The State and Revolution

The State and Revolution

Vladimir Lenin

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Can socialism come through parliament? Can we destroy capitalism by working within its institutions? Or do we have to smash them? What would that mean?

In this classic work, Lenin makes the case for the revolutionary alternative to parliamentary socialism. Drawing on Marx’s work, he explains why the capitalist state can’t overthrow capitalism, and what a revolutionary strategy might look like.

Lenin argues that the bourgeois state institutions – the parliament, the criminal justice system, the military, the bureaucracies – make up a weapon of class domination. That weapon needs to be totally destroyed if we are to create a truly democratic and liberated society. 

Lenin also describes how a workers’ state can provide a revolutionary alternative based on workers’ self-organisation, drawing on the experience of the Paris Commune and the Russian Revolution of 1905.

This pamphlet dismantles the theories of reformism and anarchism alike with unmatched sharpness and clarity, and rescues Marxism as a revolutionary theory from those who distort and misrepresent it. It is essential reading for anyone grappling with the question of how we can destroy capitalism.