Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Marx, Engels, Lenin: Marxism and the Role of Marxist-Leninist Theory

Brothers and Sisters,

Marxism-Leninism is "a science in the finest sense of the word." (Boris N. Ponomarev, Marxism-Leninism: A Flourishing Science, 1979, International Publishers)

Check out these excerpts from the Marxist-Leninist classics:

"Just as the economists are the scientific representatives of the bourgeois class, so the Socialists and the Communists are the theoreticians of the proletarian class." (Marx, The Poverty of Philosophy, 1847, pg. 140, Moscow, FLPH)

"Just as Darwin discovered the law of development of organic nature, so Marx discovered the law of development of human history: the simple fact, hitherto concealed by an overgrowth of ideology, that mankind must first of all eat, drink, have shelter and clothing, before it can pursue politics, science, art, religion, etc.; that therefore the production of the immediate material means of subsistence and consequently the degree of economic development attained by a given people or during a given epoch form the foundation upon which the state institutions, the legal conceptions, art and even the ideas in religion, of the people concerned have been evolved, and in the light of which they must, therefore, be explained instead of vice versa, as had hitherto been the case.

"Marx discovered the special law of motion governing the present- day capitalist mode of production and the bourgeois society that this mode of production has created. The discovery of surplus value suddenly threw light on the problem, in trying to solve which all previous investigations, of both bourgeois economists and socialist critics, had been groping in the dark."(Engels, Speech at the Graveside of Karl Marx, March 17, 1883, MESW, IP, 1977, p.435; MECW, Vol.24, pp.467-68)

"These two great discoveries, the materialist conception of history and the revelation of the secret of capitalist production by means of surplus value, we owe to Marx. With these discoveries socialism became a science..." (Engels, Anti-Duhring, 1878, pg 43, International Publishers)

"The communist revolution is the most radical rupture with traditional property relations; no wonder that it's development involves the most radical rupture with traditional ideas." (Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto, 1848, pg. 29, International Publishers, 1948)

"The great world-wide historical service of Marx and Engels lies in the fact that they proved by scientific analysis the inevitability of the downfall of capitalism and its transition to communism under which there will be no more exploitation of man by man.

"The great world-wide historical service of Marx and Engels lies in this, that they indicated to the proletarians of all countries their role, their tasks, their calling: to be the first to rise in the revolutionary fight against capital and unite around themselves in this struggle all the toilers and the exploited." (Lenin, Speech at the Unveiling of a Monument to Marx & Engels, Nov.7, 1918, CW, Vol.28, p.65)

"We do not regard Marx's theory as something completed and inviolable; on the contrary, we are convinced that it has only laid the foundation stone of the science which socialists must develop in all directions if they wish to keep pace with life. (Lenin, Our Programme, end of 1899, CW, Vol 4, p.211)

"The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point, however, is to change it." (Marx, Theses on Feuerbach, 1845, MESW, IP 1977, p.30; MECW, Vol.5, p.5)

"...the only choice is — either bourgeois or socialist ideology. There is no middle course (for mankind has not created a “third” ideology, and, moreover, in a society torn by class antagonisms there can never be a non-class or an above-class ideology). Hence, to belittle the socialist ideology in any way, to turn aside from it in the slightest degree means to strengthen bourgeois ideology." (Lenin, What Is To Be Done?, 1902, International Publishers, 1969)

"Without work, without struggle, a routine knowledge of communism obtained from communist pamphlets and books would be worthless, for it would continue the old divorcement of theory from practice, that old seperation which constituted the most disgusting feature of the old bourgeois society." (Lenin, Address at Congress of Russian Young Communist League, 1920, pg. 28)

"There is no royal road to science, and only those who do not dread the fatiguing climb of its steep paths have a chance of gaining its luminous summits." (Marx, Capital, Vol.I, Preface to the French Edition, March 18, 1872, IP Ed, p.21)

"Practice without theory is blind. Theory without practice is sterile. Theory becomes a material force as soon as it is absorbed by the masses." (Marx, Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Law, Jan. 1844, MECW, Vol. 3, p. 182)

Marx "The Germans [Marxists who moved to the USA] have not understood how to use their theory as a lever which could set the American masses in motion; they do not understand the theory themselves for the most part and treat it in a doctrinaire and dogmatic way, as something which has got to be learned off by heart but which will then supply all needs without more ado. To them it is a credo and not a guide to action." (Engels, Letter to F.A. Sorge, London, Nov.29, 1886, MESC, p.449-50; MECW, Vol.477, pp.531-32)

"Without revolutionary theory, there can be no revolutionary movement." (Lenin, What Is To Be Done?, 1902, CW, Vol.5, p.369)

"The Marxist doctrine is omnipotent because it is true!" (Lenin, Three Sources & Three Component Parts of Marxism, March 1913, CW, Vol.19, p.23)

"Nothing human is alien to me." Marx' favorite aphorism, original by Terence, poet of ancient Rome

"Theory is the experience of the working-class movement in all countries taken in its general aspect. Of course, theory becomes purposeless if it is not connected with revolutionary practice, just as practice gropes in the dark if its path is not illumined by revolutionary theory. But theory can become a tremendous force in the working-class movement if it is built up in indissoluble connection with revolutionary practice; for theory, and theory alone, can give the movement confidence, the power of orientation, and an understanding of the inner relation of surrounding events; for it, and it alone, can help practice to realize not only how and in which direction classes are moving at the present time, but also how and in which direction they will move in the near future." (Stalin, Foundations of Leninism, 1924, pg. 28-29, International Publishers, 1977)