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.
Central Unit Committee,
Democratic Youth Federation of India – Delhi