Dictatorship of the Proletariat

 :: General :: Theory

Page 3 of 3 Previous  1, 2, 3

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Re: Dictatorship of the Proletariat

Post by Rev Scare on Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:05 pm

Uberak wrote:At best, the dictatorship of the proletariat is both an exclusionary and inaccurate conception of a revolutionary state.

Exclusionary and inaccurate in what manner?

At worst, it is an excuse to repress those who have dissenting ideas.

Considering that our goal as revolutionaries is the forceful abolition of capitalism, it is to be expected that some degree of coercion will be necessary. The institution of private property also requires state enforcement. However, I do not see why ideas would be "repressed." Reactionary ideas which seek to reestablish capitalism would certainly be excluded from the political realm, as the capitalist mode of production (and all other forms of exploitation) would undoubtedly be prohibited by the newly established constitution, but remaining capitalists would simply be deprived of their class privileges and rendered free citizens. They would afterward be at liberty to propound their reactionary views to the proletarian masses should they feel compelled to remain activists for exploitation.

Anyways, the concept is really vague, and it really doesn't describe anything in terms of actual government beyond either democracy or excluding former bourgeoisie (A vague group in itself.) from participation in government.

Actually, Lenin expounded upon his understanding of the dictatorship quite thoroughly in his The State and Revolution. It has been more or less elaborated in this thread, and I do not believe it is an ambiguous concept. As far as specific organizational form is concerned, I believe modern revolutionaries can formulate strategies as part of their overall revolutionary programme.

Thus, the best that I can say of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat as a concept is that it is incredibly flawed and not contributing anything meaningful to revolutionary thought

I happen to disagree. It is necessary for the proletariat to secure the power of the state in order to usher in socialism.

_________________
"Let us finally imagine, for a change, an association of free men, working with the means of production held in common." Hammer Sickle
Karl Marx



RSF Executive Committee Officer
avatar
Rev Scare
________________________
________________________

Tendency : Revolutionary Syndicalist
Posts : 821
Reputation : 911
Join date : 2011-04-02
Age : 28
Location : Utah

http://www.wix.com/executivecommittee/home

Back to top Go down

Re: Dictatorship of the Proletariat

Post by Uberak on Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:30 pm

Rev Scare wrote:Exclusionary and inaccurate in what manner?

Considering that our goal as revolutionaries is the forceful abolition of capitalism, it is to be expected that some degree of coercion will be necessary. The institution of private property also requires state enforcement. However, I do not see why ideas would be "repressed." Reactionary ideas which seek to reestablish capitalism would certainly be excluded from the political realm, as the capitalist mode of production (and all other forms of exploitation) would undoubtedly be prohibited by the newly established constitution, but remaining capitalists would simply be deprived of their class privileges and rendered free citizens. They would afterward be at liberty to propound their reactionary views to the proletarian masses should they feel compelled to remain activists for exploitation.

Actually, Lenin expounded upon his understanding of the dictatorship quite thoroughly in his The State and Revolution. It has been more or less elaborated in this thread, and I do not believe it is an ambiguous concept. As far as specific organizational form is concerned, I believe modern revolutionaries can formulate strategies as part of their overall revolutionary programme.

I happen to disagree. It is necessary for the proletariat to secure the power of the state in order to usher in socialism.

I find it exclusionary in that it seems to ignore the remnants of the self-employed petite-bourgeois/peasantry and the ex-bourgeois, however small they are. Of course, you explained that your interpretation of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat includes universal suffrage and freedom of speech, so I withdraw that opinion of your particular conception of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. The inaccuracy is that it is a dictatorship, as in the class-rule Marxist definition, when there would be naturally be no classes when the revolution institutes socialism, which would occur with the new constitution of a revolutionary state.

