Lenin's Concept Of The State

Short discussion on Lenin's concept of the state and how it relates to the anarchist ideal and the soviet reality.

Lenin's concept of the "withering away" of the state has always encompassed a fundamental political question. After the withering away of the state, society is left with essentially an anarchic society.

The revolution, dictatorship of the proletariat, and the withering away of the state together form a program to bring society to a stage of peaceful and equitable anarchism. How then do anarchists prescribe the change from an orderly state to no state at all? I have never received a satisfying answer to this question from anyone who called themselves an anarchist. Yet it continues to puzzle me.

Anarchism seems to be simply a political philosophy with a beginning and an end, but no coherent pathway to get from the first to the second. If this were true, then Anarchism would simply be a watered down and "bourgeois" emasculation of communism in that it ignores the revolutionary methods of Marxism while supporting the final end.



There is also the contradiction between a centralized world economy to meet all the human needs of the entire planet's population with the decentralization caused by the withering away of the state. I don't believe that this point is very adequately addressed by Lenin. If the decentralized control of workplaces is a result of the withering away of the state, yet political structures are created to coordinate economic relations between the "soviets," does this structure not merit the name of the state.

Perhaps since it would no longer support one class over another and perpetuate class antagonisms, it would not be considered a state --- on the other hand if it wielded economic control of the magnitude of which we speak, the structure would definitely have a political nature to it (as opposed to merely economic formations). How can these seeming contradictions be solved while still abiding by the strict and clear-cut definitions of the state with which Lenin is working?

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