The Russian Revolution, and Leninism or Marxism?

The Russian Revolution, and Leninism or Marxism?

The Russian Revolution, and Leninism or Marxism?

The Russian Revolution, and Leninism or Marxism?

Excerpt

By Bertram D. Wolfe

ROSA Luxemburg and V. I. Lenin were born in the same year, 1870, and their lives were destined to touch and cross at many points. Though they were both called "revolutionary" socialists, their diverse temperaments and their differing attitudes on the nature of socialist leadership, on party organization, and on the initiative and self-activity of the working class, kept them poles apart. Indeed, the two short works which make up the present volume are sharply critical appraisals of Lenin's penchant for personal dictatorship over his party, the dictatorship of his Central Committee over its locals, and the dictatorship of his party and its leaders over the working class and society as a whole. These critiques from Rosa Luxemburg's pen are among the most important works to have come out of the Socialist or Second International, for, without ever using the word or the concept, totalitarianism, Rosa Luxemburg had a prescient feeling for the totalitarian potential in Lenin's views. Today, as we look at the party and the state which Lenin founded, we can no longer doubt that in this controversy Rosa Luxemburg was prophetically right.

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