Vladimir Il'ich Lenin

State and Revolution

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Lenin's original work on class-based revolution.
In 1917, in the midst of two revolutions, Vladimir Ilich Lenin fled Russia for fear of persecution by the government. While in exile, he began work on one of his most important works, State and Revolution, an attempt to resurrect the purity of Marx's and Engels's socialist teachings, which Lenin claimed were subsumed and weakened by reformists who reduced the "great revolutionaries" into "harmless icons." In State and Revolution, Lenin posits that the traditional role of the state in society is to maintain the control of the powerful, thus enabling the rich to exploit the poor. Because the ruling class will never willingly give up their political influence, social democracy-including parliamentary elections-is a false promise, and only results in a new crop of rich overlords lining up to "repress and crush the people." The sole way to bring true freedom and self-determination to all citizens, and throw off the "yoke of capitalism," is through Communist revolution-to "smash the state." As a result, the state would "wither away," and its bureaucrats would perform the will of the proletariat. This seminal work provides a practical application of socialist principles and it has greatly influenced theories of global capitalist development. Italian philosopher Lucio Colletti called State and Revolution "Lenin's greatest contribution to political theory."
This audio edition is deftly narrated by Peter Coates.
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