[OPE-L:3761] RE: Operationalization of Marxian theory

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Mon, 2 Dec 1996 04:55:49 -0800 (PST)

[ show plain text ]

Andrew K wrote in [OPE-L:3752]:

> It is interesting that Lenin presupposes that there *is* a Marxist theory of
> the state, that it is synonymous with the views stated by Marx and
> Engels, and that the meaning of this theory can be ascertained by
> examining the *totality*
> of their writings on the subject. He presupposes that there is a difference
> between what is authentically Marx's and what is the distortion of some
> interpreters.

(1) Lenin was not able to examine the "totality" of Marx's (and Engels's)
writings on this subject since the "totality" had not been published in
Lenin's lifetime.

(2) I think you are right when you say that Lenin thought that the
"Marxist theory of the state" is synonymous with the writings on that
topic by M&E. Indeed, the Social-Democratic and Bolshevik tradition was
to take what Marx _and_ Engels wrote as if they wrote entirely
complimentary works. That, of course, reflected a particular understanding
that followed Marx's death and embodied a "reverence" for Engels.

(3) Lenin. as I can recall, did not refer in _S&R_ to Marx's later
writings on Russia (perhaps because he was unfamiliar with them).

(3) We can say, given limitations about the availability of Marx's works,
what Marx *said* about the state. We can not, however, infer that that is
THE "Marxist theory of the state."

In solidarity,