Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Jacques Grippa

“Theory” and Practice of the Modern Revisionists

A speech delivered at the Higher Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, June 10, 1964


What is the attitude of the revisionists with regard to the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie in the capitalist countries? Or more exactly, how do they try to reconcile their theory and practice of class collaboration on an international scale with the existence of this objective contradiction?

They do it by renouncing the strategic objective of proletarian revolution, of socialist revolution. For this objective they substitute the slogans of bourgeois pacifism, of so-called structural reforms, and of bourgeois democracy.

As to the revisionist prattlings about peace, we shall see later on that these have nothing to do with the tactical objectives of a consistent struggle against imperialist aggression and for the defence of world peace.

In forsaking the tasks of the proletarian revolution, the revisionists, in fact, deny the irreconcilable nature of the contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.

Their subjectivist assertions about peaceful transition and peaceful evolution from capitalism to socialism are part of their revision of Marxism-Leninism.

The Marxist-Leninist stand on this question is known. Naturally the working class would prefer to advance to socialism by the peaceful way; it should not let slip any opportunity of doing so. But how can one conceive such an eventuality – which is extremely improbable and of which there is up to now no example that permits a verification of this possibility – except in a situation where the working class in alliance with other labouring people has established an overwhelming superiority of forces over the bourgeoisie, including superiority in the field of arms?

This means that at the decisive moment, the working class and its vanguard, the revolutionary party, must be capable of conducting armed struggle victoriously – ideologically, politically and organizationally. Only in this circumstance is it possible to force the bourgeoisie to capitulate.

This can be “forgotten” only by those people who wish to “ignore” the fact that in the state the bourgeoisie has at its disposal an armed force of repression which it is quite ready to use.

To say, as the revisionists do, that it is only necessary in practice to consider the possibility of peaceful transition – only mentioning the other possibility for form’s sake – means renouncing the proletarian revolution, whether peaceful or not.

The revisionists have gone even further: they condemn violent revolution under the pretext that envisaging the possibility of violent revolution would endanger peaceful transition. This is to deliver the working class, bound hand and foot, disarmed ideologically, politically and organizationally, to bourgeois domination.

Moreover, in these circumstances, the revisionists have gone to the lengths of participating in counter-revolutionary repression on the side of the bourgeoisie. Noske and Scheideman, the counter-revolutionary renegades of the social-democratic leadership, have shown before them where reformism can lead.

The possibility of peaceful transition to socialism which Lenin considered rare, is described by the revisionists as being the actual rule. What can this assertion be based on?

In the capitalist countries, every year workers are shot down during strikes and peaceful demonstrations which cannot in the least endanger the state power and privileges of the bourgeoisie.

The bourgeoisie has constantly strengthened the repressive arsenal of its state, its police and armed forces. How can one imagine that capitalism will voluntarily renounce the use of these forces?

In short, here again under the influence of the bourgeoisie, the revisionists have capitulated before the pressure of capital, of imperialism, before its threats and blackmail.

They thus renounce all revolutionary perspectives at the very moment when the bourgeoisie is reinforcing its state apparatus in order to cope with the mounting difficulties and the increasing contradictions besetting the capitalist world, contradictions which will inevitably develop to their climax, to a revolutionary situation.

Can one find a better proof of the absurdity of the position of the revisionists and their capitulationism than their application of so-called peaceful transition to fascist Spain where they preach the policy of “national reconciliation”?

Now more than ever before we should remember the following behest of Lenin:

The necessity of systematically imbuing the masses with this and precisely this view of violent revolution lies at the root of all the teachings of Marx and Engels. The betrayal of their teaching by the now predominant social-chauvinist and Kautskyite trends is expressed in striking relief by the neglect of such propaganda and agitation by both these trends.[1]

We always say – and it was said at the Second Congress – that revolution demands sacrifices. Some comrades in their propaganda argue in the following way: We are prepared to make a revolution, but it must not be too severe. If I am not mistaken, this thesis was uttered by Comrade Shmeral in his speech at the congress of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. ... At all events, I must say that if Shmeral did say that, he was wrong. Several comrades who spoke after Shmeral at this congress said, ”Yes, we shall go with Shmeral because in this way we shall avoid civil war.” If these reports are true, I must say that such agitation is not Communistic and not revolutionary. . . [2]


[1] V. I. Lenin, “The State and Revolution”, Selected Works, FLPH, Moscow, 1952, Vol. II, Part 1, p. 220.

[2] V. I. Lenin, “The Tactics of the R.C.P. (B)”, Report Delivered at the Third Congress of the Communist International, July 5, 1921, Selected Works, Lawrence and Wishart, London, 1946, Vol. 9, p. 235.