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Understanding Trotskyism: the permanent revolution

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
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Post 04 Mar 2012, 12:17
Dear comrades,

I present you my article on the Democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry, and Trotsky's Permanent revolution.

It took me a few days to read all the articles and chapters, then to select the relevant quotations. I added some footnotes, but all the quotations come from marxists.org, so you will easily find the original works on the internet, and read by yourself. This is entirely my own opinion, I only used Lenin's and Trotsky's works.

The article is not finished, I will add an introduction and some graphics. Then I will try to write on Brest-Litovs, the unions, and some other questions.

If you find some grammatical errors, redundancies or anything related to my bad mastery of English, please tell me.

You can also read the article there

Thanks to Loz for helping with the editing.


Between Trotsky and Lenin


The "democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry" and Trotsky's "permanent revolution"


1. How Lenin formulated the problem.

At the very beginning of the 20th century, Lenin was perfectly aware that the proletariat in Russia - which was still very weak - was not prepared for a pure proletarian revolution, and therefore it could not establish directly the dictatorship of the proletariat. On the contrary, he analyzed the 1905 events in Russia and considered that the peasantry was the main force of the coming revolution. The workers had to rely on the peasantry as a whole to fulfill certain democratic demands, that is to say bourgeois revendications. He wrote thereby in his article Petty-Bourgeois and Proletarian Socialism:

Why is the present-day peasant movement a democratic-bourgeois movement? Because, after destroying the power of the bureaucracy and the landlords, it will set up a democratic system of society, without, however, altering the bourgeois foundation of that democratic society, without abolishing the rule of capital. How should the class-conscious worker, the socialist, regard the present-day peasant movement? He must support this movement, help the peasants in the most energetic fashion, help them throw off completely both the rule of the bureaucracy and that of the landlords.

The proletariat had to fulfill these democratic tasks through an alliance with the whole of the peasantry "for land and freedom". Lenin indeed thought that the peasantry was the main basis of capitalism in Russia. He stated: "The time has now come when the peasantry is coming forward as a conscious maker of a new way of life in Russia." Even reforms could not do anything against it because because Stolypin's "agrarian revolution" would be "a slow and agonizing one" [1]. Therefore it would only hasten the revolutionary process.

Lenin's conclusions were clear. Most of his 1905 works were dealing with the question of this alliance between workers and peasants. For example in his "Two Tactics", it is written :

"The democratic revolution is a bourgeois revolution. The slogan of a Black Redistribution, or “land and liberty”—this most widespread slogan of the peasant masses, down trodden and ignorant, yet passionately yearning for light and happiness—is a bourgeois slogan. But we Marxists should know that there is not, nor can there be, any other path to real freedom for the proletariat and the peasantry, than the path of bourgeois freedom and bourgeois progress. We must not forget that there is not, nor can there be, at the present time, any other means of bringing Socialism nearer, than complete political liberty, than a democratic republic, than the revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry."

In an article called "The Revolutionary-Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat and the Peasantry", Lenin even stated : "No, comrades, a thousand times no! Have no fear of sullying yourselves by most energetic halting-at-nothing participation in a republican revolution together with the revolutionary bourgeois democrats." On that account, the realisation of the Bolsheviks' minimum programme was bound up with the building of a "republic"[2]. This republic was an intermediate stage in the revolutionary process, as Lenin clearly explained:

One must have a schoolboy's conception of history to imagine the thing without "leaps", to see it as something in the shape of a straight line moving slowly and steadily upwards: first, it will be the turn of the liberal big bourgeoisie - minor concessions from the autocracy; then of the revolutionary petty bourgeoisie - the democratic republic; and finally of the proletariat - the socialist revolution.

The "turn" of the revolutionary petty bourgeoisie was precisely the intermediate stage, the republic, the revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry.


2. Trotsky's Permanent revolution.

Trotsky responded in a 1906 paper called Results and Prospects. He was convinced that if the proletariat took part in some kind of provisional government, the bourgeoisie would also resist to the minimum programme, and therefore the proletariat would have no other choice but to deepen the revolutionary process towards socialism:

The working class cannot preserve the democratic character of its dictatorship without refraining from overstepping the limits of its democratic programme. Any illusions on this point would be fatal. They would compromise Social Democracy from the very start.

Trotsky supposed that the peasantry was not sufficiently independant, that, in a way, it was not possible to rely on the peasantry as a whole. As soon as the proletariat takes power, a part of the peasantry would oppose the social-democrat reforms, and therefore the peasantry would look either in the direction of the bourgeoisie, or in the direction of the proletariat.

"From the very first moment after its taking power, the proletariat will have to find support in the antagonisms between the village poor and village rich, between the agricultural proletariat and the agricultural bourgeoisie [...] The primitiveness of the peasantry turns its hostile face towards the proletariat."

Trotsky thought that if one wished to build a workers' and peasants' government, one needed at least an independant peasant party. However, the country was, he said, subordinated to the town. The peasantry had no independance at all. That's why even the revolutionary interests of the peasantry had to be defended by the proletariat; the burden of revolution fell entirely on the proletariat's shoulders. Thus, as Trotsky said, the proletariat would "stand before the peasants as the class which has emancipated it". Trotsky's position was decided, there could be no intermediate stage before the socialist revolution:

From what we have said above, it will be clear how we regard the idea of a "proletarian and peasant dictatorship". It is not really a matter of whether we regard it as admissible in principle, whether "we do or do not desire" such a form of political co-operation. We simply think that it is unrealisable - at least in a direct immediate sense."

This is precisely the meaning of the "permanent revolution". Trotsky would later write : "The democratic revolution grows over directly into the socialist revolution and thereby becomes a permanent revolution" [4].


3. Lenin's response to the Mensheviks and Trotsky.

Lenin replied directly to the critics directed against him by Trotsky and some Mensheviks such as Martov. In a 1909 booklet, The Aim of the Proletarian Struggle in Our Revolution, Lenin pointed out some fundamental mistakes committed by Trotsky. He asserted that the existence of an independant peasant party wasn't necessary, because it was possible to have class alliances without political parties. On the contrary such an alliance already happened in Russian history, Lenin said:

"The idea of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry has found its practical expression through out our revolution in a thousand forms, from the signing of the manifesto calling upon the people to pay no taxes to withdraw their deposits from the saving-banks (December 1905), or the signing of calls to insurrection (July 1906), to voting in the Second and Third Dumas in 1907 and 1908."

But the most specific condamnation of the Permanent revolution was written in 1915, only two years before the beginning of the Russian revolution, in the article "On the Two Lines in the Revolution". In this paper, Lenin explains that Trotsky misunderstood what the "democratic dictatorship" stood for. First of all, Trotsky "has not realised that if the proletariat induce the non-proletarian masses to confiscate the landed estates and overthrow the monarchy [...] it will be a revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry!" Moreover, according to Lenin, Trotsky's analysis of the relations between classes is wrong in itself. Indeed, while Trotsky thought that the differenciation inside the peasantry would prevent the peasantry from playing an active role in the revolution -and thus to seal an alliance with the proletariat -, Lenin believed that it produced exactly the contrary. The rural proletariat was drawn closer to the urban proletariat., and the peasantry became more and more opposed to autocracy. He conluded:

"This is such an obvious truth that not even the thousands of phrases in scores of Trotsky’s Paris articles will “refute” it. Trotsky is in fact helping the liberal-labour politicians in Russia, who by “repudiation” of the role of the peasantry understand a refusal to raise up the peasants for the revolution!"

