Philosophy and Humanities

Lenin abstract machine, and the Bolshevik collective assemblage

Evgeny Konoplev20/04/24 15:45531


On January 21, 1924, the outstanding revolutionary and thinker Vladimir Ilyich Lenin died. The centenary of his death is a memorable date, since capitalism, which Lenin fought all his conscious life, although close to its fall, must still be finished off with our hands. Therefore, the experience and ideas embodied in the figure of Lenin are still relevant for us, and the publication of this article is timed not to coincide with the date of his death, but with Lenin’s birthday, April 22, 1870.

However, who today does not understand the relevance of Lenin’s legacy! Trotskyist sectarians and Stalinist dogmatists, dreamers of May '68 and hardened accelerationists, Zizek and Zyuganov, Alain Badiou and Xi Jin Ping — all this year pay tribute to the deceased leader of the world proletariat. What new and significant can we say in this chorus of research and praise, which has been sounding for more than a century, that would not have been expressed or written before us?

But this: if the structuralist-poststructuralist critique of humanism is correct, if society does not consist of people, and the universal unit of reality is the assembly — then who in this case was Lenin, and what does this mean for the interpretation of his ideas?

1. “Lenin abstract machine, and the Bolshevik collective assemblage…”

If for Marxist structuralism in the person of Louis Althusser and post-structuralist Marxism in the person of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, the figure of Lenin and Marxist problematics in general remain significant, then in post-Deleuzian philosophy these problematics are definitely washed out. If for Deleuze, as for Lenin, the question of the relationship between class struggle and micropolitics is essential, then for post-Deleuzians the class struggle drops out, and micropolitics loses its political nature. The works of Jane Bennett, Rosi Braidotti, Brian Massumi — or Timothy Morton, Dylan Trigg, Ray Brassier and others do not pose or resolve any significant political and theoretical problems — but convey a certain mood, joyfully enthusiastic or mournfully pessimistic from the awareness of materiality and isolation various things doomed to destruction by the inexorable passage of time. Against this background, the works of our contemporary Yoel Regev stand out, insisting on a more theoretical reading of the works of both Deleuze and classical Marxism. Some obvious shortcomings inherent in Regev’s philosophy, to a critical understanding of which the article “TJing and its contradictions” is devoted, do not negate the correctness of posing the question of reassembling modern philosophy that has reached a dead end. The cross-cutting theme in Regev’s works is a number of references to Marxism in general and in particular to the activities of V. I. Lenin. And this is not accidental — after all, at all stages it contains the question of removing the metaphysical extremes of a real social and theoretical movement with which Lenin and his associates dealt: tsarism and capitalism; city and village; proletariat and peasantry; parliamentarism and otzovism; opportunism and anarchism; ultimately — plan or market, capitalism or communism.

At the same time, Lenin’s practice of resolving the contradictions between these opposites was not theoretically formalized by him, while Althusser’s attempts to correct this and develop a “theory of theoretical practice” reached a dead end. This lack of clarity is associated with the lack of an adequate connection between the concepts and practices of classical Marxism, represented by the activities of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky and their associates — and the spectrum of neo-Marxist concepts, starting with German Freudo-Marxism, the Frankfurt School, up to Deleuze and the present day. In the article “The Necessity of Marxist Hermeneutics”, I write in more detail about the presence of this unresolved contradiction, in which some Marxists are caught in the time period of 1844-1937, the culmination of which is the revolution of 1917 — and the other part is caught in the interval stretching from the beginning of 30 's and to this day, whose culmination was the events of 1968 — and how negatively it affects the development of materialist theory and practice of the struggle for communism. The theory, if this contradiction is unresolved, slides into either a dogmatic repetition of theoretical positions of a century ago, taken out of context, or into an eclectic mixture of everything with everything with the goal of “improving” Marxism, supplementing it with, say, liberation theology, Nietzscheanism, anarcho-ecologicalism, object-oriented ontology or jokes of Slavoj Zizek — without the latter, we, of course, cannot get out of the swamp of dogmatism! Practice in such a situation turns into meaningless activism, associated either with the distribution of newspapers at checkpoints that no one reads — or with pickets and performances in defense of homeless cats and dogs (to the protection of stray pigeons, rats and cockroaches, environmental activism, as far as I know, is still didn’t arrive). The fact that in some cases these forms of inactivity can take on large-scale forms — for example, when they are financed by parliamentary parties, here or in the West, does not change the essence of the matter: these forms of activity do not represent actions that change the way the system functions, and therefore do not are political actions by definition.

