July/August, 2008

Sociology of the State

by Lil Joe


Dear Reader,

This article originated in a discussion of Max Weber and the sociology of the state.

However, the issue was raised concerning Engels and Lenin's concept of state and revolution, as if they were identical. They are not. Engels' concepts are identical with Marx's, and Lenin's with Trotsky and Stalin. Since these issues and authors have universal significance for revolutionaries and socialists, and in particular revolutionaries who consider themselves socialists, especially of significance since the collapse of the Soviet State and the privatization of the economy, I recognized the need to deal with these things generally in an article.

Most importantly for revolutionaries who consider themselves socialists, is the issue of capitalism and overcoming capitalism by national liberation movements and worker's parties in power. In the 1960's-70's United States in the African-American movement and the Anti-War movement activists rediscovered socialist and communist literature and politics, after having been demonized by McCarthyism's anti-communism.

Yet, the rediscovery by American activists of socialism and communism was but only a caricature of it. It was a "New Left" demonized the American working class and trade unions as selfish white men, spoiled by the crumbs from the imperialist table. This New Left believed that racial and identity politics - Black nationalists, Chicano ethnic activist-nationalists, feminists, and the outcaste lumpinproletariat - were the revolutionary forces internal in the belly of the U.S. imperialist "beast"/ "Babylon". [See Malcolm X Speaks, Hamilton and Carmichael's "Black Power", Aquino's "Occupied America", Kate Mallet's "Sexual Politics"]

Therefore, instead of fighting for national state power, these "revolutionaries" worked for Black, Latino, and Women politicians to win elections, fought against police brutality or for what came to be called in the 1980's and 90's "social justice". Rather than a strategy - or even a discussion of a strategy to take state power - these revolutionary advocate organizations and leaders saw it their task to "speak truth to power". As though those in power didn't know the truth!

These New Leftists in the Anti-War movement became supporters of liberation movements abroad, and against racial injustice in Rhodesia and South Africa. They saw peasants in 3rd world liberation movements as revolutionary, as opposed to the "corrupt" and "bourgeoisified proletariat" of Europe and America as privileged racist reactionaries.

So, instead of fighting in the working class for class consciousness and a working class political agenda, the maximum time was spent as supporters of 3rd world liberation movements led by communist guerrillas. This became the practical basis for justifying their politics of commiseration with the oppressed to place these oppressed "communities" in America and the peasant armies fighting imperialism as the real communist revolutionaries.

It was in this context that the New Left discussed and studied the issues of socialism and the state, and the basis for much of these discussions was the Soviet Union and the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, &/or the Chinese national liberation war, and Cuba. When the 60's activists read Lenin's "The State and Revolution", they thought they were reading about what the Soviet Union became, their concept of "socialism". Similarly, those who read Trotsky's "The Revolution Betrayed", and those who read Mao's "On the Correct Handling of the Contradictions Amongst the People". All of these were and are discussions about the State and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Although the survivors of the New Left, over time, rediscovered Marx and Engels' economic writings, they were still subordinated to the writings of "Marxist-Leninists", of Lenin, Trotsky, Mao or Stalin explaining what Marx and Engels "meant" by what they wrote, rather than reading Marx's Capital, for example, for themselves. The objective of this article is to decouple Marx from Leninism, from the ways that Trotsky and Stalin, in opposition to each other, defined Leninism, the State and Socialism.

For this discussion of a Marxist concept of Socialism and the State, it is necessary to present Marx's discussion of capitalism from his standpoint of the materialist conception of history. There are therefore a number of extensive quotes from Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin concerning Capitalism, proletarian revolution and "Socialism".

The Trotskyist's didn't call the Soviet Union "socialist", but a "dictatorship of the proletariat", which they defined simply as a State governed by a Communist Party that has nationalized the means of production, and on that basis established a state monopoly on foreign trade and economic planning. This is a political prognosis, not an economic analysis.

Trotsky does provide an excellent analysis of Soviet economic facts and figures in his "The Revolution Betrayed", but he doesn't address the economic problems relative to the transition from the capitalist character of production and appropriation being abolished. That is to say, Trotsky doesn't discuss the difference between capitalist and socialist production and distribution, but does a critical analysis of the market's problems in the Soviet Union, which are problems of state-capitalism, although Trotsky rails against this characterization of Soviet market economics. Trotsky merely calls the dictatorship of the proletariat a "transitional regime", and that the Soviet state retains these characteristics and thus remains a dictatorship of the proletariat, except that, by Stalin's bureaucracy displacing Trotsky and his healthy followers, became a "degenerate worker's state"

I will therefore be dealing mainly with Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin concerning capitalism, Socialism and the State and Dictatorship of the proletariat.

Lil Joe
Lil Joe.Radical @Gmail.com

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Comrade Robert wrote:

> The bourgeois state is certainly founded on force, since it's the rule
> of the minority over the majority. When the proletariat seizes state
> power, it "abolishes the state as state" (Engels). Our state does not
> renounce the use of force, but it immediately begins to de-emphasize
> reliance on "special bodies of armed men" to suppress the capitalist
> class.
>


I am in disagreement with the first assertion, that the "bourgeois state" is founded on "force" - viz: "special bodies of armed men".

The economic power of capital sits upon the capitalist character of production and appropriation.

"The wealth of those societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails, presents itself as "an immense accumulation of commodities,"[1] its unit being a single commodity. ... A commodity is, in the first place, an object outside us, a thing that by its properties satisfies human wants of some sort or another. ...whether directly as means of subsistence, or indirectly as means of production."
(Marx: Capital. Volume I Chapter 1 first and second paragraphs)


Human proletarian labor power is a commodity in the capitalist character of production as are the products of those proletarians, objectified, alienated labor - both the value of labor power and the value of the products in which labor is embodied, objectified labor as things/commodities, thus the human laborers are dehumanized.

"We shall start out from an actual economic fact.

"The worker becomes poorer the more wealth he produces, the more his production increases in power and extent. The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the more commodities he produces. The devaluation of the human world grows in direct proportion to the increase in value of the world of things. Labour not only produces commodities; it also produces itself and the workers as a commodity and it does so in the same proportion in which it produces commodities in general.

"This fact simply means that the object that labour produces, its product, stands opposed to it as something alien, as a power independent of the producer. The product of labour is labour embodied and made material in an object, it is the objectification of labour. The realization of labour is its objectification. In the sphere of political economy, this realization of labour appears as a loss of reality for the worker, objectification as loss of and bondage to the object, and appropriation as estrangement, as alienation."
(See Karl Marx's "The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844" at:
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/manuscripts/labour.htm )


The assumption that the bourgeoisie came into and maintain power by guns is voluntarism, as opposed to the materialist conception of natural human history according to which technology is the cause of modes of production and corresponding forms of appropriation.

I am in agreement with Robert's second historical designation that the proletarian modes of production and appropriation aren't based on force, although the revolutionary transfer of possession of the productive forces from the bourgeoisie to the proletariat by revolution is accomplished by force. The objective of proletarian power based on industrial social production is a revolution that eliminates the capitalist character of production - that eliminates capitalist commodity production by wage labor.

Doing away with the capitalist character of production is possible in advanced industrial democracies in Western Europe, Japan and North America. The productive forces, not only in industry but in advanced mechanized commercial agriculture, are worked by the social labor of wage workers.

These wage earners as such are not only engaging in social labor but, as proletarians, are without bourgeois interests. It is on the basis of social production and class conscious human interests that enables workers, by transferring these productive forces from the private property of the capitalist classes to the public property of the working classes, to strip the capitalist character from production and appropriation. It is the economic power, the sheer productivity of social labor, rather than the guns of the dictatorship of the proletariat, that evolves the transition from capitalism to socialism.

However, on one hand, Trotsky's theory of permanent revolution posits that a proletarian "socialist" revolution can come about notwithstanding the low technology of agricultural peasant production, with the hope that it will "spread into the industrial countries where there are proletarian majorities. And, oddly, on the other hand, this voluntarist idealism also is consistent with Stalin's theory of "socialism in one country": Stalin actually bases his theory that socialism could exist in Russia on Trotsky's thesis that socialist proletarian revolution can "begin" in a semi-feudal, economically backward, Russia.

Notwithstanding Trotsky, and Stalin also, claiming to define and be the embodiments of "historical materialism", the Trotskyist and Stalinist political opposition were of the two Leninist camps, both ideological factions based in Lenin's epistemology articulated in "What Is To Be Done?". This is voluntarist, i.e., idealist supposition, and not a scientific materialist point of view: "where there is a will, there is a way".

This also explains why Lenin, Trotskyists and Stalinists, including official Soviet biological evolutionists, held on to Engels' appropriation of Lemark's theory of inheritance of acquired characteristics, which was appropriated by Engels from Darwin and by Darwin from Lemark. This biological blunder of Darwin's and subsequently of Engels, this Lemarkian voluntarism, was found pragmatically useful by Stalin and the CPSU, and theoretically useful by the Trotskyist's 4th International as the ideological basis for their "theory of permanent revolution".

Folks know the classic example, that of the giraffe - that every generation got a little taller because they strained there necks a little more to reach the branches and passed this on to there offspring and, as this gave these taller animals a survival edge, this trait was reinforced and made permanent by natural selection. Darwin wrote of correlations where he postulated that one change in the biology of an organism resulted in adaptations and related changes elsewhere in the same organism species.

This was Engels' basis for his speculation on the part played by labor in the transition from ape to man. Though this speculation was later overthrown by Gregor Mandel's research in genetic mutation, and as the subsequent science of genetics became part and parcel of evolutionary biology explaining random mutation and natural selection, Engels' theory was dogmatically held on to in Soviet philosophy and science.

This makes sense when one considers the Soviet politics of epistemology, of the Leninist party as leader of revolution and as ruling party state, which posits the intelligentsia as intelligentsia committed to socialism - calling the Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, governed by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, led by a dedicated cadre of central committeemen and women, and they by the Polit-Bureau.

Both the Stalinists and their Trotskyist opponents were equally voluntarist. This explains why the Trotskyists critiqued the Stalinist bureaucracy and state-planners ultimately, as issues of right ideas versus wrong ideas and of morally corrupt bureaucrats versus principled Trotskyist true "Bolshevik Leninists".

Thus, in official propaganda, rather than discussing the genetics of the Soviet economy - that is, the combination of petty bourgeois peasant agriculture and collective farms on one hand, and state farms and industries engaged in capitalist commodity production by wage labor on the other - the Communist Party and Soviet State press discussed five-year plans without mentioning the standpoint of Marx's "Capital" and Engels' "Anti-During", which deal with the economic cells of commodities.

The Communist Party and the State's economic planners in the Soviet State discussed ideology and plans. They published Lenin's "The State and Revolution", ostensibly, to "explain" the Soviet "socialist system". But, on the contrary, the materialist economic writings of Marx and Engels, as I will show below, would have defined these economic planners, and industrial or farm managers, by their function, not their ideology. By the fact of nationalization of the lands and industries on one hand, and that the working forces were hired wage labor on the other, these planners and managers were personifications of capital and the workers remained an exploited proletariat, as the basis for capital accumulation and its self-expansion, manifesting economic growth.

Whether or not a State's governing party renounces the "use of force", or in the long verses short term plans to "de-emphasize reliance on 'special bodies of armed men' ", is irrelevant. Either way the wording of this formula is articulated, it places the determination of Society on the subjective thinking of individuals and groups of individual's self-consciousness rather than technoeconomic environmental conditions.

Engels and Marx were materialists and not voluntarist idealists. Engels wrote "Anti-Duhring" as a materialist defense of dialectical reasoning and the materialist conception of history, and as a Marxian explication of the laws of motion of the capitalist mode of production and appropriation - as the economic biology and historical biography of capitalist commodity production by wage labor, in defense of Marx's "Capital".

In the "Preface to the First volume of Capital", Marx himself wrote:

"The physicist either observes physical phenomena where they occur in their most typical form and most free from disturbing influence, or where possible, he makes experiments under conditions that assure the occurrence of the phenomenon in its normality. In this work I have to examine the capitalist mode of production, and the conditions of production and exchange corresponding to that mode. ...

"Intrinsically, it is not a question of the higher or lower degree of development of the social antagonisms that result from the natural laws of capitalist production. It is a question of these laws themselves, of these tendencies working with iron necessity towards inevitable results. ...

"To prevent possible misunderstanding, a word. I paint the capitalist and the landlord in no sense couleur de rose [i.e., seen through rose-tinted glasses]. But here individuals are dealt with only in so far as they are the personifications of economic categories, embodiments of particular class-relations and class-interests.

"My standpoint, from which the evolution of the economic formation of society is viewed as a process of natural history, can less than any other make the individual responsible for relations whose creature he socially remains, however much he may subjectively raise himself above them."
(Marx: "Capital" Volume I Preface to 1st German Edition: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/p1.htm )


This is also true of the proletariat, which is the personification of the opposite economic category: wage-labor. This was a transitional determination for Marx, even in 1843 when he and Engel's were still in the philosophical humanism of Feuerbach and True Socialism of Moses Hess, as in defense of Proudhon's thundering critique of capitalist private property - Proudhon's "What Is Property" - Marx articulated the first fresh elements of the materialist conception of history in his and Engels "The Holy Family". Marx wrote in defense of early socialist humanism:

"When socialist writers ascribe this world-historic role to the proletariat, it is not at all, as Critical Criticism pretends to believe, because they regard the proletarians as gods. Rather the contrary. Since in the fully- formed proletariat the abstraction of all humanity, even of the semblance of humanity, is practically complete; since the conditions of life of the proletariat sum up all the conditions of life of society today in their most inhuman form; since man has lost himself in the proletariat, yet at the same time has not only gained theoretical consciousness of that loss, but through urgent, no longer removable, no longer disguisable, absolutely imperative need -- the practical expression of necessity -- is driven directly to revolt against this inhumanity, it follows that the proletariat can and must emancipate itself. But it cannot emancipate itself without abolishing the conditions of its own life. It cannot abolish the conditions of its own life without abolishing all the inhuman conditions of life of society today which are summed up in its own situation.

"Not in vain does it go through the stern but steeling school of labour. It is not a question of what this or that proletarian, or even the whole proletariat, at the moment regards as its aim. It is a question of what the proletariat is, and what, in accordance with this being, it will historically be compelled to do."
( Marx and Engels: "The Holy Family" at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/holy-family/ ch04.htm#4.4 )


What Marx showed upon the basis of a preponderance of both theoretical study and the collection, synthesis and analysis of empirical data over two decades and presented in the Three Volumes of Capital, the latter two organized and presented by Engels, were the laws of motion of capital accumulations predicated upon the capitalist mode of appropriation - the buying and selling of labor power as a commodity which the propertyless proletariat is compelled to sell in a competitive market, and capitalist purchase in a competitive market, and correspondingly the capitalist class sells the products of the labor and work of the proletariat to this propertyless proletariat.

