Bourgeois democracy and the dictatorship of the proletariat

Bourgeois democracy and the dictatorship of the proletariat

  1. The increase of the revolutionary movement of the proletariat in all countries arouses convulsive efforts in the bourgeoisie and in the agents at its service within the labor organizations to discover philosophical-political arguments that can serve as defense of the domination of the exploiters . Among them are the condemnation of the dictatorship and the defense of democracy. The lie and hypocrisy of such an argument, repeated endlessly in the capitalist press and at the Berne Yellow International Conference in February 1919, are evident to all who do not attempt to betray the fundamental principles of socialism.
  2. The argument, of course, is based on the concepts of “democracy in general” and “dictatorship in general”, without specifying its class character. To pose the problem in this way, outside the classes,pretending to consider the nation as a whole, it is simply to mock the fundamental doctrine of socialism, namely: the doctrine of the class struggle, accepted in words, but in fact forgotten by the socialists, who have emigrated to the field of the bourgeoisie. Because in no civilized country, in any capitalist country there is democracy in general; there is only bourgeois democracy. Nor is it a question now of the dictatorship in general, but of the dictatorship [4] exercised by the oppressed class, that is, the proletariat over the oppressors and exploiters, over the bourgeois class, in order to triumph over the resistance of the exploiters in the fight for its domination.
  3. History teaches that an oppressed class has never dominated – and could not do otherwise – without going through a period of dictatorship during which it seizes political power and forcibly defeats the desperate, exasperated resistance that he does not stop at any crime, which has always been opposed by exploiters. The bourgeoisie – whose predominance is currently supported by the socialists, who speak out about the dictatorship in general and who are agitating in favor of democracy in general – has conquered power in civilized countries at the cost of a series of insurrections, of civil wars, the crushing by force of kings, nobles, slave owners and the repression of their restoration attempts.

This is why their current defense of bourgeois democracy by means of speeches about the “dictatorship in general”, all their cries and hypocritical tears against the dictatorship of the proletariat under the pretext of condemnation of the “dictatorship in general”, are not more than a true betrayal of socialism, a desertion characterized for the benefit of the bourgeoisie, a denial of the right of the proletariat to its proletarian revolution. It is to defend bourgeois reformism at the precise hour in which it has failed in the entire world, in the hour in which the war has created a revolutionary situation.

  1. All socialists, in demonstrating the class character of bourgeois civilization, bourgeois democracy, the bourgeois Parliament, have expressed this idea, previously formulated with the maximum of scientific accuracy by Marx and Engels: that the most democratic of the republics The bourgeoisie can only be a machine to oppress the working class in favor of the [5] bourgeoisie, which puts the mass of workers at the mercy of a handful of capitalists. There is not a single revolutionary, there is not a single Marxist among all those who shout today against the dictatorship and for democracy who has not previously sworn by their great gods, before the workers, who accepted this fundamental truth of socialism; and now, when the revolutionary proletariat is fermenting and moving, When they tend to destroy this machine of oppression and conquer the dictatorship of the proletariat, these traitors to socialism would like to believe that the bourgeoisie has given the workers “pure democracy”, as if the bourgeoisie had renounced all resistance and was ready to obey to most workers; as if in a democratic republic there was no governmental machine made to absorb the juices of labor by capital.
  2. The Paris Commune – which is honored in words by all those who pretend to be socialists, because they know that the working masses are full of a lively and sincere sympathy towards it – has shown with particular clarity the historical relativity, the limited value of the bourgeois parliamentarism and bourgeois democracy, these institutions that show great progress with respect to those of the Middle Ages, but which require fundamental reform at the time of the proletarian revolution. Marx, who appreciated the historical importance of the Commune better than anyone else, has proved, analyzing the exploitative character of democracy and bourgeois parliamentarism, regime under which the oppressed classes receive the right to decide in a single day and for a period of several years who will be the representative of the possessing classes that will represent and oppress the people through Parliament. And it is at this time when the Soviet movement that encompasses the entire world, continuing the work of the Commune before the eyes of all; it is now precisely when the traitors of socialism forget the concrete experience of the Paris commune and repeat the old bourgeois shuffles of “democracy in general”. The Commune, however, was not a parliamentary institution. it is now precisely when the traitors of socialism forget the concrete experience of the Paris commune and repeat the old bourgeois shuffles of “democracy in general”. The Commune, however, was not a parliamentary institution. it is now precisely when the traitors of socialism forget the concrete experience of the Paris commune and repeat the old bourgeois shuffles of “democracy in general”. The Commune, however, was not a parliamentary institution.
  3. The value of the Commune lies mainly in its [6] attempt to bring down, to destroy from head to toe the bourgeois government apparatus, in the administration, in justice, in the army, in the police, replacing it with the autonomous organization of the working masses, without admitting a distinction between the legislative and executive powers. All contemporary bourgeois democracies, without excepting the German Republic – which the traitors of socialism call proletarian, trampling on the truth -, keep, on the contrary, the old governmental apparatus. Thus it is confirmed once again, in an absolutely evident way, that all those cries in favor of democracy serve in reality only for the defense of the bourgeoisie and its exploiting class privileges.
  4. We can take as an example of the principles of “pure democracy” that of freedom of assembly. Every conscientious worker who has not broken with his class will understand at first glance that it would be foolish to grant the exploiters freedom of assembly in time and circumstances in which these exploiters struggle not to fall and defend their privileges. The bourgeoisie, when it was revolutionary – in England in 1649, in France in 1793 – never granted freedom of assembly to the monarchists or the nobles who called on foreign troops to their aid and “gathered” to organize restoration attempts. If the current bourgeoisie, which has long since become reactionary,

