Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924) was the founder of the Bolshevik Party in Russia, leader of the 1917 Russian Revolution and a towering political and intellectual figure in the 20th century.

With a greater depth and foresight than any other Marxist of his time, Lenin explained the objective significance and political implications of the belittling of Marxist theory for the building of a revolutionary party. “Since there can be no talk of an independent ideology formulated by the working masses themselves in the process of their movement, the only choice is—either bourgeois or socialist ideology,” Lenin wrote, in What Is To Be Done?. “Hence, to belittle the socialist ideology in any way, to turn aside from it in the slightest degree means to strengthen bourgeois ideology.”

The Bolshevik Party that Lenin led emerged from a split inside the Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party with an opportunist faction, the Mensheviks, which was a petty-bourgeois tendency that represented the Russian middle class inside the workers' movement.

In October 1917, Lenin, together with Leon Trotsky, led the Bolshevik Party and the Russian working class in the revolution that overthrew the bourgeois provisional government, establishing the first workers’ state in history.

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Historical and International Foundations of the SEP (US)
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The 1917 Russian Revolution

In October 1917, in the midst of the slaughter of World War I, the Russian working class, led by the Bolshevik Party under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, overthrew the capitalist provisional government headed by Alexander Kerensky and established the first workers’ state in world history. Less than nine months earlier, Russia had been ruled by a monarchical dynasty headed by Tsar Nicholas II. The revolution was the beginning of the end of the imperialist war.

The Russian Revolution marked a new stage in world history. The overthrow of the capitalist Provisional Government proved that an alternative to capitalism was not a utopian dream, but a real possibility that could be achieved through the conscious political struggle of the working class.

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The Fourth International is the World Party of Socialist Revolution. It was founded by Leon Trotsky in 1938, to carry forward the fight for Marxism in opposition to the Stalinist degeneration of the Soviet Union and the Communist (Third) International.

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