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The Myth of Lenin's ‘Concept Of The Party’: Or What They Did to What Is To Be Done?

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The myth for today is an axiom of what we may call Leninology — a branch of Kremlinology that has rapidly grown in the hands of the various university Russian Institutes, doctoral programs, political journalists, et al. According to this axiom, Lenin's 1902 book What Is To Be Done? (for short, WITBD) represents the essential content of his ‘operational code’ or ‘concept of the party’: all of Bolshevism and eventually Stalinism lies in ambush in its pages; it is the canonical work of ‘Leninism’ on party organisation, which, in turn, bears the original sin of totalitarianism. It establishes the ‘Leninist type of party’ as an authoritarian structure controlled from the top by ‘professional revolutionaries’ of upper-class provenance lording over a proletarian rank and file.


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