Address of the International Working Men’s Association to Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America
Presented to U.S. Ambassador Charles Francis Adams
January 28, 1865 [A]
Comrades, according to the plan you have adopted and which has been conveyed to me, the subject of today’s talk is the state. I do not know how familiar you are already with this subject. If I am not mistaken your courses have only just begun and this is the first time you will be tackling this subject systematically. If that is so, then it may very well happen that in the first lecture on this difficult subject I may not succeed in making my exposition sufficiently clear and comprehensible to many of my listeners. And if this should prove to be the case, I would request you not to be perturbed by the fact, because the question of the state is a most complex and difficult one, perhaps one that more than any other has been confused by bourgeois scholars, writers and philosophers. It should not therefore be expected that a thorough understanding of this subject can be obtained from one brief talk, at a first sitting. After the first talk on this subject you should make a note of the passages which you have not understood or which are not clear to you, and return to them a second, a third and a fourth time, so that what you have not understood may be further supplemented and elucidated later, both by reading and by various lectures and talks. I hope that we may manage to meet once again and that we shall then be able to exchange opinions on all supplementary questions and see what has remained most unclear. I also hope that in addition to talks and lectures you Will devote some time to reading at least a few of the most important works of Marx and Engels. I have no doubt that these most important works are to be found in the lists of books and in the handbooks which are available in your library for the students of the Soviet and Party school; and although, again, some of you may at first be dismayed by the difficulty of the exposition, I must again warn you that you should not let this worry you; what is unclear at a first reading will become clear at a second reading, or when you subsequently approach the question from a somewhat different. angle. For I once more repeat that the question is so complex and has been so confused by bourgeois scholars and writers that anybody who desires to study it seriously and master it independently must attack it several times, return to it again and again and consider it from various angles in order to attain a clear, sound understanding of it. Because it is such a fundamental, such a basic question in all politics, and because not only in such stormy and revolutionary times as the present, but even in the most peaceful times, you will come across it every day in any newspaper in connection with any economic or political question it will be all the easier to return to it. Every day, in one context or another, you will be returning to the question: what is the state, what is its nature, what is its significance and what is the attitude of our Party, the party that is fighting for the overthrow of capitalism, the Communist Party—what is its attitude to the state? And the chief thing is that you should acquire, as a result of your reading, as a result of the talks and lectures you will hear on the state, the ability to approach this question independently, since you will be meeting with it on the most diverse occasions, in connection with the most trifling questions, in the most unexpected contexts and in discussions and disputes with opponents. Only when you learn to find your way about independently in this question may you consider yourself sufficiently confirmed in your convictions and able with sufficient success to defend them against anybody and at any time.
By Gus Hall
Following is the conclusion statement by Gus Hall to the First Ideological Conference of the Communist Party USA, July 14-16, 1989
“From the beginning we said that ideology is not memorizing formulas. It is a way of thinking, a way of responding, a way of reacting almost reflexively. It is the accumulated rich essence of our theory, philosophy and history, our science of Marxism-Leninism and our experiences in the class struggle.
Our ideology is not stale or lifeless. In the ways of ideology, it reflects and responds to changes in the class struggle.
4. Dialectical Materialism
This section is organized in a sequence similar to a textbook on dialectical materialism. After discussing the nature and role of philosophy, the quotations focus on materialism and the basic conflict with philosophical idealism, then on the nature of dialectics, the three laws of dialectics and some categories (less important laws), and finally the theory of knowledge, the nature of knowledge and how to gain knowledge.
“As philosophy finds its material weapons in the proletariat, so the proletariat finds its spiritual weapons in philosophy.” Marx, Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Law.
Jan. 1844, MECW, Vol.3, p.187
“Marx’s philosophy is a consummate philosophical materialism which has provided mankind, and especially the working class, with powerful instruments of knowledge.”
Lenin, Three Sources & Three Component Parts of Marxism, March 1913, CW, Vol.19, p.25
“The application of materialist dialectics to the reshaping of all political economy from its foundation up, its application to history, natural science, philosophy and to the policy and tactics of the working class – that was what interested Marx and Engels most of all, that is where they contributed what was most essential and new, and that was what constituted the masterly advance they made in the history of revolutionary thought.”
