Lenin and the Vanguard Party

James, C.L.R.
http://www2.cddc.vt.edu/marxists/archive/james-clr/works/1963/lenin-vanguard.htm

Publisher:  Controversy
Year Published:  1963  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX8030

To believe that Bolshevism, or to be more precise, Leninism, would under the circumstances advocate or preach the theory of the vanguard party is to continue slander of Leninism, but not to his theory of the party (that is no longer viable) but to his central doctrine - the role of the proletariat in the preservation of society from barbarism. To interpret Leninism as the advocacy of a vanguard party of three million is nearly as bad as the doctrine of Goebbels that Christ was not a Jew. Objective circumstances in Russia forced Lenin into a certain position. He accepted it without apologising for it. He knew what he was doing and he knew also, for he said it many times, what he was not doing. His doubts about it, not only for other countries but for Russia, he made public many, many times.

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