A Few Questions Concerning Lenin’s Conception of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
The dictatorship of the proletariat, which is one of Lenin’s most controversial ideas, constantly changed with the development of revolutionary practice. Generally speaking, Lenin considers the dictatorship of the proletariat to be the social reformation enforced by the Bolshevik leader, and in a sense the whole society is the object of this dictatorship. Lenin’s conception of the dictatorship of the proletariat is based on the precedence of ideology in Marx’s and Engels’ formulations of the theory socialist revolution. It is also relevant to Lenin’s understanding of socialism. Lenin’s view about the dictatorship of the proletariat stemmed from the real situations that obtained in Russia. The agrarian foundation of its entire social life and the predominant ‘East-ness’ of its culture determined the grand scale of the Russian socialist revolution, and dictatorship was necessary for the normal functioning of the social experiment. It is thus unreasonable and unjust to criticize Lenin’s dictatorship of the proletariat from a so-called humanitarian perspective.