On the other hand, the workers know very well that freedom of assembly, even in the most democratic bourgeois republic, is an empty phrase, since the wealthy possess the best public and private buildings, as well as the time and opportunity necessary to assemble under protecting your bourgeois government apparatus. The proletarians of the city and the countryside and the poor peasants, that is, the vast majority of the population, do not own one or the other. As long as this is equality, talking about pure democracy is sarcasm. To conquer [7] true equality, to truly realize democracy for the benefit of the workers, it is necessary to previously remove from the exploiters all the rich public and private homes; it is necessary that the workers also have their leisure, the freedom of their meetings must be assured by armed workers and not by aristocratic officials or capitalists with soldiers of their devotion. Only then will they be able to speak without mocking the workers, the workers, the poor, freedom of assembly and equality. But who can undertake this company but the vanguard of the workers, the proletariat, after winning, to bring down the exploiters and the bourgeoisie?

  1. Freedom of the press is also one of the great currencies of pure democracy. The workers also know that the socialists of all countries have recognized millions of times that this freedom is a deception while the best printing presses and huge stocksremain monopolized by the capitalists.On paper, as long as the power of capital over the press remains, a power that is manifested throughout the world with greater clarity, more clearly and cynically the more developed the democratic and republican regime is, as in America, for example. To conquer true equality and true democracy for the benefit of the workers, workers and peasants, it is necessary to begin by taking from capital the power to rent writers, buy and corrupt newspapers and publishing companies, and for this it is necessary to lower the yoke capital, bring down exploiters, break their resistance. Capitalists call “freedom” the freedom to get richer; the rich, to the freedom of starving the workers. Capitalists call press freedom the power to corrupt the press the wealthy, the power to use their wealth to manufacture and sustain the so-called public opinion. The defenders of “pure democracy” are actually once again the defenders of the vile and corrupted system (the domination of the rich over the instruction of the masses, they are those who deceive the people and mislead them, by means of beautiful deceptive phrases, of the historical necessity [8] to free the press from their subjection to capital. There will be no true freedom or equality except in the regime built by the communists, in which it will be impossible to enrich themselves at the expense of another, in which it will be materially impossible subject the press directly or indirectly to the power of money, in which nothing will prevent each worker or group of workers from owning and using in full legality the right to avail themselves of the printing and paper of the State.
  2. The history of the 19th and 20th centuries makes us see clearly, even before the war, what that famous pure democracy was under the capitalist regime. Marxists have always repeated that the more developed democracy is, the more “pure” it was, the more alive, hard and implacable the class struggle manifested itself and the more “purely” the yoke of capital and the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie appeared. . The Dreyfus affair in republican France, the bloody violence of the gangs of wage earners armed by the capitalists against the strikers in the free and democratic republic of America; These facts and thousands of other similar ones reveal this truth, which the bourgeoisie tries to hide in vain,
  3. The imperialist war of 1914-1918 has clearly shown, even in the eyes of the roughest worker, the true character of bourgeois democracy, even in the freest republics, its character of bourgeois dictatorship. To further enrich a German or English group of millionaires or billionaires, tens of millions of men have been slaughtered and the military dictatorship of the bourgeoisie has been instituted in the freest republics. This military dictatorship still persists, after the defeat of Germany, in the Entente countries. The war, better than any other example, has opened the eyes of the workers, has brought down the false bait of bourgeois democracy, has shown the people all [9] the abyss of speculation and profit during the war and on the occasion from the war. The bourgeoisie, in the name of freedom and equality, it has unleashed this war; In the name of freedom and equality arms suppliers have amassed unheard of wealth. All the efforts of the Berne Yellow International will not succeed in dissuading the masses of the currently manifested character of bourgeois freedom, of bourgeois equality, of bourgeois democracy.
  4. In the most developed capitalist country in Europe, in Germany, the first months of that complete republican freedom brought about by the collapse of imperialist Germany have revealed to the German workers and to the entire world the class character of the bourgeois democratic republic . The murder of Carlos Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg is an event of universal historical importance, not only for the tragic death of the best men and leaders of the true proletarian and communist International, but also for having patented in the most advanced State in Europe , and we could even say of the entire world, the true essence of the bourgeois regime. If these detainees, that is, subjected to custody by the government power of the social patriots, have been murdered with impunity by the officers and capitalists, it is because the democratic republic in which such an event has been possible is only one aspect of the bourgeois dictatorship. People who express their outrage at the murder of Carlos Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, but who do not understand this truth, thus expose their foolishness or hypocrisy. Freedom in one of the freest and most advanced republics in the world, in the German Republic, is the freedom to kill the leaders of the proletariat under arrest with impunity, and it cannot be otherwise while capitalism subsists, since the The development of the democratic principle, far from attenuating, overexcites the class struggle, which, as a consequence of the repercussions and influences of the war, has reached its boiling point.

