Marxism and Leninism

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Marxism and Leninism According to most historians, “history is told by the victors”, which would explain why most people equate communism with Vladimir Lenin. He was the backbone of Russia’s communist revolution, and the first leader of history’s largest communist government. It is not known, or discussed by most, that Lenin made many reforms to the original ideals possessed by many communists during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He revised Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles’ theories to fit the so-called ‘backwardness’ of the Russian Empire. Lenin’s reforms were necessary to carry out a socialist revolution in Russia, and the contributions he made drastically changed the course of history. It can be assumed that, the Soviet Union would not have been as powerful if it was not for Lenin’s initial advocacy of violence and tight organization. Marxism is a philosophy coined by Karl Marx with the help of Friedrich Engles in the early nineteenth century. Marx’s writings inspired many progressive thinkers throughout the European continent and the United States. The Marxist doctrine stated that first a bourgeoisie revolution, which will ignite a capitalist fire. The political philosopher believed that communism could only thrive in a society distressed by “the political and economic circumstances created by a fully developed capitalism” With industry and capitalism growing a working class develops and begins to be exploited. According to Marx, the exploiting class essentially is at fault for their demise, and the exploited class eventually comes to power through the failure of capitalism: “But not only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself; it has also called into existence the men who are to wie... ... middle of paper ... ...iks and the Petty Bourgeoisie." Lenin Collected Works. Vol. 12. Moscow: Foreign Languages House, 1962. 179-83. Marxist Internet Archive. Web. 15 Apr. 2014. Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. Manifesto of the Communist Party. New York: International, 1948. Marxist Internet Archive. 2000. Web. Montague, Richard. "Marx and Lenin's Views Contrasted." World Socialist Movement. Socialist Standard, n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. "Plekhanov and the Origins of Russian Marxism." Readings in Russian History. Ed. Sidney Harcave. Vol. 2. New York: Crowell, 1962. 80-90. Print. Riasanovsky, Nicholas V., and Mark D. Steinberg. A History of Russia. 7th ed. Oxford: Oxford, 2005. Print. Silverman, Saul N. "Introduction." Introduction. Lenin. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1972. 1-21. Print. Waldron, Peter. The End of Imperial Russia: 1855-1917. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1997. Print.

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