Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sun, 4/3, Day School: "Lenin and the Politics of Revolutionary Socialism"

12-3pm, Rm 3545, 3rd Fl, Campus Center, UMass Boston (directions)

The next event in our political education plan will be a district-wide day school on "Lenin's Revolutionary Politics." The main reading for our discussion will be Lenin's 1902 book, What is to Be Done?
What is to Be Done? is Lenin's earliest working out of the idea of the revolutionary socialist party. It appeared at a critical time in the development of revolutionary socialism in Russia and provided the basis for building what was soon to be know as the Bolshevik Party.

Lenin's ideas are central to the political tradition and long-term project of the ISO. They seem freshly relevant today, when revolutionary uprisings in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East, together with a reawakening of militant class struggle here in the US, pose critical questions about how the working class can organize its potential power to overthrow capitalism and begin the process of building a new, truly democratic society based on meeting human needs.
The following articles will also provide helpful background and context for our discussion:

Paul D'Amato, "The Myth of Lenin's Elitism"
Tony Cliff, "Lenin and the Revolutionary Party"
Todd Chretien, "Lenin's Theory of the Party"
Paul D'Amato, "Lenin's Political Thought"

In addition, you may want to listen to a talk from last summer's Socialism 2010 conference in Chicago, by Lars Lih, author of some excellent analysis of Lenin's ideas and political leadership, titled, "We Must Dream".