Leninism

Discipline: Political Science

Theory of politics, socialism, and revolution of the Russian revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924).

States are tailor-made for the societies they govern. Socialists cannot therefore adapt a capitalist state to socialist or communist purposes, but must replace it with a new structure, the dictatorship of the proletariat. In working for this end, the working class might not be sufficiently aware of their own true or best interests, and would therefore be led by a vanguard party.

Leninism has become a derogatory term to indicate elitist or undemocratic forms of socialism.

Source:
David Miller el al., eds, The Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Political Thought (Oxford, 1987)

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