V. I.   Lenin

Victorious Revolution

Written: Written in May-June 19O5
Published: First published in 1926 in Lenin Miscellany V. Published according to the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1962, Moscow, Volume 8, pages 450-451.
Translated: Bernard Isaacs and The Late Isidor Lasker
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2003). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
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We often hear and read these words nowadays. What. do they actually mean? We should not idolise the concept of “revolution” (the bourgeois revolutionaries will assuredly do that and are indeed doing that). We must not create illusions or myths for ourselves; this would be entirely incompatible with the materialist conception of history and the class point of view.

Yet there is no question that a struggle of two forces is taking place before our eyes, a life-and-death struggle of precisely two forces; for the issue at stake now is the sovereignty of the tsar versus the sovereignty of the people. These two forces are: revolution and counter-revolution.

Our task, therefore, is to be quite clear in our minds as to (1) the class content of these social forces, and (2) the real economic content of their struggle now, at the present time.

The following may be taken as a brief answer to these questions (an answer that requires to be thoroughly elaborated):

Revolutionary forces==proletariat and peasantry (the peasantry as the chief representative of the revolutionary petty bourgeoisie; the intelligentsia negligible as a revolutionary factor).

Victorious revolution==democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry.

Content of the revolution==the creation of a democratic political system, economically equivalent to (1) free development of capitalism; (2) abolition of the survivals of serfdom; (3) the raising of the living and cultural standards of the masses, especially of the lower strata. [America and Russia, pauperism and capitalism.]

Mythenbildung,[1] as the inevitable consequence of the historical position of the bourgeois democrats! [Cf. the lawyers’ resolutions.[4]] All are “socialists”....

Umwälzung,[2] Umsturz[3] ... Where? Among the intelligentsia? Among the lawyers? Nil. Only among the proletariat and the p e a s a n t r y. What can guarantee their con quests? Only the republic, the democratic dictatorship.


[1] Myth-making.—Ed.

[2] Revolution, upheaval.—Ed.

[3] Overthrow.—Ed.

[4] The reference is to the resolutions of the All-Russian Lawyers’ Congress held in St. Petersburg on March 28-30 (April 10-12), 1905. These resolutions are criticised in the leading article of Proletary, No. 2, June 3 (May 21), 1905.

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