|What is the State and whose interests does it work for?
The State: Now, Post-Revolutionary & Ultimately Desired
Now, the unavoidable and constant defining problem, for the vast majority of ordinary Working People, historically (and even now) has always been: who is in control of the State in which they live, for it is is absolutely never in the hands of the majority.
Now, when the difficulties of living under such circumstances, though never good, can and do get altogether too much to bear, so there can be, and, indeed, often has been, some kind of revolt, which, when it proceeds to general fighting action against the whole State, is termed a Revolution.
Indeed, a colleague was recently able to identify almost 800 violent revolts against their current overlords within our known Social History. It wasn't as rare as you think!
But, literally no Society is totally homogeneous - possessing of the same needs and desires throughout all its inhabitants. Militarism and Wealth has always accrued to minorities of individuals, which has always divided Society into various Classes, with the consequence that the majority is kept virtually powerless, and a relatively tiny Elite is therefore maintained in overall and lucrative control - even in supposed democracies.
And, that Elite has always necessarily gathered around itself a penumbra of somewhat privileged retainers and servants, who see their future solely in terms of the Elite they serve.
But, the majority have no say, AND also importantly NO means to overthrow the incumbent regimes, until, that is, some form of major crisis also affects even those who thought they were safe, and new temporary alliances between parts of the Middle and the Lower Classes, which could possibly challenge the Elite's Control.
The Middle Classes could, of course, never do that by themselves, though certain armed sub groups certainly could carry out successful coupe d'états- such as The Army, for example! But, it was The People-in-Arms in Russia, during the First World War, that ultimately sided with the suffering People, because that is also exactly who they too really were.
But, in most Revolutions, nascent New and increasingly powerful Classes - like Landowners, Manufacturers, Merchants and Traders, who then had sufficient financial wherewithal, and had promised the Lower Classes exactly what they desired to form into a capable Revolutionary Alliance, but who could also separate from that coalition upon success to deliver a new privileged elite!
In the English Revolution, the Parliament - representing the wealthier Landowners, chose Oliver Cromwell, as their leader, and who built his New Model Army, largely out of the Peasant Class, but who then developed their own ideas and associations like the Diggers and the Levellers, and who certainly had much more radical ideas than the wealthy Middle Class. Yet together they defeated the Royalists and decapitated the King! But, thereafter, the successful Revolution did literally nothing for the Peasants.
Upon Victory, the alliance fell apart (or more accurately was cleansed of its lower orders), while the privileged layers within the Army were easily converted into a means of maintaining the now established New Order. Indeed, Cromwell is still, to this day, reviled in Ireland for his brutal putting down their own Rebellion.
And then, slowly at first, but soon reaching colossal proportions the Peasants were driven from the land by Enclosures by the Landlords, to make way for much more profitable Sheep Farming, and also to increasingly supply Workers for the new Capitalist Factories appearing everywhere.
The promises to ordinary people of:
Liberté, Egalitéet Fraternité
were soon forgotten after the French Revolotion, and it was becoming clear that, every such Revolution, would not be completed without a change in both the Economic and the Political Systems too! It meant that the toiling masses had to be equipped with an agenda for the New State, developed from their needs and desires, and independent of those from more privileged prior comrades in arms, and involved themselves in a continuing fight to establish it, even after such a supposed initial Victory.
But, in Russia the nature of the New Revolutionary State, even though it was finally achieved decisively by the Toiling Masses, had effectively just transferred ownership of the Means of Production into the hands of a New State Bureaucracy.
The workers still had no direct control!
And, predictably, the new arrangement generated its own privileged Elite - Communist Party leaders and bureaucrats.
What was being undertaken in such a Revolution had to have those involved adequately informed by an understanding of all of this, and equipped with both a Powerful Theory and Developed Practice to produce the Conscious Engine Room both of and for the Toiling Masses. The Class had to have a dedicated Revolutionary Party to ensure its real success, which had also learned lessons from the mistakes of the past.