MARXIST INTERNET ARCHIVE |  V. I. Lenin

V. I. LENIN

THE STATE
AND
REVOLUTION

The Marxist Teaching on the State
and the Tasks of the Proletariat
in the Revolution

FOREIGN LANGUAGES PRESS
PEKING 1970

First Edition 1965
Second Printing 1970

Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo, djr@cruzio.com (June 1997)
    PUBLISHER'S NOTE

The present English translation of V. I. Lenin's The State and Revolution is a reprint of the text given in the Selected Works of V. I. Lenin, Eng. ed., Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1952, Vol II, Part I. The notes at the end of the book are based on those given in the Selected Works and in the Chinese edition published by the People's Publishing House, Peking, in September 1964.

C O N T E N T S

FOR SLOW CONNECTIONS, CAHAPTER BY CHAPTER>>

PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION

1

PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION

4

Chapter I
CLASS SOCIETY AND THE STATE


5

    1.2.
3.4.

The State as the Product of the Irreconcilability of Class
Antagonisms
Special Bodies of Armed Men, Prisons, etc.
The State as an Instrument for the Exploitation of the
Oppressed Class
The "Withering Away" of the State and Violent Revolution


5
9
1317

Chapter II
THE STATE AND REVOLUTION. THE EXPERIENCE OF 1848-51


26

1.
2.
3.

The Eve of the Revolution
The Revolution Summed Up
The Presentation of the Question by Marx in 1852

26
31
39

Chapter III
THE STATE AND REVOLUTION. EXPERIENCE OF THE PARIS
  COMMUNE OF 1871. MARX'S ANALYSIS



42

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Wherein Lay the Heroism of the Communards' Attempt?
With What Is the Smashed State Machine to Be Replaced
Abolition of Parliamentarism
Organization of the Unity of the Nation
Abolition of the Parasite State

42
47
53
60
64

Chapter IV
CONTINUATION. SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATIONS BY ENGELS


67

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

The Housing Question
Controversy with the Anarchists
Letter to Bebel
Criticisms of the Draft of the Erfurt Program
The 1891 Preface to the Civil War in France
Engels on the Overcoming of Democracy

67
71
76
79
88
95

Chapter V
ECONOMIC BASIS OF THE WITHERING AWAY OF THE STATE


99

1.
2.
3.
4.

Presentation of the Question by Marx
The Transition from Capitalism to Communism
The First Phase of Communist Society
The Highest Phase of Communist society

99
102
109
113

Chapter VI
THE VULGARIZATION OF MARXISM BY THE OPPORTUNISTS


123

1.
2.
3.

Plekhonov's Controversy with the Anarchists
Kautsky's Controversy with the Opportunists
Kautsky's Controversy with Pannekoek

124
125
134

POSTSCRIPT TO THE FIRST EDITION

145

NOTES

146



page 146


NOTES

  [1] Lenin wrote The State and Revolution while underground in August and September 1917. He first spoke of the necessity of theoretically elaborating the question of the state during the latter half of 1916. At that time he wrote a note entitled "The Youth International" (see Collected Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. XXIII, pp. I53-56), in which he criticized Bukharin's anti-Marxist stand on the question of the state and promised to write a detailed article on the Marxist attitude to the state. In a letter to A. M. Kollontai dated February 17, 1917, Lenin stated that he had almost finished his material on the Marxist attitude to the state. This material was closely written in small handwriting in a blue-covered notebook entitled Marxism on the State. It contained a collection of quotations from Marx and Engels and excerpts from books by Kautsky, Pannekoek and Bernstein, with Lenin's critical annotations, conclusions and generalizations.
    According to the outlined plan, The State and Revolution was to contain seven chapters, but the seventh and last chapter, "The Experience of the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917," remained unwritten; all we have is a detailed plan for it. (See Lenin Miscellany, Russ. ed., Vol. XXI, 1933, pp. 25-26.) Concerning the publication of the book Lenin indicated in a note to the publisher that if he "should take too long to finish this seventh chapter, or if it should turn out to be too bulky, the first six chapters should be published separately as Part One."
    On the first page of the manuscript the author of the book appears under the pseudonym of F. F. Ivanovsky. Lenin proposed to use it because the Provisional Government would otherwise confiscate the book. The book was not published until 1918, when there was no longer any need for a pseudonym. A second edition containing a new

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section, "The Presentation of the Question by Marx in 1852," added by Lenin to Chapter II, appeared in 1919.    [preface]

