As soon as the workers capture political power, they will use it to transform the State and the economic system, so far as the latter is susceptible to political manipulation, in accordance with their interests.
With respect to the State, we have to distinguish between the period of transition from capitalist to socialist production, and that of complete Socialism, but here we need only deal in detail with the former.
Marx and Engels made only passing references to the problem at the period of complete Socialism. They asserted that, as soon as Socialism was realized and class distinctions obliterated, the State would, in fact, not be abolished, but die out, because it would lose its functions. For, they said, the State is an organization of an exploiting class for maintaining the conditions of its exploitation, and therefore for repressing the exploited class. With the disappearance of the distinction between exploiting and exploited classes, the State becomes bereft of purpose, and loses its functions one after another.
These pronouncements have caused much head-splitting. Lenin refers to them in his booklet, Socialism and Religion, published in the summer of 1917
Like many other revolutionaries, Lenin interprets the Marx-Engels’ conception of the decay of the State to mean that the anarchist ideal of the complete liberty of the individual will then emerge.
“Each person will be voluntarily engaged in work according to his capacities, and each will freely take according to his needs.” (Lenin, p.81)
Such a state of things may exist some day, but there is nothing in the conditions as we know them to-day to indicate that we have reached this point. Lenin himself admits that the “second phase of Communism” will only lead to the decay of the State in the sense of complete anarchy. He appeals to the authority of Marx, who distinguishes two phases of Communism in his programme criticism, from which we have already quoted. In the first phase every worker will be paid according to his needs, and in the second the productivity of labour will be so great that “society will be able to inscribe on its banner: from each according to his capacities, to each according to his needs.”
When we come to deal with economics, we shall see how this apparently Utopian pronouncement is to be understood.
To-day we cannot see beyond what Marx designated as “the first phase of Communism.” All that we might imagine concerning the second phase would not be inferences from known facts, but conjecture, which might have its value as an intellectual exercise, but would be very unsuitable to serve as a guide to our actions.
We shall achieve a good deal if we obtain clear ideas concerning the functioning of the State during the first phase of Socialism.
To elucidate this question, we must draw a distinction, which is generally overlooked, between the subordination of the individual, and that of the class, to the community.
Man is by nature a social animal, and in the earliest times, long before the formation of the State, we find groups of men united in specific organizations, with specific ordinances and laws, which, although primarily laws of usage, are nevertheless strictly carried out. One need only recall the marriage regulations, the meal customs, the law of inheritance, the laws of hunting, and many other regulations which we find among the Australians, who are far removed from any political community. Thus the absence of a State in no wise signifies complete liberty of the individual, but it occurs in the earliest social conditions accompanied by the subordination of the individual to the community and its ordinances.
Before the emergence of the State we find communities existing with definite constitutions, for example, the gentile or Mark constitutions, with a civil and military power; the former with police and juridical functions, and both powers subject to a sovereign assembly of the people, by which they are set up, and by whose decisions they are bound.
When therefore the State came into existence with the emergence of classes and the consolidation of various communities under a central power, it did not signify an innovation. It was grafted on to the organizations which had preceded it, and developed them further, in doing which it invested them with all kinds of functions which had not previously been theirs, and gave a new significance to old functions, such as those of the police and the judiciary; turning protection of the community from refractory members into protection of the ruling class from those it ruled.
Morgan has pointed out that the constitution of the Stateless gentile society may be detected in the Athenian political constitution (Ancient Society, 1878, p.120).
If class society should be abolished in the period that lies before us, the consequent decay of the existing forms of the State will by no means signify the complete freedom of the individual. The social process of production will more than ever be organized systematically, and it will not do for its functioning to be dependent upon individual caprice. Class struggles will disappear, and with them a number of the tasks of government, but the economic tasks of the community will multiply. Just as the constitution of the nascent State assimilated the gentile and Mark constitutions, so the incipient socialist community. will assimilate the political forms surviving in the period of transition from capitalism to socialism. Whether the community of the future will continue to be called a State or not is essentially a question of terminology.
In the interests of clear thinking, it is extremely important to distinguish various phenomena by different designations. But from its beginning the State has assumed such a variety of forms, all of which are described by the same name, that to many people the State has come to mean a sovereign community.
When an oriental despotism and a democratic republic, rigidly centralized France and the loose federation of the British Empire, may all be called by the same name of “State,” it is really not a matter of great moment to refuse this name to the Socialist community.
As a scientific designation, the word “State” says very little if it is not preceded by an adjective to define the kind of State it is. Consequently all investigations into the nature of the State per se are more or less futile. It may equally be condemned as a devilish institution and praised to the skies as the embodiment of the highest social ideal. Thus it is not of considerable importance to the clarity of social thought whether we invent a special name for the community of the future, or call it the Socialist State to differentiate it from previous types of the State.
One point remains to be discussed concerning the relation of Socialism to the State. In his preface to the brochure, Internationales aus dem Volkstaat, which appeared in 1894, shortly before his death, Engels speaks of the political aim which he and Marx pursued. It was:
“The supersession of the entire State, and, therefore, also of democracy.”
Engels does not explain what he means by this observation. This sentence was a godsend to Lenin, who exploited it with a vengeance. It does not dispose of my objections. For democracy is older than the State, and is not necessarily bound up with it. Communities anterior to the State were democratically organized, and the State has often proved itself hostile to democracy. Not until the advent of modern capitalism has there been a revival of democracy, which, however, contains the seeds of Socialism, and therefore the seeds of the State’s decay in the Marxian sense. On the assumption that Socialism will cause the State to die out, democracy will survive the State.
In advocating the opposite standpoint, Lenin reaches a remarkable conclusion. He says that so long as classes exist a complete democracy is impossible. It will not be possible until classes are abolished, and, therefore, the State ceases to exist. This is to say democracy will not become possible for Lenin until it disappears. Concerning the socialist society, he states:
“Only then will a really full democracy be possible and be realized, a democracy without any exceptions. And only then will democracy begin to wither away” (p.74).
Thus real democracy will emerge for us in the very moment of its disappearance. Lenin calls it “real” evidently because in his opinion it does not exist in reality. If instead of groping amid the fog of Lenin’s “real democracy”, we ask ourselves what the constitution of the socialist community will be, it is obvious that no other constitution is conceivable than that of the democratic Republic. This we will maintain. The discovery of the proper name for the new type of community which will arise with the Social Democratic Republic is a task which may be left to the younger generation.
