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Lenin

Book Reviews: 'Karl Marx', & 'Lenin'

Marx and Lenin - Distorted Views

'Karl Marx', by R. W. Postgate. 1s. 6d.

'Lenin', by R. Palme Dutt. Is. 6d. (Hamish Hamilton, Ltd., 90, Great Russell Street, W.C.1.)

The above two booklets form part of a series purporting to deal with the pioneers of Socialism and issued at a uniform price. Containing less than a hundred pages each, it is obvious that the subjects suffer a great deal from compression. This is particularly noticeable in the case of Marx. Unfortunately, this is not the only serious defect.

Book Review: 'The Insurrectionists'

The Bourgeois role of Bolshevism

'The Insurrectionists', by W. J. Fishman. Methuen, 55s.

The theme of this book is one we ourselves have often advanced: that, as we put it in the April SOCIALIST STANDARD, Lenin's theory of the vanguard party can be traced back through Russian revolutionaries like Ogarev and Tkachev to French revolutionaries like Babeuf and Buonarroti.

Fishman writes as an obvious opponent of what he thinks is Socialism and so does not really know what Marxism is all about. Nevertheless he does describe well enough the evolution of insurrectionist ideas as they spread from 18th century France to 20th century Russia and he does make some useful points.

Book Review: 'Imperialism - Pioneer of Capitalism'

'Imperialism: Pioneer of Capitalism', by Bill Warren, Verso, £3.95

It is not difficult to see why this book has been the subject of a virtual conspiracy of silence in left wing circles since it challenges one of their deep-rooted pre-judices: anti-imperialism. Warren argues that, far from keeping the underdeveloped countries underdeveloped imperialism, in paving the way for the development of capitalism, has precisely provided the framework for their modernisation and development.

World View: Lenin, Theorist of Nationalism

Lenin's very notion that "imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism" supposes that one nation exploits another, so requiring a "national liberation" movement for the subject nation, which leads the working class of two different countries into a game of slaughtering each other. But the working class has no nation, only a world to win.

We know that, historically, unless a particular class monopolises the means of production and distribution and forces the rest of the people to sell their labour power, no capitalist production is possible. Private property is monopoly. Coupled with the division of labour it is the basis of commodity production as of exchange, money, the market, etc.

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