In this volume, Neil Harding presents the first comprehensive reinterpretation of Leninism to be produced in many years. Challenging much of the conventional wisdom regarding Leninism’s effectiveness as a mobilizing body of ideas, its substance, and its origins and evolution, Harding offers both a controversial exposition of this ideology and a critical engagement with its consequences for the politics of contemporary communism.
Rather than tracing the roots of Leninism to the details of Lenin’s biography, Harding shows how it emerged as a revolutionary Marxist response to the First World War and to the perceived treachery—the support of that war—by social democratic leaders. The economics, politics, and philosophy of Leninism, he argues, were rapidly theorized between 1914 and 1918 and deeply imprinted with the peculiarities of the wartime experience. Its complementary metaphysics of history and science was as intrinsic to its confidence and sureness of purpose as it was to its contempt for democratic practice and tolerance. But, as Harding also shows, although Leninism articulated a complex and coherent critique of capitalist civilization and held a powerful appeal to a variety of constituencies, it was itself caught in a timewarp that fatally limited its capacity to adapt. This book will engage not only Russian and Soviet specialists, but also readers concerned with the varieties of twentieth-century socialism.
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Revolution in Russia
Imperialism and the Death Throes of Capitalism
Politics and the State
Party Class and Consciousness
Nationalism and Internationalism
Leninism and Stalinism
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according to Lenin analysis argued army become Bernstein Bolshevik bourgeois bourgeoisie Bukharin capitalist Central Committee colonial Commune Communist International Communist Party Congress Congress of Soviets constitutional contemporary countries created crucial democracy democratic revolution demonstrated development of capitalism dialectical dictatorship Duma economic Engels epoch existing exploitation finally finance capitalism forces global goals groups ideas ideology imperialism imperialist increasingly industrial Iskra Kadets Kautsky labour power leaders leadership Lenin's view Leninist maintained Marx Marx's Marxist mass material Mensheviks mobilised mode of production modern monopoly capitalism movement national question nature objective October Revolution organisation overthrow party's peasants Petrograd philosophy Plekhanov political practice programme proletariat Provisional Government radical realise recognised regime revolutionary role RSDLP Russian Social social democrats socialist revolution society Soviet St Petersburg Stalin strategy strike structure struggle Tasks theoretical theory trade unions transformation Trotsky tsar whole workers writings