The question we have just discussed as to the type of the community when Socialism is fully realized is an academic question. Yet it is not unimportant, because it is always useful to follow an idea to its logical conclusion.
On the other hand, the question of what constitution is required by the State in the period of transition from capitalist to socialist economy, when the workers have captured political power, although capitalist production is still going on, is of the highest practical and immediate importance.
We would emphasize that we are here speaking of the constitution of the State. Neo-Communism, which has made this question a practical one, confuses the question of the organization which the State ought to have with the social effects which arise from this organization under specific social conditions.
In the passage we have already quoted, Marx spoke of the State of the period of transition from capitalism to socialism, which “could not be anything else than the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.”
This leaves undecided the question of the constitution through which this dictatorship would be expressed. Lenin introduces the greatest confusion into this question in his attempts to clarify it. He distinguishes between the form of the State and the form of the Government. The proletarian State form is the dictatorship of the proletariat, the bourgeois State form is the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. With respect to the State form, he distinguishes between forms of government, or what we should call the political constitution: republic, absolute or constitutional monarchy, etc. These distinctions are for him of very slight account, at least for the period of the “ dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.” But he takes the greatest pains to elaborate the necessary constitution for the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The description of the middle class State as the “dictatorship of the bourgeoisie” is one of the most absurd fictions that our age has produced. It clearly shows the crudeness of Bolshevist thought, which reduces the totality of the economic and political struggles of our time to the antagonism between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. Yet Bolshevism itself is always being pulled up short by the reality of the peasantry on its own doorstep.
The bourgeoisie have never been the sole possessors of political power, exercising their dictatorship in this sense. They have constantly been obliged to form a political alliance with various classes, the landlords, the peasantry, the lower middle class, the bureaucracy, and even with the workers, as the English Liberals did for several decades.
What appears as the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, their dominant influence over Parliament, Governments, the Press, etc., is not the result of a State form, but of their economic and intellectual superiority. Consequently, in advanced capitalist countries this influence is exercised under any political constitution, or, to use Lenin’s language, form of government.
The dictatorship of the proletariat is quite a different matter. It cannot arise from an economic or intellectual superiority, which finds expression under all forms of government. It can only be the result of the possession of political power by the workers, which fact presupposes, a definite form of government.
In this idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat a Marxian inconsistency has been detected. For, it is said, according to Marx, the political superstructure rests on the economic foundation. How, then, is it possible to break down economic superiority by a purely political force? Every class that is economically the stronger will always be the stronger politically.
This is a favourite objection of anarchists to the political struggle. They desire to paralyse capitalism by purely trade union action. This is logical enough, but for all that it is not true. For in what manner can the trade union organization of the workers abolish the economic superiority of the possessors of the source of life of labouring mankind? As a matter of fact, behind their emphasis upon the purely trade union struggle lurks in the minds of anarchists the idea of smashing the economic superiority of capital by the destruction of the capitalist means of production.
But the Bolshevists are downright inconsistent when they champion the opinion that economic superiority is always bound up with political superiority. On these lines, the Georgian Bolshevist, Macharadse, argued against the Menshevists of his country, who contended that, although the country was not sufficiently advanced for capitalism to be entirely abolished, they could still have established the political rule of the workers. This is quite impossible, avers Macharadse:
“The assertion of the political hegemony of the working class is only a fiction, for political power is always based on economic power, and conversely.”
This is a wholly mechanical conception of historical materialism. The political and economic power of a class do not always coincide. If this were the case, then all the Socialist parties from the extreme Right to the extreme Left might disband.
The truth is merely that the political power of a class does not depend upon its inclinations or its will, but upon economic conditions. These conditions might at times invest a class with greater political power than is justified by its economic power.
The same capitalist development that makes the workers the most numerous class of the population also creates the conditions for the victorious progress of democracy, under which the most numerous class eventually attains to a dominant position in the State, and this in its turn reacts upon the economic conditions. It is noteworthy that Lenin himself perceives this in one passage of his work, The State and Revolution.
“If everyone really takes part in the administration of the State, capitalism cannot retain its hold. As a matter of fact, capitalism, as it develops, itself prepares the ground for everyone to be able really to take part in the administration of the State. We may class as part of this preparation of the ground the universal literacy of the population, already realized in most of the more progressive capitalist countries; then the education and discipline inculcated upon millions of workers by the huge, complex, and socialized apparatus of the post, railways, big factories, large scale commerce, banking, and so on.” (p.103)
He further considers that, with such an economic groundwork, it is quite possible, immediately within twenty-four hours, to pass to the overthrow of the capitalists and bureau oats. This is an incursion into the realm of phantasy. But he is quite right in stating that in present-day society democracy will eventually render capitalism impossible, and that capitalism creates the conditions for the operation of democracy upon socialist lines.
It is a pity that in 1917 Lenin did not raise the question as to whether these conditions existed in Russia. This would have saved the lives of millions of Russian workers, peasants, and intellectuals, and preserved the Russian State from complete dissolution.
Only occasionally does he perceive that the conquest and exercise of political power for the attainment of specific economic ends depends upon specific economic conditions.
While in his view the “State form” of the “dictatorship of the bourgeoisie” is independent of the various forms of government, he sees clearly enough that the “dictatorship of the proletariat” is bound up with a specific “form of government.” But he seeks more than a form of government, which under given economic conditions would enable the workers to conquer and freely employ the political power. He seeks a form of government which, by virtue of its mere existence, would assure the dominance of the proletariat, independent of all economic conditions.
Lenin believes this form of government has been found in the constitution of the Soviet Republic. Experience has now shown that this constitution does not maintain the rule of the proletariat under all circumstances.
That no constitution can be devised which would assure the rule of one class irrespective of all economic conditions is implied by the materialist conception of history, and it is a very peculiar brand of Marxism which, from the standpoint of economic determinism, sets out to discover a form of government of this kind.
Our present task is quite different. We have merely to discover under which political constitution the political rule of the workers is possible.
Not every constitution is suitable for this purpose. Marx stated in his Civil War in France:
“The working class cannot simply seize the available machinery of the State and set it in motion for its own ends.”