Marx:

"As personifications of capital in the the service of objective laws determining capital accumulation and self-expansion the capitalist has no choice but to purchase labor power as cheaply as possible and for this force the maximum possible labor time, unpaid or surplus labor from those proletarians, whose labor powers has been purchased:

"The capitalist has bought the labour-power at its day-rate. To him its use-value belongs during one working-day. He has thus acquired the right to make the labourer work for him during one day. But, what is a working-day?

"At all events, less than a natural day. By how much? The capitalist has his own views of this ultima Thule [the outermost limit], the necessary limit of the working-day. As capitalist, he is only capital personified. His soul is the soul of capital.

"But capital has one single life impulse, the tendency to create value and surplus-value, to make its constant factor, the means of production, absorb the greatest possible amount of surplus-labour.

"Capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks. The time during which the labourer works, is the time during which the capitalist consumes the labour-power he has purchased of him.

"If the labourer consumes his disposable time for himself, he robs the capitalist.

"The capitalist then takes his stand on the law of the exchange of commodities. He, like all other buyers, seeks to get the greatest possible benefit out of the use-value of his commodity."
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch10.h


* * *

"Within the process of production, as we have seen, capital acquired the command over labour, i.e., over functioning labour-power or the labourer himself. Personified capital, the capitalist takes care that the labourer does his work regularly and with the proper degree of intensity.

"Capital further developed into a coercive relation, which compels the working class to do more work than the narrow round of its own lifewants prescribes. As a producer of the activity of others, as a pumper-out of surplus labour and exploiter of labour-power, it surpasses in energy, disregard of bounds, recklessness and efficiency, all earlier systems of production based on directly compulsory labour.
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch11.htm


* * *

"The labour which is set in motion by the total capital of a society, day in, day out, may be regarded as a single collective working day. If, e.g., the number of labourers is a million, and the average working-day of a labourer is 10 hours, the social working day consists of ten million hours. With a given length of this working day, whether its limits are fixed physically or socially, the mass of surplus value can only be increased by increasing the number of labourers, i.e., of the labouring population. The growth of population here forms the mathematical limit to the production of surplus value by the total social capital."
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/c



"We see then, that, apart from extremely elastic bounds, the nature of the exchange of commodities itself imposes no limit to the working-day, no limit to surplus-labour. The capitalist maintains his rights as a purchaser when he tries to make the working-day as long as possible, and to make, whenever possible, two working-days out of one. On the other hand, the peculiar nature of the commodity sold implies a limit to its consumption by the purchaser, and the labourer maintains his right as seller when he wishes to reduce the working-day to one of definite normal duration. There is here, therefore, an antinomy, right against right, both equally bearing the seal of the law of exchanges. Between equal rights force decides. Hence is it that in the history of capitalist production, the determination of what is a working-day, presents itself as the result of a struggle, a struggle between collective capital, i.e., the class of capitalists, and collective labour, i.e., the working-class."
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/ 1867-c1/ch10.htm#S1


We go now to the quote from Engels, which Robert presents, concerning "the proletariat seizing state power and 'abolishing the state as a state'". However, this must be placed in the framework of the economic class conflicts discussed by Marx in "Capital", and "The Holy Family" references above: the laws of motions and internal contradictions of the capitalist mode of production and appropriation.

Engels begins by writing:

"Before capitalistic production, i.e., in the Middle Ages, the system of petty industry obtained generally, based upon the private property of the labourers in their means of production; {in the country,} the agriculture of the small peasant, freeman or serf; in the towns, the handicrafts. The instruments of labour — land, agricultural implements, the workshop, the tool — were the instruments of labour of single individuals, adapted for the use of one worker, and, therefore, of necessity, small, dwarfish, circumscribed. But, for this very reason they belonged, as a rule, to the producer himself. To concentrate these scattered, limited means of production, to enlarge them, to turn them into the powerful levers of production of the present day — this was precisely the historic role of capitalist production and of its upholder, the bourgeoisie.

"In Part IV of Capital, Marx has explained in detail, how since the fifteenth century this has been historically worked out through the three phases of simple co-operation, manufacture and modern industry.

"But the bourgeoisie, as is also shown there, could not transform these puny means of production into mighty productive forces without transforming them, at the same time, from means of production of the individual into social means of production only workable by a collectivity of men.

"The spinning-wheel, the hand-loom, the blacksmith's hammer, were replaced by the spinning-machine, the power-loom, the steam-hammer; the individual workshop by the factory implying the co-operation of hundreds and thousands of workmen.

"In like manner, production itself changed from a series of individual into a series of social acts, and the products from individual to social products. The yarn, the cloth, the metal articles that now came out of the factory were the joint product of many workers, through whose hands they had successively to pass before they were ready. No one person could say of them: "I made that; this is my product."


* * *


"Hitherto, the owner of the instruments of labour had himself appropriated the product, because, as a rule, it was his own product and the assistance of others was the exception. Now the owner of the instruments of labour always appropriated to himself the product, although it was no longer his product but exclusively the product of the labour of others.

"Thus, the products now produced socially were not appropriated by those who had actually set in motion the means of production and actually produced the commodities, but by the capitalists.

"The means of production, and production itself had become in essence socialised. But they were subjected to a form of appropriation which presupposes the private production of individuals, under which, therefore, everyone owns his own product and brings it to market.

"The mode of production is subjected to this form of appropriation, although it abolishes the conditions upon which the latter rests. This contradiction, which gives to the new mode of production its capitalistic character, contains the germ of the whole of the social antagonisms of today.

"The greater the mastery obtained by the new mode of production over all decisive fields of production and in all economically decisive countries, the more it reduced individual production to an insignificant residium, the more clearly was brought out the incompatibility of socialised production with capitalistic appropriation.

* * *

"Wage-labour, aforetime the exception and accessory, now became the rule and basis of all production; aforetime complementary, it now became the sole remaining function of the worker. The wage- worker for a time became a wage-worker for life. The number of these permanent wageworkers was further enormously increased by the breaking-up of the feudal system that occurred at the same time, by the disbanding of the retainers of the feudal lords, the eviction of the peasants from their homesteads, etc. The separation was made complete between the means of production concentrated in the hands of the capitalists, on the one side, and the producers, possessing nothing but their labour-power, on the other.

"The contradiction between socialised production and capitalistic appropriation manifested itself as the antagonism of proletariat and bourgeoisie.

* * *

"This rebellion of the productive forces, as they grow more and more powerful, against their quality as capital, this stronger and stronger command that their social character shall be recognised, forces the capitalist class itself to treat them more and more as social productive forces, so far as this is possible under capitalist conditions. The period of industrial high pressure, with its unbounded inflation of credit, not less than the crash itself, by the collapse of great capitalist establishments, tends to bring about that form of the socialisation of great masses of means of production which we meet with in the different kinds of joint-stock companies.

"Many of these means of production and of communication are, from the outset, so colossal that, like the railways, they exclude all other forms of capitalistic exploitation. At a further stage of evolution this form also becomes insufficient: the official representative of capitalist society — the state — will ultimately have to undertake the direction of production. This necessity for conversion into state property is felt first in the great institutions for intercourse and communication — the post office, the telegraphs, the railways.

* * *

"But the transformation, either into joint-stock companies, or into state ownership, does not do away with the capitalistic nature of the productive forces. In the joint-stock companies this is obvious. And the modern state, again, is only the organisation that bourgeois society takes on in order to support the general external conditions of the capitalist mode of production against the encroachments as well of the workers as of individual capitalists.

"The modern state, no matter what its form, is essentially a capitalist machine, the state of the capitalists, the ideal personification of the total national capital. The more it proceeds to the taking over of productive forces, the more does it actually become the national capitalist, the more citizens does it exploit. The workers remain wage-workers — proletarians.

"The capitalist relation is not done away with. It is rather brought to a head. But, brought to a head, it topples over. State ownership of the productive forces is not the solution of the conflict, but concealed within it are the technical conditions that form the elements of that solution.

* * *

"Whilst the capitalist mode of production more and more completely transforms the great majority of the population into proletarians, it creates the power which, under penalty of its own destruction, is forced to accomplish this revolution. Whilst it forces on more and more the transformation of the vast means of production, already socialised, into state property, it shows itself the way to accomplishing this revolution.

"The proletariat seizes political power and turns the means of production in the first instance into state property. But, in doing this, it abolishes itself as proletariat, abolishes all class distinctions and class antagonisms, abolishes also the state as state.

"When at last it becomes the real representative of the whole of society, it renders itself unnecessary. As soon as there is no longer any social class to be held in subjection; as soon as class rule, and the individual struggle for existence based upon our present anarchy in production, with the collisions and excesses arising from these, are removed, nothing more remains to be repressed, and a special repressive force, a state, is no longer necessary.

* * *

"With the seizing of the means of production by society production of commodities is done away with, and, simultaneously, the mastery of the product over the producer. Anarchy in social production is replaced by systematic, definite organisation. The struggle for individual existence disappears. ...

* * *

"The first act by virtue of which the state really constitutes itself the representative of the whole of society — the taking possession of the means of production in the name of society — this is, at the same time, its last independent act as a state. State interference in social relations becomes, in one domain after another, superfluous, and then dies out of itself; the government of persons is replaced by the administration of things, and by the conduct of processes of production. The state is not "abolished". It dies out."
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1877/anti-duhring/ch24.htm


* * *

These are rather lengthy but necessary quotations but place the issue of the State and proletarian socialist revolution back into the text of what Marx and Engels actually wrote, for the readers to see for himself/herself and not be dependent upon what Lenin, Stalin or Trotsky claim Marx and Engels "meant".

It is clear to me at any rate that when Engels is so often quoted that the worker's state - the dictatorship of the proletariat - will "die out" or "wither away" - this will occur as a matter of course on the basis of the highly advanced universal means of social production becoming the public property of the working classes, and, as such, these worker's self-management of production and distribution will systematically do away with both commodity production and wage labor. That is the determination of the abolition of classes.

The bourgeois bureaucratic military state formations, whatever its form - be it democratic or fascist, cannot with all its guns, tanks and bomber fighters prevent the rise to power of the proletariat in the advanced industrial countries in the 21st century, any more than the swords and then muskets of the landed gentry, or the bureaucratic-military centralized monarchy state could stop the rising bourgeoisie in the 17th and 18th centuries in England and France.

The significant difference between the bourgeois revolution and the proletarian revolution is that the bourgeois rode the crest of an advancing commodity economy whereas the proletarian revolution will be forced on the working classes by the irrationality and economic chaos of capitalist commodity production and appropriation. Yet, just as the organized armed power of the ancient regimes were unable to use force to suppress rising capitalist commodity production by wage labor, nor were the artisan Luddites able to smash the advances in industry turning them into wage working proletarians, neither are the tanks and bombs of the capitalist state power able to shoot or bomb the continuing economic dislocations of the capitalist market's anarchy.

In the 20th century, the Portuguese, Belgian, British, French and Japanese empires, and rising U.S. imperialism, seemed to be omnipotent. The Ottoman and the Germans were defeated and displaced in the Middle East and Africa in World War I. The Czarist empire was overthrown in 1917, and the Kaiser a few years later.

Yet, by the end of the century the British were defeated politically in India, Egypt and Ghana, and militarily in Kenya - together with the overthrow of the Rhodesian fascist state in Zimbabwe and the apartheid fascist state in South Africa. The French were defeated by Vietnamese workers and peasants, and by the Algerian petty-bourgeois alliance with the urban lumpinproletariat and rural peasantry, and defeated politically in Guinea. The Belgians were politically defeated in Congo, and the Portuguese armies were militarily defeated in Guinea Bissau, Mozambique and Angola. U.S. imperialism, for its part, financially and militarily as well as politically backed the French imperial armies, the French, and the Portuguese.

The American chauvinist ideologists call the 20th century the American century. The strongest capitalist economy in the world, as the result of the European mutual destructions and depopulation by WWI and WWII, the European capitalists invested in the US where their investments were safe, and correspondingly brought the most advanced industrialist's technologies and scientists from Europe to America, made the US technologically and scientifically the most advanced, the world's first nuclear power. With its traditional ignorance of the world and compounded arrogance, US imperialism moved to militarily displace the Japanese imperialists in Korea, the French in Vietnam, and the British in Kuwait, Arabia, Iraq and Afghanistan. The US faced a stalemate form of defeat in Korea, and were completely defeated both politically and militarily in Vietnam. Into the 21st century, the US is globally isolated and militarily defeated in Iraq. America's junior partner, Israel is facing humiliating defeats by local resistance militias in occupied Palestine and Lebanon.

In 1956, Mao tse-Tung in a fraternal gathering with Latin American dignitaries on visit, gave a talk, where he [Mao] said:

"Now U.S. imperialism is quite powerful, but in reality it isn't. It is very weak politically because it is divorced from the masses of the people and is disliked by everybody and by the American people too. In appearance it is very powerful but in reality it is nothing to be afraid of, it is a paper tiger. Outwardly a tiger, it is made of paper, unable to withstand the wind and the rain. I believe the United States is nothing but a paper tiger.

"History as a whole, the history of class society for thousands of years, has proved this point: the strong must give way to the weak. This holds true for the Americas as well.

"Only when imperialism is eliminated can peace prevail. The day will come when the paper tigers will be wiped out. But they won't become extinct of their own accord, they need to be battered by the wind and the rain."
( See Mao tse-Tung "U.S. Imperialism is a Paper Tiger" at: http://www.marx.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-5/ mswv5_52.htm )


When Mao tse-Tung made this statement, in 1956, Korea had had 3,000,000 Koreans killed by U.S. invasion, an aggression sold to gullible Americans as defending "democracy" in "South Korea" requested by US lackeys, and the Chinese lost over 1,000,000 volunteers in that war in defense of liberated North Korea. Yet, today, Northern Korea is still independent of UN and US military reach, and is strong notwithstanding low technology and isolation vis-a-vis the West.

What is also significant, is that just 50 + years since 1956, when US imperialist politicians and press were calling "Communist China" and "Red China" an "overpopulated basket case of poverty", today [2008] the Chinese planned economy and its technology and scientific achievements are advancing and overtaking the "free enterprise" capitalist economy of both the United States and Britain in the world market!

This advancing of the economy in China has nothing to do with "Chinese communism", or "Red China", which wasn't anything but US anti-communism and anti-China propaganda. Now that China is succeeding in raising its masses from low technology and poverty and is becoming a global economic power in its own right, the American anti-communists and anti-China propagandists claim that this is because the "pragmatic" leaders in "post-Mao" China has "abandoned communism for capitalism" and that China is a "capitalist success".

