State and Revolution by Vladimir Lenin
About this session
Book club @Marxism2021
Come join other lefties for a deep dive into some key works of Marxism. There will be an introduction on each text providing political context and commentary, followed by discussion where people can debate out their questions and opinions. Reading is required for these sessions. You can also buy nice copies of these texts at Red Flag Books.
The State and Revolution by Vladimir I Lenin
Written during the revolutionary fervour of 1917, Lenin’s State and Revolution tackles a question that is as relevant to socialists today as it was 100 years ago: in the fight to create a better world, what should our attitude be to the state? Lenin explores the critical role that the state plays in society, especially in legitimising the capitalist system. He brilliantly polemicises for the overthrow of the state as central to the process of revolution and explores why workers need to create their own state in the immediate aftermath of the overthrow of the old order. The brilliance of this classic is both its contribution to the revolution as it happened and its offering of clear ideas for us today.
In addition to the recommended readings below, two other sources for longer reads are Tony Cliff's All Power to the Soviets, particularly chs. 17 and 18, chs. 6 to 16 for background, and Sandra Bloodworth's 'Lenin vs Leninism' from the Marxist Left Review.