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Leninism Triumphant

  • Leonard Schapiro

Abstract

Lenin had first formulated his doctrine on the organization of the social democratic party in 1902. This is what he wrote in September of that year to a party worker in a letter which was reproduced and widely circulated:

While in the matter of ideology and of practical control of the movement and of the revolutionary struggle we need the maximum possible centralization for the proletariat, so far as concerns information on the movement the centre needs the maximum possible decentralization. … We must centralize control over the movement. We must likewise … decentralize as much as possible the responsibility before the party of each individual member. … We must particularly bear in mind … the centre will be powerless if we do not at the same time put into effect the maximum decentralization both as regards responsibility to the centre, and as regards information at the centre on all the wheels and little cogs of the party machine. … In order that the centre should be able not only to advise, to persuade, and to argue (as we have been doing up till now) but really to direct the orchestra, it is essential for it to know in detail who plays what fiddle and where, what instrument he has studied and is studying, and where, who is playing out of tune, and where, and why (when the music begins to grate on the ear), and who should be transferred, and how and whither he should be transferred in order to get rid of the discord, and so forth.1

Keywords

Trade Union Communist Party Socialist Revolution Marxist Theory Party Organization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Leonard Schapiro 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonard Schapiro

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