Marx & Lenin- Ideology Differences Essay

Marx’s class struggle was one of the founding ideas of Lenin’s modern socialism. Marx’s ideas were socialist- he believed in equalizing the economic asymmetry. Marx’s (and Engels) ideals consisted of a passive and natural mental shift from one political mentality to the next, claiming that society evolved together: from one phase to the next. According to Marx, class struggle evolved from hunter to slavery to feudalism to capitalism to imperialism to socialism and the final social stage being communism.

So, the only way for society to turn over to the next stage was through full maturity of the stage. Marx only wrote this: he was the philosopher behind Lenin’s proletariat revolution, the point of reference to take action and overthrow feudalism in Russia. At this point, Russia had just passed the feudal state of the czar, and was slowly turning more and more capitalist. Imperialism and capitalism were taking place simultaneously, as it naturally happens in capitalistic countries.

Even though Marx believed that in order for Russia to move on to socialism and then communism the natural process called class struggle had to occur, this process being a generations process, meaning that it requires the people to undergo a mental shift that could take several generation’s time, Lenin believed that the process could be shortened and shift the citizen’s mind quickly from feudalism, to imperialistic-capitalism to socialism in a matter of years, not decades or generations.

Logically, Lenin wanted change to happen in his lifetime, rather than have to wait through Marx’s idea of class struggle. And in order to do this, not only would he have to speed up the process of class struggle, but change the mechanics of Marx’s ideals. Lenin adapted many ideas-but he was a strict communist. Rather waiting for the people to become class conscious and revolt, Lenin believed in forcefully implementing widespread socialist policies.

He believed that because the working class is only smart enough to develop “union consciousness”, and because the working class was so small in Russia at the time, both, the working class and the peasantry should join the revolution. However, Marx believed that the peasantry would always be loyal to the current regime (conservatives). It is said very often that Lenin took one step further and quicker than Marx in forming a communist Soviet Union.