Does the conceptual apparatus of modern materialism, including co-indentology, allow us to understand the reasons for the isolation of these two temporal formations and possibilize them in the general process of changing reality and our forms of cognition of it? Or, to put it another way: how is it possible to be simultaneously an orthodox Marxist and a creative neo-Marxist, to rely simultaneously on Lenin and Deleuze? The latter, by the way, is one of the undeveloped possibilities of the schizoanalytic project, since Guattari and Deleuze themselves write the following in the fourth chapter of “A Thousand Plateaus”:

"Pragmatics is a politics of language. A study such as Jean-Pierre Faye’s on the constitution of Nazi statements in the German social field is in this respect exemplary (and cannot be directly transferred to the constitution of Fascist statements in Italy). Transformational research of this kind is concerned with the variation of the order-words and noncorporeal attributes linked to social bodies and effectuating immanent acts. We may take as another example, under different conditions, the formation of a properly Leninist type of statement in Soviet Russia, basing ourselves on a text by Lenin entitled "On Slogans" (1917). This text constituted an incorporeal transformation that extracted from the masses a proletarian class as an assemblage of enunciation before the conditions were present for the proletariat to exist as a body. A stroke of genius from the First Marxist International, which "invented" a new type of class: Workers of the world, unite! Taking advantage of the break with the Social Democrats, Lenin invented or decreed yet another incorporeal transformation that extracted from the proletarian class a vanguard as an assemblage of enunciation and was attributed to the "Party," a new type of party as a distinct body, at the risk of falling into a properly bureaucratic system of redundancy. The Leninist wager, an act of audacity? Lenin declared that the slogan {mot d’ordre) "All power to the Soviets" was valid only from the 27th of February to the 4th of July for the peacetime development of the Revolution, and no longer held in the state of war; the passage from peace to war implied this transformation, not just from the masses to a guiding proletariat, but from the proletariat to a directing vanguard. July 4 exactly the power of the Soviets came to an end. All of the external circumstances can be assigned: the war as well as the insurrection that forced Lenin to flee to Finland. But the fact remains that the incorporeal transformation was uttered on the 4th of July, prior to the organization of the body to which it would be attributed, namely, the Party itself. "Every particular slogan must be deduced from the totality of the specific features of a definite political situation." If the objection is leveled that these specific features pertain to politics and not linguistics, it must be observed how thoroughly politics works language from within, causing not only the vocabulary but also the structure and all of the phrasal elements to vary as the order-words change. A type of statement can be evaluated only as a function of its pragmatic implications, in other words, in relation to the implicit presuppositions, immanent acts, or incorporeal transformations it expresses and which introduce new configurations of bodies. True intuition is not a judgment of grammaticality but an evaluation of internal variables of enunciation in relation to the aggregate of the circumstances."

And further:

"The abstract machine is always singular, designated by the proper mane of a group or individual, while the assemblage of enunciation is always collective, in the individual as in the group. The Lenin abstract machine, and the Bolshevik collective assemblage…. The same goes for literature, for music. There is no primacy of the individual; there is instead an indissolubility of a singular Abstract and a collective Concrete. The abstract machine does not exist independently of the assemblage, any more than the assemblage functions independently of the machine."

Doesn’t Lenin, in Deleuze and Guattari’s interpretation, turn out to be the name of some abstract machine, completely different from the physiological body with the functioning of which it was for some time associated? This assumption seems highly convincing not only from the point of view of the theory of assemblages, which fits entirely into the dialectic of reality and possibility — but also from the point of view of orthodox Marxism, in which society seems to consist of people, but people themselves are complexes of social relations sitting on biological bodies involved in instrumental-linguistic practices. In artistic form, the same idea is expressed in Voznesensky’s poem:

Shushenskoye. The walk in forest.

