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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Daily LIFT #580

Lenin with Workers on the Square, painting 1979 , Soviet Ukrainian artist Leonty Koshtelyanchuk -- Daily LIFT #580

The chief point which Socialists do not understand and which constitutes their shortsightedness in matters of theory, explains their dependence upon bourgeois prejudice, accounts for their political betrayal of the proletariat, is this, that in capitalistic society, in the event of a sharpening of the class-struggle which is its foundation, there can be no middle way between the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie and the dictatorship of the proletariat. Dreams of a third possibility are but the reactionary lamentations of the petit bourgeois . The experiences of more than a century of evolution of bourgeois democracy and of the labor-movement in all advanced countries, and especially the experiences of the last five years, bear witness to this fact. The entire theory of political economy bears on this Subject matter; it is the whole content of Marxism, which demonstrates the necessity of a bourgeois dictatorship in every factory, the dictatorship which can be terminated only by the class which through the development of capitalism itself undergoes a constant development of its own, a growth in size, unification, and strength, namely .the class of the proletariat.

The second theoretical and political error of the Socialists consists in the fact that they do not understand that forms of democracy have undergone inevitable changes in the count of thousands of years beginning with their germs in antiquity and the succession of one ruling class upon another. In the republic of ancient Greece, in the city-states of the Middle Ages, in advanced capitalistic states, democracy has had a variety of forms and varying degrees of inclusiveness. It would be gross stupidity, indeed, to assume that the most profound revolution in the history of mankind, the first transfer of power from the hands of the minority, the exploiters, to the hands of the Majority, the exploited, can be accomplished within the structure of the old bourgeois parliamentary democracy. without great upheavals and the creation of new forms of democracy. new institutions, new conditions for their functioning. etc. - excerpt, Lenin, Bourgeois Democracy and Proletarian Dictatorship, first translated and published in English in November, 1919


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