Marxism vs Leninism
Marxism and Leninism are two distinct political ideologies with some key differences between them. Marxism, developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, aims for a society without the divide between rich and poor. Leninism, on the other hand, is a political system that practices dictatorship, specifically the dictatorship of the proletariat or working class.
- Marxism is a political ideology that predicts a proletariat revolution due to class struggle, resulting from unequal distribution of means of production.
- Leninism is a political system that practices dictatorship and aims to implement both political and socialist economic theories developed from Marxism.
- Marxism is the theory behind the ideology, while Leninism is how it was practically used and adapted to fit Russia’s specific conditions.
What is Marxism?
Marxism is a political ideology that explains the inevitability of a proletariat revolution due to class struggle. This class struggle is the result of means of production being divided unevenly among different classes. Marxism uses history to rewrite the living conditions of people and has history as a base for promoting its principles. It is considered by many political experts as a branch of philosophy. Many believe that communism was born out of Marxism. Marxism insists on implementing its theoretical ideas but does not believe in practical implementation. In fact, the practical implementation of Marxism’s theoretical ideas led to the formation of Communism.
What is Leninism?
Leninism, on the other hand, aims to implement both the political and socialist economic theories developed from Marxism. It was developed by and named after the Russian revolutionary and political leader Vladimir Lenin. The term “Leninism” was first used in 1922 and was popularized in 1924 by Grigory Zinoviev at the fifth congress of the Communist International, otherwise known as Comintern. It was popularized as a word denoting the meaning ‘revolutionary’ by Zinoviev.
What is the difference between Marxism and Leninism?
- Marxism was an ideology created by Karl Marx to predict the outcome of social class struggle, while Leninism was how Lenin changed Marxism to fit Russia’s specific conditions, making it more practical.
- Marxism envisioned its theory being implemented in more developed and advanced capitalist states, while Leninism took place in a less developed Russia, which required Lenin to modify aspects of Marxism to fit the country’s circumstances.
- Leninism emphasizes economic and industrial development, whereas Marxism assumes a country is already industrialized and advanced.
- Marxism argues that a proletariat revolution is inevitable, while Leninism contends that capitalist states will suppress any revolutionary feelings in the working class.
- Marxism believes people will spontaneously become aware of their status and rise for a revolution, while Leninism believes a party should be formed to guide people, resulting in the creation of the Bolshevik Party.
- Marxism supports the dictatorship of the proletariat, whereas Leninism led to Russia being ruled by a Communist Party whose leaders thought they knew what the working class wanted.
In summary, Marxism is the theory behind the ideology, while Leninism is how it was practically used and adapted to fit specific conditions.