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The affinities of Lenin and Gramsci: implications for radical adult education theory and practice

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Abstract:

The Russian communists are a first-class ruling elite. As all those who have dealt with him have attested, Lenin has revealed himself as the greatest statesman of contemporary Europe. He is a man who radiates prestige, a man who can enflame and discipline whole populaces; a man whose vast brain can dominate all those social energies, throughout the world, which can be turned to the benefit of the revolution; a man who can check and even checkmate, the most wily and refined statesman of the bourgeois political routine. (Antonio Gramsci 1994 [1919]: 92) One of the most striking characteristics of Leninism is its formidable coherence and consistency. Leninism is a unified system of thought and practical action, in which everything hangs together and everything confirms everything else, from the general conception of the world right down to the most minute problems of organization. The fundamental nucleus of Leninism, where practical action is concerned, is the dictatorship of the proletariat and all the tactical and organizational problems of Leninism are linked to the question of how best to prepare and organize for the proletarian dictatorship. (Antonio Gramsci 1994 [1925]: 281-282) And let no-one say that the Leninist criteria for Party organization are peculiar to the Russian situation and that it is a purely mechanical approach to try to apply them to Western Europe. (Antonio Gramsci 1994 [1925]: 285)

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/026013799293649

Publication date: September 1, 1999

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