Showing posts with label Paris Commune. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paris Commune. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin- The State and Revolution (1917) Part VI "The Vulgarisation of Marxism by Opportunists"

The State and Revolution.
By Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.
First Published: 1918.
Source: V.I.Lenin, Collected Works, Volume 25, p.381-492.

The question of the relation of the state to the social revolution, and of the social revolution to the state, like the question of revolution generally, was given very little attention by the leading theoreticians and publicists of the Second International (1889-1914). But the most characteristic thing about the process of the gradual growth of opportunism that led to the collapse of the Second International in 1914 is the fact that even when these people were squarely faced with this question they tried to evade it or ignored it.
In general, it may be said that evasiveness over the question of the relation of the proletarian revolution to the state--an evasiveness which benefited and fostered opportunism--resulted in the distortion of Marxism and in its complete vulgarization.
To characterize this lamentable process, if only briefly, we shall take the most prominent theoreticians of Marxism: Plekhanov and Kautsky.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin- The State and Revolution (1917) Part V "The Economic Basis of the Withering Away of the State"

The State and Revolution.
By Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.
First Published: 1918.
Source: V.I.Lenin, Collected Works, Volume 25, p.381-492.
Marx explains this question most thoroughly in his Critique of the Gotha Programme (letter to Bracke, May 5, 1875, which was not published until 1891 when it was printed in Neue Zeit, vol. IX, 1, and which has appeared in Russian in a special edition). The polemical part of this remarkable work, which contains a criticism of Lassalleanism, has, so to speak, overshadowed its positive part, namely, the analysis of the connection between the development of communism and the withering away of the state.
1. Presentation of the Question by Marx
From a superficial comparison of Marx's letter to Bracke of May 5, 1875, with Engels' letter to Bebel of March 28, 1875, which we examined above, it might appear that Marx was much more of a "champion of the state" than Engels, and that the difference of opinion between the two writers on the question of the state was very considerable.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin- The State and Revolution (1917) Part IV "Supplementary Explanations by Engels"

The State and Revolution.
By Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.
First Published: 1918.
Source: V.I.Lenin, Collected Works, Volume 25, p.381-492.

IV. SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATIONS BY ENGELS.
Marx gave the fundamentals concerning the significance of the experience of the Commune. Engels returned to the same subject time and again, and explained Marx's analysis and conclusions, sometimes elucidating other aspects of the question with such power and vividness that it is necessary to deal with his explanations specially.
1. The Housing Question
In his work, The Housing Question (1872), Engels already took into account the experience of the Commune, and dealt several times with the tasks of the revolution in relation to the state. It is interesting to note that the treatment of this specific subject clearly revealed, on the one hand, points of similarity between the proletarian state and the present state--points that warrant speaking of the state in both cases--and, on the other hand, points of difference between them, or the transition to the destruction of the state.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin- The State and Revolution (1917) Part III "Experience of the Paris Commune of 1871: Marx's Analysis"

The State and Revolution.
By Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.
First Published: 1918.
Source: V.I.Lenin, Collected Works, Volume 25, p.381-492.

III. EXPERIENCE OF THE PARIS COMMUNE OF 1871: MARX'S ANALYSIS.

1. What Made the Communards' Attempt Heroic?
It is well known that in the autumn of 1870, a few months before the Commune, Marx warned the Paris workers that any attempt to overthrow the government would be the folly of despair. But when, in March 1871, a decisive battle was forced upon the workers and they accepted it, when the uprising had become a fact, Marx greeted the proletarian revolution with the greatest enthusiasm, in spite of unfavorable auguries. Marx did not persist in the pedantic attitude of condemning an “untimely” movement as did the ill-famed Russian renegade from marxism, Plekhanov, who in November 1905 wrote encouragingly about the workers' and peasants' struggle, but after December 1905 cried, liberal fashion: "They should not have taken up arms."