Read What Is to Be Done? by Vladimir Lenin Robert Service Joe Fineberg George Hanna Online


Lenin-s work What Is To Be Done? was written at the end of 1901 and early in 1902. In -Where To Begin-, published in Iskra, No. 4 (May 1901), Lenin said that the article represented -a skeleton plan to be developed in greater detail in a pamphlet now in preparation for print-.Lenin began the actual writing of the book in the autumn of 1901. In his -Preface to the PamphletLenin-s work What Is To Be Done? was written at the end of 1901 and early in 1902. In -Where To Begin-, published in Iskra, No. 4 (May 1901), Lenin said that the article represented -a skeleton plan to be developed in greater detail in a pamphlet now in preparation for print-.Lenin began the actual writing of the book in the autumn of 1901. In his -Preface to the Pamphlet Documents of the -Unity- Conference-, written in November 1901, Lenin said that the book was in preparation -to be published in the near future-. In December Lenin published (in Iskra, No. 12) his article -A Talk with Defenders of Economism-, which he later called a conspectus of What Is To Be Done? He wrote the Preface to the book in February 1902 and early in March the book was published by Dietz in Stuttgart. An announcement of its publication was printed in Iskra, No. 18, March 10, 1902.In republishing the book in 1907 as part of the collection Twelve Years, Lenin omitted Section A of Chapter V, -Who Was Offended by the Article -Where To Begin,-- stating in the Preface that the book was being published with slight abridgements, representing the omission solely of details of the organisational relationships and minor polemical remarks. Lenin added five footnotes to the new edition.The text of this volume is that of the 1902 edition, verified with the 1907 edition.source: Marxists Internet Archive...

Title : What Is to Be Done?
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ISBN : 9780140181265
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Number of Pages : 272 Pages
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What Is to Be Done? Reviews

