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LENINISM is the political theory for the organisation of a revolutionary vanguard party and the achievement of a dictatorship of the proletariat , as political prelude to the establishment of socialism . Developed by and named for the Russian revolutionary Lenin , Leninism
Leninism
comprises socialist political and economic theories, developed from Marxism
Marxism
, and Lenin's interpretations of Marxist theories, for practical application to the socio-political conditions of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
of the early 20th century.

Functionally, the Leninist vanguard party was to provide the working class with the political consciousness (education and organisation) and revolutionary leadership necessary to depose capitalism in Imperial Russia. After the October Revolution
October Revolution
of 1917, Leninism
Leninism
was the dominant version of Marxism
Marxism
in Russia, and, in establishing soviet democracy , the Bolshevik régime suppressed socialists who opposed the revolution, such as the Mensheviks
Mensheviks
and factions of the Socialist Revolutionary Party . The Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
(1917–22) thus included left-wing uprisings against the Bolsheviks
Bolsheviks
(1918–1924) that were suppressed in the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (RSFSR), before incorporation to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1922.

Leninism
Leninism
was composed as and for revolutionary praxis , and originally was neither a rigorously proper philosophy nor a discrete political theory; after the Russian Revolution, in History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics (1923), György Lukács developed and organised Lenin's pragmatic revolutionary practices and ideology into the formal philosophy of vanguard-party revolution (Leninism). As a political-science term, Leninism
Leninism
entered common usage in 1922, after infirmity ended Lenin's participation in governing the Russian Communist
Communist
Party. Two years later, in July 1924, at the fifth congress of the Communist
Communist
International , Grigory Zinoviev
Grigory Zinoviev
popularized the term Leninism
Leninism
to denote "vanguard-party revolution".

For five years, from 1917 to 1922, Leninism
Leninism
was the Russian application of Marxist economics and political philosophy, effected and realised by the Bolsheviks
Bolsheviks
, the vanguard party who led the fight for the political independence of the working class . In the 1925–29 period, Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
established Leninism
Leninism
as the official and only legitimate form of Marxism
Marxism
in Russia, by amalgamating the political philosophies as Marxism–Leninism
Marxism–Leninism
, which then became the state ideology of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
.

CONTENTS

* 1 Historical background

* 1.1 Imperialism

* 2 Leninist theory

* 2.1 The vanguard party * 2.2 Dictatorship of the proletariat
Dictatorship of the proletariat
* 2.3 Economics * 2.4 National self-determination * 2.5 Socialist culture

* 3 Leninism
Leninism
after 1924 * 4 Philosophic successors * 5 Criticism * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 Further reading * 9 External links

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Part of the Politics series on

LENINISM

Schools of thought

* Bordigism

* Marxism–Leninism
Marxism–Leninism

* Trotskyism
Trotskyism

Concepts

* Anti-imperialism
Anti-imperialism
* Democratic centralism
Democratic centralism

* Dual power
Dual power
* Labor aristocracy

* National liberation * Revolutionary defeatism * Revolutionary situation

* Self-determination
Self-determination
* Soviet democracy

* Transmission belt * Vanguardism
Vanguardism
* World revolution
World revolution

People

* Karl Marx
Karl Marx
* Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels

* Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
* Grigory Zinoviev
Grigory Zinoviev

* Nikolai Bukharin
Nikolai Bukharin
* Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky

* Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
* György Lukács
György Lukács

History

* Bolshevik Party
Bolshevik Party

* Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution

* Red Terror
Red Terror

* War Communism
War Communism

* National delimitation

* New Economic Policy
New Economic Policy

Related

* Anti-Leninism
Anti-Leninism
* Luxemburgism
Luxemburgism
* Stalinism
Stalinism

* Communism
Communism
portal * Socialism
Socialism
portal * Politics portal

* v * t * e

Part of a series on

MARXISM

Theoretical works

* Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 * Theses on Feuerbach * The German Ideology * The Communist Manifesto
The Communist Manifesto

* The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon * Grundrisse
Grundrisse
der Kritik der Politischen Ökonomie * A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy * Das Kapital * Dialectics of Nature

Philosophy

* Dialectical logic * Dialectical materialism * Economic determinism * Historical determinism * Historical materialism * Marx\'s method * Philosophy of nature

Economics

* Capital (accumulation ) * Asiatic mode of production * Capitalist mode of production * Crisis theory * Commodity * Exploitation * Mode of production
Mode of production
* Law of value
Law of value
* Scientific socialism
Scientific socialism
* Socialist mode of production
Socialist mode of production
* Surplus product
Surplus product
* Surplus value
Surplus value
* Value-form
Value-form
* Wage labor

Sociology

* Alienation * Base and superstructure
Base and superstructure
* Bourgeoisie
Bourgeoisie
* Class * Class consciousness
Class consciousness
* Class struggle
Class struggle
* Commodity fetishism * Communist society
Communist society
* Cultural hegemony
Cultural hegemony
* Dictatorship of the proletariat
Dictatorship of the proletariat
* Exploitation * Human nature * Ideology * Immiseration * Proletariat
Proletariat
* Private property
Private property
* Relations of production * Reification * Working class
Working class

