Marxism-Leninism, as the ideology of the Soviet Union was officially called before the dramatic changes of the late 1980s, was largely the creation of one man. Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (1870–1924)—better known by his revolutionary pseudonym, Lenin—was, until his death, the preeminent Russian revolutionary and Marxian theorist. In “adapting” Marxism to Russian conditions, Lenin made several significant changes. For one, he held that a proletarian revolution could occur in Russia, despite the fact that Russia in the early twentieth century had a relatively small proletariat (the overwhelming majority of Russian workers were not wage-laborers but peasants who tilled the soil). For another, he claimed that only a small, highly organized, conspiratorial “vanguard” party could supply the political will (or “consciousness”) and leadership required to radically transform such an economically and politically backward country. A fiercely combative critic of other interpretations of Marxism, Lenin claimed that his alone was the “true” interpretation; all others—including the “revision-ist” view espoused by Bernstein—were deviations from or distortions of Marx’s “scientific” outlook. If revolution had not come to the advanced capitalist countries, as Marx had predicted, that was because the workers in those countries were afflicted with “trade-union consciousness,” that is, the mistaken view that they could organize themselves into trade unions and political parties to work for their interests. This strategy was successful, said Lenin, only because the capitalist countries were exploiting the workers of nonindustrial countries. Such exploitation would cease—and revolution would come to capitalist countries themselves—when workers in those underdeveloped countries made their own anticolonial or anti-imperialist revolutions.