All over the civilized world today the [10] Bolsheviks are expelled, persecuted, imprisoned, as, for example, in one of the freest bourgeois republics, in Switzerland; is massacred in America, & c … From the point of view of democracy in general, or of pure democracy, it is completely ridiculous that civilized and advanced, democratic states, armed to the teeth, fear the presence of a few dozen of men from retarded, hungry and ruined Russia, from this Russia that the bourgeois newspapers, in runs of tens of millions of copies, call savage, criminal, & c … It is clear that the social conditions in which contradictions can arise so patent they show the reality of the bourgeois dictatorship.

In such a situation the dictatorship of the proletariat is not only absolutely legitimate, as a precise instrument to bring down the exploiters and crush their resistance, but it is also absolutely indispensable for the working mass as their only means of defense against the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, which has caused the war and prepares new ones.

The most important point, which the socialists do not understand and which constitutes their theoretical myopia, their submission to bourgeois principles and their political betrayal of the proletariat, is that in capitalist society, since the class struggle that is at its core is sharpened base, there is no middle ground between the bourgeois dictatorship and the proletarian dictatorship. All dreams of intermediate solutions are nothing more than reactionary lamentations of a petty bourgeois.

The proof is given by the experience of the development of bourgeois democracy and of a century’s labor movement in this part in all civilized countries and in particular by the experience of the last five years. This is the great truth that the science of political economy teaches, the whole content of Marxism, that explains the economic necessity from where the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie is born and how it can only be replaced by a more progressive, multiplied, fortified class and made more coherent by the very development of capitalism, that is, the class of the proletarians.

  1. Another of the theoretical and political errors of the socialists [11] consists in not understanding that the forms of democracy have constantly changed over the centuries, since its first germs sprouted in antiquity, as a class dominant was being replaced by another. In the old Republics of Greece, in the cities of the Middle Ages, in the civilized capitalist countries, democracy presents different forms and different degrees of adaptation. It would be the most foolish thing to suppose that the deepest revolution in the history of humanity, that the transfer of power, for the first time in the world, from a minority of exploiters to the majority of the exploited, could take place in the old cadres of democracy. bourgeois and parliamentary, can be produced without breaking,
  2. The dictatorship of the proletariat is similar to the dictatorship of the other classes, in that it is caused, like any kind of dictatorship, by the need to violently repress the resistance of the class that loses political dominance. The fundamental point that separates the dictatorship of the proletariat from that of the other classes, from the dictatorship of the feudal elements in the Middle Ages, from the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie in all civilized capitalist countries, is that the dictatorship of the feudal elements and of the bourgeoisie was the violent crushing of the resistance of the vast majority of the working class population, whereas the dictatorship of the proletariat is the crushing by force of the resistance of the exploiters, that is, of a tiny minority of the population: the landowners and capitalists.

Hence, the dictatorship of the proletariat inevitably involves not only a modification of form and democratic institutions in general, but also such a modification that leads to a hitherto unknown extension of the democratic principle in favor of the classes oppressed by capitalism, in favor of the laboring classes.

Indeed, the form of the dictatorship of the proletariat, [12] already elaborated in fact, that is, the power of the Soviets in Russia, the Räte-Systeme in Germany, the Shop Stewards Committees and other similar Soviet institutions in other countries means precisely and it realizes for the working classes, that is to say, for the vast majority of the population, a practical faculty to enjoy democratic rights and freedoms as it could never dream of obtaining in the best and most democratic bourgeois republics.