Abolishing capitalism through the state's protection of the worker's liberty, under the mainstream definition of the state, to institute socialism through an economic constitution prohibiting such is not some Dictatorship of the Proletariat or even coercion. That is just socialism, plain and simple. I wouldn't even call it coercion as you can consider the abolishment of capitalism to be a protection of the worker's right to own his labor from the transgressions and fraud of the capitalist. There is no need for a "ruling-class", as classes would immediately be destroyed from the very moment that the revolution triumphs over capitalism. Thus, I think that the Dictatorship of the Proletariat makes no sense as socialism would be established immediately after the capitalists lose their economic power.

By vague, I mean that no conception of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat that I had heard of had a tangible political program for government nor the economy. All they simply say is that the working class has hegemony in some form of democracy, without actually advocating for any specific transformation of the actual form of government. Basically, it is merely the populistic mood of the revolution as opposed to an actual form of government or economic system. Not that the populistic mood of the revolution is bad, but that is just simply the 'Revolution'.

I want the people of the nation, which includes the proletariat in addition to the other lower classes, to limit the power of the state, transform it into a fully democratic and decentralized entity, and abolish the capitalist economic system under the accurate pretense of protecting the liberty of a worker to own his labor without the coercive fraud of the capitalist. So, I guess we disagree in this area.

And, these problems are just those that exist in the best conception of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. The other conceptions of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, which you do not accept, have a plethora of other problems.
avatar
Uberak
_________________________
_________________________

Tendency : Cantonalist
Posts : 129
Reputation : 65
Join date : 2013-02-24
Age : 20

Back to top Go down

Re: Dictatorship of the Proletariat

Post by Celtiberian on Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:09 pm

Uberak wrote:I find it exclusionary in that it seems to ignore the remnants of the self-employed petite-bourgeois/peasantry and the ex-bourgeois, however small they are.

In the Marxist theory of revolution the assumption is that the petite bourgeoisie will be proletarianized as a consequence of capitalism's tendency toward centralization. Ergo, the haute bourgeoisie will have a virtual monopoly over ownership of the means of production by the time the proletarian revolution occurs. Empirical evidence seems to conform with Marx's prediction regarding the centralization of capital, but he made an error in assuming that the petit-bourgeois would develop a sense of proletarian class consciousness. The history of fascism demonstrates that the petite bourgeoisie will support whatever movement promises to rehabilitate their status as small holders of capital.

As for the self-employed and peasantry, I believe it's erroneous to characterize them as "petit-bourgeois" since they do not practice the fundamental class process of capitalism: appropriating the surplus product generated by other people's labor. They instead practice what Marx referred to as the "ancient class process," i.e., individual production and the appropriation of one's own surplus.

_________________
RSF Executive Committee (Chairman)
"The dogma of human equality is no part of Communism . . . the formula of Communism: 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs', would be nonsense, if abilities were equal."
—J. B. S. Haldane Hammer Sickle

"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
—Mikhail Bakunin Red Star
avatar
Celtiberian
________________________
________________________

Tendency : Revolutionary Syndicalist
Posts : 1523
Reputation : 1615
Join date : 2011-04-04
Age : 30
Location : Florida

http://www.wix.com/executivecommittee/home

Back to top Go down

Re: Dictatorship of the Proletariat

Post by Uberak on Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:30 pm

Celtiberian wrote:In the Marxist theory of revolution the assumption is that the petite bourgeoisie will be proletarianized as a consequence of capitalism's tendency toward centralization. Ergo, the haute bourgeoisie will have a virtual monopoly over ownership of the means of production by the time the proletarian revolution occurs. Empirical evidence seems to conform with Marx's prediction regarding the centralization of capital, but he made an error in assuming that the petit-bourgeois would develop a sense of proletarian class consciousness. The history of fascism demonstrates that the petite bourgeoisie will support whatever movement promises to rehabilitate their status as small holders of capital.

