Lenin's What is to Be Done? (1902) has long been seen as the founding document of a 'party of a new type'. For some, it provided a model of 'vanguard party' that was the essence of Bolshevism, for others it manifested Lenin's elitist and manipulatory attitude towards the workers.This substantial new commentary, based on contemporary Russian- and German-language sources, provides hitherto unavailable contextual information that undermines these views and shows how Lenin's argument rests squarely on an optimistic confidence in the workers' revolutionary inclinations and on his admiration of German Social Democracy in particular. Lenin's outlook cannot be understood, Lih claims here, outside the context of international Social Democracy, the disputes within Russian Social Democracy and the institutions of the revolutionary underground.The new translation focuses attention on hard-to-translate key terms. This study raises new and unsettling questions about the legacy of Marx, Bolshevism as a historical force, and the course of Soviet history, but, most of all, it will revolutionise the conventional interpretations of Lenin.
Illustrations, Note on the Text, Glossary, AcknowledgementsCOMMENTARYIntroduction Part I Erfurtianism1. 'The Merger of Socialism and the Worker Movement'2. A Russian Erfurtian3. The Iskra PeriodPart II Lenin's Significant Others4. Russian Foes of Erfurtianism 5. A Feud Within Russian Erfurtianism 6. The Purposive Worker and the Spread of AwarenessPart III The World of What Is to Be Done?7. Lenin's Erfurtian Drama 8. The Organisational Question: Lenin and the Underground9. After the Second Congress ConclusionAnnotations Part One: Section Analysis Annotations Part Two: Scandalous Passages TRANSLATIONNote on the Translation Lenin's What Is to Be Done? Foreword Chapter I: Dogmatism and 'Freedom of Criticism'Chapter II: The Stikhiinost of the Masses and the Purposiveness of Social Democracy Chapter III: Tred-iunionist Politics and Social-Democratic PoliticsChapter IV: The Artisanal Limitations of the Economists and the Organisation of Revolutionaries Chapter V: The 'Plan' for an All-Russian PoliticalNewspaperConclusion Bibliography Index List of IllustrationsFigure 1.1: Kautsky's Circles of Awareness Table 2.1: List of Lenin's Programmatic Writings in the 1890sTable 3.1: Titles in Lenin's Political Agitation Series