Lenin, The Marx-Engels Correspondence, 1913, CW, Vol.19, p.554
“From this Marxist philosophy which is cast from a single piece of steel, you can not eliminate one basic premise, one essential part, without departing from objective truth, without falling a prey to bourgeois-reactionary falsehood.”
Lenin, Materialism & Empirio-Criticism, Feb.-Oct. 1908, CW, Vol.14, p.326
“…by following the path of Marxian theory we shall grow closer and closer to objective truth (without ever exhausting it); but by following any other path we shall arrive at nothing but confusion and lies.”
Lenin, Materialism & Empirio-Criticism, Feb.-Oct. 1908, CW, Vol.14, p.143
“The great basic question of all philosophy, especially of modern philosophy, is that concerning the relation of thinking and being – spirit and nature…which is primary, spirit or nature…The answer which the philosophers gave to this question split them into two great camps. Those who asserted the primacy of spirit to nature and, therefore, in the last instance, assumed world creation in some form or other…comprised the camp of idealism. The others who regarded nature as primary, belong to the various schools of materialism..”
Engels, Ludwig Feuerbach & the End of Classical German Philosophy, early 1886, MESW, IP, 1977, p.603-04; MECW, Vol.26, pp.365-66
“Matter is a philosophical category denoting the objective reality which is given to man by his sensations, and which is copied, photographed and reflected by our sensations, while existing independently of them.”
Lenin, Materialism & Empirio-Criticism, 1908, CW, Vol.14, p.130
“…all matter possesses a property which is essentially akin to sensation, the property of reflection…”
Lenin, Materialism & Empirio-Criticism, 1908, CW, Vol. 14, p.92
“Dialectics as the science of universal interconnectedness.”
Engels, Dialectics of Nature, 1873-1882, MECW, Vol.25, p.313
“Dialectics is nothing more than the science of the general laws of motion and development of nature, human society and thought.”
Engels, Anti-Duhring, 1876-1878, MECW, Vol.25, p.131
“Motion is the mode of existence of matter…There is no matter without motion, nor could there ever have been.”
Engels, Anti-Duhring, 1878 (First Ed), FLPH, Moscow, 1954, p.86; MECW, Vol.25, p.55
“Motion, as applied to matter, is change in general.”
Engels, Dialectics of Nature, 1872-1882, unfinished, FLPH 1954, p.328; MECW, Vol.25, p.527
“The whole of nature accessible to us forms a system, an interconnected totality of bodies, and by bodies we understand here all material existencies…In the fact that these bodies are interconnected is already included that they react on one another, and it is precisely this mutual reaction that constitutes motion.”
Engels, Dialectics of Nature, FLPH 1954, p.93; MECW, Vol.25, p.363
“Dialectics is the theory of knowledge of… Marxism.”
Lenin, Philosophical Notebooks, “On the Question of Dialectics”, 1915, CW, Vol.38, p.362
“[With dialectics, the world is seen not] as a complex of ready- made things, but as a complex of processes, in which the things apparently stable…go through an uninterrupted change of coming into being and passing away, in which, in spite of all seeming accidentality and of all temporary retrogression, a progressive development asserts itself in the end…”
Engels, Feuerbach & End of Classical Ger. Philosophy,1886, MESW, p.620; MECW, Vol.26, p.384
“An exact representation of the universe, of its evolution, of the development of mankind, and of the reflection of this evolution in the minds of men, can…only be obtained by the methods of dialectics with its constant regard to the innumerable actions and reactions of life and death, of progressive or retrogressive changes.”
Engels, Anti-Duhring. FLPH 1954, p.37; MECW, Vol.25, p.24
“All successive historical systems are only transitory stages in the endless course of development of human society from the lower to the higher.”