As for the self-employed and peasantry, I believe it's erroneous to characterize them as "petit-bourgeois" since they do not practice the fundamental class process of capitalism: appropriating the surplus product generated by other people's labor. They instead practice what Marx referred to as the "ancient class process," i.e., individual production and the appropriation of one's own surplus.

I know that most of the former "petit-bourgeois" (I meant self-employed artisans and such.) were proletarianized as a result of capitalism. I was referring to the small remnants of such classes. The point was that having a Dictatorship of the Proletariat completely ignores the remnants of said classes. But, I think that particular point was somewhat weak anyways.

As for my definition of "petit-bourgeois", I was referring to them as the middle class between the proletariat and the bourgeois, due to owning the means of production individually and not exploiting any workers. Of course, if that definition is wrong, then I apologize for my inaccurate definition.
avatar
Uberak
_________________________
_________________________

Tendency : Cantonalist
Posts : 129
Reputation : 65
Join date : 2013-02-24
Age : 20

Back to top Go down

Re: Dictatorship of the Proletariat

Post by Celtiberian on Sun Mar 03, 2013 3:25 pm

Uberak wrote:I know that most of the former "petit-bourgeois" (I meant self-employed artisans and such.) were proletarianized as a result of capitalism. I was referring to the small remnants of such classes.

What you're referring to is the history of primitive accumulation, i.e., independent peasants and artisans being forced into wage labor as a result of land enclosures. I, however, was discussing the trend within capitalism whereby corporations (for a variety of reasons) have rendered small businesses anachronistic—think of Barnes and Noble and Amazon putting small bookstores out of business, for example.

The point was that having a Dictatorship of the Proletariat completely ignores the remnants of said classes. But, I think that particular point was somewhat weak anyways.

Revolutions generally occur during periods of acute crisis, thus whatever remains of the petite bourgeoisie and self-employed will likely be pauperized by the time the struggle for socialism commences.

As for my definition of "petit-bourgeois", I was referring to them as the middle class between the proletariat and the bourgeois, due to owning the means of production individually and not exploiting any workers. Of course, if that definition is wrong, then I apologize for my inaccurate definition.

It's quite all right. A lot of people make the mistake of labeling the self-employed 'petit-bourgeois.'

_________________
RSF Executive Committee (Chairman)
"The dogma of human equality is no part of Communism . . . the formula of Communism: 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs', would be nonsense, if abilities were equal."
—J. B. S. Haldane Hammer Sickle

"Nationality. . . is a historic, local fact which, like all real and harmless facts, has the right to claim general acceptance. . . Every people, like every person, is involuntarily that which it is and therefore has a right to be itself. . . Nationality is not a principle; it is a legitimate fact, just as individuality is. Every nationality, great or small, has the incontestable right to be itself, to live according to its own nature. This right is simply the corollary of the general principle of freedom."
—Mikhail Bakunin Red Star
avatar
Celtiberian
________________________
________________________

Tendency : Revolutionary Syndicalist
Posts : 1523
Reputation : 1615
Join date : 2011-04-04
Age : 30
Location : Florida

http://www.wix.com/executivecommittee/home

Back to top Go down

Re: Dictatorship of the Proletariat

Post by Uberak on Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:53 pm

Celtiberian wrote:What you're referring to is the history of primitive accumulation, i.e., independent peasants and artisans being forced into wage labor as a result of land enclosures. I, however, was discussing the trend within capitalism whereby corporations (for a variety of reasons) have rendered small businesses anachronistic—think of Barnes and Noble and Amazon putting small bookstores out of business, for example.

I know. I just thought you were still using my semantics as opposed to yours.

Revolutions generally occur during periods of acute crisis, thus whatever remains of the petite bourgeoisie and self-employed will likely be pauperized by the time the struggle for socialism commences.