  • C
    2018-10-13 02:11

    I don’t get it. Not that book, that I get. What I don’t get is why every popular Marxist book I read, I come away with an entirely different reading than the main stream interpretation? I don’t possess faculties other do not, so what is it? Does Marxism make them look a little too hard in the mirror? Are the concepts too abstract? Is the moral duty put upon their shoulders too heavy?If you’ve heard about this book, and you probably have, you think you know it’s a book all about how to establish an authoritarian vanguard party that works for the interest of the working class alone, to usher in some kind of despotic and nefarious branch of undemocratic communism. If we follow the trail of who told you this, and who told them that, all the way back until we find someone who actually read the book, where will we end up? Maybe Jay Edgar Hoover’s office? Again I don’t know. A long game of ‘telephone’ exist around this book, which really ought to be quelled by individuals doing their own reading. It doesn’t help of course that Robert Service, a member of Reagan’s cabinet I believe, wrote the curt two page introduction. Really two pages? One of the most historical influential works of the 20th century warrants a two page introduction by someone who occupies the polar opposite political spectrum. Although this is a political book about how to foment revolution, it is not a treatise like Locke, Hobbe’s or Rousseau, it does not pretend to be ahistorical or maximizing universal rights. There is no state of nature, and no serious speculation on how things ought to look. This book deals with extremely contemporary issues of Lenin’s day. As a result, it can be rather confusing, or at least, circumspect. Lenin is constantly citing newspaper and propaganda articles that the reader will not have access too. The names, and journalist he is referring too, are primarily people no one in the 21st century has heard of. Lenin is arguing against the reformist economist movement. This is a movement that believes Russia only needs stronger trade unions, and union activist, and believes this movement can arise from the spontaneity of the working class. Just as Occupy Wall Street ballooned up, rather spontaneously, without any serious prediction, the economists believe these sorts of movements, especially those that revolve around Trade Union activism, are what Russia needs. Moreover, the best trade union activism can do is make exploitation more bearable, but it cannot eradicate it wholesale. Therefore the economists are complicit in exploitation, and lack the courage to do their duty to end it. It’s ironic that unlike Marx, Lenin constantly refers to ending exploitation as his moral imperative, and duty. Let’s be frank, Occupy at best achieved a MINOR change in political narrative. End of story. Lenin would lobby the same criticism, with more venom and erudition, and he does, at the economist. If you really want revolution, not reform, you need to steer the revolution, there needs to be control, and understanding, not spontaneity without direction. It’s easier to squash the latter, harder to squash the former. Moreover, you need theory. All revolutions of Lenin’s day, and of ours, are focused on politics and economics, but they have no deep theories to them. When one really delves into the essence of Liberal and Conservative, Libertarian, and Republican, there is nothing stark to define these differences. They don’t account for how society works either, they merely talk about the role of the individual, not how he came to be, why he does what he does, and when and how he can transcend his present relations. Lenin thinks we need something deeper than economics and politics, we need to synthesize it with theory, and of course that theory is Marxism (amen). Let’s get to the major controversy though. Wasn’t Lenin just advocating authoritarianism that guided the daft working class along? No. Lenin was quite convinced that revolutionaries could, had, and will continue to arise from the working class. But he wasn’t a romantic, he knew good and well if you spend 11 hours a day with your mind devoted to one menial function, it’s pretty clear you won’t spend the remaining 5 hours of your day brushing up on theory, politics, and economics. It’s the sad fate of liberal capitalism that the best theories most often come from those with undeserved leisure time. Moreover, he believed that his secret party ought to host debates and lectures given by his brand of Marxism, along with attending liberals, democrats, and economist. Once a stage was given to all views present, Lenin believed the theory of his group (the Social-Democrats), would easily prevail, for him this was the vanguard. The vanguard is the group with the most advanced theories and ideas of its day. Not a group of armed thugs.He does recognize that the group must remain underground and secret, and cannot be an open democracy initially. This is not because he prefers authoritarian measures, but because philosophical circles that discuss revolution, student activist, Marxists, etc, were all persecuted by the Tsar. There was no freedom of speech and expression, if you said what Lenin said you went to prison, and were tortured. Therefore, what is the most practical measure to ending the reign of the Tsar? Democracy is not and cannot be that choice. This leaves 21st century readers, growing up in the comforts of their day, with narrow hindsight to easily scoff at Lenin for not being more open. Maybe that scoffing is easy, but it’s going to be a whole lot harder for that same scoffer to openly advocate the rule of the Tsar, and his autocratic regime, that quelled all freedom of speech. Once you realize you cannot, and morally should not, advocate the reign of an autocratic Tsar, you too are left asking what Lenin asked in the title of this book: “What is to be done?”

  • Nathan
    2018-10-18 21:26

    What can be done?a) Go on strike.b) SPAM the world with Zibaldone.c) Boycott (amazon, gr, Burgerville).d) Speak truth to power which doesn't listen.e) Flood the Feed with nsfw book covers like.f) Remind folks that amazon wants to sell advertising space. g) Adblock ; but that's old=school.h) That kind of thing.i) Just go with whatever craziness your imagination might cook up.

  • Rui Coelho
    2018-09-22 00:24

    We get it, Lenin, social-democrats suck. Indeed they do. But besides that, do you have anything else to say? No, just more ramblings about russian social-democrats? Too bad

  • Czarny Pies
    2018-10-16 02:27

    History students have to read this one. After 120 years of socialist theorizing someone had to make it work in practice. Lenin and Stalin did just that The key was to remove all mass input and ensure that a group of professional apparatchiks (i.e. full-time, professional functionary of the Communist Party) be put in place to keep every one under the Party's thumb. It worked brilliantly. In less than ten years a country built on a vague utopian theory was transformed into a highly effective police state untroubled by any form of dissidence.