Engels, Feuerbach & End of Classical Ger. Philosophy, 1886, MESW IP 1977, p.598; MECW, Vol.26, p.359, MESW, Vol.3, p.339
“The two basic. ..conceptions of development (evolution) are: development as decrease and increase, as repetition, and development as a unity of opposites (the division of a unity into mutually exclusive opposites and their reciprocal relation). “In the first conception of motion, self-movement, its driving force, its source, its motive remains in the shade (or this source is made external – God, subject, etc.). In the second conception the chief attention is directed precisely to knowledge of the source of ‘self’-movement.
“The first conception is lifeless, pale and dry. The second is living.”
Lenin, Philosophical Notebooks, “On the Question of Dialectics”, 1915, CW, Vol.38, p.358
“[to use dialectical method soundly] objectivity of consideration (not examples, not divergences, but the Thing-in-itself)…Firstly, if we are to have a true knowledge of an object we must look at and examine all its facets, its connections and ‘mediacies.’ That is something we cannot ever hope to achieve completely, but the rule of comprehensiveness is a safeguard against mistakes and rigidity. Secondly, dialectical logic requires that an object should be taken in development, in change, in ‘self-movement’ (as Hegel sometimes puts it)…Thirdly, a full ‘definition’ of an object must include the whole of human experience, both as a criterion of truth and a practical indicator of its connection with human wants. Fourthly, dialectical logic holds that ‘truth is always concrete, never abstract’…”
Lenin, Philosophical Notebooks, “Conspectus of Hegel’s Science of Logic”, 1914, CW, Vol.38, p.220, Vol.32, 94
“Views on social phenomena must be based upon an inexorably objective analysis of realities and the real course of development.”
Lenin, The Heritage We Renounce, 1897, CW, Vol.2, p.531
“The whole spirit of Marxism, its whole system, demands that each proposition should be considered a) only historically, b) only in connection with others, c) only in connection with the concrete experience of history.”
Lenin, Letter to Inessa Armand, Nov.30, 1916, CW, Vol. 35, p.250
“…[this approach requires] not to forget the underlying historical connection, to examine every question from the standpoint of how the given phenomenon arose in history and what were the principal stages in its development and, from the standpoint of its development, to examine what it has become today.”
Lenin, The State, July 11, 1919, CW, Vol.29, p.473
Laws of Dialectics
“Proletariat and wealth are opposites; as such they form a single whole. They are both the creations of the world of private property. The question is exactly what place each occupies in the antithesis. It is not sufficient to declare them two sides of a single whole.
“Private property as private property, as wealth, is compelled to maintain itself, and thereby its opposite, the proletariat, in existence. That is the positive side of the antithesis, self- satisfied private property.
“The proletariat, on the contrary, is compelled as proletariat to abolish itself and thereby its opposite, private property, which determines its existence, and which makes it proletariat. It is the negative side of the antithesis, its restlessness within its very self, dissolved and self-dissolving private property.”
Marx & Engels, The Holy Family, Sept.-Nov. 1844,MECW, Vol.4, pp.35- 6
“…The condition for the knowledge of all the processes of the world in their ‘self-movement’, in their spontaneous development, in their real life, is the knowledge of them as a unity of opposites. Development is the ‘struggle’ of opposites.
“…The unity (coincidence, identity, equal action) of opposites is conditional, temporary, transitory, relative. The struggle of mutually exclusive opposites is absolute, just as development and motion are absolute.
“…Dialectics in the proper sense is the study of contradiction in the very essence of objects.” (pp.253-54)
Lenin, Philosophical Notebooks: On the Question of Dialectics, 1915, CW, Vol.38, p.358-360
“In nature…qualitative changes can only occur by the quantitative addition or quantitative subtraction of matter or motion.”
Engels, Dialectics of Nature, FLPH 1954, p.84; MECW, Vol.25, p.357
“Any development, whatever its substance may be, can be represented as a series of different stages of development that are connected in such a way that one forms the negation of the other…In no sphere can one undergo a development without negating one’s previous mode of existence.”
Marx, Moralizing Criticism & Critical Morality, Oct. 1847, MECW, Vol.6, p.317
“[Negation of the negation is a] development that repeats, as it were, stages that have already been passed, but repeats them in a different way, on a higher basis.”