History

* Anarchism and Marxism
Marxism
* Philosophy in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
* Primitive capital accumulation * Proletarian revolution
Proletarian revolution
* Proletarian internationalism
Proletarian internationalism
* World revolution
World revolution
* Communist society
Communist society
* Young Marx
Young Marx

Aspects

* Aesthetics * Archaeology * Criminology * Film theory * Geography * Historiography * Literary criticism

Schools of thought

* Analytical * Austro * Autonomist * Budapest School * Classical * De Leonist * Marxist feminism
Marxist feminism
* Frankfurt School
Frankfurt School
* Freudian * Marxist humanism
Marxist humanism
* Impossibilism
Impossibilism
* Instrumental * Left communist * Leninist * Libertarian * Luxemburgist * Neo- Marxism
Marxism
* Neue Marx-Lektüre
Neue Marx-Lektüre
* Open * Orthodox * Post- Marxism
Marxism
* Praxis School * Structural * Western

People

* Karl Marx
Karl Marx
* Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels

* Daniel De Leon * Georgi Plekhanov
Georgi Plekhanov
* Eduard Bernstein
Eduard Bernstein
* James Connolly
James Connolly
* Rosa Luxemburg
Rosa Luxemburg
* Clara Zetkin
Clara Zetkin
* Karl Liebknecht
Karl Liebknecht
* Karl Kautsky
Karl Kautsky
* Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
* Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
* Alexandra Kollontai
Alexandra Kollontai
* Antonio Gramsci
Antonio Gramsci
* Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
* Walter Benjamin
Walter Benjamin
* Antonie Pannekoek
Antonie Pannekoek
* György Lukács
György Lukács
* Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
* Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
* Josip Broz Tito
Josip Broz Tito
* Theodor W. Adorno
Theodor W. Adorno
* Herbert Marcuse
Herbert Marcuse
* Erich Fromm
Erich Fromm
* Jean-Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Sartre
* Enver Hoxha
Enver Hoxha
* Simone de Beauvoir
Simone de Beauvoir
* Che Guevara
Che Guevara
* Raya Dunayevskaya
Raya Dunayevskaya
* Maximilien Rubel
Maximilien Rubel
* Kim Il-sung
Kim Il-sung
* Louis Althusser
Louis Althusser
* Guy Debord
Guy Debord
* Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
* Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
* Slavoj Žižek
Slavoj Žižek

* Socialism
Socialism
portal * Communism
Communism
portal * Philosophy portal

* v * t * e

In the 19th century, The Communist Manifesto
The Communist Manifesto
(1848), by Karl Marx
Karl Marx
and Friedrich Engels, called for the international political unification of the European working classes in order to achieve a Communist revolution; and proposed that, because the socio-economic organization of communism was of a higher form than that of capitalism, a workers' revolution would first occur in the economically advanced, industrialized countries. Marxist social democracy was strongest in Germany throughout the 19th century, and the Social Democratic Party of Germany inspired Lenin and other Russian Marxists.

Yet, in the early 20th century, the socio-economic backwardness of Imperial Russia
Imperial Russia
(1721–1917)—uneven and combined economic development—facilitated rapid and intensive industrialization, which produced a united, working-class proletariat in a predominantly rural, agrarian, peasant society. Moreover, because the industrialization was financed mostly with foreign capital, Imperial Russia
Imperial Russia
did not possess a revolutionary bourgeoisie with political and economic influence upon the workers and the peasants (as occurred in the French Revolution
Revolution
, 1789). So, although Russia's political economy principally was agrarian and semi-feudal , the task of democratic revolution therefore fell to the urban, industrial working class, as the only social class capable of effecting land reform and democratization, in view that the Russian propertied classes would attempt to suppress any revolution, in town and country.

In April 1917, Lenin published the April Theses , the political strategy of the October Revolution
October Revolution
(7–8 November 1917), which proposed that the Russian revolution was not an isolated national event, but a fundamentally international event—the first world socialist revolution. Thus, Lenin's practical application of Marxism and working-class urban revolution to the social, political, and economic conditions of the agrarian peasant society that was Tsarist Russia sparked the "revolutionary nationalism of the poor" to depose the absolute monarchy of the three-hundred-year Romanov dynasty (1613–1917).

IMPERIALISM

In the course of developing the Russian application of Marxism
Marxism
, the pamphlet Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism
Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism
(1916) presented Lenin's analysis of an economic development predicted by Karl Marx: that capitalism would become a global financial system , wherein advanced industrial countries export financial capital to their colonial countries, to finance the exploitation of their natural resources and the labour of the native populations. Such superexploitation of the poor (undeveloped) countries allows the wealthy (developed) countries to maintain some homeland workers politically content with a slightly higher standard of living, and so ensure peaceful labour–capital relations in the capitalist homeland. (see: labour aristocracy , globalization ) Hence, a proletarian revolution of workers and peasants could not occur in the developed capitalist countries, while the imperialist global-finance system remained intact; thus an underdeveloped country would feature the first proletarian revolution; and, in the early 20th century, Imperial Russia was the politically weakest country in the capitalist global-finance system. In the United States of Europe Slogan (1915), Lenin said:

Workers of the world, unite!
Workers of the world, unite!
—Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism. Hence the victory of socialism is possible, first in several, or even in one capitalist country taken separately. The victorious proletariat of that country, having expropriated the capitalists and organised its own socialist production, would stand up against the rest of the world, the capitalist world. — Collected Works, vol. 18, p. 232.