In the meantime, Lenin also criticized Trotsky's conclusion that a "national" revolution in Russia was impossible because of the imperialist nature of capitalism:

"Here we have an amusing example of playing with the word "imperialism". If, in Russia, the proletariat already stands contraposed to the "bourgeois nation", then Russia is facing a socialist revolution (!), and the slogan "Confiscate the landed estates" (repeated by Trotsky in 1915, following the January Conference of 192), is incorrect; in that case we must speak, not of a "revolutionary workers" government, but of a “workers’ socialist” government!"


4. Trotsky's last charge against Lenin.


When Lenin died, his legacy became an important source of legitimacy for a potential successor. But Trotsky was burdened by his long conflict with Lenin, especially because Stalin decided to attack the theory of the permanent revolution. How could he get out of this deadlock? Of course, he was one of Lenin's fiercest opponents, at least until 1917. But it was easy for him to admit his former disagreements with Lenin, yet to explain that after the revolution Lenin finally rallied to his position. For example in his autobriography My Life (1931), he wrote :

I had to argue that Lenin had not come over to my point of view, but had developed his own, and that the course of events, by substituting arithmetic for algebra, had revealed the essential identity of our views. And that is what really happened.

Trotsky tried to prove that the difference between him and Lenin wasn't so important. But the frame of Lenin's analysis never changed from the beginning of the 20th century to his death. During the revolution, in 1918, he published a famous book called The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky in which he declared:

The question which Kautsky has so tangled up was fully explained by the Bolsheviks as far back as 1905. Yes, our revolution is a bourgeois revolution as long as we march with the peasants as a whole. This has been as clear as clear can be to us; we have said it hundreds and thousands of times since 1905, and we have never attempted to skip this necessary stage of the historical process or abolish it by decrees. Things have turned out just as we said they would. The course taken by the revolution has confirmed the correctness of our reasoning. First, with the “whole” of the peasants against the monarchy, against the landowners, against medievalism (and to that extent the revolution remains bourgeois, bourgeois-democratic). Then, with the poor peasants, with the semi-proletarians, with all the exploited, against capitalism, including the rural rich, the kulaks, the profiteers, and to that extent the revolution becomes a socialist one.

This statement did not go in Trotsky's favour, because Lenin was reaffirming once again his fundamental theory. Trotsky would later reply in Permanent Revolution with much confusion. He recognized that the democratic revolution took place, but "it was not realized in the form of a democratic dictatorship, but in the form of the dictatorship of the proletariat", and moreover, after october. Of course, he also acknowledged that Lenin talked about a democratic dictatorship evoking the "dual power", that is to say the cohabitation of Kerensky's provisional government and the Soviets. This is perfectly right. However, it is not true that Lenin spoke conditionally about it, because the dual power in general was not the "democratic dictatorship". In The Lessons of October, Trotsky recalled that Lenin "came out furiously against the old slogan of “the democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry”. This is perfectly right. This slogan, Lenin thought, was exhausted. But it was exhausted because the Bolshevik were right, because the Soviets did embodied this political stage: "The Petrograd and the other, the local, Soviets [constituted] precisely such a dictatorship"[4]. Lenin, in fact, spoke conditionally about a "democratic dictatorship" independant from the power of the bourgeoisie, that is to says Kerenskys' government [5]. Therefore, the "dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry" may have been invalidated as a slogan, but certainly not as a stage: Events have moved [the old formula] from the realm of formulas into the realm of reality", Lenin wrote. As soon as the democratic dictatorship existed, as long as it was a fact, the Bolsheviks had to prepare the new step of the revolutionary process, that is to say the socialist revolution, because it was precisely the meaning, the "future" of the democratic dictatorship:


... I define “the specific feature of the present situation in Russia” as a period of transition from the first stage of the revolution to the second. I therefore considered the basic slogan, the “task of the day” at this moment to be: “Workers, you have performed miracles of proletarian heroism, the heroism of the people, in the civil war against tsarism. You must perform miracles of organisation, organisation of the proletariat and of the whole people, to prepare the way for your victory in the second stage of the revolution.

After October, the Bolsheviks were not struggling for demoratic reforms anymore, but for socialism. They started to speak about an alliance "between the workers and exploited peasants" - and not the peasantry as a whole - because "Socialism [was] fully able to meet the interests of both." [6] Yet, the revolution didn't became immediatly socialist. According to Lenin, the proletariat had to make "a number of concessions to the middle peasants", they were still walking with the peasantry as a whole, and they did so until "the summer and autumn of 1918", when class differenciation started inside the peasantry. It is clear that Lenin continued long after October to assume his so-called "stagist" conception [7]:

On the other hand, if the Bolshevik proletariat had tried at once, in October-November 1917, without waiting for the class differentiation in the rural districts, without being able to prepare it and bring it about, to “decree” a civil war or the “introduction of socialism” in the rural districts, had tried to do without a temporary bloc with the peasants in general, without making a number of concessions to the middle peasants, etc., that would have been a Blanquist distortion of Marxism, an attempt by the minority to impose its will upon the majority; it would have been a theoretical absurdity, revealing a failure to understand that a general peasant revolution is still a bourgeois revolution, and that without a series of transitions, of transitional stages, it cannot be transformed into a socialist revolution in a backward country.

An analysis of all these historical events could also be found in Lenin's 1920 famous book: Left-wing Communism: an Infantile Disorder :

"... following the April (1917) Conference of our Party [we] began to state officially in the name of the Party that a bourgeois republic with a Constituent Assembly would be better than a bourgeois republic without a Constituent Assembly, but that a "workers’ and peasants"’ republic, a Soviet republic, would be better than any bourgeois-democratic, parliamentary republic. Without such thorough, circumspect and long preparations, we could not have achieved victory in October 1917, or have consolidated that victory."

These preparations could not be part of the dictatorship of the proletariat because they were precisely a preparation for the socialist revolution. Trotsky, once again, didn't understood the dialectical difference between the two stages, between preparation and revolution. We could roughly reverse one of his statements: the coalition, the compromise with the peasantry was a fact, while the socialist revolutionary movement was the tendency [8].


5. History always repeats itself twice...


Of course, after February, the discussions about a "democratic dictatorship" or a "socialist dictatorship" were not as important as they had been before. In 1920, when writing on the question of the dictatorship in general, Lenin recalled an old 1906 formula [9]: "Former disagreements gave way to unity of opinion on the question of armed uprising. [...] Old controversies of the pre-revolutionary period gave way to unanimity on practical questions." Wasn't it true also, to a certain extent, for the 1917 revolution?
The "permanent revolution" could have been forgotten in the course of events. But after Lenin's death, the struggle inside the Party intensified. By publishing The Lessons of October (1924) Trotsky wanted to discredit Zinoviev and Kamenev on the basis of some mistakes they committed before October. But the desired result did not occur. Stalin took the defense of Zinoviev and Kamenev, and accused Trotsky of trying to reintroduce "trotskyism", that is to say his theory of the permanent revolution. It was the beginning of long struggle inside the party which led to Trotsky's defeat.
Had there been not so rough disputes inside the Party, we would have been spared of the theoretical discussion on "socialism in one country" which led Trotsky to reproduce his 1905 theory, without much differences except an update on international problematics. His conclusion in 1931 was all that remained of Lenin's legacy:


"Between Kerenskyism and the Bolshevik power, between the Kuomintang and the dictatorship of the proletariat, there is not and cannot be any intermediate stage, that is, no democratic dictatorship of the workers and peasants."



