J. T. Murphy

The Communist Party
The “Bloody” Revolution

Source: Workers’ Life, May 4, 1928
Publisher: Communist Party of Great Britain
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2008). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

Do Communists want a bloody Revolution?

This question is asked by thousands, and many members of the Labour Party and I.L.P. tell us that it is precisely this question that makes them afraid of joining our Party.

The capitalists and our enemies everywhere answer this question in the affirmative and paint the picture of the revolution in the most lurid and exaggerated colours.

What is the Communist answer to this question?

The answer is a simple and straightforward one. The Communist does not want bloody revolution. But—the Communists do want the Social revolution, i.e., a complete and fundamental change in the relation of the classes. The Communists want to end the capitalist dictatorship exercised in the garb of “democracy” and to replace it with the dictatorship of the workers as a class which shall operate that dictatorship as a workers’ democracy.

This we want because all experience teaches us that only when the workers constitute themselves the ruling class is it possible to advance to Socialism.

This change is a political change as distinct from a bloody one. It is a change which is only possible when a number of historical conditions exist which we have enumerated repeatedly.

One of those conditions is that the majority of the workers must be ready to make the change.

Whether this political change can take place without the shedding of blood has been answered a thousand times by the capitalists who have shed the blood of the workers without stint in every adventure.

They shed the blood of the workers with the co-operation of the Labour Party and the I.L.P. to defend their property in far off Shanghai and Canton.

They shed the blood of Connolly and his colleagues in Dublin. They shed the blood of the Indian workers to defend Hartshorn, Attlee, and Simon and Co. only quite recently.

While Featherstone, Tonypandy, the preparations of the Labour Government in 1924 to use the armed forces in the transport strike (see Lansbury’s article in the “Daily Herald”) tells its own story. And who will say that after the demonstration of armed forces in the General Strike that the capitalists will not defend their property with the last cartridge they possess?

The blood question is not ours to answer. The capitalists have answered—they will shed the workers’ blood rather than give up power.

The Communist therefore answers that he is unafraid of bloody threats.

The workers will answer in turn that they also are unafraid of bloody threats.

They will answer each successive stage of the struggle for power in terms which the circumstances demand, whatever they may be.