Karl Marx, Lenin and Hannah Arendt on Revolution An enquiry into the word revolution unleashes a manifold of entangled theoretical considerations. Aristotle described political revolutions as complete change from one constitution to another or modification of an existing constitution (Sinclair 172)…
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For a Marxist, if the bourgeoisie remain in power this negates any procedural facade of a revolution. For a liberal democrat, the survival of factions from the old nomenclature deflates the democratic revolution. However, on closer inspection there is not a single set of characteristics that will serve to unite all around a common conception. This thesis tends to enquire Marx, Lenin and Arendt’s views on revolution in order to seek a plausible conclusion. Karl Marx described revolutions as the locomotives of history. He argued that feudalism, capitalism and socialism, as new modes of production, were generated within the precincts of the existing one. Revolutions were caused by the development of a contradiction between the social forces and the social relations of production, with the latter acting as restrains upon the former. This expressed itself in the escalation of class conflict, steering in what Marx called the epoch of social revolution. Each revolutionary class developed awareness of itself through economic and political struggles against the existing dominant class. The result would be the emergence of new relations of production and their accompanying ideological forms, and the eventual establishment of supremacy. ...
In due course of time Marxist theory faced real tests as its prophecy of eventual dismal condition of working class before revolution was seriously challenged by better/improved life styles of working class in capitalist states. Lenin. Vladimir Ul'yanov came from a provincial middle class family of Russia. Soon after his father's death in 1886 Lenin's elder Brother Alexander was hanged for participating in a plot by a revolutionary populist group to assassinate Alexander III. This event made a deep impression on the younger Lenin and, after passing his final school exams with distinction, he too joined a populist group when he began studying at Kazan University. He was deeply influenced by Marxism during his student life. In 1902, Lenin published his pamphlet what is to be done, in which he argued that a successful revolutionary party in Russian conditions had to be a highly centralized and conspiratorial organization of professional revolutionaries to be an effective vanguard of the workers. In his work Two Tactics of Social Democracy in the Democratic Revolution he argued that the workers would have to take a leading role in the bourgeois revolution, co-operating with revolutionary elements in the peasantry. This latter point was unusual in Marxist thinking, perhaps showing underlying populist influence on Lenin. In Imperialism, he argued that the capitalist powers were driven into territorial imperialism by capital export and used the super-profits derived from colonial exploitation. Lazarus points out that “Revolution… belongs as a category to the historicism that is fuelled by defunct socialism and parliamentarianism,” because, “historicism keeps a place
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