VanguardismIn the context of revolutionary struggle, vanguardism is a strategy whereby an organization (usually a political party) attempts to place itself at the center of the movement, and steer it in a direction consistent with its ideology.
Often, following the overthrow of the previous order, vanguardist organizations will attempt to seize state power and use it in order to achieve its goals of reshaping society. The classic historical example of this is the Bolshevik-led Russian Revolution.
Vanguardism continues to be used as a political strategy by Leninist parties of just about all varieties -- Trotskyist, Stalinist and Maoist. Although most anarchists and radical libertarians reject vanguardism as inherently authoritarian, the practices of some anarchist groups have been criticized by their peers for constituting vanguardism of the intellectual, if not organizational, variety.