Cuba: Workers State

hariette spierings hariette at
Sun Aug 18 06:19:02 MDT 1996

>Phil said:
>> >4) Proletarin democracy requires the existance of competing working class
>> >parties to operate within the context of the soviets -- "free" exchange
>> >of ideas, policies, etc.
>to which Adolfo replied:
>> No, it does not.  What Phil says is neither dialectical, nor
>> and not even democratic.  It is in fact a bourgeois conception of how
>> proletarian democracy ought to function.
>> Therefore, rather than guaranteing for all times the existance of
>> parties and party political competition under any kind of state, (since
>> these are but the material expression of class contradictions in society),
>> Marxism seeks to develop the proletarian party as the undisputed leader of
>> the class and the popular democracy.
>Though it surprises me to say it, I agree with Adolfo on this one. Perpetual
>political parties implies a continuance of the class struggle - that is what
>political parties are for. Hence while there may be residual parties for
>some time after a revolution, eventually, as the state withers away owing to
>the reducing need for class suppression, so the need for political parties
>also withers away.
>> Its long term aim is to make possible, and effectuate - by means of the
>> proletarian dictatorship, i.e., by the supression of the bourgeoisie and
>> exploiting classes as well as the political parties and other organisms
>> representing their interests - whether these parties or organisms define
>> themselves as "workers parties" or not.
>The only thing that does worry me about Adolfo's presentation of this
>argument is how keen he seems to be to suppress things. Maybe I'm
>misinterpreting his message, here, though.

No, your are not.  And that is the difference between a social-democrat and
a Marxist. While you see the nedd for supression as "regretable" and
believe, like Khrushche/Brezhnev/Gorbachev that the "need for supression"
diminishes and that the state "wither away" after the revolution without
FIRST accomplishing completely the suppression, your "worries" are the
worries of revisionism.

As a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, and as also genuinely Marxist-Leninists, we
hold to the view that the class struggle sharpens rathers than diminishes
with the seizure of power and the socialist revolution.  Moreover, as
Maoists - and this being a thesis of the Chairman - the class struggle not
only continues, but continues within the Communist party and that the vortex
of the "storm" concentrates in fact at the highest levels.  This Maoist
thesis is a further development of Lenin's observations about the sharpening
of the class struggle "thousand fold" under the conditions of proletarian

It is not surprising that someone who "worries" about any one's "keeness" to
"suppress" the bourgeoisie, would in fact believe that communism is being
better served by those class conscious enough to adopt the revolutionary
proletarian ideology joining up into a THOROUGHLY BOURGEOIS PARTY (in
Lenin's words) like the Labour Party.

Why not join the Tories then?   Why not indeed do so if we are to subscribe
to your logic?  In my opinion the Tories have, in Britain during the last 16
years, contributed ten thousand times more than the Labour Party ever did to
compel the proletariat into realising that their class interests and those
of the bourgeoisie are indeed antagonistic, and therefore, they have
contributed that much more to the casting away of illusions - a task of
Marxists in relation to the education of the proletariat - than the
reformist bourgeois parties such as Labour ever did.  Remember what Marx
said about the proletariat been "driven against the last wall" before is
ready to jump for the Rose?  If you have forgotten, ask Rodwell.

Of course I do not care overmuch myself about who, the Tories or the
Labourites are more likely to "drive the proletariat" against the wall the
sooner or the more efficiently.  That is why I do not look at the question
of whether some good comrades think that working for, or against, a Labour
victory more than as a side tracking debate at at time - TODAY - where the
revolutionary tasks of communists should centre not on mass work on behalf
of one or another of the bourgeois "vultures", but on reconstituting the
necessary instruments to serve the revolution of the oppressed and exploited
masses which far from being simply an affair of the economicistic plight of
the British proletariat - which is still rather quite comfortably off in
relative terms anyway - is more an internationalist task, an
anti-imperialist and an anti-fascist task in which, precisely, it is
necessary that the "Britishness" of the proletariat in this country is
increasingly cast away, being in fact a factor of regression and reaction,
rather than of advancing its class consciousness.

All in all, it is very good that you have commented about my point on
democracy. It has shown quite well how a basic tenet of Marxism in relation
to the class character of parties and the state can in fact elicit agreement
on the part of revisionists who would have that much of an understanding.
However, it also shows where we do part company too.  I am indeed for the
suppression of the bourgeoisie, and I am also very keen on it, since it is
only by this road that communism can be achieved, and that is why we, who
are communists, can never subscribe your views about "withering the state"
and "abating the class struggle" - after the revolution - but until the
social transformation which the revolution paves the way for is utterly
completed, and that will only occur when communism reigns upon the whole of
the earth and class society is a distant memory!

Until then, suppression of the bourgeoisie, in society, in the organs of the
state, inside the Communist Party, inside the Central Committee, and even
inside the minds of people, is not only necessary, but a sine-qua-non
condition of communism and the realisation of Marxism.  Yes, I am keen on
that, and that "worries" you.  Isn't that so very good!


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