August Nimtz “‘The Ballot’ and/or ‘the Streets’: The Marxist Basis of Lenin’s Electoral Strategy” – A Report on a Book Project Historical Materialism Conference 2012
One of the more incredibly concise and clear explanations on Lenin’s conceptions surrounding electoral politics and revolutionaries place in the electoral arena.
“The first is that no one did more to utilize the electoral and parliamentary arenas for revolutionary ends than Vladimir Ilych Ulyanov—Lenin. The second argument is that Lenin’s position on the “streets” versus the “ballot box”—no, it wasn’t either/or—was squarely rooted in the politics of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels. Third, the historic split in international Marxism between communism and social democracy was long in place before the Guns of August 1914 exploded, owing in large part to two very different conceptions of how Marxists should comport themselves in the electoral/parliamentary arenas—with Lenin on one side and what would become twentieth-century social democracy on the other side. The last claim is that the head-start program the founders of the modern communist movement gave Lenin on electoral politics goes a long way toward explaining why the Bolsheviks, rather than any other political current, were hegemonic in October 1917.” – August Nimtz on his arguments in his book Lenin’s Electoral Strategy from Marx and Engels through the Revolution of 1905 The Ballot, the Streets—or Both accompanied with Lenin’s Electoral Strategy from 1907 to the Revolution of October 1917: “The Ballot” or “the Streets”—or Both