  • Andrew Fairweather
    2018-09-21 20:25

    "We have noted that the entire student youth of the period was absorbed in Marxism. Of course, these students were not only, or even not so much, interested in Marxism as a theory; they were interested in it as an answer to the question, “What is to be done?”, as a call to take the field against the enemy. These new warriors marched to battle with astonishingly primitive equipment and training. In a vast number of cases they had almost no equipment and absolutely no training. They marched to war like peasants from the plough, armed only with clubs."'What Is To Be Done' takes issue with the opinions expressed by the periodical Rabocheye Dyelo (or, The Workers' Cause) against Iskra (which was co-founded by Lenin). Lenin's critique of RD cites the organization's devotion to "freedom of criticism" at all costs to be a simple mask for weakness of principle, and a belief in the "spontaneity" of uprising of the workers as the main driver for social chance as a "primitive" character in their practice.As to the first point, Iskra's position was declared by its editorial board thusly:"Before we can unite, and in order that we may unite, we must first of all draw firm and definite lines of demarcation. Otherwise, our unity will be purely fictitious, it will conceal the prevailing confusion and binder its radical elimination. It is understandable, therefore, that we do not intend to make our publication a mere storehouse of various views. On the contrary, we shall conduct it in the spirit of a strictly defined tendency. "Essentially, Lenin believes that any truly social democratic movement can only endure with a "stable organization of leaders maintaining continuity." RD, on the other hand, argues against this in favor of an approach which would favor tackling issues important to the workers (as they arose, it seems) rather than promote principles that may serve as a guiding light for a group of "professional revolutionaries." Lenin takes issue with RD's lazy approach to revolution, which would simply wait patiently for the workers to rise up and voice their grievances. Lenin believes that, almost like Plato's dialogue, 'Meno,' it is the duty of professional revolutionaries of the intellectual class to inspire a recollection of the absurdity and unfairness of a decrepit political system which others would call a "matter of course"... where injustice can become so mundane to the working class that it is like the air they breathe. That, in the end, there ought to be no workers or intellectuals, but a mass of professional revolutionaries who are whole-heartedly dedicated to the cause for revolution guided by definitive principles."Wherein, may I ask, did our students “push on” our workers? In the sense that the student brought to the worker the fragments of political knowledge he himself possesses, the crumbs of socialist ideas he has managed to acquire (for the principal intellectual diet of the present-day student, legal Marxism, could furnish only the rudiments, only scraps of knowledge). There has never been too much of such “pushing on from outside”; on the contrary, there has so far been all too little of it in our movement, for we have been stewing too assiduously in our own juice; we have bowed far too slavishly to the elementary “economic struggle of the workers against the employers and the government”. We professional revolutionaries must and will make it our business to engage in this kind of “pushing on” a hundred times more forcibly than we have done hitherto. But the very fact that you select so hideous a phrase as “pushing on from outside” — a phrase which cannot but rouse in the workers (at least in the workers who are as unenlightened as you yourselves) a sense of distrust towards all who bring them political knowledge and revolutionary experience from outside, which cannot but rouse in them an instinctive desire to resist all such people — proves you to be demagogues, and demagogues are the worst enemies of the working class."What really bothers Lenin is not simply RD's lack of willingness to lead on principle, but the fact that they "sought to justify their backwardness by all manner of high-flown arguments." The RD turned a half measures into a principled stance insisting on the necessary "practicality" of measures taken. No, the movement must have principles, according to Lenin, and that the network of professional revolutionaries must be a secret network of trustworthy individuals—we must not forget, this is autocratic Russia!It hardly needs mentioning that Lenin's times were much different than our own. I'd probably throw out "working classes" for "debtor classes," vs "asset classes" &c.. But there's a lot here that is very useful for our own times, especially ever since the Arab Spring, which seemed to inspire an undue confidence in the "spontaneity" of movements. At the moment, the so-called left is incredibly allergic to the idea of "organization," since this would require a program guided by principle. At the moment, there seems to be an undue emphasis on "freedom of expression," which might as well be another term for "freedom of criticism." Indeed, it is this emphasis on freedom of expression/criticism that conjoins the so-called left and the right in this country in a seething embrace—one must always look past petty differences when taking a critical eye and understand the way in which contradictions face each other. The one thing that unites use in these "two Americas" is the terrific fear of those who don't respect or observe as valid our modes of self expression, or, to put it in terms the right is likely to use, our "way of life."The question becomes whether or not one sees the outrage of of the "average person" to be enough to incite a movement which would lead to effective change for the benefit of the debtor classes of the day. Personally, I don't think outrage is enough. In Lenin's own words,"To establish and consolidate the Party means to establish and consolidate unity among all Russian Social-Democrats, and, for the reasons indicated above, such unity can not be decreed, it cannot be brought about by a decision, say, of a meeting of representatives; it must be worked for. In the first place, it is necessary to work for solid ideological unity which should eliminate discordance and confusion that—let us be frank!—reign among Russian Social-Democrats at the present time. This ideological unity must be consolidated by a Party programme. Secondly, we must work to achieve an organisation especially for the purpose of establishing and maintaining contact among all the centres of the movement, of supplying complete and timely information about the movement, and of delivering our newspapers and periodicals regularly to all parts of Russia. Only when such an organisation has been founded, only when a Russian socialist post has been established, will the Party possess a sound foundation and become a real fact, and, therefore, a mighty political force. We intend to devote our efforts to the first half of this task, i.e., to creating a common literature, consistent in principle and capable of ideologically uniting revolutionary Social-Democracy, since we regard this as the pressing demand of the movement today and a necessary preliminary measure towards the resumption of Party activity."I see the so-called left and the right, which both contain a dissident impulse as very, very confused. To an (outrageous!) fault, the so-called left in this country, many of which are of the asset classes, leave the dirty revolutionary business to the oppressed, typically minority, classes, glibly exhorting them to bask in their outrage and degeneracy, while refusing to offer any viable alternatives to the casino capitalism that, let's face it, most of these so-called leftists benefit from. I say, enough! Those with nothing, after all, have nothing but discipline, their bodies to organize. Forget freedom of expression—what truly poses a threat to the system is not a further diffusion of values through freedom of criticism, but a centralization of power in favor of the masses which would be manifest in their discipline, their ability to organize. So, there is much work to be done in terms of organization—but there was also plenty of work in Lenin's time! But let's not have too much confidence in the "spontaneity" of movements. Let us embrace the hard work of organization."Subservience to spontaneity seems to inspire a fear of taking even one step away from what is “accessible” to the masses, a fear of rising too high above mere attendance on the immediate and direct requirements of the masses. Have no fear, gentlemen! Remember that we stand so low on the plane of organisation that the very idea that we could rise too high is absurd!"

