© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2010 DOI: 10.1163/156920610X532226 Historical Materialism 18 (2010) 25–33 brill.nl/hima Editorial Introduction Symposium on Lars Lih’s Lenin Rediscovered Paul Blackledge Leeds Metropolitan University firstname.lastname@example.org Abstract 1 Lars Lih’s study of Lenin’s What Is to Be Done? demolishes the shared liberal and Stalinist myth of Leninism as an ice-cold ideology of professional and opportunistic revolutionary organisation. He conclusively shows, not only that Lenin’s thought had deep roots in the democratic culture of contemporary Marxism, but also that it was predicated upon a strong belief in the revolutionary potential of the working class. Lih’s research thus moves the debate about Lenin’s contribution to Marxism on from the tired caricatures of the textbooks to focus instead upon his complex relationship to the Marxism of the Second International. By showing that Lenin’s Marxism was much more sophisticated and textured than is normally allowed, this debate opens his rich legacy to contemporary re-evaluation. Keywords Lenin, Kautsky, Marxism, Second International, socialism, What Is to Be Done? Superﬁcially, there appears to be no very good reason why Lenin’s What Is to Be Done? ( WITBD? ) should be numbered amongst the most (in)famous and inﬂuential texts of the classical-Marxist tradition. Not
Historical Materialism – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2010
Keywords: Kautsky; socialism; Marxism; What Is to Be Done?; Lenin; Second International
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