Lenin quotes this sentence in conjunction with a passage from a letter which Marx wrote to Kugelmann on April 12, 1871:
“If you look at the last chapter of my Eighteenth Brumaire, you will see that I declare the next attempt of the French Revolution to be: not merely to hand over, from one set of hands to another, the bureaucratic and military machine – as has occurred hitherto – but to shatter it; and it is this that is the preliminary condition of any real people’s revolution on the Continent.”
If we consult the Eighteenth Brumaire, we find the following references to this subject:
“This executive power, with its enormous bureaucratic and military organization, with its multiform and artificial machinery of government, with its army of half a million officials, side by side with a military force of another half-million, this frightful parasitic organism covering as with a net the whole body of French society and blocking up all its pores, had arisen in the period of absolute monarchy, at the time of the fall of feudalism. Every revolution brought this machine to greater perfection instead of breaking it. The political parties, which alternately struggled for supremacy, looked upon the capture of this gigantic governmental structure as the principal spoils of victory.
“The political centralization which modern society needs is erected on the ruins of the military and bureaucratic governmental machinery which was fashioned in opposition to feudalism.”
From these and similar passages, Lenin draws the inference that the chief task of the victorious working class is to destroy the State power. He attacks the “opportunists,” and especially myself, because we do not see this.
“The opportunists of modern Social-Democracy do not, on any account, want to hear of the destruction of the State, of the removal of the parasite.
“‘The annihilation of the power of the State,’ which was a ‘parasitic excrescence,’ its ‘amputation,’ its ‘destruction,’ the power of the State ‘now becomes superfluous’ – these are the expressions used by Marx regarding the State.”
In these and numerous similar passages Lenin refers to the State and the State machinery, which the victorious proletariat will have to destroy.
In this respect Lenin is distinguished from the Bakunists merely by the fact that, after the destruction of the existing State, the victorious proletariat will immediately – “Start the building of a new proletarian State machinery by introducing the necessary measures to secure a wider democracy, in which bureaucracy shall be uprooted.”
Nothing is easier than to reduce Lenin’s arguments ad absurdum by showing how the new “proletarian” State machine, which has been set up in place of the old and shattered machine, looks. What has happened to the greater democracy and the extirpation of bureaucracy and militarism, these parasitic excrescences, which the new Communism promised us?
Here, too, is revealed the middle class character of the present Russian Revolution, in spite of its Communist inscription, to which is applicable the dictum of Marx regarding the middle class revolutions of France:
“Every revolution brought this machine to greater perfection, instead of breaking it.”
Yet this objection merely demonstrates the inability of Lenin and his disciples to carry out their own programme; the light-hearted abandonment of their principles, as well as the backwardness of Russia. It throws no light upon the problem we are now concerned with.
Yet its solution is not far to seek. We have merely to read what Marx has written, without being influenced by Lenin’s interpretation. And then it becomes clear that Marx did not in any way mean that the workers could under no circumstances establish their rule without destroying the transmitted State machinery. Marx rejected only a special form of this machine, the bureaucratic-militarist form, which had reached an exceptionally high stage of development in the second French Empire, and which at the time Marx wrote the passages that have been quoted was either in full swing (The Eighteenth Brumaire) or had just been destroyed (Civil War in France, Letter to Kugelmann).
That these remarks did not apply to every existing State is expressly declared by Marx himself, when he states that the destruction of the “bureaucratic-militarist machinery” is the “preliminary condition of every real people’s revolution on the Continent.”
Thus he expressly excepted England. Of course, Lenin contends that this exception is no longer valid. To-day the bureaucratic-military machine has become omnipotent even in England. It is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the leaders of the World Revolution that they have no suspicion of what is really happening in the world.
Since 1871 England has become far more democratic than she was at that time, and since the recent world war she has again considerably reduced her military establishment, which during the war had been expanded to the utmost limits in order to destroy the military machine in Central Europe. To-day there are only two great States in Europe where the destruction of the “fearful parasitic excrescence of bureaucracy and militarism” is still necessary for a “real people’s revolution” in the Marxian sense, and they are France, the Empire without an Emperor, and to a far greater extent Russia, the Czardom without a Czar. It is a legitimate inference from Marx’s words that the destruction of the existing State machinery of Russia is an indispensable preliminary to any working class progress.
This is so clear that I understand the Leninite philippic against bureaucracy and militarism, written immediately before the Bolshevists came to power, is now strictly forbidden by the agents of the Cheka as a subversive and therefore a counter-revolutionary piece of writing.
From the Marxian principles we may draw the following inferences without fear of contradiction.
The working classes may not seize any State machinery and operate it for their own purposes. A bureaucratic militarist State machine is unsuitable to this end. The only suitable instrument is the democratic Republic, which a victorious working class must establish where it is not already in existence. In the year 1871 and for a long time thereafter this seemed to be an essential task of the workers everywhere. The last few years have brought about a fundamental change. Almost everywhere in Europe the victorious workers find the democratic Republic already in existence, and there they have no need completely to destroy the State machinery, but only to remove vestiges of the monarchy as well as bureaucratic and military privileges.
That the Marxian observations concerning the breaking-up of the State apparatus did not apply to every State, but merely to the military monarchies, is pronounced by Engels to be the case in his criticism of the German Social Democratic draft programme of 1891, where he states:
“If anything is certain, it is this, that our Party and the working class can only achieve power under the form of the democratic Republic. This is even the specific form for the dictatorship of the proletariat.”
On the other hand, Engels said that the Paris Commune of 1871 was the dictatorship of the proletariat. The constitution of the latter was that of a democratic Republic.
Lenin himself cannot deny that Marx emphasized the democratic character of that “dictatorship of the proletariat,” the Paris Commune. Lenin is the less concerned to do so, as in the summer of 1917 he had by no means forsworn democracy for the period of dictatorship, although it had already commenced to be inconvenient for him. He merely draws a distinction between bourgeois and proletarian democracy. It was the latter and not the former which Marx had prescribed for the period of transition. Because I did not myself make this distinction, Lenin reproached me with opportunism and treason to proletarian principles.
But wherein consisted the specific proletarian element in the democracy of the Paris Commune? It did not substitute class franchise for universal suffrage; it did not restrict political power to a special class – according to the accepted use of language that does not signify democracy but its opposite. Democracy means the abolition of all political privileges attaching to an estate or a class.
