Better to die fighting for freedom then be

a prisoner all the days of your life.

- Bob Marley

What Is To Be Done? was a pamphlet written by Vladimir Lenin in 1902. In What Is to Be Done?, Lenin argues that the working class will not spontaneously become political simply by fighting economic battles with employers over wages, working hours, and the like. To educate the working class on Marxism, Lenin insists that Marxists should form a political party, or vanguard, of dedicated revolutionaries in order to spread Marxist political ideas among the workers. The pamphlet, in part, precipitated the split of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party between Lenin’s Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks.

Lenin theorizes that workers will not become Marxists merely by fighting battles over wages with their employers. Instead, Marxists need to form a political party to publicise Marxist ideas and persuade workers. He goes on to argue that to understand politics you must understand all of society, not just workers and their economic struggles with their employers. To become political and to become Marxists, workers need to learn about all of society, not just their own corner of it.

It is regarded as one of the leading pieces of revolutionary literature, and had a huge impact in Russia’s conversion to a soviet state.