Bullshit! In as early as 1953, Mao tse-Tung, on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party, presented its policy as capitalist:

Mao wrote in July, 1953:

"The present-day capitalist economy in China is a capitalist economy which for the most part is under the control of the People's Government and which is linked with the state-owned socialist economy in various forms and supervised by the workers. It is not an ordinary but a particular kind of capitalist economy, namely, a state-capitalist economy of a new type. It exists not chiefly to make profits for the capitalists but to meet the needs of the people and the state. True, a share of the profits produced by the workers goes to the capitalists, but that is only a small part, about one quarter, of the total. The remaining three quarters are produced for the workers (in the form of the welfare fund), for the state (in the form of income tax) and for expanding productive capacity (a small part of which produces profits for the capitalists). Therefore, this state-capitalist economy of a new type takes on a socialist character to a very great extent and benefits the workers and the state." http://www.marx.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-5/ mswv5_30.htm


Just as Lenin, as a Marxist, understood and stated in his "April Thesis" that it was impossible to "introduce socialism" into the Russian low technology primarily agrarian peasant bourgeois economy, and in his "Left-Wing Communism, and the Petty-Bourgeois Mentality" classified the economy of the Soviet Union as "state-monopoly capitalism" and in State and Revolution "a bourgeois state without a bourgeoisie", so Mao too understood Marxism and commodity production by peasants as capitalism.

Lenin wrote:

"Here we come to the root of the economic mistake of the "Left Communists". And that is why we must deal with this point in greater detail.

"Firstly, the "Left Communists" do not understand what kind of transition it is from capitalism to socialism that gives us the right and the grounds to call our country the Socialist Republic of Soviets.

"Secondly, they reveal their petty-bourgeois mentality precisely by not recognising the petty-bourgeois element as the principal enemy of socialism in our country.

"Thirdly, in making a bugbear of "state capitalism", they betray their failure to understand that the Soviet state differs from the bourgeois state economically.

"Let us examine these three points.

"No one, I think, in studying the question of the economic system of Russia, has denied its transitional character. Nor, I think, has any Communist denied that the term Socialist Soviet Republic implies the determination of Soviet power to achieve the transition to socialism, and not that the new economic system is recognised as a socialist order.

"But what does the word "transition" mean? Does it not mean, as applied to an economy, that the present system contains elements, particles, fragments of both capitalism and socialism? Everyone will admit that it does. But not all who admit this take the trouble to consider what elements actually constitute the various socio-economic structures that exist in Russia at the present time. And this is the crux of the question.

"Let us enumerate these elements:

1) patriarchal, i.e., to a considerable extent natural, peasant farming;

2) small commodity production (this includes the majority of those peasants who sell their grain);

3) private capitalism;

4) state capitalism;

5) socialism.

"Russia is so vast and so varied that all these different types of socio- economic structures are intermingled. This is what constitutes the specific features of the situation.

"The question arises: what elements predominate? Clearly in a small- peasant country, the petty-bourgeois element predominates and it must predominate, for the great majority of those working the land are small commodity producers.

"The shell of our state capitalism (grain monopoly, state controlled entrepreneurs and traders, bourgeois co-operators) is pierced now in one place, now in another by profiteers, the chief object of profiteering being grain.

"It is in this field that the main struggle is being waged. Between what elements is this struggle being waged if we are to speak in terms of economic categories such as "state capitalism"? Between the fourth and the fifth in the order in which I have just enumerated them. Of course not. It is not state capitalism that is at war with socialism, but the petty bourgeoisie plus private capitalism fighting together against both state capitalism and socialism. The petty bourgeoisie oppose every kind of state interference, accounting and control, whether it be state capitalist or state socialist. This is an absolutely unquestionable fact of reality, and the root of the economic mistake of the "Left Communists" is that they have failed to understand it.

* * *

"In order to convince the reader that this is not the first time I have given this "high" appreciation of state capitalism and that I gave it before the Bolsheviks seized power I take the liberty of quoting the following passage from my pamphlet The Impending Catastrophe and How to Combat It , written in September 1917.

". . . Try to substitute for the Junker-capitalist state, for the landowner- capitalist state, a revolutionary-democratic state, i.e., a state which in a revolutionary way abolishes all privileges and does not fear to introduce the fullest democracy in a revolutionary way. You will find that, given a really revolutionary-democratic state, state-monopoly capitalism inevitably and unavoidably implies a step, and more than one step, towards socialism!

". . . For socialism is merely the next step forward from state-capitalist monopoly.

". . . State-monopoly capitalism is a complete material preparation for socialism, the threshold of socialism, a rung on the ladder of history between which and the rung called socialism there are no intermediate rungs. (pages 27 and 28)

"Please note that this was written when Kerensky was in power, that we are discussing not the dictatorship of the proletariat, not the socialist state, but the "revolutionary-democratic" state. Is it not clear that the higher we stand on this political ladder, the more completely we incorporate the socialist state and the dictatorship of the proletariat in the Soviets, the less ought we to fear "state capitalism"? Is it not clear that from the material, economic and productive point of view, we are not yet on "the threshold" of socialism? Is it not clear that we cannot pass through the door of socialism without crossing "the threshold" we have not yet reached?"
(See http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1918/may/09.htm)

The reason that China is evolving rapidly by double-digit growth in commodity production by capitalists, whether state or private entrepreneurs, is the same as it progressed in the Soviet Union in the 1930s-40s. While the United States and Western European capitalist commodity production and appropriation were collapsed into their Great Depression because the surplus capital, machines, and industries couldn't find buyers of need in the mature capitalist countries in crisis, they found markets in the Soviet Union, then - as they do in China today. Moreover, in China, today, there are over a billion customers as well as labor made cheap by the Chinese state capitalist welfare fund's economic support in food, clothing, housing, education and medical plans.

State police and courts, armies and bombs do not determine economic modes of production and its characteristic form of appropriation of labor and products, but the level of development of the productive forces and dominate type of its technology determine labor techniques and distribution of labor, the relations of production economics determine states, the forms of government, civil and criminal laws which the armed forces enforce.

This is just as true in China as it is in the European Union, and yes the United State's as capitalist economies having similar laws corresponding to universal characteristics of the capitalist commodity production and appropriation - the exploitation of wage labor is the means of the self-expansion of capital.

This was also true of state-monopoly capitalist commodity production by wage labor in the Soviet Union, although the Trotskyist's called a "worker's state"/ and later a "degenerate worker's state", and Stalinists called it "socialism", because they confused political form - state ownership of the productive forces, monopoly on foreign trade and economic planning, which ignored the economic content. "Socialism" didn't "fail", or "collapse" in the Soviet Union, because it never existed there. All that happened was that on the one hand global economic competition and wars for spheres of influence in Asia [Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan] Africa [Egypt, Ethiopia, Angola, Mozambique] and Latin America [Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador] and the nuclear arms and space races forced the Soviet planners to spend extraordinary amounts of resources and rubles in these wasted expenditures on arms, wars and rubles in aide to fund Soviet allies giving them the ability to purchase Soviet weapons and defense systems.

Consequently, the Soviet proletariat of wage workers suffered lack of basic means of subsistence, which had taken back seat to the production of means of production and production of means of destruction, arms industries, on the one hand, and the Soviet personifications of capital in industries and state farms became corrupted off retained profits, and became increasingly independent of the state and central planners as the state weakened from the strain. Thus, when the Soviet state industrial and agricultural managers, already personifications of capital vis-a-vis the wage workers they hire and exploit, made their move led by the Yeltsin gangsters to privatize the economy, these "Communist" Party officials together with managers became outright entrepreneurial capitalists.

The Soviet working class not only didn't resist the privatization, but in many instances supported it and the end to the so-called "Cold War", as did workers in Eastern Europe, who believed that this would result in production of means of subsistence and improved life styles, while the former "Communist" Party "hardliners" were overthrown, arrested or assassinated. All that the workers in Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Russia, Georgia, &c. "won" by the transition from state-monopoly capitalism was the meaningless ritual of periodic voting for government managers of the "new" state "democracy", while their living standards declined into unemployment and poverty and hunger.

America, in these same "Cold War" years, grew stronger, which vis-a-vis the Soviet Union, and the European Union vis-a-v-s the Warsaw Pact countries, was already and historically endowed with higher developed productive forces. In the United States in particular, the State was economically completely separated from the capitalists, and served them politically and militarily against unions and revolts of ethnic minorities domestically, as well as against rivals abroad. American capitalists waxed fat on the Cold War economy, and from wars all over the world and having American military bases and ships all over the world and the oceans. Since the emergence of US imperialism following the mutual destruction of capitalists productive forces in Europe by World War II, the Marshall Plan rebuilding Europe, the Bretton-Woods monetary agreements, the arms race and connected with it the space race, and the wars in which the US were actually engaging Soviet allies and aiding Israel against the Palestinians and the Arab alliance, this was and is a permanent war economy that was and is a boon for the American related war industries, from Lockheed and Boeing, Dow Chemicals to Halliburton and todays mercenary contractors like Blackwater. This is payed for by government taxation of the proletariat, while providing tax breaks for the American bourgeoisie and foreign investors on the one hand, and government debt to bond holders on the other.

The bourgeois state is not "certainly founded on force" of arms but on the power of advancing productive technology employed by capitalist commodity production on the basis of wage labor, producing for and distributed upon the world market, including the international weapons market. This has been so from the beginning. Feudal and monarchical wealth of land and treasure (booty) was finite. The serfs could only produce so much from the land, and the treasures were placed on display in palaces, castles and cathedrals, but they didn't bring any new wealth.

When serfs with fertile land and new techniques and technology emerged, they became a rural bourgeoisie, selling the surpluses in excess of subsistence, rent, tolls and so on. Artisans and handicraftsmen once circulated in the countryside, but came to settle in the towns. Traveling merchants also began to settle in these towns, as did the rich peasants. These became the bourgeoisie, and among them also came usurers and bankers.

The discovery of America by the Spanish, brought gold and silver to Europe, and this in the hands of the bourgeoisie was invested in commodity production; profits reinvested: wealth was being accumulated and after centuries the bourgeois wealth forms. The discovery of trade routes and lands to and of the East, and commercialization in American colonies were profitable enterprises, capitalist commodity production by wage labor for the world market made them richer than landed aristocrats and kings. This became the economic power that enabled the capitalist state to emerge and displace the feudal state and the nobles force of arms.

But, capitalist commodity production on the basis of wage labor also engendered industrial revolutions, in England and then in France. The proletarianization of the laboring masses into working classes of wage workers in industry, gave these proletarians the economic power to challenge the economic power of bourgeois ownership. This is what makes labor unions and worker's political associations powerful, and proletarian socialist revolution possible.

Socialist revolution by worker's expropriation of the means of socialized productive forces does away with the capitalist mode of production and its relations of production derived from appropriation of labor for money. The capitalist mode of appropriation is itself done away with, as commodity production is displaced by production for consumption rather than for markets, from which workers had had to purchase their means of subsistence from capitalist merchants.

Marx wrote in his "Critique of the Gotha Programme":

"What we have to deal with here is a communist society, not as it has developed on its own foundations, but, on the contrary, just as it emerges from capitalist society; which is thus in every respect, economically, morally, and intellectually, still stamped with the birthmarks of the old society from whose womb it emerges.

Accordingly, the individual producer receives back from society -- after the deductions have been made -- exactly what he gives to it. What he has given to it is his individual quantum of labor. For example, the social working day consists of the sum of the individual hours of work; the individual labor time of the individual producer is the part of the social working day contributed by him, his share in it. He receives a certificate from society that he has furnished such-and-such an amount of labor (after deducting his labor for the common funds); and with this certificate, he draws from the social stock of means of consumption as much as the same amount of labor cost. The same amount of labor which he has given to society in one form, he receives back in another.

Here, obviously, the same principle prevails as that which regulates the exchange of commodities, as far as this is exchange of equal values. Content and form are changed, because under the altered circumstances no one can give anything except his labor, and because, on the other hand, nothing can pass to the ownership of individuals, except individual means of consumption. But as far as the distribution of the latter among the individual producers is concerned, the same principle prevails as in the exchange of commodity equivalents: a given amount of labor in one form is exchanged for an equal amount of labor in another form.

Hence, equal right here is still in principle -- bourgeois right, although principle and practice are no longer at loggerheads, while the exchange of equivalents in commodity exchange exists only on the average and not in the individual case.

* * *

"But these defects are inevitable in the first phase of communist society as it is when it has just emerged after prolonged birth pangs from capitalist society. Right can never be higher than the economic structure of society and its cultural development conditioned thereby.

"In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labor, has vanished; after labor has become not only a means of life but life's prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-around development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly -- only then then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!"
(See Marx's "Critique of Gotha Programme at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1875/gotha/ch01.htm )


Now, in "The State and Revolution", in a polemic against Kautsky on the nature of proletarian revolutionary politics - Lenin distinguished this lower stage of communism as "socialism". But, the main point he was at the time making was the necessity for violent revolution, in which he brought into the polemic another quotation from Marx's "The Critique of the Gotha Programme"; Marx wrote:

"Between capitalist and communist society there lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat."
( See Marx ibid. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1875/gotha/ch04.htm )


The important point here is to remember that Marx's materialist conception of history is the reverse of Lenin's political voluntarism. For Marx, it is not the consciousness of men that determine their existence, but their social being that determine their consciousness, thus the material relations of production and appropriation, based on the level of development of the productive forces determine the sociology of politics and law: including private property, which exist in the political infrastructure, and is not the economic base, notwithstanding Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin's presentation of property as economics.

In other words, it is the revolutionary transition of advanced industrial technological society, in which the wage workers are the only laboring class, that this class, by the universal class of wage workers taking the productive forces are, in a revolutionary process of self-management in production and distribution, eliminating commodity production and wage labor, passing through the lower into the higher stages of communism.

In this same "Critique of the Gotha Programme" Marx also makes reference to the Communist Manifesto, why the proletariat rather than the peasants dominating in a low technology economy, or petty bourgeoisie as such, are not and cannot be the class of the socialist revolution.

Here, Marx wrote in the Communist Manifesto:

"Of all the classes that stand face-to-face with the bourgeoisie today, the proletariat alone is a really revolutionary class. The other classes decay and finally disappear in the face of modern industry; the proletariat is its special and essential product."

"The bourgeoisie is here conceived as a revolutionary class -- as the bearer of large-scale industry -- relative to the feudal lords and the lower middle class, who desire to maintain all social positions that are the creation of obsolete modes of production. ...

"On the other hand, the proletariat is revolutionary relative to the bourgeoisie because, having itself grown up on the basis of large-scale industry, it strives to strip off from production the capitalist character that the bourgeoisie seeks to perpetuate."
(See Marx op.cit. at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1875/gotha/ch01.htm)


By this we see again the primacy of modern large-scaled industry and the wage earning proletariat as revolutionary relative to the bourgeoisie in its economic ability to "strip off from production the capitalist character". This is of central importance: by "capitalist character" of production is again what Engels called commodity production by wage labor.

