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In the context of the theory of
Leninist Leninism is a political ideology developed by Russian Marxist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin that proposes the establishment of the Dictatorship of the proletariat#Vladimir Lenin, dictatorship of the proletariat led by a revolutionary Vanguardism ...
revolution In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, suc ...
ary struggle, vanguardism involves a strategy whereby the most class-conscious and politically "advanced" sections of the
proletariat The proletariat (; ) is the social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theory Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government A government is the system or group of p ...

proletariat
or
working class The working class (or labouring class) comprises those engaged in manual-labour occupations or industrial work, who are remunerated via waged or salaried contracts. Working-class occupations (see also "Designation of workers by collar color ...
, described as the revolutionary vanguard, form organizations in order to draw larger sections of the working class towards revolutionary politics and serve as manifestations of proletarian
political power In social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly used to refe ...
opposed to the
bourgeois Bourgeoisie (; ) is a polysemous Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic fieldIn linguist ...

bourgeois
.


Foundations

Vladimir Lenin Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov. ( 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known by his alias Lenin,. was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the first and founding head of government The head of government is e ...

Vladimir Lenin
(Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov) popularised political vanguardism as conceptualised by
Karl Kautsky Karl Johann Kautsky (; ; 16 October 1854 – 17 October 1938) was a Czech-Austrian philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meaning ...
, detailing his thoughts in one of his earlier works, ''
What is to be done? ''What Is to Be Done? Burning Questions of Our Movement'' (russian: Что дѣлать? Наболѣвшіе вопросы нашего движенія, Chto delat'? Nabolevshiye voprosy nashevo dvizheniya) is a political pamphlet written by ...
'' Lenin argued that
Marxism Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern society, societies soci ...
's complexity and the hostility of the establishment (the
autocratic Autocracy is a system of government in which supreme power over a State (polity), state is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control (exc ...
, semi-
feudal Feudalism, also known as the feudal system, was the combination of the legal, economic, military, and cultural customs that flourished in Medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structuring society ...
state of
Imperial Russia The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, succeeding the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad that ended the Great Northern War. T ...
) required a close-knit group of individuals pulled from the working class vanguard to safeguard the revolutionary ideology within the particular circumstances presented by the
Tsarist Tsarist autocracy (russian: царское самодержавие, Transcription (linguistics), transcr. ''tsarskoye samoderzhaviye''), also called Tsarism, was a form of autocracy (later absolute monarchy) specific to the Grand Duchy of Moscow ...
régime at the time. While Lenin wished for a revolutionary organisation akin to the contemporary
Social Democratic Party The name Social Democratic Party or Social Democrats has been used by many Political party, political parties in various countries around the world. Such parties are most commonly aligned to social democracy as their Ideologies of parties, pol ...
of Germany, which was open to the public and more democratic in organisation, the Russian autocracy prevented this.
Leninists Leninism is a political ideology An ideology () is a set of beliefs or philosophies attributed to a person or group of persons, especially as held for reasons that are not purely epistemic, in which "practical elements are as prominent as the ...
argue that Lenin's ideal vanguard party would be one where membership is completely open: "The members of the Party are they who accept the principles of the Party program and render the Party all possible support." This party could, in theory, be completely transparent: the "entire political arena is as open to the public view as is a theatre stage to the audience". A party that supposedly implemented democracy to such an extent that "the general control (in the literal sense of the term) exercised over every act of a party man in the political field brings into existence an automatically operating mechanism which produces what in biology is called the "survival of the fittest"". This party would be completely open to the public eye as it conducted its business which would mainly consist of educating the
proletariat The proletariat (; ) is the social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theory Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government A government is the system or group of p ...