Lenin, Karl Marx, July-Nov. 1914, CW, Vol.21, p.54
“The kind of negation is…determined, firstly, by the general and, secondly, by the particular nature of the process…Every kind of thing therefore has a peculiar way of being negated in such a manner that it gives rise to a development, and it is just the same with every kind of conception or idea.”
Engels, Anti-Duhring, FLPH, 1954, p.196; MECW, Vol.25, pp.131-32
“From living perception to abstract thought, and from this to practice, – such is the dialectical path of the cognition of truth, of the cognition of objective reality.”
Lenin, Philosophical Notebooks, “Conspectus of Hegel’s Science of Logic”, 1914, CW, Vol.38, p.171
“Save through sensations, we can know nothing either of the forms of matter or of the forms of motion; sensations are evoked by the action of matter in motion upon our sense-organs.”
Lenin, Materialism & Empirio-Criticism, 1908, CW, Vol.14, p.302
“To regard our sensations as images of the external world, to recognize objective truth, to hold the materialist theory of knowledge – these are all one and the same thing.”
Lenin, Materialism & Empirio-Criticism, 1908, CW, Vol.14, p.130
“From the standpoint of modern materialism, i.e., Marxism, the limits of approximation of our knowledge to objective, absolute truth are historically conditional, but the existence of such truth is unconditional, and the fact that we are approaching nearer to it is also unconditional.”
Lenin, Materialism & Empirio-Criticism, 1908, CW, Vol.14, p.136
“The standpoint of life, of practice, should be first and fundamental in the theory of knowledge. And it inevitably leads to materialism…”
Lenin, Materialism & Empirio-Criticism, 1908, CW, Vol.14, p.142
“Thought proceeding from the concrete to the abstract – provided it is correct -…does not get away from the truth but comes closer to it. The abstraction of matter, of a law of nature, the abstraction of value, etc., in short, all scientific (correct, serious, not absurd) abstractions reflect nature more deeply, truly and completely.”
Lenin, Philosophical Notebooks, “Conspectus of Hegel’s Science of Logic”, 1914, CW, Vol.38, p.171
“The concrete concept is concrete because it is a synthesis of many definitions, thus representing the unity of diverse aspects. It appears therefore in reasoning as a summing-up, a result, and not as the starting point, although it is the real point of origin, and thus also the point of origin of perception and imagination. The first procedure attenuates meaningful images to abstract definitions, the second leads from abstract definitions by way of reasoning to the reproduction of the concrete situation.” Marx, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy,
Aug.1857, IP 1970, p.206; 1. Production, Consumption, Distribution, Exchange, Circulation,MECW, Vol.28, p.38
“[Emphasizing the unity of analysis and synthesis] The union of analysis and synthesis – the break-down of the separate parts and the totality, the summation of these parts.”
Lenin, Philosophical Notebooks, “Conspectus of Hegel’s Science of Logic”, 1914, CW, Vol.38, p.221
“Induction and deduction belong together as necessarily as synthesis and analysis. Instead of one-sidedly lauding one to the skies at the expense of the other, we should seek to apply each of them in its place, and that can only be done by bearing in mind that they belong together, that they supplement each other.”
Engels, Dialectics of Nature, IP, 1940, p.204; MECW, Vol.25, p.508
“In every comparison a likeness is drawn in regard to only one aspect or several aspects of the objects or notions compared, while the other aspects are tentatively and with reservation abstracted.”
Lenin, On Confounding Politics with Pedagogics, June 1905, CW, Vol.8, p.454
3. The Socialist and Communist Stage of Social Development
Marx and Engels discuss why capitalism leads to socialism and how socialism resolves the contradictions of capitalism. They also distinguish between utopian and scientific socialism and discuss the distinction between the first socialist transitional phase and the communist phase itself. Marx, Engels and Lenin discuss the “dictatorship of the proletariat” in the transitional phase to communism proper. Lenin notes the universal and the particular in socialism in each country and he also discusses the relationship of radical democratization to socialism. Lenin also discusses concessions by the new socialist state to domestic and foreign capitalists. In the final articles before his death, his “last testament”, Lenin discusses the importance of cooperatives. The Communist Manifesto. 1848, Marx & Engels (Excerpts) “The theoretical conclusions of the Communists are in no way based on ideas or principles that have been invented, or discovered, by this or that would-be universal reformer.
