September 24, 2009

Lenin, What Is To Be Done?, “The Spontaneity of the Masses and the Consciousness of the Social-Democrats” (1901), excerpt



To belittle the socialist ideology in any way, to turn aside from it in the slightest degree means to strengthen bourgeois ideology. There is much talk of spontaneity. But the spontaneous development of the working-class movement leads to its subordination to bourgeois ideology; for the spontaneous working-class movement is trade-unionism, and trade unionism means the ideological enslavement of the workers by the bourgeoisie. Hence, our task, the task of Social-Democracy, is to combat spontaneity, to divert the working-class movement from this spontaneous, trade-unionist striving to come under the wing of the bourgeoisie, and to bring it under the wing of revolutionary Social Democracy.

Lenin, What Is To Be Done?, “The Spontaneity of the Masses and the Consciousness of the Social-Democrats” (1901)

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