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Lenin and The April Theses


Lenin returned to Russia on a sealed train provided by the Germans, who were hoping his defeatist views would undermine the Russian war effort. He arrived in Petrograd on 3 April with a ten-point programme - his April Theses - for a second revolution based on giving power to the Soviets. Lenin had turned the Party programme on its head. Instead of accepting the need for a 'bourgeois stage' of the revolution he was calling for a 'proletarian revolution' in one step.

Gradually Lenin won the party round to his Theses. The main factor was the mass enrolment into the party of workers and soldiers, who knew little about Marxist theory and could not understand the need for a 'bourgeois revolution'. Why did their leaders want to reach socialism in two stages when they could get there in one?

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