The State and Revolution

The State and Revolution

Introduction by: Robert Service
Editor: Robert Service
Translator: Robert Service

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140184358
  • 192 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult


In July 1917, when the Provisional Government issued a warrant for his arrest, Lenin fled from Petrograd; later that year, the October Revolution swept him to supreme power. In the short intervening period he spent in Finland, he wrote his impassioned, never-completed masterwork The State and Revolution. This powerfully argued book offers both the rationale for the new regime and a wealth of insights into Leninist politics. It was here that Lenin justified his personal interpretation of Marxism, savaged his opponents and set out his trenchant views on class conflict, the lessons of earlier revolutions, the dismantling of the bourgeois state and the replacement of capitalism by the dictatorship of the proletariat. As both historical document and political statement, its importance can hardly be exaggerated.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Table of Contents

Translator’s Notes
The Writing of the Book
The Contents
The Style
A Marxist Interpretation?
The Book and Political Theory
Political Conditions at the Time
The Book is Published
The Uses of the Book
The Book and Its Fate

Preface to the First Edition
Preface to the Second Edition
Chapter I: Class Society and the State
1. The State as the Product of the Irreconcilability of Class Contradictions
2. Special Bodies of Armed Men, Prisons, Etc.
3. The State as an Instrument for the Exploitation of the Oppressed Class
4. The “Withering Away” of the State and Violent Revolution
Chapter II: The State and Revolution—The Experience of 1848-51
1. The Eve of the Revolution
2. The Revolution in Summary
3. The Presentation of the Question by Marx in 1852
Chapter III: The State and Revolution—The Experience of the Paris Commune of 1871—Marx’s Analysis
1. What was Heroic about the Communards’ Attempt?
2. With What is the Smashed State Machine to be Replaced?
3. The Eradication of Parliamentarianism
4. Organization of the Unity of the Nation
5. The Destruction of the Parasite State
Chapter IV: Continuation: Supplementary Clarifications by Engels
1. The Housing Question
2. The Polemic with the Anarchists
3. Letter to Bebel
4. Critique of the Draft of the Erfurt Programme
5. The 1891 Preface to Marx’s The Civil War in France
6. Engels on the Overpowering of Democracy
Chapter V: The Economic Basis for the Withering Away of the State
1. The Presentation of the Question by Marx
2. The Transition from Capitalism to Communism
3. The First Phase of Communist Society
4. The Higher Phase of Communist Society
Chapter VI: The Vulgarization of Marxism by the Opportunists
1. Plekhanov’s Polemic with the Anarchists
2. Kautsky’s Polemic with the Opportunists
3. Kautsky’s Polemic with Pannekoek
Chapter VII: The Experience of the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917 #unfinished text#
Postscript to the First EditionGlossary
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