In the discussions about transforming the Electoral Federation's participants into a new party, the parties' relationship to Lenin's teachings will be important, and therefore I present here my own perception of Leninism as a contribution to the exchange of words.
A confusion of life and teaching, of Lenin's figure and his theories.
When almost all communist parties around the world base their activities on what is called Marxism-Leninism, it is – apart from the case of Russia – ultimately a confusion of life and doctrine, of Lenin's figure and his theories.
The almost fabulous thing about Lenin is that he was strongly concerned with general knowledge theory ("epistemology", "philosophy"), political and economic theory at the same time that he was tirelessly active as a political organizer of a world-historical movement, which he even led to victory. This union of theoretical and organizational activities makes Lenin a role model for a politician: an excellent organizer and a bold man of action who understood to an unusual degree how to take advantage of the available knowledge of theory.
On the other hand, Lenin is not particularly exemplary as a theoretician, and they are therefore wrong to say that he was equally great both in the field of theory and organisation. Lenin's contribution to the theory of knowledge, political science and economics would not have been remembered for very long if his organizational struggle had not been crowned with victory in October 1917. Lenin cannot at all measure up to Marx as a theoretician – and to think so is among the great mistakes of organized communism .
Lenin is no match for Marx as a theoretician.
I have been struck by the fact that while avowedly bourgeois writers misunderstand Marx in nine out of ten cases, they almost always succeed in rendering Lenin correctly. I see the explanation for this in the fact that Marx thinks in a new way, while Lenin really does not, in relation to bourgeois liberalism.
The famous Bthe rosary about imperialism is mainly a presentation of the English liberal Hobson's theory, something Lenin does not hide. Some continuation of Marx's economic theory is therefore sought to be discussed here.
Within political theory, it is striking that Lenin, compared to Marx, once again directs attention to the State as the main subject of politics – while with Marx it was a main point that it was a bourgeois mystification and blindness to be very concerned with the state institution. Admittedly, Lenin had good tactical reasons for thinking as he did – the coup d'état in October was after all the prelude to a real upheaval in social conditions. But posterity has generally not had as good tactical reasons.
If it is really necessary to focus attention on the state, a good state theory will have to look completely different from Lenin's, since the state has undergone great changes since his time. Lenin cannot therefore stand as a forerunner in this area.
The material world
As a theorist of knowledge, it is certain that Lenin is wrong about the relationship between the "subject" and the "object", and this has had particularly boring consequences for social studies. It is the activity of the "subject" – i.e. human beings – their work, struggle, play, research, which is the source of cognition, it is through activity that they acquire the outside world.
The business is all appropriation and property grounds. But when the business has a compulsive character – such as through paid work – the results of the business are disposed of, and the recognition is distorted: From madness, nervous disorders, drunkenness to social isolation and political impotence.
Declared bourgeois writers misunderstand Marx in nine cases out of ten.
The struggle of the salaried working class is a struggle against alienation at all levels of social life. None of this can be read about in Lenin, because – contrary to and influenced by bourgeois theorists – he does not base the "dialectic" between the "subject" and the "object" on activity (like Marx), but on consciousness as a reflection of the material the outside world. There were certainly good tactical reasons for this as well, but this theoretical legacy has to this day hampered the communist parties in their efforts to understand the peculiarity of the contradictions in our time's industrial capitalist and socialist societies.