Tag Archives: Lenin

On Marxist study: What are our basic principles?

Due to a recent discussion about “dogmatism” and revisionism regarding a polemic from Mike Ely of the Kasama Project against the Marxist-Leninist Study Guide here on this site, it seems valuable to look closely at what principles we should consider fundamental to Marxism-Leninism. To that end, here is a set of quotes from the 1991 document “Reaffirm our Basic Principles and Carry the Revolution Forward” by the Communist Party of the Philippines concerning methods of study. This document guided the “Second Great Rectification Movement” launched by the CPP in 1992. This document is here followed by an excerpt from the 1999 Declaration of the International Communist Seminar defining basic Marxist-Leninist principles.

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J. V. Stalin on Leninist Anti-Imperialism

This selection from Joseph Stalin’s lectures on The Foundations of Leninism is worth thinking about when evaluating such questions as whether or not proletarian revolutionaries should support anti-imperialist governments or liberation struggles, such as the Iranian government or the Afghan national resistance, which are not led by the proletariat or oriented towards socialism:

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Vietnam: meeting celebrates Lenin’s 140th birthday

The following is from the website of the Communist Party of Vietnam:

A meeting to mark V.I. Lenin’s 140th birthday (April 22) was held in Hanoi on April 21, to stress the everlasting value of his thoughts and cause as well as his significance to revolutionaries around the world and in Vietnam.

On addressing the meeting, Truong Tan Sang, Politburo member and Permanent Secretary to the Communist Party of Vietnam’s Central Committee, highlighted Lenin’s great contributions to the working class cause, the struggle against imperialism, the struggle for peace, independence and the freedom of nations throughout the world.

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Celebrate the 140th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Lenin

In honor of the 140th anniversary of the birth of Comrade Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, April 22, 2010, The Marxist-Leninist is posting the following article, “Lenin as the organiser and leader of the Russian Communist Party” by his outstanding student, Joseph Stalin:

Lenin as the organiser and leader of the Russian Communist Party
April 23, 1920

There are two groups of Marxists. Both work under the flag of Marxism and consider themselves “genuinely” Marxist. Nevertheless, they are by no means identical. More, a veritable gulf divides them, for their methods of work are diametrically opposed to each other.

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Revolutionary Students Union on Leninism and the Vanguard Party

The following video presentation, about Lenin’s book What Is To Be Done? and the Leninist theory of organization, is from the UVU Revolutionary Students Union:

Q&A follows: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJQqLJzO9bo

Revolutionary Students Union presentation on the Kronstadt Rebellion

The following video presentation is from the UVU Revolutionary Students Union. The presenter gives a passionate defense of the Bolsheviks in the suppression of the ultra-left Kronstadt sailors rebellion. Be sure and watch the Q&A videos, which go beyond the Kronstadt rebellion to discuss the Bolsheviks’ struggle against the Makhnovites in the Ukraine:

Q&A follows: Continue reading

Eyewitness accounts: The Moscow Trial was Fair

"Mankind can free itself from suffering only by the road pointed out by Stalin and with his help." Mao Zedong studying the writings of J. V. Stalin in the Yenan base area during the Chinese Revolution

The following was sent by a comrade as a contribution to The Marxist-Leninist‘s ongoing ‘pro-Stalin ideological offensive’, which kicked off with the article commemorating Joseph Stalin’s 130th birth-anniversary, “Long Live the Universal Contributions of Comrade Joseph Stalin“:

The Moscow Trial was Fair


By D. N. PRITT, K.C., M.P.

I STUDIED the legal procedure in criminal cases in Soviet Russia somewhat carefully in 1932, and concluded (as published at the time in “Twelve Studies in Soviet Russia”) that the procedure gave the ordinal accused a very fair trial. Having learnt from my legal friends in Moscow on my return this summer that the principal changes realised or shortly impending were all in the direction of giving greater independence to the Bar and the judges and greater facilities to the accused, I was particularly interested to be able to attend the trial of Zinoviev and Kamenev and others which took place on August 1923.

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RSU Presentation on Imperialism and National Liberation

The following video presentation on the Marxist-Leninist theory of imperialism (monopoly capitalism) is from the UVU Revolutionary Students Union.