proletariat
to remove the
false consciousness False consciousness is a term used by some to describe ways in which material, ideological An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world ...
that had been instilled in them.Vladimir Lenin, ''What is to be Done?''
/ref> In its first phase, the vanguard party would exist for two reasons. Firstly, it would protect Marxism from outside corruption from other ideas as well as advance its concepts. Secondly, it would educate the proletariat in Marxism in order to cleanse them of their "false individual consciousness" and instill the revolutionary "
class consciousness In political theory Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associ ...
" in them. If the party is successful in this goal, on the eve of revolution, a critical mass of the working class population would be prepared to usher forth the transformation of society. Furthermore, a great number of them, namely their most dedicated members, would belong to the party cadres as
professional revolutionaries Leninism is a political ideology An ideology () is a set of beliefs or philosophies attributed to a person or group of persons, especially as held for reasons that are not purely epistemic, in which "practical elements are as prominent as the ...
, and would be elected to leadership positions by the mass party membership. Thus the organisation would quickly include the entire working class. Once the proletariat gained class consciousness and thus was prepared to revolt against the ruling classes, the vanguard party would serve another purpose. The party would coordinate the proletariat through its revolution by acting as a military command hub of sorts. This is, according to Leninists, a vital function as mass revolutions can sometimes be easily crushed by the disciplined military of the ruling classes. The vanguards would serve as commanders of the revolt, chosen to their positions by "democratic natural selection". In Lenin's view, after the revolution the working class would implement the
dictatorship of the proletariat In Marxist philosophy Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory are works in philosophy that are strongly influenced by Karl Marx's Historical materialism, materialist approach to theory, or works written by Marxists. Marxist philosophy may be broadly ...
to rule the new worker's state through the first phase of communism, socialism. Here it can be said that the vanguard disappears, as all of society now consists of revolutionaries.


Political party

A vanguard party is a
political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, and parties may promote specific political ideology ...
at the fore of a mass-action political movement and of a
revolution In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, suc ...

revolution
. In the praxis of political science, the concept of the vanguard party, composed of professional revolutionaries, was first effected by the
Bolshevik Party The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). Abbreviated in Russian as КПСС or ''KPSS''. was the founding and ruling political party of the Soviet Union. The CPSU was the One-party state, sole governing party of the Soviet Union until 19 ...
in the
Russian Revolution The Russian Revolution was a period of political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relatio ...

Russian Revolution
of 1917. Lenin, the first leader of the Bolsheviks, coined the term ''vanguard party'', and argued that such a party was necessary in order to provide the practical and political leadership that would impel the proletariat to achieve a
communist revolution A communist revolution is a proletarian revolution often, but not necessarily, inspired by the ideas of Marxism that aims to replace capitalism with communism. Depending on the type of government, socialism can be used as an intermediate stage ...
. Hence, as a political-science concept and term, ''vanguard party'' most often is associated with
Leninism Leninism is a political ideology An ideology () is a set of beliefs or philosophies attributed to a person or group of persons, especially as held for reasons that are not purely epistemic, in which "practical elements are as prominent as the ...
; however, similar concepts (under different names) also are present in other revolutionary
ideologies An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of co ...
.
Friedrich Engels Friedrich Engels ( ,"Engels"
''
and
Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, M ...

Karl Marx
presented the concept of the vanguard party as solely qualified to politically lead the proletariat in revolution; in Chapter II: "Proletarians and Communists" of ''The Communist Manifesto'' (1848), they said:
The Communists, therefore, are, on the one hand, practically the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country, that section which pushes forward all others; on the other hand, theoretically, they have over the great mass of the proletariat the advantage of clearly understanding the lines of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement. The immediate aim of the Communists is the same as that of all other proletarian parties: Formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat.
According to Lenin, the purpose of the vanguard party is to establish a
dictatorship of the proletariat In Marxist philosophy Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory are works in philosophy that are strongly influenced by Karl Marx's Historical materialism, materialist approach to theory, or works written by Marxists. Marxist philosophy may be broadly ...
; a rule of the
working class The working class (or labouring class) comprises those engaged in manual-labour occupations or industrial work, who are remunerated via waged or salaried contracts. Working-class occupations (see also "Designation of workers by collar color ...
. The change of ruling class, from the
bourgeoisie Bourgeoisie (; ) is a polysemous Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic fieldIn linguist ...

