Ideas become a material force if they take possession of the masses. This tenet of Marxism-Leninism is fully applicable to the ideas of Marxism-Leninism itself. This revolutionary teaching, created by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels and developed under new conditions, in the age of imperialism and proletarian revolutions, by the genius of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, has taken possession of the minds and hearts of millions of workers throughout the world to become a mighty force transforming the globe, the banner of the increasingly powerful world communist movement.
In the countries of the world socialist community, Marxism-Leninism informs the creative activity of the masses, who are building a society whose motto is: “Everything for man, everything in the name of man”.
In the capitalist countries, Marxism-Leninism is the weapon of the working class and of all working people in their struggle against the dominion of the bourgeoisie, against the exploitation of man by man and social inequality.
For the peoples of the developing countries, the theory of Marxism-Leninism serves as a reliable guide in their efforts to remove the remnants of colonialism poverty, and backwardness, to resist the policy of fiat used by the monopolies of powerful capitalist states and to carry through progressive social changes.
What is the Marxist-Leninist theory of social development? What were its historical and philosophical sources? How was it developed and enriched by experience of the class struggle of the proletariat? How was it put into effect by the International founded by Marx and Engels, by the workers’ parties and during the testing times of the 1905 and 1917 revolutions in Russia and the popular-democratic and socialist revolutions in other countries? Finally, how does it find its practical realisation in the life of the Soviet state, in the world socialist system and in the struggle of the peoples of the world for peace, democracy and socialism? These arc the questions examined in the present book, whose authors have attempted to show the birth and development of a new world outlook in connection with the growth and consolidation of the working class movement and in connection with the activity of Marx, Engels and Lenin.
The life of the founders of Marxism-Leninism is a shining example of selfless service to. the cause of the working class and the liberation of all working people. Their brilliant theoretical works were not the fruit of abstract speculation but the result of studying and generalising the actual revolutionary experience of the working masses and of excercising direct leadership of the proletarian movement. Revolutionary theory and revolutionary practice supplemented and enriched each other at the various stages in the development of the communist movement.
In a popular work such as this, it is, of course, impossible to discuss the full range of complex issues connected with the rise and development of the ideas of Marxism-Leninism and their revolutionary-reformative effect upon mankind. The authors have therefore concentrated upon the key, basic questions of revolutionary theory and practice in the hope that this will lead the reader to consider these problems more closely for himself and study the works of Marx, Engels and Lenin. Lenin is known to have warned against a superficial study of Marxism limited to merely learning its formulas, conclusions and slogans by heart. He called for “a study of communism” enriching one’s mind with a knowledge of the entire human heritage and for the daily application of this knowledge in practical activity.