An Anarchist FAQ - Was Lenin's "State and Revolution" applied after October?
In a nutshell, no. In fact the opposite was the case. Post-October, the Bolsheviks not only failed to introduce the ideas of Lenin's State and Revolution, they in fact introduced the exact opposite. As one historian puts it:
"To consider 'State and Revolution' as the basic statement of Lenin's political philosophy -- which non-Communists as well as Communists usually do -- is a serious error. Its argument for a utopian anarchism never actually became official policy. The Leninism of 1917 . . . came to grief in a few short years; it was the revived Leninism of 1902 which prevailed as the basis for the political development of the USSR." [Robert V. Daniels, The Conscience of the Revolution, pp. 51-2]
Daniels is being far too lenient with the Bolsheviks. It was not, in fact, "a few short years" before the promises of 1917 were forgotten. In some cases, it was a few short hours. In others, a few short months. However, in a sense Daniels is right. It did take until 1921 before all hope for saving the Russian Revolution finally ended. With the crushing of the Kronstadt rebellion, the true nature of the regime became obvious to all with eyes to see. Moreover, the banning of factions within the party at the same time did mark a return to the pattern of "What is to be Done?" rather than the more fluid practice Bolshevism exhibited in, say, 1917 (see section 3). However, as we discuss in the appendix "Were any of the Bolshevik oppositions a real alternative?", the various Bolshevik oppositions were, in their own way, just as authoritarian as the mainstream of the party.
In order to show that this is the case, we need to summarise the main ideas contained in Lenin's work. Moreover, we need to indicate what the Bolsheviks did, in fact, do. Finally, we need to see if the various rationales justifying these actions hold water.
So what did Lenin argue for in State and Revolution? Writing in the mid-1930s, anarchist Camillo Berneri summarised the main ideas of that work as follows:
"The Leninist programme of 1917 included these points: the discontinuance of the police and standing army, abolition of the professional bureaucracy, elections for all public positions and offices, revocability of all officials, equality of bureaucratic wages with workers' wages, the maximum of democracy, peaceful competition among the parties within the soviets, abolition of the death penalty." ["The Abolition and Extinction of the State," Cienfuegos Press Anarchist Review, no. 4, p. 50]
As he noted, "[n]ot a single one of the points of this programme has been achieved." This was, of course, under Stalinism and most Leninists will concur with Berneri. However what Leninists tend not to mention is that in the 7 month period from November 1917 to May 1918 none of these points was achieved. So, as an example of what Bolshevism "really" stands for it seems strange to harp on about a work which was never implemented when the its author was in a position to do so (i.e. before the onslaught of a civil war Lenin thought was inevitable anyway!).
To see that Berneri's summary is correct, we need to quote Lenin directly. Obviously the work is a wide ranging defence of Lenin's interpretation of Marxist theory on the state. As it is an attempt to overturn decades of Marxist orthodoxy, much of the work is quotes from Marx and Engels and Lenin's attempts to enlist them for his case (we discuss this issue in section H.3.10). Equally, we need to discount the numerous straw men arguments about anarchism Lenin inflicts on his reader (see sections H.1.3, H.1.4 and H.1.5 for the truth about his claims). Here we simply list the key points as regards Lenin's arguments about his "workers' state" and how the workers would maintain control of it:
1) Using the Paris Commune as a prototype, Lenin argued for the abolition of "parliamentarianism" by turning "representative institutions from mere 'talking shops' into working bodies." This would be done by removing "the division of labour between the legislative and the executive." [Essential Works of Lenin, p. 304 and p. 306]
2) "All officials, without exception, to be elected and subject to recall at any time" and so "directly responsible to their constituents." "Democracy means equality." [Op. Cit., p. 302, p. 306 and p. 346]
3) The "immediate introduction of control and superintendence by all, so that all shall become 'bureaucrats' for a time and so that, therefore, no one can become a 'bureaucrat'." Proletarian democracy would "take immediate steps to cut bureaucracy down to the roots . . . to the complete abolition of bureaucracy" as the "essence of bureaucracy" is officials becoming transformed "into privileged persons divorced from the masses and superior to the masses." [Op. Cit., p. 355 and p. 360]
4) There should be no "special bodies of armed men" standing apart from the people "since the majority of the people itself suppresses its oppressors, a 'special force' is no longer necessary." Using the example of the Paris Commune, Lenin suggested this meant "abolition of the standing army." Instead there would be the "armed masses." [Op. Cit., p. 275, p. 301 and p. 339]
5) The new (workers) state would be "the organisation of violence for the suppression of . . . the exploiting class, i.e. the bourgeoisie. The toilers need a state only to overcome the resistance of the exploiters" who are "an insignificant minority," that is "the landlords and the capitalists." This would see "an immense expansion of democracy . . . for the poor, democracy for the people" while, simultaneously, imposing "a series of restrictions on the freedom of the oppressors, the exploiters, the capitalists. . . their resistance must be broken by force: it is clear that where is suppression there is also violence, there is no freedom, no democracy." [Op. Cit., p. 287 and pp. 337-8]
This would be implemented after the current, bourgeois, state had been smashed. This would be the "dictatorship of the proletariat" and be "the introduction of complete democracy for the people." [Op. Cit., p. 355] However, the key practical ideas on what the new "semi-state" would be are contained in these five points. He generalised these points, considering them valid not only for Russia in 1917 but in all countries. In this his followers agree. Lenin's work is considered valid for today, in advanced countries as it was in revolutionary Russia.