bourgeoisie
to the proletariat, makes possible the full development of
socialism Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, ...
. In early 20th-century Russia, Lenin argued that the vanguard party would lead the revolution to depose the incumbent Tsarist government, and transfer government power to the working class. In the pamphlet ''
What is to be Done? ''What Is to Be Done? Burning Questions of Our Movement'' (russian: Что дѣлать? Наболѣвшіе вопросы нашего движенія, Chto delat'? Nabolevshiye voprosy nashevo dvizheniya) is a political pamphlet written by ...
'' (1902), Lenin said that a revolutionary vanguard party, mostly recruited from the working class, should lead the political campaign, because it was the only way that the proletariat could successfully achieve a revolution; unlike the economist campaign of trade union struggle advocated by other socialist political parties and later by the
anarcho-syndicalists Anarcho-syndicalism is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the abili ...
. Like Karl Marx, Lenin distinguished between the two aspects of a revolution, the economic campaign (labour strikes for increased wages and work concessions), which featured diffused plural leadership; and the political campaign (socialist changes to society), which featured the decisive revolutionary leadership of the Bolshevik vanguard party.


Marxism–Leninism

As he surveyed the European milieu in the late 1890s, Lenin found several theoretic problems with the
Marxism Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern society, societies soci ...
of the late 19th century. Contrary to what Karl Marx had predicted,
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

capitalism
had become stronger in the last third of the 19th century. In Western Europe, the
working class The working class (or labouring class) comprises those engaged in manual-labour occupations or industrial work, who are remunerated via waged or salaried contracts. Working-class occupations (see also "Designation of workers by collar color ...
had become poorer, rather than becoming politically
progressive Progressive may refer to: Politics * Progressivism is a political philosophy in support of social reform Political organizations * Congressional Progressive Caucus, members within the Democratic Party in the United States Congress dedicated to th ...
, thinking people; hence, the workers and their
trade union A trade union (or a labor union in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native ...
s, although they had continued to militate for better
wages A wage is the distribution from an employer Employment is the relationship between two party (law), parties, usually based on a employment contract, contract where work is paid for, where one party, which may be a corporation, for profi ...
and working conditions, had failed to develop a revolutionary
class consciousness In political theory Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associ ...
, as predicted by Marx. To explain that undeveloped political awareness, Lenin said that the
division of labour The division of labour is the separation of tasks in any economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an ...
in a bourgeois capitalist society prevented the emergence of a
proletarian The proletariat ( from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of t ...
class consciousness, because of the ten-to-twelve-hour workdays that the workers laboured in factories, and so had no time to learn and apply the philosophic complexities of
Marxist theory Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory are works in philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of ...
. Finally, in trying to effect a revolution in Tsarist
Imperial Russia The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, succeeding the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad that ended the Great Northern War. T ...
(1721–1917), Lenin faced the problem of an
autocratic Autocracy is a system of government in which supreme power over a State (polity), state is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control (exc ...
régime that had outlawed almost all political activity. Although the Tsarist autocracy could not enforce a ban on political ideas, until 1905—when Tsar
Nicholas II Nicholas II or Nikolai II Alexandrovich Romanov . ( 186817 July 1918), known in the Russian Orthodox Church as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer, . was the last Emperor of All Russia, ruling from 1 November 1894 until Abdication of Nicholas II ...
(ruled 1894–1917) agreed to the formation of a national
duma A duma (дума) is a Russian assembly with advisory or legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind ...

