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Durham e-Theses
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The end of politics: democracy bureaucracy and utopia in Lenin

Polan, A. J. (1982) The end of politics: democracy bureaucracy and utopia in Lenin. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The thesis is an attempt to offer a reconsideration of Lenin's book The State and Revolution, The argument is that commentators have failed to appreciate the centrality of its concepts to Lenin's mature theory of politics, and to the body of ideas that subsequently became Leninism It further argues that an understanding of the present Soviet regime, and others of a similar nature, is aided by a realisation that the themes of The State and Revolution are present in the institutional arrangements of those societies. The Introduction takes as a starting point recent events in Poland; and suggests that an understanding of those events may be gained by an investigation of the discourse on political forms that Marxism offers. Chapter One presents the origins of the text, its theses in summary form, and the reception given to the text by subsequent commentators. These are divided into those taking a historical and those taking a political' approach. Suggestions are made of the Inadequacy of both approaches, reasons for such inadequacies are proposed, and an attempt is made to offer an alternative approach based upon hermeneutics, in particular Gadamer's concept of effective history. Chapter Two examines the way Lenin conceptualised the problems of state and politics in post revolutionary society, and the measures he proposed for the solution of these problems. It is argued that the libertarian arrangements suggested in the text in face provide a cultural and institutional foundation for an authoritarian state.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1982
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 09:14

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