No, in 1917 Lenin sought elsewhere for the distinction between bourgeois and proletarian democracy:
“Kautsky has not in the least understood the difference between a middle class parliament combining democracy (not for the people), and proletarian democracy, which will take immediate steps to cut bureaucracy down at the roots, and which will be able to carry out measures to their logical conclusion, to the complete destruction of bureaucracy and the final establishment of democracy for the people. Kautsky reveals here again the same old “superstitious respect” for the State, and “superstitious faith” in bureaucracy.” (The State and Revolution, p.113)
If proletarian democracy consists in the immediate and complete extirpation of bureaucracy, then no State is further removed from “proletarian democracy” than the State that was governed by Lenin.
But wherein consists my superstitious faith in bureaucracy?
It lies in the fact that I have unwittingly ignored three conditions which Marx in his Civil War in France prescribed as conditions of the Commune, and which seem of fundamental importance to Lenin. In them he perceives the basic elements of proletarian democracy.
It is true that I have hitherto ignored these conditions. Not out of a superstitious faith in bureaucracy, but because I did not attach great importance to them. And it would appear that Marx and Engels were of the same opinion, as, apart from the few sentences in the Civil War which Marx devotes to these conditions, and the explanation thereof which Engels gives in his 1891 preface, neither of them have, according to my recollection, made any further reference to the matter, whereas they have frequently and in detail referred to the other democratic institutions which were either introduced or made use of by the Commune: the transformation of the standing army into a militia, universal suffrage, municipal government, and so on.
The conditions which seem to Lenin so noteworthy are contained in the following passage of the Civil War:
“The Council of the Commune consisted of municipal representatives elected by universal suffrage in the various districts of Paris. They were responsible, and could be recalled at any time. The majority were, naturally, working men, or acknowledged representatives of the working class. The Commune was not supposed to be a parliamentary, but a working association, executive and administrative at the same time. The police, until then merely an instrument of the Government, was immediately stripped of all of its political functions, and turned into the responsible and at any time replaceable organ of the Commune. The same was applied to the officials of all other branches of the administration. From the members of the Council of the Commune down to the humblest worker, everybody in the public services was paid at the same rates as ordinary working men.”
These conditions are supposed to mark the fundamental difference between bourgeois and proletarian democracy, and to impart to the latter its special character.
Let us consider the last-named condition, the payment of workers’ wages for public service. Lenin comments as follows:
“Here is shown, more clearly than anywhere else, the break from a bourgeois democracy to a proletarian democracy; from the democracy of the oppressors to the democracy of the oppressed; from the domination of a “special force” for the suppression of a given class to the suppression of the oppressors by the whole force of the majority of the nation – the proletariat and the peasants. And it is precisely on this most obvious point, perhaps the most important so far as the problem of the State is concerned, that the teachings of Marx have been forgotten.” (p.45)
Most ominously, even in Soviet Russia, after a temporary revival.
Why does the peasant suddenly turn up here? Since when has the peasant democracy been, not a bourgeois, but a proletarian democracy? Yet Lenin is right to refer to the peasant in this connection. Cheap government is desired, not merely by the working class, but by the lower middle class and the peasants. The latter advocate it even more than the workers, who have large demands to make upon the State. Nowhere in Europe at the time of the Paris Commune were the salaries of the higher officials lower than in Switzerland, which nobody would take for a proletarian democracy. Thus the practice of the Paris Commune is certainly not something which characterizes proletarian democracy, nor did Marx in any way put it forward as a specifically proletarian demand.
It goes without saying that a Labour republic, like a peasant or lower middle class republic, will abolish all the privileges of higher officialdom. That the members of the Commune only drew workers’ wages was a very creditable act, in contrast with the corruption of the Empire.
But after the experiences we have since encountered, and especially after the experiences of Russia, it may well be doubted whether in the period of transition to Socialism it will be possible to staff all the offices of the State with the requisite intellectual forces, if they are to be offered merely a worker’s wages.
It is admitted that the tendency of economic development is towards a narrowing of the difference between the reward of intellectual and of manual labour. Yet the importance of many phenomena which have appeared during and since the war should not be exaggerated. Frequently during and after the war the wages of many simple manual workers soared beyond the remuneration of particular scientific workers. If we look at the matter more closely, we shall find that this does not represent a general tendency, but a phenomenon which is confined to the countries with a rapidly falling exchange, as well as to the class with fixed salaries, which at a time of shrinkage in the purchasing power of money cannot secure advances in salary as quickly as the workers can secure increases in wages.
This is not to be confused with the general tendency, which was becoming apparent before the war and the Revolution, towards an over-production of intelligence, causing a multitude of intellectuals to fall into an ever lower economic position, while particular sections of manual labour are in the ascendant. Thus a gradual approximation of the economic position of both classes is taking place. This approximation may be expected to make further progress after the conquest of political power by the workers, no longer through a levelling down of the mass of the intellectuals, but through a levelling up of the entire working population. We may suppose that in a fully developed socialist society the economic as well as the social distinction between manual and brain workers will be abolished.
But here we are concerned with a phase of the period of transition. In another connection we will discuss the economic reasons which render it simply impossible to maintain the practice of the Commune quoted by Marx, with which we have always been sympathetic.
We will quote the reasons advanced by Lenin why all public services should immediately be remunerated on the basis of workers’ wages. He says:
“Capitalist civilization has created industry on a large scale in the shape of factories, posts, telephones, railways, and so forth: and on this basis the great majority of functions of “the old State” have become enormously simplified and reduced in practice to very simple operations, such as registration, filing, and checking. Hence they will be quite within the reach of every literate person, and it will be possible to perform them for the usual working man’s wage” (p.46).
“The workers, having conquered political power, will break up the old bureaucratic apparatus, they will shatter it from its foundations up, until not one stone is left standing upon another: and the new machine which they will fashion to take its place will be formed out of these same workers and employees themselves. To guard against their transformation into bureaucrats, measures will be taken at once, which have been analysed in detail by Marx and Engels:
“(1) Not only will they be elected, but they will be subject to recall at any time.
“(2) They will receive payment no higher than that of ordinary workers.
“(3) There will be an immediate preparation for a state of things when all shall fulfil the functions of control and superintendence, so that all shall become ‘bureaucrats’ for a time, and no one shall therefore have the opportunity of becoming ‘bureaucrats’ at all “ (p.113).
Thus immediately before Lenin seized the reins of power, he imagined that the functions of society had been so simplified by capitalist civilization, by the posts and the telephone, that they could be performed by anyone who could read and write. The State officials would have nothing to do but to control and register – whom and what are not stated. Perhaps one would merely have to check the registration of the other, and the other would have to register the result of checking the former. And in this fine business everybody could immediately participate one after the other.
