After examining the causes of the Russian Revolution, what were Lenin's main ideas and how did he transform Russia and the world?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of Lenin's most transformative ideas is in the belief that Marxist thought can be realized in the modern setting.  Whether we want to debate the success of it or its failure, Lenin has to be seen as fundamentally transformative because he was the first to bring Marxist ideas into reality.  

One of the fundamental causes of the Revolution existed in Lenin's desire to actualize the "necessity of a violent overthrow of capitalism through communist revolution."  This was one of Lenin's fundamental beliefs.  Lenin was able to apply Marxist logic to the Russian political configuration.  With the Czar and the Status Quo reflective of Marx's industrialist, Lenin was able to convince many sectors of Russian society of the need for political and social transformation:

The piratical imperialist war is the beginning of civil war throughout Europe ... The world-wide Socialist revolution has already dawned ... Germany is seething ... Any day now the whole of European capitalism may crash ... Sailors, comrades, we have to fight for a socialist revolution, to fight until the proletariat wins full victory! Long live the worldwide socialist revolution!

Lenin gave a voice to public dissatisfaction.  He was able to articulate the condition of human misery that existed in Russia within the First World War as well as the domestic challenges that predated it.  Lenin provided a new way to examine the individual's place in the world.  This becomes a critical cause of the Russian Revolution.

Lenin's main ideas of the need for change on a wide level helped to transform Russia and the world.  Lenin's ability to understand the need to combine intellectual theory and political reality makes him distinct in world history.  In being able to step into an uncertain political situation and provide guidance to it with his ideas, Lenin was revolutionary:

As influential as he was in life, Lenin may have been more so in death. Over 100 million have lined up to view his mummified body. His memory has been used to support every change in Soviet policy and every new regime since his death. His theories inspired the successful revolutions of Fidel Castro, Mao Zedong, and Ho Chi Minh; as well as countless other revolutionaries in countries full of oppressed and powerless people.

Lenin's idea that the powerless can possess power is where some of his greatest transformation is evident.  Lenin's transformation of Russia was the first of its kind.  It served as the basis for similar movements towards transformation.  In the process, Lenin's transformation of Russia was played out in different parts of the world, impacting millions of people.  

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