Hey, [professor's name].
I recently finished reading The State and Revolution (https://www.marxists.org/ebooks/lenin/state-and-revolution.pdf) and found a possible or, more accurately, solid explanation regarding Lenin’s democracy, which, if you recall, I suggested he seems to be conflating with the state. If you read the end of Chapter 4, specifically the last section titled “Engels on the Overcoming of Democracy,” you’ll see that Lenin acknowledges that yes, at first look, it’s strange and incomprehensible to say that democracy is abolished or withers away, and that some may even suspect him of “expecting the advent of a system of society in which the principle of subordination of the minority to the majority will not be observed,” like you did if I remember correctly, to which he says, “No, democracy is not identical with the subordination of the minority to the majority. Democracy is a state which recognizes the subordination of the minority to the majority, i.e., an organization for the systematic use of force by one class against another, by one section of the population against another.” So yes, democracy and the state are conflated, and, in spite of my reluctance to agree with Lenin for doing this, I know, or at least I think I know, why he does it, bringing me to my next finding.
From the couple of chapters that we read [together], it seemed as though Lenin was the first to mention the overcoming or disappearance of democracy. But, reading the end of Chapter 4, I found it was Engels that first mentioned the overcoming or disappearance of democracy, not Lenin, who cites the passage where Engels does this: “a party whose economic programme is not merely socialist in general, but downright communist, and whose ultimate political aim is to overcome the whole state and, consequently, democracy as well,” thus explaining the title of the section “Engels on the Overcoming of Democracy” and, most likely, the reason Lenin conflates democracy and the state. Ultimately then, I found that Lenin was simply interpreting Engels, an interpretation I think I have to agree with, lest I can’t explain—nor would Lenin either—why Engels would say what he said.
Anyway, I just thought you should know this since we talked about it. See you later.