The capitalist character of production and appropriation has to be phased out by the proletariat in possession of the productive forces because these gigantic universal productive forces and the advances in science and technology has outgrown the capitalist mode of appropriation, the market economy, including the buying and selling of labor power that has led to massive unemployment and poverty.

The conflict of the capitalist mode of production and its form of appropriation means that the resolution to it can come only by the proletariat which suffers from it. By taking these productive forces and ending the capitalist mode of appropriation, the economic objective of the proletarian revolutionary expropriation of the productive forces is to strip off from production the capitalist character, meaning at the same time that labor ceases to be wage labor.

The central character of this new society is:

"Within the co-operative society based on common ownership of the means of production, the producers do not exchange their products; just as little does the labor employed on the products appear here as the value of these products, as a material quality possessed by them, since now, in contrast to capitalist society, individual labor no longer exists in an indirect fashion but directly as a component part of total labor."
(Marx ibid.) http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/ works/1875/gotha/ch01.htm


The Leninists on the other hand actually ignore the revolutionary transition of capitalism into communism as an objective economic material process. In "The State and Revolution", Lenin doesn't even talk about the capitalist character of production and appropriation being phased out, when he writes about "the dictatorship of the proletariat" &/0r "socialism".

Lenin wrote:

"The vulgar economists, including the bourgeois professors and "our" Tugan, constantly reproach the socialists with forgetting the inequality of people and with "dreaming" of eliminating this inequality. Such a reproach, as we see, only proves the extreme ignorance of the bourgeois ideologists.

"Marx not only most scrupulously takes account of the inevitable inequality of men, but he also takes into account the fact that the mere conversion of the means of production into the common property of the whole society (commonly called "socialism") does not remove the defects of distribution and the inequality of "bourgeois laws" which continues to prevail so long as products are divided "according to the amount of labor performed". Continuing, Marx says:
'But these defects are inevitable in the first phase of communist society as it is when it has just emerged, after prolonged birth pangs, from capitalist society. Law can never be higher than the economic structure of society and its cultural development conditioned thereby.'
"And so, in the first phase of communist society (usually called socialism) "bourgeois law" is not abolished in its entirety, but only in part, only in proportion to the economic revolution so far attained, i.e., only in respect of the means of production. "Bourgeois law" recognizes them as the private property of individuals. Socialism converts them into common property. To that extent--and to that extent alone--"bourgeois law" disappears."
(See Lenin: "The State and Revolution" at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/ 1917/staterev/ch05.htm#s3)


Lenin isn't defending Marx from "bourgeois ideologists", but is distorting Marx by way of "interpretation" vis-a-vis Kautsky and other Marxist critiques concerning the prospects of a "socialist" revolution in Russia's peasant based low technological agricultural economy.

Lenin was writing about the State and Law, property - the capitalists and landlords property being expropriated, and 'bourgeois law' as laws decreed or legislated by governments enforced by the state. Lenin claimed to be defending and presenting a 'revolutionary' interpretation of Marx.

Marx, on the contrary, doesn't require defense and readers don't need interpretation. What Marx was writing about was the economic transition from capitalist commodity production and appropriation through market mechanisms to distribution of labor and products in a post market economy. It was in this connection that Marx's reference to bourgeois right and law was discussed. It was not about political bourgeois rights and laws in the state.

In fact, in this entire discussion of the lower and higher stages of communism by Marx, the state wasn't even mentioned!

This is what Marx actually wrote for himself:

"What we have to deal with here is a communist society, not as it has developed on its own foundations, but, on the contrary, just as it emerges from capitalist society; which is thus in every respect, economically, morally, and intellectually, still stamped with the birthmarks of the old society from whose womb it emerges.

"Accordingly, the individual producer receives back from society -- after the deductions have been made -- exactly what he gives to it. What he has given to it is his individual quantum of labor. For example, the social working day consists of the sum of the individual hours of work; the individual labor time of the individual producer is the part of the social working day contributed by him, his share in it. He receives a certificate from society that he has furnished such-and-such an amount of labor (after deducting his labor for the common funds); and with this certificate, he draws from the social stock of means of consumption as much as the same amount of labor cost. The same amount of labor which he has given to society in one form, he receives back in another.

"Here, obviously, the same principle prevails as that which regulates the exchange of commodities, as far as this is exchange of equal values. Content and form are changed, because under the altered circumstances no one can give anything except his labor, and because, on the other hand, nothing can pass to the ownership of individuals, except individual means of consumption. But as far as the distribution of the latter among the individual producers is concerned, the same principle prevails as in the exchange of commodity equivalents: a given amount of labor in one form is exchanged for an equal amount of labor in another form.

"Hence, equal right here is still in principle -- bourgeois right, although principle and practice are no longer at loggerheads, while the exchange of equivalents in commodity exchange exists only on the average and not in the individual case.

"In spite of this advance, this equal right is still constantly stigmatized by a bourgeois limitation. The right of the producers is proportional to the labor they supply; the equality consists in the fact that measurement is made with an equal standard, labor."
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1875/gotha/ch01.htm


What Lenin was dealing with where he wrote:

"Marx not only most scrupulously takes account of the inevitable inequality of men, but he also takes into account the fact that the mere conversion of the means of production into the common property of the whole society (commonly called "socialism") does not remove the defects of distribution and the inequality of "bourgeois laws" which continues to prevail so long as products are divided "according to the amount of labor performed".


What Lenin was dealing with and trying to justify as "Marxism" was that in the Soviet "socialist" state there would be state ownership of the means of production, where capitalist private property will have been expropriated by the state, but that in the economy not only would the capitalist character of production [commodity production by wage labor] continue, there would still be an inequality of income. This is what Lenin meant by "bourgeois law" and "inequality".

Marx, on the other hand, wasn't talking about the continuation of commodity production and income (factors of production payments) in a society where the state was capital personified, continuing to employ and thereby exploit wage workers to accumulate capital, and expand production, but of a society in economic transition from commodity production and appropriation, where there is no market, and therefore no money, and no income.

Rather, what Marx meant by "bourgeois right" sticking on the new society as it emerges from capitalist commodity production by wage labor runs counter to a distribution of income to factors of production [wages to workers, rent to landowners, and profits to the capitalist state] as money income, but on the contrary he wrote of a post market, post commodity economy, in which distribution being still bourgeois in principle in that "a given amount of labor in one form is exchanged for an equal amount of labor in another form.".

As to inequality being a bourgeois hang-over into "socialism", meaning, as Lenin asserts Marx meant an inequality in income money, what Marx actually wrote was concerning a post market economy in which commodities and money have been eliminated but labor time value remains as a hang-over from commodity production and labor value equivalents.

This is what Marx himself wrote of the contradiction of bourgeois product equality of distribution, based on the bourgeois right of labor standard of distribution of "to each according to his work", in a post market economy:

"But one man is superior to another physically, or mentally, and supplies more labor in the same time, or can labor for a longer time; and labor, to serve as a measure, must be defined by its duration or intensity, otherwise it ceases to be a standard of measurement. This equal right is an unequal right for unequal labor.

"It recognizes no class differences, because everyone is only a worker like everyone else; but it tacitly recognizes unequal individual endowment, and thus productive capacity, as a natural privilege. It is, therefore, a right of inequality, in its content, like every right. Right, by its very nature, can consist only in the application of an equal standard; but unequal individuals (and they would not be different individuals if they were not unequal) are measurable only by an equal standard insofar as they are brought under an equal point of view, are taken from one definite side only -- for instance, in the present case, are regarded only as workers and nothing more is seen in them, everything else being ignored.

"Further, one worker is married, another is not; one has more children than another, and so on and so forth. Thus, with an equal performance of labor, and hence an equal in the social consumption fund, one will in fact receive more than another, one will be richer than another, and so on. To avoid all these defects, right, instead of being equal, would have to be unequal."
(Marx op.cit.) http://www.marxists.org/archive/ marx/works/1875/gotha/ch01.htm


The reader, bearing in mind that Marx referred to the lower stage of communism, which he never referred to as "socialism" as though seperate and apart from "communism", the fact that Marx was talking about a worker's cooperative society in which the common ownership of the productive forces by the working people eliminated the non-working possessing class, that the period of lower stage communism, as communism emerges from capitalist commodity production by wage labor, through the worker's collective possession of the productive forces in a society in which all are workers, means that no one owns them.

Proletarian revolution is an economic act: the expropriation of the productive forces by the universal class of wage workers themselves. The whole basis for wage labor is eliminated because wage labor presupposes capitalist ownership and proletarian non-ownership. Property in the productive forces will no longer exist.

The "dictatorship of the proletariat" is not a bourgeois state without a bourgeoisie. Thus, so-called "state socialism" is an oxymoron. "State socialism" as defined by Lenin is an oxymoron, compared to the dialectical reasoning of Marx, because the proletarian expropriation of the productive forces from the capitalist class is, according to Marx, the abolition of wage labor in principle and the abolition of value because commodity production and appropriation is thereby abolished in practice.

The buying and selling of labor power presupposed capitalist ownership of the productive forces, and capitalist ownership and proletarian ownership are mutually exclusive. The proletariat doesn't sell its labor power to itself. Nor does it, having social ownership of the social productive forces, purchase the products of social labor from itself. This is dizzy logic.

Defining the dictatorship of the proletariat as a bourgeois state without a bourgeoisie is ridiculous. The Soviet State was in fact a bourgeois state because it owned the means of production and the proletariat didn't. The management of the state farms and state factories respectively, in each business, purchased labor power from Russian proletarians. This wasn't workers owning those productive forces and purchasing labor power from themselves. At the other end, the Russian proletariat purchased the products of their labor processes of production from the State Stores. Neither was this workers owning those stores selling products from themselves, or buying products from themselves.

It is because the Leninist-Trotskyist concept of "the dictatorship of the proletariat" in Russia following the October Revolution of 1917 was a cover for a "bourgeois state without a bourgeoisie", that both Lenin and Trotsky respectively, and by Trotsky even after his fall and exile from the Soviet Union, omitted the Marxian economic theoretical challenges, but instead addressed the issues of political power and human psychology: voluntarism and its consequences.

In "The State and Revolution", prior to the October 1917 Bolshevik seizure of power, but in anticipation of it, we have seen what Lenin wrote of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the "socialist phase", concerning "bourgeois law" prevailing after bourgeois "private property" will have become state property. Thus, he neglected any mention, nay, any discussion, of the proletariat in possession of industry, stripping production of its capitalist character - the production and distribution of value embodied in commodities (alienated labor) being done away with, although that was key to Marx's prediction of the proletarian revolution characteristic of the lower stage of communism.

Of the upper stage of communism, which he called Communism proper [contrasted to "socialism"] Lenin wrote, in connection with the State - the withering away of the proletarian dictatorship. Distorting Engels in order to distort Marx concerning the higher stage of communism", Lenin wrote that:

"Only now can we fully appreciate the correctness of Engels' remarks mercilessly ridiculing the absurdity of combining the words "freedom" and "state". So long as the state exists there is no freedom. When there is freedom, there will be no state."
( Lenin op.: http://www. marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/staterev/ch05.htm#s3 )


Actually, what Lenin is referring to in Engels, what Engels mentioned only in passing, is the issue of "freedom" and "state" in the section of Engels' "Anti-Duhirng". What Engels was actually doing in "Anti-Duhring", in passing, was in connection with what Marx wrote in "Critique of the Gotha Programme", criticizing the concept of a "free peoples state".

A people free of the capitalist character of production according to Marx and Engels don't need no state. Lenin ignored Engels' materialist analysis of the material conditions of production predicated upon which the capitalist state exists - capitalist commodity production by wage labor.

What was actually written by Engels was that upon the workers, as a society of associations of producers, taking the State and by its coercive powers not just expropriating the productive forces from the capitalist class.

Remember the passage quoted above where Engels wrote of the capitalist character of production and appropriation - technological progress of social production and technological progress that is represented by the proletariat it produces, colliding with the capitalist character of production and appropriation. This results in the proletariat, whose labor power is a commodity, rebelling against commodity production and appropriation:

"This rebellion of the productive forces, as they grow more and more powerful, against their quality as capital, this stronger and stronger command that their social character shall be recognised, forces the capitalist class itself to treat them more and more as social productive forces, so far as this is possible under capitalist conditions.

"The period of industrial high pressure, with its unbounded inflation of credit, not less than the crash itself, by the collapse of great capitalist establishments, tends to bring about that form of the socialisation of great masses of means of production which we meet with in the different kinds of joint-stock companies. Many of these means of production and of communication are, from the outset, so colossal that, like the railways, they exclude all other forms of capitalistic exploitation.

"At a further stage of evolution this form also becomes insufficient: the official representative of capitalist society — the state — will ultimately have to undertake the direction of production. This necessity for conversion into state property is felt first in the great institutions for intercourse and communication — the post office, the telegraphs, the railways.

* * *

"But the transformation, either into joint-stock companies, or into state ownership, does not do away with the capitalistic nature of the productive forces. In the joint-stock companies this is obvious. And the modern state, again, is only the organisation that bourgeois society takes on in order to support the general external conditions of the capitalist mode of production against the encroachments as well of the workers as of individual capitalists.

"The modern state, no matter what its form, is essentially a capitalist machine, the state of the capitalists, the ideal personification of the total national capital. The more it proceeds to the taking over of productive forces, the more does it actually become the national capitalist, the more citizens does it exploit. The workers remain wage-workers — proletarians.

"The capitalist relation is not done away with. It is rather brought to a head. But, brought to a head, it topples over. State ownership of the productive forces is not the solution of the conflict, but concealed within it are the technical conditions that form the elements of that solution."
(Engels op. cit. at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1877/anti-duhring/ch24.htm)


Engels was quite clear and animate in his characterization of the capitalist soul of capital personified in this bourgeois state without a bourgeoisie, or rather a state managed by the bourgeoisie and its wealth accumulated by the exploitation of the universal proletariat by universal capital.

Lenin and Trotsky called this "the dictatorship of the proletariat" because the Communist Party governed and these means of production were state property. That, in the first five years of the Soviet State, when Trotsky was with Lenin at the helm of it and together with Lenin wanted to use the State's apparatus and accumulated capital to spread world socialist revolutions by the Communist International, was noble and wonderful, but it didn't change the class character of this capitalist state's economy.

Lenin, as already cited in his sober Marxist moment of honesty confronted the visionaries who wanted Socialism without mass large scale productive forces being present in the Soviet Union, and therefore without a universal Soviet proletariat in possession of these non-existent productive forces, in his "Left-Wing Childishness and the Petty-Bourgeois Mentality" he accurately classified the Soviet State's own industrial sector as "state monopoly capitalism", overwhelmed by the peasant bourgeoisie. The following year, Lenin was forced to concede to this overwhelming peasant bourgeois economic power, drawing up and pushing through the 1921 "New Economic Policy" (AKA NEP).

