In April 1917, a month after the Romanov Dynasty in Russia effectively ended with the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, Vladimir Ilich Lenin returned to Russia from exile with a formidable revolutionary mentality. The Tsar’s abdication prompted a period of dual power between select members of the defunct fourth Duma, now termed the Provisional Government, and the newly formed Petrograd Soviet. This arrangement offered a sense of political stability, a stability that was detrimental to Lenin’s quest for permanent revolution. Thus, Lenin’s return had a clear purpose; to cease the political cooperation between the two governing bodies, which would in turn enable him to instigate the implementation of socialism in Russia. This movement was inaugurated by his speech at Finland Station and more significantly cemented in his infamous “April Theses” that was originally published in the Bolshevik’s newspaper, Pravda on April 7th 1917. The Theses was, in simple terms, a collection of Lenin’s arguments that called for Soviet control of the state, yet in essence it was the Bolshevik blueprint for revolution.
The fundamental aspect of Lenin’s Theses is the simultaneous call for the overthrow of the liberal bourgeois government and a campaign for socialism. Lenin states that “Russia… is passing from the first stage of revolution… to its second stage, which must place power in the hands of the proletariat and the poorest sections of the peasants” and, significantly, he believes this to only be possible with “no support for the Provisional Government”. In this sense, Lenin destroys the idea of a prolonged capitalist stage as he seeks the immediate commencement of the transition to socialism through the “social production and the distribution of products… under the control of the Soviets of Workers’ Deputies.” It is this underlying drive for socialism that effectively ends the cooperative period of dual government and ignites a competitive political environment....
Bibliography: Vladimir Lenin, The April Theses, ‘The Tasks of the Proletariat in the Present Revolution’, Moscow, 1970
Vladimir Lenin, Letters From Afar, in A. Fineberg (ed.), V. I. Lenin Selected Works Volume VI From the Bourgeois Revolution to the Proletarian Revolution, London, 1946, pp. 3, 7.
Neil Harding, Lenin’s Political Thought Volume 1 Theory and Practice in the Democratic Revolution, New York, 1978, p. 13.
Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Russian Revolution, Oxford, 1994, p. 51
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