Pannekoek was not only a very important Marxist, but also a successful Dutch astronomer.
He was close to Rosa Luxemburg ideas, therefore he could not be a supporter of Lenin's views.
In his book (Lenin as philosopher) he destroys the equation Marx = Lenin or Marxism-Leninism.
He precisely defined on philosophical bases where Marx and Lenin do not agree.
Pannekoek clearly gives to Lenin the responsibility of building a state-capitalism in Russia.
“In Russia a system of state-capitalism consolidated itself, not by deviating from but following Lenin’s ideas”. He does not accept Leninist groups' version that everything went wrong since Stalin took control of the Soviet Union.
As a good scientist he gives the right location to the natural sciences in the capitalistic system.
“The natural sciences are the spiritual basis of capitalism. On the development of these sciences depends, the technical progress that drives capitalism forward.”
Extremely interesting is chapter 7 (the Russian revolution).
He has a clear idea of what Marxism is and what it should bring to
“Marxism in the Western Europe is the world view of a working class confronting the task of converting a most highly developed capitalism, its own world of life and action, into communism.”
With this statement Pannekoek shows where Lenin went wrong. Pannekoek states, Lenin “knew capitalism only as colonial capitalism; social revolution he knew only as the annihilation of big land ownership and Czarist despotism.”
Chapter 8 (the proletariat revolution).
Lenin “intends to instruct the reader that the Party is right, and that he has to trust and follow the party leaders.”
Finally, Pannekoek’s book is worth to be read even only for the following few sentences:
“In reality, for the working class in the countries of developed capitalism, in Western Europe and America, matters are entirely different. Its task is not the overthrow of a backward absolutist monarchy. Its task is to vanquish a ruling class commanding the mightiest material and spiritual forces the world ever knew… Its object is to be itself master of production and itself to regulate labour, the basis of life. Such an aim cannot be attained by an ignorant mass, confident followers of a party presenting itself as an expert leadership.”