Three things strike anarchist readers of Lenin's work. Firstly, as we noted in section H.1.7, much of it is pure anarchism. Bakunin had raised the vision of a system of workers' councils as the framework of a free socialist society in the 1860s and 1870s. Moreover, he had also argued for the election of mandated and recallable delegates as well as for using a popular militia to defend the revolution (see section H.2.1). What is not anarchist is the call for centralisation, equating the council system with a state and the toleration of a "new" officialdom. Secondly, the almost utter non-mention of the role of the party in the book is deeply significant. Given the emphasis that Lenin had always placed on the party, it's absence is worrying. Particularly (as we indicate in section 5) he had been calling for the party to seize power all through 1917. When he does mention the party he does so in an ambiguous way which suggests that it, not the class, would be in power. As subsequent events show, this was indeed what happened in practice. And, finally, the anarchist reader is struck by the fact that every one of these key ideas were not implemented under Lenin. In fact, the opposite was done. This can be seen from looking at each point in turn.
The first point as the creation of "working bodies", the combining of legislative and executive bodies. The first body to be created by the Bolshevik revolution was the "Council of People's Commissars" (CPC) This was a government separate from and above the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the soviets congress. It was an executive body elected by the soviet congress, but the soviets themselves were not turned into "working bodies." Thus the promises of Lenin's State and Revolution did not last the night.
As indicated in section 5, the Bolsheviks clearly knew that the Soviets had alienated their power to this body. However, it could be argued that Lenin's promises were kept as this body simply gave itself legislative powers four days later. Sadly, this is not the case. In the Paris Commune the delegates of the people took executive power into their own hands. Lenin reversed this. His executive took legislative power from the hands of the people's delegates. In the former case, power was decentralised into the hands of the population. In the latter case, it was centralised into the hands of a few. This concentration of power into executive committees occurred at all levels of the soviet hierarchy (see section 6 for full details). Simply put, legislative and executive power was taken from the soviets assemblies and handed to Bolshevik dominated executive committees.
What of the next principle, namely the election and recall of all officials? This lasted slightly longer, namely around 5 months. By March of 1918, the Bolsheviks started a systematic campaign against the elective principle in the workplace, in the military and even in the soviets. In the workplace, Lenin was arguing for appointed one-man managers "vested with dictatorial powers" by April 1918 (see section 10). In the military, Trotsky simply decreed the end of elected officers in favour of appointed officers (see section 14). And as far as the soviets go, the Bolsheviks were refusing to hold elections because they "feared that the opposition parties would show gains." When elections were held, "Bolshevik armed force usually overthrew the results" in provincial towns. Moreover, the Bolsheviks "pack[ed] local soviets" with representatives of organisations they controlled "once they could not longer count on an electoral majority." [Samuel Farber, Before Stalinism, p. 22, p. 24 and p. 33] This gerrymandering was even practised at the all-Russian soviet congress (see section 6 for full details of this Bolshevik onslaught against the soviets). So much for competition among the parties within the soviets! And as far as the right of recall went, the Bolsheviks only supported this when the workers were recalling the opponents of the Bolsheviks, not when the workers were recalling them.