Deep silence in the crowns of trees.

The genius may change his bringer

As clarifying morning breeze.

All names and numbers fall in Lethe

But Genius will clothes off.

It soul of people. In this meaning

The Lenin was Andrei Rublev.

And flame of change was fluttered brightly

Like in Archangels flight in skyes

And mayhaps for a moment Lenin

Appears in Chernyshevsky’s eyes.

At last in narrow-gauge country,

Shooing away the frightened scum,

Ulyanov stay possesed by Lenin,

So priests believed that second come.

And He dictated his decisions

Ulyanov was his tech editor

In whirlwings of revolt collisions

Solution of the power take or…

So aimed so brained like lens in gunship

Accumulate in grapes of wrath

What people think — and in the slogan

Lead us to liberation path.

And often from the sleepless troubles,

When gaze unfocused, brain is melt,

Ulyanov spoke so quiet and tired:

"My dear Lenin, can you help?"

When he walked hunting in the forest

He was not Lenin at this time.

But Lenin with a peasant profile

Rise uped all cities and all towns.

Ulyanov’s body now is colded.

But Lenin’s flight to eyes and ears

Of chatting crowds is still continues

In human desert of the Earth.

Is it possible to think of the story of Lenin in the spirit of the transhumanist fiction of Vernor Vinge (02.10.1944-20.03.2024), as a story about an extremely powerful and cunning algorithmic intelligence, locked in the human condition and finding the best possible way at that time to avoid death after the death of the physical body — archived in works published in multi-million copies and translated into all the languages of the world, waiting for the moment when the doomed bourgeoisie will not develop technology to such a level that the archived image can again think and act on its own behalf? Such intuition would be both more accurate and more interesting than the incoherent whining of suffering activists about “the most humane person.”

How can you characterize this abstract machine? What parts and algorithms does it consist of? From the point of view of co-incidental ontology, this machine arose as the effect of an penetrational reduction of temporalities — while the abstract machine of Deleuze and Guattari, which we need for comparison, can be characterized as the effect of an already conjugational reduction of temporalities, which is especially clearly visible in the material of “A Thousand Plateaus”, various chapters which are dated in honor of certain historical events.

However, the question remains open: how to apply coincidental dialectics in this situation? How to bring together two apparently different temporal sequences, classical and neo-Marxism, whose names are Lenin and Deleuze?

Let’s go back. In fact, we are given a situation in which two environments that claim to be revolutionary insist that they possess the fullness of the truth — but in practice they do not achieve the declared result, and in theory they cannot prove the totality of their own position. This means that these environments are somehow produced by social reality and maintained in a divided state. In this case, the divided state turns out to be both a brake on the actual revolutionary process — and a condition for the union of opposites — since only something separate from each other can unite. To understand this abstract mechanics, let us first clarify two points: what did Lenin do from Deleuze’s point of view — and what did Deleuze do from Lenin’s point of view?

The most significant of Lenin’s early works are "The Development of Capitalism in Russia" and "What to Do?". In the first of them, he conducts a political economic analysis of the decomposition of feudal relations and the formation of capitalist relations, thereby refuting the populists’ thesis about the “special path of Russia” and the priority of the peasantry as a revolutionary class. In the second, he proposes the creation of an all-Russian political newspaper as a platform for uniting disparate Marxist circles, proving that such a newspaper can be not only a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer. In the article “Where to begin?”, which preceded the more extensive and polemical “What is to be done?”, Lenin writes:

