Lenin’s Thought in Today’s World
A conference report by Frank Li (Li Jianghua), Zhao Li and Dr. Lutz Pohle
On October 20th to 22nd, 2012 the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Beijing office and the School of Philosophy of the Wuhan University held an International Conference on the subject “Lenin’s Thought in the 21st Century: Interpretation and Its Value” in Wuhan, China. More than 60 scholars and researchers from 15 countries including Japan, Germany, Italy, Australia, Russia, UK, USA, Austria and China attended the event. In four panels they discussed topics like Lenin’s Imperialism and World Systems Theory, Lenin and Luxemburg, Lenin and the Marxist Tradition, and Lenin's Relevance for the 21st Century.
The former president of Wuhan University, Professor Tao Delin opened the conference. He emphasized the impact of Lenin’s and Luxemburg’s thoughts on the transformation of human history. According to the opinion of this renowned Chinese scholar, Lenin’s thinking, especially his theory of imperialism and socialism had not only influenced the historical progress in the 20th century but also revealed certain problems challenging humans in the 21st century. The theories which Lenin had worked out, Prof. Tao said, are still of great value solving the problems and challenges of today’s world.
Other scholars made the point that we have to critically discuss Lenin’s role since the drastic changes in Eastern Europe and the disintegration of the Soviet Union have caused a setback not only to the theory in research of Lenin’s thoughts but also to his practical relevance. Chinese and western scholars attending the event have agreed that there are more evidences in support of Lenin’s theory following the history entering into 21st century. In the light of the present multiple crises of capitalist societies, Lenin’s ideas get a new importance, especially regarding his theory of imperialism and monopolies. The conference called for more study and interpretation of the subject. This should be based on a combination of changes across the world and good practice in individual countries.