Pamphlet Review from the November 2004 issue of the Socialist Standard
Bolshevism. By Rudolf Sprenger, Redline Publications, 2004.
One of the greatest obstacles to socialism in the twentieth century was Bolshevism. A key text in that ideology was Lenin's 1902 book, What Is To Be Done? There was nothing particularly new in that work, being the general outlook of the Second International, but it did lay out clearly the idea that leadership was needed for a working class which was incapable of emancipating itself. Rudolf Sprenger (real name Helmut Wagner) wrote this eloquent demolition of Leninist élitism in the early 1930s, published in New York in 1939 and favourably reviewed in the Socialist Standard that year. Sprenger argues that the Russian Revolution was a bourgeois rather than a proletarian revolution.
The pamphlet is priced at £2.00 plus 50 pence postage in the UK. Inclusive airmail price to Europe is 5 euros, and to the rest of the world US$7.00. Overseas orders should be paid for with currency notes. Order from: Redline Publications, PO Box 6700, Sawbridgeworth, CM21 0BS, UK.