Talk:Leninism

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Recent changes (December 2011) - stylistic and layout problems, & Lukacs in innapropriate position in article[edit]

I notice that a lot of the recent changes seem to have been to throw in jargonistic terms that can only confuse a reader who comes here for information. The word "Intramural debate" in place of "inner-party debate", the re-wording of the final paragraph of "democratic centralism etc".

There also appears to have been a systematic dropping of "NPOV", with phrases like "Lenin argued that so-and-so" replaced with "so-and-so as a fact". I personally have no doubt Lenin was correct, but it's not the appropriate way to write an encyclopedia.

Finally, why is the section of Lukacs placed back at the beginning of the section "Leninist Theory"? Surely "Leninist Theory" should begin by describing Lenin's actual Leninist viewpoints. The appropriate place for writing about Lukacs is further down, under "philosophical successors", or maybe in a new section of his own. This isn't an encyclopedia entry about Lukacs's particular interpretation/brand of Leninism - it's appropriate to mention, but it certainly doesn't belong at the beginning of a section outlining the theory of Lenin himself. Followers of Gramsci, Trotsky or Stalin could equally well put these three at the forefront of the "Leninist Theory" section, with just as much justification (I am a Trotskyist myself) - but no, they belong in the appropriate context further down. 130.194.160.4 (talk) 04:13, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Dear Anonymous Editor Number 130.194.160.4:
The Leninism article is a history article about a political philosophy, therefore, the Lukacs paragraph, as introduction to "Leninist theory" is faithful, true, and accurate to the subject; it is thematically pertinent, because it summarises the subject, and was contemporary with Lenin. It is not about him, it is about the formal summary of Leninism, which is pertinent to the contemporary (21st century) reader to follow the thematic logic of the (philosophically complicated) material presented. Placing the thematic introduction at article's end — out of thematic and temporal context — contradicts the editorial and informational points of the Leninism entry. To remove it as introduction is intramural quarrelling among Marxists (not my editorial business) that here is editorially irrelevant; the full historical context is necessary; there is more than one strand to the historical narrative. As a Wikipedia editor, you know better . . . and, curiously, your version of Leninism is much shorter than mine. Why? Be specific, give examples of excessive and irrelevant information, please.
As a professional book editor, I agree with you that mentions of Stalinism, Trotskyism, and of Gramsci's work might (would) be pertinent, yet disagree with you about Lukacs's presence being advocacy, because this is all done-deal history; to reargue all that extraneous jazz in Leninism is not impartial; the horse is dead. If you disbelieve me, please look at the Maoism entry, there is no definition, only a history, because the definition of "Maoism" is still being rehashed extemporaneously — to the detriment of the article's informational value. In fact, in the Talk Page, a Chinese Communist correctly chides Westerners for not getting the point that (in real-world Communist Red China, whence it originated) "Maoism" is a variety of Marxism-Lenism, not Mao Zedong's personal philosophy; The Thought of Mao vs. Maoism; an East-West editorial difference. (Why argue that fact?)
Therefore, to rehash Stalinism, Trotskyism, and Gramsci's hegemony in the Leninism article is editorial digression, given that each subject has a proper page. I mention them as thematically pertinent, and with a hypertextlink. Please recall that Wiki Policy is for an article to provide the full measure of elementary information (dates, times, names, places) so that the 21st-century reader can know the gist of the subject of 19th-century Leninism, without having to leave the Leninism page; and then, perhaps, pursue a sub-topic via the hypertextlinks to "First International", to "Cultural hegemony", to "Trotskyism", et cetera; that was then, this is now. This fluffy bit of Russian history is complicated, so the narrative requires full sentences . . . please remember, not everyone knows this in full (as rote-learning) as do we history aficionados, You and I. Editorially, I think one is obliged to provide full information in this article that fully answers the Who? What? Where? When? Why? for the history subject that is Leninism.
Respect the intelligence of the reader; permit the facts to tell the story. The uses of loaded words, such as claimed, disputed, argued, etc., and tendentious, whirring-whetstone phrases such as "Lenin said", "Lenin said", "Lenin wrote", "Lenin. . . .", and "Lenin. . . ." betray political (Trotskyist?) partiality, and contradict the "Words to Watch" policy of Wikipedia, which lead to extraneous editorializing; and likewise, the unwise weasel-word obscuring of the anti-Bolshevik terrorism; as sore losers, the Whites eventually sided (DECADES later) with the Nazis, and so proved correct Lenin's cultural characterization of them as uncool folk. Moreover, the vanguard party is a Leninist conception, not a Marxist conception; and the deposition of capitalism (private property) was the point of the Russian Revolution, so, editorializing against that historical fact is not impartial. That is all a done deal that merits a straight-talk presentation and explanation, especially when the hypertextlinks to the pertinent pages also indicate why the Bolshevik vanguard party and their government so responded to the Red vs. White Civil War and its reactionary opportunists. This is so, because, at more than a century's remove, those disputations and the arguments are done-deal resolved; thus, the neutral narrative tone of proposed and counter-proposed and intramural debate; the reader is kinda educated, y'know. Fortunately, I hope, Leninism, as an editorial subject, is not a religion, therefore, factual history trumps ideology; what happened is the subject of Leninism.
Proof of my editorial perspective is in the continual anonymous vandalism which this entry suffers. I shall expand the introduction, and (perhaps) move the Lukacs's paragraph to that. Nonetheless, it is a pleasure working with you.
Best regards,
Mhazard9 (talk) 00:10, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
I appreciate the time you put into a response, Mhazard9, but I disagree with you about what has happened here. "Lenin said", "Lenin wrote" etc are not weasel words, but factual statements. Lenin said some things, other people said other things. It is entirely appropriate to use "Lenin said/Lenin wrote" in an article about Leninism, especially when Lenin, Lukacs, Trotsky, Stalin, etc said different (and sometimes conflicting) things.
Leninism is not a "dead horse", but an ideology that continues to exist and be debated in various ways. Lukacs's philosophy is something you encounter far, far less in modern debates than Leninism itself (so if anything was a "dead horse"...). But even if this wasn't the case, an encyclopeadic article needs to be a factual, NPOV description of its subject.
I profoundly disagree with including the Lukacs section in the introduction! Surely it belongs in an "after Lenin" section, if at all. If you want to write an article about Lukacs's philosophy, then write an article about Lukacs's philosophy. He doesn't deserve pride of place in an article called "Leninism" any more than John Maynard Keynes or Milton Friedman deserve pride of place in an article called "Adam Smith"! It seems to me that you regard Lukacs as fundamentally correct - and that's fine, maybe I would too if I knew more about him. But that doesn't mean you can write the Wikipedia article from his perspective (or, as you call it, with him as a "Placing the thematic introduction"!!!) - that is why the NPOV rule exists in the first place. That's a straight-out violation of Wikipedia's editing policy! It is entirely appropriate to include Lukacs further down, in a section called "After Lenin", or "subsequent theorists", or something of that nature. It is not appropriate to include Lukacs in the introduction, unless it is an extremely wide-ranging introduction indeed!
You wrote "those disputations and the arguments are done-deal resolved" - clearly, they are not. Again, like your comments on Lukacs, I can only reply to you that the attitude you seem to be demonstrating is precisely why the NPOV rule exists.
Finally, your comment: "the neutral narrative tone of proposed and counter-proposed and intramural debate; the reader is kinda educated, y'know." - "counter-proposed" is historically and factually inaccurate. It is a false statement - not a "neutral narrative tone". "Intra-mural debate" is a term that, I guarantee you, 95% of readers will not understand. I had no idea what the word meant - I only figured it out because I knew what that sentence was trying to say. It's got nothing to do with educational levels; i'm on a PhD right now. This comes across as simply unnecessarily confusing and obfuscatory language.
130.194.160.4 (talk) 03:33, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Maoism[edit]