Such was the childish conception of the functioning of the State power entertained by the greatest genius of Bolshevism immediately before his coup d’état. Truly the Russian people have a strong constitution to have been able to stand this regime of brazen ignorance for five years without being completely exterminated.
The second Marxian requisite, which in Lenin’s view proletarian democracy must fulfil, is the election of officials by universal suffrage, and the recall, not merely of officials, but of deputies to the Commune, to the Town Council.
Here we must again inquire where the election of officials by the people on the basis of universal suffrage takes place in Lenin’s Empire, and wherein consists the special proletarian element in this practice, which we have long seen in operation in bourgeois Switzerland. This is certainly an important question, but we have never shut our eyes to it.
When Lenin felt himself obliged to put forward this demand again in 1917, the while he heaped abuse on earlier Socialists who were alleged to have ignored it, he was taking coals to Newcastle.
The recall of deputies is anything but a novel demand, and has been urged by many bourgeois democrats. At the time. of the Paris Commune it was advocated to a far greater extent than it is to-day.
It originated at a time when the electors confronted the deputies as an unorganized mass. At the time of the Paris Commune this was generally the case. Once the deputy was elected, he could do as he liked. His electors lost all control over him. Thus the idea arose that the electors ought to be able to recall a deputy who had deceived them. This would not have been a simple procedure, at least with secret ballot, for how could the opinion o£ the electors be ascertained? It would only be possible through a new election. A minority in a constituency hostile to the deputy would always have it in their power to compel the member to submit to a new election at any moment, even when he was fulfilling the wishes of the majority of his constituents. Nothing is easier than to badger inconvenient deputies in this manner. If I am rightly informed, the recall of deputies in Soviet Russia is only used for the purpose of suppressing any serious opposition in the Soviets.
In the civilized West this provision, which lends itself so readily to abuse, has become quite superfluous through the organization of the masses in great parties, which for the past half century has been proceeding under the auspices of Social Democracy. Since then the responsibility of the deputy towards his constituents has tended to be overshadowed by his responsibility towards his party. It becomes ever rarer for candidates to come forward on their own account. The candidate comes before the electors as the representative of a party. In this capacity and not because of his personal popularity he is elected. This is most strikingly manifested in the system of proportional representation, where the electors are confronted, not with individuals, but with whole parties with a long list of candidates. As a rule neither the parties nor their candidates are new-comers, but are tried and known by long years of public service.
The individual member may no longer do what he likes in Parliament. He is subject to the discipline of his party group, and is constantly controlled by his party – unless the party itself should go out of existence. But even then the elements that have been released gravitate towards new groups, which are controlled by new party organizations outside Parliament.
The demand for the recall of individual deputies by their electors, which was put forward by the Paris Communards of 1877, as well as by many other radical democrats of that time, and endorsed by Marx, is characteristic of a period when the organization of socialist parties and the political organization of the masses had only just begun. During the whole time of its existence the First International was never once a union of socialist parties.
The demand for the recall of deputies was quite in consonance with this primitive degree of popular participation in politics. To raise the same demand after half a century of intensive party labours and the most rapid increase of party membership only reveals an utter lack of comprehension of more highly developed conditions.
What might have seemed both reasonable and revolutionary fifty years ago is now not merely unreasonable, but also reactionary. To-day a deputy who prefers dependence upon an incoherent mass of electors to dependence upon a party inspired by a common idea behaves in a reactionary fashion.
The more party life has developed, the more the demand for the recall of deputies by their electors has fallen into the background. To-day it no longer plays a part in any country with political institutions of long standing.
More thoroughly than the first two of its features, we must discuss the third characteristic of Lenin’s (that is the Lenin of 1917) proletarian democracy, viz.: the union of legislative and executive power in the same body, as in the Paris Commune during the rising of 1871.
Unfortunately Marx describes this requirement without elucidating it. He merely says that in this way the Commune would be transformed from a parliamentary into a working body. In his introduction to the new edition of the Civil War, in 1891, Engels does indeed deal with the first two of the three requirements we are discussing, but he ignores the third, which most needed his elucidation.
It is more than likely that, as regards the demand for the union of executive and legislative power, both Marx and the Communards had in mind the example of the French Convention from 1792 onwards.
This combination arose out of the conditions which characterized the French Revolution at the time of the Convention, the third national assembly since 1789.
At that time France was at war with almost the whole of Europe: Austria, Prussia, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, England. Only Russia was left out, being busy devouring the rest of Poland. The old French Army was dissolved, and the new Army was in course of formation. The generals were unreliable, and some of them rank traitors. The position of the ministers was shaky in the extreme. The old bureaucratic machinery had been shattered, while new machinery had not yet been constructed. The individual departments did what they liked.
In this situation there were only three factors which held the tottering State together: there was Paris, which was dominated by an extremely energetic working class and formed a gigantic compact force; then there were the highly organized Jacobin Clubs, whose centre was in Paris, and whose ramifications extended in all parts of the State. Thirdly, there was the Convention, the popular representative body of the whole of France, towards which all revolutionary Frenchmen looked in their need, but which was only imbued with strength and determination by the Parisian workers and the Jacobin Clubs.
When the executive power, composed of the ministers, the generals, and the provincial officials, broke down, the Jacobins and the Parisians impelled the Convention to take upon itself the executive, and even the highest legal functions. Deputies from the Convention were posted by the side of the generals, in order to supervise them; and by the side of the ministers, in order to spur them on. Deputies were sent to the provinces, in order to accelerate the execution of the decree for general military service.
In this way the Convention actually accomplished great things, and in conjunction with Paris and the Jacobin Clubs, saved the Revolution. But it must not be forgotten that this union of the executive and the legislative power was effected under entirely abnormal conditions, conditions which no one would like to be repeated: resistance to the invasion of superior forces conducted at a time when the country’s own executive officials had abdicated their functions.
Every war has the tendency to promote the concentration of the power of the State into few hands. As a rule it is the executive and the judicial powers which assimilate or subordinate the other powers. The war of the Great Revolution found the executive power of the Republic in complete dissolution. The Convention, or the legislative power, remained the only State power which was full of energy. And this was for the most part the transmitted energy of the Parisian working class.
