Unless we accept the claim that Lenin’s coup gave birth
to an entirely new state, and indeed to a new era in the history of
mankind, we must recognize in today’s Soviet Union the old empire of the
Russians — the only empire that survived into the mid 1980’sO (Luttwak,
In their Communist Manifesto of 1848, Karl Marx and Friedrich
Engels applied the term communism to a final stage of socialism in which
all class differences would disappear and humankind would live in
harmony. Marx and Engels claimed to have discovered a scientific
approach to socialism based on the laws of history. They declared that
the course of history was determined by the clash of opposing forces
rooted in the economic system and the ownership of property. Just as
the feudal system had given way to capitalism, so in time capitalism
would give way to socialism. The class struggle of the future would be
between the bourgeoisie, who were the capitalist employers, and the
proletariat, who were the workers. The struggle would end, according to
Marx, in the socialist revolution and the attainment of full communism
Socialism, of which OMarxism-LeninismO is a takeoff, originated
in the West. Designed in France and Germany, it was brought into Russia
in the middle of the nineteenth century and promptly attracted support
among the country’s educated, public-minded elite, who at that time were
called intelligentsia (Pipes, 21). After Revolution broke out over
Europe in 1848 the modern working class appeared on the scene as a major
historical force. However, Russia remained out of the changes that
Europe was experiencing. As a socialist movement and inclination, the
Russian Social-Democratic Party continued the traditions of all the
Russian Revolutions of the past, with the goal of conquering political
As early as 1894, when he was twenty-four, Lenin had become a
revolutionary agitator and a co…