In summary, in under six months the Bolsheviks had replaced election of "all officials" by appointment from above in many areas of life. Democracy had simply being substituted by appointed from above (see section 4 of the appendix on "How did Bolshevik ideology contribute to the failure of the Revolution?"for the deeply undemocratic reasoning used to justify this top-down and autocratic system of so-called democracy). The idea that different parties could compete for votes in the soviets (or elsewhere) was similarly curtailed and finally abolished.
Then there was the elimination of bureaucracy. As we show in section 7 of the appendix on "How did Bolshevik ideology contribute to the failure of the Revolution?", a new bureaucratic and centralised system quickly emerged. Rather than immediately cutting the size and power of the bureaucracy, it steadily grew. It soon became the real power in the state (and, ultimately, in the 1920s became the social base for the rise of Stalin). Moreover, with the concentration of power in the hands of the Bolshevik government, the "essence" of bureaucracy remained as the party leaders became "privileged persons divorced from the masses and superior to the masses." They were, for example, more than happy to justify their suppression of military democracy in terms of them knowing better than the general population what was best for them (see section 4 of the appendix on "How did Bolshevik ideology contribute to the failure of the Revolution?" for details).
Then there is the fourth point, namely the elimination of the standing army, the suppression of "special bodies of armed men" by the "armed masses." This promise did not last two months. On the 20th of December, 1917, the Council of People's Commissars decreed the formation of a political (secret) police force, the "Extraordinary Commission to Fight Counter-Revolution." This was more commonly known by the Russian initials of the first two terms of its official name: The Cheka. Significantly, its founding decree stated it was to "watch the press, saboteurs, strikers, and the Socialist-Revolutionaries of the Right." [contained in Robert V. Daniels, A Documentary History of Communism, vol. 1, p. 133]
While it was initially a small organisation, as 1918 progressed it grew in size and activity. By April 1918, it was being used to break the anarchist movement across Russia (see section 23 for details). The Cheka soon became a key instrument of Bolshevik rule, with the full support of the likes of Lenin and Trotsky. The Cheka was most definitely a "special body of armed men" and not the same as the "armed workers." In other words, Lenin's claims in State and Revolution did not last two months and in under six months the Bolshevik state had a mighty group of "armed men" to impose its will.
This is not all. The Bolsheviks also conducted a sweeping transformation of the military within the first six months of taking power. During 1917, the soldiers and sailors (encouraged by the Bolsheviks and other revolutionaries) had formed their own committees and elected officers. In March 1918, Trotsky simply abolished all this by decree and replaced it with appointed officers (usually ex-Tsarist ones). In this way, the Red Army was turned from a workers' militia (i.e. an armed people) into a "special body" separate from the general population (see section 15 for further discussion on this subject).
So instead of eliminating a "special force" above the people, the Bolsheviks did the opposite by creating a political police force (the Cheka) and a standing army (in which elections were a set aside by decree). These were special, professional, armed forces standing apart from the people and unaccountable to them. Indeed, they were used to repress strikes and working class unrest, a topic we now turn to.
Then there is the idea of that Lenin's "workers' state" would simple be an instrument of violence directed at the exploiters. This was not how it turned out in practice. As the Bolsheviks lost popular support, they turned the violence of the "worker's state" against the workers (and, of course, the peasants). As noted above, when the Bolsheviks lost soviet elections they used force to disband them (see section 6 for further details). Faced with strikes and working class protest during this period, the Bolsheviks responded with state violence (see section 5 of the appendix on "What caused the degeneration of the Russian Revolution?" for details). We will discuss the implications of this for Lenin's theory below. So, as regards the claim that the new ("workers") state would repress only the exploiters, the truth was that it was used to repress whoever opposed Bolshevik power, including workers and peasants.
