Engels’ Co-option of Lenin

  • Norman Levine


The divergence between Marx and Lenin is best illustrated by their antithetical visions of “the higher stage of communism.” Lenin’s image of “the higher stage of communism” as described in his ‘State and Revolution’ was a total violation of several critical principles of Marx. This discontinuity was primarily a consequence of Lenin’s ignorance of Marx’s ‘Economic-Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844,’ which were only published after Lenin’s death. These early 1844 ‘Manuscripts’ contained several pivotal Marxist concepts, such as “civil society,” “species being,” the difference between government and state and the Greek Humanist “distributive justice.”Devoid of these philosophical principles of Marx, Lenin defined “the higher stage of communist society” as a utopia of material consumption. When Marx called for the abolition of the state in communist society, he meant the continuance of the governance of “civil society.” Absent of these crucial Feuerbachian, Aristotelian and Greek Humanist theories of justice Lenin was entrapped in eighteenth century natural rights theory. Lenin was a perpetuation of Locke and Hume for he defined communism as equality, egalitarianism and anarchism, which in turn were extensions of the doctrine of natural rights.


Marx Engels Lenin Civil society State Communism Distributive justice Aristotle St.Simon 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman Levine
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent scholarPhoenixUSA

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