Lenin towers over New York

The US unemployment rate is inching above 9.5 percent; a level not seen since 1983. Under the thumb of capitalism, Rosen says those with the least are struggling the most. “If you’re Black, Latino and you’re not middle class, you’re subject to a type of racial oppression which is debilitating,” Rosen says.

New York is the money centre of the world, which makes the presence of one decidedly non-capitalist statue looking down on Manhattan even more unlikely.

Atop one of the city’s newest, plushest, apartment blocks stands Communist icon Vladimir Lenin.

Cracks in the economy have given way to shaky ground in New York City. However, still standing firm above Manhattan’s crumbling Capitalism, is the Father of Communism.

A bronze statue of Vladimir Lenin stands resolute on the roof of Red Square, a fashionable apartment rental complex on the Lower East Side surrounded by retail stores and restaurants, and owned by a revolutionary developer.

Michael Rosen is the developer responsible for the Lenin statue.

“I wanted to do something that was visually arresting, that people would look at twice,” says Rosen.

He denies supporting Lenin or Communism, but admits to using the Soviet leader’s statue for controversial marketing.

The statue was originally a Soviet State-commissioned work, but was never erected following the USSR’s collapse.


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