  • Michael David
    2018-10-10 03:27

    I am not a Communist.I have the firm belief, however, that before stating what I am not I have to understand what I am against. I thought that to understand Communism I had to read one of its primary sources, so I read one of the two great treatises of Communism (the other one being 'State and Revolution,') also by V. I. Lenin. It wasn't a smooth read: 'What is to be Done?' is full of both passion and vitriol. It is an uncompromising explanation and exhortation to all workers, all proletarians, to revolt not only against the economic constraints then but to overturn the entire status quo of Russia. It is also a portrait of its writer, V. I. Ulyanov, who is known to most people nowadays as Lenin. To summarize the work, Lenin merely writes to tell his hearers not to capitulate and not to be moderate. Change must come from the ground up, and if it will take a centralized, organized workers' party who will revolt against the established social order, so be it. He contrasts his belief to the 'cowardice' of the Economists, who will later on become the Mensheviks: while both wish to change the status quo, the Mensheviks were the offshoot of the Economists that Lenin had spoken about in this treatise. They wished to change the status quo with more moderation, allowing a bourgeois revolution in the process. The aftermath of Lenin's works was a Russia that was both powerful and pitiful. While it had a great standing army, it could barely feed most of its people. While it strove towards scientific progress, most of USSR's people were struggling to survive day-to-day. I'm not saying that its antipode, capitalism, is great, but I'm partial toward it because it gives credit to hard work and diligence. While we cannot have all that we wish to have, I do think our lives will improve if we work hard towards what we desire. In any major idealism, however, sacrifices have to be made. I just think that the sacrifices in capitalism are more benign than the sacrifices in Communism. In the end, some people are just more equal than others.