It is wrong to say that Maoism is popular in "some" third-world revolutionary movements. There are Maoist parties in all the South Asian and Latin American countries(refer to broadleft.org) and the Maoist parties in India, Peru, Philippines, Bhutan, Turkey are engaged in armed combat with the government forces. In fact, the only revolutionary Communist Party that is not Maoist is probably FARC. Srijon (talk) 11:53, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

That would support the claim that it is present, but so is (for example) the Trotskyist movement. It's rather different to say that it's popular in the countries where it is present. I will correct the word popular to present. --Duncan (talk) 08:14, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I'm wrong about that. Looking more closely, I see you say that "popular in many third world revolutionary movements." Which clearly is the case. I had thought the noun was countries. Thanks. --Duncan (talk) 08:16, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Psuedoscience[edit]

The characterization of Marxism-Leninism as a Pseudoscience is based on the self-characterization of Marxism-Leninism as a science: for example, "The open abandonment by the Soviet revisionists of the scientific Marxist-Leninist concept of socialism comes out clearly, also, when they proclaim the development of the productive forces as the only decisive factor of its construction." and "The frontal attack of Soviet revisionism on the fundamental questions of Marxism-Leninism could not leave the theory and practice of scientific socialism untouched." [1] Fred Bauder 05:52, Feb 22, 2004 (UTC)

What is your point? Revisionists are, by definition, not Marxist-Leninists. Their abandonment of Leninist precepts is no indictment of Leninism.
It would be inappropriate to speak of Leninism as a pseudoscience in this article. Shorne 08:10, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Designating Marxism, Leninism or Marxism-Leninism as a psuedoscience depends on its proponents calling it science or scientific socialism. The nineteenth century definition of science was quite different from a modern definition. Marx believed he had demonstrated certain dynamics which he considered to have scientifically proved. Freud's work is similar, despite a lack of scientific rigor, certain conclusion are drawn which Freud considered proven. It is appropriate to note that some advocates and practitioners of Leninism consider it to have a scientific foundation and that others consider such thought pseudoscience. Fred Bauder 16:03, Sep 30, 2004 (UTC)

If you are prepared to present both sides of the dispute honestly, go ahead. Merely asserting that some people consider it a pseudoscience, however, is not helpful. We all know that some people are strongly opposed to Leninism. Shorne 17:00, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

"Move away"[edit]

I don't buy the claim that the Soviet Union "began to move away from" Leninism and towards Stalinism. Stalin claimed to continue Leninism and to develop it, and many people share that opinion. Many others don't, and they are free to disagree, but we shouldn't push one or the other opinion here. Shorne 02:21, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)

who shares this opinion? Freshraisin 19:09, Apr 22, 2005 (UTC)
Me--CmrdMariategui 17:33, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Doesn't matter, this is a factually incorrect opinion. There are a series of differences between Leninism and Stalinism - in fact, every single important, defining characteristic of Leninism is reversed in Stalinism; the position of party democracy, the position on economics, the position on national self-determination, the position on how a revolution occurs in the first place. The Soviet Union didn't just "begin to move away from" Leninism - it completely shattered everything about Leninism that distinguished it as a particular philosophy. Stalinism called itself "Leninist" afterwards, but only because Lenin was a profoundly popular figure in Russia. Heck, North Korea calls itself a "Democratic Republic". - 130.194.160.4 (talk) 03:49, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

