What is to Be Done? (1902) has long been seen as the founding document of a 'party of a new type'. For some, it provided a model of ‘vanguard party’ that was the essence of Bolshevism, for others it manifested Lenin’s élitist and manipulatory attitude towards the workers.
This substantial new commentary, based on contemporary Russian- and German-language sources, provides hitherto unavailable contextual information that undermines these views and shows how Lenin's argument rests squarely on an optimistic confidence in the workers' revolutionary inclinations and on his admiration of German Social Democracy in particular. Lenin's outlook cannot be understood, Lih claims here, outside the context of international Social Democracy, the disputes within Russian Social Democracy and the institutions of the revolutionary underground.
The new translation focuses attention on hard-to-translate key terms. This study raises new and unsettling questions about the legacy of Marx, Bolshevism as a historical force, and the course of Soviet history, but, most of all, it will revolutionise the conventional interpretations of Lenin.
In this book Sita van Bemmelen offers an account of changes in Toba Batak society (Sumatra, Indonesia) due to Christianity and Dutch colonial rule (1861-1942) with a focus on customs and customary law related to the life cycle and gender relations. The first part, a historical ethnography, describes them as they existed at the onset of colonial rule. The second part zooms in on the negotiations between the Toba Batak elite, the missionaries of the German Rhenish Mission and colonial administrators about these customs showing the evolving views on desirable modernity of each contestant. The pillars of the Toba patrilineal kinship system were challenged, but alterations changed the way it was reproduced and gender relations for ever.
The topic of “evil” means different things depending upon context. For some, it is an archaic term, while others view it as a central problem of ethics, psychology, or politics. Coupled with state power, the problem of evil takes on a special salience for most observers. When governments do evil –in whatever way we define the term – the scale of harm increases, sometimes exponentially. The evils of state violence, then, demand our attention and concern. Yet the linkage of evil with state power does not resolve the underlying question of how to understand the concepts that we invoke when we use the term. Instead, the question becomes what evil means in the context of and in relation to state power.
The fifteen essays in this book bring multiple perspectives to bear on the problems of state-sponsored evil and violence, and on the ways in which law enables or responds to them. The approaches and conclusions articulated by the various contributors sometimes complement and sometimes stand in tension with each other, but as a whole they contribute to our ongoing effort to understand the characteristics and workings of state power, and our need to grapple with the harm it causes.
This essay challenges the analogy argument. The analogy argument aims to show that the international domain satisfies the conditions of a Hobbesian state of nature: There fails to be a super-sovereign to keep all in awe, and hence, like persons in the state of nature, sovereigns are in a war every sovereign against every sovereign. By turning to Hobbes’ account of authorization, however, we see that subjects are under no obligation to obey a sovereign’s commands when doing so would contradict the very end that motivated the authorization of the sovereign in the first place. There is thus an important disanalogy between natural and artificial persons, and this accordingly produces different reactions to the state of nature.