  [2] Fabians -- members of the reformist and opportunist Fabian Society, formed by a group of British bourgeois intellectuals in 1884. The society took its name from the Roman General Fabius Cunctator (the "Delayer"), famous for his procrastinating tactics and avoidance of decisive battles. The Fabian Society represented, as Lenin put it, "the most finished expression of opportunism and liberal-labour politics." The Fabians sought to deflect the proletariat from the class struggle and advocated the possibility of a peaceful, gradual transition from capitalism to socialism by means of reforms. During the imperialist world war (1914-18) the Fabians took a social-chauvinist stand. For a characterization of the Fabians, see Lenin's "Preface to the Russian Edition of Letters by J. F. Becker, J. Dietzgen, F. Engels, K. Marx and Others to F. A. Sorge and Others " (V. I. Lenin, Marx-Engels-Marxism, Moscow, 1953, pp. 245-46), "The Agrarian Program of Social-Democracy in the Russian Revolution" (Collected Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. XV, p. 154), and "English Pacifism and English Dislike of Theory" (ibid., Vol. XXI, p. 234).    [p.2]

  [3] See Frederick Engels, "The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State" (Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Works, Eng. ed., Moscow, 1951, Vol. II, pp. 288-89).
    Below, on pp. 9-10, and 12-17 of this pamphlet, Lenin again quotes this work by Engels (ibid., p. 289, and pp. 289-92).    [p.7]

  [4] See Frederick Engels, Anti-Dühring, Eng. ed., Moscow, 1947, pp. 416-17.
    Below, on p. 23 of this pamphlet, Lenin again quotes this work by Engels (ibid., p. 275).    [p.19]

  [5] See Karl Marx, The Poverty of Philosophy, Eng. ed., Moscow.    [p.24]

  [6] See Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, "Manifesto of the Communist Party" (Selected Works, Eng. ed., Moscow, 1951, Vol. I, pp. 32-61).    [p.24]

  [7] See Karl Marx, "Critique of the Gotha Program" (Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Works, Eng. ed., Moscow, 1951, Vol. II, pp. 13-45).
    The Gotha Program -- the Program of the Socialist Workers' Party of Germany adopted in 1875 at the Gotha Congress, where the two previously separate German socialist parties, the Eisenachers and the Lassalleans, united. This program was thoroughly opportunist since the Eisenachers had made concessions to the Lassalleans on all important

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questions and had accepted Lassallean formulations. Marx and Engels subjected the Gotha Program to withering criticism.    [p.25]

  [8] See Karl Marx, The Poverty of Philosophy, Eng. ed., Moscow, p. 174.    [p.27]

  [9] See Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, "Manifesto of the Communist Party" (Selected Works, Eng. ed., Moscow, 1951, Vol. I, pp. 43 and 50).    [p.27]

  [10] See Karl Marx, "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte" (Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Works, Eng. ed., Moscow, , Vol. I, p. 301).
    Below, on p. 37 of this pamphlet, Lenin quotes the introduction by Engels to the third German edition of the work mentioned (ibid., p. 223).    [p.32]

  [11] Die Neue Zeit -- a German Social-Democratic magazine published in Stuttgart from 1883 to 1923. In 1885-95 the magazine published some of Engels' articles. Engels often offered advice to its editors and sharply criticized them for their departure from Marxism. Beginning with the latter half of the nineties, after Engels' death, Die Neue Zeit systematically carried articles by revisionists. During the imperialist world war of 1914-18 it took a Centrist, Kautskyite stand and supported the social-chauvinists.    [p.39]

  [12] See Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Works, Eng. ed., Moscow, 1951, Vol. II, p. 410.    [p.39]

  [13] Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, "Manifesto of the Communist Party" (Selected Works, Eng. ed., Moscow, 1951, Vol. I, p. 22).    [p.43]

  [14] Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Works, Eng. ed., Moscow, 1951, Vol. II, p. 420.    [p.44]

  [15] See V. I. Lenin, Collected Work, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. XII, pp. 83-91.    [p.44]

  [16] See Karl Marx, "The Civil War in France" (Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Works, Eng. ed., Moscow, 1951, Vol. I. pp. 468-71)
    Below, on pp. 52, 53, and 60-65 of this pamphlet, Lenin again quotes this work by Marx (ibid., pp. 473, 471, 472, and 471-74).    [p.50]

  [17] This passage from Marx's The Civil War in France is quoted by Lenin from the text of the German edition.    [p.53]

  [18] See Frederick Engels, "The Housing Question" (Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Works, Eng. ed., Moscow, 1951, Vol. I, pp. 517-18).

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    Below, on pp. 69-70 of this pamphlet, Lenin again quotes this work by Engels (ibid., pp. 569, 555).    [p.68]

  [19] Lenin refers here to Marx's article "Der politische Indifferentismus" ("Political Indifferentism") (Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Collected Works, Ger. ed., Berlin, Vol. XVIII, pp. 299-304) and Engels' "On Authority" (Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Works, Eng. ed., Moscow, 1951, Vol. I, pp. 575-78).
    Below, on pp. 71 and 73-74 of this pamphlet, Lenin quotes the same articles.    [p.71]

  [20] See Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Works, Eng. ed., Moscow, 1951, Vol. II, pp. 38-39.    [p.77]

