Essential Works of Lenin: "What Is to Be Done?" and Other Writings
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
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His first major work was The Development of Capitalism in Russia, written in prison after Lenin had been arrested for anti-government activities in 1895. Represented here by key sections, the book developed a number of crucial concepts, including the significance of the industrial proletariat as a revolutionary base. What Is to Be Done?, long regarded as the key manual of Communist action, is presented complete, containing Lenin's famous dissection of the Western idea of the political party along with his own concept of a monolithic party organization devoted to achieving the goal of dictatorship of the proletariat. Also presented complete is Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, in which Lenin examines the final "parasitic" stage of capitalism. Finally, this volume includes the complete text of The State and Revolution, Lenin's most significant work, in which he totally rejects the institutions of Western democracy and presents his vision of the final perfection of Communism.
For anyone who seeks to understand the twentieth century, capitalism, the Russian revolution, and the role of Communism in the tumultuous political and social movements that have shaped the modern world, the essential works of Lenin offer unparalleled insight and understanding. Taken together, they represent a balanced cross-section of this revolutionary theories of history, politics, and economics; his tactics for securing and retaining power; and his vision of a new social and economic order.
social economic order. We must take special note of the four principal forms of monopoly, or the four principal manifestations of monoply capitalism, which are characteristic of the period under review. 1) Monopoly arose out of the concentration of production at a very advanced stage of development. This refers to the monopolist capitalist combines: cartels, syndicates and trusts. We have seen the important role these play in modern economic life. At the beginning of the twentieth century,
further on, in a chapter devoted specially to distortions. Here it will be sufficient to note that the current vulgar “interpretation” of Marx’s famous utterance quoted above is that Marx here emphasizes the idea of gradual development in contradistinction to the seizure of power, and so on. As a matter of fact, exactly the opposite is the case. Marx’s idea is that the working class must break up, smash the “ready-made state machinery,” and not confine itself merely to laying hold of it. On
unnecessary under socialism. Such a seemingly clever but really incorrect statement might be made in regard to any democratic institution, including moderate salaries for officials; because fully consistent democracy is impossible under capitalism, and under socialism all democracy withers away. It is a sophism that is similar to the old humorous problem: will a man become bald if he loses one more hair? To develop democracy to its logical conclusion, to find the forms for this development, to
themselves, it ceases to be a “political state,” the “public functions will lose their political character and be transformed into ... simple administrative functions” (cf. above, chapter IV, §2, Engels “Controversy With the Anarchists”).
dexterity in his profession, his outlook becomes wider, his knowledge increases, he observes the prominent political leaders from other localities and other parties, he strives to rise to their level and combine within himself the knowledge of working class environment and freshness of socialist convictions with professional skill, without which the proletariat cannot carry on a stubborn struggle with the excellently trained enemy. Only in this way can men of the stamp of Bebel and Auer be