------------------------
[1]
[2] "It should be said again, to avoid possible misunderstanding, that by the republic we understand not only and not so much a form of government as the sum-total of democratic changes envisaged in our minimum programme." Lenin, "The Revolutionary-Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat and the Peasantry", 1905.
[3] L. Trotsky, Permanent Revolution, 1931.
[4] Lenin, The Tasks of the Proletariat in Our Revolution, 1917.
[5] Lenin, Letters on Tactics, april 1917.
[6] Lenin, "Alliance Between the Workers and Exploited Peasants", november 1917.
[7] Lenin, The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky, 1918.
[8] Trotsky, The Lessons of October, 1924.
[9] Lenin, "A Contribution To The History of The Question of the Dictatorship", 1920.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
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Post 26 Mar 2012, 05:20
On marxists.org I found this entry in the glossary of terms:

Quote:
Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat and Peasantry

“Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat and Peasantry” is the designation worked out by Stalin, in his struggle with the Left Opposition, to characterise the Soviet state, and which was subsequently accepted as their goal by the parties of the Communist International.

This designation however was a falsification by Stalin of the nature of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet state. His argument was based on a misrepresentation of Lenin’s policy on the relation between the proletariat and the peasantry.

Before the War, Lenin had advocated the slogan of ‘democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry’, while Trotsky had advocated ‘dictatorship of the proletariat which leads the peasant masses behind it’. This old dispute, long since resolved by the October revolution, was used as a means of attacking Trotsky. In this case it was Lenin who came over to Trotsky’s position, and not vice versa, so the history of the revolution itself had to be rewritten for the purpose of this factional struggle.

It was this concept which was behind Mao’s slogan of “bloc of four classes” and the policy of “People’s Republics” implemented in Europe after the Second World War.

Further Reading: ’The Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat and Peasantry’ - in February and October, Trotsky 1924.



This is absolutely shocking !
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
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Post 26 Mar 2012, 05:37
It's a known fact that a significant number of Trotskites have infiltrated the marxists.org, commencing sabotage and falsification.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Sep 2006, 22:05
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Post 26 Mar 2012, 05:50
Infiltrated? Jesus Christ loz you're like a parody of Stalinists sometimes. Marxists.org has always been run by Trotskyists.

There isn't much in the way of falsification here either. Lenin never came out and said he completely agreed with Trotsky on the October Revolution nor did he come out and say Trotsky was entirely wrong. So both factions, in a bid to secure the legacy of a dead man, huff and puff about how they're right and everyone else is wrong. Grow the frag up.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
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Post 26 Mar 2012, 12:36
Marxists.org is a trotskyist website indeed. But the question there is not whether you are pro Trotsky or pro Stalin. It is rather: "what did Lenin said about the ddotpp? Did he agreed with Trotsky in 1917 or not?" I think that I gave a clear answer in my article. And therefore there is absolutely no doubt that this entry in marxists.org's glossary is a pure falsification.

If you think that I am wrong comrade Dagoth, why don't you discuss my article?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jan 2012, 22:09
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Post 28 Apr 2012, 19:36
Bagration, good attempt, I did read it. However it's still wrong I reckon. In September 1917 Lenin had dropped the dictatorship of workers and peasants for a workers dictatorship. He basically came round to Trotsky's position in April, and even more so in September.

Trotsky's insistence of the dictatorship of the proletariat was in line with what Marx wrote, but Marx never really thought revolution was too likely in a backward country. So in Russia, Trotsky's position was very clever. In 1917 the peasantry was pretty much united, rich and poor, against the landlords. A workers dictatorship forced the poor peasants to make a choice - the Bolsheviks or the capitalists. They went with the Bolsheviks and so during 1918 the peasantry split along class lines.

This is a very important subject because the Stalinists kept making mistakes on stagism long after Stalin died. The marxists.org summary is correct.

You say:
"Moreover, according to Lenin, Trotsky's analysis of the relations between classes is wrong in itself. Indeed, while Trotsky thought that the differenciation inside the peasantry would prevent the peasantry from playing an active role in the revolution -and thus to seal an alliance with the proletariat -, "

I dunno that he went that far


"Lenin believed that it produced exactly the contrary. The rural proletariat was drawn closer to the urban proletariat., and the peasantry became more and more opposed to autocracy. "

I don't understand this bit. Saying the rural proletariat and then the peasantry. They are different things.

Basically Trotsky stressed the leading position of the proletariat and by September 1917 Lenin was saying:

"And the dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e., the organization of the vanguard of the oppressed as the ruling class for the purpose of suppressing the oppressors, cannot result merely in an expansion of democracy."

and "The dictatorship of the proletariat, the period of transition to communism, will for the first time create democracy for the people, for the majority, along with the necessary suppression of the exploiters, of the minority."

and "the proletariat, after defeating the capitalists"

etc, in State and revolution.

"Then the door will be thrown wide open for the transition from the first phase of communist society to its higher phase, and with it to the complete withering away of the state."

Well that never happened, but that's another story.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 09 May 2008, 14:59
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Post 28 Apr 2012, 21:43
That definition's biggest problem is that it isn't terribly informative. What exactly was Trotsky's position and how was Stalin's definition a falsification? What was Lenin's position before he came around to Trotsky's way of thinking? How is Mao's bloc of classes related? It's a crap glossary entry to be sure, but how could we even call it a falsification? I don't even know what it's trying to say.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Jan 2012, 02:34
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Post 29 Apr 2012, 00:46
Quote:
"Then the door will be thrown wide open for the transition from the first phase of communist society to its higher phase, and with it to the complete withering away of the state."


The door was never thrown wide open for a variety of reasons. According to author and historian Alexander Rabinowitch, who wrote The Bolsheviks In Power, the soviet, once it took up municipal governmental tasks, began to develop a bureaucracy, with or without help from the Left SR or Bolshevik parties. Grappling with food shortages(which culminated in the food procurement detachments being sent to the countryside), fuel shortages, counterrevolution, etc. only made the bureaucracy bigger and more oppressive.

And as for the new socialist army, the so-called Red Army would ironically be used to suppress workers in want of food, jobs, etc., while the peasantry, who had thus far supported land distribution, soon were forced into virtual starvation from grain seizures by Red Army detachments.

Such were the dangers of forming a new socialist state in times of civil war...
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jan 2012, 22:09
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Post 29 Apr 2012, 15:28
Indigo wrote:
That definition's biggest problem is that it isn't terribly informative. What exactly was Trotsky's position and how was Stalin's definition a falsification? What was Lenin's position before he came around to Trotsky's way of thinking? How is Mao's bloc of classes related? It's a crap glossary entry to be sure, but how could we even call it a falsification? I don't even know what it's trying to say.


You mean this?

Quote:
Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat and Peasantry

“Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat and Peasantry” is the designation worked out by Stalin, in his struggle with the Left Opposition, to characterise the Soviet state, and which was subsequently accepted as their goal by the parties of the Communist International.

This designation however was a falsification by Stalin of the nature of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet state. His argument was based on a misrepresentation of Lenin’s policy on the relation between the proletariat and the peasantry.

Before the War, Lenin had advocated the slogan of ‘democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry’, while Trotsky had advocated ‘dictatorship of the proletariat which leads the peasant masses behind it’. This old dispute, long since resolved by the October revolution, was used as a means of attacking Trotsky. In this case it was Lenin who came over to Trotsky’s position, and not vice versa, so the history of the revolution itself had to be rewritten for the purpose of this factional struggle.

It was this concept which was behind Mao’s slogan of “bloc of four classes” and the policy of “People’s Republics” implemented in Europe after the Second World War.

Further Reading: ’The Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat and Peasantry’ - in February and October, Trotsky 1924.