"The role of a newspaper, however, is not limited solely to the dissemination of ideas, to political education, and to the enlistment of political allies. A newspaper is not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, it is also a collective organiser. In this last respect it may be likened to the scaffolding round a building under construction, which marks the contours of the structure and facilitates communication between the builders, enabling them to distribute the work and to view the common results achieved by their organised labour. With the aid of the newspaper, and through it, a permanent organisation will naturally take shape that will engage, not only in local activities, but in regular general work, and will train its members to follow political events carefully, appraise their significance and their effect on the various strata of the population, and develop effective means for the revolutionary party to influence these events. The mere technical task of regularly supplying the newspaper with copy and of promoting regular distribution will necessitate a network of local agents of the united party, who will maintain constant contact with one another, know the general state of affairs, get accustomed to performing regularly their detailed functions in the All-Russian work, and test their strength in the organisation of various revolutionary actions. This network of agents[1] will form the skeleton of precisely the kind of organisation we need—one that is sufficiently large to embrace the whole country; sufficiently broad and many-sided to effect a strict and detailed division of labour; sufficiently well tempered to be able to conduct steadily its own work under any circumstances, at all “sudden turns”, and in face of all contingencies; sufficiently flexible to be able, on the one hand, to avoid an open battle against an overwhelming enemy, when the enemy has concentrated all his forces at one spot, and yet, on the other, to take advantage of his unwieldiness and to attack him when and where he least expects it. Today we are faced with the relatively easy task of supporting student demonstrations in the streets of big cities; tomorrow we may, perhaps, have the more difficult task of supporting, for example, the unemployed movement in some particular area, and the day after to be at our posts in order to play a revolutionary part in a peasant uprising. Today we must take advantage of the tense political situation arising out of the government’s campaign against the Zemstvo; tomorrow we may have to support popular indignation against some tsarist bashi-bazouk on the rampage and help, by means of boycott, indictment, demonstrations, etc., to make things so hot for him as to force him into open retreat. Such a degree of combat readiness can be developed only through the constant activity of regular troops. If we join forces to produce a common newspaper, this work will train and bring into the foreground, not only the most skillful propagandists, but the most capable organisers, the most talented political party leaders capable, at the right moment, of releasing the slogan for the decisive struggle and of taking the lead in that struggle." Quot. by

Thus, Leninist philosophy presupposes a certain set of conceptual characters, of which the most important are the agitator and organizer involved in the process of reassembling social relations. Let’s look at them in more detail.

2. Agitator and organizer as conceptual characters

As was shown in the article “On Philosophical Practice, Part 1”, philosophy in its movement, completely autonomous from any social requirements due to operational isolation, at a certain stage necessarily turns to social issues. In the Deleuzian scheme, describing the functioning of philosophy at intervals of medium duration, this means a transition from the mode of reflection and its subsets to the mode of communication and its subsets. In the Althusserian scheme of transition between Generalities, describing the functioning of philosophy at the macro level, this means the presence of a gap between the ascending and descending branches of the trajectory, between philosophy that criticizes ideology (1-2) in the transition to scientific knowledge (2-3) — and philosophy that adapts (3-4) scientific findings for political practice (4-5):

In both cases, philosophy turns out to be a set of mental positions associated with other positions — scientific, political, artistic, etc. In this case, it does not matter at all whether these positions are combined on one person, or everyone occupies their own, or they are implemented in teams, human-machine systems, or even fully implemented in artificial neural networks. All that matters is the accuracy and speed of performing functions.

According to the 11th Thesis on Feuerbach, the task of philosophy is to change the world, not to interpret it. As has already been shown in the article devoted to understanding this text of Marx, the situation in this matter is somewhat more complicated than it seems to vulgar Marxists and activists, that is, supporters of the meaningless and fruitless vanity that they consider to be practice. Real practice necessarily includes the moment of theoretical, scientific knowledge of reality, and is possible only on its basis. This means that it is necessary to think about the difference and relationship between these positions — and also to draw up an indicative portrait of their bearers, as conceptual characters jointly involved in the process of changing the world.

However, first we list the conditions for the possibility of the existence of a politics.

