What does Lenin mean when he says the state is an instrument of class rule.
Unlike Bernstein who believes that the capitalist state will adapt and change, to protect the interests of the working class. Lenin disagrees with his suggestion that it would in theory be possible for the state to put measures in place for this to happen through socialist democratic reform. He thinks that it is the state itself which perpetuates the oppression of the working class.
Bernstein thinks that the aim of the working class should be to improve their conditions by using their democratic voice and implementing procedures like a credit system and concessions to workers rights. He thinks that the working class should democratically work within the existing liberal system to achieve their goals, rather than revolting against it. However, Lenin is sceptical of how effective democracy can actually be if the interests of the ‘demo’ are not inline with the interests of the ruling class.
He believes that the working class will always be fighting a losing battle if they try to make changes from within the existing system. He points out that in practice, the state does not represent the interests of broader society as it claims to, but instead acts to preserve the interests of the ruling class. The state is made up of the bourgeoisie, and therefore they can use its democratic instruments and its monopoly over the legitimate use of force to protect their interests and prevent any real influence by the working class.
If the working class tries to make any significant changes to move away f...