It answers your, Trotsky advocated ‘dictatorship of the proletariat which leads the peasant masses behind it’, Lenin ‘democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry’. It gets a bit complicated, you have to take into account the date things were said, Lenin changed his view a couple of times. There was the 1905 revolution of course. Basically Lenin was a stagist up to 1917. His 'dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry' call was from 1905. Then he called for it again in April 1917 but this time it was not going to be a bourgeois revolution. The rest of the Bolsheviks had been supporting the Provisional Government. Then in September he called for the dictatorship of the proletariat. That's my understanding of it anyway. It might sound a bit contradictory, but I think he saw a 'dictatorship of the proletariat and peasants' as a bourgeois revolution economically, before 1917.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
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Post 29 Apr 2012, 19:38
Daft Punk, there is no "attempt". In this article I have proven that Lenin advocated what you call a stage from 1905 to 1917. In 1917, Lenin explained that this stage was accomplished, and therefore it was time to prepare the next stage, which was the socialist revolution, the dictatorship of the proletariat. Thus, there is no discussion there: according to Lenin, Trotsky's theory was proven to be wrong, the democratic dictatorship was reality, it was a fact.

What don't you understand there? This is pretty simple. Lenin never "came over to Trotsky’s position" (marxists.org). I have given Lenin's quotation in 1917, in 1918, and 1920, in which he clearly advocates what you call a "stagist" conception.

You have given absolutely no evidences for your misleading theory. I'm still waiting for some evidences, there is no problem I can discuss it.

Quote:
I don't understand this bit. Saying the rural proletariat and then the peasantry. They are different things.

Who are rural proletarians exactly? Are they rural industry workers? Of course not. They are peasants who do not own property. So the rural proletariat is part of the peasantry, and that's why Lenin and Trotsky were discussing about a possible differenciation inside the peasantry. Ho could you understand anything to Lenin's and Trotsky's theories if you don't even understood this?

Quote:
Basically Trotsky stressed the leading position of the proletariat and by September 1917 Lenin was saying:

"And the dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e., the organization of the vanguard of the oppressed as the ruling class for the purpose of suppressing the oppressors, cannot result merely in an expansion of democracy."

and "The dictatorship of the proletariat, the period of transition to communism, will for the first time create democracy for the people, for the majority, along with the necessary suppression of the exploiters, of the minority."

and "the proletariat, after defeating the capitalists"

etc, in State and revolution.

"Then the door will be thrown wide open for the transition from the first phase of communist society to its higher phase, and with it to the complete withering away of the state."

Well that never happened, but that's another story.

All these statement were perfectly right. But they have no relation to the debate. The democratic dictatorship was a step before the "dictatorship of the proletariat".
The problem is that you don't understand that, according to Lenin, when you speak about democracy in general, it means power to the people in its entirety. Why did he call this special stage "democratic dictatorship"? Because it was an alliance between the whole of the peasantry (which was mostly bourgeois), and he repeats it very often, and the proletariat. The dictatorship of the proletariat, on the contrary, isn't democratic. It means power to the proletariat, and misfortune for the bourgeoisie. According to Lenin, this dictatorship is democratic for the proletariat only. So this isn't democracy in general, this isn't democracy at all. In fact, in State and Revolution, Lenin criticizes the bourgeois ideology.

Many of our comrades have a big problem with that because they refuse to admit that we are not democrats, we want a dictatorship. A true, violent dictatorship. A dictatorship of the proletariat, and the proletariat only. They didn't understood Lenin, and they thought that Lenin was saying: "look, we are nice guys, we are also democrats". But this is exacty the contrary. Lenin says: "We are nice guys for ourselves only, as long as you are with us you have nothing to fear. But if you are against us, we will be terrible".

So you have to understand that in marxist vocabulary, most of the time democratic means bourgeois, socialist means proletarian. That's why there was a difference, at least in theory, between a socialist republic and a democratic republic. China, for example, was created as a "Popular democracy" because the petty bourgeoisie was supposed to take part in the dictatorship with the proletariat and the peasantry.

But of course there is also a second definition saying that democracy is the power of majority. Lenin said : well, if it is really the power of majority, then real democracy can be nothing else than the dictatorship of the proletariat.

So you have these two definitions competing in Marxist theories.

Quote:
That's my understanding of it anyway. It might sound a bit contradictory, but I think he saw a 'dictatorship of the proletariat and peasants' as a bourgeois revolution economically, before 1917.

What Lenin saw, he explained it very clearly. The "democratic dictatorship" starts with the "dual power", and not before, and finishes in "the summer and autumn of 1918".
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jan 2012, 22:09
Pioneer
Post 30 Apr 2012, 07:57
OP-Bagration wrote:
Daft Punk, there is no "attempt". In this article I have proven that Lenin advocated what you call a stage from 1905 to 1917. In 1917, Lenin explained that this stage was accomplished, and therefore it was time to prepare the next stage, which was the socialist revolution, the dictatorship of the proletariat. Thus, there is no discussion there: according to Lenin, Trotsky's theory was proven to be wrong, the democratic dictatorship was reality, it was a fact.
What don't you understand there? This is pretty simple. Lenin never "came over to Trotsky’s position" (marxists.org). I have given Lenin's quotation in 1917, in 1918, and 1920, in which he clearly advocates what you call a "stagist" conception.

You have given absolutely no evidences for your misleading theory. I'm still waiting for some evidences, there is no problem I can discuss it.

So you are saying there was a bourgeois revolution completed between 1905 and 1917? That's not right. For one thing, he said something about still being in a bourgeois stage after 1917. Second, he said stuff very similar to Permanent Revolution. For example, 1921:
"Let us recall the main stages of our revolution. The first stage: the purely political stage, so to speak, from October 25 to January 5, when the Constituent Assembly[7] was dissolved. In a matter of ten weeks we did a hundred times more to actually and completely destroy the survivals of feudalism in Russia than the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries did during the eight months they were in power—from February to October 1917. At that time, the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries in Russia, and all the heroes of the Two-and-a-Half International abroad, acted as miserable accomplices of reaction. As for the anarchists, some stood aloof in perplexity, while others helped us. Was the revolution a bourgeois revolution at that time? Of course it was, insofar as our function was to complete the bourgeois democratic revolution, insofar as there was as yet no class struggle among the “peasantry”.But, at the same time, we accomplished a great deal over and above the bourgeois revolution for the socialist, proletarian revolution: 1) we developed the forces of the working class for its utilisation of state power to an extent never achieved before; 2) we struck a blow that was felt all over the world against the fetishes of petty-bourgeois democracy, the Constituent Assembly and bourgeois “liberties” such as freedom of the press for the rich; 5) we created the Soviet type of state, which was a gigantic step in advance of 1795 and 1871. "
Lenin, 1921
I think that clearly contradicts your conclusion above. It's a complex subject so I hope we can discuss it in a straightforward honest way (nothing personal, I dont know you, I just know what internet debating is often like). The problem is, Lenin dies seem to contradict himself quite a bit, if you just lift the words from here and there. The situation was changing all the time and both Lenin and Trotsky evolved and adapted, and occasionally got things wrong. I would agree that the bourgeois revolution was partially completed before October 1917, but no way near fully. The Bolsheviks were doing it, and AT THE SAME TIME the socialist tasks, which is 100% Trotsky's Perm Rev.


Regarding Lenin coming over to Trotsky's position - up to 1917 Lenin was a Stagist, as were the rest of the Bolshevik CC. Only Trotsky believed in combining the bourgeois revolution with the socialist one.

In March 1917 Trotsky wrote:

"It is evident, therefore, that right now the revolutionary proletariat will have to set up its own organs, the Councils of Workingmens’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies, against the executive organs of the Provisional Government. In this struggle the proletariat ought to unite about itself the rising masses of the people, with one aim in view – to seize governmental power."

