Vladimir Lenin

Was the 1916 Rising a "Putsch"? Lenin, Radek, Trotsky.

Author: 

Sean Matgamnna

[This is part of a polemic about the Stalinist PDP led army coup in Afghanistan, in April 1978, with "J-J" (Jack Conrad/John Bridge/John Chamberlain) of the Weekly Worker Group "CPGB"). J-J was for many years a fervent supporter of the Russian invaders and their Afghan Stalinist tools in Afghanistan. "Engin" is a Turkish Stalinist whose views on the Afghan coup J-J followed.]

Like Engin, J-J "proves" that the Saur [April] coup was not a coup but a revolution by obliterating the distinction between a revolution and a coup.

The 1916 Rising Compared with the 1978 Stalinist Coup in Afghanistan

Marxist Theory and History: 

Around the world: 

Why Lenin got Ireland wrong, part 2

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

For decades Lenin’s small body of work on Ireland, filtered through a number of Stalinist pamphlets purporting to expound the ideas of “Marx, Engels and Lenin” on Ireland, has helped shape socialists’ views. In this, the second article in a series, Sean Matgamna argues that this “Marxist dogmatism” has meant, in fact, giving up on any serious attempt at Marxist analysis of Ireland.

For decades, Lenin’s small body of work on Ireland, filtered through a number of Stalinist pamphlets, has been "holy writ". This "dogmatism" has hindered serious Marxist analysis.

Around the world: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

Lenin on Ireland: a Critique. Part 1

Author: 

Sean Matgamna

For decades Lenin’s small body of work on Ireland, filtered through a number of Stalinist pamphlets purporting to expound the ideas of “Marx, Engels and Lenin” on Ireland, has helped shape socialists’ views.

In this extended review article, Sean Matgamna argues that this “Marxist dogmatism” has meant, in fact, giving up on any attempt at serious Marxist analysis. Lenin’s writings on Ireland were only casual journalism, worthless and worse if taken as paradigms for socialist politics.

For decades Lenin’s small body of work on Ireland, filtered through a number of Stalinist pamphlets, has helped shape socialists’ views. This “Marxist dogmatism” has hindered understanding.

Around the world: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

The history of Bolshevism: Trotsky's "prophecy" and Lenin's party

Download as pdf (see "attachment", below).

In a polemic against the book “Three Who Made A Revolution”, by Bertram D Wolfe, Max Shachtman dissects the arguments about Stalinism being a logical continuation of Bolshevism.

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

Marxism and the Irish revolution

Author: 

Sean Matgamna
A short discussion of Ireland as it has been depicted in modern "Marxism", and in "The Communists and the Irish revolution: the Russian revolutionaries on the Irish National Question, 1895-1924", edited by Rayner Lysaght.

The striking thing about this collection ("The Communists and the Irish Revolution", edited by Rayner Lysaght) is that one of the key documents reproduced here "The Revolutionary Proletariat and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination", 1915 — one of Lenin's most important texts on the national question — has been bowdlerised so that the meaning of what Lenin wrote is transformed into its very opposite.

The words in square brackets below have been excised from Lysaght's text:

Publications: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Around the world: 

The history of Bolshevism: did Leninism turn into Stalinism?

Author: 

Max Shachtman

Click here for the series on The Roots of Bolshevism of which this article is part
The organisation of the party will take the place of the party; the Central Committee will take the place of the organisation; and finally the dictator will take the place of the Central Committee.
Leon Trotsky, 1904
Trotsky's 1904 "Prophecy", what happened after 1917, and why.

Publications: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

The Voyage of Vladimir Columbus

“And tomorrow I sail far away
O’er the raging foam,
For to seek a home
On the shores of Amerikaiy”.

(19th century Irish song)

“O my America! my new-found-land”

(John Donne, To His Mistris Going To Bed)

Bold Vladimir Columbus sets his sails due West
Into the stormy deep unknown, much-charted seas
To find Amerikaiy: he goes at last to quest
For the Unfound Land. Where others hide and bide, he’ll seize

To the shores of Amaerikaiy

Culture and Reviews: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Vladimir Lenin on democracy and dictatorship

Lenin called for the "dictatorship of the proletariat" as a great expansion of democracy.

By "dictatorship" he meant the rule of a class, not of a Hitler or a Stalin. This is an abridged version of Lenin's "Theses on Bourgeois Democracy and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat", adopted by the founding congress of the Communist International in March 1919. Long-forgotten contemporary references and examples have been cut.

Lenin called for the "dictatorship of the proletariat" as a great expansion of democracy.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

Lenin and the War in China

In this small article Lenin discusses the role of Russia and other European powers in China Lenin – “The War in China”. Changing what has to be changed, for example, bringing democracy rather than bringing Christianity, fighting insurgents and terrorists rather than rebels Lenin's article could today have been written by him about the involvement of the US and Uk in Iraq. His article also discusses the effect such actions have on the working classes of the countries involved in ways that are again familiar today. For example, he discusses the restrictions placed on workers similar to the way the "War on Terror" has been used to restrict Civil Liberties etc., he talks of the use of press stories attacking Chinese people, in the same way that the press today attack Muslims.

