Marxism and the State

Level 1: The State and Revolution

Marxism and the State – Alan Woods

On Marxism and the State – Phil Mitchinson

The State: A Lecture at Sverdlov University – Lenin

The State and Revolution – Lenin
This is Lenin’s classic work on the Marxist theory of the state. In it, key components of the Marxist theory of the state are discussed, including the origin of the state, the transition from socialism to communism, proletarian democracy compared to bourgeois democracy, and the real function of a state.

Bourgeois Democracy and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat – Lenin


Level 2: Marxist Opposition to Terrorism and Blanquism

Why Marxists Oppose Individual Terrorism – Leon Trotsky

Marxism and Insurrection – Lenin


Level 3: Classical Writings on the Origins, Development, and Ending of the State

Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State – Frederick Engels


Level 4: Marxism versus Opportunism and Reformism

The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky – Lenin
This classic work of Lenin’s is directed against Karl Kautsky’s work, The Dictatorship of the Proletariat. Kautsky was once a prominent Marxist, but when World War I broke out, he broke completely with Marxism. This work is an excellent follow-up to The State and Revolution, as it deals with aspects of the proletarian state that was being built in the early USSR. In addition to its important theoretical formulations, it is supplemented by the actual practice that was experienced by the workers of the early USSR, therefore proving the accuracy and correctness of The State and Revolution. Kautsky used pro-bourgeois arguments in his work against Lenin and the Bolsheviks, and this refutation is a must-read, as it helps to dispel the myths about the Bolsheviks being a “tiny, hated minority.” It also shows the hypocrisy of bourgeois claims about democracy. Such arguments employed by Kautsky back then are employed by “orthodox Marxists” and anarchists to this very day, and this work will help the reader understand the false reasoning behind such arguments.

Reform or Revolution – Rosa Luxemburg

Trotsky’s Critique of Popular Frontism


Level 5: The Permanent Revolution

The Permanent Revolution and Results and Prospects – Leon Trotsky


Level 6: The Revolution and Tasks of the Marxists

Socialism on Trial – James Cannon

The Transitional Program for Socialist Revolution – Leon Trotsky

Discussions with Trotsky on the Transitional Program


Level 7: The Lessons of the Paris Commune

The Paris Commune of 1871 – Greg Oxley

Lessons of the Paris Commune – Leon Trotsky

The Civil War in France – Karl Marx


Level 8: Specific Questions on the Road to Revolution

Nationalized Industry and Workers’ Management – Leon Trotsky


Level 9: Bonapartism After the Bourgeois Revolution in France

The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte – Karl Marx


Level 10: The Development of Socialism into Communism

Critique of the Gotha Program – Karl Marx

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