The more powerful enemy can be vanquished only by exerting the utmost effort, and by the most thorough, careful, attentive, skilful and obligatory use of any, even the smallest, rift between the enemies, any conflict of interests among the bourgeoisie of the various countries and among the various groups or types of bourgeoisie within the various countries, and also by taking advantage of any, even the smallest, opportunity of winning a mass ally, even though this ally is temporary, vacillating, unstable, unreliable and conditional. Those who do not understand this reveal a failure to understand even the smallest grain of Marxism, of modern scientific socialism in general. Those who have not proved in practice, over a fairly considerable period of time and in fairly varied political situations, their ability to apply this truth in practice have not yet learned to help the revolutionary class in its struggle to emancipate all toiling humanity from the exploiters. And this applies equally to the period before and after the proletariat has won political power. — Left-Wing Communism: an Infantile Disorder (1920)

LENINIST THEORY

Part of a series on

MARXISM–LENINISM

Concepts

* Anti-imperialism
Anti-imperialism
* Anti-revisionism
Anti-revisionism
* Commanding heights of the economy * Communist society
Communist society
* Communist
Communist
state * Democratic centralism
Democratic centralism
* Economic planning
Economic planning
* Marxist–Leninist atheism
Marxist–Leninist atheism
* One-party state
One-party state
* People\'s democracy * Popular front
Popular front
* Proletarian internationalism
Proletarian internationalism
* Socialist patriotism
Socialist patriotism
* Socialist state
Socialist state
* Theory of the productive forces
Theory of the productive forces
* Third Period
Third Period
* Vanguardism
Vanguardism

Variants

* Guevarism
Guevarism
* Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Thought * Hoxhaism
Hoxhaism
* Husakism
Husakism
* Kadarism * Khrushchevism
Khrushchevism
* Maoism
Maoism
* Marxism–Leninism– Maoism
Maoism
* Prachanda Path * Titoism
Titoism
* Stalinism
Stalinism

People

* Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
* Ernst Thälmann
Ernst Thälmann
* Earl Browder
Earl Browder
* Gonchigiin Bumtsend * Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
* Abimael Guzmán
Abimael Guzmán
* José Díaz * Josip Broz Tito
Josip Broz Tito
* Enver Hoxha
Enver Hoxha
* Palmiro Togliatti
Palmiro Togliatti
* Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
* Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
* Che Guevara
Che Guevara
* Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
* Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
* Mathieu Kérékou
Mathieu Kérékou
* Agostinho Neto
Agostinho Neto
* Samora Machel
Samora Machel
* Thomas Sankara
Thomas Sankara
* Alfonso Cano
Alfonso Cano

Literature

* Wage Labour and Capital
Wage Labour and Capital
* Materialism and Empirio-criticism
Materialism and Empirio-criticism
* Imperialism (Lenin) * What Is to Be Done?
What Is to Be Done?
* The State and Revolution
Revolution

* Dialectical and Historical Materialism * Guerrilla Warfare

* Fundamentals of Marxism–Leninism
Marxism–Leninism

History

* October Revolution
October Revolution
* Soviet Union
Soviet Union
* Comintern
Comintern
* Hungarian Soviet Republic
Hungarian Soviet Republic
* Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
* World War II
World War II
* Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
* Greek Civil War
Greek Civil War
* Chinese Revolution
Revolution
* Korean War
Korean War
* Cuban Revolution
Revolution
* De-Stalinization
De-Stalinization
* Non-Aligned Movement
Non-Aligned Movement
* Sino-Soviet split
Sino-Soviet split
* Vietnam War
Vietnam War
* Portuguese Colonial War
Portuguese Colonial War
* Black Power movement
Black Power movement
* Nicaraguan Revolution
Revolution
* Nepalese Civil War
Nepalese Civil War
* Naxalite insurgency * Internal conflict in Peru
Internal conflict in Peru

Related topics

* Bolshevism
Bolshevism
* Marxism
Marxism
* Leninism * Trotskyism
Trotskyism

* Communism
Communism
portal * Socialism
Socialism
portal * Politics portal

* v * t * e

THE VANGUARD PARTY

In Chapter II: "Proletarians and Communists" of The Communist Manifesto (1848), Engels and Marx presented the idea of the vanguard party as solely qualified to politically lead the proletariat in revolution:

The Communists, therefore, are, on the one hand, practically the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country, that section which pushes forward all others; on the other hand, theoretically, they have over the great mass of the proletariat the advantage of clearly understanding the lines of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement. The immediate aim of the Communists is the same as that of all other proletarian parties: Formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat.

