"Left-wing" communism, an infantile disorder : a popular essay in Marxian strategy and tactics

by V. I. Lenin

Paper Book, 1940


Few figures from the revolutionary struggles of the early twentieth century continue to be more polarizing than Vladimir Lenin. Caricatured by both the defenders of the market and those remaining political apologists for state socialism as an inflexible and impatient insurrectionist, in this pamphlet--perhaps his most important and relevant work--Lenin makes a clear argument that for radicals, struggling through existing democratic channels is not an option, but an essential step on the road to revolution. This new edition provides a critical introduction and additional explanatory materials. Ahmed Shawki is the editor ofInternational Socialist Review and author ofBlack Liberation and Socialism (Haymarket Books, 2006).



Call number



New York : International Publishers, 1940.

User reviews

LibraryThing member miquixote
If you've ever wondered why the left is in such disarray, one need go any further than honestly studying Lenin.

This is one of those books that Lenin reveals himself as all tactic and no democratic. By all means read everything you can about Lenin and understand how he prepped us for Stalin. All the
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important characteristics later called Stalinist (repression, labour camps, the suppression of dissent, the destruction of unions and the peasantry, and an official dogma enforced by the state were created from 1917 onwards (when Lenin and Trotsky held power).

Perhaps the most important thing to remember about Lenin is that he was all for a highly centralized party and rejected the 'absurdity' of a 'primitive' conception of democracy as participatory (Lenin's own words).

If you believe in participatory democracy, be sure to read Lenin and KNOW THY ENEMY.

*When you're done reading the book, be sure to read Herman Gorter, Open Letter to Comrade Lenin (free online) where he proceeds to demolish Lenin's hypocrisy.
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LibraryThing member lukeasrodgers
Originally written in 1920, the basic point of this "pamphlet" is to denounce all forms of infantile Leftism, which for Lenin consists basically in adopting an inflexible and immature attitude towards the necessity of compromise in achieving the revolution. Lenin argues that the experience of the
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Bolsheviks amply demonstrates that forming parliamentary political alliances and compromises with reactionary Left wing forces (e.g. the Mensheviks in Russia, the social democrats in Germany, the Labour party in Britain) will frequently be not only expedient but actually crucial in fomenting a revolutionary class consciousness and zeal in the masses.
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0717801071 / 9780717801077
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