Socialist Worker

Lenin


Lessons from Lenin

20 October 2009
Whether supporting the post workers, trying to stop the fascists, or campaigning to end the war in Afghanistan, people may well encounter members of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), intervening in and assisting these struggles.

Why read Lenin today?

09 December 2008
About 40 years ago, an ageing relative gave me a leaflet from 1925. Under the heading "Lenin Lives!" it urged us to "come en masse" to New York’s Madison Square Garden for a Sunday afternoon event.

Analysing imperialism and resisting the First World War

18 September 2007
In August 1914 the First World War broke out in Europe. Lenin, the Russian Bolshevik leader, had long argued that a war could create a revolutionary situation in which workers would rise up against the barbarism.

The art of intervening in shifting struggle

26 June 2007
The revolution in Russia in February 1917 created a very unstable situation with two sources of power – the provisional government and the soviets, or workers’ councils. Lenin called this "dual power".

A mass party born in the 1905 Revolution

12 June 2007
In the first few years of the 20th century, Lenin argued the case for a democratic and centralised revolutionary party made up of committed activists who could bring socialist politics to workers' struggles.

When spontaneous struggle is not enough

05 June 2007
The name Lenin tends to elicit two very different reactions from today’s anti-capitalists. As an uncompromising revolutionary, dedicated to the cause, Lenin remains an inspiring figure to this day.

A stark choice: Leninism or liberalism

15 April 2006
A stark choice: Leninism or liberalism

Lenin for the 21st century

24 September 2005
One of the best things about the current anti-war movement is the range of people involved. Nuns, Muslims and atheists march together in good-humoured unity. But one face that hasn’t been very visible is Lenin’s. If he appears at all, it is on banners alongside Stalin and Mao Zedong — company he would have detested.

The myth of Mao

18 June 2005
Many people on the left once saw the Chinese leader Mao Zedong as a great revolutionary — in the same league as Marx, Engels and Lenin. They carried Mao’s portrait on many of the demonstrations across the world in the late 1960s.

Who murdered this left wing leader?

29 January 2005
A popular left wing leader in the assembly of the Indian state of Jharkhand was assassinated by gunmen on 16 January. Mahendra Singh, a leading member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), was killed as he prepared to run for his fourth successive term in office.

Aleksander Rodchenko wanted a design for a new life

22 January 2005
In the winter of 1921 the Russian socialist leader Lenin made a trip to a new art school. The art school had a progressive and experimental curriculum, where questions of art and design were annexed to the needs of the Soviet state. A student told Lenin that they were trying to figure out how art and politics could be linked.

Vladimir Lenin: how to organise for a successful revolution

04 September 2004
THERE HAVE been many revolutions over the past 100 years. Every revolution has shown the potential power of ordinary people, but most have ended in defeat, compromise or simply a replacement of personnel at the top.

Why revolutionaries oppose all oppression

28 August 2004
OVER 100 years ago, Lenin argued that the model for revolutionaries "should not be the trade union secretary, but the tribune of the people, who is able to react to every manifestation of tyranny and oppression, no matter where it appears, no matter what stratum or class of the people it affects".

Vladimir Lenin: Revolutionary ideas for the 21st century

21 August 2004
Eighty years after his death, Lenin is still getting a bad press.

Successful revolution depends on organisation

17 July 2004
REVOLUTIONS DO not break out just because of the efforts of groups of socialists, I pointed out last week. They occur because great social crises create situations in which, as the Russian revolutionary Lenin put it, "the lower classes do not want to live in the old way" and "the upper classes" are "unable to live in the old way" any longer.

What's Lenin got to do with our struggle now?

09 August 2003
STRATEGIES AND tactics sometimes seem like dirty words to young activists getting involved in the movement today. They see tactics as something used to fool people. People say, why can't we just confront our enemies head on? But the new movement, born at Seattle in 1999, has already had to face tactical questions.

Two systems thrown into question

26 July 2003
Good Bye Lenin! Director: Wolfgang Becker

A tradition of true democracy

22 March 2003
MANY YEARS ago when the benefits of parliamentary democracy were shared by very few of the world's population, the Russian revolutionary Lenin pointed to a fundamental problem. He argued that "hidden beneath the polished exterior of modern democracy are deceit, violence, corruption, mendacity, hypocrisy and oppression of the poor". Tony Blair's New Labour has managed to illustrate each one of them in six short years. One measure of the outcome is the declining number of people who vote in elections.

Gripping read of a besieged city

22 June 2002
THE SIEGE, by Helen Dunmore, is a novel set in the winter-long blockade of Leningrad in Russia by Nazi forces during the Second World War. It has just come out in paperback. It follows the story of a young woman, Anna. Her mother died in childbirth. Now Anna works in a nursery, and cares for her five year old brother and ageing father.

A different kind of party altogether

08 June 2002
THE RICH and powerful always want to put us off the idea of revolution. They have consciously promoted the argument that in Russia the revolution led to terror and dictatorship, that Lenin led to Stalin. This idea has been encouraged for decades and by a wide range of people. Writers who supported the old Stalinist rulers of Russia continually promoted the argument that Lenin led to Stalin.

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