“They merely express, in general terms, actual relations springing from an existing class struggle, from historical movement going on under our eyes.
“The distinguishing feature of communism is not the abolition of property generally but the abolition of bourgeois property.
(p.23 IP Ed; MESW, p.46-47; MECW, p.498)
“…the first step in the revolution by the working class, is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class, to establish democracy.
“The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the state, i.e., of the proletariat organized as the ruling class, and to increase the total of productive forces as rapidly as possible.
p.30 IP Ed; MESW, p.52; MECW, p.504)
“When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so-called, is merely the organized power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organize itself as a class; if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and , as such sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms, and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class.
“In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonism, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.”
(p.31 IP Ed; MESW, p.53; MECW, pp.505-06) Communist Manifesto. 1848, Marx & Engels, Chapter II, IP Ed; MESW; MECW, Vol.6 Critique of the Gotha Programme, Marx 1875, Forward by Engels (Excerpts)
“What we have to deal with here is a communist society, not as it has developed on its own foundations, but, on the contrary, just as it emerges from capitalist society, which is thus in every respect, economically, morally and intellectually, still stamped with the birth mark of the old society from whose womb it emerges (p.323) “In spite of this advance, this equal right is still constantly stigmatized by a bourgeois limitation. The right of the producers is proportional to the labour they supply; the equality consists in the fact that measurement is made with an equal standard, labour. But one man is superior to another physically or mentally and so supplies more labour in the same time… It recognizes no class differences, because everyone is only a worker like everyone else; but it tacitly recognizes unequal individual endowment and this productive capacity as natural privileges. It is, therefore, a right of inequality, in its content, like every right…
“But these defects are inevitable in the first phase of communist society as it is when it has just emerged after prolonged birth pangs from capitalist society. Right can never be higher than the economic structure of society and its cultural development conditioned thereby.
“In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labour and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labor has vanished; after labour has become not only a means of life but life’s prize want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-round development of the individual and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly – only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” (p..324) “Between capitalist and communist society lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.”
Critique of the Gotha Programme, Marx 1875, Forward by Engels, MESW, p.323, 331; MECW, Vol.24, p.85-6
Engels, Socialism: Utopian & Scientific (Intro. written 1892; originally a chapter from Anti-Duhring 1875) (Excerpts)
“To the crude conditions of capitalistic production and the crude class conditions, corresponded crude theories. The solution of the social problems, which as yet lay hidden in undeveloped economic conditions, the utopians attempted to evolve out of the human brain. Society presented nothing but wrongs; to remove these was the task of reason. It was necessary, then, to discover a new and more perfect system of social order and to impose this upon society from without by propaganda, and, wherever it was possible,, by the example of model experiments. These new social systems were foredoomed as utopian; the more completely they were worked out in detail, the more they could not avoid drifting off into pure phantasies.
(p.36 IP Ed; MESW, p.403; MECW, p.290)
“To all these, socialism is the expression of absolute truth, reason and justice, and has only to be discovered to conquer all the worldly virtue of its own power.”
p.43 IP Ed; MESW, p.409; MECW, p.297
“From that time forward socialism was no longer an accidental discovery of this or that ingenious brain, but the necessary outcome of the struggle between two historically developed classes – the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. Its task was no longer to manufacture a system of society as perfect as possible, but to examine the historico-economic succession of events from which these classes and their antagonisms had of necessity sprung, and to discover in the economic conditions thus created the means of ending the conflict. But the socialism of earlier days was as incompatible with this materialistic conception as the conception of nature of the French materialists was with dialectics and modern natural science. The socialism of earlier days certainly criticized the existing capitalistic mode of production and its consequences. But it could not explain them, and, therefore, could not get the mastery of them. It could only simply reject them as bad. The more strongly this earlier socialism denounced the exploitation of the working class, inevitable under capitalism, the less able was it clearly to show in what this exploitation consisted and how it arose. But for this it was necessary – 1) to present the capitalistic method of production in its historical connection and its inevitableness during a particular historical period, and therefore, also, to present its inevitable downfall; and 2) to lay bare its essential character, which was still a secret. This was done by the discovery of surplus value. It was shown that the appropriation of unpaid labour is the basis of the capitalist mode of production and of the exploitation of the worker that occurs under it; that even if the capitalist buys the labour power of his laborer at its full value as a commodity on the market, he yet extracts more value from it than he paid for; and that in the ultimate analysis this surplus value forms those sums of value from which are heaped up the constantly increasing masses of capital in the hands of the possessing classes. The genesis of capitalist production and the production of capital were both explained.
