The state and revolution

Wednesday 4th of November from 6.00PM till 7.30PM in the downstairs meeting room of the Thistle Hall, on the corner of Cuba & Arthur Streets, Te Aro, Wellington. Please enter by the the grey door on Arthur Street marked Hall Entrance.

In July 1917, when the Provisional Government issued a warrant for his arrest, Lenin fled from Petrograd; later that year, the October Revolution swept him to supreme power. In the short intervening period he spent in Finland, he wrote his impassioned, never-completed masterwork. The State and Revolution. This powerfully argued book offers both the rationale for the new regime and a wealth of insights into Leninist politics. It was here that Lenin justified his personal interpretation of Marxism, savaged his opponents and set out his trenchant views on class conflict, the lessons of earlier revolutions, the dismantling of the bourgeois state and the replacement of capitalism by the dictatorship of the proletariat. As both historical document and political statement, its importance can hardly be exaggerated.

This reading group session will be led by Cáit Ó Pronntaigh.

Required readings

The required reading is the first two chapters of Lenin, V.I. (1917). The State and Revolution. Marxist Internet Archive.

This reading can be supplemented with Ralph Mandell’s classic commentary: Mandell, R. (1970). Lenin’s The State and Revolution. Jacobin.

And with this Red Menace podcast: State and Revolution: Marx, Lenin, & the Dictatorship of the Proletariat