  • Steven Peterson
    2018-09-22 01:07

    "What Is to Be Done? Burning Questions of Our Movement" is one of V. I. Lenin's most important works. It lays out his strategy of revolutionary change. This slender volume attempts to lay out an approach to revolutionary change. The key actor is the party, to serve as a vanguard for the masses, to make decisions in their name and in their interest. One function of the party is to accelerate the development of class consciousness among the Russian "have notes." Lenin observes that "'Everyone agrees' that it is necessary to develop the political consciousness of the working class. The question is, how that this is to be done and what is required to do it." He responds to his own question: "To bring political knowledge to the workers, the Social-Democrats must go among all classes of the population; they must dispatch units of their army in all directions." This vanguard party would include professional revolutionaries and others, all bound together by the need to foment revolutionary fervor among the masses. In the process, vehicles such as the "'plan for an All-Russian newspaper '. . . is the most practical plan for immediate and all-round preparation of the uprising. . . ." He also identifies as enemies those who would urge slow, evolutionary change. This is, in the end, Lenin's tactical textbook, his blueprint for revolutionary change. As such, it is an important historical and political document. Will readers be convinced by his logic? Many will not, but it is nonetheless important to understand his sense of what is needed to bring about a revolution.

  • Pedro
    2018-10-04 19:16

    It took me sometime to finish this book, not due to it being particularly hard, but due to limited time.I must say i did not enjoyed such a book in a long time. Both as a political piece and as history book this is something worth checking out, well written, easy to get and whit practical advices. The flip side is that you really have understand history in hopes of getting the references and the events.

  • Ⲙⲟϧⲙⲉⲇ
    2018-09-30 00:32

    This book is the prof that the only good communist is a dead one, Lenin was a crazy man, killing every one that may be a threat is not the best thing to do, there must be a bourgeoisie or who is going to mange the business, he have killed the most important people in the society, no wonder the people under the soviet union were starving to death.

  • Rachel
    2018-09-21 19:30

    Mildly fun to read, but are these ideas good ideas?

  • Holly
    2018-10-19 22:32

    Essential reading for anyone organising on the left, and a very relevant guide to dealing with opportunists and reactionaries of both right and left types.

  • Carlos
    2018-10-07 22:12

    En su día fue una llamada a las armas, una lámpara de aceite dirigida hacia donde estaba el fuego para tratar de amalgamar los movimientos revolucionarios en uno solo y así realizar la revolución que, cuando se publicó el texto, era potencial.Ahora bien. Los 100 años que hay entre el texto y hoy no pasan en vano, y se ve cmo un texto mucho más envejecido que lo que podría ser otros pilares del marxismo (pensemos en La ideología alemana). Personalmente, la noción de vanguardia que Lenin esboza aquí siempre me ha repugnado, lo veo como poco menos que un juego de espejos que replica, movimiento a movimiento, el orden jerárquico casi militar para trasladarlo a lo que debería ser la base de una sociedad sin clases.Tal vez es porque soy un hijo de la posmodernidad, pero me resulta paradójico que la frase que Lenin dirige hacia los dogmáticos pueda ser hoy dirigida hacia cualquiera que tome a Lenin como base de la acción política: "A esto contestamos: sí, nuestro movimiento realmente se encuentra en su infancia y, para que llegue con mayor celeridad a la madurez, debe precisamente hacerse intransigente con aquellos que frenan su desarrollo, prosternándose ante la espontaneidad. ¡No hay nada más ridículo y nocivo que presumir de viejo militante que hace ya mucho tiempo pasó por todos los episodios decisivos de la lucha!"

  • Davide Clementi
    2018-09-26 21:02

    Il 'Che Fare?' è un testo fondamentale per comprendere, a 100 anni di distanza dalla Rivoluzione d'Ottobre, non soltanto il partito bolscevico guidato da Lenin ma per gettare uno sguardo su tutta la prassi politica che ha accompagnato e che forse accompagna tuttora i partiti politici.Lenin si muove rapido contro i suoi avversari strettissimi, i socialdemocratici riformisti, colpevoli, secondo lui, di ambire a riforme sociali che non soltanto allontaneranno il proletariato (la classe rivoluzionaria nell'ideologia marxista) ma che non produrranno reali cambiamenti se non quelli concessi dalla stessa borghesia al potere. L'idea di Lenin è che, guidata da un partito d'avanguardia composto da "rivoluzionari di professione" la classe operaia sarà in grado non solo di prendere il potere ma anche e soprattutto di rovesciare lo stato presente delle cose e fondare un ordine nuovo.