I guess. So, my point about the Dictatorship of the Proletariat being exclusionary is really weak. I admit that. But, it would be nice for us to debate over the rest of my criticisms of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.
avatar
Uberak
_________________________
_________________________

Tendency : Cantonalist
Posts : 129
Reputation : 65
Join date : 2013-02-24
Age : 20

Back to top Go down

Re: Dictatorship of the Proletariat

Post by Rev Scare on Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:47 pm

Uberak wrote:I find it exclusionary in that it seems to ignore the remnants of the self-employed petite-bourgeois/peasantry and the ex-bourgeois, however small they are. Of course, you explained that your interpretation of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat includes universal suffrage and freedom of speech, so I withdraw that opinion of your particular conception of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. The inaccuracy is that it is a dictatorship, as in the class-rule Marxist definition, when there would be naturally be no classes when the revolution institutes socialism, which would occur with the new constitution of a revolutionary state.

Abolishing capitalism through the state's protection of the worker's liberty, under the mainstream definition of the state, to institute socialism through an economic constitution prohibiting such is not some Dictatorship of the Proletariat or even coercion. That is just socialism, plain and simple. I wouldn't even call it coercion as you can consider the abolishment of capitalism to be a protection of the worker's right to own his labor from the transgressions and fraud of the capitalist. There is no need for a "ruling-class", as classes would immediately be destroyed from the very moment that the revolution triumphs over capitalism. Thus, I think that the Dictatorship of the Proletariat makes no sense as socialism would be established immediately after the capitalists lose their economic power.

To think that socialism will immediately follow revolution, that classes will cease to exist overnight, is simply utopian. Such a notion fails to appreciate the importance of historical development in Marxism. The working class must first overthrow the bourgeoisie and establish a workers' state; only then can it proceed to construct new socialist institutions out of the womb of old society. This post-revolutionary workers' state is what Marx described as a "dictatorship" of the proletariat. He understood "dictatorship" to mean what it has traditionally denoted, not its modern definition, except here applied to an entire social class. As Hal Draper explained Marx's usage of the phrase:

"The first question is: when it appeared in print in the spring of 1850, what did the phrase mean to Marx and to his contemporaneous readers?

The key fact, which was going to bedevil the history of the term, is this: in the middle of the nineteenth century the old word ‘dictatorship’ still meant what it had meant for centuries, and in this meaning it was not a synonym for despotism, tyranny, absolutism, or autocracy, and above all it was not counterposed to democracy.

1. Short Sketch of ‘Dictatorship’

The word ‘dictatorship’ in all languages (dictature, Diktatur, etc.) began as a reference to the dictatura of the ancient Roman Republic, an important constitutional institution that lasted for over three centuries and left its enduring mark on all political thought. This institution provided for an emergency exercise of power by a trusted citizen for temporary and limited purposes, for six months at the most. Its aim was to preserve the republican status quo; it was conceived to be a bulwark in defense of the republic against a foreign foe or internal subversion; indeed it was directed against elements whom we might today accuse of wanting “dictatorship.” It worked – at least until Julius Caesar destroyed the republican dictatura by declaring himself unlimited “dictator” in permanence, that is, a dictator in our present-day sense.[1]

...

The old meaning conditioned all European political thought and language right into the nineteenth century, though the application of the term tended to blur in some respects. Most consistently it kept referring to an emergency management of power, especially outside of normal legality. The one-man aspect of its meaning was sometimes primary, but it was often muffled, particularly by rightists attacking the dominance of a popularly elected body.[3]

In the French Revolution – like all revolutions a bubbling cauldron of political terminology – the Girondins liked to denounce the “dictatorship of the National Convention” (the zenith of revolutionary democracy at the time) or the “dictatorship of the Commune of Paris” (the most democratic expression yet seen of a mass movement from below).[4] For over a century no one would blink when the British Parliament was attacked as a “dictatorship” on the ground that it held all power, though this usage dropped even the crisis-government aspect of the term.

...