Hence, the purpose of the Leninist vanguard party is to establish a democratic dictatorship of the proletariat ; supported by the working class , the vanguard party would lead the revolution to depose the incumbent Tsarist government, and then transfer power of government to the working class, which change of ruling class—from bourgeoisie to proletariat —makes possible the full development of socialism . In the pamphlet What is to be Done? (1902), Lenin proposed that a revolutionary vanguard party, mostly recruited from the working class, should lead the political campaign, because it was the only way that the proletariat could successfully achieve a revolution; unlike the economist campaign of trade-union-struggle advocated by other socialist political parties; and later by the anarcho-syndicalists . Like Karl Marx, Lenin distinguished between the aspects of a revolution, the "economic campaign" (labour strikes for increased wages and work concessions), which featured diffused plural leadership; and the "political campaign" (socialist changes to society), which required the decisive revolutionary leadership of the Bolshevik vanguard party. Democratic centralism
Democratic centralism

As epitomised in the slogan "Freedom in Discussion, Unity in Action", Lenin followed the example of the First International
First International
(IWA, International Workingmen's Association, 1864–1876), and organised the Bolsheviks
Bolsheviks
as a democratically centralised vanguard party, wherein free political-speech was recognised legitimate until policy consensus; afterwards, every member of the Party would be expected to uphold the official policy established in consensus. In the pamphlet Freedom to Criticise and Unity of Action (1905), Lenin said:

Of course, the application of this principle in practice will sometimes give rise to disputes and misunderstandings; but only on the basis of this principle can all disputes and all misunderstandings be settled honourably for the Party.... The principle of democratic centralism and autonomy for local Party organisations implies universal and full freedom to criticise, so long as this does not disturb the unity of a definite action; it rules out all criticism which disrupts or makes difficult the unity of an action decided on by the Party.

Full, inner-party democratic debate was Bolshevik Party
Bolshevik Party
practice under Lenin, even after the banning of party factions in 1921. Although a guiding influence in policy, Lenin did not exercise absolute power, and continually debated and discussed to have his point of view accepted. Under Stalin, the inner-party practice of democratic free debate did not continue after the death of Lenin in 1924. Revolution
Revolution

Before the Revolution, despite supporting political reform (including Bolsheviks
Bolsheviks
elected to the Duma
Duma
, when opportune), Lenin proposed that capitalism could ultimately only be overthrown with revolution, not with gradual reforms—from within (Fabianism ) and from without (social democracy )—which would fail, because the ruling capitalist social class , who hold economic power (the means of production ), determine the nature of political power in a bourgeois society. As epitomised in the slogan, "For a Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat
Proletariat
and Peasantry", a revolution in underdeveloped Tsarist Russia required an allied proletariat of town and country (urban workers and peasants), because the urban workers would be too few to successfully assume power in the cities on their own. Moreover, owing to the middle-class aspirations of much of the peasantry, Leon Trotsky proposed that the proletariat should lead the revolution, as the only way for it to be truly socialist and democratic; although Lenin initially disagreed with Trotsky's formulation, he adopted it before the Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution
in October 1917.

DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT

Main article: Dictatorship of the proletariat
Dictatorship of the proletariat

SOVIET UNION

This article is part of a series on the politics and government of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union

Leadership

* Leaders

* President

* (list * Vice President )

* Collective leadership
Collective leadership
* State Council * Presidential Council

Communist
Communist
Party

* Congress * Central Committee * History

GENERAL SECRETARY

* Politburo * Secretariat * Orgburo

Legislature

* Congress of Soviets (Central Executive Committee )

SUPREME SOVIET

* Soviet of the Union
Soviet of the Union
* Soviet of Nationalities * Presidium

CONGRESS OF PEOPLE\\'S DEPUTIES

*

* Speaker * 1989 Legislative election

Governance

CONSTITUTION

* Official names * 1924 * 1936 * 1977

GOVERNMENT

* Ministries * State Committees * Executive Officer

PREMIERSHIP

* Cabinets * Council of People\'s Commissars * Council of Ministers * Cabinet of Ministers

Judiciary

* Law * Supreme Court * People\'s Court * Procurator General

History

1917–27

* Revolution
Revolution
* Civil War

1927–53

* World War II
World War II

1953–64

* Khrushchev Thaw
Khrushchev Thaw

1964–82

* Era of Stagnation
Era of Stagnation

1982–91

* Dissolution

Ideology

* Soviet democracy * Marxism–Leninism
Marxism–Leninism

*

* Leninism * Stalinism
Stalinism
* Khrushchevism
Khrushchevism

* De-Stalinization
De-Stalinization

Society

ECONOMY

* Agriculture * Consumer goods * Five-Year Plan * Kosygin reform * New Economic Policy
New Economic Policy
* Science and technology * Era of Stagnation
Era of Stagnation
* Material balance planning * Transport

CULTURE

* Demographics * Education * Family * Phraseology * Religion
Religion

REPRESSION

* Censorship
Censorship
* Censorship
Censorship
of images * Great Purge
Great Purge
* Gulag
Gulag
system * Collectivization
Collectivization
* Human rights * Ideological repression * Suppressed research * Political abuse of psychiatry * Political repression * Population transfer * Propaganda * Red Terror
Red Terror

* Other countries * Atlas

* v * t * e

In the Russian socialist society, government by direct democracy was effected by elected soviets (workers' councils), which "soviet government" form Lenin described as the manifestation of the Marxist 'democratic dictatorship of the proletariat'. As political organisations, the soviets would comprise representatives of factory workers' and trade union committees, but would exclude capitalists, as a social class, in order to ensure the establishment of a proletarian government, by and for the working class and the peasants. About the political disenfranchisement of the Russian capitalist social classes, Lenin said that 'depriving the exploiters of the franchise is a purely Russian question, and not a question of the dictatorship of the proletariat, in general.... In which countries... democracy for the exploiters will be, in one or another form, restricted... is a question of the specific national features of this or that capitalism'. In chapter five of The State and Revolution
Revolution
(1917) Lenin describes:

...the dictatorship of the proletariat—i.e. the organisation of the vanguard of the oppressed as the ruling class for the purpose of crushing the oppressors.... An immense expansion of democracy, which for the first time becomes democracy for the poor, democracy for the people, and not democracy for the rich:... and suppression by force, i.e. exclusion from democracy, for the exploiters and oppressors of the people—this is the change which democracy undergoes during the 'transition' from capitalism to communism.