“These two great discoveries, the materialistic conception of history and the revelation of the secret of capitalistic production through surplus value, we owe to Marx. With these discoveries socialism became a science. The next thing was to work out all its details and relations.
(p.52-53 IP Ed; MESW, p.416; MECW, p.304-05) (Engels ends the 3 sections with an outline.)
“III. Proletarian Revolution – Solution of the contradictions. The proletariat seizes the public power, and by means of this transforms the socialized means of production, slipping from the hands of the bourgeoisie, into public property. By this act, the proletariat frees the means of production from the character of capital they have thus far borne, and gives their socialized character complete freedom to work itself out. Socialized production upon a predetermined plan becomes henceforth possible. The development of production makes the existence of different classes of society thenceforth an anachronism. In proportion as anarchy in social production vanishes, the political authority of the state dies out. Man, at last the master of his own form of social organization, becomes at the same time the lord over nature, his own master – free.
“To accomplish this act of universal emancipation is the historical mission of the modern proletariat. To thoroughly comprehend the historical conditions and thus the very nature of this act, to impart to the now oppressed proletarian class a full knowledge of the conditions and of the meaning of the momentous act it is called upon to accomplish, this is the task of the theoretical expression of the proletarian movement, scientific socialism.”
(P.74-75 IP Ed; MESW, p.434; MECW, p.325)
Engels, Socialism: Utopian & Scientific (Intro. written 1892; originally a chapter from Anti-Duhring 1875), IP Ed, MESW; MECW, Vol.24
“Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is what constitutes the most profound distinction between the Marxist and the ordinary petty (as well as big) bourgeois.”
p.287) Lenin, State & Revolution Aug.-Sept. 1917, SW, p.287, CW, Vol.25,p.412 Lenin, The Impending Catastrophe & How To Combat It, Sept. 10-14, 1917 (Excerpts)
“The basic contradiction in the policy of our government is that, in order not to quarrel with the bourgeoisie, not to destroy the ‘coalition’ with them, the government has to introduce reactionary- bureaucratic control, which it calls ‘revolutionary democratic’ control, deceiving the people at every step and irritating and angering the masses who have just overthrown tsarism. “Yet only revolutionary-democratic measures, only the organization of the oppressed classes, the workers and peasants, the masses, into unions would make it possible to establish a most affective control over the rich and wage a most successful fight against the concealment of incomes. (P.354)
“This requires a revolutionary dictatorship of the democracy, headed by the revolutionary proletariat; that is, it requires that the democracy should become revolutionary in fact. That is the crux of the matter. But that is just what is not wanted by our Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, who are deceiving the people by displaying the flag of ‘revolutionary democracy’ while they are in fact supporting the reactionary-bureaucratic policy of the bourgeoisie, who, as always, are guided by the rule: – after us the deluge! (p.355)
“Now try to substitute for the Junker-capitalist state, for the landowner-capitalist state, a revolutionary-democratic state, i.e., a state which in a revolutionary way abolishes all privileges and does not fear to introduce the fullest democracy in a revolutionary way. You will find that, given a really revolutionary-democratic state, state monopoly capitalism inevitably and unavoidably implies a step, and more than one step, towards socialism!
“Either in the interest of the landowners and capitalists, in which case we have not a revolutionary-democratic, but a reactionary- bureaucratic state, an imperialist republic.
“Or in the interest of revolutionary democracy – and then it is a step toward socialism.
“For socialism is merely the next step forward from state- capitalist monopoly. Or, in other words, socialism is merely state-capitalist monopoly which is made to serve the interests of the whole people and has to that extent ceased to be capitalist monopoly.
