“It was in this intellectual context that Lenin began his feverish researches into the works of Marx and Engels that were, eventually, to be published as ‘The State and Revolution’. By March of 1917 he had arrived at the ‘idée fixe’ that was to guide him for the rest of the year. As the Commune had, for Marx, represented the inspired antidote to the suffocating bureaucratic militarism of Louis Bonaparte’s imperial régime, so its contemporary manifestation – The Soviet / Commune form – was the antidote to the threatening totalitarianism of state capitalism. Both were the spontaneous creations of ordinary working men roused to creativity by the necessities of their situation moments of acute crisis. The Russian workers in their soviets had ‘in practice’ revived the institutions and practices of 1871. Lenin saw his task as fortifying and strengthening their resolve by rescuing from the oblivion into which they had fallen Marx’s fulsome and extensive writing on the Paris Commune. It was his role to provide a cohesive theoretical justification for soviet power, to end the dangerous ambiguities of dual power by firing his supporters with the confidence to smash the old state structures and to rely exclusively on the Soviet / Commune form as the only one appropriate to save Russia from ruin, thus securing the conditions for an advance towards socialism. By the time he wrote his ‘Letter from Afar’ (in March) Lenin had already come to these extraordinary radical conclusions. In the first three months of 1917 his thought had moved with astonishing rapidity and he had arrived at the slogans and the strategy that were (apart from amplification) to serve him and the Bolshevik Party for the rest of the year. It was in the third of his ‘Letter from Afar’ written from Zurich on 11 March 1917 (11), that Lenin first conflated the soviets with the Commune and outlined the programme that so stunned his Bolshevik colleagues in Russia that they refused to publish it in ‘Pravda’. It was the idea of the Commune that distinguished Lenin’s conception of the prospects of the Russian revolution throughout 1917.«Only the Commune can save us. So let us all perish, let us die but let us set up the Commune» (12). It was a conception that was unique to him”  [(11) Lenin, ‘Collected Works’, Vol. XXIII, p. 320-39; (12) Lenin, ‘Collected Works’, vol. XXV, p. 313] [Neil Harding, ‘Lenin, socialism and the State in 1917’ ] [(in) Edith Rogovin Frankel Jonathan Frankel Baruch Knei-Paz, a cura, ‘Revolution in Russia: Reassessments of 1917’, Cambridge, 1992] [Lenin-Bibliographical-Materials] [LBM*]