The Role of the Vanguard Party

  • James Boggs
  • Grace Lee Boggs
Keywords: Marxism


All over the world this spring, wherever Marxist-Leninist parties have come to power, there will be mammoth celebrations of the hundredth anniversary of Lenin's birth. Where Marxist-Leninist parties are still striving to win power, often struggling with each other over how to achieve it, celebrations will also take place. There will even be celebrations by parties that call themselves Marxist-Leninist but have never even conceived of themselves taking power. Liberals also will take advantage of the occasion to try to discredit Lenin, exposing what they call the "bureaucratic tendencies" inherent in his concept of the vanguard party and trying to make him responsible for everything that has taken place in Soviet Russia since his death. Whatever one's political complexion, everyone is compelled to recognize that what Lenin thought and did has fundamentally altered the course of the world in which we live.