Foreign war or civil war is the worst condition under which a new mode of production can be organized. War or civil war, under certain social conditions, may be very propitious, even indispensable, for the conquest of political power. It may also assist to remove the obstacles to reconstruction. But it is not adapted to promote systematic social reorganization. Generally it renders this task quite impossible, as it subordinates the whole of life to its own ends, which are merely those of destruction.
For the period of transition from capitalism to socialism we most urgently require peace both at home and abroad. Not in the sense of a reconciliation of classes, but in the sense that they will fight out their differences with the agencies of democracy, and not of force. Under these conditions, however, there would not be the slightest reason for combining the executive with the legislative power, and there would be many cogent reasons against it.
Division of labour is the great law of progress. The greater the division of labour that has been effected amongst its organs, the higher an organism stands in the scale of development. It is not every system of division of labour that spells progress, but only that which preserves the harmony of the parts and makes their co-operation subservient to the whole. A division of labour in which a part is perfected at the expense of the whole cannot be regarded as progressive. But where a division of labour is successfully functioning, it would be a retrograde step to abolish it by transferring the functions of various organs to a single organ.
The division of labour that has been effected in the course of a thousand years of social development among the executive, the legislative, and the juridical organs in the State is not an arbitrary growth. It has been increasingly improved because each of these functions require different conditions for their most efficient performance.
The executive power has to act. It has to make rapid decisions for special occasions, and execute them immediately. For this purpose a large body is unsuitable. The most rapid and drastic decisions can be best taken by one person. Consequently war, which renders such decisions most urgently necessary, favours the widest possible supremacy of one person.
The executive power, therefore, constantly results in the supremacy of one or few persons, of a monarch, president, ministry, etc. Even the Convention could not escape from this necessity. In March 1793 it appointed the Committee of Public Safety, comprising nine, and later twelve, members. The latter was above the ministers; it appointed officials and generals, as well as commissaries, with unlimited authority; in short, it, and not the Convention, was the real sovereign power. But even this committee was too large to secure rapid and decisive results. It divided itself into three groups, each consisting of three men, of which one carried on the war administration, the second conducted the political police work, while the third maintained contact with the provinces.
Of these groups two were specially important, that relating to the war and that relating to the political police, and in each of the two one man was in control, Carnot in the first case and Robespierre in the second. Eventually, the latter gained the greatest power of all. In fact, the Convention was not free from the fear of Robespierre’s dictatorship until his fall on the Ninth Thermidor (July 27th).
The actual separation of the executive from the legislative power and its concentration within a few hands were effected at that time by the force of circumstances.
If the nature of things determines that the executive power may only be entrusted to a small committee, the converse is the case with the legislative assembly. This forms the substitute for the assembly of the people, which was the depository of supreme power among primitive communities. It chose executive and juridical officials for definite purposes, and reserved to itself the supervision of these officials as well as of legislation. When the primitive communities were united into large States through the rise of the State power, their population was too numerous and scattered over too wide an area to permit the whole of the members to meet and discuss at a single gathering. This was one of the reasons why, since the rise of the State, the executive powers have been able to achieve increasing independence of the popular will, progressively to assimilate both the legislative and juridical powers, and to replace the primitive democracy by an aristocratic constitution or an absolute monarchy. The new democracy, which commenced to assert itself with the rise and consolidation of the towns, could not revert to the people’s assembly as the supreme power in the State. It had to fashion a type of popular assembly in which all the districts of the State and all the interests which were strong enough to be important could secure adequate representation.
This body is therefore provided with the largest possible membership. Of course, certain limits must be assigned to a body which is to be a debating, and not a demonstrative, assembly. The expansion of a legislative assembly generally approaches these limits. The membership of the parliaments of our time averages 400 to 500. It is true that the membership of the French Estates General of 1789 amounted to 1,200, but it was anticipated that the 600 members of the Third Estate, the 300 of the First, and likewise many of the Second Estates would deliberate separately. The later Parliaments of the Revolution comprised 745 members, all of whom were almost never present at once. Yet 721 deputies took part in the vote upon the condemnation of Louis XVI.
A corporation of several hundred members is in the nature of the case too cumbrous an apparatus for the functions of an executive power.
For the functioning of the latter unanimity and determination are required. We have already referred to the fact that we have entered upon an era of coalition Governments. We do not regard this fact with satisfaction, but as an evil, which is only tolerable because the alternative, an anti-Labour government, would be a greater evil. But a Government that is to do great things must be homogeneous. We may not, therefore, expect any substantial progress until we have passed out of the phase of coalition Governments and entered that of purely socialist governments. To shorten the first phase as far as possible is our most urgent task. But how would it be possible to have a purely socialist executive, if the functions of the executive were combined with those of the legislature in one assembly, which contained a strong anti-socialist opposition?
History also shows us that an assembly which possesses executive as well as legislative powers cannot tolerate opposition. Scarcely had the Convention assumed the functions of the executive than it expelled and imprisoned thirty-four of its members on account of their political opinions (Girondistes), and shortly afterwards seventy-three more were expelled. Those who could not escape were guillotined. Later Danton and his friends among the members of the Convention were sent to the scaffold, where they were eventually followed by Robespierre and his supporters.
An opposition within an executive body is an extremely obstructive and sometimes a noxious thing. On the other hand, it is absolutely necessary for an assembly which is to enact laws, laws which should be able to stand all criticism. A governing party easily overlooks the defects in a Bill which it puts forth, being interested in the rights which the Bill confers rather than in the duties which it imposes on the population. Without an opposition which is not interested in, or is even hostile to, the governing party of the moment, a rigorous scrutiny of all the implications of a law would hardly be possible. The governing party itself needs the services of the opposition if it wants to remove all defects from the laws enacted by the Assembly.
In order to provide for the most careful examination of Bills, the procedure of Parliaments provides that they should pass through three readings and committee stages. An executive power, on the other hand, must always be in a position to be able to take decisions without discussion.
The frequently tedious procedure and the many speeches which are delivered in the Parliaments sometimes cause the latter to be held up to ridicule as mere “talking shops” which never do any good. Unfortunately, this reproach does not apply to Parliaments alone. The tendency to waste time through empty chatter is shared by them with every deliberative body. Will anyone assert that no superfluous speeches are delivered at popular meetings, conferences, or other gatherings? How many of those who pour scorn on Parliament as a talking shop are not inveterate gossips themselves?