It doesn't matter what opinion you share, it matters what historical events supposed, and this is, Stalin actually hardly contributed to turn Soviet Union, with his these, fashions and procedures, into just the opposite thing to what Lenin and most of bolshevik theoreticals had claimed in their man writtens and speeches, and had seeked to do and bring to practice. If there's someone who can be claimed to have continued with Lenin's proposals in a coherent way is Trotsky, and never Stalin, who turned democratic centralism into bureaucratic despotism and imperialism, and socialism into estatalism or estate-capitalism. It's a fact, if you take a time to profondly read and analyse Lenin's speeches and many writtens and later trotsky ones (since he evolved and later recognized to have initially adhered to mistaken theories or positions, that rectified, approaching more to Lenin's ones, making his own additions). DeepQuasar 05:44, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Leninism to Stalinism[edit]

Although many see Stalinism evolving from Leninism, I do believe that there is sufficient evidence to prove otherwise. Yes, Stalin quoted Lenin and said to be carrying on Lenin's legacy, but so did Trotsky. Would you accept that BOTH these people were carrying on Leninism? Read Lenin's last testament to see his views on Stalin. He actually asked Stalin to be removed from his position as General Secretary. Most Leninists today reject Stalinism, seeing it as counter-revolutionary.

i don't see why that is. Stalin was quite firmly Leninist (with the exception of "democratic centralism" perhaps.) the fact that he killed a bunch of people doesn't alter that. J. Parker Stone 6 July 2005 02:19 (UTC)
Stalin claimed himself to be Leninist but just got to pervert Leninism. He even claimed himself "Marxist-Leninist", an dochtrinary ideology he made up himself in order to self-justify his theses and authority, and support single-party bureaucratic obidience. He just used Lenin's name as a matter of authority just to justify his many brutalities and killing anyone to be opposed, since, as everybody knew, who else than Lenin had been main leader and first criterium of authority for Socialist Estate and Revolution. You can't skip democratic centralism, since it's one of the basis itself of Leninist theory; his many claims make no sense by skipping this. There's no actual socialism and classless society without this. Further more, he claimed the importance of socialist Estate as a period or temporal stage on a constant progress to a final stage where Estate structure heritaged from capitalism where superated, and soviets where stablished as mainly only possible form of communal organization. His final claim was a Estate-less society, with no kind of hierarchic power. When on earth did Stalin claimed and ruled in such a sense? All he made was to totalitarize and militarize society, brain-wash people, and make them obbey his figure as "leader of mother Russia", in a show of wild nationalism, something opposed itself to Lenin's idea as a way of submitting people to class domination. He actually installed another way of Imperialism, that has even been compared with reigns of some most authoritarian and expansive Czars. DeepQuasar 06:03, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps Antonio Gramsci was the truest successor to Lenin's theoretical legacy than either Trotsky or Stalin - in spite of his criticisms of economic determinism and materialism. Darth Sidious 14:49, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Stalinism shares some similar points with Leninism, but it is very different, Stalinism was a personality cult based around the induvidualt Stalin, still using communism as a economical mesure. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 84.194.67.67 (talk) 14:21, 14 February 2007 (UTC).
Gramsci was an anti-leninist--CmrdMariategui 17:38, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
He used no Leninism as echonomical measure, he used NEP, that was intended to be an exceptional and temporal measure in order to go out from bankrupt in time of crises, and Lenin had no time to further rectify since he suffered the strokes and finally died. He actually reconciliated socialism with capitalism. Further more, he confused proletariat's dictatorship with Communist Party's dictatorship, and collective propiety with Estate's propiety. Production Media and Resources were not in workers' hands anymore, but in Estate's hands (controlled by Communist bureaucracy and Stalin's figure, in a führer way, all opposed to classless and free workers society). History demonstrated he rather was an ally than an enemy of burgeoise Republics and its dirigents, such as Churchill, and there's a clear class factor in here; or were not free workers intended to be opposed to traditionally ruler burgeoise or counter-revolutionary classes, and capitalists ones?. DeepQuasar 06:06, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Differences between Leninism and Stalinism[edit]

One major difference that Lenin had from Stalin was that Lenin advocated International Proletarian Revolution (just like Marx, Engels and Trotsky). Stalin on the other hand advocated "Socialism" in One Country which is what eventually led to the fall of the Soviet Union. In fact, the failure of the Revolution to spread internationally is what led to the rise of the Stalinist Bureaucracy in the first place.

The Revolution Betrayed by Leon Trotsky

The Stalin School of Falsification by Leon Trotsky

Leon Trotsky 6:42 1 November 2005

agreed, world revolution is crucial to leninism and marxism, and by in the obvious case of leninist-marxism Solidusspriggan 07:31, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Posting articles is not an excuse for proper discussion. Stalin never used the term Stalinism to describe his theories, solely Marxist-Leninist, while trotsky and his followers described their ideology as trotskyist. --CmrdMariategui 17:32, 28 May 2007 (UTC) Forgot to sign.