In Karl Marx’s Theory of Revolution 3, I have made a detailed survey of how the word ‘dictatorship’ occurs in the writings of Marx and Engels, but the conclusion is not startling: they used the term in ways as various as everyone else did in their day, particularly in metaphorical ways, many of which are still current. They might refer to the “intellectual dictatorship” of the medieval church, or of the popes; or to a financier as “dictator” of the Crédit Mobilier. The petty states of Germany were under the “dictatorship” of Prussia or Austria; the Berlin government submitted to a “Franco-Russian dictatorship”; all Europe was under a “Muscovite dictatorship”; and just as the referee is the dictator on a soccer field, so too it was standard for the editor of a daily newspaper to be called “dictator” of the press room, even though he was subordinate to owners. Marx exercised the same “dictatorship” as editor of the Cologne daily he put out during the hectic days of revolution in 1848-49.[18]

The term ‘military dictator[ship]’ was less elastic; in fact, as far as I know, Marx and Engels never used this term about anyone or any regime toward which they felt kindly. I suspect this was true of the general usage too.[19]

...

For Marx and Engels, from beginning to end of their careers and without exception, ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ meant nothing more and nothing less than ‘rule of the proletariat,’ the ‘conquest of political power’ by the working class, the establishment of a workers’ state in the immediate postrevolutionary period.[38]"


I strongly recommend you read the rest of Draper's excellent exegesis regarding the workers' state (dictatorship of the proletariat) here. It is also worthwhile to read his article on Marx's theory of the state's gradual "withering away" (to borrow Engels' language), a closely related subject, to gain a better understanding of the nature of this hypothetical state. We mustn't become mired in a battle over semantics, however.

By vague, I mean that no conception of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat that I had heard of had a tangible political program for government nor the economy. All they simply say is that the working class has hegemony in some form of democracy, without actually advocating for any specific transformation of the actual form of government. Basically, it is merely the populistic mood of the revolution as opposed to an actual form of government or economic system. Not that the populistic mood of the revolution is bad, but that is just simply the 'Revolution'.

That is because the dictatorship of the proletariat is not truly a political agenda. Marx and Engels merely employed the term (and they scarcely did) to refer to the workers' state established upon the overthrow of bourgeois rule. For an analysis of what Marx and Engels likely envisioned, read Draper's article on the death of the state above. It is true that certain Marxists afterward attempted to incorporate the phrase into their political programme (particularly in the Russian circle), but it is something that will manifest after revolution as the organized proletariat assumes power. Honestly, unless you eschew political involvement by the proletariat, there should be no question of establishing a workers' state and finally a socialist society via the state. Economic transformation requires the aid of the state. Here, "workers' state" denotes the continuing class character of the state, in which the conscious working class propels society toward socialism and finally communism.

I want the people of the nation, which includes the proletariat in addition to the other lower classes, to limit the power of the state, transform it into a fully democratic and decentralized entity, and abolish the capitalist economic system under the accurate pretense of protecting the liberty of a worker to own higs labor without the coercive fraud of the capitalist. So, I guess we disagree in this area.

My fundamental vision of a future socialist state is a democratic one, so I fail to see any major point of disagreement here. I basically support Stephen Shalom's nested council model.



You have admitted to erroneously using terminology, but your own position seems rather confused nonetheless. First you claim that "classes would be immediately destroyed" by the revolution ipso facto, and then you concern yourself with the plight of a minority reactionary segment extant under the workers' state. Personally, I would hardly lose sleep over the forceful suppression of an insignificant reactionary remnant, but I doubt this will be necessary or pursued.

And, these problems are just those that exist in the best conception of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. The other conceptions of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, which you do not accept, have a plethora of other problems.

I am here remaining true to the spirit of the idea as has been championed by Marx, Engels, and Lenin. The term "dictatorship," as used in socialist-communist movements, certainly predates Marx, and its interpretations have ranged from strictly authoritarian to radically democratic, but Marx was the first to apply the concept to an entire class. If you would care to enumerate some problems from the "plethora" at your disposal, perhaps we can continue with this dialogue.

