• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Set out the key points of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin's theory of the state and the significant influence of Karl Marx on Lenin's theory.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

DAVID TOLAN POLITICS ESSAY L.O.1 This essay aims to set out the key points of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin's theory of the state and the significant influence of Karl Marx on Lenin's theory.For this reason, background will be provided on Marx's theories,and the major influences on Lenin identified.The essay will also look at the significance of these theories for the individual living in the state. . Before looking in more detail at the views of Marx and Lenin it is necessary to define what is meant by the state.A general definition of the state sees it as a set of institution's with distinct geographical boundaries and the right to exercise it's authority over it's people.Marx's definition takes things further by describing the state as the historical struggle between classes,and as a tool of repression,representing the interests of the ruling classes .He also believed that the most important function of the state was either to reflect or reinforce class division in society,and stated in the communist manifesto published in1848 that,"the executive of a modern state is but a committee for managing the resources of the bourgeoise". An important aspect of Marx's theory of the state is the idea of historical materialism.Marx was influenced by the writings of German philosopher Georg.W.F.Hegel(1770-1831) who claimed that history occurs through a dialetic,or clash of opposing forces. ...read more.

Middle

there was the existence of social classes and that the change from one stage to another was always a revolutionary one,i.e the rising working class would challenge the ruling class,and that they in turn would become the new ruling class, like the French revolution for example. Marx said that the revolution is followed by the "dictatorship of the proletariat",when the workers take over the state and all its instuments of coercion and use these instruments against the capitalist class.As the state is now being used by the workers against the capitalists its substance changes.It becomes the instrument of the many against the few,as the means of production become socialised ,classes disappear since there can be no classes without property.Without classes,there is no need for coercion.The dictatorship paves the way towards its own disappearance and to the establishment of a classless and stateless society.(Macridis&Hulliung,1996:107). Lenin,which was actually a pseudonym,his real surname was Ulyanov was a Russian Marxist theorist and also an active revolutionary.His contributions to Marxism were his theory of the revolutionary or vanguard party,outlined in What is to be done?(1902),his analysis of colonialism as an economic phenomena,described in Imperialism,the highest stage of capitalism(1916),and his firm commitment to the 'insurrectionary road to socialism' developed in State and Revolution in 1917.(Heywood:1997:75) Lenin faithfully accepted the body of Marx's work and devoted most of his life defending Marx's ideas.It is said that Lenin gave Marxist ideology and revolutionary tactics ...read more.

Conclusion

means neither more nor less than unlimited power,resting directly on force,not limited by anything,not restricted by any law or absolute rules.Nothing else but that. (Macridis&Hulliung:1996:111) .Following this sees the socialisation of the means of production and the abolition of private property,which in turn leads to the final slow "withering away of the state" as an instrument of coercion and oppression and the emergence of a stateless classless society. So in summation,although Marx and Lenin held similar beliefs,they both had differing ideas on how to achieve the same goal of a classless and stateless society.While Marx was content to wait for events to unfold and believed that society would eventually progress along the road to revolution at some point,Lenin held the belief that the proletariat had to be led along the road to revolution by a leader.Both of these theories benefit the individual in society in similar ways but from Marx's viewpoint the individual may have to put up with oppression from the capitalist classes for a long time before the build-up of a revolutionary force to oppose them. Whereas in Lenin's view a small but well organised group could take control at the earliest possible opportunity in the name of the masses.But both Marx and Lenin agreed that the outcome of revolution would benefit the individual as they both shared the same vision of a stateless classless society,with no need for any sort of state control. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. What did Karl Marx mean by 'exploitation' in a capitalist economic system?

    Marx thought there were merely two different modes, the means of production on the one hand and labour-power on the other hand in existence. The value of the original capital assumed when being money it was transferred into the various factories of the labour-process.

  2. Liberalism Notes

    * 'Philosopher radicals' (or utilitarians) such as Bentham were in touch with progressive Whigs; Whitbread and Brougham constituted the progressive wing of the parl. party. Cobbett's radical populism harked back to pre-industrial age; Bright (Quaker manufacturer) belonged to new generation of post 1832 MPs - himself displaced by new breed

  1. An analysis of the Marxist perspective on religion

    In China, during the lifetime of Mao Tse-tung, a personality cult endured where children were taught to love Mao and obey all of his orders. This obviously goes against the theories of Marx that religion is not necessary where politics and economy are united.

  2. An analysis of the Marxist Perspective on Religion

    A famous quote of Stalin shows just how heavily he was influenced: 'Religion is a kind of spiritual gin in which the slaves of capital drown their human shape and their claims to any decent life.' (8) The similarities between this and Marx's thoughts printed in the 'Manifesto of the

  1. Power and Politics in Organizations: Public and Private Sector Comparisons

    As often said in France, if one wishes to know exactly what children might be doing at a certain hour of any school day, it is sufficient to consult the manual issued by the appropriate ministry in Paris. The unitary form is highly analogous to the world-wide business firm, including

  2. A Study of Carl Rogers' Theory of Personality

    one would assume the closer a person is to full functioning the smaller the discrepancy would be, statements of ideals may be operational representations of conditions of worth, which are socially imposed. Conditions of worth are to be dissolved rather than moved toward for full functioning in this theory!

  1. Discuss the conflicts between Employee and Employer by Marxist

    earners to accumulate more capital through surplus value extracted from the labour process via technology, fractionated tasks, placing knowledge of craft into the system, minute control, and substitute ions of cheap labour for more expensive labour.' 14 However, the employees in an organisation, they always want to work less time and get more pay.

  2. Compare Hobbes and Locke's views on the obligation to obey the law.

    One king should make the decisions, write the laws, and control the masses. Locke, on the other hand, felt that the people should somewhat run the government. He believed that the people should have a say in everything the government decided, including who ruled over the country.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work