"Two steps forward one step back..."
is a catchphrase reflecting on an anecdote about a frog trying to climb out of a water well; for every two steps the frog climbs, it falls back by one step, making its progress arduous.
The phrase is sometimes cynically rearranged to "One step forward, two steps back..." to reflect a situation where, seemingly for every attempt to make progress in a task, an actual retrograde performance is achieved.
Instead of quoting this phrase ("Two steps forward one step back...") sometimes it is summed up with the briefer exclamation of "Frog in a well". This tale should not be confused with another tale with a different meaning, but also sometimes titled Frog in a well, which refers to having seemingly small aspirations in comparison with compatriots .
The phrase One Step Forward, Two Steps Back was used as a title of a 1904 revolutionary pamphlet by Vladimir Lenin.
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back -
The Crisis in Our Party is a work written by Lenin published on 6/19 May 1904. In it Lenin defends his role in the 2nd Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, held in Brussels and London 30 July - 23 August 1903. Lenin examines the circumstances which resulted in a split in the party between a Bolshevik ("majority") faction led by himself and a Menshevik ("minority") faction led by Julius Martov
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
born Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, Russian: Владимир Ильич Ульянов; 22 April [O.S. 10 April] 1870 – 21 January 1924) was a Russian communist revolutionary, politician and political theorist. He served as the leader of the Russian SFSR from 1917, and then concurrently as Premier of the Soviet Union from 1922, until his death. Politically a Marxist, his theoretical contributions to Marxist thought are known as Leninism, which coupled with Marxian economic theory have collectively come to be known as Marxism–Leninism.
Born to a wealthy middle-class family in Simbirsk, Lenin gained an interest in revolutionary leftist politics following the execution of his brother in 1887. Briefly attending the University of Kazan, he was ejected for his involvement in anti-Tsarist protests, devoting the following years to gaining a law degree and to radical politics, becoming a Marxist. In 1893 he moved to St. Petersburg, becoming a senior figure within the League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class. Arrested for sedition and exiled to Siberia for three years, he married Nadezhda Krupskaya, and fled to Western Europe, living in Germany, England and Switzerland. Following the February Revolution of 1917, in which the Tsar was overthrown and a provisional government took power, he returned home.
As the leader of the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, he took a senior role in orchestrating the October Revolution in 1917, which led to the overthrow of the Russian Provisional Government and the establishment of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, the world's first constitutionally socialist state. Immediately afterwards, Lenin proceeded to implement socialist reforms, including the transfer of estates and crown lands to workers' soviets. Faced with the threat of German invasion, he argued that Russia should immediately sign a peace treaty—which led to Russia's exit from the First World War. In 1921 Lenin proposed the New Economic Policy, a system of state capitalism that started the process of industrialisation and recovery from the Russian Civil War. In 1922, the Russian SFSR joined former territories of the Russian Empire in becoming the Soviet Union, with Lenin as its leader. The Bolshevik faction later became the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which acted as a vanguard party presiding over a single-party dictatorship of the proletariat.
LeninismAfter his death, Marxism–Leninism developed into a variety of schools of thought, namely Stalinism, Trotskyism and Maoism. Lenin remains a controversial and highly divisive world figure. Detractors have labelled him a dictator whose administration oversaw multiple human rights abuses, but supporters have countered this criticism citing the limitations on his power and have promoted him as a champion of the working class. He has had a significant influence on the international Communist movement and was one of the most influential figures of the 20th century.
In Marxist philosophy, Leninism is the body of political theory for the democratic organisation of a revolutionary vanguard party, and the achievement of a direct-democracy dictatorship of the proletariat, as political prelude to the establishment of socialism. Developed by, and named for, the Russian revolutionary Lenin (Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, 1870–1924).
Leninism comprises political and socialist economic theories, developed from Marxism, and Lenin’s interpretations of Marxist theory, for practical application to the socio-political conditions of the agrarian Russian Empire (1721–1917) of the early 20th century. In February 1917, for five years, Leninism was the Russian application of Marxist economics and political philosophy, effected and realised by the Bolshevik party, the vanguard party who led the fight for the political independence of theworking class.
Functionally, the Leninist vanguard party provided to the working class the political consciousness (education and organisation), and the revolutionary leadership necessary todepose capitalism in Imperial Russia. After the October Revolution of 1917, Leninism was the dominant version of Marxism in Russia, and then the official state ideology of Soviet democracy (by workers’ council) in the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (RSFSR), before its unitary amalgamation into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), in 1922.
Moreover, in post–Lenin Russia, in the 1925–29 period, Joseph Stalin integrated Leninism to Marxist economics, and developed Marxism–Leninism, which then became the Communist state ideology of the USSR.
As a political-science term, Leninism entered common usage in 1922, only after infirmity ended Lenin’s participation in governing the Russian Communist Party. Two years later, in July 1924, at the fifth congress of the Communist International (Comintern), Grigory Zinoviev popularized the use of the term Leninism to denote vanguard-party revolution. Leninism was composed as and for revolutionary praxis, and originally was neither rigorously proper philosophy nor discrete political theory.
After the Russian Revolution (1917), in History and Class Consciousness(1923), György Lukács ideologically developed and organised Lenin’s pragmatic revolutionary practices into the formal philosophy of vanguard-party revolution (Leninism).
As a work of political science and of political philosophy, History and Class Consciousness illustrated Lenin’s 1915 dictum about the commitment to the cause of the revolutionary man, and said of György Lukács:
One cannot be a revolutionary Social–Democrat without participating, according to one’s powers, in developing this theory [Marxism], and adapting it to changed conditions.
— Lenin and the Russian Revolution (1971) p. 35.