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Marxism-Leninism. The Divisions within Marxism – Peaceful, or Violent Revolution. Orthodox Marxism – Karl Kautsky – “scientific socialism” makes the coming of communist society inevitable and opens the door to both political and revolutionary evolution toward this goal

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the divisions within marxism peaceful or violent revolution
The Divisions within Marxism – Peaceful, or Violent Revolution
  • Orthodox Marxism – Karl Kautsky – “scientific socialism” makes the coming of communist society inevitable and opens the door to both political and revolutionary evolution toward this goal
  • Marxism of the Right – Eduard Bernstein – Evolutionary socialism – Most goals of Marxism could be satisfied through ballot
  • Marxism of the Left – V.I. Lenin – Marxists should clash with the capitalists instead of cooperating with them
the readiness of the proletariat
The Readiness of the Proletariat
  • Orthodox Marxists believed in spontaneous uprising of the proletariat – Revolution is historically inevitable
  • Revisionists disavowed violence
  • Leftist embrace the need to prepare and lead the proletariat toward revolutionary action
twentieth century russia
Twentieth Century Russia
  • Backward – Half Asian and half European
  • Intelligentsia alienated from power and open to a wide range of radical ideas
  • Three million proletariats out of 129 million citizens – 80 percent of citizens are peasants
  • First major Russian Marxist group formed in Switzerland by Georgi V. Plekhanov
  • Spontaneous revolution unlikely
lenin s life
Lenin’s Life
  • Vladmir Ilich Ulyanov - 1870-1924
  • Alexander III highly reactionary Czar
  • Lenin’s brother executed for role in plot to assassinate Czar
  • Lenin becomes radicalized and becomes spokesman for Marxism in Russia
  • Spends time in prison and exile
  • Lenin becomes leader of the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Marxists advocating for a close knit organization of revolutionaries
  • Revolution of 1905
  • Revolution of 1917 brings Lenin home to pursue power within the chaos of Russia
four themes from leninism
Four Themes from Leninism
  • Revolutionary Leadership and the Party
  • The Doctrine of Permanent Revolution
  • The State and Revolution – Dictatorship of the Proletariat
  • The Theory of Imperialism
revolutionary leadership and the party
Revolutionary Leadership and the Party
  • Communist party should be a close knit, revolutionary organization, dedicated to bringing about the revolution, p. 152-153
  • Alliance between workers and peasants essential to successful revolution
  • Class consciousness can be produced by revolutionary leadership
the doctrine of permanent revolution
The Doctrine of Permanent Revolution
  • The special circumstance of Russia required that the revolution bring Russia through capitalism to socialism
  • Speed the bourgeois revolution along to bring about the proletarian revolution
  • Democratic centralism allowed Lenin’s party to take leadership when other parties were still debating the crisis
the state and revolution
The State and Revolution
  • Initial optimism and hope of revolution for universal revolution confronts reality
  • Lenin tried to balance the needs for state survival with the needs of universal revolution
  • The dictatorship of the proletariat becomes the mechanism for realizing state power – a transfer culture is needed to bring about the development of capabilities to bring abut a genuine socialist society
the theory of imperialism
The Theory of Imperialism
  • Why are the proletariats of the West not revolutionary?
  • Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, 1916
  • Competition requires colonies and civil war at home is avoided by exploiting those in less developed countries – Super profits enable capitalists to bribe labor elites – Eventually wars for colonies will reveal the crisis of capitalism
  • Wars of national liberation become an important part of laying the groundwork for worldwide revolution