Waving a copy of this book, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez told the 772 delegates assembled on November 21, 2009, for the opening session of the First Extraordinary Congress of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) that he agreed with the book’s central message, i.e., that it was necessary “to create a new revolutionary state from below that is a real mechanism for the construction of socialism of the 21st century”. Chavez recommended that the delegates read Lenin’s book as a theoretical guide for how to accomplish this task.
Introductions to Books
This is the second of two volumes of key writings by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin published by Resistance Books covering the birth of Bolshevism as a political trend and a party organisation. The first volume contained the main works written by Lenin from 1899 through 1902 in which he polemicised against the opportunist “economist” current then dominant among the adherents of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party. The second volume covers the period from the second congress of the RSDLP in August 1903 to the setting up of the Bolshevik party organisation (officially called the Bureau of Majority Committees) in December 1904.
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was the founder and, until his death in January 1924, the central leader of the Bolshevik Party. Without the leadership of the Bolshevik Party, the Russian workers would not have been able to conquer power in November (October in the Julien calendar then still in effect in Russia) 1917 and create the world’s first workers state. The world historic significance of the October 1917 Revolution is that for the first time it proved it was possible for the working class to take power and replace capitalism with a new social order, and the workers could forge out of their ranks a political party that was capable of leading that revolutionary struggle to victory.
Among Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s most outstanding contributions to the theory and practice of Marxism are his writings on nationalism and the national question.
Assembled in this volume are a comprehensive selection, presented in chronological order, of Lenin’s writings on this subject covering the period from the preparations for the second congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party in 1903 to the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in December 1922.
Post-structuralism, the philosophical rationale of contemporary “post-modernist discourse”, presents itself as a radically new view of the world. However, in many ways it is simply a reincarnation of existentialism, which conceives of nature and society as dominated by accident and chance and stresses the meaningless of human existence.
The establishment in Russia of a revolutionary workers’ and peasants’ government by the second Congress of Soviets on November 8, 1917 (October 26, 1917 in the Julian calendar which remained in effect in Russia until January 1918) and the subsequent dissolving by the Soviet government of the first democratically-elected parliament in Russia (the Constituent Assembly) polarised the working-class movement around the world.
This book by Frederick Engels explains the origins of the modem socialist movement. It is probably the most influential work expounding the basic ideas of Marxism, other than the Communist Manifesto.
As Engels himself explains in his introduction to the first English edition, published in 1892, it was drawn from three chapters of his 1878 book Anti-Dühring, a polemic against the views of Eugen Dühring, a professor at Berlin University. In his lectures and numerous writings which flooded the book market after 1869, Dühring claimed to be the originator of a “revolution in science” which superseded Marxism.
This work was written by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin in April 1920 and published in booklet form in Russian in June 1920, and in English, French and German the following month. The manuscript of the booklet was entitled: “An Attempt to Conduct a Popular Discussion on Marxist Strategy and Tactics”. Copies of it were given to each delegate attending the 2nd Congress of the Communist International held in Petrograd (St. Petersburg) and Moscow between July 19 and August 7, 1920.
The term “imperialism” came into common usage in England in the 1890s as a development of the older term “empire” by the advocates of a major effort to extend the British Empire in opposition to the policy of concentrating on national economic development, the supporters of which the advocates of imperialism dismissed as “Little Englanders”. The term was rapidly taken into other languages to describe the contest between rival European states to secure colonies and spheres of influence in Africa and Asia, a contest that dominated international politics from the mid-1880s to 1914, and caused this period to be named the “age of imperialism”.
Lenin’s purpose in writing this work was, as he stated at the beginning of chapter 1, to clearly demonstrate the “unprecedentedly widespread distortion of Marxism” on the question of the state and the proletarian revolution then prevailing in the international socialist movement by re-establishing what Marx and Engels themselves had written on this subject. Most of the book therefore takes the form of an extended commentary, with extensive quotations, on the writings of Marx and Engels. It then deals with the person “who is chiefly responsible for these distortions”, namely, Karl Kautsky, the editor of Neue Zeit, the theoretical journal of the German Social-Democratic Party (SPD) and the best-known leader of the Second International, the international association of socialist parties founded in Paris in 1889.