3. Apart from great contribution to marxist theory of revolution, Lenin also very much successfully implemented it in practice. As Stalin wrote:
“Lenin was born for revolution. He was, in truth, the genius of revolutionary outbreaks and the greatest master of the art of revolutionary leadership. Never did he feel so free and happy as in a time of revolutionary upheavals. I do not mean by this that Lenin approved equally of all revolutionary upheavals, or that he was in favour of revolutionary outbreaks at all times and under all circumstances. Not at all. What I do mean is that never was the genius of Lenin’s insight displayed so fully and distinctly as in a time of revolutionary outbreaks. In times of revolution he literally blossomed forth, became a seer, divined the movement of classes and the probable zigzags of the revolution, seeing them as if they lay in the palm of his hand. It was with good reason that it used to be said in our Party circles: “Lenin swims in the tide of revolution like a fish in water.” (Lenin. A Speech Delivered at a Memorial Meeting of the Kremlin Military School. January 28, 1924 https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1924/01/28.htm )
Nobody could better than Lenin change tactics depending on concrete situation and on the stage of the revolution’s development, build relationships with the allies and companions. For example, initially he promoted union with the whole peasantry against landlords, later – the union with the poorest peasants against wealthy peasants – Kulaks, while ensuring neutral position of the middle peasantry, and finally – a firm union with the middle peasantry. Later we’ll also dwell upon the Lenin’s attitude towards use of such parliamentarian ways of political struggle as taking part in elections, or boycotting them, or dismissal of the Constituent Assembly.
Yet another example is his choice of the main attack direction. Initially, at the time of the first Russian revolution of 1905-1907 those were Cadets (Constitutional Democrats) as they advocated reconciliation with tsarism, After the February revolution in 1917 those were Mensheviks and Esers (revolutionary socialists) that had turned into the main saviors of bourgeoisie and the main obstacle to the victory of the proletarian revolution in 1917. All that done despite the screams of many people objecting to “introducing dissent in the midst of democracy” in the first case, and “among socialists” in the second.
While adopting different tactics depending on drastic changes of the revolution’s development, Lenin demonstrated unwavering adherence to crucial issues. Though uncompromised struggle against social-chauvinism during the imperialist war, the adoption of the slogan “let’s turn imperialist war into a civil one” had caused for a while a loss of some of Bolsheviks’ sympathizers and exposed the party firstly to the repression of the tsarist government, and later to the repressions of the provisional government, still in the end of the day those tactics had brought Bolsheviks to victory.
Lenin seriously treated armed insurrection that he considered as an art.
Marxists are accused of Blanquism for treating insurrection as an art! Can there be a more flagrant perversion of the truth, when not a single Marxist will deny that it was Marx who expressed himself on this score in the most definite, precise and categorical manner, referring to insurrection specifically as an art, saying that it must be treated as an art, that you must win the first success and then proceed from success to success, never ceasing the offensive against the enemy, taking advantage of his confusion, etc., etc.?
To be successful, insurrection must rely not upon conspiracy and not upon a party, but upon the advanced class. That is the first point. Insurrection must rely upon a revolutionary upsurge of the people. That is the second point. Insurrection must rely upon that turning-point in the history of the growing revolution when the activity of the advanced ranks of the people is at its height, and when the vacillations in the ranks of the enemy and in the ranks of the weak, half-hearted and irresolute friends of the revolution are strongest. That is the third point. And these three conditions for raising the question of insurrection distinguish Marxism from Blanquism. (Marxism and Insurrection. A Letter to the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P.(B.). https://www.marxists.org/russkij/lenin/works/lenin005.htm
Lenin, while passionately willing that proletariat took power, was neverthless very causios and on the one hand avoided premature uprising as it was on 03-04.07 1917, and on the other hand he didn’t want to miss the most favourable moment for the insurrection, as in October 1917, and had to spend a lot of time persuading the members of the Central Committee to srat then.
“On July 3-4 it could have been argued, without violating the truth, that the correct thing to do was to take power, for our enemies would in any case have accused us of insurrection and ruthlessly treated us as rebels. However, to have decided on this account in favour of taking power at that time would have been wrong, because the objective conditions for the victory of the insurrection did not exist.
(1) We still lacked the support of the class which is the vanguard of the revolution.
We still did not have a majority among the workers and soldiers of Petrograd and Moscow. Now we have a majority in both Soviets. It was created solely by the history of July and August, by the experience of the "ruthless treatment" meted out to the Bolsheviks, and by the experience of the Kornilov revolt.
(2) There was no country-wide revolutionary upsurge at that time. There is now, after the Kornilov revolt; the situation in the provinces and assumption of power by the Soviets in many localities prove this.
(3) At that time there was no vacillation on any serious political scale among our enemies and among the irresolute petty bourgeoisie. Now the vacillation is enormous. Our main enemy, Allied and world imperialism (for world imperialism is headed by the "Allies"), has begun to waver between a war to a victorious finish and a separate peace directed against Russia. Our petty-bourgeois democrats, having clearly lost their majority among the people, have begun to vacillate enormously, and have rejected a bloc, i.e., a coalition, with the Cadets.
(4) Therefore, an insurrection on July 3-4 would have been a mistake; we could not have retained power either physically or politically. We could not have retained it physically even though Petrograd was at times in our hands, because at that time our workers and soldiers would not have fought and died for Petrograd...
We could not have retained power politically on July 3-4 because, before the Kornilov revolt, the army and the provinces could and would have marched against Petrograd.
Now the picture is entirely different.
We have the following of the majority of a class, the vanguard of the revolution, the vanguard of the people, which is capable of carrying the masses with it.
We have the following of the majority of the people, because Chernov's resignation, while by no means the only symptom, is the most striking and obvious symptom that the peasants will not receive land from the Socialist-Revolutionaries' bloc (or from the Socialist-Revolutionaries themselves). And that is the chief reason for the popular character of the revolution.
We are in the advantageous position of a party that knows for certain which way to go at a time when imperialism, as a whale and the Menshevik and Socialist-Revolutionary bloc as a whole are vacillating in an incredible fashion.
Our victory is assured, for the people are close to desperation, and we are showing the entire people a sure way out; we demonstrated to the entire people during the "Kornilov days" the value of our leadership, and then proposed to the politicians of the bloc a compromise, which they rejected, although there is no let-up in their vacillations.
(Marxism and Insurrection. A Letter to the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P.(B.) https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/sep/13.htm )