Much of what Lenin did and wrote, especially in his early political career, was determined by the previous development of the Russian revolutionary movement and by the history of Marx’s ideas in Russia. His approach to revolutionary practice and theory are also to be explained by the peculiar way in which Marxist doctrine and the Russian revolutionary movement interacted in the period during Lenin’s childhood and youth. It was at that time that Marx’s ideas began to circulate in Russia, and their implications discussed for the country’s future economic development and for the tactics which revolutionaries might adopt. Lenin entered the Russian revolutionary movement at a time when both its politics and its ideology were in a state of flux. As a result he was able to make a profound impact on both. Examining historically the interrelationship of Marxism and the Russian revolutionary movement provides the political context in which Lenin operated and gives an insight into what Lenin’s relationship to Marx was.
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James D. White
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