The socialist internationalism of Marxism and Bolshevism is based upon class struggle and a peoples' transcending nationalism, ethnocentrism, and religion—the intellectual obstacles to progressive class consciousness—which are the cultural status quo that the capitalist ruling class manipulate in order to politically divide the working classes and the peasant classes. To overcome that barrier to establishing socialism, Lenin said that acknowledging nationalism, as a peoples' right of self-determination and right of secession, naturally would allow socialist states to transcend the political limitations of nationalism to form a federation.[26] In The Question of Nationalities, or 'Autonomisation' (1923), Lenin said:


Socialist culturefalse consciousness of religion and nationalism that constitute the cultural status quo taught by the bourgeoisie to the proletariat to facilitate their economic exploitation of peasant and worker. Influenced by Lenin, the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party stated that the development of the socialist workers' culture should not be "hamstrung from above" and opposed the Proletkult (1917–1925) organisational control of the national culture.[28]

Leninism after 1924

In post-Revolutionary Russia, Stalinism (socialism in one country) and Trotskyism (permanent world revolution) were the principal philosophies of communism that claimed legitimate ideological descent from Leninism, thus within the Communist Party, each ideological faction denied the political legitimacy of the opposing faction.[29] Until shortly before his death, Lenin countered Stalin's disproportionate political influence in the Communist Party and in the bureaucracy of the Soviet government, partly because of abuses he had committed against the populace of Georgia and partly because the autocratic Stalin had accumulated administrative power disproportionate to his office of General Secretary of the Communist Party.[30][31]

The counter-action against Stalin aligned with Lenin's advocacy of the right of self-determination for the national and ethnic groups of the deposed Tsarist Empire.[31] Lenin warned the Party that Stalin has "unlimited authority concentrated in his hands, and I am not sure whether he will always be capable of using that authority with sufficient caution", and formed a faction with Leon Trotsky to remove Stalin as the General Secretary of the Communist Party.[20][32]

To that end followed proposals reducing the administrative powers of party posts in order to reduce bureaucratic influence upon the policies of the Communist Party. Lenin advised Trotsky to emphasise Stalin's recent bureaucratic alignment in such matters (e.g. undermining the anti-bureaucratic workers' and peasants' Inspection) and argued to depose Stalin as General Secretary. Despite advice to refuse "any rotten compromise," Trotsky did not heed Lenin's advice and General Secretary Stalin retained power over the Communist Party and the bureaucracy of the soviet government.[20]