The Communist Party of the Soviet Union wasn't able to force its collective will on the Russian peasants, petty-bourgeois or the Russian economic managers of production and distribution. Rather the opposite. The CPSU adjusted its policies and ideological justifications to the new bourgeoisie, the NEPmen. This was inevitable, insomuch as it is not the consciousness of men that determine their existence, but their physical economic conditions that determine their social milieu and its political ideologies. Voluntarism is an illusion and solipsism is a delusion of grandeur.

Trotsky wanted to pursue the ideological delusion of permanent revolution against the pragmatic realities of capitalism engendered privileged Party and State, managerial bureaucracy, which he, in voluntarist fashion, posed as a moral decay of the Party/State/economic bureaucratic elites. To save his theory of permanent revolution and delusion of grandeur, that he led a successful proletarian revolution, Trotsky convinced himself that the first five years of the Soviet State was of a healthy worker's state, but that in subsequent years the state morally decayed into a "degenerate worker's state". This was voluntarism collapsing in on itself.

Trotsky was the Che Guevara of his situation. Nothing is to be taken from this man of revolutionary principle fired by love of humanity and dedication to revolution, any more than from Robespierre, Jean-Paul Marat, Babeuf, Che or Malcolm X. Their understanding of revolution was however flawed. Their consciousness of each one of them was the result of their social conditions, and wasn't enough in itself to enable them to rise above the limits of their circumstances, and were killed but never sold out.

Lenin was also a revolutionary man of honor to be respected to this day. He, however, understood the world, and knew exactly what was going on.

Just read Lenin's: "The Development of Capitalism in Russia", at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1899/devel/index.htm and "What the Friends of the People Are and How they Fight the Social-Democrats" at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1894/friends/index.htm ) These two books, along with "Left-Wing Childishness and the Petty-Bourgeois Mentality" at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1918/may/09.htm

These works of Lenin are very important. Not only because he shows that he actually thoroughly understood Marx's Capital volumes as science, but here he advanced that science. These three are the works of Lenin that should have been studied by liberation movements in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

But, the Soviet Communist Party selected and promoted "What Is To Be Done?" and "The State and Revolution", because of its voluntarism and, based on this, these writings were useful for Stalin's invention of "Leninism" to present state-monopoly capitalism as "socialism". See:

Stalin's "The Foundations of Leninism" at:
http://www.marx2mao.com/Stalin/FL24.html
+
"The Contributions of Comrade J.V. Stalin to Marxism-Leninism" at:
http://www.revolutionarydemocracy.org/rdv4n1/stalin70.htm
+
Stalin's "The Economic Problems of the U.S.S.R." at:
http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1951/economic-problems/index.htm


In Engels' own writings, in this case "Anti-Duhring", it is clear that he was considering the economic transition by the proletariat in advanced industrial democracies using its economic power as the universal class of workers politically legislating the transfer of the productive forces from the possession of capitalists to the possession of the proletariat to, by workers management of production and distribution, phase out the capitalist character of production - commodity production by wage labor:

"With the seizing of the means of production by society production of commodities is done away with, and, simultaneously, the mastery of the product over the producer. Anarchy in social production is replaced by systematic, definite organisation. The struggle for individual existence disappears.

"Then for the first time man, in a certain sense, is finally marked off from the rest of the animal kingdom, and emerges from mere animal conditions of existence into really human ones. The whole sphere of the conditions of life which environ man, and which have hitherto ruled man, now comes under the dominion and control of man who for the first time becomes the real, conscious lord of nature because he has now become master of his own social organisation.

"The laws of his own social action, hitherto standing face to face with man as laws of nature foreign to, and dominating him, will then be used with full understanding, and so mastered by him. Man's own social organisation, hitherto confronting him as a necessity imposed by nature and history, now becomes the result of his own free action.

"The extraneous objective forces that have hitherto governed history pass under the control of man himself. Only from that time will man himself, with full consciousness, make his own history — only from that time will the social causes set in movement by him have, in the main and in a constantly growing measure, the results intended by him. It is humanity's leap from the kingdom of necessity to the kingdom of freedom." (Engels: op.cit.)


Engels wasn't writing about a transition from "socialism to communism" being measured by quantitative change, from a state controlled society into a "free" society in which there was no state.

Lenin lied. Lenin wrote "The State and Revolution", in June-July of 1917 - having just completed three years of study of all the writings and lectures of Hegel.
(See Lenin's "Conspectus on Hegel's 'Science of Logic' " at: http://marx.org/archive/lenin/works//1914/cons-logic/index.htm )

Lenin therefore knew the philosophical dialectics significance of Engels, in the passage just quoted, as had returned to the Hegelian dialectic of qualitative change, the "leap" from quality to another quality, but from a materialist conception of history as opposed to idealist Hegelian history. Engels wasn't contrasting the "state" to "freedom". See C. L.R. James "Notes on Dialectics", where he discusses Lenin's Conspectus on Hegel's Logic - LEAP! LEAP! LEAP! at:
http://books.google.com/books?id=lg79PP6ZR_4C&pg=PA62&lpg=PA62&dq=lenin+leap+leap +clr+james&source=web&ots=Pf-tTpOmQr&sig=hH5ouYQFEUbCdKKn4bHbZg9ZIeY&hl= en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result

In "The Philosophy of History" - which Lenin as well as Engels had been read - Hegel had differentiated historical states from the Asiatic despotism in which "One is free", and its progress of the Idea through geography through to the Greco-Roman relative democracy in which "some are free", to the further progress into Germanic bourgeois democracy of modern times, in which "all are free" - the transition from the lower to the higher next stage was quantitative changes completing one level concluded by revolutionary leap into the lower of the next stage, its quantitative changes achieving completion resulting, by leap, into the next, higher stage in human history.

Lenin knew that Engels, rather than Marx, had appropriated Darwin's concept of descent of man, and having integrated it into his theory of animals vis-a-v-s humanity, that Engels regarded capitalist humanity as a kingdom of animals one at war with all, which Marx rejected along with Darwin as voluntarism rather than biology. So, Lenin falsely went to Engels to "explain" Marx's theory of economic transition from capitalist commodity production and appropriation to communism. Yet, even here, where Engels distorted Marx, Lenin even distorted Engels' Hegelian distortion of Marx!

Read it yourself: Engels was writing of the leap from the mode of production characterized by human beings being subjected by the laws of motion of capitalist commodity production and appropriation, in which the producers were wage slaves, into a new mode of production and appropriation, in which humanity is freed from the laws of capitalist commodity production and its enslaving mode of appropriation.

In the "Communist Manifesto" Marx and Engels had together written:

"All previous historical movements were movements of minorities, or in the interest of minorities. The proletarian movement is the self- conscious, independent movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority.

"Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie.

"Since the proletariat must first of all acquire political supremacy, must rise to be the leading class of the nation, must constitute itself the nation, it is so far, itself national, though not in the bourgeois sense of the word.

* * *

"We have seen above, that the first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class to win the battle of democracy.

"The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degree, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the State, i.e., of the proletariat organised as the ruling class; and to increase the total productive forces as rapidly as possible." (Marx/Engels CM op. cit.)


If by definition democracy is, as defined by Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address "a government of the people, by the people and for the people", since in the advanced industrial democracies of Western Europe and North America the wage earning class is "the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority in the interest of the immense majority", it follows that since the most powerful, economically dominate class is the most powerful, politically dominate class, that for democracy to exist the propertyless proletariat must win the battle of democracy by becoming the State, the worker's party in government legislating the transfer of the productive forces from the private property of the capitalist minority to the public property of the working class majority.


* * *

"When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing another." (ibid.)

Thus, note here, that, as in the "Critique of the Gotha Programme", Marx wrote that the proletariat becoming the social owners of the productive forces by virtue of which the capitalist mode of appropriation is phased out, the capitalist character of production of commodities is eliminated by the abolition of commodified labor power, so here the proletariat as the nation, the worker's state as such by winning the battle of democracy so "public power will loose its political character".

This is the exact opposite of what Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin called "dictatorship of the proletariat", "worker's state" and even "socialism". On the contrary, they asserted that not only will wage labor and commodity production continue to exist, with the state as employer [capitalist appropriator of alienated commodified labor power] the same as in private entrepreneurial capitalism, but that this state would remain alienated from and above society as special bodies of armed men, police and courts and prisons. It therefore would not loose its "political character"!

The Soviet State was no more a dictatorship of the proletariat than the American state is a democracy of the people, by the people, for the people.

Lenin, in "The State and Revolution" - ostensibly defending and explaining Marx's "Critique of the Gotha Programme", wrote of the higher stage of communism proper and the withering away of the state:

"The economic basis for the complete withering away of the state is such a high state of development of communism at which the antithesis between mental and physical labor disappears, at which there consequently disappears one of the principal sources of modern social inequality--a source, moreover, which cannot on any account be removed immediately by the mere conversion of the means of production into public property, by the mere expropriation of the capitalists. ...

"This expropriation will make it possible for the productive forces to develop to a tremendous extent. And when we see how incredibly capitalism is already retarding this development, when we see how much progress could be achieved on the basis of the level of technique already attained, we are entitled to say with the fullest confidence that the expropriation of the capitalists will inevitably result in an enormous development of the productive forces of human society. ...

"The state will be able to wither away completely when society adopts the rule: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs", i.e., when people have become so accustomed to observing the fundamental rules of social intercourse and when their labor has become so productive that they will voluntarily work according to their ability. "The narrow horizon of bourgeois law", which compels one to calculate with the heartlessness of a Shylock whether one has not worked half an hour more than anybody else--this narrow horizon will then be left behind. There will then be no need for society, in distributing the products, to regulate the quantity to be received by each; each will take freely "according to his needs"."


Marx and Engels, who wrote of this higher stage of communism, which Engels referred to as socialism, being based on the advance in community property and labor productivity after the capitalist character of production - commodity production and wage labor - has vanished, that is, that markets and money have ceased to exist.

Compare the Hobbesian social and Lenin's individual psychological voluntarism to the materialist analysis of the changes in the economy from a market economy resulting in socialist production and distribution, written by Marx. Marx wrote:

"Within the co-operative society based on common ownership of the means of production, the producers do not exchange their products; just as little does the labor employed on the products appear here as the value of these products, as a material quality possessed by them, since now, in contrast to capitalist society, individual labor no longer exists in an indirect fashion but directly as a component part of total labor." (Marx op. cit.)

Lenin on the contrary makes it an issue of the quantitative expansion of the productive forces and an increase of commodities produced that engenders a new psychology of individuals. What Lenin posits is that people will cease to be selfish and become altruistic, and thus that until that day the State will be needed to discipline people and be in charge of distribution.

In their statement on the "dictatorship of the proletariat", in which they present Lenin writing on behalf of Marx, written into their document, the Trotskyist - "Bolshevik Leninist" group, Socialist Action wrote:

"The founding congress of the Communist International stated explicitly that "proletarian dictatorship is the forcible suppression of the resistance of the exploiters, i.e., an insignificant minority of the population, the landowners and capitalists. It follows that proletarian dictatorship must inevitably entail not only a change in democratic forms and institutions, generally speaking, but precisely such a change as provides an unparalleled extension of the actual enjoyment of democracy by those oppressed by capitalism - the toiling classes. . . . all this implies and presents to the toiling classes, i.e., the vast majority of the population, greater practical opportunities for enjoying democratic rights and liberties than ever existed before, even approximately, in the best and the most democratic bourgeois republics."
("Theses and Report on Bourgeois Democracy and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat," Lenin, Collected Works, vol.28, pp.464.465)

"Against the now avowedly programmatic revisionism of many Communist parties and centrist formations, the Fourth International defends these classical concepts of Marx and Lenin. A socialist society is not possible without the collective ownership of the means of production and the social surplus product, economic planning and administration by the working class as a whole through democratically centralized workers councils, i.e., planned self-management by the toilers. No such socialization is possible unless the capitalists are economically and politically expropriated and state power is wielded by the working class."
(From the Fourth Interntional's 1985 resolution "Socialist Democracy and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat".)
http://www.geocities.com/mnsocialist/prole-dictatorship.htm


The Socialist Action (SA) commentary on Lenin is correct in a general sense, more in agreement with Marx's own version of the lower stage of communist society based on workers direct community ownership of the productive forces as public property, to which the dictatorship of the proletariat is the political correspondence. It is true that it is "the collective ownership of the means of production and the social surplus product, economic planning and administration by the working class as a whole through democratically centralized workers councils, i.e., planned self-management by the toilers" - if by "toilers" is meant proletariat exclusive of peasants and other layers of the bourgeois classes.

However, the SA commentary omitted the recognition, let alone offering an economic explication of the laws of motion, of the level of development of the productive forces underpinning the economic transition from capitalist character of production - commodity production by wage labor - and the elimination of the market economy, division of labor, commodities and money. This is according to Marx what "economic planning and administration by the working class as a whole" is all about.

This isn't what Lenin was talking about, however. We see in Lenin's "Left Wing Childishness and the Petty-Bourgeois Mentality", quoted above, that he was talking about a "dictatorship of the proletariat" whose State's task is to plan and administer capitalist commodity production and appropriation - based primarily on peasant commodity production and capitalist managers of industries and banks - into their subordination to state monopoly capitalism under worker's control. This explains what Lenin rather than Marx "meant" by "the dictatorship of the proletariat".

In "The Trade Unions, The Present Situation And Trotsky's Mistakes" Speech Delivered At A Joint Meeting Of Communist Delegates To The Eighth Congress Of Soviets, Communist Members Of The All-Russia Central Council Of Trade Unions And Communist Members Of The Moscow City Council Of Trade Unions December 30, 1920, Lenin said:

"Within the system of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the trade unions stand, if I may say so, between the Party and the government. In the transition to socialism the dictatorship of the proletariat is inevitable, but it is not exercised by an organisation which takes in all industrial workers. Why not? The answer is given in the theses of the Second Congress of the Communist International on the role of political parties in general. I will not go into this here. What happens is that the Party, shall we say, absorbs the vanguard of the proletariat, and this vanguard exercises the dictatorship of the proletariat.

"The dictatorship cannot be exercised or the functions of government performed without a foundation such as the trade unions. These functions, however, have to be performed through the medium of special institutions which are also of a new type, namely, the Soviets.

"What are the practical conclusions to be drawn from this peculiar situation? They are, on the one hand, that the trade unions are a link between the vanguard and the masses, and by their daily work bring conviction to the masses, the masses of the class which alone is capable of taking us from capitalism to communism.

"On the other hand, the trade unions are a "reservoir" of the state power. This is what the trade unions are in the period of transition from capitalism to communism. In general, this transition cannot be achieved without the leadership of that class which is the only class capitalism has trained for large-scale production and which alone is divorced from the interests of the petty proprietor.

