Study Circle 23 of 2019: The Concrete Analysis of the Concrete Situation

Dear comrades and friends,

DYFI CUC organised the twenty third study circle of this year yesterday. We read the Chapter 4 – Imperialism: World War and Civil War of Lenin: A Study on the Unity of his Thought by Georg Lukacs.

The chapter talks about what Lenin was able to do with the theory of imperialism – not so much groundbreaking economic work, but groundbreaking analysis of what imperialism meant for action. Lenin was the only one at the time who was able to give a guideline for concrete action, in the backdrop of imperialism, because his was a theory of the class forces active under imperialism. As Lukacs says:

For Marxists the concrete analysis of the concrete situation is not the opposite of ‘pure’ theory; on the contrary, it is the culmination of all genuine theory, its consummation, the point where it therefore breaks into practice.

The chapter then talks about two flawed ways of assessing bourgeois and proletarian revolutions: one, to think that if a revolution is a bourgeois revolution, the only task of the proletariat is to support that revolution; two, to assume that all revolutions in an imperialist age will be proletarian revolutions. Both these approaches mechanistically divide bourgeois and proletarian revolutions, and ignore revolutionary elements in both. 

The chapter also briefly talks about what revisionism means in the context of war and civil war. We discussed the nature of the revolution in Nepal. Next week, we will read Chapter 5.

Revolutionary Greetings,

Central Unit Committee,

Democratic Youth Federation of India – Delhi 

Study Circle 22 of 2019 – Lenin, The Revolution and the Party

Dear comrades and friends,

DYFI CUC organised the twenty second study circle of this year today. We read the first three chapters of Lenin: A Study on the Unity of his Thought by Georg Lukacs.

The text is helpful introduction to the writings of Lenin, as it considers his work as a whole. The first chapter talks about how the actuality of the revolution (the fact that the misery of the proletariat contains a revolutionary element) is distinct from the imminence of the revolution (the idea that revolution is around the corner). When theories are formulated with the actuality of the revolution in mind, as Lenin’s were, individual events are seen as parts of a whole, a journey towards liberation, and not just by themselves.

The second chapter talks about why Lenin considered the proletariat as the leading class of the revolution, even in Russia where it did not constitute the majority of the population. The objective class position of the proletariat, and the fact that it was the growing class while the peasantry was a declining class, provided the basis for this conclusion.

The third chapter explains why a vanguard party of the proletariat is required. It shows how political questions and organisational questions cannot be separated, that is, how organisational forms are determined by, and determine, political conditions. As Lukacs explains:

Both the old idea – held by Kautsky among others – that organization was the precondition of revolutionary action, and that of Rosa Luxemburg that it is a product of the revolutionary mass movement, appear one-sided and undialectical. Because it is the party’s function to prepare the revolution, it is – simultaneously and equally – both producer and product, both precondition and result of the revolutionary mass movement.

We discussed what it meant for the party to stay “only one step” ahead of the masses, particularly for thorny questions such as those of religion, and the difference between a compromise between ruling classes (like landlords and the big bourgeoisie) and true class alliances.

Next week, we will continue reading this book.

Revolutionary Greetings,

Central Unit Committee,

Democratic Youth Federation of India – Delhi