State and Revolution
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2011 Reprint of 1932 Edition. Full facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software. "State and Revolution" (1917) describes the role of the State in society, the necessity of proletarian revolution, and the theoretic inadequacies of social democracy in achieving revolution. It describes the inherent nature of the State as a tool for class oppression, a creation born of one social class's desire to control all other social classes. Whether a dictatorship or a democracy, the State remains in the control of the ruling class. Even in a democratic capitalist republic, the ruling class will never willingly relinquish political power, maintaining it via various strategies. Hence, according to this view, communist revolution is the sole remedy for the abolition of the state.
refuse to recognize the class struggle “in principle”!) Opportunism does not extend recognition of the class struggle to the cardinal point, to the period of transition from capitalism to communism, of the overthrow and the complete abolition of the bourgeoisie. In reality, this period inevitably is a period of an unprecedentedly violent class struggle in unprecedentedly acute forms, and, consequently, during this period the state must inevitably be a state that is democratic in a new way (for
is with the Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries, and also the Scheidemanns and Legiens, the Sembats and Vanderveldes. It is extremely instructive to note that, in speaking of the function of those officials who are necessary for the Commune and for proletarian democracy, Marx compares them to the workers of “every other employer,” that is, of the ordinary capitalist enterprise, with its “workers, foremen, and accountants.” There is no trace of utopianism in Marx, in the sense that he made up
come nearer the truth, to restore Marxism by ridding it of distortions, to guide the struggle of the working class for its emancipation more correctly. Certainly no one opposed to the advice of Engels and Marx will be found among the Bolsheviks. The only difficulty that may perhaps arise will be in regard to the term. In German there are two words meaning “community,” of which Engels used the one that does not denote a single community but a totality, a system of communities. In Russian there is
the very outset the Commune had to recognize that the 35. Engels, “Introduction,” Civil War in France, 624. 36. New York Times, “German Church’s Losses,” March 29, 1914. The SPD supported the campaign for individuals to leave the official state church. Lenin was critical of this campaign, presumably because he believed the party was uncritical toward some of the religious leaders who opposed the official church but advocated other forms of spirituality that he worried would dilute the atheist
after the 1905 Revolution. Four successive Duma elections featured progressively restrictive and undemocratic voting procedures, each dissolved by royal decrees. Bolshevik, Menshevik, and Socialist Revolutionary deputies elected to various Dumas. Engels, Friedrich (1821–95). Close friend, benefactor, and collaborator with Marx for forty years; cofounder of the theory that became known as Marxism. Prolific author and journalist. Participated the German Revolution of 1848, for which he was exiled