_________________
"Let us finally imagine, for a change, an association of free men, working with the means of production held in common." Hammer Sickle
Karl Marx



RSF Executive Committee Officer
avatar
Rev Scare
________________________
________________________

Tendency : Revolutionary Syndicalist
Posts : 821
Reputation : 911
Join date : 2011-04-02
Age : 28
Location : Utah

http://www.wix.com/executivecommittee/home

Back to top Go down

Re: Dictatorship of the Proletariat

Post by Uberak on Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:38 pm

Rev Scare wrote:To think that socialism will immediately follow revolution, that classes will cease to exist overnight, is simply utopian. Such a notion fails to appreciate the importance of historical development in Marxism. The working class must first overthrow the bourgeoisie and establish a workers' state; only then can it proceed to construct new socialist institutions out of the womb of old society. This post-revolutionary workers' state is what Marx described as a "dictatorship" of the proletariat. He understood "dictatorship" to mean what it has traditionally denoted, not its modern definition, except here applied to an entire social class. As Hal Draper explained Marx's usage of the phrase:

"The first question is: when it appeared in print in the spring of 1850, what did the phrase mean to Marx and to his contemporaneous readers?

The key fact, which was going to bedevil the history of the term, is this: in the middle of the nineteenth century the old word ‘dictatorship’ still meant what it had meant for centuries, and in this meaning it was not a synonym for despotism, tyranny, absolutism, or autocracy, and above all it was not counterposed to democracy.

1. Short Sketch of ‘Dictatorship’

The word ‘dictatorship’ in all languages (dictature, Diktatur, etc.) began as a reference to the dictatura of the ancient Roman Republic, an important constitutional institution that lasted for over three centuries and left its enduring mark on all political thought. This institution provided for an emergency exercise of power by a trusted citizen for temporary and limited purposes, for six months at the most. Its aim was to preserve the republican status quo; it was conceived to be a bulwark in defense of the republic against a foreign foe or internal subversion; indeed it was directed against elements whom we might today accuse of wanting “dictatorship.” It worked – at least until Julius Caesar destroyed the republican dictatura by declaring himself unlimited “dictator” in permanence, that is, a dictator in our present-day sense.[1]

...

The old meaning conditioned all European political thought and language right into the nineteenth century, though the application of the term tended to blur in some respects. Most consistently it kept referring to an emergency management of power, especially outside of normal legality. The one-man aspect of its meaning was sometimes primary, but it was often muffled, particularly by rightists attacking the dominance of a popularly elected body.[3]

In the French Revolution – like all revolutions a bubbling cauldron of political terminology – the Girondins liked to denounce the “dictatorship of the National Convention” (the zenith of revolutionary democracy at the time) or the “dictatorship of the Commune of Paris” (the most democratic expression yet seen of a mass movement from below).[4] For over a century no one would blink when the British Parliament was attacked as a “dictatorship” on the ground that it held all power, though this usage dropped even the crisis-government aspect of the term.

...

In Karl Marx’s Theory of Revolution 3, I have made a detailed survey of how the word ‘dictatorship’ occurs in the writings of Marx and Engels, but the conclusion is not startling: they used the term in ways as various as everyone else did in their day, particularly in metaphorical ways, many of which are still current. They might refer to the “intellectual dictatorship” of the medieval church, or of the popes; or to a financier as “dictator” of the Crédit Mobilier. The petty states of Germany were under the “dictatorship” of Prussia or Austria; the Berlin government submitted to a “Franco-Russian dictatorship”; all Europe was under a “Muscovite dictatorship”; and just as the referee is the dictator on a soccer field, so too it was standard for the editor of a daily newspaper to be called “dictator” of the press room, even though he was subordinate to owners. Marx exercised the same “dictatorship” as editor of the Cologne daily he put out during the hectic days of revolution in 1848-49.[18]

The term ‘military dictator[ship]’ was less elastic; in fact, as far as I know, Marx and Engels never used this term about anyone or any regime toward which they felt kindly. I suspect this was true of the general usage too.[19]

...

