Dismissed and derided for decades, socialism is back.
From Jeremy Corbyn to Bernie Sanders, the forces fuelling its comeback are associated with movements against austerity, racism and war. But their main focus for pushing through social change is still parliamentary reform.
So if reformist socialists who focus on parliament are making headway, why should the revolutionary Vladimir Lenin’s ideas matter today? John Molyneux’s Lenin for Today argues that “Lenin is relevant because the Russian Revolution is relevant”.
Vladimir Lenin returned to Russia in April 1917, five weeks after a revolution had overthrown the hated Tsar. Alan Gibson sets out the pivotal role Lenin played in arguing that the revolution must go further than change at the top. His April Theses are an object lesson in audacity and leadership.
‘This is the ravings of a madman.” So said Alexander Bogdanov about Vladimir Lenin’s speech in the days following his arrival at the Finland Station in Petrograd at the beginning of April 1917 — a speech that Pravda published as The April Theses.