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"Socialism is nothing but state capitalist monopoly made to benefit the whole people." -- Vladimir Lenin, demonstrating his ignorance

A deeply flawed off-shoot of a moderately flawed philosophy (Marxism, which I shall critique soon.) If you ever wondered what a country would look like if Microsoft took over the government and all industry, this is it. Leninism is vanguardism; the revolutionary intelligensia considers itself the only group worthy of running a country. The Bolsheviks practiced democratic centralism, where internal debate would take place, but party members would never openly question the party in public, so as to preserve the myth of omnipotence. The Soviets -- the democratic mechanism, independent of the state, by which the workers directly controlled industry -- were seen as a threat by the Bolsheviks and were crushed, and managers ("state priests") were appointed by the state to direct the factories.

And so did the Bolsheviks create a proto-fascist state while cloaking their actions in "socialism", duping a great number of Western intellectuals. Few recognized this. One who did was the English socialist icon, George Orwell, whose satirical attacks on the USSR (Animal Farm) earned him the animosity of the Fabians.

Am I biased? As something of a Libertarian Socialist, yes.
Well, that's not quite the essence of Marxism-Leninism (read the first w/u). Basically, Marx looked at the industrialization in Germany said that when the proletariat reached critical mass, they would spontaneously revolt, overthrow the bourgeoisie, and establish a worker's paradise. Enter Lenin. Lenin lives in Russia in the late 1800s. Russia at this time is still a primarily agricultural society. Lenin has a grudge against the Tsar, because the Tsar killed his brother. Lenin seizes on Marxism as the way to overthrow the Tsar, but realizes it needs a little embracing and extending before he can apply it to Russia. He creates Marxism-Leninism.

According to Marxism-Leninism, a primarily agricultural society can be rapidly converted to Marxism if a small elite of "professional revolutionaries" (read: Lenin and his buds) overthrow the ruling class via a "violent and bloody revolution."

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