In the introductory section of his essay, Lenin declares,
The Marxist doctrine is omnipotent because it is true. It is comprehensive and harmonious, and provides men with an integral world outlook irreconcilable with any form of superstition, reaction, or defence of bourgeois oppression.
Later, in closing, Lenin writes,
People always have been the foolish victims of deception and self-deception in politics, and they always will be until they have learnt to seek out the interests of some class or other behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises. Champions of reforms and improvements will always be fooled by the defenders of the old order until they realise that every old institution, however barbarous and rotten it may appear to be, is kept going by the forces of certain ruling classes. And there is only one way of smashing the resistance of those classes, and that is to find, in the very society which surrounds us, the forces which can — and, owing to their social position, must — constitute the power capable of sweeping away the old and creating the new, and to enlighten and organise those forces for the struggle.
Marx’s philosophical materialism alone has shown the proletariat the way out of the spiritual slavery in which all oppressed classes have hitherto languished. Marx’s economic theory alone has explained the true position of the proletariat in the general system of capitalism.
Does Lenin’s analysis here strike you as timely or anachronistic?
Do you think it’s important to always “seek out the interests of some class or other behind all moral, religious, political and social phrases, declarations and promises”?
Lenin’s analysis places Marx’s “doctrine of the class struggle” front and center. Do you find Lenin’s line of analysis either compelling or persuasive?