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Lenin's Economics: A Marxian Critique

Revitalizing Marxist Theory for Today's Capitalism

ISBN: 978-1-78052-254-8, eISBN: 978-1-78052-255-5

Publication date: 7 November 2011


This chapter attempts an evaluation of Lenin's economic thought from a Marxian standpoint. This chapter argues that Lenin's reading of Marx's Capital in Development of Capitalism in Russia (1899) was biased toward Ricardian or logic-historical interpretation of value, disproportionality theory of crisis as well as economic determinism, characteristic of the Second International Marxism. While admitting that Lenin overcame economic determinism and reformist politics of the Second International Marxism in his Imperialism (1917), this chapter shows that some essential elements, such as thesis of progressiveness of capitalism, stagiest or typologist conceptions of capitalism, still persisted within and after Imperialism. Moreover, this chapter argues that Lenin's Imperialism cannot be considered as a successful concretization of three latter parts of Marx's plan of critique of political economy in Grundrisse (1857), that is, State (Part 4), Foreign Trade (Part 5), and World Market Crisis (Part 6). This chapter also argues that the ambivalence of Lenin's economic thoughts and incomplete break with the Second International Marxism unexpectedly led to Stalinist thesis of state monopoly capitalism, market socialist ideas, and reformist conception of “varieties of capitalisms.”


Jeong, S. (2011), "Lenin's Economics: A Marxian Critique", Zarembka, P. and Desai, R. (Ed.) Revitalizing Marxist Theory for Today's Capitalism (Research in Political Economy, Vol. 27), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 223-254.



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