The essence of the power of the Soviets is that the constant and unique base of all governmental power, of the entire governmental apparatus, resides in the organization of masses previously oppressed by capitalism, that is, of the workers and semi-proletarians (peasants who they do not exploit the work of others and are required to sell at least part of their labor force). It is precisely these masses that, even in the most democratic bourgeois republics, despite enjoying equality in law, are in reality far removed, through the gearing of customs and maneuvers, from any participation in political life, from all use of democratic rights and freedoms, while now they are called upon to take a considerable and obligatory part, a decisive part in the democratic management of the State.

  1. The equality of all citizens, regardless of sex, religion, race, nationality, which bourgeois democracy has always and everywhere promised, but which it has not done anywhere and which, given the domination of capitalism, could not The power of the Soviets or the dictatorship of the proletariat is carried out at once and completely, because only the power of the workers, who are not interested in the private ownership of the means of production in the struggle to achieve it, is in a position to carry it out. its distribution and distribution.
  2. The old democracy, that is to say, bourgeois democracy and parliamentarism were organized in such a way that the laboring masses were increasingly separated from the governmental apparatus. The power of the Soviets, that is to say, the dictatorship of the proletariat is, on the contrary, built tending to bring the [13] laboring masses closer to the government apparatus. The meeting of the legislative and executive powers in the Soviet organization of the State tends to the same end, as well as the substitution of territorial electoral constituencies for work units, such as workshops and factories.
  3. It is not only under monarchy that the army is an instrument of oppression. It is also true in the bourgeois republics, even in the most democratic ones. Only the power of the Soviets, as a permanent governmental organization of the classes oppressed by capitalism, is capable of suppressing the submission of the army to the command of the bourgeoisie and actually merging it with the proletariat, disarming the bourgeoisie, without whose conditions the triumph of socialism is impossible.
  4. The Soviet organization of the State is adapted to the leading role of the proletariat as the most concentrated class and educated by capitalism. The experience of all the revolutions and all the movements of the oppressed classes, the experience of the socialist movement throughout the world, teach us that only the proletariat is in a state to unify and lead the oppressed and retarding masses of the working population and exploited.
  5. Only the Soviet organization of the state can blow up and destroy definitively the old administrative and judicial bourgeois apparatus, which has been preserved and should inevitably be preserved under capitalism, even in the most democratic republics, since it was made the great impediment to put into practice the democratic principles in favor of the workers. The Paris Commune took the first step in this direction, of universal historical importance; the power of the Soviets has given the second.
  6. The disappearance of government power is the end that all socialists have set for themselves; Marx, the first. Without achieving this end, true democracy, that is, equality and freedom, is impossible. But the only practical means that leads to it is Soviet or proletarian democracy, since calling on the organizations of the laboring masses to take a real and [14] obligatory part in the government, since then begins to prepare the complete decline and death of all Government.
  7. The complete bankruptcy of the Socialists gathered in Bern, their utter misunderstanding of proletarian democracy has once again become apparent. On February 10, 1919 the International Conference of Bern of the Yellow International closed Branting. On February 11 ,a proclamation of the party of the Independents to the proletariat is published in the newspaper of its co-religionists, Die Freiheit. It recognizes the bourgeois character of the Scheidemann government, which is reproached for its desire to abolish the Soviets, called the Messengers and Defenders of the Revolution, and is asked to legalize the Soviets and grant them political rights, the right to vote against the decisions of the Constituent Assembly; the referendum would ultimately be the judge.

This proclamation demonstrates the resounding failure of those theorists who defend democracy without understanding its bourgeois character. This ridiculous attempt to combine the system of Soviets, that is, the dictatorship of the proletariat, with the Constituent Assembly, that is, the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, reveals at the same time the poverty of thought of the yellow socialists and social democrats, their character. reactionary of petty-bourgeois and their meager concessions before the irresistibly growing force of the new proletarian democracy.

  1. By condemning Bolshevism, the majority of the Berne International, which has not dared to formally vote an agenda that corresponds to their thinking for fear of the working masses, has acted in justice from their class point of view. Most of this is completely in solidarity with the Russian Mensheviks and revolutionary socialists, as well as with the German Scheidemann.

The Russian Mensheviks and Revolutionary Socialists, in regretting that they are persecuted by the Bolsheviks, try to hide the fact that such persecutions are determined by the part that these Mensheviks and Revolutionary Socialists took in the civil war, [15] alongside the bourgeoisie , against the proletariat. The Scheidemans and their party have already shown in the same way in Germany that they took identical participation in the civil war alongside the bourgeoisie against the workers.

This is why it is quite natural for the participants in the Berne Yellow International to speak out against the Bolsheviks. Thus they have stated, not their desire to defend pure democracy, but the need to defend themselves against those who feel and know that in civil war they side with the bourgeoisie and against the proletariat.


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