  [21] The Erfurt Program of the German Social-Democratic Party was adopted in October 1891 at the Erfurt Congress to replace the Gotha Program of 1875. The errors in the Erfurt Program were criticized by Engels in his work "On the Critique of the Social-Democratic Draft Program of 1891" (Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Collected Works, Ger. ed., Berlin, Vol. XXII, pp. 225-40).
    Below, on pp. 80-87 of this pamphlet, Lenin quotes the same work by Engels (ibid., pp. 232-37).    [p.79]

  [22] V. I. Lenin, "A Question of Principle," Collected Works, 4th Russ. ed., Vol. XXIV, pp. 497-99.    [p.87]

  [23] The reference here is to the introduction by Engels to Marx's The Civil War in France (Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Works, Eng. ed., Moscow, 1951, Vol. I, pp. 429-40).
    Below, on pp. 88-89, and 90-94 of this pamphlet, Lenin again quotes this work by Engels (ibid., pp. 430-31, 435, 438, 439).    [p.88]

  [24] Cavaignac, Louis Eugène -- French general; after the revolution of February 1848, Minister of War of the Provisional Government of France; during the June days of 1848, he was in charge of suppressing the uprising of the Parisian workers.    [p.89]

  [25] On International Topics from "The People's State."    [p.95]

  [26] Frederick Engels, Vorwort zur Broschure "Internationales aus dem 'Volksstaat' (1871-75 )" (Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Collected Works, Ger. ed., Berlin, 1963, Vol. XXII, pp. 417-18).    [p.96]

  [27] "Majority" in Russian is "bolshinstvo"; hence the name "Bolshevik."    [p.96]

  [28] See Karl Marx, "Critique of the Gotha Program" (Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Selected Works, Eng, ed., Moscow, 1951, Vol. II, p. 30).

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    Below, on pp. 102, 109, 111-12, and 113-14 of this pamphlet, Lenin again quotes this work by Marx (ibid., pp. 30, 21, 22, and 23).    [p.102]

  [29] Lenin refers to Tugan-Baranovsky, a Russian bourgeois economist.    [p.111]

  [30] The Hague Congress of the First International took place on September 2-7, 1872. It was attended by 65 delegates, among whom were Marx and Engels. The following questions, among others, were on the agenda: 1) the powers of the General Council; 2) the political activity of the proletariat. A keen struggle with the Bakuninists marked all the proceedings of the Congress. The Congress resolved to extend the powers of the General Council. Its resolution on "the political activity of the proletariat" stated that the proletariat must organize a political party of its own to ensure the triumph of the social revolution and that its great task henceforth was the conquest of political power. The Congress expelled Bakunin and Guillaume from the International as disorganizers and founders of a new, anti-proletarian party.    [p.124]

  [31] Zarya (Dawn ) -- a scientific-political Marxist magazine published in Stuttgart in 1901-02 by the editors of Iskra. Four issues appeared in three instalments. The Zarya carried the following articles by Lenin: "Casual Notes," "The Persecutors of the Zemstvo and the Hannibals of Liberalism," the first four chapters of "The Agrarian Question and the 'Critics of Marx'" (under the title "Messrs. the 'Critics' on the Agrarian Question"), "Review of Internal Affairs" and "The Agrarian Program of Russian Social-Democracy."    [p.126]

  [32] The reference is to the Fifth International Socialist Congress of the Second International, held on September 23-27, 1900, in Paris, which 791 delegates attended. The Russian delegation consisted of 23 members. On the main question‹the conquest of political power by the proletariat‹the Congress majority adopted the resolution proposed by Kautsky which Lenin described as "conciliatory with regard to the opportunists." Among other decisions the Congress resolved to establish an International Socialist Bureau to consist of representatives of socialist parties of all countries. Its secretariat was to have its seat in Brussels.    [p.126]

  [33] Socialist Monthly (Sozialistische Monatshefte ) -- the chief organ of the opportunists among the German Social-Democrats and an organ of international opportunism. It was published in Berlin from 1897 to 1933. During the imperialist world war of 1914-18 it took a social-chauvinist stand.    [p.142]

  [34] The Independent Lahour Party was formed in 1893 and was led by James Keir Hardie, J. Ramsay MacDonald, and others. It claimed

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to be politically independent of the bourgeois parties; actually it was "independent of socialism, but dependent upon liberalism" (Lenin). At the beginning of the imperialist world war of 1914-18 the Independent Labour Party issued a manifesto against the war on August 13, 1914, but later, at the London Allied Socialist Conference in February 1915, its representatives supported the social-chauvinist resolution adopted by that conference. From that time onward the I.L.P. leaders, under cover of pacifist phrases, took a social-chauvinist stand. With the formation of the Communist International in 1919, the I.L.P. Ieaders, yielding to the pressure of the rank and file, which had swung to the Left, resolved to withdraw from the Second International. In 1921, the I.L.P. joined the so-called Two-and-a-Half International, and after its collapse re-affiliated to the Second International.    [p.143]