Refers to the ideas of Vladimir Ilich Lenin leader of the
Russian Revolution (1917) and founder of the Soviet Union.
Lenin's ideas were mainly derived from Marxism but he had
a distinctive view of the importance of leadership in creating a working class revolution.
He advocated the organization of the working class by a
disciplined and centralised Communist Party believing, unlike Marx, that class
consciousness could only develop under the guidance and direction of party leadership.
Many historians have argued Lenin's focus on the dominant
role of the party and of its central leadership led directly to the establishment of
Stalin's dictatorship and to millions of deaths in the attempt to establish Soviet- style
WHAT LENINISM MEANS - Chad Nagle -
Extract: Historians have generally associated Lenin, nee Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, with
Communism, because Lenin successfully established a regime proclaiming adherence to the
ideology of Karl Marx, who articulated something called "Communism" in his
theoretical volumes. "Marxism-Leninism," then, was "Marxism made
concrete," and after Lenin seized power in Russia in 1917, historians frequently
neglected to draw bold lines between "Communism" on the one hand, and
"Leninism" on the other. This was true even for historians highlighting the fact
that Lenin played fast and loose with the official ideology, and conceding the possibility
of being a Communist without being a Leninist or, theoretically, vice versa.
Leninism represents progress, but not necessarily Marxist progress. It sees state power as
a tool of progress on a global scale, as summed up by Lenin himself in the simple
equation, Communism = Soviet [i.e., state] power + electrification of the whole country
not a Marxist definition of Communism, whatever its meaning in terms of left and
right. As an ideology devoid of left-right content, Leninism could be defined as adherence
to a purely political-tactical set of principles, like "the end justifies the
means" (i.e., use any means necessary to achieve a desired outcome), "the worse,
the better" (i.e., fundamental change only comes when conditions are so bad that
social transformation is inevitable), and "give them enough rope" (i.e.,
political elites will bring about their own demise by their greed and corruption). But
even these tenets do not capture the fundamental essence of Leninism.
Marxism-Leninism as a political religion - RIEGEL,
Abstract: This article describes Lenin's utopian design of a revolutionary community of
virtuosi as a typical political religion of an intelligentsia longing for an inner-worldly
salvation, a socialist paradise without exploitation and alienation, to be implanted in
the Russian backward society at the outskirts of the industrialised and modernised Western
Europe. The coup d'état of October 1917 accomplished the institutionalisation of a
political religion combining a political and sacral monopoly of power and belief.
Consequently, the Leninist policy of social extermination of political opponents,
ideological rivals and stigmatised social classes became a sacral obligation to be
fulfilled by the new ideological orthodoxy. The beginning iconography of a Leninist sacral
tradition praised Lenin as a messianic and numinous leader, a process of iconographic work
in progress which culminated after Lenin's death in the sacral Lenin cult. The Lenin
mausoleum served as the monumental centrepiece of sacral rites and practices to be enacted
by the Stalinist orthodoxy. Stalin's invention of a sacral tradition of Marxism-Leninism
qualified him as the only true disciple of Lenin. Therefore, Stalin claimed the monopoly
of the infallible interpretation of the holy scriptures, summarised in his own dogmatic
performances. In this sense, Stalin's Leninism became itself a religion d'état (B.
Souvarine). - ingentaconnect.com
A Critique of Marxism-Leninism as Theory and Praxis - Carol Pearce
A systematic reconsideration of Marxism in theory and practice reveals the inadequacy,
indeed the unacceptability, as far as democratic socialists are concerned of
Marxism-Leninism. This article is, in essence, a critique of Marxism-Leninism and a plea
for a less doctrinaire approach to both theory and practice. The point, is not simply that
Leninism flies in the face of all that makes marxism desirable, nor simply that Leninism
is immoral (as if this were not enough). It is that, although Leninism may be one of the
logical consequences of Marxism, it contradicts the Marxist premise and the point of
Marx's own work. This may lead us to ask whether Marx's texts display the required
internal coherence for a scientific theory. It also considers the approaches within the
Marxist-Leninist traditions which can be identified as deterministic Marxism and
voluntarist Marxism neither of which is theoretically or ethically satisfactory.
The general argument is related to Marxism and Marxism-Leninism in Africa. Discusses:
Introduction (Agency and False Consciousness); Consciousness && Change: the
Revolutionary Proletariat; Consciousness && Change: the Revolutionary Party; The
Desirability of Socialism: Bourgeois Liberties; The Desirability of Socialism: Human
Perfectibility; Inevitability - Version I: Deterministic Marxism; What is wrong with
Determinism?; Inevitability - Version II: Voluntarist Marxism; What is wrong with
Leninism?; Marxism in Africa; Conclusion. - roape.org/cgi-bin/roape/show/5012.html
From Leninism to Karimovism: Hegemony, Ideology, and Authoritarian Legitimation
Abstract: A political theorist examines the way in which President Islam Karimov of
Uzbekistan has attempted to legitimate authoritarian rule since the transition from
communism. A comparison is made between late-Soviet modes of authoritarian legitimation
and those of the Karimov regime, and the success of the project at the conceptual level is
examined. The article closes with a consideration of the implications of this study for
evaluating Juan J. Linz's classical thesis on the relationship between authoritarianism
and ideology and some general propositions on the structure of authoritarian legitimation.
Lenin, Gorbachev, and national-statehood: Can Leninism countenance the new
Soviet federal order?
Abstract One of the most intractable contemporary problems in the USSR is the Soviet
federal dilemma. The late 1980s witnessed competing claims among the national minority
groups of the USSR to rights of voice, representation, and cultural, economic, and even
political sovereignty. Since the onset ofperestrojka, the principle of nationalstatehood
has acquired a new legitimacy. Nationality is one of the pillars of the federal reform.
The drive to create a new Soviet federalism has become an important component
ofperestrojka. But, according to Leninist doctrine, the nation is a transitional
formation. Unless there is a significant departure from Leninist theory, the new
acknowledgement of the rights of nations in the USSR can only be a political and
thus temporary concession. Can the ideology evolve in such a way as to provide
ideologically-based political legitimacy to the notion of national-statehood? Is
Gorbachev''s dynamic interpretation of Leninism capable of rejecting one of Lenin''s most
fundamental concepts? The thesis of this article is that Soviet federal reform requires a
substantial departure from the Leninist tradition. The extent to which Soviet leaders are
prepared to do this casts light on one of the perennial concerns of socialist thought,
namely whether ideology matters at all.
I like philosophical thought. I pursue thought, I pursue the dialectics of the mind. And
then, after philosophy, come concepts. What then? Then comes politics.
Gorbachev - springerlink.com/content/l2557j15h2742663/