In relation to political and legal theory and practice, the 1917 Russian Revolution launched the boldest and most far-reaching experiment of the twentieth century. The Soviet government headed by Lenin, chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars, dispensed with the previous courts, legal system, and legal profession, and sought to fashion a radically new approach to the state, law, and legal theory. Moreover, it attempted to create the conditions for the fading away (or ‘withering away’) of law and the state. Lenin’s focus on this issue, in The State and Revolution and elsewhere, also exemplified his role in constantly seeking to clarify the immense political issues and tasks confronting the Bolshevik Party and the working class.
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