One of the greatest contributions of Lenin was that he adapted Marxism to Russia. Lenin was a Russian and being an arch revolutionary very soon realised that revolution was possible in Russia only under certain circumstances. The Czar must be defeated in war and there must be a group of highly disciplined and professional revolutionaries who must be in a position to take over the Government of the country.
Before the outbreak of the First Great War, Lenin was convinced that there would be world war and Russia would be defeated but the real problem before Lenin was how to train revolutionaries who could take over the government in the event of the defeat of Russia.
However, Lenin had to face great difficulty because Marx predicted that a revolution could take place only in a country where there was full-fledged capitalism. There were no short-cuts to revolution. However, Russia was essentially an agricultural country and there was no full-fledged capitalism there.
Therefore, the philosophy of Marx could not be applied to Russia. In spite of this difficulty, Lenin came to the firm conclusion that the revolution could take place in Russia if Czar, Nicholas II was defeated in the war and a most disciplined and secret cadre of the Communist Party was ready to take the reigns of the government.
Lenin on the role of professional revolutionaries:
According to William Ebenstein, “Lenin’s most important single contribution to the theory of Marxism is his concept of the professed revolutionary. Marx thought that class-consciousness would develop in the working class spontaneously due to economic misery and the leadership would come from their ranks. Lenin on the other hand, considered that a disciplined Communist Party could only arouse political consciousness amongst the workers and lead Russia to revolution.
For that purpose Lenin believed that first workers were to form labour organisations with primarily economic objectives, operating openly, legally and as publicly as conditions allow. Side by side with such organisations, there are to be small groups of professional revolutionaries, patterned after the army and the police, highly select and entirely secret.
Lenin said that the professional revolutionaries should guide and supervise the open communist-led economic associations-the trade unions, the co-operatives and the rest. Lenin advised these professional revolutionaries to form cells and infiltrate in social, economic and political bodies of the societies whether they are schools, churches, labour unions or political parties.
But Lenin especially emphasised the active role of the professional revolutionaries when he advocated them to infiltrate into armed forces, the police and the government. It should be particularly noted that with the help of these professional revolutionaries Lenin brought about the revolution and was able to throw off the most autocratic regime of the Czar (Russian Emperor).