Both the terms 'Trotskyism' and 'Stalinism' were adopted by their opponent. Neither Trotsky not Stalin advocated naming their movements after themselves. After their deaths, some of their respective followers did take up those terms. However, Stalinism is generally seen as an anti-Stalin term, and we should avoid it. --Duncan 16:19, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Does this entry need 'Marxism-Leninism'?[edit]

I think this simply replicates what is already said on marxism-leninism. Can't we cut it? All this stuff on ML, without equal weight on trotskyism, seems POV.--DuncanBCS 21:29, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

No, Leninism and ML are two different concepts. But for the distinction to be clear it also has to be discussed. I don't see really which passage you find POV. --Soman 21:31, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

"Leninism" is, in the strictest definition, Lenin's Marxism. Marxism-Leninism refers more to totalitarian state ideologies than to revolutionary ideology that forms the crux of Lenin's Marxism (which is not synonymous with Trotsky's Marxism, either). Darth Sidious 14:53, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Leninism are the ideas that Lenin added to Marxism. While Marxist-Leninism is a propaganda term used by Stalin to equate his actions with the theories of Lenin and Marx. While in reality Stalin was perverting their ideas. Marxist-Leninism is a brave, noble word for Stalinism and state capitalism, or as Trotsky refered to it "a deformed workers's state." (Demigod Ron 17:07, 27 June 2007 (UTC))

'Perverting' is POV, but yes I broadly agree with these comments. Thus it seems out of balance to place so much weight on one decendant from leninism, without also showing the others.--Duncan 17:37, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

My earlier edit[edit]

I admit self-critically that my earlier edit was a bit rash and categorical. It would have been far more fair to make selected edits and then motivate them on the talk page, rather than a general reversion.In certain cases I simply misread the new text, for example of the "the weakest link in his terminology". English is not my first language, and in a crude literal translation into Swedish that grammatical construction means something different, with a negative POV (implying that the terminology of Lenin was weak).

That said I would still favour a rewrite of "The working class is presumably represented through local Marxist-Leninist councils known as soviets. Because the Soviets are elected, they are referred to as soviet democracy.", without insinuation tone give by words like "presumably". I'll get back when I have a better proposal. I also maintain that it was correct to remove passages like "To justify the leading role of his party", which is POV. Moreover I found it necessary to remove the last passage, as a it went into biased speculation (for example, words like "relief").

Concluding, Wikipedia is an open encyclopedia. Edits may be changed at any time by anyone. Through edit wars and discussions the text develops through compromises reached. In short, a dialectial process. I do not claim to be an expert on everything nor do I consider myself to be arrogant. Earlier version of a page are always stored in the "History" section, and are availible for discussions. --Soman 16:46, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

I hope we can keep the discussion going forward. There is some progress on these pages, and the conflict is improving it. It would be a step back, literally, if we decended into reversions. Let me know when you have a rewording of that section. I also think it is incorrect to refer to soviets as marxist-leninist councils. 'Marxism-Leninism' arose in 1924 and to describe something before then as Marxist-Leninist is as POV as saying Lenin was Maoist. Also, Lenin argied for all power to the soviets, not all power to the Bolsheviks: the soviets were not only open to Bolsheviks, but also to other workers', soldiers and peasants' delegates: in 1917 few of these would have been Bolsheviks. --DuncanBCS 17:35, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Forgive me for the word "arrogant". I reacted this way because I actually spent some time making my edits and put a little bit of thought in them, and it was disappointing for me to see that everything I did was removed. Regarding the "weakest link" these are exact Lenin's words. He called Russia the weakest link in the chain of imperialism. The word "presumably" referred to the fact that Soviets were supposed to reflect the working class according to some theoretical construct. "To justify the leading role of his party" has a foundation in that, after writing the book, if I remember correctly, "Development of capitalism in Russia", Lenin proceded to creation of his party. Actually, Lenin's pragmatism is very clear: each of his writing is about some concrete initiative that he is undertaking. About "marxist-leninist councils" -- I do not believe that this is my phrase -- actually, the first Soviets were not overwhelmed by the representatives of Lenin's party. In some of them, communists were a minority. I think I reflected this fact in my edition of Leninism or perhaps Soviet democracy. About the "boredom of students" -- this is actually very true. Marxism-leninism was split into 4 courses: history of the Communist party, dialectical materialism, marxist-leninism politeconomy and scientific communism. They were very much a like and contained lots of "water", to use a Russian term for vein phraseology. I believe that wikipedia articles could benefit from a little bit of humor. --EncephalonSeven 21:11, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Regarding "Marxism-Leninism being a euphemism for "Stalinism" ", if I remember correctly, Trotsky during his late career used to stress that Stalin distorted the theory of Marx and Lenin. In this sense, they considered Leninism a good thing and Stalinism a really bad deviation.
Indeed, that is the Trotskyist approach: Trotskyists consider that they adhere to Marx and Lenin, but that 'marxism-leninism' means more: that is was coined in 1924, at the same time as 'Trotskyism' by the suppporters of Stalin. Suffice to say, the idea that 'marxism-leninism' is unfalsified leninism is a pro-Stalin POV in the eyes of trotskyists. However, there is a perfectly good entry on marxism-leninism, and we do not need to replicate it here. For that reason, I am cutting the point on four elements and will add it to Talk on marxism-leninism to see if if should be included there.--DuncanBCS 22:00, 22 December 2005 (UTC)
Good job. --EncephalonSeven 23:48, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

Suspected Original Research: Lenin added that revolution could occur first in Russia[edit]

The existing text reads:

Lenin expanded on Marx's initial theories,... He maintained that capitalism could only be overthrown by revolutionary means, but added that due to imperialism such a revolution could occur in a lesser-developed country first,...

A reasonable interpretation of this paragraph is that Lenin held that revolution could occur in a lesser-developed country first, but that Marx did not. Assertions of this sort, (i.e. that Marx held the view that revolutions could not occur first in lesser-developed countries) require verifiable sources.

If a verifiable source supporting the claim that Marx held the view above is not presented in 48 hours, or a request made for more time to provide such a source, then I will remove the text in question.

