(Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov)
A Marxist theoretician and revolutionary, born in Russia, whose early life was characterized by a more or less orthodox Marxism . However, from the late 1890s he developed a distinctive interpretation of Marx's ideas which has since carried his name. His major works are The Development of Capitalism in Russia(1899), commonly held to be his most reputable scholarly piece, What is to be Done? (1902), Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916), and State and Revolution (1917).
Much of his writing is of historical and partisan interest only. However, a number of his ideas have been debated by sociologists, most notably his thesis that labour movements (such as trade unions ) are inevitably reformist, seeking only an accommodation with capitalism that improves the workers' lot, so that revolutionary activity on behalf of the proletariat requires the ‘vanguard’ of a revolutionary party. The Party will then impose a ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’, assist the workers to transcend their ‘trad-union consciousness’ by developing a true (revolutionary) class consciousness, and so eliminate the intra-class divisions (‘working-class sectionalism’) that undermines the development of communism . A historical application of this thesis to the class struggles in nineteenth-century Britain (, Class Struggle and the Industrial Revolution, 1974) has provoked a heated debate about the nature of the so-called labour aristocracy in early capitalism.
Lenin also offered an influential analysis of imperialism ; a model of ‘democratic centralism’, in which lower party and state organizations were accountable to higher ones, with authority resting at the centre in the name of the dictatorship of the proletariat; and a theory of ‘uneven development’ which challenged the notion that the transition from traditional society to modernization is via a smooth and unilinear trajectory. All of these have been debated well beyond the confines of Marxist intellectual circles.
Lenin was the leader of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and, until his early death from a stroke, the leading politician in the new USSR. Whether everything that flowed out of that revolution finds its origins in Leninism-his particular marriage of revolutionary commitment, Marxist theory, and Russian reality-is still an open (and much debated) question. A useful short introduction to his life and work is Robert Conquest's Lenin(1972).

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lenin — Lenin,   Wladimir Iljitsch, seit etwa 1901 politischer Deckname von W. I. Uljạnow, russischer Revolutionär und Politiker, * Simbirsk 22. 4. 1870, ✝ Gorki (bei Moskau) 21. 1. 1924; drittes von sechs Kindern einer Intellektuellenfamilie; der Vater …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Lenin — (Ленин) (Simbirsk, 10 (22) de abril de 1870 21 de enero de 1924), seudónimo de Vladímir Ilich Uliánov (Владимир Ильич Ульянов), dirigente revolucionario ruso y líder del partido bolchevique. Fue el primer mandatario de la Unión Soviética y el… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Lenin — [len′in; ] Russ [ lye′nyin] V(ladimir) I(lyich) (orig., surname Ulyanov; formerly often referred to in error as Nikolai Lenin) 1870 1924; Russ. leader of the Communist revolution of 1917: premier of the U.S.S.R. (1917 24) …   English World dictionary

  • Lenin — Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Lenin — pseudonym or alias chosen c.1902 (for publishing clandestine political works in exile) by Russian revolutionary Vladimir Il ich Ulyanov (1870 1924). Related: Leninist (1917); Leninism (1918) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Lenin — Wladimir Iljitsch Lenin, 1920 Wladimir Iljitsch Uljanow (russisch Владимир Ильич Ульянов, wiss. Transliteration Vladimir Il ič Ul janov, Kampfname Lenin, russisch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lenin — Vladímir Ilich Uliánov Владимир Ильич Ленин 1.er Presidente del Consejo de Comisarios del Pueblo …   Wikipedia Español

  • Lenin — Lénine Pour les articles homonymes, voir Lénine (homonymie). Lénine …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lenin — noun Russian founder of the Bolsheviks and leader of the Russian Revolution and first head of the USSR (1870 1924) • Syn: ↑Vladimir Lenin, ↑Nikolai Lenin, ↑Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, ↑Vladimir Ilich Lenin, ↑Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, ↑Vladimir Ilich… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Lenin — /len in/; Russ. /lye nyin/, n. V(ladimir) I(lyich) /vlad euh mear il yich/; Russ. /vlu dyee myirdd ee lyeech /, (Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov) ( N. Lenin ), 1870 1924, Russian revolutionary leader: Soviet premier 1918 24. * * * ▪ ship       world s… …   Universalium

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