Lenin's Electoral Strategy from 1907 to the October Revolution of 1917: The Ballot, the Streets_or Both

Lenin's Electoral Strategy from 1907 to the October Revolution of 1917: The Ballot, the Streets_or Both

Language: English

Pages: 281

ISBN: 1137393785

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This book is the first full-length study of Lenin's party building project and writings on elections, looking in detail at his leadership of the Bolshevik wing of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party in the four state Dumas from 1906 to the beginning of the First World War.

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than a decade of such work, and it was the former who were most consistent in doing so and who thus reaped the benefits in October 1917. One of the lessons of October is that successful recruitment of the rank and file of the military to the revolutionary cause helps minimize the amount of bloodshed in taking state power. There is no reason to assume that Lenin’s perspective is any less relevant today. Egypt’s edition of the Arab Spring illustrates what happens— taking into account the

accident that near the top of the requirements for membership in the pre-Stalinist Comintern—the famous, or infamous, depending on one’s politics, “twenty-one conditions”—was the fourth: “The duty to disseminate communist ideas carries with it a special obligation to conduct vigorous and systematic propaganda in the army.” In the United States, certainly, where thousands join the military to find employment due to the crisis, many of them tragically and increasingly take their own lives—the

inevitable at the outset, overcoming skepticism and indifference, forging the weapon of revolutionary propaganda and agitation of organized class struggle, so valued by all Social-Democrats.”56 The progress the fraction was making had much to do with the careful attention not only to political perspective but to details that Lenin provided. No better example of that were the corrections and suggestions he made on behalf of a Central Committee “subcommittee”—no doubt the aforementioned “Promotion

“disease” within the German movement. His reaction to the vote, “a feeling of the most bitter disappointment,” suggests as much: “The responsibility for thus disgracing socialism falls primarily on the German Social-Democrats.”3 This wholesale “betrayal,” as he and many other social democrats called it, of the basic principles of Marxism was soon recognized as a watershed in the history of the movement. For Lenin it was a teaching moment, as he explained to Kollantai at the end of the year: “The

and what would become twentieth-century social democracy on the other side. Last, the head-start program the founders of the modern communist movement left to Lenin on electoral/parliamentary politics goes a long way toward explaining why the Bolsheviks were hegemonic in October 1917. (1) It’s possible that someone else did more than Lenin to use the electoral and parliamentary arenas for revolutionary ends—but there is Conclusion 151 no written record of such a person. What does the record

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