  • Oakley
    2018-09-19 21:07

    Parts can be a little dry since Lenin is talking to a particular audience in a historic moment, but overall its extremely prescient concerning the cynicism and lack of faith in the masses most modern 'left' organizations evince in their mostly useless work. On that basis alone it should be studied by any serious revolutionary looking to actually take their work seriously. Its also horribly ironic that bullshit fake-commie organizations like PSL and modern social democrats reprint and appropriate this work and Lenin's words since he basically skewers the absolutely hell out of their terrible dogmatism, vulgar 'insurrectionism', and strictly legal and impotent Economism. But revisionists are the worst traitors anyway.

  • josh
    2018-09-18 21:28

    I think this book is given a bad rap. Lenin certainly goes a bit too far at times about the need for "professional" reovlutionaries, but I think the main point here is how can a unified national party be formed around a national paper in early 1900s Russia. Its filled with excellent points about the need for building a party united by theoretical agreement.

  • Raul Ruiz
    2018-10-09 22:26

    Good ol'Vlad never fails

  • Joan Lesmeister
    2018-10-08 23:08

    What Is To Be Done?--named for the same Chernyshevsky novel that enraged Dostoyevsky sufficiently to produce his first great work, 'Notes from Underground'--is the first of Lenin's classic "manuals" on revolutionary organizing. Unlike Marx, Lenin is not really interested in making the arguments for /why/ capitalism is bad and communism is great; instead he is almost entirely concerned with strategy, writing primarily for contemporary socialists in polemical tones about the various twists and turns of the various Marxist organizations that eventually congealed into the Russian Communist Party. So if you are a non- or anti-communist looking to hear the case for socialism and see if it has any merit, this is not the book for you. On the other hand, if you're a non- or even anti-communist who is interested in any kind of social movement organizing, you might well get a lot out of this book even if it doesn't turn you Red. In that sense it's kind of like a prequel to Alinsky's "Rules For Radicals".All of Lenin's classic works are in the form of polemics against opposing trends in the international socialist movement, and this is no different. In this particular case, a clash between the editorial boards of two emigre Russian socialist newspapers, Rabocheye Dyelo and Iskra, provides the background for a battle between Lenin and a group he terms the "Economists", a predecessor of the Mensheviks. The problem at this time (the late 1890s) was both organizational (the Social Democrats, which later split in Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, was then in its infancy, and beset by police repression) and political (how to connect the "spontaneous" upsurge in trade-unionism and labor unrest with the political struggle against the Tsarist regime). Lenin accuses the Economists of "tailing" the spontaneous movement by trying to make the Social Democrats into the political arm of the trade unions, i.e. to become in practice a party of economic reforms, while effectively leaving the "political struggle" to the liberals, on the basis of a vulgar form of economic determinism.In contrast, Lenin presents his own view of the party as the "vanguard of the proletariat". In the second chapter, he makes his oft-quoted assertion, contra the claims of some Marxists that the development of capitalism spontaneously produces revolutionary consciousness in the proletariat, that the "working class can spontaneously develop only a trade-union consciousness", and that therefore the intervention of a vanguard group of socialist intellectuals is necessary to raise the workers to revolutionary consciousness "from without". These claims lie at the heart of much of the controversy around Lenin, with some claiming (not wholly without justification) that it was an elitist view that laid the groundwork for an undemocratic Communist Party. Nevertheless, I think that his insights on the active role of organized parties on forming the political consciousness of social groups are essential, both from a historical and a practical organizing standpoint. Historically--in that many, not specifically Leninist revolutions conform, "unconsciously" as it were, to the vanguard theory: for example, the role of the bourgeois intelligentsia in the nationalist revolutions of the same period. Practically--in that it challenges to imagine a party that does not merely "represent" existing social groups and social movements, but instead actively intervenes in the movements and the constitution of political subjects, according to a theoretical grasp of their relation to the historical whole.My least favorite part of the book was the chapter on "Freedom of Criticism". Basically, Lenin accuses certain socialists of using the phrases about free-speech to shield the "right-wing" (Bernstein et. al.) of the socialist movement from criticism. Of course, there were many legitimate arguments to be made against the right-wing, as would become even more clear later when the Second International capitulated to WWI. However, Lenin's justification for basically expelling the right-wing from the party are shaky. He compares party ideology to scientific practice, arguing that scientists do not wish for the newest theory to coexist alongside the old theory, but to displace it. However, it is not all clear to me that the Socialist "left-wing" was really on a "scientifically" superior plane, and it even seems to me that in some respects history has borne out Bernstein's hypotheses better than Lenin's. At any rate, politics is not an exact science, and the same epistemology cannot apply.Overall, an important and useful work. Readers should be warned that the literary and political references are quite dense, though if you find early-20th century Russia as fascinating as I do, this may not be a problem.