"But the dictatorship of the proletariat cannot be exercised through an organisation embracing the whole of that class, because in all capitalist countries (and not only over here, in one of the most backward) the proletariat is still so divided, so degraded, and so corrupted in parts (by imperialism in some countries) that an organisation taking in the whole proletariat cannot directly exercise proletarian dictatorship. It can be exercised only by a vanguard that has absorbed the revolutionary energy of the class.

"The whole is like an arrangement of cogwheels. Such is the basic mechanism of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and of the essentials of transition from capitalism to communism. ... It cannot work without a number of "transmission belts" running from the vanguard to the mass of the advanced class, and from the latter to the mass of the working people. In Russia, this mass is a peasant one."
http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1920/dec/30.htm#bk01


Now, in order to understand what Lenin means by the "vanguard 'proletarian' party", its leadership cadres in particular, it is necessary to look at the Leninist epistemological concept of knowledge and class.

Lenin wrote:

"To supplement what has been said above, we shall quote the following profoundly true and important words of Karl Kautsky on the new draft programme of the Austrian Social-Democratic Party:
'Many of our revisionist critics believe that Marx asserted that economic development and the class struggle create, not only the conditions for socialist production, but also, and directly, the consciousness [K. K.'s italics] of its necessity. And these critics assert that England, the country most highly developed capitalistically, is more remote than any other from this consciousness. Judging by the draft, one might assume that this allegedly orthodox Marxist view, which is thus refuted, was shared by the committee that drafted the Austrian programme. In the draft programme it is stated: 'The more capitalist development increases the numbers of the proletariat, the more the proletariat is compelled and becomes fit to fight against capitalism. The proletariat becomes conscious of the possibility and of the necessity for socialism.'
"In this connection socialist consciousness appears to be a necessary and direct result of the proletarian class struggle.

"But this is absolutely untrue. Of course, socialism, as a doctrine, has its roots in modern economic relationships just as the class struggle of the proletariat has, and, like the latter, emerges from the struggle against the capitalist-created poverty and misery of the masses. But socialism and the class struggle arise side by side and not one out of the other; each arises under different conditions.

"Modern socialist consciousness can arise only on the basis of profound scientific knowledge. Indeed, modern economic science is as much a condition for socialist production as, say, modern technology, and the proletariat can create neither the one nor the other, no matter how much it may desire to do so; both arise out of the modern social process.

"The vehicle of science is not the proletariat, but the bourgeois intelligentsia [K. K.'s italics]: it was in the minds of individual members of this stratum that modern socialism originated, and it was they who communicated it to the more intellectually developed proletarians who, in their turn, introduce it into the proletarian class struggle where conditions allow that to be done.

"Thus, socialist consciousness is something introduced into the proletarian class struggle from without [von Aussen Hineingetragenes] and not something that arose within it spontaneously [urwüchsig]. Accordingly, the old Hainfeld programme quite rightly stated that the task of Social-Democracy is to imbue the proletariat (literally: saturate the proletariat) with the consciousness of its position and the consciousness of its task. There would be no need for this if consciousness arose of itself from the class struggle. The new draft copied this proposition from the old programme, and attached it to the proposition mentioned above. But this completely broke the line of thought..."
Lenin comments:
"Since there can be no talk of an independent ideology formulated by the working masses themselves in the process of their movement, the only choice is — either bourgeois or socialist ideology. [This does not mean, of course, that the workers have no part in creating such an ideology. They take part, however, not as workers, but as socialist theoreticians, as Proudhons and Weitlings; in other words, they take part only when they are able, and to the extent that they are able, more or less, to acquire the knowledge of their age and develop that knowledge."
(See Lenin's "What Is To Be Done" at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/ 1901/witbd/ii.htm)


So, according to Kautsky with Lenin's whole hearted and complete endorsement, supposedly presenting the meaning of the writings of Marx and Engels as founders of "modern socialism", the human beings which comprise the working class are incapable of scientific research and analysis generally, and of economic theory in particular. Yet, in a footnote Lenin acknowledges Proudhon and Wietling as exceptions to the rule. He mentions this in passing, without mentioning whether these workers economic socialist theorists had any influence on Marx and Engels, although the inference is that they did not.

Yet, this is what Marx himself write of Proudhon as an economic scientific writer relative to bourgeois economists Smith and Ricardo, and to Utopian socialist writers Fourier and Saint-Simon:

"As the first criticism of any science is necessarily influenced by the premises of the science it is fighting against, so Proudhon's treatise Qu'est-ce que la propriété? is the criticism of political economy from the standpoint of political economy. -- We need not go more deeply into the juridical part of the book, which criticizes law from the stand- point of law, for our main interest is the criticism of political economy. -- Proudhon's treatise will therefore be scientifically superseded by a criticism of political economy, including Proudhon's conception of political economy. This work became possible only owing to the work of Proudhon himself, just as Proudhon's criticism has as its premise the criticism of the mercantile system by the Physiocrats, Adam Smith's criticism of the Physiocrats, Ricardo's criticism of Adam Smith, and the works of Fourier and Saint-Simon.

"All treatises on political economy take private property for granted. This basic premise is for them an incontestable fact to which they devote no further investigation, indeed a fact which is spoken about only "accidentellement'', as Say naively admits. But Proudhon makes a critical investigation -- the first resolute, ruthless, and at the same time scientific investigation -- of the basis of political economy, private property. This is the great scientific advance he made, an advance which revolutionizes political economy and for the first time makes a real science of political economy possible. Proudhon's treatise Qu'est-ce que la propriété? is as important for modern political economy as Sieyês' work Qu'est-ce que le tiers état? for modern politics.

"Proudhon does not consider the further creations of private property, e.g., wages, trade, value, price, money, etc., as forms of private property in themselves, as they are considered, for example, in the Deutsch- Französische Jahrbücher (see Outlines of a Critique of Political Economy by F. Engels), but uses these economic premises in arguing against the political economists; this is fully in keeping with his historically justified standpoint to which we referred above."
(See Marx and Engels' "The Holy Family" Chapter by Marx in defense of Proudhon, at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/holy-family/ch04.htm#4.4


As we already saw in the previous quotation of Marx from this discussion of Proudhon, that Proudhon wasn't considered in isolation, as Lenin suggested in his foot note to his endorsement of Kautsky's claim that "socialist consciousness is something introduced into the proletarian class struggle from without and not something that arose within it spontaneously".

On the contrary, this is what Marx himself wrote in 1845 "There is no need to explain here that a large part of the English and French proletariat is already conscious of its historic task and is constantly working to develop that consciousness into complete clarity." A year prior, he wrote:

"As regards the state of education or the capacity for education of the German workers generally, I may recall Weitling's excellent writings, which frequently represent an advance upon Proudhon in a theoretical respect, although they may be inferior to him in finish. Where can the bourgeoisie—their philosophers and scholars included—show a work similar to Weitling's "Guarantees of Harmony and Freedom" pertaining to the emancipation of the bourgeoisie—the political emancipation?"

These lauding assessments by Marx of the scientific advances made by Proudhon's "What Is Property", and of Weiltling's "Guarantees of Harmony and Freedom" are as exceptions to the proletarian rule, as though proletarians were an intellectually incompetent lower species of human beings.

If we compare the mediocrity of German political literature with this expansive and brilliant literary début of the German worker; if we compare this giant child's shoe of the proletariat with the dwarf proportions of the worn-out political shoe of the German bourgeoisie, we must predict an athletic figure for the German Cinderella. It must be admitted that the German proletariat is the theorist of the European proletariat, just as the English proletariat is its political economist, and the French proletariat its politician."
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/08/07. htm


Today moreover, the overwhelming majority of scientists, technicians and researchers who are working in corporate industry or at university labs, government research labs, pharmaceuticals, agriculturalists, paleontologist field workers, teachers, professors, county, city and state technicians, researchers and so on, are for the most part hired employees - wage workers: by definition proletarians having no means of production or investigation, research tools and so on of their own and therefore must sell their laboring brain power in order to live.

They are not bourgeois. Bourgeois is by definition the class of modern capitalists, owners of the means of social production, and this includes research facilities who hire proletarians to produce and do research. The bourgeois and the bourgeois state are employers of wage labor.

The scientists, technicians and researchers do not therefore belong to the bourgeois intelligentsia but to the proletarian intelligentsia as salaried employees. [This does not mean, of course, that the workers have no part in advancing science and technology. They take part, however, not as bourgeois, but as scientists and technicians.]

Kautsky and Lenin would not have made such a false claim had they themselves read, for instance the "bourgeois economist", Adam Smith in his profound contribution to economics as an empirical science, "The Wealth of Nations". Adam Smith wrote:

"It is unnecessary to give any example. I shall only observe, therefore, that the invention of all those machines by which labour is so much facilitated and abridged, seems to have been originally owing to the division of labour. Men are much more likely to discover easier and readier methods of attaining any object, when the whole attention of their minds is directed towards that single object, than when it is dissipated among a great variety of things. But in consequence of the division of labour, the whole of every man's attention comes naturally to be directed towards some one very simple object. It is naturally to be expected, therefore, that some one or other of those who are employed in each particular branch of labour should soon find out easier and readier methods of performing their own particular work, wherever the nature of it admits of such improvement.

"A great part of the machines made use of in those manufactures in which labour is most subdivided, were originally the inventions of common workmen, who, being each of them employed in some very simple operation, naturally turned their thoughts towards finding out easier and readier methods of performing it. Whoever has been much accustomed to visit such manufactures, must frequently have been shewn very pretty machines, which were the inventions of such work- men, in order to facilitate and quicken their own particular part of the work.

"In the first fire-engines, a boy was constantly employed to open and shut alternately the communication between the boiler and the cylinder, according as the piston either ascended or descended. One of those boys, who loved to play with his companions, observed that, by tying a string from the handle of the valve which opened this communication, to another part of the machine, the valve would open and shut without his assistance, and leave him at liberty to divert himself with his play- fellows. One of the greatest improvements that has been made upon this machine, since it was first invented, was in this manner the discovery of a boy who wanted to save his own labour."
(See Adam Smith: "The Wealth of Nations" http://www.econlib.org/LIBRARY/Smith/smWN. html )


Lenin was wrong in presenting Kautsky's demagogic claim as profoundly true, thus endorsing the erroneous assertion by Kautsky that the proletariat has nothing to do with, indeed are to stupid to participate in advances in modern technology and science, no matter how much they want to. In actuality what Kautsky said, for instance about the workers being incapable of contributing to technological innovation and inventions is profoundly untrue.

Perhaps Kautsky and Lenin accepted and regurgitated this denigration of working classes and toiling masses because they themselves were respectively coming from the bourgeois affiliated intelligentsia of Germany and Russia. In Prussia of the Kaisers and Russia of the Czars, peasants and workers were culturally denigrated as sub-species for centuries, similar to the way slaves of African descent in the United States were declared officially in the U.S. Constitution to be a sub-species that was but 2/3rds human and without intellectual capacity for deliberative reason and judgement [Aristotle said the same thing of slaves and women of the ancient Greek world].

Aristotles metaphysics were characteristic of the philosophical ideologists for the ruling classes of slave owners and capitalists in democratic states. If all men are by nature equal and born free, as e.g. Aristotle and Thomas Jefferson asserted as democratic self-evident principles, in opposition to the landed aristocracies and monarchies, the only way that e.g., Aristotle and Jefferson could both rail against aristocrats and monarchists while defending their "human right" to own economic property - land, tools and slaves - was to dehumanize slaves.

To do so, Aristotle's physics degenerated from observational biology and zoological classification to metaphysics, sinking into the same realm of idealism against which he railed against Plato. He even appropriated the metaphysical categorical "parts of the soul" of man from Plato's "Republic"!

Aristotle wrote:

"Where then there is such a difference as that between soul and body, or between men and animals (as in the case of those whose business is to use their body, and who can do nothing better), the lower sort are by nature slaves, and it is better for them as for all inferiors that they should be under the rule of a master.

* * *

"For he who can be, and therefore is, another's and he who participates in rational principle enough to apprehend, but not to have, such a principle, is a slave by nature.

* * *

"Whereas the lower animals cannot even apprehend a principle; they obey their instincts. And indeed the use made of slaves and of tame animals is not very different; for both with their bodies minister to the needs of life.
(See Aristotle "Politics" at: http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/politics. 1.one.html )


"At first he who invented any art whatever that went beyond the common perceptions of man was naturally admired by men, not only because there was something useful in the inventions, but because he was thought wise and superior to the rest. But as more arts were invented, and some were directed to the necessities of life, others to recreation, the inventors of the latter were naturally always regarded as wiser than the inventors of the former, because their branches of knowledge did not aim at utility. Hence when all such inventions were already established, the sciences which do not aim at giving pleasure or at the necessities of life were discovered, and first in the places where men first began to have leisure. This is why the mathematical arts were founded in Egypt; for there the priestly caste was allowed to be at leisure."
"(See Aristotle's "Metaphysics" at: http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/metaphysics.1.i.html )


Thomas Hobbes also said "leisure is the mother of philosophy", thus excluding the toil worn working classes and toiling masses of the slaves, serfs and proletarians from discursive reasoning, the objective of which is truth for its own sake.
(See Thomas Hobbes: "The Leviathan" at http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl302/texts/hobbes/leviathan-b.html#CHAPTERIX )

Kautsky and Lenin's politico-epistemology cited above ["What Is To Be Done?"] which denigrate the proletariat is in common with the philosophico-political and politico-philosophical representatives of the slave-owning and bourgeois ruling class elites [e.g. Aristotle, Hobbes, Thomas Jefferson], according to whom the toiling masses lack the intellectual capacity to participate in rational principle.

Accordingly, the Kautsky-Lenin politico-epistemology the Leninists, Stalinists and Trotskyists - reason themselves and their cadres of bourgeois intellectuals as a messianic cult indispensable to educate, lead, and once in power to govern the proletariat because, they believe, that left to itself, the proletariat doesn't have intellectual capacity enough to self-comprehend itself and its place in society without being taught it by bourgeois intellectuals "from without" - i.e. really, from their bourgeois 'superiors' above them.


The practical political consequence of this bourgeois politico-epistemology isn't just that the proletariat doesn't have the ability of becoming by itself a class for-itself, but that the cadres of bourgeois intelligentsia altruistically participating in politics, as socialists, on behalf of the proletariat and peasantry, must not only teach socialism to the proletariat but must once in power claim to govern on behalf of the proletariat, which supposedly is incapable of self-emancipation and self-government.

As we saw from Lenin's discussion of trade unions, this Bolshevik Party State, is to coop the more advanced workers, particularly charismatic leaders and trade unionists into the ranks, and thereby subject them under the discipline of the one party state to be used by the Party and State as their agents in the working class. Having no means of production of their own, these workers being now employed by the Party &/or the State, in order to live will have to sell their abilities and talents to the Party &/or State.