Please note that this has been discussed at Talk:Communism#Suspected Original Research, "Marx's theory had presumed...

--BostonMA 21:58, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

No verifiable sources have been provided, nor time requested to locate such sources. Text removed.

--BostonMA 22:25, 3 February 2006 (UTC) In 1915, Lenin wrote in his article "The United States of Europe Slogan", “Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism. Hence the victory of socialism is possible first in several or even in one capitalist country taken separately. The victorious proletariat of that country, having expropriated the capitalists and organised its own socialist production, would stand up against the rest of the world, the capitalist world.” Colledted Works, Vol. XVIII, page 232. Stevenjp (talk) 16:15, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Suspected Original Research: the underdeveloped countries ...establishing socialism.[edit]

The current text includes the following:

Knowing that according to Marx's theories, a socialist system would be unable to develop independently in an underdeveloped country such as Russia, Lenin proposed two possible solutions:
...2. The revolution happens in a large number of underdeveloped countries at the same time or in quick succession; the underdeveloped countries then join together into a federal state capable of overcoming the opposition of capitalist countries and establishing socialism. This was the original idea behind the foundation of Lenin's Russia later renamed the Soviet Union to demonstrate to the rest of the world the validity of his control.

This is suspected as original research. Please provide verifiable sources that Lenin proposed the above. If verifiable sources are not provided, or a request made for time to locate such sources, then, after a period of 48 hours, I will delete the text in question. --BostonMA 00:36, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

No verifiable sources have been offered, nor request for time made. I am deleting section. --BostonMA 22:18, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Mensheviks were in Lenin's party?[edit]

The statement that the Mensheviks were the "moderate wing of his own party" seems like a big stretch. According to several sources, the Bolsheviks persecuted the Mensheviks ruthlessly and even outlawed their meetings. They considered them a separate party, after their early split prior to the Russian Revolution. I would suggest removing this particular phrase within the relevant sentence.

The statement is accurate. Prior to 1912, the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks were both part of the same party. It is to that period that the article is (I think clearly) referring. --BostonMA 12:58, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Trotsky his most prominent theoretical opponent?[edit]

Is it really right to say Trotsky was "his most prominent theoretical opponent": this was not Kautsky or Bernstein? The existing entry even implies that Trotsky was a Menshevik, which he was not. --Duncan 12:02, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

I removed that part, which was completely inaccurate. I also removed the long list of opponents of Leninism, because it was basically a list of all non-Leninist political views; and it's obvious that anyone who is not a Leninist disagrees with Leninism. Other than that, I think I improved an article that was, IMO, sort of like a patchwork of uncoordinated comments probably written by different people. When you edit something, please be careful to integrate it well into the existing material.

Trotsky certainly was a Menshevik- he was not Lennin's "Most prominent theoretical opponent" but they had significant and comradely dissagrements especially with regard to Two Stage/Permanent Revolution --Chatswood court 04:54, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Trotsky's stance before 1917 was for unity between the majority and minority. If he sided with the Mensheviks, it was for months at the most. By the end of the summer in 1904 he was quite independent of them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by DuncanBCS (talkcontribs) 18:07, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Mistake with Picture[edit]

i fixed the mistake with the picture by removing the tag "thumb". you can thank me in my talk page ;) - Bagel7

Change in organization?[edit]

I think the readability of this article could be vastly improved by creating sections, as now it is merely a series of paragraphs. What do you think? I was thinking along the lines of a general overview first, then Role of Imperialism and Capitalism, then Revolution, then After Leninism. We wouldn't have to change the actual content, but it would make it far easier to find information. - Florestan 10 May 2006

    • I agree completly. Im going to do some work on it tonight. You should do some editing too if you know about this subject. Zhukov 22:20, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

POV Abundant[edit]

It is quite clear that this article has been edited in a way that certainly is in a Trotskyist view point. The statement that "Stalinism" is a move away from Leninism is a controversial and prejudice statement. Academics from the right and to the Left would consider Stalinism a growth of Leninism itself.

The fact that most "stalinist" parties consider themselves Marxist-Leninist and not "stalinist" is also important. No amount of point to Trotsky's or Lenin's writing changes this fact.

This is not an ideological struggle here... "Revolution Betrayed" doesn't change the fact that Stalin, and other Communist Parties considered themselves Leninist.--68.198.123.73 11:12, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

I edited essentially little of this article except for language that implies that Stalinists are not Leninists...

Also that the CPC had a "Stalinist" organizational structure, from all known ideology of Leninist vangaurdism, there is no such thing. In fact, CPC organizational strutucture can't be defined in the least bit like a Stalinist structure, but has to be at the very minimal a Leninist "Democratic Centralist" structure. IN the usual Stalinist structure, it was the General Secretary who exercised great power within the Party, this is not the case of the CPC or most Maoist parties.

