Leninism or revolutionary Marxism?: what is Leninism and did Lenin’s political thought have sufficient coherence to constitute a clear and distinct ideology?

Parry, Benjamin (2015) Leninism or revolutionary Marxism?: what is Leninism and did Lenin’s political thought have sufficient coherence to constitute a clear and distinct ideology? BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    Since the Russian Revolutions in 1917, the term Leninism has become increasingly widespread with many academics presenting various interpretation, as well as an abundance of states, political parties and political activist networks declaring it as their official ideology. Despite this, a coherent definition of Leninism has never been clear. Using quantitative and qualitative research methods, this paper analyses works on Lenin himself, his political thought and modern interpretations of Leninism as an ideology, as well as using texts authored by Lenin and his contemporaries. This research is conducted with a view to addressing the following three key problems surrounding the study of Leninism to demonstrate that Leninism cannot constitute a coherent political ideology: 1) the lack of consistency in Lenin’s writings and actions; 2) the apparent ambiguity to Leninism and the lack of a clear definition of it; and 3) the various different forms that Leninism has taken since Lenin’s death, such as Marxism-Leninism, Stalinism and Maoism. This thesis thus concludes that: 1) any analysis of Lenin’s political thought must disregard other variations of Leninism; 2) Lenin’s political thought, prior to 1917, was mostly consistent with only a few inconsistencies, chiefly as a result of an acceleration in Lenin’s tactics after the 1905 revolution; and that Lenin did not maintain his consistency after gaining power and therefore Leninism did not have sufficient coherence (through the whole duration of Lenin’s political life) to constitute a clear and distinct ideology.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2015 14:46
    Last Modified: 05 Aug 2015 14:46
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/17971

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