State and Revolution

Scott Marshall Scott at
Fri Nov 24 17:54:00 MST 1995

Barkley Rosser:

>     The results of the Bolshevik coup d'etat were neither
>universal suffrage nor the replacement of the state by a
>commune.  It was the dictatorship by a small "vanguard" group
>and I defy anybody on this list to find anything in Marx or
>Engels that would support what Lenin and his cohorts did in Russia.


Since I can't agree with your discription of what happened in 1917 I can't
respond directly to your challenge. But it is clear that neither Marx,
Engels, nor Lenin meant that dictatorship of the proletariat meant extending
universal sufferage to the class enemy, not in the Commune nor in any other
workers state. It is also clear in their writing that they held that the
dictatorship of the proletariat was *expressly* to repress and supress the
capitalist class and to stop, with force if nessesary, any action by the
capitalist class or it's supporters to effect counter-revolution against the
workers state.

To use your example, Kerensky openly allied himself with those, including
foreign powers who took action to promote and carry out a civil war to
overthrow Soviet power, while Lenin, the Bolsheviks, the Soviets (made up of
many different political trends) and the overwhelming bulk of the working
class took steps to preserve the revolution - dictatorship of the
proletariat in word not just theory - which Marx and Engels would have both
supported. Would they have agreed with every measure? I doubt it. Marx was a
severe critic of the efforts of the Paris workers to press the commune, but
once they began the fight, he gave it his all.

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