Further...there is little said here about the other ideological currents of Leninism. It focuses narrowly, and prejudicely on Trotskyism and Stalinism. These are not the only currents...Maoism, Eurocommunism, Juche, (failing as well to mention the creative use of Leninism by Black Panther Party) as well as communist theoreticians such as Gramsci, Lukacs, Althusser, and others.--68.198.123.73 11:26, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Imperialism: major overhaul needed[edit]

In light of these articles:

http://www.monthlyreview.org/1004pms2.htm

http://www.monthlyreview.org/0102jbf.htm

And Bob Milward's Globalisation? Internationalisation and Monopoly Capitalism: Historical Processes and Capitalist Dynamism, the core idea of Imperialism is NOT colonialism, but monopoly capitalism (and I wonder why there's no article on this phenomenon, but only the dog bone of "state monopoly capitalism"). I am overhauling the "Imperialism" section to reflect this, as well as key quotes from the "Popular Outline" itself. Darth Sidious 02:30, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Hi Darth. I can see you've put a lot of work in here. However, adding in so much more material on Imperialism seriously mis-represents the balance of this topic within Leninism as a whole. I have put your section below. I suggest you use it on another page, either one about lenini/s book or one on Imperialism. --Duncan 12:00, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

::One of the central concepts of Leninism is the view that monopoly capitalism is the highest stage of the capitalist economic system. In his outline Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916), Lenin developed a theory of imperialism aimed to improve and update Marx's work by explaining a phenomenon which Marx predicted in The Poverty of Philosophy (1847): the shift of capitalism towards becoming a global system (hence the slogan "Workers of the world, unite!"). Five features of this phenomenon are outlined (though they occur simultaneously):

1) Concentration of production and capital has led to the creation of national and multinational monopolies - not as understood in liberal economics, but in terms of de facto power over their enormous markets - while the "free competition" remains the domain of increasingly localized and/or niche markets:
Free competition is the basic feature of capitalism, and of commodity production generally; monopoly is the exact opposite of free competition, but we have seen the latter being transformed into monopoly before our eyes, creating large-scale industry and forcing out small industry, replacing large-scale by still larger-scale industry, and carrying concentration of production and capital to the point where out of it has grown and is growing monopoly: cartels, syndicates and trusts, and merging with them, the capital of a dozen or so banks, which manipulate thousands of millions. At the same time the monopolies, which have grown out of free competition, do not eliminate the latter, but exist above it and alongside it, and thereby give rise to a number of very acute, intense antagonisms, frictions and conflicts. Monopoly is the transition from capitalism to a higher system. (Ch. VII)
2) Industrial capital as the dominant form of capital has been replaced by finance capital (repeating the main points of Rudolf Hilferding's magnum opus, Finance Capital), with the industrial capitalists being ever more reliant on finance capital (provided by financial institutions);
3) The export of the aforementioned finance capital is emphasized over the export of goods (even though the latter would continue to exist);
4) The economic division of the world by multinational enterprises, and the formation of international cartels; and
5) The political division of the world by the great powers, in which the export of finance capital by the advanced capitalist industrial nations to their colonial possessions enables them to exploit those colonies for their resources and investment opportunities. This superexploitation of poorer countries allows the advanced capitalist industrial nations to keep at least some of their own workers content, by providing them with slightly higher living standards. (See labor aristocracy; globalization.)


I was trying to standardize all imperialism-related articles' sections where Lenin was mentioned. Already standardized are Imperialism, Anti-imperialism, and Theories of New Imperialism. I didn't mean to cause an imbalance whatsoever. Darth Sidious 23:36, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Regardless of you intention, you have greatly imbalances that article. Furtjhermore, you are copying in similar text into other articles touching on imperialism. It woul dbe better to not duplicate, but instead to write this once and then link to it. --Duncan 10:36, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

"Stalinism" is POV. The correct term is "Marxism Leninism", which also include Mao's thought[edit]

I have reverted the exchange of revisions between two editors. Both of them seem to be mistakenly and unknowingly introducing POV terminology. "Stalinism" is a term that is rarely used by supporters of Stalin. It normally has negative connodations, as did the term "Trotskyism" to Trotksy's supporters up until his death. The correct term to use is Marxism Leninism, which is the tradition of the followers of Stalin and Mao. --Duncan 16:27, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Seconded, Stalinism, is an anti-communist or anti-stalin discription.--CmrdMariategui 17:35, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Furthermore, Mao was a Marxist leninist: see here[2] --Duncan 16:28, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
Trotskyism must be used for Trotksy's supporters, and Stalinism for Stalin's supporters. There's no POV here, and you read more oftenly Stalinim than "Marxism Leninism".
Mao was a stalinist. --Inbloom2 19:21, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
You are mistaken here. Stalinism is POV because supporters of Stalin do not call themselves Stalinist. At the time of the split, Trotsky's supporters called themselves Bolshevik Leninists and Stalins supporters were the Marxist Leninists. Only after Trotsky's death did the Fourth Internationalists start to call themselves Trotskyists. However, almost no Moscow or Beijing-line communists called themselves Stalinists. Only the opponents of Stalin do that, in order to suggest that mainstream Communists are followers of Stalin rather than communism. That is as POV, for example, as calling people heretics. Were it not POV, you would not be in a revert war with a Maoist. If you look at established practice here, you'll see that the term most widely used here is Marxism Leninism. --Duncan 20:01, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
When Stalin was still alive, Stalinists often did call themselves Stalinists. The denial came only after the stigma years. Digwuren 10:43, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
Stalinism has 990 000 google hits, "Marxism-Leninism" 439 000.
"Stalinism" is the most used term by historians - that's what matters. --Inbloom2 17:05, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't think that Google is a reliable guide to the practise of historians. Stalinism is a prejorative term, and therefore POV. Unlike historian's work, Wikipedia is not a place for original research and we use different standards, inclucing consesus. --Duncan 21:51, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

