Consequently Lenin dedicated himself to the cause of the revolution of the working class from his early youth. He regarded Marxism as a guide to action and accordingly shaped the future of Russia.
Lenin fully believed in the economic interpretation of history. In his opinion capitalism had not collapsed because it was still in the highest stage.
He observed that “Imperialism is capitalism at that stage of development at which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital is established; in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance, in which the division of the world among the international trusts has begun; in which the division of all territories of the globe among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed.”
In his work “Imperialism; The Highest Stage of Capitalism,” he held the view that it was the last stage of capitalism. This stage is characterized by a monopoly and finance phase of capitalism.
The capital itself becomes a commodity of export and two worlds become enslaved to a few financiers. On this basis, he characterized First World War as war between financial groups for control of colonies.
Lenin puts faith in revolution and observes “The Proletariat needs state power, the centralized organization of force, the organization of violence, both for the purpose of crushing the resistance of the exploiters and for the purpose of guiding the great mass of the population… in the work of organizing the Socialist economy.
By educating a worker’s party Marxism educated the vanguard of the proletariat capable of directing and organizing the new order, or being a teacher, guide and leader of all toiling and exploited in the task of building up their social life without the bourgeoisie and against the bourgeoisie.”
However, Lenin saw in these changes a new epoch of national liberation movements in colonial countries led by the oppressed and dependent peoples and the proletariat of the capitalist countries themselves. It was in this context, Lenin welcomed – the defeat of his own nation under Stay.
Lenin conceived capitalist expansion in its global manifestations. But, the nations can have social change without being fully developed capitalist economy. However, his theory has implication mainly in the context of Soviet Union. For his programme and policies were instrumental in Soviet conditions.
Lenin had complete faith in theory of class, struggle and regarded “dictatorship of the proletariat” as the most important ingredient of Marxist thought.
“The State and Revolution” deals with his revolutionary transformation. He devised the institution of the Vanguard party or the workers party to lead the revolution. It was to seize power and build a government.
The members of the party would be trained in the art of revolutionary tactics. They would form the core of revolutionaries.
His justification for a single party is observed in the following lines “in the U.S.S.R, there are only two classes, workers and peasants, whose interests far from being hostile-are, on the contrary, friendly.
Hence, there is no ground in the U.S.S.R. for the existence of several parties, and consequently, for freedom for those parties.”
According to Lenin, the new state brought about by the revolution will be used for oppressing and dismantling vestiges of capitalism. It will either way only when communism is established.
Meanwhile, the party would create conditions for the realization of communism. It was entrusted to reinterpret the Marxist-Leninist theory in its organization.
It was not accountable to anyone and could not be questioned for its acts of omission or commission. He opposed decentralization as a principle for organization of party.
Rather, we favored a hierarchical organization with strict centralized machinery. These tenets of Lenin’s theory have been popularized under the notion of “democratic centralism.” Representative system and parliamentary institutions were completely opposed in his scheme of things.
1. Kantsky and Bernstein do not favour Lenin’s democratic centralism or rule by party. In particular, Kantsky favours Parliamentary institutions and democratic procedure of elections.
2. Rosa Luxemburg is apprehensive of Lenin’s Vanguard party. Instead she believes that it will become handmaiden of the central committee geared to serve their interests.
3. Leo Trotsky says that minority revolution led by the Vanguard party is against the basic premises of Marxism.
In conclusion, it may be observed that Lenin was leader of his own style. He showed the courage and wisdom to translate Marxian vision into a reality.
Though, he failed in this task, his theory combined with practice has innumerable implications. It has influenced new theories of social change. However, its lacunae must be kept in mind while outlining its instrumentalities.