  • Leonardo
    2018-09-19 03:10

    "... nada mejor que recurrir a los argumentos irrebatibles que nos proporciona uno de sus máximos ideólogos, Vladimir llich ULIANOV, más conocido como LENIN, y para que los marxistas no tengan oportunidad de argüir descargos infundados o nos acusen d e usar pensamientos distorsionados, nos limitaremos a realizar trascripciones fieles de algunos trozos muy significativos del Capítulo IV del l ibro " ¿Qué hacer?", escrito por e l mencionado revolucionario. Por su parte, los lectores asumirán la responsabilidad de realizar una inquisidora e imparcial evaluación de los párratos que presentaremos a continuación y posteriormente nosotros efectuaremos nuestros propios comentarios." La Verdad sobre el Marxismo-Leninismo Pág.15 Trotsky Para Principiantes Pág.19

  • Adrián Sánchez
    2018-09-27 23:02

    Considero que esto es simplemente un rant de Lenin, el problema al que se enfrentaba su corriente ideológica es que debía competir contra otras corrientes socialistas a las que denominaba como oportunistas, solo el ideal de Lenin, inmutable, era capaz de llevar a la clase obrera al control de los medios de producción, tanto así que no acpetaba que "economistas" intervinieran en este proceso porque consideraba que no tenían el conocimiento total de la situación de la clase obrera, por supuesto, todo esto bajo la dirección de un partido capaz de organizar a los obreros para cumplir el propósito, algo que repudiaba Lenin en este libro era la posible "espontaneidad" que se podía generar si los obreros luchaban por su cuenta. También criticaba fuertemente a los medios socialdemocráticos de la época. En fin, me parece un ensayo tedioso en el que Lenin se vuelve muy repetitivo a lo largo de los capítulos y puede llegar a confundir si no se tiene idea del contexto en el que se describen los hechos, afortunadamente la edición que leí tenía suficientes notas de páginas que me guíaban y por supuesto una buena documentación usando google.

  • J.P.
    2018-09-20 23:02

    This seems to be written, as a polemic I guess, against social democrats who would overvalue their place in bureaucracy & criticize movements attempting to organize in such a way as to make their positions less important. Any organization or apparatus must be in service of the people &, when necessary, must help lay the groundwork for every day tasks, not to rule over but, to take an analogy Lenin himself used, to function as a scaffolding to help the overall structure. Waiting on spontaneous uprisings & discontent without footwork to connect workers so they are ready to keep it going when this happens is not the way. The decisions & actions should be calculated, not unintelligible & spontaneous or really on their from bureaucrats.While it is clearly a product of its time & events shows as much through the text as it directed at contemporaries, the overall message is clear: Constant agitation & work is necessary for a bottom up movement in order to possibly have bottom up rule.

