Why Lenin Chose the Title ‘Communist Party’ (1918)

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‘The seventh party congress (March 6th-8th, 1918), which decided to ratify Brest-Litovsk, also gave effect to the proposal made by Lenin a year earlier in his April these to change the name of the party from “social-democratic” to “communist”. Marx and Engels had expressed their dislike of the old title when the German workers’ party adopted it in 1875: already at that time the word “democratic”, even qualified by the adjective “social”, was beginning to lose its revolutionary connotation. Since 1914 the social-democrats of Europe, except for an insignificant minority, had abandoned the cause of world-wide proletarian revolution, and become bourgeois “reformists” and “chauvinists”. In december 1914 Lenin had enquired whether it would not be better to abandon the “stained and degraded” name of the “social-democrats” and return to the Marxist name of “Communist”. ‘

EH Carr: The Bolshevik Revolution, 1917-1923, Volume One, MacMillan, (1950), Pages 189-190

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