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An interpretation of Communism in which Lenin sought to adapt the central tenets of Marxism to the experience of Russia, an economically backward agrarian state. The emergence of imperialism was considered to be a central, unforeseeable factor which had occurred since the development of Marxism. This enabled the propertied classes in industrially advanced countries to expand production and to spread the economic benefits to those workers who were prepared to accept the current economic system. This group of workers formed a so-called ‘labour aristocracy’, a process which prevented class unity. Left to itself, the proletariat would never rise up against the existing order. Hence Lenin emphasized the importance of the need for party elites and of ‘professional revolutionaries’, who would prepare and carry out the revolution and then create a Communist consciousness among the workers.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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