Soviet constitutionalism was the collective government form of the Russian dictatorship of the proletariat, the opposite of the government form of the dictatorship of capital (privately owned means of production) practised in bourgeois democracies. In the soviet political system, the (Leninist) vanguard party would be one of many political parties competing for elected power. Nevertheless, the circumstances of the Red vs. White Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
, and terrorism by the opposing political parties, and in aid of the White Armies\' counter-revolution, led to the Bolshevik government banning other parties; thus, the vanguard party became the sole, legal political party in Russia. Lenin did not regard such political suppression as philosophically inherent to the dictatorship of the proletariat; yet the Stalinists retrospectively claimed that such factional suppression was original to Leninism.

Democracy for the vast majority of the people, and suppression by force, i.e. exclusion from democracy, of the exploiters and oppressors of the people—this is the change democracy undergoes during the transition from capitalism to communism. — Lenin, The State and Revolution
Revolution
. Collected Works, Vol. 25, pp.461–462.

ECONOMICS

The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
nationalised industry and established a foreign-trade monopoly to allow the productive co-ordination of the national economy, and so prevent Russian national industries from competing against each other. To feed the populaces of town and country, Lenin instituted War Communism
War Communism
(1918–21) as a necessary condition—adequate supplies of food and weapons—for fighting the Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
(1917–23). Later, in March 1921, he established the New Economic Policy
New Economic Policy
(NEP, 1921–29), which allowed measures of private commerce, internal free trade, and replaced grain requisitions with an agricultural tax, under the management of State banks. The purpose of the NEP was to resolve food-shortage riots among the peasantry, and allowed measures of private enterprise, wherein the profit motive encouraged the peasants to harvest the crops required to feed the people of town and country; and to economically re-establish the urban working class, who had lost many men (workers) to the counter-revolutionary Civil War. With the NEP, the socialist nationalisation of the economy could then be developed to industrialise Russia, strengthen the working class, and raise standards of living; thus the NEP would advance socialism against capitalism. Lenin regarded the appearance of new socialist states in the developed countries as necessary to the strengthening Russia's economy, and the eventual development of socialism. In that, he was encouraged by the German Revolution
Revolution
of 1918–1919 , the Italian insurrection and general strikes of 1920, and industrial unrest in Britain, France, and the U.S.

NATIONAL SELF-DETERMINATION

Lenin recognized and accepted the existence of nationalism among oppressed peoples, advocated their national rights to self-determination , and opposed the ethnic chauvinism of "Greater Russia " because such ethnocentrism was a cultural obstacle to establishing the proletarian dictatorship in the territories of the deposed Tsarist Russian Empire
Russian Empire
(1721–1917). In The Right of Nations to Self-determination
Self-determination
(1914), Lenin said:

We fight against the privileges and violence of the oppressor nation, and do not in any way condone strivings for privileges on the part of the oppressed nation.... The bourgeois nationalism of any oppressed nation has a general democratic content that is directed against oppression, and it is this content that we unconditionally support. At the same time, we strictly distinguish it from the tendency towards national exclusiveness.... Can a nation be free if it oppresses other nations? It cannot.

The internationalist philosophies of Bolshevism
Bolshevism
and of Marxism
Marxism
are based upon class struggle transcending nationalism, ethnocentrism , and religion , which are intellectual obstacles to class consciousness, because the bourgeois ruling classes manipulated said cultural status quo to politically divide the proletarian working classes. To overcome the political barrier of nationalism, Lenin said it was necessary to acknowledge the existence of nationalism among oppressed peoples, and to guarantee their national independence, as the right of secession; and that, based upon national self-determination, it was natural for socialist states to transcend nationalism and form a federation. In The Question of Nationalities, or "Autonomisation" (1923), Lenin said:

. . . nothing holds up the development and strengthening of proletarian class solidarity so much as national injustice; "offended" nationals are not sensitive to anything, so much as to the feeling of equality, and the violation of this equality, if only through negligence or jest—to the violation of that equality by their proletarian comrades.

SOCIALIST CULTURE

The role of the Marxist vanguard party was to politically educate the workers and peasants to dispel the societal false 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
Bolshevik Party
stated that the development of the socialist workers' culture should not be 'hamstrung from above', and opposed the Proletkult
Proletkult
(1917–25) organisational control of the national culture.

LENINISM AFTER 1924

"The Old Bolsheviks
Bolsheviks
": Joseph Stalin, Lenin, and Mikhail Kalinin, pictured in 1919, were members of the Bolshevik Party
Bolshevik Party
before the Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution
of 1917.

