Lenin On Socialism In One Country

 

Here will be quotes from Lenin arguing for Socialism in One Country. I’m making a video on this subject and have been researching it. I will be updating this list as I find more.

I know that there are, of course, sages who think they are very clever and even call themselves Socialists, who assert that power should not have been seized until the revolution had broken out in all countries. They do not suspect that by speaking in this way they are deserting the revolution and going over to the side of the bourgeoisie. To wait until the toiling classes bring about a revolution on an international scale means that everybody should stand stock-still in expectation. That is nonsense.”

Complete and final victory on a world scale cannot be achieved in Russia alone; it can be achieved only when the proletariat is victorious in at least all the advanced countries, or, at all events, in some of the largest of the advanced countries. Only then shall we be able to say with absolute confidence that the cause of the proletariat has triumphed, that our first objective—the overthrow of capitalism—has been achieved.”

(Speech delivered at a joint meeting of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Moscow Soviet, 14th May 1918 – V.I. Lenin)

We have achieved this objective in one country, and this confronts us with a second task. Since Soviet power has been established, since the bourgeoisie has been overthrown in one country, the second task is to wage the struggle on a world scale, on a different plane, the struggle of the proletarian state surrounded by capitalist states.

This situation is an entirely novel and difficult one.

On the other hand, since the rule of the bourgeoisie has been overthrown, the main task is to organise the development of the country.”

(The Achievements and Difficulties of the Soviet Government – V.I. Lenin)

“…when we are told that the victory of socialism is possible only on a world scale, we regard this merely as an attempt, a particularly hopeless attempt, on the part of the bourgeoisie and its voluntary and involuntary supporters to distort the irrefutable truth. The ‘final’ victory of socialism in a single country is of course impossible.”

(Speech to the Third All-Russia Congress of Soviets, 1918 – V.I. Lenin)

A United States of the World (not of Europe alone) is the state form of the unification and freedom of nations which we associate with socialism—about the total disappearance of the state, including the democratic. As a separate slogan, however, the slogan of a United States of the World would hardly be a correct one, first, because it merges with socialism; second, because it may be wrongly interpreted to mean that the victory of socialism in a single country is impossible”

Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism. Hence, the victory of socialism is possible first in several or even in one capitalist country alone. After expropriating the capitalists and organising their own socialist production, the victorious proletariat of that country will arise against the rest of the world—the capitalist world”

free union of nations in socialism is impossible without a more or less prolonged and stubborn struggle of the socialist republics against the backward states.”

(On the Slogan for a United States of Europe – V.I. Lenin)

“‘The development of capitalism proceeds extremely unevenly in the various countries. It cannot be otherwise under the commodity production system. From this, it follows irrefutably that Socialism cannot achieve victory simultaneously in all countries. It will achieve victory first in one or several countries, while the others will remain bourgeois or pre-bourgeois for some time.’”

(The Military Programme of the Proletarian Revolution: I – V.I. Lenin)

As a matter of fact, the political power of the Soviet over all large-scale means of production, the power in the state in the hands of the proletariat, the alliance of this proletariat with the many millions of small and very small peasants, the assured leadership of the peasantry by the proletariat, etc, …is not this all that is necessary in order from the co-operatives – from the co-operatives alone, which we formerly treated as huckstering, and which, from a certain aspect, we have the right to treat as such now, under the new economic policy – is not this all that is necessary in order to build a complete socialist society? This is not yet the building of socialist society but it is all that is necessary and sufficient for this building.”

(“On Cooperation,” 1923 – V.I. Lenin)

Socialism is no longer a matter of the distant future, or an abstract picture, or an icon. We still retain our old bad opinion of icons. We have dragged socialism into everyday life, and here we must find our way. This is the task of our day, the task of our epoch. Permit me to conclude by expressing the conviction that, difficult as this task may be, new as it may be compared with our previous task, and no matter how many difficulties it may entail, we shall all—not in one day, but in the course of several years—all of us together fulfil it whatever happens so that NEP Russia will become socialist Russia”

(Speech At A Plenary Session Of The Moscow Soviet November 20, 1922 – V.I. Lenin)

. . . Infinitely hackneyed is the argument that they learned by rote during the development of West-European Social-Democracy, namely, that we are not yet ripe for socialism, that, as certain ‘learned’ gentlemen among them express it, the objective economic prerequisites for socialism do not exist in our country. And to none of them does it occur to ask himself: But what about a people that found itself in a revolutionary situation such as that created during the first imperialist war? Might it not, under the influence of the hopelessness of its situation, fling itself into a struggle that offered it some chance, at least., of securing conditions, not quite ordinary, for the further development of its civilisation. . . .

If a definite level of culture is required for the building of socialism (although nobody can say just what that definite ‘level of culture’ is), why cannot we begin by first achieving the prerequisites for the definite level of culture in a revolutionary way, and then, on the basis of the workers’ and peasants’ government and the Soviet system, proceed to overtake the other nations? . . .

You say that civilisation is necessary for the creation of socialism. Very good. But why could we not first, create such prerequisites of civilisation in our country as the expulsion of the landlords and the Russian capitalists, and then start moving towards socialism? In what books have you read that such variations of the customary, historical. procedure are impermissible or impossible?” (Our Revolution – V.I. Lenin)

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