"Stalinism" may have been used as a pejorative term at some point, but so has "Communism" -- I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said something like "Beat Communism Again -- Don't Elect Hillary Clinton" or some such. If the term "Stalinism" is used by historians and scholars of the subject, then it's appropriate here. --FOo 08:27, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
You are missing the point here. So-called Stalinists do not call themselves Stalinist, where as Communists do call themselves Communists. Therefore, the term 'Stalinist' carries with it an anti-Stalinist POV. Also, look functionally -- what people are we trying to describe here? The communist movement 'split' between the Trotskyists on the one side, who opposed the foreign policy of the USSR, the KMT and the Popular Front, and the others who used the term Marxism Leninism. However, the marxist leninist tradition includes those who would describe themselves as opponents of the Stalin cult, including Tito, Krushchev, Che and the Eurocommunists. These people are, perhaps, anti-Stalinist in some views. So, marxist leninist is a far more neutral term -- and the one that we already use here on Wikipedia. We'd need a good reason to change. --Duncan 07:43, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
I completely 100% agree with Duncan.--CmrdMariategui 16:48, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
I also completely agree with Duncan. Cmrdm 05:10, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

All this discussion about POV-this and POV-that misses the point: Stalinism is a well-established concept, and mentioned as such by reliable scholars, in reputable publications. Just to give a couple of examples (proof by existence, if you wish), where the term is used right there in the title:

As such, the term has a place here at WP, distinct from Leninism, Marxism-Leninism, Maoism, and what have you. Turgidson 01:23, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Of course academics ca also introduce POV. The point about Stalinism is that it's purely used as a pejorative term. It does incorporate an anti-Stalin view by definition. --Duncan 21:16, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
Is there a reliable reference for the assertion that "Stalinism is purely used as a pejorative term", or is that just a point of view? I gave above two references from well-respected academics, where the term is used in a descriptive fashion, right there in the title of some major works, quoted elsewhere at WP. This is what WP requires per WP:RS, not speculations about academic authors' presumed points of view. Turgidson 02:33, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Don't misunderstand me: I am not saying that Stalinism as a concept has not plce here. However, to say that the Communist movement fragmented into Trotskyist and Stalinist wings is very difficult. No-one positively identifies themselves as Stalinist (in the same way that, in the Trotskyist movement, no-one identifies themselves as a 'Pabloist'). In the opinion of the Communist parties, they were the continuity of Leninism. The degree to which the post-Lenin CPs diverged from Leninism is an extensive debate, which cannot be summarised. In so far as any of the CPs used the term Stalinism, from 1956 onwards, they were against it. It's a nightmare. On the other hand, even the trotskyists accept the label marxism-leninism applied to the other communist organisations. I think it's a much better term. --Duncan 08:14, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

The term "Stalinist" seems to be widely used to refer to those Communist groups which continued to adhere to the leadership of the Soviet Union after the revelation of the material conditions of the Soviet people under Stalin. This doesn't seem to refer so much to ideological commitment to Stalin's form of Leninism, so much as it refers to a set of political loyalties. Perhaps it's reasonable to give the ideological superstructure the name "Marxism-Leninism", while retaining "Stalinism" to refer to the base of political loyalties to the Stalin regime. --FOo 08:46, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

That is very problematic: For example, Marxism-Leninism includes parties that were not loyal to the Stalin regime, which as the Chinese, Yugoslav and Greek parties which developed anti-capitalist movements against the guidance of Stalin. It also includes Eurocommunism. Indeed, after Stalin's death were there any parties that were loyal to what Stalin's regime had done? --Duncan 09:01, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Try the Albanian Party of Labour. As the article on its leader, Enver Hoxha, makes it clear: "Hoxha had remained a firm Stalinist despite new Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's repudiation of Stalin's excesses in 1956 [..] Hoxha's internal policies were true to the Stalinist paradigm he admired, and the personality cult organized around him bore a striking resemblance to that of Stalin.". Well, that sounds like a Stalinist par excellence to me. Or is that being "pejorative" to Hoxsa?  :) Turgidson 12:45, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, that is a pov wording in that article, which should not mean that this article should be reworded accordingly. --Soman 12:47, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Oh, c'mon. Just bandying about the acronym "pov" won't make Hoxsa any less Stalinist than he was. I mean, if Enver Hoxha wasn't a Stalinist, then who was, besides Uncle Joe himself? This is getting silly. Turgidson 13:11, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
And, while at it, here is another scholarly citation that mentions the term Stalinism in its very title:
  • Pipa, Arshi (1990). Albanian Stalinism: ideo-political aspects. Boulder: East European Monographs. ISBN 0-88033-184-4. 
I repeat: ultimately, what counts here at WP are citations like this one. See WP:RS. Turgidson 13:18, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Even the article on Stalinism says that it is a pejorative term. Nevertheless, the issue is whether or not the most effective way to describe the split in Leninism is to say it's Stalinism or Trotskyism. Again, the idea that the non-Trotskyist communist parties are best described as Stalinist is inaccurate (if you take that to mean that they follow Stalin): Again, consider the Eurocommunists, the US SWP the DSP in Australia, let along the Maoists or Western marxism. --Duncan 15:25, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Despite their "deep" idiological differences, Maoism and Stalinism are the same deal. They are both detailed programmes for running a state-capitalist, deformed workers' state. Both Stalinism and Maoism betray many of the foundations of Marxism. Namely they are based around fear (the USSR and the PRC both had extensive secret police networks to watch and "disappear"their own people), a cult of personality which ultimately amounted to blatant hero-worship (this was very obvious in the USSR before de-Stalinization, when Stalin was basically considered a prophetic figure. And in PRC before the Party officially turned capitalist, when Mao was reveared in the same way), they are despotic and lack the proletarian democratic form (or any democratic form for that matter), also both adhere to the idea that socialism can be practiced in one country, which is impossible, capitalism is global what follows will also be global. Therefore there is no "split" in Leninism, there is only its continuation through Trotsky's ideas and it's betrayal at the hands of Stalin and later Mao who amounted to little more than mass murderers that forever tarnished the name of communism, Marxism, socialism and the entire labour movement for that matter....But I digress, wikipedia is not sepposed to villanize anyone, since that would be "POV". Nonetheless that's the truth, I wont bother editing the article to match the truth, since some Maoist puppet will eventually revert it to a version that paints their messiah in a better light. (Demigod Ron 23:55, 9 October 2007 (UTC))