This isn't the dictatorship of the proletariat as advocated by Marx, where the workers themselves are self-emancipated by taking possession of the productive forces, and by this social power of the productive forces ending the capitalist character of production and appropriation, by ending commodity production and wage labor, doing away with markets and money, thereby putting an end to buying and selling of labor power, thereby stripping alienation of labor from objectification of it.

Marx's concept of society in transition is from the lower mode of production and appropriation, capitalism based on markets, to the higher socialist mode of production and appropriation based on human wants and needs, subsistence and happiness of all in a higher culture for all. We do not need a "bourgeois intelligentsia" in domination of a one party state managing the capitalist character of production and appropriation, but possession of productive forces by the proletariat's managing the economy to get rid of the bourgeoisie.

Lenin's criticism of Trotsky regarding the function of trade unions in the Soviet Union, this Leninist Bolshevik Communist Party being in its political leadership, cadres comprised of educated representatives of the bourgeoisie - i.e. of "the bourgeois intelligentsia - by appropriating leading workers, in particular trade union leaders, from the proletariat into this [bourgeois led] Party, in Lenin's plan the strategic "role" of workers such as these and the trade unions they lead, are to be agents of [bourgeois led] Party departments merged with State institutions to manipulate the lower rank and file of the trade unions to lead the masses of the non-union (i.e. unorganized) workers to implement Bolshevik Party policy in the working class, and by them manipulate the masses of the Russian proletariat and peasantry - viz. the illiterate working classes and toiling masses, to obey the laws and decrees of the Bolshevik's Communist Party governed State.

Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin, as well as socialists and communist revolutionaries of various stripes and sects all over the world, had/have great respect for, though not always in agreement with, Rosa Luxemburg. Rosa Luxemburg, whom Polish and German workers affectionately called the Red Rose, in her critiques of both Lenin and Trotsky, as well as Kautsky, concerning the worker's party and its political function as political representation of the self-emancipation of the working class as ruling class:

"The basic error of the Lenin-Trotsky theory is that they too, just like Kautsky, oppose dictatorship to democracy. "Dictatorship or democracy" is the way the question is put by Bolsheviks and Kautsky alike. The latter naturally decides in favor of "democracy," that is, of bourgeois democracy, precisely because he opposes it to the alternative of the socialist revolution. Lenin and Trotsky, on the other hand, decide in favor of dictatorship in contradistinction to democracy, and thereby, in favor of the dictatorship of a handful of persons, that is, in favor of dictatorship on the bourgeois model.

"They are two opposite poles, both alike being far removed from a genuine socialist policy. The proletariat, when it seizes power, can never follow the good advice of Kautsky, given on the pretext of the "unripeness of the country," the advice being to renounce socialist revolution and devote itself to democracy. It cannot follow this advice without betraying thereby itself, the International, and the revolution. It should and must at once undertake socialist measures in the most energetic, unyielding and unhesitant fashion, in other words, exercise a dictatorship, but a dictatorship of the class, not of a party or of a clique -- dictatorship of the class, that means in the broadest possible form on the basis of the most active, unlimited participation of the mass of the people, of unlimited democracy.

* * *

"But socialist democracy is not something which begins only in the promised land after the foundations of socialist economy are created; it does not come as some sort of Christmas present for the worthy people who, in the interim, have loyally supported a handful of socialist dictators. Socialist democracy begins simultaneously with the beginnings of the destruction of class rule and of the construction of socialism. It begins at the very moment of the seizure of power by the socialist party. It is the same thing as the dictatorship of the proletariat.

"Yes, dictatorship! But this dictatorship consists in the manner of applying democracy, not in its elimination, but in energetic, resolute attacks upon the well-entrenched rights and economic relationships of bourgeois society, without which a socialist transformation cannot be accomplished. But this dictatorship must be the work of the class and not of a little leading minority in the name of the class -- that is, it must proceed step by step out of the active participation of the masses; it must be under their direct influence, subjected to the control of complete public activity; it must arise out of the growing political training of the mass of the people."
(See Rosa Luxemberg: The Russian Revolution chapter Democracy and Dictatorship at:
http://trotsky.org/archive/luxemburg/1918/russian-revolution/ch08.htm)


It is not my intention to trash Lenin, he was an honorable man and a revolutionary fighting to socialism. He was, in his earlier economic writings on the Russian economy regarding its trends in peasant based commodity production, and capitalist agricultural and industrial commodity production by wage workers evolving "The Development of Capitalism in Russia", right on point in each case and trend.

The error was Lenin's later thinking based on an idealist epistemology and ontological voluntarism where he asserted that a correct thinking bourgeois intelligentsia led Party can, by this, transcend economic limits and create a socialist revolution by telling workers what to think and do.

As Engels had said, "the most powerful, economically dominate class is the most powerful, politically dominate class", the development of capitalism in Russia in 1917, just as much as in the late 19th century was still in its beginning, rather than its end. It was not the thinking of the leaders of the Bolshevik Party in political power that determined the economic trends in the country, but those economic trends of peasant commodity production by family labor, and state capitalist commodity production by wage labor that determined the thinking of the Bolsheviks, and its policies, both economic and political policies.

"In studying such transformations it is always necessary to distinguish between the material transformation of the economic conditions of production, which can be determined with the precision of natural science, and the legal, political, religious, artistic or philosophic – in short, ideological forms in which men become conscious of this conflict and fight it out. Just as one does not judge an individual by what he thinks about himself, so one cannot judge such a period of transformation by its consciousness, but, on the contrary, this consciousness must be explained from the contradictions of material life, from the conflict existing between the social forces of production and the relations of production. No social order is ever destroyed before all the productive forces for which it is sufficient have been developed, and new superior relations of production never replace older ones before the material conditions for their existence have matured within the framework of the old society."
(Marx: op. cit.http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/ works/1859/critique-pol-economy/preface.htm)


The Leninists-Trotskyists and Stalinists - wanting to present the Soviet Union as having been a workers state or "socialist state" (an oxymoron!) in their internal party discussion bulletins and external propaganda ignore the capitalist character of production and appropriation that categorized the economy as a variation of the capitalist mode of production and appropriation, that that capitalist mode of appropriation produced capitalist property in the forms of state-monopoly capital and labor power as a commodity, thus alienation and exploitation. Instead, they took the nature of property to be economic rather than political and legal superstructure where Marx and Engels put it.

Trotskyists and Stalinists claim that state ownership of the means of production made it a "workers' state" or "socialist state", whereas in reality it was bureaucratic-state capitalist commodity production. Although they read and teach Engels' "Anti-Durhing" - at any rate the extractions from it "Socialism, Utopian and Scientific", they omit to apply it to the Soviet capitalist mode of production, where it states:

"The modern state, no matter what its form, is essentially a capitalist machine — the state of the capitalists, the ideal personification of the total national capital. The more it proceeds to the taking over of productive forces, the more does it actually become the national capitalist, the more citizens does it exploit. The workers remain wage-workers — proletarians. The capitalist relation is not done away with. It is, rather, brought to a head."


To his credit, Lenin did agree with this assessment of Engels, and thus as we have seen referred to the Soviet State's function as a bourgeois state without a bourgeoisie, and to the Soviet economy as "state-monopoly capitalism", or rather that that was the goal transitioning to state capitalism from an economy dominated by peasant commodity production. Yet, in "The State and Revolution, Lenin tells half truth's about what Engels wrote in "Anti-Duhring", where he [Lenin] wrote:

"The bourgeois state does not "wither away" according to Engels, but is "put an end to" by the proletariat in the course of the revolution. What withers away after the revolution is the proletarian state or semi-state.

"Secondly, the state is a "special repressive force." This splendid and extremely profound definition of Engels is given by him here with complete lucidity. It follows from this that the "special repressive force" of the bourgeoisie for the suppression of the proletariat, of the millions of workers by a handful of the rich, must be replaced by a "special repressive force" of the proletariat for the suppression o the bourgeoisie (the dictatorship of the proletariat). It is just this that constitutes the destruction of "the state as the state." It is just as that constitutes the "act" of "the seizure of the means of production in the name of society." And it is obvious that such a substitution of one (proletarian) "special repressive force" for another (bourgeois) "special repressive force" can in no way take place in the form of a "withering away."
( See Lenin op. cit. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/lenin-staterev.html )


Lenin stops at the proletarian state's seizure of the means of production in the name of society - which Engels and Marx referred to as winning the battle of democracy, elevating the proletariat to ruling class, its class parties as dominate in parliament legislating the transfer of the productive force from the clutches of the bourgeoisie to the public property of the working classes, public property, not in the sense of a post office or a Department of Water and Power, or a state office building, but in the sense of a public park to which all have free access. The instrument of force is predicated upon the forces of social production having created massive social productive forces and a massive class of wage workers, which, when they become the economically dominate class, will, by transferring the productive forces to society, their vast numbers as a universal class will result in them using their social weight to both dominate capital and abolish commodity production and wage labor.

Political parties under the social weight of the dictatorship of the proletariat will be free to run candidates in competitive races presenting programs and advocacies in print and televised debates, free of charge. There will be no commercial sound bites. All campaigns will be equally funded by public resources. The class power of the proletariat will turn the press and media over to those who work them and the communities they serve, any one who wants to write will be published, and this goes for all parties access to print and electronic media, free of charge.

Affirmative action proletarian candidates that win elections represent majority of workers, who thereby comprise the parliament and form government to implement the working classes economic, social, and cultural agenda's and programs, parliamentarians and government officials paid average workman's wages, with no frills, special powers or privileges.

In other words, the dictatorship of the proletariat will be based on the economic and political power and social weight of the working class as ruling class, which is more powerful than guns, tanks, bombs and prisons as a means of the dictatorship of the proletariat forcing their will on the bourgeoisie.

The Supreme Court will be abolished as the capitalist minority will be subjected to the working class majority, and existing federal, state, county, and city judges, politicians, and the military, federal and state, and the state, county and city police will be thrown into jails, tried by worker's and community courts for crimes against the working class and the poor and thrown into prisons along with the existing prison guards. Prison guards will stand trial for their behavior, judged by the current prisoners.

The dictatorship of the proletariat, in my opinion, should arrest all capitalists and force them to face trial for the exploitation of the working classes and toiling masses, in America and all the rest of the world where they are guilty of crimes against the working classes and the toiling masses, and the poor, such as in the Niger Delta.

Transnational capitalists should be extricated by the government of the dictatorship of the proletariat, unconditionally handed over to the workers and toilers of the countries these capitalist' transnational and multinational corporations exploited, to the poor whose poverty is the result, and to the peoples of those lands whose environments have been polluted. The comprodore bourgeoisie and political lackeys and quislings of U.S. imperialism need to be cut adrift so that the people of those countries can do with them as they see fit, without fear of retaliation as the U.S. imperialist capitalists have been expropriated and their imperialist government displaced by a worker's government. Politicians that have voted for wars, and the officer corps that executed those wars, against the peoples of e.g. Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq; and those who have voted for funds and arms to prop up deadly lackey regimes such as the State of Israel, which uses these means of violence against the peoples of Palestinian Gaza and West Bank, and the people of Lebanon, and Ethiopia in Somalia, and that fund mercenaries against the governments of Sudan and Zimbabwe.

As in America today, as a bourgeois republican state, the Democrats, as well as the Republicans, represent the capitalist interests so conversely tomorrow workers parties in a workers' democracy will represent the interests of the American working class as part and parcel of this universal cosmopolitan class dictatorship of the proletariat. This doesn't mean that the American proletariat will have privilege or hegemony.

So! I have no problem concerning the dictatorship of the proletariat being coercive vis-a-vis the bourgeoisie. The problem, is Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin putting this forth as though this is the primary, if not only function of the worker's state. It isn't. The presentation of the workers' state as an instrument of revenge against the bourgeoisie and the cops, judges and bureaucrats that have done hurtful things, makes these "enemies of the state" a diversion, the same way the German Nazis made the Jews a scapegoat and diversion.

The primary function of a real dictatorship of the proletariat, which is not based on guns, tanks and bombs, but is based on the power of social labor in production as the means by which the workers will displace the capitalist mode of production and appropriation, by a new mode of social production and direct individual appropriation, is the elimination of the capitalist character of production and appropriation. The only way the capitalist class and bourgeois operatives can be destroyed is the abolition of commodity production and wage labor.


Stalin wrote:

IV. THE DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT

From this theme I take three fundamental questions:

a) the dictatorship of the proletariat as the instrument of the proletarian revolution;
b) the dictatorship of the proletariat as the rule of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie;
c) Soviet power as the state form of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

1) The dictatorship of the proletariat as the instrument of the proletarian revolution. The question of the proletarian dictatorship is above all a question of the main content of the proletarian revolution. The proletarian revolution, its movement, its sweep and its achievements acquire flesh and blood only through the dictatorship of the proletariat.

"The dictatorship of the proletariat is the instrument of the proletarian revolution, its organ, its most important mainstay, brought into being for the purpose of, firstly, crushing the resistance of the overthrown exploiters and consolidating the achievements of the proletarian revolution, and, secondly, carrying the proletarian revolution to its completion, carrying the revolution to the complete victory of socialism.

"The revolution can defeat the bourgeoisie, can overthrow its power, even without the dictatorship of the proletariat. But the revolution will be unable to crush the resistance of the bourgeoisie, to maintain its victory and to push forward to the final victory of socialism unless, at a certain stage in its development, it creates a special organ in the form of the dictatorship of the proletariat as its principal mainstay.

"The fundamental question of every revolution is the question of power." (Lenin.) Does this mean that all that is required is to assume power, to seize it? No, it does not. The seizure of power is only the beginning. For many reasons, the bourgeoisie that is overthrown in one country remains for a long time stronger than the proletariat which has overthrown it. Therefore, the whole point is to retain power, to consolidate it, to make it invincible. What is needed to attain this? To attain this it is necessary to carry out at least three main tasks that confront the dictatorship of the proletariat "on the morrow" of victory:

a) to break the resistance of the landlords and capitalists who have been overthrown and expropriated by the revolution, to liquidate every attempt on their part to restore the power of capital;

b) to organize construction in such a way as to rally all the working people around the proletariat, and to carry on this work along the lines of preparing for the elimination, the abolition of classes;

c) to arm the revolution, to organize the army of the revolution for the struggle against foreign enemies, for the struggle against imperialism.

The dictatorship of the proletariat is needed to carry out, to fulfil these tasks.

"The transition from capitalism to communism," says Lenin, "represents an entire historical epoch. Until this epoch has terminated, the exploiters inevitably cherish the hope of restoration, and this hope is converted into attempts at restoration.

"And after their first serious defeat. the overthrown exploiters -- who had not expected their overthrow, never believed it possible, never conceded the thought of it -- throw themselves with energy grown tenfold, with furious passion and hatred grown a hundredfold, into the battle for the recovery of the 'paradise' of which they have been deprived, on behalf of their families, who had been leading such a sweet and easy life and whom now the ' common herd' is condemning to ruin and destitution (or to 'common' labour . . .).

