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|Title:||State and Revolution: Hegel, Marx, and Lenin|
|Authors:||Knackstedt, Edward Mark|
|Advisor:||Goldstein, Marshall N.|
|Keywords:||Political Science;Political Science|
|Abstract:||<p>This thesis explores three theories of the state's role in shaping civil consciousness, as they are presented in the writings of G.W.F. Hegel, Karl Marx, and V.I. Lenin. The immediate purpose of this study is to compare and contrast the essential features of these theories, and, in particular, to use this comparison as a means to better understanding the problematic relationship between Marx and Lenin.</p> <p>For Hegel, the state is not to be understood in the usual liberal fashion, simply as a coercive instrument, but, rather, as the objective standard of rationality in the world and the repository of what Hegel calls "ethical life". The state, as it is described in Hegel's <em>Philosophy of Right</em>, represents the abolition of the conflict between private life and the community which is typical of bourgeois society. This is accomplished, to Hegel's mind, by the intervention of the state's mediating structures.</p> <p>Against Hegel, Marx demonstrates in his "Critique of Hegel's Doctrine of the State" that it is not the ostensibly universal state which is the basis of civil society's rationality, but egoistic civil society which is the basis of the inherently irrational state. The purpose of the state, thought Marx, is not to engender universality in civil society but simply to represent the sectional interests of classes within civil society, and the interests of private property. For Marx, the reconciliation of the individual with the community occurs not under the tutelage of the state, but with the reabsorption of the state into civil society.</p> <p>Lenin's <em>State and Revolution</em> affirms Marx's belief in the contingency of the state upon class interests; however, its theory of socialist revolution also demonstrates Lenin's belief in the capacity of the state to alter civil consciousness. Thus, while being nominally Marxist, Lenin's theory of the revolutionary state contains elements more typical of Hegel. To the extent that Lenin's theory attributes capacities to the state which Marx rejected in his critique of Hegel, Marx's explicit critique of Hegel provides grounds for questioning Lenin's claim to the torch of Marxism.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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