Around the world: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

A factory bulletin by Vladimir Lenin - Against our “benefactors”

Author: 

Vladimir Lenin

This leaflet was written by Vladimir Lenin after November 7(19) 1895, in connection with a strike of about 500 weavers against bad conditions and new measures introduced by the factory management.

The weavers, by their solid resistance to the employer’s pressure, have proved that at a difficult moment there are still people in our midst who can uphold our common interests as workers, that our worthy employers have not yet succeeded in turning us for all time into the miserable slaves of their bottomless purses.

An 1890s factory bulletin written by Lenin, before his arrest and exile to Siberia

Marxist Theory and History: 

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

Who was Lenin?

Vladimir Lenin (1869-1924) was one of many thousands of young students in Russia who joined revolutionary movements there in the later years of the 19th century.

Russia was a stifling dictatorship ruled by the Tsar (emperor). Aristocratic landlords had virtual power of life or death over the peasants on their land, even after the legal abolition of serfdom in 1861.

<p>Vladimir Lenin (1869-1924) was one of many thousands of young students in Russia who joined revolutionary movements there in the later years of the 19th century.

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

Lenin on the national question

The history of capitalism is filled with examples
of nations conquering nations, taking control of
territories, plundering economies, downgrading
language and culture and treating the conquered
peoples as less than equal. Russia under the Tsar
was a "prison-house of nations": the ethnic
Russian majority oppressed other nationalities
within that country mercilessly.

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

What is the Bolshevik-Trotskyist tradition?

Workers' Liberty

What follows is a summary of the political and ideological traditions on which Workers’ Liberty and Solidarity base ourselves.

Isaac Newton famously summed up the importance of studying, learning, and building on forerunners. “If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”, he wrote, referring to René Descartes, his contemporary Robert Hooke, and presumably also to his direct predecessor Isaac Barrow.

In science few people think they can neglect the “tradition” and rely on improvisation. In politics, alas, too many.

A summary of the political and ideological traditions on which we base ourselves.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Around the world: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

Publications: 

The history of Bolshevism: Trotsky's "prophecy" and Lenin's party

"Under Jacobin-Bolshevik tactics, the whole international proletarian movement would be accused of moderatism before the revolutionary tribunal, and the lion head of Marx would be the first to fall under the knife of the guillotine." Predictions like this, in a polemic written by Trotsky in 1904, have often been used to “explain” Stalinism as a logical continuation of Bolshevism.

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

The origins of Bolshevism: Socialism and the workers’ struggles

Author: 

John O'Mahony

Click here for the series on The Roots of Bolshevism of which this article is part

Lenin’s 1902 book, What Is To Be Done, is one of the most important of all the great texts of revolutionary Marxism.

Lenin’s 1902 book, What Is To Be Done, is one of the most important of all the great texts of revolutionary Marxism.

Publications: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

The roots of Bolshevism: What is to be done?

Author: 

Jack Cleary

Click here for the series on The Roots of Bolshevism of which this article is part

Lenin’s What Is To Be Done?, written in late 1901 and early 1902, is one of the most important books ever written. Certainly it is one of the most important socialist texts in existence.

A reading of What Is To Be Done? in its real context demolishes the myths

Publications: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

The background to Lenin's Iskra

Author: 

John O'Mahony

Click here for the series on The Roots of Bolshevism of which this article is part
By John O'Mahony

The 'Tsar Liberator', Alexander II, was on the eve of his death ready to make some concessions to the reform-minded liberals. The work of the Narodnaya Volya assassins put an end to reform from above for a generation. In the 1880s and 90s, the Tsarist regime was a frozen ice-cap on top of Russian society.

What happened between the killing of the Tsar and the beginning of the 20th century, when the Iskra-ites - Plekhanov, Axelrod, Zasulich, Lenin, Martov, Potresov - started their work. To introduce these ideas, in this article I will briefly outline what happened between the killing of the Tsar and the beginning of the 20th century, when the Iskra-ites - Plekhanov, Axelrod, Zasulich, Lenin, Martov, Potresov - started their work.

Publications: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Lenin and the Myth of Revolutionary Defeatism by Hal Draper (part 2)

After Lenin: the revival and reinterpretation

The revival of defeatism did not take place while Lenin was alive, that is, during the first five years of the Comintern... A check of the resolutions and theses, major documents, and publications of the Comintern permits the confident statement: if anyone referred to defeatism at all, it certainly played no role in the programme, policy and principles of the Communist International under Lenin.

Marxist Theory and History: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

Publications: 

Lenin and the myth of revolutionary defeatism by Hal Draper

“When Vladimir Ilyitch once observed me glancing through a collection of his articles written in the year 1903, which had just been published, a sly smile crossed his face, and he remarked with a laugh: ‘It is very interesting to read what stupid fellows we were!”’

Marxist Theory and History: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

Publications: 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Vladimir Lenin