Vanguard Party

   The notion of a vanguard party was developed and applied by the Bolsheviks and by Vladimir Ilich Lenin in particular. Lenin believed that revolutionary class consciousness would not develop spontaneously within the proletariat, and that it was the role of the party to bring such consciousness to the people. The party must consist of thoroughly trained, full-time revolutionaries, an elite of dedicated professional revolutionaries who would guide and lead the people. Critics have suggested that the notion of a vanguard party provides a ready rationale for a minority dictatorship, although defenders have argued that it is a legitimate organizational principle particularly in repressive conditions.

Historical dictionary of Marxism. . 2014.

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