In the summer of 1917, when Lenin had not yet been able to mould the Soviets according to his desires, he wrote about them as follows:
“Such heroes of putrid philistinism as the Skobeleffs and the Tseretellis, the Tchernoffs and the Avksentieffs, have managed to pollute even the Soviets, after the model of the most despicable middle class parliamentarism, by turning them into hollow talking shops.”(The State and Revolution, p.49)
Parliaments are distinguished from most other deliberative assemblies by the fact that they provide a platform for all the great classes and parties in society, especially when universal suffrage prevails. This renders parliamentary proceedings important, but it also makes them protracted.
There is no doubt that Parliaments often thresh straw, and do not thereby advance the cause of progress, but the institution is wrongly blamed for a fault which is due to the distribution of class power in society. The character of Parliament reflects the character of the classes and parties which dominate it. If the latter are reactionary or timid, Parliament will be the same. Those, revolutionaries who require Parliament to make the revolution for them, irrespective of whether the workers outside Parliament have become strong enough to assert their position in the State, will always be disappointed by parliamentarism.
If Parliament has hitherto given little satisfaction to the workers, this is not due to the institution as such, but to the weakness of the workers in society. The middle class has become conservative, and this explains why Parliament is moribund. This fact would not be altered in the least if Parliament were differently organized, by combining the legislative with the executive power.
The form of an institution is certainly not a matter of indifference. It must be adapted as far as possible to its purposes. But it is preposterous to imagine that a change in structure will bring about an alteration in function.
If we alter the relative strength of parties, and create a compact and determined socialist majority among the people, Parliament will become a “working” body, and the parliamentary mill will supply rich grain, even if it merely exercises legislative functions.
Besides which, it has yet another function. It has not merely to elaborate laws, but also to ensure that they are observed. Thus it has to control the executive power and the employment of the resources of the State.
Where the executive and legislative powers are united in one hand, such control is absent, and the danger arises that the executive power will become all-powerful relative to the population. We have seen that the Convention, from the time when it combined the legislative and the executive powers, was constantly haunted by the fear that the result would be the dictatorship of a single person. In fact, it paved the way for Napoleon, “Robespierre on horseback.”
This absolutely contradicts the object which Marx defined in his Civil War, where he demanded that the State should cease to be “independent of, and superior to the nation,” and that the “legitimate functions of the old Government” should be wrested “from an authority which claims to be above society, and handed over to the responsible servants of society.”
In place of the State, Marx foresaw “a national delegation in Paris,” confronting “a central government with few but very important functions.” This, however, implied the same separation of legislative and executive powers which Marx desired to see abolished so far as the Commune was concerned.
Consequently, it may well be doubted whether Marx desired the same institution for the State as for the Commune. But even if Marx wished to see all the powers of the State combined in a single body, this would signify nothing more than the persistence of memories of the great Middle Class Revolution, whose forms it was the custom to regard as those of revolutions in general, inasmuch as the peculiar conditions for the Labour Revolution had not yet developed with sufficient clearness. This did not take place until the last generation.
If Bolshevism to-day persists in clinging to the forms of the Middle Class Revolution, this is an indication of the backwardness of Russian conditions. A peculiar irony of history lurks in the fact that Lenin seeks the special attributes of proletarian democracy in institutions which either characterize the Middle Class Revolution or arise from a condition of undeveloped middle class democracy.
Of all the institutions of the Paris Commune upon which Marx laid stress, there is only one to which the Bolshevists now cling: the concentration of legislative and executive powers in one body, although not in a popular assembly, elected by universal suffrage, as was the case with the Paris Commune.
They cling to this unity of powers because it facilitates dictatorship. According to Bolshevism, dictatorship is that State constitution which the workers must establish after the conquest of political power for the period of the transition to Socialism.
What is the essence of dictatorship, not in the transitional sense in which Marx and Engels used the word, but in the narrower sense of Bolshevism?
Dictatorship is a State institution which constitutionally excludes all opposition to the State power, and which raises the possessor of State power, be it a person, a corporation, or a class, above the laws of the State, which, of course, apply to the rest of the population.
Fundamentally this institution is nothing else than a state of siege for all those who do not share in the dictatorship. Certainly a more convenient form of government is hardly conceivable, and Lenin was not the first to discover this fact.
Although dictatorship is extremely convenient and certainly not specifically proletarian, having been mostly employed against the proletariat, even the most brutal coercive regime of the bourgeoisie or of the feudal nobility resorts to dictatorship with great reluctance, and only in times of great political difficulty.
The reasons for this fact need not concern us here. We propose to examine the effects produced by a proletarian regime of dictatorship.
First of all: who is to be dictator? Into whose hands shall be placed this enormous power? Naturally, in those of the proletariat, which must be able to break down any opposition to the transformation of society on these lines.
But even in Russia, where the peasant has only just escaped from the Czarist knout, it proved impossible to give a proletarian minority supreme power over the peasants. The Soviets, the councils, in which the dictatorship would be invested, had to be established as peasants’ as well as workers’ councils.
This might not seem out of place in Russia, because there the peasants were still revolutionary – another sign of the bourgeois character of the Russian Revolution. It would be senseless in Western Europe, where the peasants form the strongest conservative force. To take every political liberty from the intellectuals of the towns and give political omnipotence to the peasants would be the height of absurdity.
The dictatorship of the proletariat as a means for the introduction of Socialism must therefore be rejected.
We go further. Suppose the proletariat has dictatorship. What does it mean? That every worker is all-powerful relative to the possessing and cultured classes of the towns, and may plunder and mishandle them as he thinks fit. In short, the dictatorship of a class, conceived as a State institution, signifies investing this class with arbitrary power.
And this was what actually happened in Russia after the coup d’état of Bolshevism (November 1917), which is glorified as the Revolution. Complete anarchy soon reigned within the two classes whose dictatorship was proclaimed at that time.
This Bakunist ideal might be somewhat tolerable in a primitive peasant village, where household industry on a small scale was the rule, but it would be fatal to large-scale industry.
The break-up of large-scale undertakings in agriculture and chaos in industry were the first severe wounds which the Revolution inflicted upon Russia’s economic life, after it had already been fearfully weakened by the war.
To be sure, the Bolshevists were obliged eventually to recognize that matters could not continue in this way. An unorganized class cannot exercise any dictatorship.