Lenin gives five basic features of imperialism:

(1) the concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life; (2) the merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation, on the basis of this “finance capital”, of a financial oligarchy; (3) the export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance; (4) the formation of international monopolist capitalist associations which share the world among themselves, and (5) the territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed. 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. (Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism)

There are also four fundamental contradictions of imperialism. Stalin, in The Foundations of Leninism, went on to enumerate three of them: (1) the contradiction between labor and capital; (2) the contradiction among the various financial groups and imperialist Powers in their struggle for sources of raw materials; and (3) the contradiction between the handful of ruling, “civilised” nations and the hundreds of millions of the colonial and dependent peoples of the world. There is a fourth in the contemporary world as Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communists have pointed out: (4) the contradiction between imperialism and the socialist countries. Of these four contradictions, the principal contradiction in the current period is that between the oppressed nations and imperialism. These four contradictions can only be resolved by social revolution.

These videos do well to explain Lenin’s theory in a lively and contemporary way. See also their excellent presentations on the PFLP and on ‘Stalinism’.

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Soviet Film: Three Songs of Lenin (1934)

This 1934 film, directed by Dziga Vertov, is structured around three Russian folk songs and skilfully used archive and original footage to celebrate the revolutionary life and legacy of Lenin. H G Wells described this film as “one of the greatest and most beautiful films I have ever seen”. The first song, ‘My face was in a dark prison’, concerns the life of a young Muslim woman. ‘We loved him’ deals with Lenin’s life and death. The third song ‘In a big city of stone’, shows the accomplishments of socialism. Using the previously unpublished verses by W H Auden, the film becomes an even more eloquent tribute to Lenin. This film was made ten years after Lenin’s death, when the CPSU(B) under the leadership of Stalin was carrying forward the line of Lenin in building socialism in the USSR. (description from the Stalin Society – UK)

The Peasant Question and its Relation to the Leninist Theory of Revolution of Two-Stages

Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas - Peasant Movement of the Philippines

The following article was sent to The Marxist-Leninist by the author, Butch S. Espere:

The Peasant Question and its Relation to the Leninist Theory of Revolution of Two-Stages

By Butch S. Espere

(Author’s Note: This article, a spin-off from notes made by the author for a discussion forum at the International People’s College, Helsingor, Denmark, aims to trace the line of development of Lenin’s theory on the agrarian and peasant question in Russia, especially on the matter of how he arrived at the idea of nationalization of land as a line in the agrarian programme of the Russian Revolution and how the question is at the core of his theory of 2-stage revolution.)

Line of development of Lenin’s theory on the agrarian and peasant question:

In 1895, Lenin wrote The Development of Capitalism in Russia. In this article, he advanced the social analysis that Russia was already a capitalist society, demolishing the Narodniki myth of a “unique Russian case”. This laid the theoretical basis for the call that the proletarian revolution could already be launched in Russia.

In 1898, Lenin wrote The Tasks of Russian Social Democrats, a polemics against the “Economists” ensconced in Rabocheyo Mysl. This article broached of the democratic tasks of the proletarian revolution, prefiguring his theory of the proletarian revolution of two stages.


When Lenin joined the editorial board of Iskra right after his release from Siberian prison, there were two things that engrossed his mind and to which he devoted his revolutionary energy. One was how to unite the scattered circles of Marxists (previously known as social democrats) around his idea of establishing a party that would act as the political centre of the working class movement. But it did not end there. Lenin’s idea of a party was that of a single whole, one that is united in a common programme, a common goal, and common strategy for reaching that goal.  

Lenin talking with peasants

At the time he was sketching his plan to realize the establishment of a party, the Marxists who were scattered in so many small circles inside and outside of Russia spoke in so many tongues, some of them championing ideas that, to Lenin’s sharp eyes, placed obstacles to the immediate launching of the Russian revolution. One strand which expressed this divergence of thought was on the issue: in the given alignment of class forces in Russia, with whom should the proletariat forge alliance in launching the Russian revolution?. The majority of Marxists in Russia, Plekhanov included, answered this question, “of course, with the bourgeoisie!”  

Lenin believed otherwise. At this time, he was still to develop the strategy for the course and direction of the Russian revolution but it was already clear to him that such alliance did not lie with the bourgeoisie. He perceived early that given the conditions and character of Russian society, it could not have produced a bourgeoisie strong enough to lead even its own (bourgeois) revolution. He therefore cast the lot of the proletariat with the peasantry. This was his second concern when he was into drafting the programme of the party and it was to this that he turned his writings on the agrarian and peasant question.  

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