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Poor Lenin’s Almanac – Book Review

In Poor Lenin’s Almanac: Perverse Leftists Proverbs for Modern Life [1], Bruce Walker does a masterful job exposing the corrupt Marxist leftovers from the 1800’s that is currently rotting America from the inside out as many leftist ideals have subtly and slowly replaced our Judeo-Christian heritage.  Using a satirical method that rivals Juvenal’s satire of the debauched Roman Empire [2], Mr. Walker distills for us in common language the rotten fruits of communistic ideology.  This political burlesque is not only revealed by the title, but continues throughout the entirety of the book.  Each short chapter is satirically labeled to encapsulate 52 vices of Marxist ideology that are currently wreaking havoc on the political and moral fabric of our society.

While Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin prided themselves in their academic achievements and theories, at the end of the day, Bruce Walker uncovers what a sham it all is, “Poor Lenin and his pals are utterly indifferent to anything they pretend to care about.  They—surprise—lie about this indifference.  What do they care about?  Look at the only thing they really seek: power.”  In other words, they use ideology to garner support from their adherents, but this is all largely a ruse.  They are, in fact, manipulating their followers to crush their opponents in their unscrupulous quest for raw, political power.  In its wake is left behind moral and political chaos, the anarchic fruits of Marxism.

The title of the book, Poor Lenin’s Almanac, is, of course, a play on Benjamin Franklin’s famous Poor Richard’s Almanac [3].  In the days of America’s founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin’s pithy proverbs, which were all strongly rooted in the Judeo-Christian religious heritage, stand out like a sore thumb in Poor Lenin’s politically correct America these days.  Such Franklin maxims like “all things are easy to Industry, all things difficult to Sloth,” have all been but erased from our modern American memory, and certainly play no part in our public education these days.  Thanks to Poor Lenin and his leftist political minions, Americans no longer seem to understand basic economics like “he that buys upon credit, pays interest for what he buys.”

While it is true that Benjamin Franklin held many deistic views, there can be no doubt that his sayings were largely borrowed from Solomon’s Proverbs in the Old Testament.  They were essentially recast and updated to inform American colonials of the need to be wise, hard working, self-regulating, and thrifty.  Indeed, the promised land of Israel, regulated and informed by both the Mosaic Constitution and by the book of Proverbs, elevated freedom under the rule of law, private property, thrift, industry and hard work to a level that was highly conspicuous in the ancient world, not to mention the European world of kings and feudalism that dominated the political landscape of the 1700’s.  That Benjamin Franklin’s very popular Poor Richard’s Almanac played an invaluable role in pulling America away from such European sentiments and helped set the stage for a self-regulating free America, goes without saying.

Today, however, Americans seem to be increasingly borrowing from Poor Lenin’s Almanac instead.  This trend, of course, needs to be reversed, which is precisely why Bruce Walker’s book has been written at an apropos time, a time in which many Americans are revisiting the beliefs and political goals of our founding fathers.  One of Mr. Walker’s chapters is satirically entitled, “Our Father, who art in Washington” to remind us all that America was not founded in Washington, DC, “when the new American nation was declared in 1776, there was no Washington DC.  When the first American government, the Articles of Confederation, was created, there was no Washington DC.  When the Constitution was written, there was no Washington DC.  When the Constitution was ratified, there was no Washington DC.”  Indeed, Mr. Walker goes on to point out that since the District of Columbia was finally established in 1801, “this once harmless bit of real estate has worked like a black hole that swallows up all the power, prestige and influence in America.”

This process, of course, began to greatly accelerate after the rise of Marxism, progressivism, socialism, and fascism, all of which had their respective anchors dropped in the watery depths of evolutionary theory where they all believed that “in the beginning, Darwin created the heavens and the earth,” yet another excellent chapter title in Mr. Walker’s book.  Tyranny has since been justified by the latest ‘progressive’ scientific theories, whether they are based on political, biological, societal, economic, or psychological evolution.  As such, the old European kingdoms that our founding fathers opposed have thus been re-packaged with Marxist, socialist, and fascist ribbons.

Built on such a naturalistic foundation without any reference to the God of the Judeo-Christian heritage, Poor Lenin’s atheistic political philosophy leaves behind an immoral wasteland that Walker perfectly elucidates in one chapter after another.  With chapter titles like “a victim in need is a vote indeed,” and “charity begins at someone else’s home,” and “an abortion a day keeps the babies away,” not to mention “a penny earned is a penny taxed,” with “Mein Kampus” being yet another honorable mention, Walker strips Poor Lenin of his overrated, academic credentials by graphically bringing to light its true inner workings.  This has already reaped a devastating legacy of personal destruction that could have been avoided if only more in America had been paying much closer attention to the political philosophy of those who believed like Benjamin Franklin.  If Vladimir Lenin had written an almanac that reflected the true nature of a communistic worldview, Bruce Walker’s Poor Lenin’s Almanac would have been it.