The dictatorship of the proletariat soon became untenable. It had led to the most rapid economic collapse of Russia. But the anarchy of this kind of dictatorship formed the soil out of which grew another kind of dictatorship, that of the Communist Party, which is in reality nothing less than the dictatorship of its leaders. The Communist Party was able to survive as the only firm organization in the general chaos, thanks to its unparalleled opportunism, which allowed it to maintain its power by throwing overboard the most important principles for the realization of which it had captured power.
From the loose state of anarchy in town and country Russia passed immediately into the tightest grip of a privileged bureaucracy, police, and standing army, invested with absolute power, whose operations culminated in the bloodiest terrorism.
According to Marx’s conception, which we fully accept, and which Lenin also championed in 1917, the proletariat cannot liberate itself without abolishing the machinery of domination of the bureaucracy, the political police, and of the standing army. If dictatorship cannot be maintained without this machinery, it proves what an unsuitable instrument it is for the political rule and the economic emancipation of the proletariat.
This is all the more obvious when it is realized that dictatorship by its constitution cannot tolerate the slightest opposition. Every attempt at opposition must therefore of necessity aim at overthrowing the constitution and assume the form of civil war.
The faith of Bolshevism reduces itself to the simple belief that it is possible to organize a socialist society in the midst of civil war. To-day the Bolshevists blame this war for the fact that instead of arriving at Socialism, Russia has been overtaken by ruin. They forget that the civil war issued from their dictatorship.
If dictatorship is victorious in the civil war, the inevitable consequence is the paralysis of political and intellectual life in general. Hopeless torpidity seizes the masses, from whose energetic and intelligent activities alone can come Socialism and the democratization of autocratic capitalism.
For this reason dictatorship is an obstacle to socialist progress, quite apart from the fact that a working class which is unable to throw off a dictatorship based on militarism and bureaucracy, thereby proclaims its inadequacy to the task of socialist reconstruction.
All this has already been urged against the Bolshevist methods of achieving Socialism through party dictatorship. To these factors, which make dictatorship an obstacle to socialist progress, must be added a yet more important fact, which in my judgment has not been sufficiently considered.
The process of production requires security, if it is to be continuously renewed and to promote social prosperity. It requires security against unexpected forcible interferences from without, whether from individuals or from the authorities. Nobody will take the trouble to produce if he fears that the product of his labour will be taken from him.
Of course, no worker obtains the whole product of his labour under a mode of production which is based on exploitation. He has to share it with others. But this sharing proceeds according to definite rules which are known to the worker before he commences work. Under the existing social relationships, it is one of the conditions of the process of production, in the absence of which the worker could not produce at all, and therefore could not live. Consequently, production is not impeded by this process of sharing, if sufficient remains to the worker to secure the conservation of his labour power and the maintenance of his offspring.
The case is quite different if the peasant, the handicraftsman, or any other worker is robbed of what remains to him of the product of his labour after the completed process of production, in an irregular and unexpected manner, by a power which is not directly interested in the continuance of his labour. The effect is a strong discouragement to continue producing. Production often becomes quite impossible, if the worker is bereft of tools of production and means of living to maintain his labour power.
Nevertheless, the workers will try to continue working, if it is possible at all, for they have no possibility of existence except through their labour. And under primitive conditions the means of production are simple and can always be created in case of need. Moreover, the income of the individual worker or of the peasant is too scanty to attract much plundering.
Political insecurity affects production far more seriously where it is conducted on capitalist lines. Here production oes not depend upon the worker, but also and in the first place upon the capitalist. If the worker is compelled to produce in order to live, the capitalist is by no means obliged so to do. He puts his money in the process of production or the construction of factory buildings, the purchase of machines and raw materials, the payment of wages, only when he anticipates a considerable profit therefrom, not perhaps in the immediate future, but at least as long as the means of production last in which he has invested his capital. If this security is absent, he prefers not to risk his property. Then he invests it in gold, precious stones, or other extremely valuable articles, which are indestructible, occupy little space, and could be easily hidden; or he embarks it upon businesses where the capital is rapidly turned over, in usury and trade, where the promise of a quick and large profit compensates his risk.
The general insecurity of conditions was one of the reasons why in the East hitherto, and in Europe until the time of the Reformation, a system of industrial capitalism could not develop. This insecurity is one of the reasons why industry has been so long restarting in the vanquished States after the world war, while profiteering has flourished.
This insecurity is carried to its extreme limit, and made permanent by dictatorship. The latter may succeed in checking highway robbery, or preventing pogroms, but its very existence diffuses an atmosphere of insecurity, in the form of the utter arbitrariness and lawlessness of the State power, whose caprices are quite incalculable.
The dictatorship of the Sultan and his Pashas has hitherto imposed an insurmountable obstacle upon the development of any large-scale industry in Turkey, and has even ruined the primitive economy of the Turkish peasant. The economic effects are not different in the case of Russia because the Russian Sultan appeals, not to Mahomet, but to Marx, as the prophet of redemption. Besides, the Russian Pashas in their Asiatic propaganda have contrived to make Mahomet and Marx their twin guiding stars.
The absolutism of the Czars had considerably checked the prosperity of Russia, although latterly it was no longer a purely arbitrary regime, the bureaucracy being subject to definite laws, and an orderly judiciary (apart from many political offences) being in existence. In more recent times there was even a legislative assembly, which controlled the budget.
In arbitrariness, in force, and in the irresponsibility of the State power, the Bolshevist dictatorship goes far beyond Czarism, and therefore exerts a more paralysing effect upon industry than did the latter.
Some forms of government are incompatible with a prosperous capitalist development. One of them is Oriental despotism, and another is its most modern prototype, which masquerades in the garb of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
So long as the dictatorship does not collapse, Russia will continue to go downhill, despite all concessions to the capitalists. But the governmental form of dictatorship is not only incompatible with industrial capitalism, but also with democratic Socialism. For the latter can only arise from a fully developed and flourishing, not a crippled, capitalism, and in the period of transition capitalism will continue to exist in many departments of industry, as we shall see.
From whatever angle we may regard dictatorship, it proves to be an unsuitable means to guide the development of Capitalism into Socialism.
Our examination of the political Labour Revolution may be summarized in the following sentences:
The growth of the Labour movement is accompanied by the growth of democracy. Thus the way of democracy is the normal way for the conquest of political power by the workers.
The democratic Republic is the State form for the rule of the workers.
The democratic Republic is the State form for the realization of Socialism.
Last updated on 27.1.2004