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Vladimir Lenin

Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov [Lenin] (1870-1924) was a follower of Karl Marx, the leader of the Bolshevik revolutionaries, and the founder of the Soviet Union. His Bolsheviks were one of several revolutionary groups who were fighting the Tsars, but they were the ultimate winners, defeating first the Provisional Government in 1917 (the "October Revolution") and then their remaining rivals in 1921 (the Russian Civil War). He could not enjoy his victory for long, however; he had some strokes in 1922 and 1923, and he died in 1924.

In his Socialism and Religion, he argued that the religion business is used by the exploiters in order to drug their subjects into submission with false promises of happiness after death if they submit. Expanding on Marx's famous "opium of the people" comment, he stated that

Religion is a sort of spiritual booze, in which the slaves of capital drown their human image, their demand for a life more or less worthy of man.

also translated as

Religion is a kind of spiritual gin in which the slaves of capital drown their human shape and their claims to any decent life.

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