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Leninist philosophy

Paul Le Blanc


As with many key words, the term “Leninism” has come to have dramatically different meanings. Associated with the ideas and political efforts of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin , for many it became associated with the ideology dominated and largely shaped after his death by Joseph Stalin . After the Russian Revolution that Lenin led in 1917, and the earliest years of the embattled Soviet republic under Lenin's leadership, Stalin became an increasingly powerful figure in the organizational apparatus of the ruling Russian Communist Party. As Lenin succumbed to fatal illness in 1923–4, Stalin began to assume ever-greater control in the Communist Party and Soviet state, justifying his actions and policies – culminating by the 1930s in the most brutal of dictatorships – under the banner of what he called Leninism. Although Lenin had been one of the earliest opponents of Stalin's consolidation of power, his authority in the new Soviet republic, the Russian Communist Party, and the world revolutionary movement made it essential for Stalin to formally embrace the label of Leninism, a term that came into existence only after 1917. (Lenin himself referred to his ideas with other labels – Marxist, socialist, communist, etc.) While in the early-to-mid-1920s different Russian communist leaders more closely associated with Lenin – Gregory Zinoviev, Lev Kamenev, Nikolai Bukharin , Leon Trotsky – ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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