"The working class must break up, smash the “ready-made state machinery,” and not confine itself merely to laying hold of it."
The State and Revolution - The Marxist Theory of the State and the Tasks of the Proletariat in the Revolution
Lenin wrote The State and Revolution in August and September 1917, when he was in hiding. The need for such a theoretical work was mentioned by Lenin in the second half of 1916. It was then that he wrote his note on "The Youth International", in which he criticised Bukharin's anti-Marxist position on the question of the state and promised to write a detailed article on the Marxist attitude to the state. In a letter to A.M. Kollontai on February 17 (N.S.), 1917, he said that he had almost got ready material on that question (See Collected Works, Vol. 35, p. 286). This material was written in a small hand in a blue-covered notebook headed "marxism on the State". In it he had collected quotations from the works of Marx and Engels, and extracts from the books by Kautsky, Pannekoek and Bernstein with his own critical notes, conclusions and generalisations.
When Lenin left Switzerland for Russia in April 1917, he feared arrest by the Provisional Government and left the manuscript of "Marxism on the State" behind. When in hiding after the July events, Lenin wrote in a note:
"Entre nous, if I am knocked off, I ask you to publish my notebook 'Marxism on the State' (it got held up in Stockholm). It is bound in a blue cover. All the quotations from Marx and Engels are collected there, also those from Kautsky against Pannekoek. There are a number of remarks, notes and formulas. I think a week's work would be enough to publish it. I consider it important because not only Pkekhanov, but Kautsky, too, is confused...." When Lenin received his notebook from Stockholm, he used the material he had collected as a basis for his masterly book The State and Revolution.
According to Lenin's plan, The State and Revolution was to have consisted of seven chapters, but he did not write the seventh, "The Experience of the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917", and only a detailed plan has remained. In a note to the publisher Lenin wrote that if he "was too slow in competing this, the seventh chapter, or should it turn out to be too bulky, the first six chapters should be published separately as Book One."
The name F.F. Ivanovsky is known on the first page of the manuscript as that of the author. Lenin intended to publish the book under that pseudonym, otherwise the Provisional Government would have confiscated it. The book, however, was not printed until 1918, when there was no longer any need for the pseudonym. The second edition appeared in 1919; Lenin added to Chapter II a new section "The Presentation of the Question by Marx in 1852" for this edition.
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