Cut section on democratic centralism[edit]

I have cut this unreferenced comment: "However, democratic centralism does not distinguish between that the members may influence the officials before the decisions are made, or that only the officials are part of the decision-making process." This isn't clearly written. It's unreferenced. A party in which the decisions are made by only officials is not a democratic centralist one. Furthermore, the danger of bureaucracy is widely discussed. If you want to develop this theme, I suggest its done on democratic centralism.--Duncan 21:25, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

book to pamphlet[edit]

Lenin actually named the pamphlet after the book of the same name by Chernyshevsky. 71.68.15.63 16:47, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

"The worse, the better"[edit]

Shouldn't Lenin's famous adage "The worse, the better" (referring to the fact that the worse conditions in a nation become, the better the conditions for revolution) be mentioned in the article? It seems fairly crucial to an understanding of his political philosophy. Badagnani (talk) 09:35, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

"The term 'Leninism' itself did not exist during Lenin's life."[edit]

In the introduction it says "The term "Leninism" itself did not exist during Lenin's life.". This is false. 'Leninism' was an informal term with pejorative overtones used by the landlords and liberals during the Russian Revolution to denote any revolutionary worker, soldier or peasant who opposed the Provisional Government, not necessarily Bolsheviks or actual supporters of Lenin.

(source: 'History of the Russian Revolution' by Leon Trotsky) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.240.82.138 (talk) 07:29, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

I suggest deleting the paragraph about Lukacs' opinions about Lenin. It would seem to belong rather to the entry on Lukacs. Stevenjp (talk) 16:12, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Needs A Criticism Section[edit]

Considering that the theory being described here was demonstrably utter bilge (the narrative of imperialist exploitation, for instance, is not so much wrong as in the "not even wrong" category), which resulted in the deaths and persecutions of uncountable millions, it's rather staggering that there isn't one of wikipedia's popular "criticisms" sections anywhere. It's like describing Nazism without critical discussion of the errors of the programme and its appalling consequences.

Lenin was that most tragic of a historical figures- a nutball who disastrously gained power, with devastating consequences for entire peoples. His cranky theories were the kind of stuff that, were he to be an ordinary person in the modern day, would be linked to from cranks.net. An encyclopedia should have the balance to explain this. This is important stuff; naive young readers will reach this page and may take the theory seriously, without realising that it's the political science equivalent of Time Cube.82.71.30.178 (talk) 22:24, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

To 82.71.30.178 (talk): that is fallacious reasoning, consisting of appeal to consequences plus ad hominems. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 141.84.69.20 (talk) 19:35, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Non Sequitor[edit]

This long sentence in the article does not seem to make logical sense:

The revolutionary elements of Leninism — the disciplined vanguard party, a dictatorial state, and class war — are the influences of the anarchist Sergey Nechayev and the nineteenth century Narodnik (“People”) movement (of whom Alexandr Ulyanov, Lenin’s elder brother, was a member), thus “the morals of the Bolshevik party owed as much to Nechayev as they did to Marx”;[1] hence his social class qualifications of the kulaks and the bourgeoisie as “parasites”, “insects”, “leeches”, “bloodsuckers”,[2] and the GULAG penal labour camp system [3] — ideologic considerations present in Leninism, but not in Marxism.

How is "the GULAG penal labour camp system" at the end related to the first clause: "The revolutionary elements of Leninism — the disciplined vanguard party, a dictatorial state, and class war — are the influences of the anarchist Sergey Nechayev and the nineteenth century Narodnik (“People”) movement (of whom Alexandr Ulyanov, Lenin’s elder brother, was a member), thus “the morals of the Bolshevik party owed as much to Nechayev as they did to Marx”"? Colin4C (talk) 03:04, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Clarification of the non-sequitur: an attempt

The sentence is illogical because of the dull “take my word for it” Indiana-Jones-Leap-of-Faith factual misrepresentation of the right-wing editor who has conflated Orlando Fige's ideologic opinion with the historical facts, as if they were contemporary assessments. I deleted neither it nor the GULAG observation, but placed them in relative perspective. This pseudo-academic and anti-intellectual practice (2+2 sometimes equals 3.99 and sometimes equals 4.01) is typical of those people who choose to not distinguish among players and spectators. This historical negationism also occurs in the Lenin biography . . . and, in my editorial experience, somehow usually leads to “the Commies were worse than the Nazis” explanations, as found in the specious Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe, by Robert Gellately. The best explanation of such self-deception is the film The Producers, by Mel Brooks.

For that editor to have logically integrated said non sequiturs to a political science article about Leninism would have required establishing a proper Criticism section . . . which is much work, and most right-wing sources have yet to be translated to the graphic novel versions. My, my, my, how telling that the skeleton of the dead Soviet Bear continues to frighten the armchair historical negationists of the Right Wing in the 21st. century, especially because they “won the Cold War”. I shall try to establish further context. Let me know what you think.

Mhazard9 (talk) 13:56, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

  1. ^ Figes, O. A People's Tragedy (1997) Pimlico, p. 133
  2. ^ Solzhenitsyn, A. The Gulag Archipelago (1974) Collins p.24.
  3. ^ Volgovonov, D, Lenin, A New Biography The Free Press, p. 243.