What is Leninism and Marxism? What Was October Revolution? Who is Vladimir Lenin-? (Important) (Download PDF)


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Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov or Lenin was a Russian communist revolutionary, politician and political theorist. He served as head of government of Soviet Russia from 1917 to 1924 and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924.

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  • Under his administration, Russia and then the wider Soviet Union became a one-party communist state, governed by the Russian Communist Party.

  • Ideologically a Marxist, he developed political theories known as Leninism.

Facts About Lenin

  • Born wealthy in Simbrisk, Lenin embraced revolutionary socialist politics following his brother’s execution in 1887.

  • Expelled from Kazan Imperial University for participating in protests against the Russian Empire’s Tsarist government.

  • Got a law degree and moved to Saint Petersburg in 1893 to became a senior Marxist activist. In 1897.

  • After exile, he moved to Western Europe, where he became a prominent theorist in the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP).

  • In 1903, he took a key role in a RSDLP ideological split.

  • He wanted to transform First World War into proletarian revolution to overthrow capitalism and its replacement with socialism.

  • He returned to Russia in 1917, playing a leading role in October Revolution.

  • His administration defeated right and left-wing anti-Bolshevik armies in the Russian Civil War from 1917 to 1922 and oversaw the Polish-Soviet War of 1919–1921.

  • Responding to wartime devastation, famine, and popular uprisings, in 1921 Lenin encouraged economic growth through the market-oriented New Economic Policy.

  • He was succeeded by Joseph Stalin.

What is Leninism?

  • Leninism comprises socialist political and economic theories, developed from Marxism and Lenin’s interpretations of Marxist theories, for practical application to the socio-political conditions of the Russian Empire of the early 20th century.

  • Derived from communism, Leninism evolved after the October Revolution in 1917 in Russia.

  • Fifth congress of the Communist International in 1924 popularized term Leninism as a Marxist ideology.

  • Leninism stressed on political revolution, which it thought could bring in a change in the economic system.

  • It was followed by revolutionary vanguard party who believed that achievement of a dictatorship of the proletariat was a political prelude to the establishment of socialism.

What is Marxist Ideology?

Marxism is a system of thought developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles doctrines that class struggle has been the main agency of historical change and the capitalism will inevitably be suppressed by a socialist order and classless society (1895 - 1900).

  • Communism stressed on economic revolution to bring in a change in the political system

  • Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels popularized communism in their book Communist Manifesto.

How Are Left Parties and Lenin Linked?

  • Lenin had developed his ideas from Marxists, the same way the left parties of India like CPM also follow Marxism. This is how these two are related.

Bolshevik Revolution or October Revolution (Making of World’s First Communist State)

  • On October 24 and 25 (Julian calendar), leftist revolutionaries led by Bolshevik Party leader Vladimir Lenin launched a bloodless coup against the Duma’s provisional government assembled by a group of leaders from Russia’s bourgeois capitalist class.

  • Lenin wanted a Soviet government ruled directly by councils of soldiers, peasants, and workers.

  • The Bolsheviks occupied strategic locations in Petrograd, and formed a new government with Lenin as its head.

  • Lenin thus became the dictator of the world’s first communist state.

- Published/Last Modified on: May 10, 2018

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