political, social, and economic theory developed by Vladimir Lenin

Leninism is a way of thinking about how the communist party should be organized. It says it should be a dictatorship of the proletariat (the working class holds the power). It is thought to be one of the first steps towards socialism (where the workers own the factories, etc.).[1] It is one part of Marxism–Leninism, which emphasizes the transition from capitalism to socialism.

A statue of Lenin, in Ataki.

Vladimir Lenin was a Russian Marxist. He had a set of ideas based on Marxism. Lenin's development of Marxism has become known as Leninism. These ideas include:

  • Democratic Centralism, also known as the idea of the vanguard party. Like other communists, Lenin wanted to see a socialist revolution led by the working class. But he thought the workers needed strong leadership in the form of a Revolutionary Party based on Democratic Centralism. Lenin wanted Communist political parties in every country to lead the revolution. He thought the vanguard party would need to have strong discipline, or it would fail.
  • The idea that capitalism is the cause of imperialism (empire-building). He thought that imperialism was the "highest stage" of capitalism.


  1. The New Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought Third Edition (1999) pp. 476–477.