In the preface to this work, Lenin writes,
The question of the state is now acquiring particular importance both in theory and in practical politics. The imperialist war has immensely accelerated and intensified the process of transformation of monopoly capitalism into state-monopoly capitalism. The monstrous oppression of the working people by the state, which is merging more and more with the all-powerful capitalist associations, is becoming increasingly unbearable.
With the U.S. government currently lavishing trillions of dollars on Wall Street and spreading its military forces over ever more of the Earth's surface, the question of the 'State' continues to have "particular importance." What is the state? Who controls it? Where did it come from? Must we always have it? What would replace it?
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State and Revolution is available online at Marxists.org or can be purchased at Haymarket Books. You can also read a short synopsis of State and Revolution published at SocialistWorker.org.
Download study questions for discussion here.