Workers-and-Peasants State

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According to the Leninist or Marxist-Leninist view, a workers-and-peasants state is a state in which the working class (in a class alliance with the working peasants ) rules over the capitalist class to be expropriated (or over their remnants after the expropriation). In this state the economy is socialized and planned by the state. A term often used for this is also workers-and-peasants power (or workers and peasants 'power ) or simply workers' state . In socialist states like the German Democratic Republic it was a matter of self-description.

Original Lenin theory

Lenin propagated in his pamphlet “ State and Revolution ” from 1918 that the state is “the product and the expression of the irreconcilability of class antagonisms”. He cites Karl Marx : “According to Marx, the state is an organ of class rule, an organ of the oppression of one class by the other, it is the establishment of the 'order' that sanctions and consolidates this oppression by preventing the conflict of the Classes dampen. "

The bourgeois parliamentary state is thus, according to Lenin, the state of the capitalist class. This must be smashed in the revolution and replaced by a new state, the state of the workers ("the proletariat organized as the ruling class "). The workers-and-peasants state is a transition phase and exists as long as it is needed for the “ dictatorship of the proletariat ” (Marx). The main aim of the workers-and-peasants state is thus to achieve the classless society , i. H. the communism .

For Lenin, the dictatorship of the proletariat requires strict centralization and iron discipline. The "avant-garde", that is, the Bolshevik party, forms the leadership of the working class, which in turn forms the leadership over all classes and stands primarily to the "allied" peasant class.


Numerous measures should be taken to prevent excessive concentrations of power:

  • The salaries of all officials in the state should be reduced to the level of “workers' wages”.
  • The state apparatus should be simplified to such an extent that the “functions are accessible to every non-literate person”.
  • Without exception, all civil servants should be able to be elected and withdrawn at any time.
  • State bodies should be executive and legislative at the same time (abolition of the separation of powers ).

The workers-and-peasants state rejects parliamentarism and replaces it with a socialist council system led by a communist party . In this socialism , in which it is no longer deprived of the means of production, the working class is assigned a leading role in the process of social development.

Later in communism ( classless society ), when all class differences have disappeared, that is, classes no longer exist, this state should, according to theory, have died. Socialism forms the transition phase from the workers' state, which is necessary above all to defend against capitalism in the rest of the world, to the classless one - i.e. H. stateless - society. But this is only conceivable if the working class had power everywhere in the world and a situation of economic abundance existed.

Karl Marx pleaded for farmers' demands to be included in the political program. This was systematized in Leninism, which is why Lenin advocated a "class pact" with the peasantry due to the historical backwardness of Russia, which was more of an agricultural country than a developed industrial country. It must be borne in mind that the peasant class had a much greater social relevance in the times of Marx and later Lenin than in the "first world" of the 21st century. Due to the strong industrialization of agriculture, the peasant class has lost its importance and the class alliance for the purpose of the socialist revolution is not a dogmatic necessity.

Worker-and-peasant state in Marxism-Leninism

Originally, according to Lenin, the workers-and-peasants state was to be shaped by the council system ( soviets ) as the basis of legitimation for the rule of the party of the working class, the Bolsheviks . According to Lenin, the building of the party should be democratic-centralist , which also means that no decision should be made without the party's central committee. After Lenin's death in 1924, however, Stalin began to adapt Lenin's conceptions for his personal rule and instead to establish a totalitarian dictatorship. Also after Lenin's death, Lenin's thoughts were also summarized as a uniform system, Marxism-Leninism . The one-party system and the prohibition of fractionation within the party go back to Lenin. After 1945 numerous " real socialist " states were established in Europe and Asia. According to the Marxist-Leninist view, these were so-called identitary democracies (“people 's democracy ”).

Self-name of the GDR

The self-designation of the Soviet Union and later real socialist countries was therefore a workers-and-peasants state ; this is how the GDR officially called itself a workers-and-peasants state since 1952. Since the 1970s, the state of workers and peasants , workers 'and peasants' power and socialist state have been used synonymously in the official language of the GDR. In Article 1 of the GDR constitution, the socialist state was defined as the “ political organization of the working people in town and country under the leadership of the working class and its Marxist-Leninist party ”.

Some institutions were also given the “workers and farmers” label: Since 1949, workers and farmers faculties (ABF) have been set up at universities to “break the bourgeois educational privilege” by preparing children from the working class free of charge did not have the opportunity to attend higher school on the higher education entrance qualification. The commission of the Central Committee of the SED and the Council of Ministers appointed on May 13, 1963 to control the economic plan specifications, compliance with the resolutions of the People's Chamber and the ordinances of the Council of Ministers was called the Workers and Peasants Inspection (ABI); it should serve "the consolidation of state discipline and the preservation of socialist legality".

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: Arbeiter-und-Bauern-Staat  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. VI Lenin: The "Left Radicalism", the childhood illness in communism (1920). In ders .: Werke, Vol. 31. Berlin 1959, pp. 8–9 online .
  2. VI Lenin: The "Left Radicalism", the childhood illness in communism (1920). In the other: Werke, vol. 31. Berlin 1959, p. 26
  3. VI Lenin: The "Left Radicalism", the childhood illness in communism (1920). In the other: Werke, vol. 31. Berlin 1959, p. 32
  4. Birgit Wolf: Language in the GDR: A Dictionary, 2000, ISBN 3-11-016427-2 , keywords “Arbeiter-und-Bauern-Macht” and “Arbeiter-und-Bauern-Staat”, page 10