  • Yaser Maadat
    2018-09-24 19:16

    كتاب هام يعرض بصفة كبيرة لتطوير لينين للماركسية و التي عرفت فيما بعد بالماركسية اللينينية،اذ يقدم لينين في الكتاب رؤيته في تنظيم و تحفيز جماهير الشعب الروسي و خاصة البروليتاريا العمالية من اجل الثورة بقيادة الاشتراكيين الديموقراطيين و الذين نال المناشفة منهم نقد لينين اللاذع من ناحية محاولة جرهم العمال الى قضايا اقتصادية ثانوية بعيدة عن الهدف السياسي النهائي المتمثل في اقامة المجتمع الاشتراكي.اضافة الى نقد لينين لعدد من الصحف العمالية التي كان يرى فيها مثبطا للعزيمة الثورية لدى العمال الروس،فيما عرض لينين في ذات الوقت رؤيته لاصدار جريدة عامة لعمال روسيا تساهم فيتكوين الوعي الثوري السياسي لدى هؤلاء العمال و تهيؤهم لمجتمع اشتراكية ما بعد الثورة.

  • Jimmy
    2018-10-03 01:30

    A more or less simple concept can be pulled from this rather esoteric polemical rant; make the economic struggle a political one. Of course, this idea can only be introduced to the working class by a privileged member of the leftist, Russian intelligentsia such as Lenin. And naturally it has to be introduced to these people in the convoluted language of a radical Marxist. From John Reed's descriptions of him, Lenin sounded like a powerful enough orator, but reading his words is an entirely different story. What Is to Be Done? is a painfully redundant political pamphlet.

  • Steve
    2018-10-20 02:26

    This is probably Lenin's worst written book, both from a literary and political point of view. From this book came the myth of Lenin's "conspiratorial party" of "professional revolutionaries", which has been taken out of historical context and applied uncritically by so-called Bolshevik groups. Rather than this book sufficing the needs of a small group of scattered revolutionaries into a unified party under the repression of Tsarist Russia, it is used to define "core principles" of Bolshevism.

  • Tony Schmitt
    2018-09-25 02:08

    I was hoping for a nice bit of theory, but it was largely a polemic. I did find it interesting then as a piece of history, and to get a sense of where Lenin stood on issues of the day. The thing that struck me the most was his tone about revolution. These days it's talked about like it may some day happen in the far off future. Lenin, in 1901-02, sounded like the revolution was right around the corner, which for him it was, but he didn't know that. It makes me wonder what a change in tone could do for the modern movement.

  • Ryan
    2018-10-15 23:04

    At this point this is more of a window into a slice of history, specifically inside the Social-Democratic Party, than it is a theoretical work that speaks to the current conditions. Still, I would recommend it to people interested in discussions around the topic of illegal work, something that(foolishly) doesn't receive much consideration inside the centers of global capitalism.

  • Sean Chick
    2018-09-18 23:04

    Strange book in that many paragraphs drone on about old socialist debates and arcane theory. Then, there are paragraphs that cut right to the heart of the matter. Should be read by those on the left. They can clearly see that only political action based on some kind of faith, is capable of success. It is a lesson the American right has taken to heart.

  • Sebastian Villegas
    2018-09-21 01:09

    Finally, such tough, hard reading! considering that i'm pretty knowledgeable about this kind of topics, this read was terrible for me, I dont know to much about the previous social democrats organization in the eastern of europe, indeed I learned a lot! I'll rate it 3 but could be 5 but i didn't know to much about those process of agitation.

  • Wildebeest Dormington
    2018-10-14 20:28

    The top-down approach was certainly difficult to "think around" at the time, but it ended up turning a good revolution into a totalitarian state. Educated folks need probably ought not to pretend that we know what's best for everyone else. In some respects we do; in many, we're just out-of-touch.

  • Roger Cottrell
    2018-09-19 20:27

    An important historical document (for all that no party exactly like this was ever built in Russia before the revolution) but ultimately flawed and in no way a blueprint for building a socialist alternative in the 21st century. My cry is Luxembourg, Luxembourg, Luxembourg!

  • Nasr Hussein
    2018-10-02 21:30

    الكتاب نقد للاشتراكية الديمقراطية اللى كانت بتحاول تصرف العمال للنضال الاقتصادي فقط، رسالة لاسال اللى فى اول الكتاب لماركس بتعطي الفكرة الاساسية للكتاب بالاضافة لنقد الجرائد اليسارية الغير موحدة فى روسيا و نقد للحركات المدعية لليسارية