and not to disturb, not to interfere with anybody else's life, it is very difficult.
It is well known, but not well established, that Lenin, the head organizer of the revolution, was poisoned by the secretary of the party, Joseph Stalin. But the poison was given very slowly, over a long period of time of two years. Krupskaya, Lenin's wife, has written that it was absolutely certain that he was being poisoned because she was not allowed to change the doctor -- the doctor was appointed by Joseph Stalin, was in his service. He was not treating Lenin, he was simply poisoning him slowly.
Krupskaya could see -- she was an intelligent woman -- that instead of getting well, he was getting worse. The more the treatment, the more he was drowning -- something was wrong. Why this insistence that the doctor should not be changed when the doctor is not succeeding in curing him? It was a natural question that the doctor should be changed.
Trotsky was the foreign minister in the new government of the revolutionaries, but he was as authentic a revolutionary as Lenin. He wanted no ranks in the army -- somebody lower, somebody higher. Everybody should be equal: "We are creating a society of equality; at least the government should give proof to the society that the people who belong to government are equal in rank."
But the generals were not ready to be equal with
ordinary soldiers. It is a childish game in the world, but even childish
games are played by your oldest people. Just having a few colored
stripes on your coat makes people feel very special; one color more
added and they rejoice. It seems children are growing old certainly, but
they are not growing up; they are not becoming intelligent.
So naturally they conspired with Joseph Stalin, and Trotsky had to run away, out of the Soviet Union -- and he was the defense minister; he was the head of all the armies. And he was also the foreign minister, because he was the most educated, most intelligent person of all the revolutionaries. Lenin was a great organizer, but was not a great intellectual or a great orator. He was number two, in that sense, to Trotsky.
Joseph Stalin's professional murderers followed Trotsky. He was killed in Mexico, and killed very brutally with a hammer on his head, and in a very strange situation. He was writing the biography of Joseph Stalin... because Stalin was destroying the whole revolution; he was not a revolutionary.
Trotsky has written a tremendously insightful, very big, biography. He was completing the last page, and as he had put the final full stop -- that was the moment; it is just a coincidence that he was looking at the last line, finishing it -- the hammer came down on his head, and his head was broken into pieces.
His blood is splashed all over the last page of his hand-written biography. It is still in a museum in Mexico, on exhibition. It is one of the great biographies, and written by an enemy. Trotsky and Stalin were enemies, enemies in the sense that Joseph Stalin was never a revolutionary. All he wanted deep down was to replace the czar and become a czar himself -- and he became it. He became the worst czar that has ever existed.
In Russian history the worst czar was Ivan the Terrible, but he was nothing compared to Stalin. He poisoned Lenin, he killed Trotsky, and he went on killing other great revolutionaries. He was satisfied only when all the great revolutionaries who were responsible for the revolution were finished. He replaced them with people who wanted law and order, and society and organization. He created the greatest establishment ever created, and with such strength that the whole country became a concentration camp.
It is very difficult for rebels and seekers to remain rebels and seekers. They will be rebellious even if the revolution has happened. Any revolution is bound to create another kind of establishment, and the authentic rebellious man will again revolt, revolt against the revolution he himself has created but had never thought would become an establishment. The authentic rebel never becomes part of any establishment.
The problem is that the rebels are very few, and the retarded masses are so many that unless every individual is a rebel, an establishment is bound to follow. The rebel is bound to fight against his own revolution, which is turning into a new establishment. Up to now no revolution has been able to succeed because the moment it succeeds it starts becoming another establishment. The people who had power change, but the people who come in their place are more powerful. And it is more difficult to change them, because they know all the strategies that they have used in changing powerful people. So they will not allow any of those strategies.
For seventy years in Russia there has not been a single rebel, because you cannot just become a rebel in a single moment. To be rebellious needs a certain understanding, a certain alertness, a certain unprejudiced mind. Russia is the only country in the world where revolution is impossible, and this is a very strange situation. It is the country where revolution succeeded on a great scale. But the moment it became a success, suddenly the water turned into ice; it became the establishment. And the rebels who are authentic cannot be tolerated anymore by the same group who changed the whole society.
Stalin was afraid of Trotsky, he was afraid of Lenin. They had to be finished because they were people who would risk everything, but would not drop their rebelliousness; they would not become a new establishment.
What you are asking for, Dipamo, is a society where everybody is so aware that no law is needed; where everybody is so peaceful that no police are needed; where everybody is so loving that rape and murder and heinous crimes become impossible; where everybody is unrepressed, uninhibited; where everyone has lived his life according to nature. There will be no need of any establishment; government will only be a functional entity like the post office, or railway trains.
Who cares who is the postmaster general? Have you ever heard? No speech, no photograph is ever published in the newspapers about who is the postmaster general. He is managing a great complex, but it is only functional. Governments should be functional, they are servants of the people. But through the establishment, through power, they become the masters of the people. And very retarded people, when they become masters, destroy all that is delicate, all that is beautiful, all that is great. But you can be a rebel even in a society which wants you to be part of the establishment. Don't compromise. Even life itself is a lesser value than your individuality and your rebelliousness.
Your rebelliousness is your very spirit. You are truly a man only when you are rebellious, when you can say no to anything that goes against freedom, that goes against man's dignity. When you are ready to go to the gallows without any grudge, because you are sacrificing yourself for something far greater and more beautiful -- for freedom, for individuality, for expression, for creativity; you are sowing seeds for future generations -- you will not be sad. You will be immensely happy that you have not been forced to become a slave; that rather than being enslaved, you preferred the gallows.
Unless in this society a person is ready to choose crucifixion rather than consolations, medals, and Nobel Prizes... only such a man can be a rebel and can be truly spiritual. We hope that one day there will be a society where everybody will be so rebellious. But rebellion does not mean reaction or destruction; rebellion means your highest flowering of consciousness. Unless rebellion brings enlightenment to you, you cannot save it; you will have to compromise. And to compromise is to lose your self-respect, is to lose your dignity as a man.
Up to now the society has lived under a false idea that people are free. Nobody is free; there are a thousand and one ways to enslave you. Only very rarely have a few people risked everything and remained individuals even at the risk of death -- but they are the very salt of the earth. They are the people who have maintained humanity's evolution. Evolution depends on only a very few people; they can be counted on your ten fingers. Others live a life of middle-class comfort, and for that comfort they sell their souls in the marketplace.
Dipamo, you are asking, "How can we keep the most beautiful gathering of rebels and seekers who ever existed on the earth from becoming an established society?" If people are really rebels, not just because of their minds but because of their meditation, then there is no problem. With Gautam Buddha there were ten thousand meditators; there was no establishment. Nobody was higher, nobody was lower; nobody had to be ordered. Even Gautam Buddha has never ordered anyone to do a single thing; he simply shared his vision. It is up to you whether to participate in that vision or not. That is going to be your decision, and that is going to be your responsibility. Freedom brings responsibility.
Source - Osho Book "The Invitation"
Osho on famous people: Alan Watts, Albert Einstein, Adolf Hitler, Confucius, Edmund Burke, Friedrich Nietzsche, George Santayana, Karl Marx, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Machiavelli, Madame Blavatsky, Mahatma Gandhi, Marilyn Monroe, Martin Buber, Mother Teresa, Nijinsky, Sanjay Gandhi, Shakuntala Devi, Somerset Maugham, Soren Kierkegaard, Subhash Chandra Bose, Vincent van Gogh, Vinoba Bhave, Werner Erhard