For Marx and Engels, from beginning to end of their careers and without exception, ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ meant nothing more and nothing less than ‘rule of the proletariat,’ the ‘conquest of political power’ by the working class, the establishment of a workers’ state in the immediate postrevolutionary period.[38]"


I strongly recommend you read the rest of Draper's excellent exegesis regarding the workers' state (dictatorship of the proletariat) here. It is also worthwhile to read his article on Marx's theory of the state's gradual "withering away" (to borrow Engels' language), a closely related subject, to gain a better understanding of the nature of this hypothetical state. We mustn't become mired in a battle over semantics, however.

That is because the dictatorship of the proletariat is not truly a political agenda. Marx and Engels merely employed the term (and they scarcely did) to refer to the workers' state established upon the overthrow of bourgeois rule. For an analysis of what Marx and Engels likely envisioned, read Draper's article on the death of the state above. It is true that certain Marxists afterward attempted to incorporate the phrase into their political programme (particularly in the Russian circle), but it is something that will manifest after revolution as the organized proletariat assumes power. Honestly, unless you eschew political involvement by the proletariat, there should be no question of establishing a workers' state and finally a socialist society via the state. Economic transformation requires the aid of the state. Here, "workers' state" denotes the continuing class character of the state, in which the conscious working class propels society toward socialism and finally communism.

My fundamental vision of a future socialist state is a democratic one, so I fail to see any major point of disagreement here. I basically support Stephen Shalom's nested council model.



You have admitted to erroneously using terminology, but your own position seems rather confused nonetheless. First you claim that "classes would be immediately destroyed" by the revolution ipso facto, and then you concern yourself with the plight of a minority reactionary segment extant under the workers' state. Personally, I would hardly lose sleep over the forceful suppression of an insignificant reactionary remnant, but I doubt this will be necessary or pursued.

I am here remaining true to the spirit of the idea as has been championed by Marx, Engels, and Lenin. The term "dictatorship," as used in socialist-communist movements, certainly predates Marx, and its interpretations have ranged from strictly authoritarian to radically democratic, but Marx was the first to apply the concept to an entire class. If you would care to enumerate some problems from the "plethora" at your disposal, perhaps we can continue with this dialogue.

I meant dictatorship as in class rule, as in Dictatorship of the Bourgeois and Dictatorship of the Proletariat. I did not mean it by the admittedly brain-dead modern usage of the word. Though, I'm actually surprised at the word being used in actual democracies that weren't emergency or provisional governments. My criticism of your ideas on the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, which you share with Marx and Engels, are rather on the idea of class rule and a 'workers' state. The state should merely be run democratically without regard to class while providing the basic economic constitution to protect a socialist economy from capitalist infringements on liberty.

As for our visions of a socialist society, I never doubted that you wanted democracy. What I meant was that we differed in the non-proletarian lower classes' place in society. I think that they serve an important role in a socialist society, while you apparently think of them as reactionaries to be eliminated along with the bourgeois if they weren't already pauperized by the bourgeois, instead of including them with the proletariat as members of the people. Now, I need to make clear about my ideas about class. By elimination of class, I mean the elimination of class dictatorship, so that a state and society based on the interests of the free citizens of the nation prevail over specific class interests. So, you can say that I want a sort of Dictatorship of the Nation or Dictatorship of the People, under the old definition of the word.

As for other conceptions of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, I'm referring to limiting the rights of the former bourgeois (Not being able to vote being one example.) or the quasi-Blanquist party vanguardism of Marxist-Leninists.
avatar
Uberak
_________________________
_________________________

Tendency : Cantonalist
Posts : 129
Reputation : 65
Join date : 2013-02-24
Age : 20

Back to top Go down

Re: Dictatorship of the Proletariat

Post by Rev Scare on Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:01 am

I completely overlooked your response all this time.

