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Vanguard party

Marik Soma


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The idea of a vanguard party has caused controversy in Marxist circles centered around the debate over whether workers need to be led to socialism by outside forces. Academic Marxology has held that Lenin's concept of a vanguard party signaled a change from Marx's focus on proletarian socialism to a revolution led by a tightly organized minority of intellectuals who would take socialism into the working class from outside. Marx's thrust on the self-emancipation of the working class certainly meant rejection of any imposition of socialism from above by a wise leadership. But this did not solve the problem of revolutionary strategy. Marx and Engels believed that the propaganda on the necessity of, and the road to, communism by the conscious minority of workers alone would not suffice to make the revolution. Their political practice and writings show particularly during the stage of the Communist League (1847–51) that a revolutionary party was a crucial instrument in the proletariat's struggle for self-emancipation. It was this organization that could give them the self-confidence essential for becoming a “class for itself” active in their emancipatory struggles from a “class in itself.” The specificity of the communist party, according to the Communist Manifesto , lay in its internationalism and in its emphasis on the interests of the proletarian movement as a whole as opposed ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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