Studies in East European Thought

, Volume 70, Issue 2–3, pp 141–152 | Cite as

Lenin on democratic theory

  • Artemy Magun


Lenin’s State and Revolution is not only a project for imminent revolutionary policy and not only a legitimization argument for a revolutionary dictatorship, but also a theory of state and theory of democracy. Lenin points at the reduplication of state organs that is inherent in a democratic state. While the Russian revolutionary thinks of this reduplication as something transitory, we today increasingly see it as a durable condition coterminous with the late-modern democratic state. I use Lenin’s treatise as a point of inspiration to briefly characterize my dialectical theory of state.


Lenin Democracy State Dialectics Councils 


  1. Abensour, M. (2011). Democracy against the State. London: Tr. Max Blechman and Martin Breaugh, Polity Press.Google Scholar
  2. Agamben, G. (2014). What is a destituent power? Environment and Planning, 32(1), 65–74.Google Scholar
  3. Ali, T. (2017). The dilemmas of Lenin. New York, London: Verso.Google Scholar
  4. Chiesa, L. (2017). Lenin and the state of the revolution. Crisis and Critique, 4(2), 107–131.Google Scholar
  5. Etzioni, A. (1970). Demonstration democracy. New York: Gordon and Breach.Google Scholar
  6. Geenens, R., Decreus, T., Thewissen, F., Braeckman, A., & Resmini, M. (2015). The ‘Co-Originality’ of constituent power and representation. Constellations, 22, 514–522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Harding, N. (2009). Lenin’s political thought. London: Haymarket.Google Scholar
  8. Hegel, G. W. F. (2005). Philosophy of right (trans. S. Dyke). New York: Dover Publications.Google Scholar
  9. Hegel, G. W. F. (2015). The science of logic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Jameson, F. (2010). Valences of the dialectic. New York, London: Verso.Google Scholar
  11. Jellinek, G. (1880). Die rechtliche Natur der Staatvsverträge. Wien: Georg Hölder.Google Scholar
  12. Kalyvas, A. (2005). Popular sovereignty, democracy, and the constituent power. Constellations, 12, 223–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kharkhordin, O. (1999). The collective and the individual in Russia: A study of practices. Berkeley: California University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Lenin, V. (1974). Collected works (Vol. 25). Moscow: Progress.Google Scholar
  15. Lih, L. (2006). Lenin rediscovered. New York, London: Brill.Google Scholar
  16. Lindsay, J. R. (2013). The concealment of the state. New York, London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  17. Magun, A. (2017). The intellectual heritage of 1917. Constellations 4.Google Scholar
  18. Marcuse, H. (1955). Reason and revolution. Hegel and the rise of social theory. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Marx, K. (1970). Critique of Hegel’s philosophy of right (1843) (trans: Joseph, O.) Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Negri, A. (1999). Insurgencies. Constituent power and the modern state (trans Maurizia, B.). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  21. Penzin, A. (2016). Stalin beyond Stalin. Crisis and Critique, 3(1), 300–340.Google Scholar
  22. Rosanvallon, P. (2008). Counter-democracy. Politics in an age of distrust. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Vladimir, L. (1933). Leninskii Sbornik XXI. Moscow: Partiinoe Izdatelstvo.Google Scholar
  24. Žižek, S. (2002). Revolution at the gates. New York, London: Verso.Google Scholar
  25. Žižek, S. (2012). Less than nothing. New York, London: Verso.Google Scholar
  26. Žižek, S. (2017). Lenin 2017: Remembering, repeating, and working through. New York, London: Verso.Google Scholar
  27. Žižek, S., Kouvelakis, S., & Budgen, S. (Eds.). (2007). Lenin reloaded. Towards a politics of truth. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.European University at Saint-Petersburg, Saint-Petersburg State UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia

Personalised recommendations