duma
—the
Okhrana The Department for Protecting the Public Security and Order (russian: Отделение по охранению общественной безопасности и порядка), usually called Guard Department ( rus, Охранное отд ...
, the Tsarist
secret police Secret police (or political police) are Intelligence agency, intelligence, Security agency, security or police agencies that engage in covert operations against a government's political opponents and dissidents. Secret police organizations are cha ...
, suppressed every political group seeking social and political changes, including those with a democratic program. To counter such political conditions, Lenin said that a professional revolutionary organisation was necessary to organise and lead the most class-conscious workers into a politically coherent movement. Concerning the Russian
class struggle Class conflict, also referred to as class struggle and class warfare, is the political tension and economic antagonism that exists in society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, socia ...
, in the book ''What Is to Be Done?'' (1902), against the "economist" trend of the socialist parties (who proposed that the working class would develop a revolutionary consciousness from demanding solely economic improvements), Lenin said that the "history of all countries bears out the fact that, through their own powers alone, the working class can develop only a
trade-union A trade union (or a labor union in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Cu ...
consciousness"; and that under reformist, trade-union leadership, the working class could only engage spontaneous local rebellions to improve their political position within the capitalist system, and that revolutionary consciousness developed unevenly. Nonetheless, optimistic about the working class's ability to develop a revolutionary
class consciousness In political theory Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associ ...
, Lenin said that the missing element for escalating the class struggle to revolution was a political organisation that could relate to the radicalism of political vanguard of the working class, who then would attract many workers from the middling policies of the reformist leaders of the trade unions. It is often believed that Lenin thought the bearers of class consciousness were the common
intellectual An intellectual is a person who engages in critical thinking Critical thinking is the analysis of facts to form a judgment. The subject is complex; several different Critical thinking#Definitions, definitions exist, which generally includ ...
s who made it their vocation to conspire against the capitalist system, educate the public in revolutionary theory, and prepare the workers for the
proletarian revolution A proletarian revolution is a social revolution Social revolutions are sudden changes in the Social structure, structure and nature of society. These revolutions are usually recognized as having transformed society, economy, culture, philo ...
and the dictatorship of the proletariat that would follow. Yet, unlike his
Menshevik The Mensheviks (russian: меньшевики́), also known as the Minority were one of the three dominant factions in the Russian socialist Socialism is a Political philosophy, political, Social philosophy, social, and economic philosop ...
rivals, Lenin distinguished himself by his hostility towards the
bourgeois Bourgeoisie (; ) is a polysemous Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic fieldIn linguist ...

bourgeois
intelligentsia The intelligentsia is a status class The German sociologist Max Weber Maximilian Karl Emil Weber (; ; 21 April 186414 June 1920) was a German Sociology, sociologist, historian, jurist, and political economy, political economist, who is regar ...
, and was routinely criticised for placing too much trust in the
intellectual An intellectual is a person who engages in critical thinking Critical thinking is the analysis of facts to form a judgment. The subject is complex; several different Critical thinking#Definitions, definitions exist, which generally includ ...
ability of the working class to transform society through its own political struggles. Like other political organisations that sought to change Imperial Russian society, Lenin's Bolshevik Party resorted to conspiracy, and operated in the political underground. Against Tsarist repression, Lenin argued for the necessity of confining membership to people who were professionally trained to combat the Okhrana
secret police Secret police (or political police) are Intelligence agency, intelligence, Security agency, security or police agencies that engage in covert operations against a government's political opponents and dissidents. Secret police organizations are cha ...
; however, at its core, the Bolshevik Party was an exceptionally flexible organisation who pragmatically adapted policy to changing political situations. After the
Revolution of 1905 The Russian Revolution of 1905,. also known as the First Russian Revolution,. was a wave of mass political and social unrest that spread through vast areas of the Russian Empire, some of which was directed at the government. It included worker s ...

Revolution of 1905
, Lenin proposed that the Bolshevik Party "open its gates" to the militant working class, who were rapidly becoming political radicals, in order for the Party to become a mass-action political party with genuine roots in the working class movement. The notion of a 'vanguard', as used by Lenin before 1917, did not necessarily imply single-party rule. Lenin considered the Social-Democrats (Bolsheviks) the leading elements of a multi-class (and multi-party) democratic struggle against Tsarism. Even after the
October Revolution The October Revolution,. officially known as the Great October Socialist Revolution. under the Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence ...

