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Dictatorship of the Proletariat

Marxism and Dictatorship

 Is Marxism in any way bound up with the idea of dictatorship? This is a question with which we are often confronted to-day.

 Hence we are prompted to deal with the matter again, principally because of its repetition from various sides, but partly in view of a statement which recently appeared in England’s leading Labourist-capitalist journal, the Daily Herald.

 Commenting upon the arrest of the leaders of the Spanish workers’ organisation known as the P.O.U.M. (the Workers’ Party of Marxist Unity) the Daily Herald took the opportunity to jibe at the Communists and said: —

      We hope the Spanish Government does not intend to listen to the bloodthirsty demand of the Communists that the P.O.U.M. leaders should be executed.

Marxism To-Day


 The above is the title of a series of articles in the widely read magazine, “Current History,” for October, 1928.

 These articles comprise a discussion by three writers—Prof. Laski, Morris Hillquit, and Prof. Carver, who holds the Chair of Economics at Harvard University. With the threadbare apologies of arguments used by Prof. Carver against Marx we are not now concerned. Neither shall we deal with the theory of Hillquit that Marxism is “essentially evolutionary,” especially as “Father” Hillquit, of the Socialist Party of America, forgets to supply any evidence to support the title of his article.

Trotskyism, Stalinism: What's the Difference?

Trotskyists frequently bemoan the outcome of the power-struggle between Stalin and Trotsky. While the former became undisputed dictator of the Soviet Union, the latter was exiled and was eventually assassinated in August 1940. It is claimed that the many atrocities committed by the Stalin regime were a departure from Bolshevism and that if Trotsky had held power, then the course of events would have been different. What Trotskyists label the “degeneration” of the Russian Revolution is blamed on Stalin.

Democracy and Dictatorship in Russia

 The unflagging interest in Russian conditions is forcing a wider discussion of the implications of Socialism. On the one hand the 100 per cent. Bolsheviks, as they style themselves, accept everything done by the Soviet Government as the best of all policies, and invite the rest of workers of the world to follow out the same policy. On the other hand, the open enemies of the workers, together with the more insidious agents bought by the master class, claim that everything the Bolsheviks have done is wrong and opposed to progress, liberty, and the rest of the cant phrases of our masters.

 The leaders and supporters of Bolshevism, however, are attempting to defend in discussion many of their methods which cannot be justified from the Socialist standpoint. These methods, viewed in the light of what limited knowledge the “freedom of the Press” allows us, seem to to be due to—

    Capitalist intervention and counter-revolution.

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