“There is no middle course here. The objective process of development is such that it is impossible to advance from monopolies (and the war has magnified their number, role and importance tenfold) without advancing towards socialism. (p.358) “But take the same institution and think over its significance in a revolutionary-democratic state. Universal labour conscription, introduced, regulated and directed by the Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies, will still not be socialism, but it will no longer be capitalism. It will be a tremendous step towards socialism, a step from which, if complete democracy is preserved, there can no longer be any retreat back to capitalism, without unparalleled violence being committed against the masses. (p.360)
“The more complete the fiasco of the alliance of the bourgeoisie and the Socialist-Revolutionaries and Mensheviks, the sooner the people will learn their lesson and the more easily they will find the correct way out, namely, the alliance of the peasant poor, i.e., the majority of the peasants, and the proletariat.”
p.365) Lenin, The Impending Catastrophe & How To Combat It, Sept. 10-14, 1917, CW, Vol.25
“The key question of every revolution is undoubtedly the question of state power. Which class holds power decides everything. “A courageous and resolute government steering a firm course is nothing but the dictatorship of the proletariat and the poor peasants.”
Lenin, One of the Fundamental Questions of the Revolution, Sept.27, 1917, CW, Vol.25, p.372
“The dictatorship of the proletariat is a persistent struggle – sanguinary and bloodless, violent and peaceful, military and economic, educational and administrative – against the forces and traditions of the old society.”
Lenin, Left-Wing Communism, 1920, LLL Ed, p.29, CW, Vol.31, p.44
“All nations will arrive at socialism – this is inevitable, but all will do so in not exactly the same way. Each will contribute something of its own to some form of democracy, to some variety of the dictatorship of the proletariat, to the varying rate of socialist transformation in the different aspects of social life.”
Lenin, A Caricature of Marxism & Imperialist Economism Aug.-Oct. 1916, CW, Vol.23, p.69
“The granting of concessions under reasonable terms is also desirable for us during the period of the coexistence side by side of socialist and capitalist states…”
Lenin, Letter to American Workers, Sept. 23, 1919, CW, Vol.30, p.39
“Indeed, since political power is in the hands of the working class, since this political power owns all the means of production, the only task, indeed, that remains for us is to organize the population in co-operative societies. With most of the population organized in co-operatives, the socialism which was in the past legitimately treated with ridicule, scorn and contempt by those who were rightly convinced that it was necessary to wage the class struggle, the struggle for political power, etc., will achieve its aim automatically. But not all comrades realize how vastly, how infinitely important it is now to organize the population of Russia in co-operative societies.
“…we must find what form of ‘bonus’ to give for joining the co- operatives (and the terms on which we should give it), the form of bonus by which we shall assist the co-operatives sufficiently, the form of bonus that will produce the civilized co-operator. And given social ownership of the means of production, given the class system of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie, the system of civilized co-operators is the system of socialism.”
Lenin, On Cooperation, Jan.4, 1923,CW, Vol 33, p.467-71 Lenin, On Cooperation II, Jan.6, 1923 (Excerpts)
“Under our present system, cooperative enterprises differ from private capitalist enterprises because they are collective enterprises, but do not differ from socialist enterprises if the land on which they are situated and the means of production belong to the state, i.e., the working class. (p.473)
“Our second task [winning political power was the first, DR] is educational work among the peasants. And the economic object of this educational work among the peasants is to organize the latter in co-operative societies. (p.474)
“Why were the plans of the old co-operators, from Robert Owen onwards, fantastic? Because they dreamed of peacefully remodelling contemporary society into socialism without taking into account of such fundamental questions as the class struggle, the capture of political power by the working class, the overthrow of the rule of the exploiting class. That is why we are right in regarding as entirely fantastic this ‘co-operative’ socialism, and as romantic, and even banal, the dream of transforming class enemies into class collaborators and class war into class peace (so-called class truce) by merely organizing the population into co-operative societies.” (p.473)
Lenin, On Cooperation II, Jan.6, 1923, CW, Vol. 33, p.472-75