October Revolution
, the Bolsheviks (now renamed the Communist Party) operated in the
Soviets The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continental area on Earth, comprising all of Europe and Asia. Primarily in the ...
, trade unions, and other working-class mass organisations in a milieu with other revolutionary parties, such as Mensheviks, Social-Revolutionaries and
anarcho-communists Anarcho-communism, also known as anarchist communism, is a political philosophy Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of public agents and institutions and t ...
, and local soviets often elected non-Bolshevik majorities. In this context, Lenin considered the Bolsheviks the vanguard insofar as they were the most consistent defenders of Soviet power (which he considered the dictatorship of the proletariat or 'Commune-state'). However, this situation changed drastically during the
Russian Civil War , date = October Revolution, 7 November 1917 – Yakut revolt, 16 June 1923{{Efn, The main phase ended on 25 October 1922. Revolt against the Bolsheviks continued Basmachi movement, in Central Asia and Tungus Republic, the Far East th ...
and economic collapse, which decimated the working class and its independent institutions, and saw the development of irreconcilable conflicts between the Bolsheviks and their rivals. At the 10th Congress of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) in 1921, the Party made the de facto reality de jure by outlawing opposition parties and formalising single-Party rule. Thus, the concept of a vanguard party was used by the Bolsheviks to justify their suppression of other parties. They took the line that since they were the vanguard of the proletariat, their right to rule could not be legitimately questioned. Hence, opposition parties could not be permitted to exist. From 1936 onward, Communist-inspired state constitutions enshrined this concept by giving the Communist parties a "leading role" in society—a provision that was interpreted to either ban other parties altogether or force them to accept the Communists' guaranteed right to rule as a condition of being allowed to exist. In the 20th century, the
Communist Party of the Soviet Union The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). Abbreviated in Russian as КПСС or ''KPSS''. was the founding and ruling political party of the Soviet Union. The CPSU was the One-party state, sole governing party of the Soviet Union until 19 ...
(CPSU) continued regarding itself as the institutionalisation of Marxist–Leninist political consciousness in the Soviet Union; therein lay the justification for its political control of Soviet society. Article 6 of the 1977 Soviet Constitution refers to the CPSU as the "leading and guiding force of Soviet society, and the nucleus of its political system, of all state organizations and public organizations". The CPSU, precisely because it was the bearer of Marxist–Leninist ideology, determined the general development of society, directed domestic and foreign policy, and "imparts a planned, systematic, and theoretically substantiated character" to the struggle of the Soviet people for the victory of
communism Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...

communism
. Nonetheless, the political role of the vanguard party, as outlined by Lenin, is disputed among the contemporary communist
movement Movement may refer to: Common uses * Movement (clockwork), the internal mechanism of a timepiece * Motion (physics), commonly referred to as movement Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * Movement (short story), "Movement", a shor ...
. Lenin's contemporary in the Bolshevik Party,
Leon Trotsky Lev Davidovich Bronstein. ( – 21 August 1940), better known as Leon Trotsky; uk, link= no, Лев Давидович Троцький; also transliterated ''Lyev'', ''Trotski'', ''Trotskij'', ''Trockij'' and ''Trotzky''. (), was a Ukrainian ...

Leon Trotsky
, further developed and established the vanguard party with the creation of the
Fourth International The Fourth International (FI) is a revolutionary socialist international organization ''International Organization'' is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal that covers the entire field of international relations, international affairs. ...
. Trotsky, who believed in
permanent revolution Permanent revolution is the strategy of a ary pursuing its own interests independently and without compromise or alliance with opposing sections of society. As a term within , it was first coined by and as early as 1850, but since then it has ...
, proposed that a vanguard party must be an international political party who organised the most militant activists of the working classes of the countries of the world.


Other uses

Although Lenin honed the idea in terms of a class leadership forged out of a proletarian vanguard specifically to describe Marxist–Leninist parties, the term is also used for many kinds of movement conceiving themselves as initially guided by a small elite.
Theodor Herzl Theodor Herzl (; ; he, תֵּאוֹדוֹר הֶרְצְל ''Te'odor Hertsel''; hu, Herzl Tivadar; Hebrew name given at his brit milah Binyamin Ze'ev ( he, בִּנְיָמִין זְאֵב), also known in Hebrew as , ''Chozeh HaMedinah'', li ...

