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Vanguard of the RevolutionThe Global Idea of the Communist Party$
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A. James McAdams

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691196428

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691196428.001.0001

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A Revolutionary Party Emerges

A Revolutionary Party Emerges

(p.59) Chapter 3 A Revolutionary Party Emerges
Vanguard of the Revolution

A. James McAdams

Princeton University Press

This chapter traces the beginnings of a communist party under Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and how that party came to be defined. When Lenin and other Bolshevik leaders spoke of their party in the early 1900s, they still viewed it primarily in revolutionary terms and only secondarily appreciated the benefits of greater organization. As revolutionaries, they viewed their mission in terms of working together to ensure that the proletariat followed through on its historically appointed task. Thus, there was considerably more room for debate among them about the party's purposes than is commonly assumed. The organizational structures would eventually come. But this would be a slow process, reflecting an abiding tension between the idea of the party's function in the Revolution and the organs that were required for effective governance thereafter.

Keywords:   Vladimir Lenin, Bolshevik, communist party, proletariat, organizational structures, governance

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