In this week’s blog I will be trying to answer the question, what relationship did Lenin envision between trade unions and the revolutionary party? This question is a little complex and so is Lenin’s answer. First Lenin had an idea of revolutionary theory which, Lenin states, “Without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement.” This idea or “theory” had to be achieved through originations and struggle. This is important because Lenin acknowledges that in countries were political liberty exists there was always a distinction between trade unions and Social-Democracy. This distinction is different in every place but he felt that they should be closed and as little complicated as possible.
Well what does this mean? It means that Lenin advocated that workers originations for economic struggle should be in the trade unions. Lenin also thought that every Social Democratic should work to assist these originations. Now even though Lenin said this and did believe it he also thought that the trade unions had a long way to go before there was proper consolidation of the two. An example of this is Lenin’s thought that trade unions had old bourgeois attitudes that came from capitalist ideas. That fits into the idea of Marxism where there must be capitalism before you can get to communism.
In short Lenin saw trade unions as non-party organizations that helped move the masses. Lenin in a way relied on the trade unions which is smart if the future of your country is going to be a worker state. Lenin saw his party take control of the unions and allowed them to be leaders of the masses. Using the trade unions allowed Lenin to move the party towards the people and keep the class struggle towards the bourgeoisie, economists, and capitalism. This will give way for socialism to rise. So Lenin saw the trade unions and the revolutionary party as being together only after the party engaged the unions and the masses.
Image retrieved from: http://www.biography.com/people/vladimir-lenin-9379007