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Vladimir Lenin. 1870 – 1924 Russian Communist Revolutionary Founded the Bolshevik Party which came to power in Russia in 1917. Major Works. What is to be Done? (1902) Imperialism: the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916). Key Concept: Imperialism.

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Vladimir lenin
Vladimir Lenin

  • 1870 – 1924

  • Russian Communist Revolutionary

  • Founded the Bolshevik Party which came to power in Russia in 1917

Major works
Major Works

  • What is to be Done? (1902)

  • Imperialism: the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916)

Key concept imperialism
Key Concept: Imperialism

  • Elaborated upon Marx’s assertion that monopolies are a natural tendency in developed capitalist economies and will prove capitalism’s undoing*

  • Capitalist economies postponed social and economic chaos and their inevitable demise through colonization

  • Colonial markets absorbed excess production that could not be sold to the impoverished working class in the mother country

  • Imperialism and colonialism are a consequence of monopoly capitalism, or “Imperialism is the monopolystage ofcapitalism.”

    *see next slide for how this process works

Marx and monopoly capitalism
Marx and Monopoly Capitalism

  • Marx believed that various tendencies in capitalism would promote class conflict.

  • processes of capital accumulation and competition would combine to produce monopoly capitalism and ever more extreme crises of capitalism,

  • The progressive development of technology would bring deskilling of jobs creating a more homogenised and potentially united labour force;

  • the relative gap in wealth between the dominant and subordinate classes would steadily increase; propelling processes of class conflict towards an ultimate social revolution.

Lenin s marxism key concepts
Lenin’s Marxism: Key Concepts

  • Communist Revolution could occur in a backward peasant country such as Russia which had only just begun to emerge from its pre-capitalist stage

  • “Sometimes--history needs a push.”

Vladimir lenin

  • A small elite of disciplined and determined revolutionaries “who make revolutionary activity their profession” could lead the masses in revolution

Lenin s quotable quotes
Lenin’s Quotable Quotes

  • “Fascism is capitalism in decay”

  • “The goal of socialism is communism.”

  • “While the State exists there can be no freedom; when there is freedom there will be no State.” (What does he mean by this?)

    Think Marx’sSuperstructure – the legal, political, and social institutions which reflect, express, and consolidate the relations of economic power that flow from the mode of production practiced by a society.

Lenin dies january 24 1924 what would he have done
Lenin Dies January 24, 1924:What would He have Done?


  • Many, on the right in particular, argue that Marxism goes against human nature.

  • How important is class and inequality in social life? In many societies, kinship, religion, and ethnicity seem to have provided stronger connections than has class.

  • Marx’s framework cannot deal adequately with other dimensions of inequality. To conceptualize a society as mode of production is inevitably to privilege economic relations over other aspects of inequality. There is more than simply the class struggle going on in society.

  • At the international level, nationalism trumps working class solidarity.