In post–Revolutionary Russia, Stalinism
Stalinism
( Socialism
Socialism
in one country) and Trotskyism
Trotskyism
(Permanent world revolution) were the principal philosophies of Communism
Communism
that claimed legitimate ideological descent from Leninism, thus, within the Communist
Communist
Party, each ideological faction denied the political legitimacy of the opposing faction. Lenin vs. Stalin

Until shortly before his death, Lenin worked to counter the disproportionate political influence of Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
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
Communist
Party. The counter-action against Stalin aligned with Lenin's advocacy of the right of self-determination for the national and ethnic groups of the former Tsarist Empire, which was a key theoretic concept of Leninism. Lenin warned 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 factional bloc with Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
to remove Stalin as the General Secretary of the Communist
Communist
Party.

To that end followed proposals reducing the administrative powers of Party posts, in order to reduce bureaucratic influence upon the policies of the Communist
Communist
Party. Lenin advised Trotsky to emphasize 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
Communist
Party and the bureaucracy of the soviet government. Trotsky (Lev Davidovitch Bronstein) was exiled from Russia after losing to Stalin in the factional politics of the Communist
Communist
Party. Trotskyism
Trotskyism
vs. Stalinism
Stalinism

After Lenin's death (21 January 1924), Trotsky ideologically battled the influence of Stalin, who formed ruling blocs within the Russian Communist
Communist
Party (with Grigory Zinoviev
Grigory Zinoviev
and Lev Kamenev
Lev Kamenev
, then with Nikolai Bukharin
Nikolai Bukharin
, and then by himself) and so determined soviet government policy from 1924 onwards. The ruling blocs continually denied Stalin's opponents the right to organise as an opposition faction within the Party—thus, the re-instatement of democratic centralism and free speech within the Communist
Communist
Party were key arguments of Trotsky's Left Opposition
Left Opposition
, and the later Joint Opposition.

In the course of instituting government policy, Stalin promoted the doctrine of Socialism
Socialism
in One Country (adopted 1925), wherein the USSR would establish socialism upon Russia's economic foundations (and support socialist revolutions elsewhere). Conversely, Trotsky held that socialism in one country would economically constrain the industrial development of the USSR, and thus required assistance from the new socialist countries that had arisen in the developed world, which was essential for maintaining Soviet democracy, in 1924 much undermined by civil war and counter-revolution . Furthermore, Trotsky's theory of Permanent Revolution
Revolution
proposed that socialist revolutions in underdeveloped countries would go further towards dismantling feudal régimes, and establish socialist democracies that would not pass through a capitalist stage of development and government. Hence, revolutionary workers should politically ally with peasant political organisations, but not with capitalist political parties. In contrast, Stalin and allies proposed that alliances with capitalist political parties were essential to realising a revolution where Communists were too few; said Stalinist practice failed, especially in the Northern Expedition
Northern Expedition
portion of the Chinese Revolution
Revolution
(1925–1927), wherein it resulted in the right-wing Kuomintang
Kuomintang
's massacre of the Chinese Communist
Communist
Party ; nonetheless, despite the failure, Stalin's policy of mixed-ideology political alliances, became Comintern
Comintern
policy. The Oppositionists

Until exiled from Russia in 1929, Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
helped develop and led the Left Opposition
Left Opposition
(and the later Joint Opposition) with members of the Workers' Opposition, the Decembrists, and (later) the Zinovievists. Trotskyism
Trotskyism
ideologically predominated the political platform of the Left Opposition, which demanded the restoration of soviet democracy, the expansion of democratic centralism in the Communist
Communist
Party, national industrialisation, international permanent revolution, and socialist internationalism. The Trotskyist demands countered Stalin's political dominance of the Russian Communist
Communist
Party , which was officially characterised by the 'cult of Lenin ', the rejection of permanent revolution, and the doctrine of Socialism
Socialism
in One Country. The Stalinist economic policy vacillated between appeasing capitalist kulak interests in the countryside, and destroying them. Initially, the Stalinists also rejected the national industrialisation of Russia, but then pursued it in full, sometimes brutally. In both cases, the Left Opposition
Left Opposition
denounced the regressive nature of the policy towards the kulak social class of wealthy peasants, and the brutality of forced industrialisation. Trotsky described the vacillating Stalinist policy as a symptom of the undemocratic nature of a ruling bureaucracy.

During the 1920s and the 1930s, Stalin fought and defeated the political influence of Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
and of the Trotskyists in Russia, by means of slander, anti-Semitism , programmed censorship , expulsions, exile (internal and external), and imprisonment. The anti–Trotsky campaign culminated in the executions (official and unofficial) of the Moscow Trials (1936–38), which were part of the Great Purge
Great Purge
of Old Bolsheviks
Bolsheviks
(who had led the Revolution). Once established as ruler of the USSR, General Secretary Stalin re-titled the official Socialism
Socialism
in One Country doctrine as " Marxism-Leninism ", to establish ideologic continuity with Leninism, whilst opponents continued calling it " Stalinism
Stalinism
".

PHILOSOPHIC SUCCESSORS

In political practice, Leninism
Leninism
(vanguard-party revolution), despite its origin as Communist
Communist
revolutionary praxis, was adopted throughout the political spectrum.

