Posted: November 27th, 2013
Lenin believed that revolution ought to be pursued on a much broader sense than the current way that the working class was trying. During this time, there was great disparity between the haves and the have-nots or as Lenin describes them, “the propertied and the non propertied” (Lenin, n.d.). To make the differences a little more even, the working classes were forming trade organizations to use them as their bargaining tools. They used these unions to ask for better wages, working conditions. He argued that this was not the most effective way of pursuing a revolution.
He advised the working class to form political parties in order to advance their Marxist ideas. Revolutions can only be brought about by dedicated revolutionaries who formed political parties to fight the political battles. According to his thoughts, political battles could not be fought through economic means but by political means. Lenin was of the social democracy ideology. He believed in a revolution but also believed in a peaceful revolution. His thought was that revolutions ought to be advanced through political means and not with militancy, violence or totalitarianism to propagate the revolution.
Lenin viewed trade unions as source of enlightment. He believed that the working class was still not ready for a revolution. He therefore advocated for the idea of trade unions during the early stages of labor movements. This is because they helped to educate the working class on the evils of capitalism. He went ahead to advised his fellow social democrats to gang up the masses and help them to organize and set up trade unions. This would do a great deal in educating the working class on how to organize them in fighting against their employers.
Although he deemed a political struggle to be more effective, he recognized that under the current tsarist, autocracy regime made it impossible to have a pre-emptive political struggle. This led him to recommend an economic struggle first, which was the organization of trade unions. Lenin was of the thought that the working class could not develop and advance real socialist consciousness from among themselves but from without. This meant that he believed that trade union was the only vehicle that would help entrench the real socialist consciousness in the minds of the working class, as they were not mature enough (Lenin, n.d.).
He however maintained that there is a distinct separation between the trade unions and the socialist party. This means that he did not believe in trade unions as the agent for change but as mere tool of enlightening the working class on the evils being committed against them and give them the necessary courage to fight against the oppression. The absolute vehicle for change he reserved for the establishment of political parties. He believed that the political party ought to be lead by professional revolutionaries. For the trade unions, he advised that their leadership be open to any worker who had the idea and knowledge of the need for organization in mind.
Social democracy is a political ideology that advances a complete revolution of a nation or society from capitalistic form of governance to a socialistic one. This revolution is however advanced through political and peaceful means. Any forms of militancy, violence or totalitarianism are not incorporated as a means for transition. The change into socialism is a change into a form of governance where the all the powers and means of production and the goods produced are vested in the community. The community owns the total capital, the distribution processes and all the land together. Individual ownership of property is highly detested. Lenin was of the idea that social democracy was inevitable. He was against capitalism or any other form of system of social organization. He however was of the thought that this revolution would be spurred by the spontaneous growth of the labor movement.
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