Academic journal article Independent Review

Letter to the Editor

Academic journal article Independent Review

Letter to the Editor

Article excerpt

Paul R. Gregory's account of Lenin's suppression of dissident voices ("The Ship of Philosophers," The Independent Review 13, no. 4 [spring 2009]: 485-92) offers no explanation except that dictators fear dissent.

Lenin, however, had an additional reason to brook no dissent. In 1917, he had startled the Marxist world when he seized power in Russia in the name of a socialist proletariat that did not exist. He justified his action by intending an immediate transition to socialist economic organization, thereby putting in place the material conditions necessary for the success of the Bolshevik Revolution.

The failure of the transition to socialism left Lenin with the dilemma of a socialist political superstructure resting on the untenable foundation of commodity production. According to Marx's doctrine of historical materialism, people's consciousness is determined by the mode of production of material life. The Marxian inconsistency of Lenin's revolution with the underlying mode of production made Lenin feel very vulnerable. He reasoned that the political revolution could be maintained for an unspecified period by Communist Party control of the "commanding heights. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.