Lenin on Socialism in one Country

“I know that there are, of course, sages who think they are very clever and even call themselves Socialists, who assert that power should not have been seized until the revolution had broken out in all countries. They do not suspect that by speaking in this way they are deserting the revolution and going over to the side of the bourgeoisie. To wait until the toiling classes bring about a revolution on an international scale means that everybody should stand stock-still in expectation. That is nonsense.”

 — V.I. Lenin, Speech delivered at a joint meeting of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Moscow Soviet, 14th May 1918, Collected Works, Vol. 23, p. 9.

“Complete and final victory on a world scale cannot be achieved in Russia alone; it can be achieved only when the proletariat is victorious in at least all the advanced countries, or, at all events, in some of the largest of the advanced countries. Only then shall we be able to say with absolute confidence that the cause of the proletariat has triumphed, that our first objective—the overthrow of capitalism—has been achieved.

We have achieved this objective in one country, and this confronts us with a second task. Since Soviet power has been established, since the bourgeoisie has been overthrown in one country, the second task is to wage the struggle on a world scale, on a different plane, the struggle of the proletarian state surrounded by capitalist states.

This situation is an entirely novel and difficult one.

On the other hand, since the rule of the bourgeoisie has been overthrown, the main task is to organise the development of the country.”

 — V.I. Lenin. Collected Works Vol. 29. 1970. p. 58.

“…when we are told that the victory of socialism is possible only on a world scale, we regard this merely as an attempt, a particularly hopeless attempt, on the part of the bourgeoisie and its voluntary and involuntary supporters to distort the irrefutable truth. The ‘final’ victory of socialism in a single country is of course impossible.”

 — V.I. Lenin, Speech to the Third All-Russia Congress of Soviets, 1918.

“A United States of the World (not of Europe alone) is the state form of the unification and freedom of nations which we associate with socialism—about the total disappearance of the state, including the democratic. As a separate slogan, however, the slogan of a United States of the World would hardly be a correct one, first, because it merges with socialism; second, because it may be wrongly interpreted to mean that the victory of socialism in a single country is impossible, and it may also create misconceptions as to the relations of such a country to the others.”

 — V.I. Lenin, On the Slogan for a United States of Europe. Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, Moscow, Volume 21, pages 339-343. Sotsial-Demokrat No. 44, August 23, 1915, 1974.

“Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism. Hence, the victory of socialism is possible first in several or even in one capitalist country, taken singly. The victorious proletariat of that country, having expropriated the capitalists and organised its own socialist production, would stand up against the rest of the world, the capitalist world, attracting to its cause the oppressed classes of other countries … A free union of nations in socialism is impossible without a more or less prolonged and stubborn struggle by the socialist
republics against the backward states.”

 — V.I. Lenin, Works, Vol. 21, p. 342

“The capitalists, the bourgeoisie, can at ‘best’ put off the victory of socialism in one country or another at the cost of slaughtering further hundreds of thousands of workers and peasants. But they cannot save capitalism…”

 — V.I. Lenin, Works. Vol. 29, pp. 515-19

‘The development of capitalism proceeds extremely unevenly in the various countries. It cannot be otherwise under the commodity production system. From this, it follows irrefutably that Socialism cannot achieve victory simultaneously in all countries. It will achieve victory first in one or several countries, while the others will remain bourgeois or pre-bourgeois for some time.'”

 — V.I. Lenin, Works. Russ. Ed. Vol. 19; p.325.

“As a matter of fact, the political power of the Soviet over all large-scale means of production, the power in the state in the hands of the proletariat, the alliance of this proletariat with the many millions of small and very small peasants, the assured leadership of the peasantry by the proletariat, etc, …is not this all that is necessary in order from the co-operatives – from the co-operatives alone, which we formerly treated as huckstering, and which, from a certain aspect, we have the right to treat as such now, under the new economic policy – is not this all that is necessary in order to build a complete socialist society? This is not yet the building of socialist society but it is all that is necessary and sufficient for this building.”

 — V.I. Lenin, “On Cooperation,” 1923.

“As a matter of fact, the political power of the Soviet over all large-scale means of production, the power in the state in the hands of the proletariat, the alliance of this proletariat with the many millions of small and very small peasants, the assured leadership of the peasantry by the proletariat, etc, … is not this all that is necessary in order… to build a complete socialist society? This is not yet the building of socialist society but it is all that is necessary and sufficient for this building.”

 — V.I. Lenin, “On Cooperation,” 1923.

2 responses to “Lenin on Socialism in one Country

  1. There have been worrying signs over here of deviation and revisionism. I heard that certain people were going soft. I am not the only one to notice. It is good to see this blog get back on its Marxist-Leninist roots. Let’s keep it that way. You are on notice.

    • I have no idea what you are talking about – this blog is and will remain Marxist-Leninist.

      If someone sees “worrying signs of deviation and revisionism,” my email is posted right there at the top. If they want my opinion or stances on something, they are more than free to email me a message.

      “You are on notice.”

      Actually, I’ll not be “on notice” to anyone but my organization and the police, which I’ll assume you are not. Thank you.

      I am not the only one to notice.

      This is a cryptic way of speaking. Who are these “others?” How would I know? I wouldn’t! I don’t know what you hope to accomplish by such vague criticisms.

      Now, let’s try that comment again, and hold the crypticity and attitude.

      ES

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