100 Years Later

Lenin Is Still Not Dead

Harsh Thakor

A hundred years after his death, Lenin or Vladmir Illyich Ulyanov still holds the mantle of the proletariat and the oppressed peoples of the world. Lenin's legacy still shimmers like an inextinguishable lamp. Communists across the world observed the centenary of his death anniversary on January 21.

No character as much influenced the course of the 20th Century as Lenin, who defined a new epoch and constructed the first ever workers state.

It was the sheer genius of Lenin to crystallise the theory of Marx in a concrete form to give birth or shape to the first workers state.

Lenin devoted his whole life to the Russian proletariat and the oppressed people of various nations and nationalities, with no drop of personal interest.

Even bourgeois historians glorified Lenin’s role and described him as a highly humane figure. They are rediscovering Lenin’s role in shaping western welfare states.

The revolutionary activity of the Bolsheviks crystallised triumph of the proletariat with the Great October Socialist Revolution and planted the seeds for the building of Socialism for the first time in history.

Lenin left no stone unturned in giving a blow to every revisionist or reformist bending of the revolutionary theory. He evaluated the fight against opportunism as an imperative task for the victory of the socialist revolution and, on the same time, refuted the so-called pseudo-revolutionary rhetoric. Lenin was in essence democratic, in complete contrast to what the social media projected him. He elevated proletarian democracy to its highest form, through crystalli-sing the soviets or councils of workers delegates, which constituted new organs of workers rule.

The counter-revolutionary toppling of regimes in the Soviet Union and the socialist countries in Eastern Europe in 1989-1991 paved the way for various imperialists and apologists of the bourgeoisie to launch a tirade against Lenin and to degrade Socialism-Communism.

The contribution of Lenin in preserving or sharpening the world revolution is an epic in itself. It encompasses his combat against the chain of world enemies; to construct the new order in Russia. Lenin unflinchingly consolidated the Soviet government and the Communist International.

In Lenin’s last phase, Lenin’s most innovative decisions were in the Brest–Litovsk treaty, showing tactical mastery: introducing New Economic policy, where in spite of allowing for private plots he retained a workers state: and the completion of the Communist International in 1920.His major achievement was giving a mortal blow to conspiracies of imperialism by invigorating the mass resistance of not only the Red Army and the Industrial Workers, but also of the peasantry in regions the white guards overran.

Lenin elevated the science of Marxism to the stage of Leninism. Leninism sprouted amidst in war and tested in practice, which represented the theory and tactics of the proletarian revolution in general and the theory and tactics of the dictatorship of the proletariat in particular.

Lenin demonstrated that imperialism was identified by the ascendancy of monopoly capital, in contrast to smaller units of capital. Monopoly capital did not merely mean domination by one single unit of capital over another industry, but domination of few powerful units over the whole branches of economy. Monopoly capital developed into an imperialist stage.

Lenin summarised that the dictatorship of the proletariat was only a transitional form .and on completing its task; the state machine of coercion extinguishes and is replaced by a Communist Society.

Today even in digital age, with advent of globalisation, Leninism is as applicable as 100 years ago. The world is experiencing an economic crisis and penetration of imperialism, at magnitude unscaled.

Leninism remains the political base to nail the tide of counter revolutionary trends.

Leninism is still the principle Marxism of today or principal link between Marx and Mao, being the era of ‘imperialism and proletarian Revolution’ as defined by Lenin.

Possibly had Lenin lived longer, he may have rectified inherent defects within the Soviets and party, to create the egalitarian society visualised by Marx, inviting greater dissent.

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Vol 56, No. 33, Feb 11 - 17, 2024