'State & Revolution'

Scott Marshall Scott at rednet.org
Thu Nov 23 13:54:00 MST 1995

Now here's a good topic for discussion. We are told that this is one of
Lenin's worst works, that it is the essence of 'stalinist' (lenin was a
pre-mature stalinist I suppose) attack on democracy.

Actually I think this one Lenin's clearest and most useful works. It is
first and formost an explanation and expose of the true nature of capitalist
democracy. It clearly shows how real political, social and economic power
are wielded despite any formal trappings of 'democracy.' It clearly asks the
key question about democracy: democracy for whom?

This is an interesting work to attack, if one believes there is some kind of
divide between Marxism and Leninism, or that Kerensky was a Marxist, but
Lenin wasn't. In fact this is one of Lenin's most carefully written and
planned works. It is clear from even a cursury reading that Lenin spent a
good deal of time preparing State and Revolution, by carefully reviewing
what Marx and Engels had to say on the question of the state and democracy.
In fact the book reads somewhat as a survey of all the major writings of
Marx and Engels on these issues. More than that Lenin traces the the
development of their ideas on these questions. He catagorically refutes the
silly notion, I've seen repeated at times on this list, that Marx and Engels
did not put forward the concept of dictatorship of the proletariat.

Capitalism hides it's dictatorship of capital behind the quackery of
classless 'democracy.' It's really kind of simple, there can be no real
democracy in a situation where the economic, political and social commanding
heights are held by the capitalist class. You can have voting, you can have
parliments, you can have 'opposition', you can have spineless servants of
capital like Clinton, Kerensky, and Mitterand who prattle on about
democracy. But you can't have working class power and you can't 'win the
battle of democracy' unless and until you place the working class in power.
Until the working class has political, economic ans social power then you
will always have a dictatorship of the minority over the majority, no matter
the trappings.

Let me hasten to add that Lenin, in State and Revolution, argues
vorciferiously for the strongest possible fight of the working class to 
extend bourgeois (capitalist) democracy as a nessesary part of the
revolutionary struggles. The working class needs the greatest possible
freedom to pursue the class struggle - legal unions, freedom of assembly etc.

Kerensky was a true servant of the capitalists and used force against
revolutionary workers. Even ole Anatole F. understood democracy better than


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