my local ML party insists on using the state as a means to archive revolution instead of going to communities and helping people. who really need it. in India there are Maoists(Naxalites) that go around helping and improving the lives of people according to the Indian government i just don’t understand why this is. why wait for revolution when there are people who need help now.


Going to communities and helping people is an important step towards building a revolution. A revolution can’t happen without people being organized and being able to support each other. However, this alone is also not sufficient for a revolution to happen.

I highly recommend reading Lenin’s The State and Revolution for a longer discussion of the topic. The short of it is that the state exists as a way to manage conflict between the classes and represents the interests of the class that controls the state. A capitalist state represents the interests of capitalists and represses the working class. The current state apparatus is actively used to crush any worker resistance and organization. Good examples of this was how occupy protests were crushed in 2009 or recent George Floyd protests.

Leninists say that this state must be torn down, however class conflict will not simply disappear when that happens. Therefore we need to create a socialist state that represents the interests of the working class. This is what the dictatorship of the proletariat refers to. This state can then wither away as society becomes more egalitarian. As Lenin puts it in [chatper 5]:

Only in communist society, when the resistance of the capitalists have disappeared, when there are no classes (i.e., when there is no distinction between the members of society as regards their relation to the social means of production), only then “the state… ceases to exist”, and “it becomes possible to speak of freedom”. Only then will a truly complete democracy become possible and be realized, a democracy without any exceptions whatever. And only then will democracy begin to wither away, owing to the simple fact that, freed from capitalist slavery, from the untold horrors, savagery, absurdities, and infamies of capitalist exploitation, people will gradually become accustomed to observing the elementary rules of social intercourse that have been known for centuries and repeated for thousands of years in all copy-book maxims. They will become accustomed to observing them without force, without coercion, without subordination, without the special apparatus for coercion called the state.


my local ML party insists on using the state as a means to archive revolution instead of going to communities and helping people.

If the bourgeoisie has a monopoly on violence, and a legal system that enforces their rule, how are you supposed to help people with their primary material concerns? “Helping people”, without constructing organizations capable of taking state power, means that you are leaving bourgeoisie in charge, with all their power structures, intentional impoverishment of the majority of people, vast wealth inequality, a legal system tailored for their interests, etc.

As stated, read state and revolution for more on why a state is necessary to make the transition from bourgeois to proletarian rule.

State and Revolution gave me the proper context to analyze the revolutionary movements that have succeeded and was the book that pushed me from being an Anarchist to becoming a Marxist-Leninist. After reading it it took me about 3 months to really realize how much it changed my positions on the use of the state as a form for revolution.


It is a really brilliant book, possibly the most imporant political work of the 20th century. Very few anarchists or liberals come out the other side.


Step 1: Charity

Step 2:


Seriously, though, what’s your step 2? Modi has annexed a semi-autonomous territory using the military. He’s used police to torture and oppress civilians on a massive scale. He’s disenfranchised large groups based on ethnicity. He cut off the internet in Kashmir while committing the worst of these atrocities.

So how do you respond to that? Let’s say you ran a charitable group passing out food to your neighborhood somewhere in Kashmir, or maybe teaching kids to read. Now what? How do you get from there to pushing back against bourgeois state violence?

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