[Marxism] Lenin on the character of the coming revolution

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Jan 10 13:21:29 MST 2006


Marxists are absolutely convinced of the bourgeois character of the Russian 
revolution. What does this mean? It means that the democratic reforms in 
the political system and the social and economic reforms, which have become 
a necessity for Russia, do not in themselves imply the undermining of 
capitalism, the undermining of bourgeois rule; on the contrary, they will, 
for the first time, really clear the ground for a wide and rapid, European, 
and not Asiatic, development of capitalism; they will, for the first time, 
make it possible for the bourgeoisie to rule as a class. The 
Socialist-Revolutionaries cannot grasp this idea, for they are ignorant of 
the rudiments of the laws of development of commodity and capitalist 
production; they fail to see that even the complete success of a peasant 
insurrection, even the redistribution of the whole of the land for the 
benefit of the peasants and in accordance with their desires ("Black 
Redistribution" or something of that kind), will not destroy capitalism at 
all, but will, on the contrary, give an impetus to its development and 
hasten the class disintegration of the peasantry itself. The failure to 
grasp this truth makes the Socialist-Revolutionaries unconscious 
ideologists of the petty bourgeoisie. Insistence on this truth is of 
enormous importance for Social-Democracy, not only from the theoretical 
standpoint but also from the standpoint of practical politics, for from it 
follows that the complete class independence of the party of the 
proletariat in the present "general democratic" movement is obligatory.

But it does not at all follow from this that a democratic revolution 
(bourgeois in its social and economic substance) is not of enormous 
interest for the proletariat. It does not at all follow from this that the 
democratic revolution cannot take place in a form advantageous mainly to 
the big capitalist, the financial magnate and the "enlightened" landlord, 
as well as in a form advantageous to the peasant and to the worker.

full: http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1905/tactics/ch06.htm

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