Lenin, Hegel, and Western Marxism

A critical Study


Still the only full-length study of the achievements and limitations of Lenin's extensive writings on Hegel, Hegel, Lenin, and Western Marxism has become a minor classic. In a full critical account, Anderson's book connects Lenin's 'dialectics' to his renowned writings on imperialism, anti-colonial movements, and the state. It takes up as well the debate over Lenin's writings on Hegel among Marxists such as Georg Lukács, Henri Lefebvre, C.L.R. James, Raya Dunayevskaya, Lucio Colletti, and Louis Althusser. With a comprehensive new introduction by the author.

This book is an updated and expanded edition, with a new Introduction by the author; originally published by The University of Illinois Press, 1995 (978-02-52-06503-3).

Prices from (excl. shipping):

Add to Cart
Kevin B. Anderson, PhD (1983, City University of New York), is Distinguished Professor of Sociology, with affiliations to Political Science and Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author or editor of eleven books, including Marx at the Margins (The University of Chicago Press; 2nd enlarged edition, 2016).
"With impressive argumentation and wide-ranging scholarship, Anderson presents us with a Lenin that no one seriously interested in current debates over the relevance of Marxist theory to socialist practice can afford to miss."
-- Bertell Ollman, author of Dialectical Investigations

"An important contribution to grasping the conceptual roots of Marxist theory and practice."
-- Tom Rockmore, author of Hegel's Circular Epistomology

"Today Lenin looks like he did little more than prepare the way for Stalin. You will find the opposite view in this novel study ... I recommend the book to anyone seriously interested in Russia and revolution."
-- George Uri Fischer, author of The Soviet System and Modern Society
A Note on Sources and Abbreviations

Introduction to the New English Edition
 1 Lenin in the Present Moment
 2 Lenin and Hegel Today
 3 Lenin and Hegel 1914–22, Some Key Examples
 4 Lenin and the Hegelian Marxist Tradition
 5 Was Lenin Really a Hegelian Marxist after 1914?
 6 Dialectics and Lenin’s Theoretical Works after 1914: Did He Really Reorganise His Thinking?
 7 The Antinomies of State and Revolution
 8 Which, If Any, Lenin for Today?
 9 References

Introduction to the First Edition

Part 1 Lenin on Hegel and Dialectics

1 The Crisis of World Marxism in 1914 and Lenin’s Plunge into Hegel
 1 The Significance of the Turn to Hegel
 2 Marxism and Hegel before 1914
 3 Lenin and Hegel before 1914
 4 The 1914 Encyclopedia Article ‘Karl Marx’

2 Lenin on Hegel’s Concepts of Being and Essence
 1 Lenin Begins to Read Hegel
 2 On ‘The Doctrine of Being’
 3 On ‘The Doctrine of Essence’

3 The Subjective Logic: The Core of Lenin’s 1914 Hegel Studies
 1 The Notion in General: The ‘Self-Conscious Subject’
 2 The Syllogism and the Relation of Hegel to Marxism
 3 Teleology: Lenin Discovers a Concept of Practice and Labor in Hegel
 4 The Idea in General: ‘The Very Best Exposition of Dialectics’
 5 The Idea of Life: A ‘Brilliant’ Addition to the Logic
 6 The Idea of Cognition: A Turning Point in Lenin’s Abstract
 7 The Idea of the True as the Theoretical Idea and Hegel’s Critique of Kant’s Relativism and Focus on Phenomena
 8 Analytic and Synthetic Cognition
 9 The Idea of the Good and the Practical Idea
 10 The Practical Idea and Lenin’s Omission of the Theoretical Idea
 11 The Absolute Idea: The Ambivalent Climax of Lenin’s Reading of Hegel

4 Lenin’s Discussions of the Dialectic, 1915–23: An Ambivalent, Secretive Hegelianism
 1 Interlude: Writings on the War and Revolutionary Defeatism, 1914–15
 2 Notes on Other Works by Hegel, 1915: Intelligent Idealism versus Vulgar Materialism
 3 ‘On the Question of Dialectics’: Lenin Critiques Engels
 4 Lenin’s Public Writings on Dialectics, 1915–23: Hegelian Marxism and Philosophical Ambivalence

Part 2 Lenin on the Dialectics of Revolution, 1914–23

5 Imperialism and New Forms of Subjectivity: National Liberation Movements
 1 Economics and Dialectics in the Analysis of Imperialism
 2 Notebooks on Imperialism
 3 Marxism and the National Question to 1914
 4 Lenin on the Dialectics of National Liberation, 1916–17
 5 Continuation of the Debates over National Liberation after the Revolution

6 State and Revolution: Subjectivity, Grassroots Democracy, and the Critique of Bureaucracy
 1 State and Revolution
 2 The New Vision of Revolution: Letters, Speeches, and Pamphlets, 1917–18
 3 An Ambivalent Critique of Bureaucracy, 1919–23

Part 3 Lenin, Hegel, and Western Marxism

7 From the 1920s to 1953: Lukács, Lefebvre, and the Johnson-Forest Tendency
 1 Lenin and Hegel in the Soviet Union in the 1920s
 2 Lenin and Hegel in Central Europe: Korsch, Lukács, and Bloch
 3 France in the 1930s: Lefebvre and Guterman
 4 France, 1944–53
 5 The United States, 1941–53: From Marcuse to the Johnson-Forest Tendency

8 From 1954 to Today: Lefebvre, Colletti, Althusser, and Dunayevskaya
 1 France in the 1950s: Lefebvre and Garaudy
 2 The United States in the 1950s and 1960s: The Impact of Dunayevskaya’s Marxism and Freedom
 3 Italy in the 1950s and 1960s: The Critique of Lucio Colletti
 4 Western Marxism in Postwar Germany: Iring Fetscher
 5 France in the 1960s and 1970s: Althusser, Garaudy, and Beyond
 6 The United States in the 1970s and 1980s: Dunayevskaya’s Critiques of Lenin

Conclusion: Lenin’s Paradoxical Legacy

Marxists, students of Hegel and of the role of Hegel in Marxist thinking, researchers on Soviet Communism, Lenin and philosophy, dialectics, and the history of the Bolshevik Party.
  • Collapse
  • Expand