The first and obvious prerequisite for the possibility of the existence of politics, like any other finite and therefore conditioned object, is the existence of an infinite material substance as the cause of itself and its modes. It is matter, and not god, not spirit, not the worldwide soul and not the worldwide will, that takes the form of the physical space of the universe with its laws and constants of elementary interactions; assembles into the shape of stellar systems and planets; grows on planets in evolving biospheres; reaches in its development a social form of movement, in which the political movement of matter unfolds. Moreover, subsequent levels of development are determined by the previous ones, so that without life on our planet there would be no society, and without the stability of physical laws there could be neither planets nor life on them. The materialist understanding of politics lies in the recognition of the fact that without the physical and biological forms of the movement of matter the social form could not exist, and that the social form as a more general precedes politics as a more specific form.

Based on what has been said, we can immediately get rid of the common eclectic idea that Marxism is economic centrism, or economic reductionism. The meaning of this concept, as well as its limitations, was successfully expressed by the Canadian reactionary and psychologist Jordan Peterson during a debate with Slavoj Žižek, which I wrote about in the article “11 Mistakes of Jordan Peterson”:

"History is to be viewed primarily as an economic class struggle. Alright, so let’s think about that for a minute. First of all, the proposition there is that history is primarily to be viewed through an economic lens, and I think that’s a debatable proposition because there are many other motivations that drive human beings than economics (my italics — E.K.) and those have to be taken into account. Especially that drive people other than economic competition, like economic cooperation, for example."

That is, the economy in this case is interpreted as one of the possible motivations of human behavior — and not as a real production activity, thanks to which subjects capable of certain motivations are exist!

From here, Marx’s idea becomes clearer: in order for subjects involved in politics to exist, there must be production that provides their existence with food, clothing, medicine, housing and other necessary goods, without which they will die of hunger, cold, disease, etc. And the dead — and this is an indisputable fact — do not engage in politics. The fact that in some “democracies” dead souls “vote” in elections is a political perversion, possible only due to the fact that those who rig elections using fictitious voters are not yet in the cemetery themselves.

From a more philosophical point of view, Marx’s concept of the determining role of production in relation to what is produced would be correctly defined not as economicocentrism, but as materialist productionism — that is, the recognition of two interrelated concepts:

1. All finite modes, from atoms to galaxies, and from nuts to states, must be produced in order to exist.

2. The productive cause of everything that exists is not God, but infinite substance, matter or nature.

To these two theses we can add a third, according to which those subjects who attribute economic centrism to Marx have no idea that all the goods necessary for their existence are produced by labor, and do not grow on trees, and do not arise out of thin air according to the thoughts of the Atlases of free enterprise.

Accordingly, the space of political relations is structured as material production. And since the latter is formed by two main factors: labor and capital, this is expressed in the existence of classes as collective subjects of these factors, that is, groups of feedback loops that ensure the expedient movement of bodies produced, distributed and consumed in these factors. Whereas politics turns out to be a consequence of the self-reference of the subjects of labor and capital to themselves and each other as moments of the social whole.

This obviously follows the elementary structure of the political division of parties as parties of either labor or capital — that is, living or materialized labor: left and right. Actually, I write about the division into left and right in politics, and about the incorrectness of their definition through the concepts of equality-inequality, freedom-authoritarianism, and similar arbitrarily chosen criteria, in an open letter “Marxism and Egalitarianism”: there is no symmetry or equivalence of political positions; Moreover, ultimately there is only one political position: the left, that is, the scientific and progressivist. The right-wing position is not political, but ideological, anti-scientific and regressive. Thus, the left in politics are those who follow the objective movement of historical progress; and the right are those who are trying in vain to slow it down. Therefore, over and over again throughout history, the left continues to win, and the right continues to lose.

At the same time, taking into account the unevenness and dialectic nature of social progress, we can distinguish between two types of leftists: leftists in the process of attacking old, outdated social structures — and leftists in the process of maintaining common goods won by struggle. Historically, these types correspond to the theoretical division between classical and neo-Marxism, the first of which is tied to the intuition of accelerating progress, the universality of scientific truth, the establishment of a global dictatorship of the proletariat and the world communist revolution, shaking the old foundations and overthrowing the ruling classes, against which they are unable to do anything. — while the second is based on the intuition of resistance to insane and anti-people reforms carried out by a government divorced from the masses, whose ideologists invent some pseudo-universalist theories that have nothing to do with reality, which are opposed by the power of a special, individual, unique life experience that is not captured by ideological schemes of obscurants in power.

