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Marxism and Leninism

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The deplorable results of the communist experiment in the Soviet Union have seriously discredited the idea of ‘socialism’ as an alternative to ‘capitalism’. Those who still cling to the socialist ideal as a certain model of social development try to dissociate Marx from Lenin, insisting that the Bolshevik leader made a radical revision  of classical Marxism and completely transformed it into a militant ideology of a totalitarian state. 

 
Marx

Lenin

They find instances of complete reversals of Marx’s conclusions, for example, in Lenin’s assertion about Russia’s readiness for a proletarian revolution. Marx repeatedly emphasized that the new communist society would be the result of a highly developed capitalism. Socialism would triumph simultaneously in several economically most advanced countries. In this regard Russia was viewed by Marx as a very unlikely place in which to have a proletarian revolution, because the industrial revolution there had hardly started.

Some analysts, however, are convinced that Leninism rests firmly on the doctrinal foundations of classical Marxism. They argue that both Marxism and Leninism recognize the central role of class struggle in human history. They both share the belief in the necessity of establishing a proletarian dictatorship and the conviction that a communist party must play a pre-eminent role in the political process. Fundamental to both Leninism and Marxism is the negative attitude to private property. Finally, Lenin stood firmly on the platform of Marx’s ‘revolutionary dialectics’ which saw revolution as a necessary and legitimate way of social transformation which justified the use of all available means of political coercion and force.

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