Louis Proyect on Paul Le Blanc on Kevin Anderson on Lenin on Hegel

Adam Rose adam at pmel.com
Tue Oct 1 03:09:31 MDT 1996

Louis writes re: a peasant road to socialism.

> During the discussion period I stated that this theme did not end with
> Marx. Lenin himself started out implicitly rejecting Marx's hopes
> when he attacked Russian populists who had similar beliefs, but
> reversed himself late in life.

Did he ? I don't think so.

He rejected Marx's suggestion that there could be a peasant road
to socialism in Russia. He drew the conclusion that the coming
revolution would therefore be a capitalist one, although he
insisted that the bourgeoisie itself would not lead its own

>From April 1917 onwards, he repudiated the view that the Russian
Revolution would be a bourgeois one. Instead he argued that it
would be a workers revolution, based on soviet power.

At no stage did he revert to any idea that the peasantry could
lead the fight for socialism. The contradiction between an
overwhelmingly peasant population and a revolution lead by
a small minority, the working class, could only be solved
by revolution in "at least one or two other European countries".

Any idea that peasants can lead a socialist revolution is a departure
>from Lenin. This may or may not be a good thing, and needs to be argued
on its own merits. But there is absolutely no evidence to suggest
that Lenin changed his mind on this question.


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