* In China, the Communist
Communist
Party of China was organised as a Leninist vanguard party, based upon Maoism
Maoism
( Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Thought), the Chinese practical application of Marxism-Leninism , that is Socialism
Socialism
with Chinese characteristics . * In Singapore, the People\'s Action Party (PAP) was organised as a Leninist political party featuring internal democracy. The PAP initiated single-party dominance in the government and popular politics of Singapore.

In the event, the practical application of Maoism
Maoism
to the socio-economic conditions of Third World
Third World
countries produced revolutionary vanguard parties, such as the Communist
Communist
Party of Peru – Red Fatherland .

CRITICISM

In The Nationalities Question in the Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution
(1918), Rosa Luxemburg criticized the Bolsheviks
Bolsheviks
and their policies for: the suppression of the All Russian Constituent Assembly
Russian Constituent Assembly
(January 1918); the partitioning of the feudal estates to the peasant communes; and the right of self-determination of every national people of the Russias. As a Marxist, Luxemburg said that the strategic (geopolitical) mistakes of the Bolsheviks
Bolsheviks
would create great dangers for the Russian Revolution, such as the bureaucratisation that would arise to administrate the over-sized country that was Bolshevik Russia. In defence of the expedients of revolutionary practice, in "Left-Wing" Communism: An Infantile Disorder, Lenin criticised the political and ideologic points of anti–Bolshevik critics who claimed ideologically correct stances that were to the left of Lenin.

In Marxist philosophy, the term Left communism
Left communism
identifies a range of the Communist
Communist
political perspectives that are the left-wing among Communists . Left communism
Left communism
criticizes the political ideas that the Bolshevik Party
Bolshevik Party
practiced at certain periods of their history as a revolutionary vanguard party. Ideologically, the Left communist perspective is presented as more authentically Marxist and oriented to the proletariat , than the Leninist ideology of the Communist International , at their first (1919) and second (1920) congresses. Proponents of Left communism
Left communism
include Amadeo Bordiga
Amadeo Bordiga
, Herman Gorter , Antonie Pannekoek
Antonie Pannekoek
, Otto Rühle , Sylvia Pankhurst
Sylvia Pankhurst
, and Paul Mattick .

Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky
("The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
Versus Socialism", 1986) has said that Stalinism
Stalinism
was not an ideological deviation from Lenin's policies, but a logical extension of Leninism. The resulting soviet model of Communism
Communism
in Russia featured a political system that organised labour by collectivization and enforced the law with a police state , continually supported with a totalitarian political ideology.

SEE ALSO

* Anti-Leninism
Anti-Leninism
* Democratic centralism
Democratic centralism
* He who does not work neither shall he eat * Lenin\'s national policy * New Economic Policy
New Economic Policy
* The State and Revolution
Revolution
(1917)