Firstly, I tire of this dispute over terminology and semantics. A workers' state is the necessary first phase of socialism. Whether you wish to remove the word "workers'" and merely call it a post-revolutionary state is not my concern. Perhaps we can both agree that following the revolution the revolutionary government would proceed to eliminate bourgeois social relations. During this period, the "state" so-called would retain its political character by serving the interests of the working class. However, with the elimination of classes that socialist democracy entails, the state, as the political organ of the ruling class, would "wither away."

Secondly, you continue to refer to "non-proletarian" lower classes, which is confusing. Do you mean the lumpenproletariat? If so, it constitutes an insignificant segment of the population and possesses little to no revolutionary potential. Unlike many 'Marxists' whose formative period coincided with the emergence of the New Left or who follow in its tradition, I do not subscribe to the notion that the lumpen deserve our attention as activists. Celtiberian has already explained the distinction between the self-employed, peasants (who barely exist under late capitalism), and petit-bourgeois to you. I do not understand why you would be so concerned with these peripheral classes, but again, socialist democracy is the expansion of real democracy to the population as a whole.

_________________
"Let us finally imagine, for a change, an association of free men, working with the means of production held in common." Hammer Sickle
Karl Marx



RSF Executive Committee Officer
avatar
Rev Scare
________________________
________________________

Tendency : Revolutionary Syndicalist
Posts : 821
Reputation : 911
Join date : 2011-04-02
Age : 28
Location : Utah

http://www.wix.com/executivecommittee/home

Back to top Go down

Re: Dictatorship of the Proletariat

Post by Uberak on Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:31 pm

Rev Scare wrote:I completely overlooked your response all this time.

Firstly, I tire of this dispute over terminology and semantics. A workers' state is the necessary first phase of socialism. Whether you wish to remove the word "workers'" and merely call it a post-revolutionary state is not my concern. Perhaps we can both agree that following the revolution the revolutionary government would proceed to eliminate bourgeois social relations. During this period, the "state" so-called would retain its political character by serving the interests of the working class. However, with the elimination of classes that socialist democracy entails, the state, as the political organ of the ruling class, would "wither away."

Secondly, you continue to refer to "non-proletarian" lower classes, which is confusing. Do you mean the lumpenproletariat? If so, it constitutes an insignificant segment of the population and possesses little to no revolutionary potential. Unlike many 'Marxists' whose formative period coincided with the emergence of the New Left or who follow in its tradition, I do not subscribe to the notion that the lumpen deserve our attention as activists. Celtiberian has already explained the distinction between the self-employed, peasants (who barely exist under late capitalism), and petit-bourgeois to you. I do not understand why you would be so concerned with these peripheral classes, but again, socialist democracy is the expansion of real democracy to the population as a whole.

I'm also tired of the dispute over semantics, and I guess the whole debate is really on that. By non-proletarian lower classes, I was actually referring to the remnants of the self-employed and peasantry, not the lumpenproletariat. I'm concerned for them as much as I'm concerned for the proletariat, which is not to say that these peripheral classes should over power the proletariat. They maybe a minority, but the exploitation of all individuals by the system of capitalism needs to be fought and destroyed regardless if they are proletarians, peasants, or self-employed. Of course, this is mostly semantic differences. Your dictatorship of the proletariat is just fine with me if it respects the rights of all individuals.

I agree with socialist democracy mind you, and the extension of democracy to all members of the population.

Anyways, this is simply a debate over semantics, and I agree that we should end it.
avatar
Uberak
_________________________
_________________________

Tendency : Cantonalist
Posts : 129
Reputation : 65
Join date : 2013-02-24
Age : 20

Back to top Go down

Re: Dictatorship of the Proletariat

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 3 of 3 Previous  1, 2, 3

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 :: General :: Theory

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum