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How Not To Write About Lenin

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image of Historical Materialism

Eighty one years on, the Russian Revolution remains an event of unique significance for socialists, Marxists and historical materialists. It is the only occasion to date of which it can plausibly be claimed that the working class itself overthrew the capitalist state, established its own power and maintained it on a national scale for a significant period of time. Discount the Russian Revolution and we are left only with heroic but local and short-lived attempts and near-misses such as the Paris Commune, the Hungarian Revolution of 1919, the Munich Soviet and Barcelona 1936, or the long list of seizures of power, usually by armed forces of one sort or another, in the name of the working class or Marxism (Eastern Europe 1945–47, China 1949, Cuba 1959, etc.).


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