As can be seen, after the first six months of Bolshevik rule not a single measure advocated by Lenin in State and Revolution existed in "revolutionary" Russia. Some of the promises were broken in quiet quickly (overnight, in one case). Most took longer. For example, the democratisation of the armed forces had been decreed in late December 1917. However, this was simply acknowledging the existing revolutionary gains of the military personnel. Similarly, the Bolsheviks passed a decree on workers' control which, again, simply acknowledged the actual gains by the grassroots (and, in fact, limited them for further development -- see section 9). This cannot be taken as evidence of the democratic nature of Bolshevism as most governments faced with a revolutionary movement will acknowledge and "legalise" the facts on the ground (until such time as they can neutralise or destroy them). For example, the Provisional Government created after the February Revolution also legalised the revolutionary gains of the workers (for example, legalising the soviets, factory committees, unions, strikes and so forth). The real question is whether Bolshevism continued to encourage these revolutionary gains once it had consolidated its power. Which they did not. Indeed, it can be argued that the Bolsheviks simply managed to do what the Provisional Government it replaced had failed to do, namely destroy the various organs of popular self-management created by the revolutionary masses. So the significant fact is not that the Bolsheviks recognised the gains of the masses but that their toleration of the application of what their followers say were their real principles did not last long and was quickly ended. Moreover, when the leading Bolsheviks looked back at this abolition they did not consider it in any way in contradiction to the principles of "communism" (see section 14).
We have stressed this period for a reason. This was the period before the out-break of major Civil War and thus the policies applied show the actual nature of Bolshevism, it's essence if you like. This is a significant date as most Leninists blame the failure of Lenin to live up to his promises on this even. In reality, the civil war was not the reason for these betrayals -- simply because it had not started yet (see section 16 on when the civil war started and its impact). Each of the promises were broken in turn months before the civil war happened. "All Power to the Soviets" became, very quickly, "All Power to the Bolsheviks." In the words of historian Marc Ferro:
"In a way, The State and Revolution even laid the foundations and sketched out the essential features of an alternative to Bolshevik power, and only the pro-Leninist tradition has used it, almost to quieten its conscience, because Lenin, once in power, ignored its conclusions. The Bolsheviks, far from causing the state to wither away, found endless reasons for justifying its enforcement." [October 1917, pp. 213-4]
Where does that leave Lenin's State and Revolution? Well, modern-day Leninists still urge us to read it, considering it his greatest work and the best introduction to what Leninism really stands for. For example, we find Leninist Tony Cliff calling that book "Lenin's real testament" while, at the same time, acknowledging that its "message . . . which was the guide for the first victorious proletarian revolution, was violated again and again during the civil war." Not a very good "guide" or that convincing a "message" if it was not applicable in the very circumstances it was designed to be applied in (a bit like saying you have an excellent umbrella but it only works when it is not raining). Moreover, Cliff is factually incorrect. The Bolsheviks "violated" that "guide" before the civil war started (i.e. when "the victories of the Czechoslovak troops over the Red Army in June 1918, that threatened the greatest danger to the Soviet republic," to quote Cliff). Similarly, much of the economic policies implemented by the Bolsheviks had their roots in that book and the other writings by Lenin from 1917 (see section 5 of the appendix on "How did Bolshevik ideology contribute to the failure of the Revolution?"). [Lenin, vol. 3, p. 161 and p. 18]
Given this, what use is Lenin's State and Revolution? If this really was the "guide" it is claimed to be, the fact that it proved totally impractical suggests it should simply be ignored. Simply put, if the side effects of a revolution (such as civil war) require it to be ripped up then modern Leninists should come clean and admit that revolution and workers' democracy simply do not go together. This was, after all, the conclusion of Lenin and Trotsky (see section H.3.8). As such, they should not recommend Lenin's work as an example of what Bolshevism aims for. If, however, the basic idea of workers' democracy and freedom are valid and considered the only way of achieving socialism then we need to wonder why the Bolsheviks did not apply them when they had the chance, particularly when the Makhnovists in the Ukraine did. Such an investigation would only end up by concluding the validity of anarchism, not Leninism.
This can be seen from the trajectory of Bolshevik ideology post-October. Simply put, it was not bothered by the breaking of the promises of State and Revolution and 1917 in general. As such, Cliff is just wrong to assert that while the message of State and Revolution was "violated again and again" it "was also invoked again and again against bureaucratic degeneration." [Cliff, Op. Cit., p. 161] Far from it. Lenin's State and Revolution was rarely invoked against degeneration by the mainstream Bolshevik leadership. Indeed, they happily supported party dictatorship and one-man management. Ironically for Cliff, it was famously invoked against the state capitalist policies being implemented in early 1918. This was done by the "Left Communists" around Bukharin in their defence of workers' self-management against Lenin's policy! Lenin told them to reread it (along with his other 1917 works) to see that "state capitalism" was his aim all along! Not only that, he quoted from State and Revolution. He argued that "accounting and control" was required "for the proper functioning of the first stage of communist society." "And this control," he continued, "must be established not only over 'the insignificant capitalist minority, over the gentry . . . ', but also over the workers who 'have been thoroughly corrupted by capitalism . . . '" He ended by saying it was "significant that Bukharin did not emphasise this." [Collected Works, vol. 27, pp. 353-4] Needless to say, the Leninists who urge us to read Lenin's work do not emphasis that either.