The activist as a fussy subject concerned with the problems of inequality, world justice, ecology and the rights of objects is a product of the degradation of the second form of revolutionary struggle, aimed at retaining the benefits won by society. It was the bias in favor of the second form of existence of left-wing politics, which emerged already in the 20s with the victory of the October Revolution, that reached its culmination during the events of May 1968, and has since degraded, freeing up space for the synthesis of these two opposites.

The fact that the bias towards resistance and activism needs to be corrected is also clear from the suffering rhetoric of its apologists: help, our rights are being attacked! But there is no valor or anything commendable in the fact that reactionaries are attacking someone’s rights, in particular yours — the situation only testifies to your powerlessness in this situation. You would be praised and supported if you, having organized yourself, launched an attack on the capabilities of the reactionaries and enemies of the proletariat, so that their palaces and capital began to become public property. For now, all this is more reminiscent of Christian martyrdom or priestly socialism, which has nothing in common with scientific socialism.

A true synthesis presupposes the reconstruction, on the ground of neo-Marxism, of all the essential features of classical Marxism, based on the heritage of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky. Despite the fact that this synthesis is quite obvious from the point of view of both classical Marxism, which presupposes the development, and therefore the passage of further qualitative leaps, and from the point of view of neo-Marxism, because the very idea of orthodox Marxism is a neo-Marxist concept, invented by Lukács during the analysis of the works of Lenin and Marx, as I write in article "About systematization of Marxism".

So, we are talking about the reconstruction of not only Marxist, but also Leninist orthodoxy in a situation where its very trace, it would seem, has long been erased in a series of splits, betrayals, retreats and capitulations, thickened by the reactionaries into a cloud of impenetrable darkness at the end of history. The meaning of this condensation, however, is quite clear — to exaggerate individual retreats of progressive forces, and to present what our enemies want — the imaginary eternity of capitalism — as reality. Deception in politics is commonplace, especially when it comes to maintaining great power and great property with a lack of rational arguments in their defense.

This means that there is a demand for exposing ideological deception, clarification of real interests and the actual state of affairs. From here, by the way, follows a refutation of the activist delusion that “the people themselves” certainly know their interests better than “some theorists.” With the same success, one can prove that patients know better than doctors the course of the disease and the method of treating it, and the passengers of the plane know the method of managing it. If this were so, then deception would be impossible in politics. But since we see deception in politics everywhere, the hypothesis that “the people themselves” know their interests a priori, without scientific research, criticism of prejudices and deception, is untenable.

The expressions “the people themselves”, “ordinary people” and the like are a subtle substitution of the actual subject of politics and the historical process as a whole. Louis Althusser, polemicizing with the humanistic Marxist John Lewis, distinguishes the humanistic and materialist understanding of the subject of history (and therefore politics) as follows:


John Lewis: "It is man who makes history".

Marxism-Leninism: "It is the masses which make history".

What is this "man" who "makes" history? A mystery.[9]

What are the "masses" which make history"? In a class society they are the exploited masses, that is, the exploited social classes, social strata and social categories, grouped around the exploited class capable of uniting them in a movement against the dominant classes which hold state power.

The exploited class capable of doing this is not always the most exploited class, or the most wretched social "stratum".

In Antiquity, for example, it was not the slaves (except in a few periods — Spartacus) who "made" history in the strong, political sense of the term, but the most exploited classes among the "free" men (at Rome, the urban or rural "plebs").[10]

In the same way, under capitalism the "lumpenproletariat", as Marx called it, groups together the most wretched of men, the "lazarus-layers of the working-class".[11] But it is around the proletariat (the class which is exploited in capitalist production) that you will find grouped the masses which "make history", which are going to "make history" — that is, who are going to make the revolution which will break out in the "weakest link" of the world imperialist chain.

