Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Lenin on Socialism

'As I just passed through your hall, I observed a placard with the inscription: "The realm of the workers and peasants will never end!" After I had read this remarkable placard, which did not, it is true, hang on the wall in the usual manner but stood in a corner, perhaps because it occurred to someone that the inscription had not been happily chosen and he therefore put it on the side – when I had read this remarkable placard, I was forced to think: So, there still prevail among us misunderstandings and false conceptions about those most elementary and most fundamental things! If the realm of the workers and peasants were really never to end, this would mean that there would never be socialism, for socialism is the abolition of all classes; but so long as there are workers and peasants, then there are different classes, and complete socialism would be for that reason impossible. And when I reflected that, three and a half years after the October revolution, there can be among us such remarkable placards, even if pushed somewhat to the side, it occurred to me that it is possible for the greatest misunderstandings to prevail even about the most widely disseminated and widely used watchwords.'

Lenin, Speech at the All-Russian Conference of Transport Workers, Moscow, March 1921

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