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State and Revolution

Narrated by: Chris Matthews
Length: 4 hrs and 4 mins
Categories: Money & Finance, Economics
4.8 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

Non-member price: $13.64

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Publisher's Summary

State and Revolution (1917) describes the role of the state in society, the necessity of proletarian revolution, and the theoretic inadequacies of social democracy in achieving revolution. It describes the inherent nature of the state as a tool for class oppression, a creation born of one social class' desire to control all other social classes. Whether a dictatorship or a democracy, the state remains in the control of the ruling class. Even in a democratic capitalist republic, the ruling class will never willingly relinquish political power, maintaining it via various strategies. Hence, according to this view, communist revolution is the sole remedy for the abolition of the state.

©2019 BN Publishing (P)2019 BN Publishing

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tight af

my man Lenin talkin straight up facts no cap. 5 stars for solely the fact he did literally what he said he was gonna do.

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  • Earth Lover
  • 24-07-2019

Revolution, Not Reform

Lenin's most readable essay, in which he lays out his idea that "bourgeois democracy" is an integral part of capitalism, and cannot simply be taken over and re-staffed by socialism. Socialism will require new structures and political processes. We can be inspired by the overall points without necessarily agreeing with Lenin's answer to the problem. Five stars!

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  • James W. Sellers
  • 18-05-2020

Not worth your time.

Performance was awful, I cringed and groaned each time the reader mispronounced names like Proudhon. As for the content of the book itself, Lenin's arguments are antiquated and have precious little relevance to the revolutionary struggles of today. Moreover, his contempt for Kropotkin and anarchist ideology in general borders on childish. I gained nothing from this work except that I know now how irrelevant Leninism and his Tankie descendants are.

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  • Charles Christiansen
  • 27-01-2020

Mainly about the Thesis

State and Revolution is a book largely based around a simple concept: defining the Marxist terminology surrounding the concept of the "state" and outlining in sharp detail the thesis by which this concept applies to socialist thought. Lenin's entire work is focused on this singular thesis of what it means that the state will "wither away" under socialism, and how the topics of revolution and class warfare as outlined in the Communist Manifesto relate to this concept. The Manifesto is a necessary read preceding this. Overall, the main reason why this book is four hours long and not one or two is because of Lenin's meticulous attention to making sure that his interpretation of the modes of state and revolution are as ironclad as possible. In many ways this is a letter to his contemporaries, attempting to make clear why Lenin's interpretation of the relations of state and revolution are correct, and making sure to ward against any attempt by opportunists to contort the words of the Manifesto against proletariat interests. If this book were merely the thesis alone, it would probably be much shorter. Good to read if you're in a Marxist book club and this comes up. The narrator is a bit lackluster but not the worst - somewhat lacking in passion and polish. Ultimately if you spend a lot of time discussing Marxism and socialism, State and Revolution is going to be mentioned, so its good having at least read the book in some way. The arguments outlined in this text are still relevant today, when the struggle between liberals and leftists in many ways outstrips the struggle between the left and the right. Overall an enlightening read, and a worthwhile one for any socialist or politically-minded person. Just don't fall prey to opportunism of your own!

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  • M. Hines
  • 07-07-2019

Brilliant! A political treatise for the ages.

One of the most important political works of the 20th century. Lenin's analysis is clearly presented, cutting through popular misconceptions regarding Marxist theory and the role of the state. I would highly recommend it to any and all who desire a deeper understanding of our political system and how to surpass it.

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  • Steven Schumacher
  • 03-04-2020

Excellent

Lenin's writing and prose are clear and easy to understand. Even novice marxists can grasp what he is saying. It is refreshing to re-read this after 10 years.

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  • Stephen W.
  • 05-01-2020

Inspiring content that's influenced the world

Nearly all the great revolutions of the world have come from this book, and hopefully more to come.

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  • Wolfgang
  • 15-12-2019

Great book, mediocre performance

If you need to listen to this for the content, it’s fine enough. Somehow sounds like an infomercial. Also absolutely butchers “Proudhon”

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-07-2020

Illuminating Read; Poorly Read

Essential reading for those who would wish to familiarize themselves with the mature thinking of Vladimir Lenin, particularly those who continue to insist that Lenin’s interpretation of Marxism is compatible with democracy (it isn’t). However, the book’s narration for Audible leaves much to be desired, to say the least. Beyond numerous repetitions and restatements, the narrator mispronounces every name in the book (for example, the French anarchist Proudhon he pronounces “PROWD-hawn”; Bakunin he pronounces “BAWK-uh-nin”). The narrator obviously has no knowledge of German, either, as he renders indistinguishable the numerous German language excerpts (mostly article/book titles) throughout the text. Overall, one would think that any person endeavoring to narrate a text would at least familiarize themselves with the content to the extent that their narration would not create confusion for listeners.

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  • Taylor Hollowell
  • 28-06-2020

A thoughtful read and an insight into Lenin.

In this work, Lenin reviews the opinions of Marx and Engels on the nature of the state and its relation to the prolaterian socialist revolution, and also levies criticism at contemporary Marxists and Anarchists of his time in 1917 for what he views as revisionist distortions of their original work. He outlines the ways in which the Paris Commune was an attempt at the dictatorship of the prolateriat, the nature by which the state must wither away once the prolateriat has seized control of its machinery, the differences between lower-level communism (socialism) and higher-level communism (communism), and the reasons why a socialist revolution necessarily must seize control of state power temporarily in order to secure the stability of the revolution, do away with the notion of class entirely, and gradually dismantle the state itself. Much of it will be slightly distorted by the differences in definitions, for example, Lenin speaks of democracy withering away with the state but later goes on to clarify in the work that this is referring to liberal state democracy and not the democratic process in general. Our perceptions of Lenin and the USSR in the modern day may make us skeptical of his word choice there particularly, but his definition fits broadly with his support behind the formation of the dictatorship of the prolateriat and the disintegration of the state itself entirely. As I toe the line between Anarchism and Marxism, I agree with many of Lenin's critiques here in this work, but it is also important to not blindly take Lenin's word as law as well. His opinions and writings were largely shaped by the socialist movement and the material conditions of the time, and may not be perfectly applicable to our modern day. His work, like the work of many others, must be observed with the intention of salvaging the good and discarding the bad. Nevertheless, this work is one bound to challenge your notions of the organizational method which revolution should be based on, the thought process of the founder of the Soviet Union immediately preceeding the revolution which put him and the Bolsheviks into power, and a good refresher on the positions Marx and Engels held toward the state while placed in the context of other Marxist and Anarchist schools of thought, despite Lenin's hostile nature.

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  • Nick Nicacio
  • 11-04-2020

Great content, audio needs editing

Seems to me that no one took the tine to listen to the finished product on this one. There are too many parts that needed to be edited, but aren’t. Weird

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-06-2020

Based

Based explanation on how a communist state might come to be. A must read for any politically engaged/curious person.

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  • Daniel
  • 14-07-2020

essential reading

essential reading for anyone wanting to understand the foundations and strategic necessities of achieving a future without capitalist exploitation of man by man.

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  • Diolúin Ó'hUigín
  • 25-02-2020

Narrator and editing needs work

Mispronunciation of some names. Many stutters and stops not edited out, so some sentences were read twice. Overall still quite good.