As the Bolsheviks lost more and more support, the number of workers "thoroughly corrupted by capitalism" increased. How to identify them was easy: they did not support the party. As historian Richard summarises, a "lack of identification with the Bolshevik party was treated as the absence of political consciousness altogether." [Soviet Communists in Power, p. 94] This is the logical conclusion of vanguardism, of course (see section H.5.3). However, to acknowledge that state violence was also required to "control" the working class totally undermines the argument of State and Revolution.
This is easy to see and to prove theoretically. For example, by 1920, Lenin was more than happy to admit that the "workers' state" used violence against the masses. At a conference of his political police, the Cheka, Lenin argued as follows:
"Without revolutionary coercion directed against the avowed enemies of the workers and peasants, it is impossible to break down the resistance of these exploiters. On the other hand, revolutionary coercion is bound to be employed towards the wavering and unstable elements among the masses themselves." [Collected Works, vol. 42, p. 170]
This was simply summarising Bolshevik practice from the start. However, in State and Revolution Lenin had argued for imposing "a series of restrictions on the freedom of the oppressors, the exploiters, the capitalists." In 1917 he was "clear that where is suppression there is also violence, there is no freedom, no democracy." [Op. Cit., pp. 337-8] So if violence is directed against the working class then, obviously, there can be "no freedom, no democracy" for that class. And who identifies who the "wavering and unstable" elements are? Only the party. Thus any expression of workers' democracy which conflicts with the party is a candidate for "revolutionary coercion." So it probably just as well that the Bolsheviks had eliminated military democracy in March, 1918.
Trotsky expands on the obvious autocratic implications of this in 1921 when he attacked the Workers' Opposition's ideas on economic democracy:
"The Party . . . is . . . duty bound to retain its dictatorship, regardless of the temporary vacillations of the amorphous masses, regardless of the temporary vacillations even of the working class. This awareness is essential for cohesion; without it the Party is in danger of perishing . . . At any given moment, the dictatorship does not rest on the formal principle of workers' democracy . . . if we look upon workers' democracy as something unconditional . . . then . . . every plant should elect its own administrative organs and so on . . . From a formal point of view this is the clearest link with workers' democracy. But we are against it. Why? . . . Because, in the first place, we want to retain the dictatorship of the Party, and, in the second place, because we think that the [democratic] way of managing important and essential plants is bound to be incompetent and prove a failure from an economic point of view . . ." [quoted by Jay B. Sorenson, The Life and Death of Soviet Trade Unionism, p. 165]
Thus the Russian Revolution and the Bolshevik regime confirmed anarchist theory and predictions about state socialism. In the words of Luigi Fabbri:
"It is fairly certain that between the capitalist regime and the socialist there will be an intervening period of struggle, during which proletariat revolutionary workers will have to work to uproot the remnants of bourgeois society . . . But if the object of this struggle and this organisation is to free the proletariat from exploitation and state rule, then the role of guide, tutor or director cannot be entrusted to a new state, which would have an interest in pointing the revolution in a completely opposite direction. . . "The outcome would be that a new government - battening on the revolution and acting throughout the more or less extended period of its 'provisional' powers - would lay down the bureaucratic, military and economic foundations of a new and lasting state organisation, around which a compact network of interests and privileges would, naturally, be woven. Thus in a short space of time what one would have would not be the state abolished, but a state stronger and more energetic than its predecessor and which would come to exercise those functions proper to it - the ones Marx recognised as being such - 'keeping the great majority of producers under the yoke of a numerically small exploiting minority.' "This is the lesson that the history of all revolutions teaches us, from the most ancient down to the most recent; and it is confirmed . . . by the day-to-day developments of the Russian revolution . . . "Certainly, [state violence] starts out being used against the old power . . . But as the new power goes on consolidating its position . . . ever more frequently and ever more severely, the mailed fist of dictatorship is turned against the proletariat itself in whose name that dictatorship was set up and is operated! . . . the actions of the present Russian government [of Lenin and Trotsky] have shown that in real terms (and it could not be otherwise) the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' means police, military, political and economic dictatorship exercised over the broad mass of the proletariat in city and