At this time Stalin and the other Bolshevik CC members were supporting the Provisional Government. Lenin came back and wrote the April Theses, agreeing with Trotsky. Most of the Bolshevik CC members were not happy with this and even called Lenin a Trotskyist. Stalin was silent for 10 days before reluctantly deciding that he could not oppose Lenin in public on such a big issue. So, Lenin and Trotsky advocated revolution and in October it happened, with Trotsky leading it and Lenin providing moral support from his place in hiding (he could not venture into the open at the time).
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
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Post 30 Apr 2012, 19:36
Quote:
So you are saying there was a bourgeois revolution completed between 1905 and 1917? That's not right. For one thing, he said something about still being in a bourgeois stage after 1917. Second, he said stuff very similar to Permanent Revolution. For example, 1921:

I said, and this is quite clear, that this stage "starts with the "dual power", and not before, and finishes in "the summer and autumn of 1918"."
What I meant by "this stage was accomplished" is that the stage was effectively implemented. Maybe the word was not very appropriate, I didn't meant that the stage was over.

Quote:
"It is evident, therefore, that right now the revolutionary proletariat will have to set up its own organs, the Councils of Workingmens’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies, against the executive organs of the Provisional Government. In this struggle the proletariat ought to unite about itself the rising masses of the people, with one aim in view – to seize governmental power."

At this time Stalin and the other Bolshevik CC members were supporting the Provisional Government. Lenin came back and wrote the April Theses, agreeing with Trotsky. Most of the Bolshevik CC members were not happy with this and even called Lenin a Trotskyist. Stalin was silent for 10 days before reluctantly deciding that he could not oppose Lenin in public on such a big issue. So, Lenin and Trotsky advocated revolution and in October it happened, with Trotsky leading it and Lenin providing moral support from his place in hiding (he could not venture into the open at the time).

I already responded to that in my article. This has nothing to do with the discussion. I wrote: " Trotsky wanted to discredit Zinoviev and Kamenev on the basis of some mistakes they committed before October."
What did Lenin said at that time? He said that, since the "democratic dictatorship" was already implemented, the new watchword hat to become : "let's prepare the socialist revolution". The old watchword: "let's set up the democratic dictatorship", was over.
Therefore, in 1917, Lenin never rallied to Trotsky, he was still what you called a "stagist". He clearly recognizes the existence of a first stage (the democratic dictatorship) and says quite clearly: let's prepare the new stage.

I don't see any contradiction in Lenin's thought. He didn't saw any himself, and that's why he wrote: "Things have turned out just as we said they would".

Also, you are quoting Lenin and you are totally right to quote this. This quotation has nothing to do with Trotsky's permanent revolution. It is, on the contrary, a clear disavowal for Trotsky.

Let's analyze the quotation. Lenin says: at the same time, we accomplished a great deal over and above the bourgeois revolution for the socialist, proletarian revolution.
What don't you understand in this quotation? Is Lenin speaking about a socialist revolution? No, clearly not. He is speaking about the democratic dictatorship, which is still a bourgeois revolution. And he says: yes, of course, we are doing this bourgeois revolution. But at the same time this bourgeois revolution is opening a new way towards the nexst step, the socialist revolution. And it is opening the way because there was "as yet no class struggle among the “peasantry”." And thanks to the democratic dictatorship, class struggle would start hatching in the peasantry. And when did it really happened? When did differenciation started inside the peasantry? "In the summer and autumn of 1918", he wrote.

So you see, even your quotation is a strong evidence that Lenin never rallied to Trotsky. This is perfectly consistent with what he said in 1905, there is no contradiction in Lenin's thought. And he said the same thing in 1918 and 1920.

As I said, this is not a Stalin VS Trotsky thread. This is a Lenin VS Trotsky thread. We must analyze what Lenin and Trotsky said with their own words.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jan 2012, 22:09
Pioneer
Post 02 May 2012, 12:27
OP-Bagration wrote:
"So you are saying there was a bourgeois revolution completed between 1905 and 1917? That's not right. For one thing, he said something about still being in a bourgeois stage after 1917. Second, he said stuff very similar to Permanent Revolution. For example, 1921:"

I said, and this is quite clear, that this stage "starts with the "dual power", and not before, and finishes in "the summer and autumn of 1918"."
What I meant by "this stage was accomplished" is that the stage was effectively implemented. Maybe the word was not very appropriate, I didn't meant that the stage was over.


So you reckon that this was a separate bourgeois revolution that only needed a year to accomplish it's tasks? But what about where Lenin says "But, at the same time, we accomplished a great deal over and above the bourgeois revolution for the socialist, proletarian revolution"? This is the same idea as Permanent revolution and not stagist. How do you have a bourgeois revolution with a revolution half way through it in which the workers party takes power with the aim of establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat? This is exactly what Trotsky predicted in 1906, that a workers party would have to finish off the bourgeois tasks and then continue with the socialist ones, and also that these would overlap to some extent, ie be done at the same time.

OP-Bagration wrote:
I already responded to that in my article. This has nothing to do with the discussion. I wrote: " Trotsky wanted to discredit Zinoviev and Kamenev on the basis of some mistakes they committed before October."
What did Lenin said at that time? He said that, since the "democratic dictatorship" was already implemented, the new watchword hat to become : "let's prepare the socialist revolution". The old watchword: "let's set up the democratic dictatorship", was over.
Therefore, in 1917, Lenin never rallied to Trotsky, he was still what you called a "stagist". He clearly recognizes the existence of a first stage (the democratic dictatorship) and says quite clearly: let's prepare the new stage.

The new stage being October 1917 with the Bolsheviks taking power to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat. What do you think the October revolution was, a minor event half way through a one-year bourgeois revolution?


OP-Bagration wrote:
I don't see any contradiction in Lenin's thought. He didn't saw any himself, and that's why he wrote: "Things have turned out just as we said they would".
Also, you are quoting Lenin and you are totally right to quote this. This quotation has nothing to do with Trotsky's permanent revolution. It is, on the contrary, a clear disavowal for Trotsky.

Let's analyze the quotation. Lenin says: at the same time, we accomplished a great deal over and above the bourgeois revolution for the socialist, proletarian revolution.
What don't you understand in this quotation? Is Lenin speaking about a socialist revolution? No, clearly not. He is speaking about the democratic dictatorship, which is still a bourgeois revolution. And he says: yes, of course, we are doing this bourgeois revolution. But at the same time this bourgeois revolution is opening a new way towards the nexst step, the socialist revolution. And it is opening the way because there was "as yet no class struggle among the “peasantry”." And thanks to the democratic dictatorship, class struggle would start hatching in the peasantry. And when did it really happened? When did differenciation started inside the peasantry? "In the summer and autumn of 1918", he wrote.

He says at the same time, not the next step. He says that at the same time they "1) we developed the forces of the working class for its utilisation of state power to an extent never achieved before; 2) we struck a blow that was felt all over the world against the fetishes of petty-bourgeois democracy, the Constituent Assembly and bourgeois “liberties” such as freedom of the press for the rich; 5) we created the Soviet type of state, which was a gigantic step in advance of 1795 and 1871. "

You seem to be ignoring the fact that your so-called bourgeois revolution had a Marxist dictatorship at the helm. Is this your normal bourgeois revolution? No, of course not, it is being done by the workers leaders who are carrying out the socialist revolution at the same time. It's not the capitalists in power is it? Not a popular front.

OP-Bagration wrote:
So you see, even your quotation is a strong evidence that Lenin never rallied to Trotsky. This is perfectly consistent with what he said in 1905, there is no contradiction in Lenin's thought. And he said the same thing in 1918 and 1920.

As I said, this is not a Stalin VS Trotsky thread. This is a Lenin VS Trotsky thread. We must analyze what Lenin and Trotsky said with their own words.


What Lenin and Trotsky said to overthrow the provisional government, while Stalin was supporting it.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
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Post 02 May 2012, 21:38
Quote:
But what about where Lenin says "But, at the same time, we accomplished a great deal over and above the bourgeois revolution for the socialist, proletarian revolution"? This is the same idea as Permanent revolution and not stagist.