Theodor Herzl
, the theorist of
Zionism Zionism ( he, צִיּוֹנוּת ''Tsiyyonut'' after ''Zion Zion ( he, צִיּוֹן ''Ṣīyyōn'', , also variously ''Sion'', ''Tzion'', ''Tsion'', ''Tsiyyon'') is a placename in the used as a synonym for as well as for the as ...
, thought legitimation from the majority would only hinder from the outset his movement, and therefore advised that "we cannot all be of one mind; the ''gestor'' will therefore simply take the leadership into his hands and march in the van." This principle antedated by some years the Leninist idea of Bolshevism as the vanguard of the revolution by characterizing the 'Zionist movement as a vanguard of the Jewish people.' The Youth Guard at the forefront of Zionist mobilization in the
Yishuv Yishuv ( he, ישוב, literally "settlement"), Ha-Yishuv ( he, הישוב, ''the Yishuv''), or Ha-Yishuv Ha-Ivri ( he, הישוב העברי, ''the Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of ...
likewise conceived of itself as a revolutionary vanguard, and the
kibbutz A kibbutz ( he, קִבּוּץ / , lit. "gathering, clustering"; plural: kibbutzim / ) is a Intentional community, collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture. The first kibbutz, established in 1909, was Degani ...

kibbutz
movement itself is said to have thought of itself as a 'selfless vanguard'. It is occasionally used with of certain Islamist parties. Writers
Abul Ala Maududi Abul A'la Maududi ( ur, , Abul Alā Mawdūdī – alternative spellings of last name Maudoodi, Mawdudi; – ) was an Islamic scholar, Islamist ideologue, Muslim philosopher, jurist, historian, journalist, activist and scholar active in Britis ...

Abul Ala Maududi
and
Sayyid Qutb Sayyid 'Ibrāhīm Ḥusayn Quṭb ( or ; , ; ar, سيد قطب إبراهيم حسين ''Sayyid Quṭb''; 9 October 1906 – 29 August 1966), known popularly as Sayyid Qutb ( ar, سيد قطب), was an Egyptian Egyptian describes someth ...

Sayyid Qutb
both urged the formation of an Islamic vanguard to restore Islamic society. Qutb talked of an Islamist vanguard in his book
Ma'alim fi al-Tariq ''Ma'alim fi al-Tariq'', also ''Ma'alim fi'l-tareeq'', ( ar, معالم في الطريق, ma‘ālim fī t-tarīq) or ''Milestones'', first published in 1964, is a short book by Egypt Egypt ( ; ar, مِصر ), officially the Arab Repu ...
(''Milestones'') and Maududi formed the radical Islamist party
Jamaat-e-Islami Jamaat-e-Islami ( ur, ) is an Islamic movement founded in 1941 in British India The provinces of India, earlier presidencies of British India and still earlier, presidency towns, were the administrative divisions of British governance i ...
GlobalSecurity.org
Jamaat-e-Islami
/ref> in
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
whose goal was to establish a pan-
Ummah ' ( ar, أمة ) is an Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental c ...
worldwide Islamist ideological state starting from Pakistan, administered for God solely by Muslims "whose whole life is devoted to the observance and enforcement" of Islamic law (
Shari'ah Sharia (; ar, شريعة, sharīʿa ) is a religious law Religious law includes ethical and moral codes taught by religious traditions. Different religious systems hold sacred law in a greater or lesser degree of importance to their belie ...
), leading to the world becoming the
House of Islam In classical Islamic law, the major divisions are ''dar al-islam'' (lit. territory of Islam/voluntary submission to God), denoting regions where Islamic law prevails, ''dar al-sulh'' (lit. territory of treaty) denoting non-Islamic lands which have ...
. The party members formed an elite group (called ''arkan'') with "affiliates" (''mutaffiq'') and then "sympathizers" (''hamdard'') beneath them. Today, the Jamaat-e-Islami has spread wings to other South Asian countries with large Muslim populations, such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh and India. The literature of the
Baháʼí Faith The Baháʼí Faith (; fa , بهائی ') is a new religion teaching the essential worth of all religions and the unity of all people. Established by Baháʼu'lláh Baháʼu'lláh (12 November 1817 – 29 May 1892) was a Persian ...
also frequently refers to those serving to raise the capacities of communities around the world as the "vanguard" of the Cause of Baha'u'llah According to Roger Eatwell, some
fascist Fascism () is a form of far-right Far-right politics, also referred to as the extreme right or right-wing extremism, are politics further on the right of the left–right political spectrum than the standard political right, particular ...

fascist
parties have also operated in ways similar to the concept of a vanguard party.Roger Eatwell. ''Fascism: a history''. Allen Lane, 1996. p. 215.


