Lenin's State and Revolution

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Violence and State and Revolution

In Lenin’s State and Revolution, there is a theme of violence that is present. Lenin uses this theme of violence, along with quotes and citations from the works of Marx and Engels, to “resuscitate the real teachings of Marx on the state” (p.7). The theme of violence is necessary in Lenin’s book because, without the theme of violence, Lenin could not accurately and successfully make his argument or portray the current events of the time that are relevant to it.

In order to understand violence and its’ theme in Lenin’s State and Revolution, we must first understand that there are varied forms of violence. There is physical violence that comes in the form of fights and weapons, there is mental violence that comes in the form of hatred and slander and persecution, and there is a political violence that comes in the form of a disruption or an uprooting of the ruling system of the state. It is important to recognize all of these forms of violence while going through Lenin’s work.

Lenin starts out by describing how violence is a factor in the teachings of Marx even before they could be differentiated from abstract thoughts. He says that, “During the lifetime of great revolutionaries, the oppressing classes have visited relentless persecution on them and received their teaching with the most savage hostility, the most furious hatred, the most ruthless campaign of lies and slander” (p.7). It is thus necessary for Lenin to tell of and describe this violence in State and Revolution because violence in the form persecution, hostility, hatred, and lies plagued Marx’s life. Therefore, in order to fully comprehend Marx’s teachings, we must understand his circumstance.

“It is clear that the liberation of the oppressed class is impossible not only without a violent revolution, but also without the destruction of the apparatus of state power” (p.9). Lenin states that this is a part of Marxism that “is forgotten or glossed over.” He is...
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