I think you misunderstood the quotation. The quotation is "stagist" because, as I explained already, Lenin says: "we are making a bourgeois revolution, and thanks to this bourgeois revolution, we are opening the path to a socialist revolution". He never said that they were doing at the same time a bourgeois and a socialist revolution. He says, first with the whole of the peasantry, the bourgeois revolution, the first step. Then, with the proletariat, for the socialist revolution. This is clear and simple.
And you dare say: "no, this isn't stagist, this is trotskyist". By jove, just read the whole article !
"Let us recall the main stages of our revolution." Lenin writes. There is no questions there. Lenin is what you call a "stagist", and he is not affraid of that. Why didn't you quote this part of the article instead? What was you affraid of?

Quote:
He says at the same time, not the next step. He says that at the same time they "1) we developed the forces of the working class for its utilisation of state power to an extent never achieved before; 2) we struck a blow that was felt all over the world against the fetishes of petty-bourgeois democracy, the Constituent Assembly and bourgeois “liberties” such as freedom of the press for the rich; 5) we created the Soviet type of state, which was a gigantic step in advance of 1795 and 1871. "

Lenin says: this is a bourgeois revolution. Not a socialist one. What is the aim of the democratic dictatorship? Was it to simply replace the bourgeoisie? Of course not. The aim of the democratic dictatorship was to prepare the socialist revolution. How could they prepare it? By establishing a democratic republic much faster than Kerensky would. What would happen? It would speed up the class differenciation inside the peasantry. And thanks to this differenciation, the poor peasants would join the workers in the town, and therefore the socialist revolution would be possible.
On the contrary, as I explain in my article, if the Bolsheviks had tried to do two revolutions in one, they would have failed for a very simple reason: the proletariat was still too weak.
Quote:
You seem to be ignoring the fact that your so-called bourgeois revolution had a Marxist dictatorship at the helm. Is this your normal bourgeois revolution? No, of course not, it is being done by the workers leaders who are carrying out the socialist revolution at the same time. It's not the capitalists in power is it? Not a popular front.

The democratic dictatorship is an alliance between the workers and the whole of the peasantry, that is to say a part of the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie. As it is an alliance, it can't be a Marxist dictatorship, wich is not a Marxist term anyway, as the State has to be the dictatorship of a class. Yes, according to Lenin, under the Democratic dictatorship, the bourgeoisie is alo in power. Who has the power inside the Soviets before 1917? Not the Bolsheviks. Lenin says: "At first, the Soviets embraced the peasants as a whole. It was owing to the immaturity, the backwardness, the ignorance of the poor peasants that the leadership passed into the hands of the kulaks, the rich, the capitalists and the petty-bourgeois intellectuals. That was the period of the domination of the petty bourgeoisie, of the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries..."
So, yes, this is the period of the democratic dictatorship: with the peasantry "as a whole".
Then, in October 1917, according to Lenin, " The Bolsheviks won predominance in the Soviets". Immediatly after October they "carried the bourgeois revolution to its conclusion". No problem, the peasants were still supporting them. And Only in the summer and autumn of 1918, he says, the peasantry splits.
Quote:
The new stage being October 1917 with the Bolsheviks taking power to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat. What do you think the October revolution was, a minor event half way through a one-year bourgeois revolution?

This is indeed a good question you ask. There is no doubt, of course, that during the period of the "dual power" the Soviets represent the democratic dictatorship, an alliance between the workers and the peasants as a whole. But the question is: does the revolution becomes immediatly a socialist revolution after October? In my opinion, no.
Let's analyze what Lenin says. He says :
- After October and until the summer and autumn of 1918, we are with the peasantry as a whole. He writes: "The Soviets united the peasants in general. The class divisions among the peasants had not yet matured, had not yet come into the open."
So no discussion there, they are with the peasantry as a whole, they are finishing the bourgeois revolution.
- But he also said, in the same article : "Yes, our revolution is a bourgeois revolution as long as we march with the peasants as a whole. This has been as clear as clear can be to us; we have said it hundreds and thousands of times since 1905, and we have never attempted to skip this necessary stage of the historical process or abolish it by decrees."
So, in my opinion, there is no doubt that, according to Lenin, October was not the true beginning of the socialist revolution. This is perfectly marxist. Does it mean that October means nothing? Certainly not. October is the first step towards the socialist revolution, October is undoubtedly a socialist event. But they couldn't change things immediatly. They had to remain prudent.
That's why I said that the period of the "democratic dictatorship" lasted from the beginning of the "dual power" to the summer and autumn of 1918. Am I wrong? Should I say that it finished in October 1917? It can be discussed. But it would not change the conclusion anyway: Lenin recognized that a "democratic" stage before the socialist revolution was necessary.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
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Post 05 May 2012, 18:52
I found a new quotation which I didn't knew. Lenin wrote in April 1917 (!!):

"Trotskyism: “No tsar, but a workers’ government.” This is wrong. A petty bourgeoisie exists, and it cannot be dismissed. But it is in two parts. The poorer of the two is with the working class."
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jan 2012, 22:09
Pioneer
Post 07 May 2012, 09:41
OP-Bagration wrote:
I think you misunderstood the quotation. The quotation is "stagist" because, as I explained already, Lenin says: "we are making a bourgeois revolution, and thanks to this bourgeois revolution, we are opening the path to a socialist revolution".


He never said that, stick to his words.


OP-Bagration wrote:
He never said that they were doing at the same time a bourgeois and a socialist revolution.


He did say at the same time, he used those exact words
"Was the revolution a bourgeois revolution at that time? Of course it was, insofar as our function was to complete the bourgeois democratic revolution, insofar as there was as yet no class struggle among the “peasantry”.But, at the same time, we accomplished a great deal over and above the bourgeois revolution for the socialist, proletarian revolution:"
This is plain English. At the same time, over and above, for the socialist revolution. You really imagine that there was a distinct bourgeois revolution from Feb 1917 to mid 1918? This would imply the October revolution was neither here nor there, and that the Bolsheviks did nothing towards socialism until they had finished the bourgeois revolution. A bourgeois revolution traditionally was lead by the bourgeois. It was Trotsky who predicted that the workers would have to finish the job in backward countries. The main task of the bourgeois in Marxist terms was to create a working class. But from the October revolution onwards the working class shrank in Russia, this was one of the Bolsheviks' big problems. In the end Lenin had his hopes pinned on enticing the poor peasants into communes, via subsidies, as much as building industry, but unfortunately only Trotsky and not Stalin wen along with Lenin's ideas.

OP-Bagration wrote:
He says, first with the whole of the peasantry, the bourgeois revolution, the first step. Then, with the proletariat, for the socialist revolution. This is clear and simple."


Where does he say this? I can't see it. He actually says what I just quoted. This was because early in the revolution the peasants were more or less united against the feudal landlords, and the class struggle bewteen poor and rich peasants was only just beginning in October 1917. This is why Lenin went over to Trotsky's brilliant position of a dictatorship of the proletariat, to split the peasants on class lines, to force the poor peasants to follow the workers and therefore fight the rural capitalists.
In September 1917 Lenin wrote
"The Eve of Revolution "

"Here we have a formulation of one of the most remarkable and most important ideas of Marxism on the subject of the state, namely, the idea of the "dictatorship of the proletariat""


"The overthrow of bourgeois rule can be accomplished only by the proletariat, the particular class whose economic conditions of existence prepare it for this task and provide it with the possibility and the power to perform it. While the bourgeoisie break up and disintegrate the peasantry and all the petty-bourgeois groups, they weld together, unite and organize the proletariat. Only the proletariat — by virtue of the economic role it plays in large-scale production — is capable of being the leader of all the working and exploited people, whom the bourgeoisie exploit, oppress and crush, often not less but more than they do the proletarians, but who are incapable of waging an independent struggle for their emancipation. "

This is clear and simple, when we just read what he said.