country by the few leaders of the political party. "The violence of the state always ends up being used AGAINST ITS SUBJECTS, of whom the vast majority are always proletarians . . . The new government will be able to expropriate the old ruling class in whole or in part, but only so as to establish a new ruling class that will hold the greater part of the proletariat in subjection. "That will come to pass if those who make up the government and the bureaucratic, military and police minority that upholds it end up becoming the real owners of wealth when the property of everyone is made over exclusively to the state. In the first place, the failure of the revolution will be self evident. In the second, in spite of the illusions that many people create, the conditions of the proletariat will always be those of a subject class." ["Anarchy and 'Scientific' Communism", in The Poverty of Statism, pp. 13-49, Albert Meltzer (ed.), pp. 26-31]
The standard response by most modern Leninists to arguments like this about Bolshevism is simply to downplay the authoritarianism of the Bolsheviks by stressing the effects of the civil war on shaping their ideology and actions. However, this fails to address the key issue of why the reality of Bolshevism (even before the civil war) was so different to the rhetoric. Anarchists, as we discuss in "How did Bolshevik ideology contribute to the failure of the Revolution?", can point to certain aspects of Bolshevik ideology and the social structures its favoured which can explain it. The problems facing the revolution simply brought to the fore the limitations and dangers inherent in Leninism and, moreover, shaping them in distinctive ways. We draw the conclusion that a future revolution, as it will face similar problems, would be wise to avoid applying Leninist ideology and the authoritarian practices it allows and, indeed, promotes by its support of centralisation, confusion of party power with class power, vanguardism and equation of state capitalism with socialism. Leninists, in contrast, can only stress the fact that the revolution was occurring in difficult circumstances and hope that "fate" is more kind to them next time -- as if a revolution, as Lenin himself noted in 1917, would not occur during nor create "difficult" circumstances! Equally, they can draw no lessons (bar repeat what the Bolsheviks did in 1917 and hope for better objective circumstances!) from the Russian experience simply because they are blind to the limitations of their politics. They are thus doomed to repeat history rather than make it.
So where does this analysis of Lenin's State and Revolution and the realities of Bolshevik power get us? The conclusions of dissent Marxist Samuel Farber seem appropriate here. As he puts it, "the very fact that a Sovnarkom had been created as a separate body from the CEC [Central Executive Committee] of the soviets clearly indicates that, Lenin's State and Revolution notwithstanding, the separation of at least the top bodies of the executive and the legislative wings of the government remained in effect in the new Soviet system." This suggests "that State and Revolution did not play a decisive role as a source of policy guidelines for 'Leninism in power.'" After all, "immediately after the Revolution the Bolsheviks established an executive power . . . as a clearly separate body from the leading body of the legislature. . . Therefore, some sections of the contemporary Left appear to have greatly overestimated the importance that State and Revolution had for Lenin's government. I would suggest that this document . . . can be better understood as a distant, although doubtless sincere [!], socio-political vision . . . as opposed to its having been a programmatic political statement, let alone a guide to action, for the period immediately after the successful seizure of power." [Farber, Op. Cit., pp. 20-1 and p. 38]
That is one way of looking at it. Another would be to draw the conclusion that a "distant . . . socio-political vision" drawn up to sound like a "guide to action" which was then immediately ignored is, at worse, little more than a deception, or, at best, a theoretical justification for seizing power in the face of orthodox Marxist dogma. Whatever the rationale for Lenin writing his book, one thing is true -- it was never implemented. Strange, then, that Leninists today urge use to read it to see what "Lenin really wanted." Particularly given that so few of its promises were actually implemented (those that were just recognised the facts on the ground) and all of were no longer applied in less than six months after the seize of power.
The best that can be said is that Lenin did want this vision to be applied but the realities of revolutionary Russia, the objective problems facing the revolution, made its application impossible. This is the standard Leninist account of the revolution. They seem unconcerned that they have just admitted that Lenin's ideas were utterly impractical for the real problems that any revolution is most likely to face. This was the conclusion Lenin himself drew, as did the rest of the Bolshevik leadership. This can be seen from the actual practice of "Leninism in power" and the arguments it used. And yet, for some reason, Lenin's book is still recommended by modern Leninists!