Vladimir Lenin - Politics and World Revolution - Writings

Writings

Lenin was a prolific political theoretician and philosopher who wrote about the practical aspects of carrying out a proletarian revolution; he wrote pamphlets, articles, and books, without a stenographer or secretary, until prevented by illness. He simultaneously corresponded with comrades, allies, and friends, in Russia and world-wide. His Collected Works comprise 54 volumes, each of about 650 pages, translated into English in 45 volumes by Progress Publishers, Moscow 1960–70. The most influential include:

  • What is to be Done? (1902) states that a revolution requires a professional vanguard party.
  • Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916) explains why capitalism had not collapsed, as Marx had posited, presenting the First World War as a capitalist war for land, resources, and cheap labour.
  • The State and the Revolution (1917) interprets the ideas of Marx and Engels, the October Revolution's theoretic basis, and opposes the social-democratic tendency as indecisive in effecting revolution.
  • April Theses (1917) propose the socio-economic need for a socialist revolution.
  • "Left-Wing" Communism: An Infantile Disorder (1920) sharply criticizes the "ultra-left"

After Lenin's death, the USSR selectively censored his writings, to establish the dogma of the infallibility of Lenin, Stalin (his successor), and the Central Committee; thus, the Soviet fifth edition (55 vols., 1958–65) of Lenin's œuvre deleted the Lenin–Stalin contradictions, and all that was unfavourable to the founder of the USSR. The historian Richard Pipes published a documentary collection of letters and telegrams excluded from the Soviet fifth edition, proposing that edition as incomplete.

Read more about this topic:  Vladimir Lenin, Politics and World Revolution

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Famous quotes containing the word writings:

    It has come to be practically a sort of rule in literature, that a man, having once shown himself capable of original writing, is entitled thenceforth to steal from the writings of others at discretion. Thought is the property of him who can entertain it; and of him who can adequately place it. A certain awkwardness marks the use of borrowed thoughts; but, as soon as we have learned what to do with them, they become our own.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    If someday I make a dictionary of definitions wanting single words to head them, a cherished entry will be “To abridge, expand, or otherwise alter or cause to be altered for the sake of belated improvement, one’s own writings in translation.”
    Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977)

    For character, to prepare for the inevitable I recommend selections from [Ralph Waldo] Emerson. His writings have done for me far more than all other reading.
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