The blessings of Leninism are so important that Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev, who is trying to reform Soviet society by shaking up its economy and bureaucracy, must be careful to place his proposals firmly in the Leninist firmament. Communist Party ideologues must search continually through the 47 volumes of the complete writings and speeches of Lenin to find scripture that justifies what Gorbachev is doing.
Scholars use similar imagery. Soviet dissident historian Roy Medvedev recently tried to explain why he did not believe Gorbachev would rehabilitate Leon Trotsky, the old revolutionary vilified by Josef Stalin, driven into exile and finally assassinated in Mexico by an agent of Stalin.
[Vladimir Ilyich Lenin]'s mantle of democracy, in short, had been thrust aside by Stalin and [Leonid I. Brezhnev] but picked up again by Gorbachev. Gorbachev is thus the true heir of Lenin.