"In the train of the capitalist exploiters follow the broad masses of the petty bourgeoisie, with regard to whom decades of historical experience of all countries testify that they vacillate and hesitate, one day marching behind the proletariat and the next day taking fright at the difficulties of the revolution; that they become panic stricken at the first defeat or semi-defeat of the workers, grow nervous, rush about, snivel, and run from one camp into the other."
(See: Stalin: Foundation of Leninism" at: http://www.marx2mao. com/Stalin/FL24.html#c4 )


Stalin rails against "the bourgeoisie" as individuals, but he does this in such a way that one would regard a proletarian revolution a spree of attacking individual capitalists, as though these acts of violence in themselves constituted revolution, and killing them all constitute the "success of socialism". Yet, he doesn't present, anywhere in this book or any other, his definition of a bourgeoisie in existence seperate and apart from capital. Also, he rails against "the exploiters", again identifying individuals as bad, but he doesn't define relations of production or exploitation as economic categories. Finally, Stalin talks about the "defeat of the exploiters", but doesn't define exploitation.

These railings by Stalin are nothing but demagogic, ad hominem attacks on individuals as though it is individuals that constitute economic categories. This isn't only different from, but the exact opposite of Marx's capital, where he subordinates individuals to personifications of economic categories and relations of production and appropriation.

Similarly, as we saw in Capital, Marx considered capital a social power, and exploitation an empirical mathematic phenomena that can be measured - social working day, surplus labor are empirical mathematically, measures of the rates and degrees of exploitation. Whereas, Stalin rails against individuals as a category of "exploiters".

Stalin doesn't define the capitalist character of production and appropriation, so he doesn't present a description of how socialist production and appropriation will differ from it.

Thus, when Stalin here thunders his demagogic proclamations about the "defeat of the exploiters" and the corresponding "victory of socialism", these are nothing but words with no observable scientific validity whatsoever. Stalin's speaking of the foundations of the socialist future being present is the same kind of manipulative teary eyed optimism as American presidents Reagan and George Bush II's manipulative, verbose and deceitful rhetoric about "human rights" and so-called "democracy" to justify to gullible patriotic Americans who believe in cultural and political superiority. By this rhetoric, Bush for instance was able to garner Americans patriotic support for invasions and occupations by U.S. imperialism of Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, justifying the US brutal dictatoral empire in those countries as their "liberation" from "evil dictators" and "Islamists".

Stalin's similar use of the nobility of the concept expressed in the term socialism is just as deceitful as U.S. imperialism's demagogic rhetoric rendering of the concept expressed in the term democracy. To be popular in and among the working classes in Europe a political party and its leaders must present themselves to the workers as "socialists".

This was true of the German Nazi's so-called "National-Socialist Party", as it was for the Russian Communist Party. I am not suggesting that the NAZI German regime and the Soviet regime were the same, they were in fact different extremes of state controlled capitalism, whereas in Germany the state controlled the economy but the capitalists, at any rate the non-Jewish capitalists, remained the owners and personifications of capital. The collective class of German financial and industrial capitalists used the Nazi Party by masquerading them as "socialist", to, once in power govern the State domestically to destroy actual workers unions and political associations, such as the Social-Democratic and Communist Parties.

Stalin's verbose rendering of "dictatorship of the proletariat" in the Soviet Union, was in reality the dictatorship of the personifications of state capitalist commodity production by wage labor, the exploitation of wage labor by capital is institutional, not the "bad" behavior of greedy individuals.

For all Stalin's railings against "the bourgeoisie" and capitalists fighting to regain personal ownership of the means of production, the reality was that the state bureaucracy, economic planners and capitalist production managers working in state farms and factories, were, in fact and reality, not "socialist planners" and not "managers of socialist production". Rather, their plans and management objectives were dictated by the facts and figures of capitalist commodity production by the exploitation of wage workers to acquire self-expansion of capital by capital accumulation reinvested, making the planners and managers but the personifications of national social capital.

The economic function of the capitalist state was the same as capitalist enterprises in the West: forcing labor to produce not just values equivalent to the socially necessary labor time to supply the needs of society, but surplus value, which equaled profits that were appropriated by the state as turnover taxes as products in the labor process were sold from one Soviet enterprise to another until reaching the final form of new means of production or of means of subsistence. In the Soviet state capitalist form of production that was governed by a Party that masqueraded as a "communist" party, the capitalist character of commodity production by wage labor, and appropriation, weren't, in reality, done away with, but were disguised.

The top hierarchy of apparatchiks, nomenclature and bureaucrats in offices of authority and status in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the State institutions, and in the economy, may have been corrupted by privilege and access to luxuries, as Trotsky and Trotskyist theorists of the "degenerate workers' state" argued. But, this is Weberian bourgeois sociology, not Marxian economics. It deals with effects rather than causes. (See Trotsky: "The Revolution Betrayed" at:
http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1936/revbet/ch09.htm#ch09-2 ).

It wasn't the corruption of the Russian governing Party and State apparatchiks, nomenclature and bureaucrats that led to the jailing and killing of over a million communist revolutionaries, who had been members of the Soviet Communist Parties and in the working class. Rather, it was because those of the apparatchik, nomenclature and bureaucracy Soviet were governed by the laws of motion of capitalist commodity production and accumulation by wage labor's exploitation that forced them as personified capital to destroy the communist opposition to their function as capital personified. It wasn't personal, it was the dictates of business.

The state-capitalist apparatchiks, nomenclature and bureaucrats in order to accumulate capital, the industrialization drive as the self-expansion of capital, operating in the world market, required the cheating of the peasantry.

The Soviet state as functioning personification of capital was compelled to raise additional revenue by cheating the peasantry both by selling technology to peasants [whether purchased abroad or domestically produced] or renting it by Machine Tractor Stations - whether to independent peasants or collective farms.
(See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machine_and_Tractor_Station )

The state then turning around and forcing those peasants to sell agricultural commodities below market prices, was just as much required for the self-expansion of state monopoly Soviet industrialization as was the exploitation of the wage labor of the Soviet proletariat. Soviet agricultural policies were dictated by the world market, as were the planning and management policies at state farms and state industries. This also explains the normal exploitation of the Soviet proletarians, and also "the so-called Stakhanov movement".
(See Trotsky's "The Revolution Betrayed" at: http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1936/revbet/ch04.htm#ch04-4)

The historico-ideological irony in this is that the capitalist-states' apparatchiks, nomenclature and bureaucrats masqueraded as communists and defined "Marxism", in such a way that "dialectical and historical materialism" was used to justify Soviet State monopoly capitalist commodity production and appropriation as "socialism". This enabled the Soviet State's political operatives to smear as "capitalist agents of imperialism fighting the dictatorship of the proletariat and socialism."

But, those who were branded as capitalist roaders and imperialist or fascist agents were the actual communists and workers. These communists and workers fought for workers class interests against the bureaucratic-military capitalist state, and peasants who fought for their own interests as small commodity producers against forced collectivization. They were the workers and peasants, as well as the Communist Party cadres that resisted the Party and State policies, and were the ones being jailed, killed, exiled and then killed - including Bolshevik revolutionaries e.g. Bukharin, Rykov, Zinoviev, Tukhachevsky and Trotsky.

It must be pointed out that toward the end of his reign, that is the end of his life, in the pamphlet written/ published in 1951 - "The Economic Problems of the U.S.S.R.", in the chapter, "Commodity Production Under Socialism", Stalin wrote:

"Certain comrades affirm that the Party acted wrongly in preserving commodity production after it had assumed power and nationalized the means of production in our country. They consider that the Party should have banished commodity production there and then. In this connection they cite Engels, who says:

'With the seizing of the means of production by society, production of commodities is done away with, and, simultaneously, the mastery of the product over the producer'.

"These comrades are profoundly mistaken.

"Let us examine Engels' formula. Engels' formula cannot be considered fully clear and precise, because it does not indicate whether it is referring to the seizure by society of all or only part of the means of production, that is, whether all or only part of the means of production are converted into public property. Hence, this formula of Engels' may be understood either way.
"Elsewhere in Anti-Duhring Engels speaks of mastering "all the means of production," of taking possession of "all means of production." Hence, in this formula Engels has in mind the nationalization not of part, but of all the means of production, that is, the conversion into public property of the means of production not only of industry, but also of agriculture.

"It follows from this that Engels has in mind countries where capitalism and the concentration of production have advanced far enough both in industry and in agriculture to permit the expropriation of all the means of production in the country and their conversion into public property. Engels, consequently, considers that in such countries, parallel with the socialization of all the means of production, commodity production should be put an end to. And that, of course, is correct.

"There was only one such country at the close of the last century, when Anti-Duhring was published - Britain. There the development of capitalism and the concentration of production both in industry and in agriculture had reached such a point that it would have been possible, in the event of the assumption of power by the proletariat, to convert all the country's means of production into public property and to put an end to commodity production."
(http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1951/economic- problems/ch03.htm)


It is great that Stalin finally did come to grips with the fundamental importance for an empirical based methodology of the Marxian materialist conception of history, rather than appropriating selected quotations from the writings of Engels and Lenin being placed out of context to present a distorted picture of the world, and of the U.S.S.R.

There are directly two important fundamental issues here, from the standpoints of the Marxian materialist conception of history to which Stalin is appealing. The level of development of the productive forces and corresponding relations of production's form of appropriation. Empirical method is the basis of materialist dialectical ratiocination. This is the crux of the Marxian materialist conception of history.

As Marx and Engels wrote:

"The premises from which we begin are not arbitrary ones, not dogmas, but real premises from which abstraction can only be made in the imagination. They are the real individuals, their activity and the material conditions under which they live, both those which they find already existing and those produced by their activity. These premises can thus be verified in a purely empirical way...." (Marx/Engels ibid.)


Although the content of Stalin's book on the Soviet economy appears to be a dogmatic explication of a quotation from Engels "Anti-Duhring", it isn't. Stalin here presents his analysis of the Soviet economy, by dealing with trends of commodity production discussed by Engels it is regarding the data.

Marx and Engels were very clear regarding the decisiveness of empirical facts to their materialist ontological basis of their dialectical ratiocination:

The way in which men produce their means of subsistence depends first of all on the nature of the actual means of subsistence they find in existence and have to reproduce. This mode of production must not be considered simply as being the production of the physical existence of the individuals. Rather it is a definite form of activity of these individuals, a definite form of expressing their life, a definite mode of life on their part. As individuals express their life, so they are. What they are, therefore, coincides with their production, both with what they produce and with how they produce. The nature of individuals thus depends on the material conditions determining their production."
(Marx/Engels "The German Ideology" ibid.)


The historical significance of the Russian Bolshevik Party isn't the character, brilliance or ignorance, egoism or altruism, opportunism or principles of Lenin, Trotsky &/or Lenin and Stalin, their lives between, say 1890s - 1950s, but that they claimed that the Bolshevik coup in October 1917 was a "socialist 'revolution'" and validation of the communist revolutionary objectives and theories of Marx and Engels, the "fulfillment of socialist prophesy", so to speak.

The issue of Leninism is a pragmatic issue: conquest of power by a cadre of revolutionaries who called themselves Marxist communists. The millions of workers and intellectuals world-wide who were drawn to Lenin were drawn to his writings, because he was the acknowledged leader of and theoretician of the revolutionary cadres of a bourgeois intelligentsia that in October 1917 pulled off a successful putsch.

The theoretical and ideological significance and meaning of this putsch is that the Bolsheviks and theoreticians and ideologists, historians and political theorists have the world over called this conquest of power by a few a revolution. For all their claim to Marxist Orthodoxy, and quoting of Marx and Engels, Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin forgot the admonition by Marx that "revolutions will be made by the majority. No revolution can be made by a party, but By a Nation".
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/bio/media/marx/79_01_05.htm


This is consistent with the declaration inscribed on the banner of the Rules of the International working-men's Association:

"That the emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves, that the struggle for the emancipation of the working classes means not a struggle for class privileges and monopolies, but for equal rights and duties, and the abolition of all class rule;

"That the economical subjection of the man of labor to the monopolizer of the means of labor — that is, the source of life — lies at the bottom of servitude in all its forms, of all social misery, mental degradation, and political dependence;

"That the economical emancipation of the working classes is therefore the great end to which every political movement ought to be subordinate as a means ...
(See First International Marxist Internet Archive at: http://www.marxists.org/history/international/iwma/documents/1864/ rules.htm )

This, too, is consistent with the Communist Manifesto:
"The immediate aim of the Communists is the same as that of all other proletarian parties: formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat.

* * *

"Since the proletariat must first of all acquire political supremacy, must rise to be the leading class of the nation, must constitute itself the nation, it is so far, itself national, though not in the bourgeois sense of the word.

* * *

"The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degree, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the State, i.e., of the proletariat organised as the ruling class; and to increase the total productive forces as rapidly as possible."
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/ communist-manifesto/ch02.htm


So it is clear that Marx and Engels were both opposed to a party taking power in the name of the proletariat, and subsequently excluding the masses of the working class, the proletariat, from the "dictatorship of the proletariat".

On the contrary, Marx and Engels insisted that the emancipation of the working class is the task of the working classes themselves, not of the Communist Party. That the working class becomes ruling class and thereby the State, the nation, by "winning the battle of democracy" being the political means whereby workers legislate the transfer of the productive forces from capitalist class property to working class property - public property in that the working class is the State. It is also clear that Marx and Engels were talking about the proletariat's expropriation of all bourgeois economic property, the productive forces.

Stalin was right, Engels was talking about countries such as England where the productive forces have been sufficiently developed to constitute wage workers as the universal class that these workers themselves can undertake socialist revolutionary objectives by having become the dominate class, economically and politically. Where the productive forces are not fully developed capital, and consequently the proletariat not a fully developed universal class, constituting the overwhelming majority, there can be no proletarian revolution, thus no socialist revolution.

The socialist character of the proletarian revolution is, for instance in Britain - and now also in France, Germany and Italy where communist and socialist workers in unions are the majority of those unions, with workers winning the battle of democracy,legislating the transfer of the productive forces from capitalist property to public property; by the management of production and distribution by those unions. This includes deliberate policies of workers creating unions where they presently don't exist, bringing organized labor to 1oo%!

Thus, this doesn't mean turning the productive forces over to union officials and bureaucratic hierarchies, but to the workers engaged in production having meetings to determine production and distribution.

Since the emancipation of the working class is the task of the working classes themselves, and the economical emancipation of the workers is the goal to which all politics are subordinated as a means, these workers self-management units will send representatives to industrial, finance and agricultural congresses, to displace the State: bringing the dictatorship of the proletariat to an end by the elimination of the capitalist character of production by phasing out capitalist commodity production and wage labor, the market, and its enslaving division of labor.


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