OP-Bagration wrote:
And you dare say: "no, this isn't stagist, this is trotskyist". By jove, just read the whole article !
"Let us recall the main stages of our revolution." Lenin writes. There is no questions there. Lenin is what you call a "stagist", and he is not affraid of that. Why didn't you quote this part of the article instead? What was you affraid of?


lol! Just because he uttered the word stage he is a stagist? No. Stagism is saying that there will be a distinct period of capitalism, in which the capitalists will have a share in power. A period of your typical bourgeois democracy, only with socialists participating and some state industry.

Basically capitalism.

Lenin mentions 4 or 5 stages. Not Stalin's two stages, capitalism and then socialism, but 5 stages and counting. He is simply talking about different aspects of an unfolding revolution, which would be about 50 stages at that rate.

The bourgeois revolution was partially completed before October 1917. But it was going nowhere. They still were in the war, still no land reform, Constituent Assembly promised but still no elections. The Bolsheviks took power precisely because the bourgeoisie were incapable of finishing their own revolution, and this idea was Trotsky's permanent Revolution from 1906.

You admit it yourself, the workers took power in the middle of the bourgeois stage, ask yourself why? The answer is because the bourgeois could not finish their own revolution and this is the essence of Trotsky's theory.

Think about it. Compare it to what Stalin said to Mao in 1948:

"It is necessary to keep in mind that the Chinese government in its policy will be a national revolutionary-democratic government, not a communist one, after the victory of the People’s Liberation Armies of China, at any rate in the period immediately after the victory, the length of which is difficult to define now. This means that nationalization of all land and abolition of private ownership of land, confiscation of the property of all industrial and trade bourgeoisie from petty to big, confiscation of property belonging not only to big landowners but to middle and small holders exploiting hired labor, will not be fulfilled for the present. These reforms have to wait for some time. It has to be said for your information that there are other parties in Yugoslavia besides the communists which form part of the People’s Front. Second. The answer to the letter from Comrade Mao Zedong from 15 March 1948. We are very grateful to Comrade Mao Zedong for the detailed information on military and political questions. We agree with all the conclusions given by Comrade Mao Zedong in this letter. We consider as absolutely correct Comrade Mao Zedong’s thoughts concerning the creation of a central government of China and including in it representatives of the liberal bourgeosie."

Can you imagine Lenin saying that? Is it anything like what Lenin said? No. Is it like what the Bolsheviks did? No. Are you familiar with this? Probably not.

But there is lots of stuff like that about, and you probably arent aware of it, stalinists are kept in the dark.




OP-Bagration wrote:
Lenin says: this is a bourgeois revolution. Not a socialist one. What is the aim of the democratic dictatorship? Was it to simply replace the bourgeoisie? Of course not. The aim of the democratic dictatorship was to prepare the socialist revolution. How could they prepare it? By establishing a democratic republic much faster than Kerensky would. What would happen? It would speed up the class differenciation inside the peasantry. And thanks to this differenciation, the poor peasants would join the workers in the town, and therefore the socialist revolution would be possible.

Well you are on the right lines about needing to speed up the class differentiation within the peasantry, but the way they did it was to take power as a workers party, in coalition with the Left SRs at first, but basically the capitalists were not invited. When did Lenin say "this is a bourgeois revolution"? Nowhere after April 1917. He said it was in so far as.....and at the same time...socialist.

Can you not see what he is saying? You are understandably keen to cling to a Stalinist conception, but it's wrong. Lenin abandoned stagism in April 1917 and as a result other CC members called him a Trotskyist or words to that effect and hardly anyone initially supported him. Stalin said nothing for 10 days.

OP-Bagration wrote:
On the contrary, as I explain in my article, if the Bolsheviks had tried to do two revolutions in one, they would have failed for a very simple reason: the proletariat was still too weak.

what do you mean by weak? As I say, the working class became less numerous after 1917, as they died in WW1and then the civil war, or went back to the fields. I'm not saying you can do everything at once, I'm saying that the socialist tasks and bourgeois ones were overlapped. There was no distinct bourgeois stage. No stage where a capitalist ruling class had political power, not after October 1917.

OP-Bagration wrote:
"You seem to be ignoring the fact that your so-called bourgeois revolution had a Marxist dictatorship at the helm. Is this your normal bourgeois revolution? No, of course not, it is being done by the workers leaders who are carrying out the socialist revolution at the same time. It's not the capitalists in power is it? Not a popular front."
The democratic dictatorship is an alliance between the workers and the whole of the peasantry, that is to say a part of the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie. As it is an alliance, it can't be a Marxist dictatorship, wich is not a Marxist term anyway, as the State has to be the dictatorship of a class. Yes, according to Lenin, under the Democratic dictatorship, the bourgeoisie is also in power. Who has the power inside the Soviets before 1917? Not the Bolsheviks. Lenin says: "At first, the Soviets embraced the peasants as a whole. It was owing to the immaturity, the backwardness, the ignorance of the poor peasants that the leadership passed into the hands of the kulaks, the rich, the capitalists and the petty-bourgeois intellectuals. That was the period of the domination of the petty bourgeoisie, of the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries..."
So, yes, this is the period of the democratic dictatorship: with the peasantry "as a whole".

Did Lenin actually say that the period from Feb 1917 to October was a democratic dictatorship of the workers and peasants? I dunno. I would be surprised, as the Provisional government was in power, although it was a sort of dual power. Plus, i dont think the peasants really got into the idea of soviets too much at the time. I checked up on this, in September Lenin says:

"The class origin and the class significance of this dual power is the following: the Russian revolution of March 1917 not only swept away the whole tsarist monarchy, not only transferred the entire power to the bourgeoisie, but also moved close towards a revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry. The Petrograd and the other, the local, Soviets constitute precisely such a dictatorship (that is, a power resting not on the law but directly on the force of armed masses of the population), a dictatorship precisely of the above-mentioned classes."

So he says the bourgeois have "entire power" but that certain soviets constitute a "revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry". Bear in mind that Petrograd would be mainly workers not peasants, and he chuck in the word revolutionary as it is an illegal power. It is a pre-revolutionary power. I would add btw that it was largely Trotsky who organised this, being the chair of the Petrograd soviet.

Next he says:

"The second highly important feature of the Russian revolution is the fact that the Petrograd Soviet of Soldiers’ and Workers’ Deputies, which, as everything goes to show, enjoys the confidence of most of the local Soviets, is voluntarilytransferring state power to the bourgeoisie and itsProvisional Government, is voluntarily cedingsupremacy to the latter, having entered into an agreement to support it, and is limiting its own role to that of an observer, a supervisor of the convocation of the Constituent Assembly (the date for which has not even been announced as yet by the Provisional Government).

This remarkable feature, unparalleled in history in such a form, has led to the interlocking of two dictatorships: the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie (for the government of Lvov and Co. is a dictatorship, i.e., a power based not on the law, not on the previously expressed will of the people, but on seizure by force, accomplished by a definite class, namely, the bourgeoisie) and the dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry (the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies). "

Note how the Petrograd soviet was called the Soviet of Workers and Soldiers Deputies. The peasants are not even mentioned, they are not there, hardly, except maybe as some soldiers. Now Lenin's "dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry"has become equal to the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and SOLDIERS Deputies, under the leadership of Trotsky.

Of course this interlocking cannot last long, so the revolution is organised. Note the title of this by the way:

The Tasks of the Proletariat in Our Revolution
(Draft Platform for the Proletarian Party)

He goes on to say that the workers are not numerous, the peasants are reactionary but revolutionary and so on. He goes on to slag down those who want to keep the war going:

"The slightest concession to revolutionary defencism is a betrayal of socialism, a complete renunciation of internationalism, no matter by what fine phrases and “practical” considerations it may be justified. "

"The Russian revolution of February-March 1917 was the beginning of the transformation of the imperialist war into a civil war. This revolution took the first step towards ending the war; but it requires a second step, namely, the transfer of state power to the proletariat, to make the end of the war a certainty. This will be the beginning of a “break-through” on a world-wide scale, a break-through in the front of capitalist interests; and only by breaking through this front can the proletariat save mankind from the horrors of war and endow it with the blessings of peace.

