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


The modern revisionists wish to confine the struggles of the working class within the limits of bourgeois democracy and the legality of the bourgeois state. This leads to and amounts to smashing the struggles of the working class, even including those for their immediate rights in day-to-day life.

The Italian revisionists restrict their activities within the limits of the constitution of the bourgeois republic.

In the document prepared for their 21st congress, the Dutch revisionists set themselves the following objective:

To win a parliamentary majority for a government of the workers’ movement, so as to implement the main points of the programmes of the Dutch Communist Party, and of the Labour Party (the social democratic party) and the Pacifist Socialist Party.

In this respect, there are the questions of the peaceful transition to socialism, the role of parliamentary democracy in achieving this aim and using the possibilities provided by the constitution to achieve greater democracy and the nationalization of the monopolies.

The revisionists have promoted the Dutch monarchical constitution into a means of peaceful transition to socialism. Here is a lovely example of parliamentary and monarchical cretinism!

And in fact, the immediate programme of the Dutch revisionists is no better than that of a class-collaborating union, and includes among other things the “inspiring” prospect of demanding a second television network with parliamentary control over publicity.

In France, the revisionist leaders demand:

A national assembly elected by universal and proportional suffrage, whose main task is to enact laws and control the government; and the formation of a strong and stable government which is responsible to the national assembly and whose role is to rule the country while carrying out the programme desired by the majority of the people.

The revisionist leaders can add any qualification they like – genuine, real, pure – to the word “democracy”, but what they are referring to is still bourgeois democracy. When they demand the formation of a “strong and stable government”, what they demand is a strong and stable bourgeois government!

Lenin clearly gave us ideological weapons in exposing the treachery which makes social democracy a social bulwark of the bourgeoisie. He said:

. . . finance capital, in its striving towards expansion, will “freely” buy and bribe the freest, most democratic and republican government and the elected officials of any country, however “independent” it may be. The domination of finance capital, as of capital in general, cannot be abolished by any kind of reforms in the realm of political democracy. . . . The domination of finance capital, however, does not in the least destroy the significance of political democracy as the freer, wider and more distinct form of class oppression and class struggle. . . .[1]

The socialist revolution may begin in the very near future. In that event the proletariat will be faced with the immediate task of capturing power, of expropriating the banks and of introducing other dictatorial measures. In such a situation, the bourgeoisie and particularly the intellectuals like the Fabians and the Kautskyists will strive to disrupt and to hinder the revolution, to restrict it to limited democratic aims . . .[2]

Generally speaking, political democracy is only one of the possible forms (although, theoretically, the normal form of “pure” capitalism) of the superstructure that rises over capitalism. Facts have proved that both capitalism and imperialism develop under all political forms, and subordinate all of them to their rules. . . .[3]

The learned Mr. Kautsky has “forgotten” – accidentally forgotten, probably ... a “trifle”; namely, that the ruling party in a bourgeois democracy extends the protection of the minority only to another bourgeois party, while on all serious, profound and fundamental issues the proletariat gets martial law or pogroms, instead of the “protection of the minority.” The more highly developed a democracy is, the more imminent are pogroms or civil war in connection with any profound political divergence which is dangerous to the bourgeoisie. . . .

Take the bourgeois parliament. Can it be that learned Kautsky has never heard that the more highly democracy is developed, the more the bourgeois parliaments are subjected by the stock exchange and the bankers? This does not mean that we must not make use of bourgeois parliaments. . . . But it does mean that only a liberal can forget the historical limitations and conditional character of bourgeois parliamentarism as Kautsky does. Even in the most democratic bourgeois state the oppressed masses at every step encounter the crying contradiction between the formal equality proclaimed by the “democracy” of the capitalists and the thousands of real limitations and subterfuges which turn the proletarians into wage slaves. It is precisely this contradiction that is opening the eyes of the masses to the rottenness, mendacity and hypocrisy of capitalism. It is this contradiction that the agitators and propagandists of Socialism are constantly exposing to the masses, in order to prepare them for revolution! And now that the era of revolutions has begun, Kautsky turns his back upon it and begins to extol the charms of moribund bourgeois democracy.

. . . The toiling masses are barred from participation in bourgeois parliaments (which never decide important questions under bourgeois democracy; they are decided by the stock exchange and the banks) by thousands of obstacles, and the workers know and feel, see and realize perfectly well that the bourgeois parliaments are institutions alien to them, instruments for the oppression of the proletarians by the bourgeoisie, institutions of a hostile class, of the exploiting minority.[4]

In our era, the era of the victorious proletarian revolution and of transition from capitalism to socialism, capital is using and will use two tactics: on the one hand, “pure”, “genuine” and “real democracy”; on the other, repression and counter-revolutionary terror pushed to their most bloody form – fascism.

It is behind the smokescreen of this “pure democracy” that the bourgeoisie organizes its terrorist groups and prepares for bloody repressions.


[1] V. I. Lenin, “The Socialist Revolution and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination”, Selected Works, Lawrence and Wishart, London, 1944, Vol. 5, pp. 268-69.

[2] Ibid., p. 277.

[3] V. I. Lenin, “The Discussion of Self-Determination Summed Up ”, Collected Works, International Publishers, New York, 1942, Vol. XIX, p. 273.

[4] V. I. Lenin, “The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky”, Selected Works, FLPH, Moscow, 1952, Vol. II, Part 2, pp. 51-54.