Although Lenin was a Communist leader, he did not completely agree with or follow Marx’s ideas.
Unlike Karl Marx, Lenin, the Bolshevik leader, felt that a Revolution could be brought about by a small number of revolutionaries. However, to some extent, Lenin did follow the principles provided in Marx’s The Communist Manifesto.Once Lenin came into power he established his Domestic Economic Policy, which he felt would make Russia a well-developed country.
As leader, he also felt that he had to preserve Soviet power by any means necessary, therefore he justified the appearance of weapons and the term ‘war communism’ had a new meaning. As a step to secure communism, Lenin followed one of the principles stated in The Communist Manifesto, which called for the centralization of all means of production and transportation. After June 1918, industrial enterprises were rapidly nationalized and workers and managers were subjected to rigid control.As a result of the centralization of all means of production, the State now owned everything in the country that could produce any income, including the land of the peasants. The use of property for public purposes complied with Marx’s principle of the abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes. The abolition of their lands angered peasants, who had also been divided by Lenin into two groups, the Kulaks, who were the better off, and the Exploiters, which was composed of the poor peasants.
Although, one might think that Lenin’s act of removing the peasant’s land is in compliance with one of Marx’s principles, “Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels,” they would be mistaken, for the peasants were not Lenin’s enemies, but rather were essential to the success of the Revolution.Furthermore, Lenin also decided to abolish the use of money by allowing the unrestricted production of money, which would cause it to no longer be worth anything. Although Lenin abolished the use of money, he created the Supreme Council of the National Economy to allocate resources in the most productive manner.
This adhered to Marx’s principle of centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly. Other than abolishing the use of money, Lenin also introduced ‘compulsory work’ which required everyone to work. This followed a part of one of Marx’s ideas, which states “Equal obligation of all to work.” In addition to the introduction of ‘compulsory work’, Lenin nationalized all schools and put them under the Commissariat of Enlightenment, which opened education to everyone. This followed the principle of free education for all children in public schools, which was the opposite of before when education was only given to Russia’s elite and only the wealthy received an education.
Despite Lenin’s struggle to abide by most of Marx’s ideas, he failed to follow one principle, in particular, which would have saved the entire Soviet countryside from rebellion. Instead of having created a heavy progressive or graduated income tax, in which the peasants gave in some of their surplus grains, Lenin forced the peasants into turning in all their surplus grains. He also accused those who refused to give their grains to the stationed units around the countryside, whose job was to assure that the peasants turned in their grains, as ‘enemies of the people’. By removing the peasants of their surplus grains he created in them resentment, which was unleashed in form of a peasant revolution in 1921. The peasants began fighting the Red Army, who was there to represent the peasants, but also to take their grains. However, between 1921 and 1928, Lenin established a tax in which the peasants could now do whatever they wanted to do with their surplus.
But this change came to late; the damage had already been done.Lenin’s actions throughout his regimen were, as you can see, to some extent in compliance with the principles stated in Karl Marx’s The Communist Manifesto. Although Lenin did not go about them as specified, these measures, are however, different in different countries and are generally applicable.