[Marxism] No such thing as a bourgeois revolution?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Apr 29 19:24:23 MDT 2013

On 4/29/13 9:05 PM, Jeff Goodwin wrote:
> Well, that's why some call it a "revolution from above."
> So spoke to your wife AFTER posting the Soviet encyclopedia article that
> claims the Kemalist Revolution was led by the Anatolian national
> bourgeoisie?

I am glad that you referred to a "revolution from above." That in fact 
is how most of Eastern Europe was removed from the sphere of capitalist 
property relations, through the Red Army's bayonets. There was a 
revolution in the sense that the old ruling class was expropriated but 
not through the agency of the working class.

The Trotskyist movement had a discussion about how to understand these 
states that lasted for a number of years. They finally came up with the 
term "deformed workers states" to describe them. They analogized the 
transformation with Napoleon's peasant armies implementing many 
progressive measures "from above".

Leon Trotsky, "Results and Prospects":

The proletariat in power will stand before the peasants as the class 
which has emancipated it. The domination of the proletariat will mean 
not only democratic equality, free self-government, the transference of 
the whole burden of taxation to the rich classes, the dissolution of the 
standing army in the armed people and the abolition of compulsory church 
imposts, but also recognition of all revolutionary changes 
(expropriations) in land relationships carried out by the peasants. The 
proletariat will make these changes the starting-point for further state 
measures in agriculture. Under such conditions the Russian peasantry in 
the first and most difficult period of the revolution will be interested 
in the maintenance of a proletarian regime (workers’ democracy) at all 
events not less than was the French peasantry in the maintenance of the 
military regime of Napoleon Bonaparte, which guaranteed to the new 
property-owners, by the force of its bayonets, the inviolability of 
their holdings.


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