What needs to be done?
“Be at the races!”
Related: (Source of everything below: Marxists internet Archive)
Written: August – September, 1917
Source: Collected Works, Volume 25, p. 381-492
First Published: 1918
Transcription\Markup: Zodiac and Brian Baggins
Online Version: Lenin Internet Archive (marxists.org) 1993, 1999
Lenin wrote The State and Revolution in August and September 1917, when he was in hiding from persecution of the Provisional Government. The need for such a theoretical work as this was mentioned by Lenin in the second half of 1916. It was then that he wrote his note on “The Youth International”, in which he criticised Bukharin’s position on the question of the state and promised to write a detailed article on what he thought to be the Marxist attitude to the state. In a letter to A. M. Kollontai on February 17 (N.S.), 1917, he said that he had almost got ready material on that question . This material was written in a small blue-covered notebook headed “Marxism on the State”. In it Lenin had collected quotations from the works of Marx and Engels, and extracts from the books by Kautsky, Pannekoek and Bernstein with his own critical notes, conclusions and generalisations.
When Lenin left Switzerland for Russia in April 1917, he feared arrest by the Provisional Government and left the manuscript of “Marxism on the State” behind — as it would have been destroyed had he been caught. When in hiding after the July events, Lenin wrote in a note:
“Entre nous, if I am knocked off, I ask you to publish my notebook ‘Marxism on the State’ (it got held up in Stockholm). It is bound in a blue cover. All the quotations from Marx and Engels are collected there, also those from Kautsky against Pannekoek. There are a number of remarks, notes and formulas. I think a week’s work would be enough to publish it. I consider it important because not only Plekhanov, but Kautsky, too, is confused….” When Lenin received his notebook from Stockholm, he used the material he had collected as a basis for his book The State and Revolution.
According to Lenin’s plan, The State and Revolution was to have consisted of seven chapters, but he did not write the seventh, “The Experience of the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917”, and only a detailed plan has remained. In a note to the publisher Lenin wrote that if he “was too slow in competing this, the seventh chapter, or should it turn out to be too bulky, the first six chapters should be published separately as Book One.”
Originally, the name F.F. Ivanovsky is shown on the first page of the notebook manuscript as that of the author. Lenin intended to publish the book under that pseudonym, otherwise the Provisional Government would have confiscated it for his name alone. The book, however, was not printed until 1918, when there was no longer any need for the pseudonym. The second edition appeared in 1919; in this revision Lenin added to Chapter IIa new section “The Presentation of the Question by Marx in 1852“.