Against John Lewis’s Thesis — it is man who makes history — Marxism-Leninism has always opposed the Thesis: it is the masses which make history. The masses can be defined. In capitalism, the masses does not mean "the mass " of aristocrats of the "intelligentsia", or of the ideologists of fascism; it means the set of exploited classes, strata and categories grouped around the class which is exploited in large-scale production, the only class which is capable of uniting them and directing their action against the bourgeois state: the proletariat." Quot. by

It may be objected: but aren’t masses and classes simply large groups of people? — thus reducing the essence of the matter back to the everyday level of “ordinary people”. Next, we will draw a more clear distinction between the humanistic and materialistic understanding of the subject of the political and historical process, but to begin with, it is enough to briefly outline the fact of the difference between the two possible interpretations.

However, the subject of the historical process may be mistaken — and knowing this risk, he is interested in the scientific study of his own interests and criticism of ideological delusions that obscure and cloud the essence of the matter. A subject who carries out the work of explaining to the masses the actual state of affairs, their interests in it, and possible misconceptions — this is the working definition of an agitator. An agitator is an educator who transmits to the masses the political conclusions of the scientific picture of the world, delivered to him by philosophers in the mode of communication, or rather, political investment, in the Deleuzian interpretation of philosophical discourse.

Lenin’s idea of a new type of party, a party of professional revolutionaries, set out in "What is to be done?" — there is an idea of a union of agitators and organizers based on common substantive activities in the production and distribution of a political newspaper. In "Where to start?" — in an article that preceded the writing of this book, Lenin writes:

“The role of the newspaper, however, is not limited to the dissemination of ideas, political education and the attraction of political allies. The newspaper is not only a collective propagandist and collective agitator, but also a collective organizer.”

And Lev Davydovich Trotsky expresses the same thought in other words: “The newspaper exists primarily to connect people together, informing them about what is happening where.”

The adequacy of policy thus turns out to be dependent on a process of collective agitation and organization placed on a scientific basis. And the key figure who makes politics possible in the modern world is the figure of the agitator as a transmitter of the ideas of scientifically based politics. The only existing form of which today is Marxism.

What should a Marxist agitator know and be able to do? As was shown in the article “Lefts needs ordinary adequacy”, the basis of socialist agitation is a single key message, the conclusion of which is devoted to the first volume of Marx’s “Capital”, and more broadly, his entire work: expropriation of expropriators!

In fact, the earlier and better known slogan, “Workers of the world, unite!”, is subjective, and receives its meaning only in the light of the study of the dynamics of capitalist production, to which Capital is dedicated.

Accordingly, every agitator must first of all know history and political economy sufficiently to convince the average subject. While the organizer must be able to combine various forms of class struggle, combine them in a single process of breaking down and overcoming the capitalist logic of the development of social production.


So, we have outlined the contours of the materialist understanding of Lenin as an impersonal abstract machine, expressed in a random carrier — Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. We also identified two conceptual characters that appear as effects of this assemblage — the Agitator and the Organizer. All this is good, but not enough. Since it is not yet clear what parts this machine consisted of, in what modes it could operate, and in general, what was it capable of? This implies the need to continue work in three areas:

1. Analysis of texts and propaganda and organizational decisions of V. I. Lenin;

2. Further development of the categorical system of modern materialism;

3. Criticism of metaphysical and humanistic interpretations of the picture of the world in general and Lenin’s legacy in particular.

In fact, in order to get an integrated picture of what Lenin was and did, we should have a detailed analysis of his main works, and above all, the Lenin Pentateuch, the idea of which I expressed in a report dedicated to the 145th anniversary of the birth of V. I. Lenin. No less important is the analysis of the practical decisions made by Ilyich during the party and class struggle. Which in turn requires further development of the categorical apparatus of dialectical materialism of assemblages and the resulting criticism of humanistic ideas about society.


Muhammad Azzahaby

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