[Marxism] Query

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed May 23 11:07:22 MDT 2018

On 5/23/18 12:57 PM, Tim Nelson wrote:
> I think he talks about it in the pamphlet How the Bolsheviks Will 
> Maintain Power


The capitalist state evicts a working-class family which has lost its 
breadwinner and cannot pay the rent. The bailiff appears with police, or 
militia, a whole squad of them. To effect an eviction in a working-class 
district a whole detachment of Cossacks is required. Why? Because the 
bailiff and the militiaman refuse to go without a very strong military 
guard. They know that the scene of an eviction arouses such fury among 
the neighbours, among thousands and thousands of people who have been 
driven to the verge of desperation, arouses such hatred towards the 
capitalists and the capitalist state, that the bailiff and the squad of 
militiamen run the risk of being torn to pieces at any minute. Large 
military forces are required, several regiments must be brought into a 
big city, and the troops must come from some distant, outlying region so 
that the soldiers will not be familiar with the life of the urban poor, 
so that the soldiers will not be "infected" with socialism.

The proletarian state has to forcibly move a very poor family into a 
rich man's flat. Let us suppose that our squad of workers' militia is 
fifteen strong; two sailors, two soldiers, two class-conscious workers 
(of whom, let us suppose, only one is a member of our Party, or a 
sympathiser), one intellectual, and eight from the poor working people, 
of whom at least five must be women, domestic servants, unskilled 
labourers, and so forth. The squad arrives at the rich man's flat, 
inspects it and finds that it consists of five rooms occupied by two men 
and two women—"You must squeeze up a bit into two rooms this winter, 
citizens, and prepare two rooms for two families now living in cellars. 
Until the time, with the aid of engineers (you are an engineer, aren't 
you?), we have built good dwellings for everybody, you will have to 
squeeze up a little. Your telephone will serve ten families. This will 
save a hundred hours of work wasted on shopping, and so forth. Now in 
your family there are two unemployed persons who can perform light work: 
a citizeness fifty-five years of age and a citizen fourteen years of 
age. They will be on duty for three hours a day supervising the proper 
distribution of provisions for ten families and keeping the necessary 
account of this. The student citizen in our squad will now write out 
this state order in two copies and you will be kind enough to give us a 
signed declaration that you will faithfully carry it out."

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