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Marxism is considered as a theory whose initial formulation is owed to Karl Marx. The majority of the exponents of this current tend to form a doctrinary body known as M-L., which was articulated with the contributions of different authors. Thus, there would be a Marxism corresponding to the writings authored by Karl Marx, and a Marxist-Leninist or Marxist school that includes mainly the writings of the initial author, Engels, Lenin, and others. In N.H., this ideology is considered as a current, even though it may be analyzed in detail according to author or according to diverse critical positions (See Marxist humanism, Philosophical humanism, Philosophical anti-humanism).

Here we will review M-L. not from the point of view of N.H. but according to the point of view of its followers as it was officially presented in the USSR, including some relevant points from the article “Marxism-Leninism” in the Dictionary of Scientific Communism published in Moscow in 1985.

Marxism-Leninism [is] “a scientifically-based system of philosophical, economic and socio-political views; the doctrine of the cognition and transformation of the world, of the laws according to which society, nature and human thinking develop, of the ways of the revolutionary overthrow of the exploiting system and the building of communism; the world outlook of the working class and its vanguard, Communist and Workers’ Parties.

Marxism emerged in the 1840s. The needs of social development, which revealed the fundamental vices inherent in the capitalist system and the entire system of exploitation, the awakening of the proletariat to political struggle, the great discoveries in the natural sciences and advances in historical and social studies confronted social thought with the task of elaborating a new, genuinely scientific theory capable of responding to the pressing, cardinal questions raised by life. This historic task was fulfilled by Marx and Engels. Lenin started on his scientific and revolutionary activities at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries, when capitalism, which has entered its last stage, imperialism, had begun to collapse and socialist society had emerged. He defended Marxism from attacks by its enemies, analyzed the latest achievements in science from a theoretical point of view, and summed up the new experience gained in the class struggles. He enriched the theory of Marxism and raised it to a qualitatively new level.”