See also

*
Maoism Maoism, officially called Mao Zedong Thought () by the Chinese Communist Party The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), officially the Communist Party of China (CPC), is the founding and One-party state, sole ruling party of the China, People's R ...
*
Foco The foco theory of revolution In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power re ...

Foco
*
Avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or 'vanguard', literally 'fore-guard') are people or works that are experimental, Wikt:radical#Adjective, radical, or unorthodox with respect to The arts, art, culture, or society.John Picchione, The New A ...
*
Blanquism Blanquism refers to a conception of revolution generally attributed to Louis Auguste Blanqui (1805–1881) which holds that socialist revolution should be carried out by a relatively small group of highly organised and secretive conspirators. Havi ...
*
Democratic centralism Democratic centralism is a practice in which political decisions reached by voting processes are binding upon all members of the political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's electi ...
*
Jacobinism A ''Jacobin'' (; ) was a member of the Jacobin Club, a revolutionary political movement that was the most famous political club during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates Gen ...


References


Further reading

Arts * Burger, Peter. ''Theory of the Avant-Garde''. Theory & History of Literature Series. 135 pages.
University of Minnesota The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (the U of M or Minnesota) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organ ...

University of Minnesota
Press, February 1, 1984. . * Forster, Merlin H. and K. David Jackson, compilers. ''Vanguardism in Latin American Literature : An Annotated Bibliographic Guide''. Bibliographies and Indexes in
World Literature World literature is used to refer to the total of the world's national literature and the circulation of works into the wider world beyond their country of origin. In the past, it primarily referred to the masterpieces of Western European lite ...
Series. 232 pages. Greenwood Press, May 23, 1990. . * Maerhofer, John. 2009. Rethinking the Vanguard: Aesthetic and Political Positions in the Modernist Debate, 1917-1962. New Castle: Cambridge Scholars Press. Politics * Vladimir Lenin
What is to be done?
' * Yevgeny Bugaev.
What Is the Party?
' Moscow:
Progress Publishers Progress Publishers was a Moscow Moscow (, ; rus, links=no, Москва, r=Moskva, p=mɐˈskva, a=Москва.ogg) is the capital and largest city of Russia Russia (russian: link=no, Россия, , ), or the Russian Federation, is ...
. 1986. *
"Letter to Albert Richard"
August 1870. Reprinted in ''Bakunin on Anarchy'', translated and edited by
Sam Dolgoff Sam Dolgoff (1902–1990) was an anarchist Anarchism is a political philosophy and Political movement, movement that is sceptical of authority and rejects all involuntary, coercive forms of hierarchy. Anarchism calls for the abolition of the ...
. A. A. Knopf, 1st edition, 1972. . Retrieved May 17, 2005. * Gray, Phillip W. 2020. ''Vanguardism: Ideology and Organization in Totalitarian Politics''. London: Routledge. * Mandel, Ernest
"Trotsky’s conception of self-organisation and the vanguard party"
Originally published in French in ''Quatrième Internationale'', No.36, pp. 35–49. November 1989. Translated by Mike Murray, marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for th
Marxists’ Internet Archive
Retrieved May 24, 2005. * Mitchell, Roxanne and Frank Weiss

Publisher: United Labor Press. 1977. Retrieved May 25, 2005. * Slaughter, Cliff

''Labour Review''. Socialist Labor League. 1964?. Retrieved May 17, 2005. Polemics
''Mythology of the White-Led "Vanguard": A Critical Look at the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA''
Anarchist People of Color Anarchism in the United States began in the mid-19th century and started to grow in influence as it entered the American Labor history of the United States, labor movements, growing an anarcho-communist current as well as gaining notoriety for vi ...
website. Retrieved May 17, 2005. * Cooper, Nick
''Critique of Revolutionary Communism ''
Belgium Indymedia. Sep. 23, 2004. Retrieved June 3, 2005. {{Use British English Oxford spelling, date=November 2017 Communist terminology Ideology of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Leninism Political theories Political parties Revolution terminology Stalinism