Lenin and the Logic of Hegemony

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Published Nov 2016
ISBN: 9789004271050

Political Practice and Theory in the Class Struggle

Alan Shandro, Laurentian University

In Lenin and the Logic of Hegemony, by means of a careful textual and contextual analysis of the writings of Lenin and his Marxist contemporaries, Alan Shandro traces the contours of the ‘(anti-) metaphysical event’ identified by Gramsci in Lenin’s political practice and theory, the emergence of the ‘philosophical fact’ of hegemony. In so doing, he effectively disputes conventional caricatures of Lenin’s role as a political actor and thinker and unearths the underlying parameters of the concept of hegemony in the class struggle. He thereby clarifies the conceptual status of this pervasive but now increasingly elusive notion and the logic of theory and practice at work in it.

Biographical note

Alan Shandro teaches political theory at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. He is on the editorial board of Science & Society and has published a number of articles in Marxist political philosophy.


Anyone interested in Marxist theory, the concept of hegemony or philosophical issues of theory and practice and or in the history of Marxism, particularly Lenin and the Russian revolution.

Table of contents



I. A Philosophical Fact: Hegemony in the Class Struggle

II. On the Relation of Theory and Practice: Karl Kautsky and the First Post-Marxist

III. Situating Marxism in Russia: Ambiguous Coordinates

IV. Marxism, Lenin and the Logic of Hegemony: Spontaneity and Consciousness in the Class Struggle

V. Dogmatism and Criticism: Freedom in the Class Struggle

VI. Two Orientations to Hegemony: Mensheviks and Bolsheviks

VII. The Mechanics of Proletarian Hegemony: Solidarity in the Class Struggle

VIII. Imperialism and the Logic of Hegemony: The ‘People’ in the Class Struggle

IX. The Arm of Criticism and the Criticism of Arms: Courage in the Class Struggle

X. A Modern Prince to Discourses of Resistance … and Back?

Appendix I: Karl Kautsky, ‘The Revision of the Austrian Social-Democratic Programme’
Appendix II: Text and Context in the Argument of Lenin’s What Is to Be Done?
Appendix III: Lenin as a Reader of What Is to Be Done?