REFERENCES

* ^ A B C The New Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought Third Edition (1999) pp. 476–477. * ^ The Columbia Encyclopedia, Fifth Edition. (1994), p. 1,558. * ^ Lih, Lars (2005). Lenin Rediscovered: What is to be Done? in Context. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-90-04-13120-0 . * ^ Faces of Janus p. 133. * ^ Tomasic, D. "The Impact of Russian Culture on Soviet Communism" (1953), The Western Political Quarterly, vol. 6, No. 4 December, pp. 808–809. * ^ Lenin, V. I. 'United States of Europe Slogan', Collected Works, Vol. 18, p. 232. * ^ Lenin, Vlaimir (1920). "No Compromises?". Left-Wing Communism: an Infantile Disorder. USSR
USSR
: Progress Publishers. Retrieved 5 January 2013. * ^ Townson, D. The New Penguin Dictionary of Modern History: 1789–1945 London:1994 pp. 462–464 * ^ Lenin, V.I. (1905) Freedom to Criticise and Unity of Action, from Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1965, Moscow, Volume 10, pages 442-443. Available online at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1906/may/20c.htm (Retrieved 30 November 2011) * ^ Lenin, V.I. (1917) The State and Revolution
Revolution
, from Lenin Collected Works, Volume 25, pp. 381-492. Available online at http://marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/staterev/index.htm (Retrieved 30 November 2011) * ^ A B Isaac Deutscher, 1954. The Prophet Armed: Trotsky 1879-1921, Oxford University Press * ^ Lenin, V.I. "The Proletarian Revolution
Revolution
and the Renegade Kautsky", from Lenin's Collected Works, Progress Publishers, Moscow, Volume 28, 1974, pages 227-325.Available online at: http://marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1918/prrk/ (Retrieved 2 December 2011) * ^ Hill, Christopher Lenin and the Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution
(1971) Penguin Books:London p. 86. * ^ A B Carr, Edward Hallett. The Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution
From Lenin to Stalin: 1917-1929. (1979) * ^ Lewin, Moshe. Lenin's Last Struggle. (1969) * ^ Carr, Edward Hallett. The Russian Revolution, from Lenin to Stalin: 1917–1929. (1979) * ^ A B C D E F Deutscher, Isaac 1959. The Prophet Unarmed: Trotsky 1921-1929, Oxford University Press * ^ Marx Engels Lenin on Scientific Socialism. Moscow: Novosti Press Ajency Publishing House. 1974. * ^ Dictionary of Historical Terms Chris Cook, editor (1983) Peter Bedrick Books:New York p. 205. * ^ Lenin, V.I. The New Economic Policy
New Economic Policy
and the Tasks of the Political Education Departments, Report to the Second All-Russia Congress of Political Education Departments, 17 October 1921, from Lenin's Collected Works, 2nd English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965, Volume 33, pp. 60–79. Available at http://marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1921/oct/17.htm (Retrieved 2 December 2011) * ^ Lenin, V.I. (1914) The Right of Nations to Self-Determination, from Lenin's Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1972, Moscow, Volume 20, pp. 393-454. Available online at: http://marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1914/self-det/index.htm (Retrieved 30 November 2011) * ^ Harding, Neil (ed.) The State in Socialist Society, second edition (1984) St. Antony's College: Oxford, p. 189. * ^ Lenin, V.I. (1914) The Right of Nations to Self-Determination, Chapter 4: 4. "Practicality" in The National Question; from Lenin's Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1972, Moscow, Volume 20, pp. 393–454. Available online at: http://marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1914/self-det/index.htm (Retrieved 30 November 2011) * ^ Lewin, Moshe. Lenin's Last Struggle (1969) * ^ Lenin, V.I. (1923) The Question of Nationalities or 'Autonomisation' " in " 'Last Testament' Letters to the Congress', from Lenin Collected Works, Volume 36, pp. 593-611. Available online at: http://marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1922/dec/testamnt/index.htm (Retrieved 30 November 2011) * ^ Central Committee, On Proletcult Organisations, Pravda No. 270 1/12/1920 * ^ Chambers Dictionary of World History (2000) p. 837. * ^ Lewin, Moshe. Lenin's Last Struggle. (1969) * ^ A B Carr, Edward Hallett. The Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution
From Lenin to Stalin: 1917-1929. (1979) * ^ Lenin, V.I. 1923-24 "Last Testament" Letters to the Congress, in Lenin Collected Works, Volume 36 pp. 593–611. Available online at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1922/dec/testamnt/congress.htm (Retrieved 30 November 2011) * ^ Trotsky, Leon 1927. Platform of the Joint Opposition, available at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1927/opposition/index.htm (Retrieved 28 November 2011) * ^ Trotsky, L.D. (1938) The Revolution
Revolution
Betrayed * ^ Rogovin, Vadim Z. Stalin's Terror of 1937-1938: Political Genocide in the USSR. (2009) translated to English by Frederick S. Choate, from the Russian-language Party of the Executed by Vadim Z. Rogovin. * ^ Zheng Yongnian, The Chinese Communist
Communist
Party as Organizational Emperor (2009) p 61 * ^ Peter Wilson, Economic growth and development in Singapore (2002) p 30 * ^ Kenneth M. Roberts, Deepening Democracy?: The Modern Left and Social Movements in Chile and Peru (1988) pp 288–89. * ^ "The Nationalities Question in the Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution
(Rosa Luxemburg, 1918)". Libcom.org . 2006-07-11. Retrieved 2010-01-02. * ^ "The 'Advance Without Authority': Post-modernism, Libertarian Socialism
Socialism
and Intellectuals" by Chamsy Ojeili, Democracy & Nature vol.7, no.3, 2001. * ^ Steven Merritt Miner (May 11, 2003). "The Other Killing Machine". The New York Times. * ^ Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky
(Spring–Summer 1986). "The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
Versus Socialism". Our Generation.

FURTHER READING

Selected works by Lenin

* The Development of Capitalism
Capitalism
in Russia, 1899 * What Is To Be Done? Burning Questions of Our Movement, 1902 * The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism, 1913 * The Right of Nations to Self-Determination, 1914 * Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, 1917 * The State and Revolution, 1917 * The Tasks of the Proletariat
Proletariat
in the Present Revolution
Revolution
(The "April Theses"), 1917 * "Left-Wing" Childishness and the Petty Bourgois Mentality, 1918 * Left-Wing Communism: an Infantile Disorder, 1920 * "Last Testament" Letters to the Congress, 1923–24

Histories

* Isaac Deutscher. The Prophet Armed: Trotsky 1879–1921, 1954 * Isaac Deutscher. The Prophet Unarmed: Trotsky 1921–1929, 1959 * Moshe Lewin. Lenin's Last Struggle, 1969 * Edward Hallett Carr. The Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution
From Lenin to Stalin: 1917–1929, 1979

Other authors

* Paul Blackledge.What was Done an extended review of Lars Lih's Lenin Rediscovered from International Socialism
Socialism
* Sebastian Budgen, Stathis Kouvelakis, Slavoj Žižek
Slavoj Žižek
(eds). Lenin Reloaded: Toward a Politics of Truth. Durham: Duke University Press
Duke University Press
. 2007. ISBN 978-0822339410 . * Marcel Liebman . Leninism
Leninism
Under Lenin. The Merlin Press. 1980. ISBN 0-85036-261-X * Roy Medvedev . Leninism
Leninism
and Western Socialism. Verso Books. 1981. ISBN 0-86091-739-8 * Neil Harding. Leninism. Duke University Press. 1996. ISBN 0-8223-1867-9 * Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
. Foundations of Leninism. University Press of the Pacific. 2001. ISBN 0-89875-212-4 * CLR James . Notes on Dialectics: Hegel, Marx, Lenin. Pluto Press. 2005. ISBN 0-7453-2491-6 *