It is directly to such a “break-through” in the front of capitalism that the Russian revolution has alreadybrought the Russian proletariat by creating the Soviets of Workers’ Deputies. "

Now it's "Soviets of Workers Deputies", "the proletariat" etc.
http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/w ... x.htm#ch11

Trotsky gives a good summary in the History of the Russian Revolution
http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky ... r/ch38.htm

"In April Lenin had still considered it possible that the patriotic Co-operators and the kulaks would drag the main mass of the peasantry after them along the road of compromise with the bourgeoisie and the landlord. For this reason he so tirelessly insisted upon the creation of special soviets of farm hands’ deputies, and upon independent organisations of the poorest peasantry. Month by month it became clear, however, that this part of the Bolshevik policy would not take root. "

"The peasant poor also failed to find independent forms of organisation. To explain this merely by the backwardness of the farm hands and the poorest strata of the villages, would be to miss the essence of the thing. The chief cause lay in the substance of the historic task itself – a democratic agrarian revolution."

"Upon the two principal questions, rent and hired labour, it becomes convincingly clear how the general interests of a struggle against the relics of serfdom cut off the road to an independent policy not only for the poor peasants, but for the hired hands."

"But the campaign against the landlord did not draw in quite so completely the opposite pole of the village. So long as it did not come to open revolt, the upper circles of the peasantry played a prominent rôle in the movement, at times a leading rôle. In the autumn period, however, the well-to-do muzhiks looked with continually increasing distrust at the spread of the peasant war. They did not know how this would end; they had something to lose; they stood aside. But they did not succeed in holding off entirely: the village would not permit it."

He describes how the Bolsheviks gradually became known to the poor peasants in the latter half of 1917.

He goes on to say in summary: "The weakness of this belated bourgeois revolution was manifested in the fact that the peasant war did not urge the bourgeois revolutionists forward, but threw them back conclusively into the camp of reaction. "

"The peasant revolution, thus rejected by the bourgeoisie, joined hands with the industrial proletariat. In this way the 20th century not only got free of those past centuries hanging upon it, but climbed up on their shoulders to a new historic level. In order that the peasant might clear and fence his land, the worker had to stand at the head of the state: that is the simplest formula for the October revolution."


OP-Bagration wrote:
Then, in October 1917, according to Lenin, " The Bolsheviks won predominance in the Soviets". Immediatly after October they "carried the bourgeois revolution to its conclusion". No problem, the peasants were still supporting them. And Only in the summer and autumn of 1918, he says, the peasantry splits.

The peasantry clearly started splitting in the autumn of 1917, read the full chapter from the History of the Russian Revolution, it goes into some detail.

"From the workers and soldiers the peasants first learned something new – something older than what the Social Revolutionaries had told them – about the Bolsheviks. The slogans of Lenin, and his name, penetrated the village. "

OP-Bagration wrote:
"The new stage being October 1917 with the Bolsheviks taking power to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat. What do you think the October revolution was, a minor event half way through a one-year bourgeois revolution? "


This is indeed a good question you ask. There is no doubt, of course, that during the period of the "dual power" the Soviets represent the democratic dictatorship, an alliance between the workers and the peasants as a whole. But the question is: does the revolution becomes immediatly a socialist revolution after October? In my opinion, no.
Let's analyze what Lenin says. He says :
- After October and until the summer and autumn of 1918, we are with the peasantry as a whole. He writes: "The Soviets united the peasants in general. The class divisions among the peasants had not yet matured, had not yet come into the open."
So no discussion there, they are with the peasantry as a whole, they are finishing the bourgeois revolution.
- But he also said, in the same article : "Yes, our revolution is a bourgeois revolution as long as we march with the peasants as a whole. This has been as clear as clear can be to us; we have said it hundreds and thousands of times since 1905, and we have never attempted to skip this necessary stage of the historical process or abolish it by decrees."
So, in my opinion, there is no doubt that, according to Lenin, October was not the true beginning of the socialist revolution. This is perfectly marxist. Does it mean that October means nothing? Certainly not. October is the first step towards the socialist revolution, October is undoubtedly a socialist event. But they couldn't change things immediatly. They had to remain prudent.
That's why I said that the period of the "democratic dictatorship" lasted from the beginning of the "dual power" to the summer and autumn of 1918. Am I wrong? Should I say that it finished in October 1917? It can be discussed. But it would not change the conclusion anyway: Lenin recognized that a "democratic" stage before the socialist revolution was necessary.


He goes on to say:

"A year after the proletarian revolution in the capitals, and under its influence and with its assistance, the proletarian revolution began in the remote rural districts, and it has finally consolidated the power of the Soviets and Bolshevism, and has finally proved there is no force in the country that can withstand it.

Having completed the bourgeois-democratic revolution in alliance with the peasants as a whole, the Russian proletariat finally passed on to the socialist revolution when it succeeded in splitting the rural population, in winning over the rural proletarians and semi-proletarians, and in uniting them against the kulaks and the bourgeoisie, including the peasant bourgeoisie."

So he does express in in stagist terms at times, but also says a "year after the proletarian revolution", and as we saw before talked of socialist and bourgeois tasks being done "at the same time".

So to sum up I would say he mixes it up a bit, because it was a mixed up situation, because it was a backward country and the bourgeois had not completed their historic tasks. However after the revolution he wanted to suppress the capitalists, not form an alliance with them, he wanted to start nationalising stuff straight away. This is nothing like Stalin's policies of class collaboration, helping the rich to get richer, and power sharing with the bourgeoisie. I am referring here to 1924-8 and also Stalin's policies for other countries eg China as shown above.

Also bear in mind that Trotsky never put it as skipping the bourgeois revolution.

OP-Bagration wrote:
I found a new quotation which I didn't knew. Lenin wrote in April 1917 (!!):

"Trotskyism: “No tsar, but a workers’ government.” This is wrong. A petty bourgeoisie exists, and it cannot be dismissed. But it is in two parts. The poorer of the two is with the working class."


And in September he wrote:

"If, however, the highly improbable were to happen and the capitalists were to reject the peace terms of the Russian workers’ government, against the will of their peoples, a revolution in Europe would come a hundred times nearer, and our workers’ and peasants’ army would elect for itself not hated but respected commanders and military leaders. The army would see the justice of the war once peace had been offered, the secret treaties torn up, the alliance with the landowners and the bourgeoisie severed, and all land given to the peasants. Only then would the war become a just war for Russia, only this war would the workers and peasants fight of their own free will, without being bludgeoned into fighting; and this war would bring even nearer the inevitable workers’ revolution in the advanced countries."
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
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Post 08 May 2012, 02:10
You say that I don't "stick" to Lenin's words.

Let's analyze what I said. I said:

Lenin says: "we are making a bourgeois revolution, and thanks to this bourgeois revolution, we are opening the path to a socialist revolution".

He says, first with the whole of the peasantry, the bourgeois revolution, the first step. Then, with the proletariat, for the socialist revolution. This is clear and simple."


And you ask where he said that. I already quoted it in my article, which is a clear evidence that you didn't read what I wrote. But let's quote it again:

Things have turned out just as we said they would. The course taken by the revolution has confirmed the correctness of our reasoning. First, with the “whole” of the peasants against the monarchy, against the landowners, against medievalism (and to that extent the revolution remains bourgeois, bourgeois-democratic). Then, with the poor peasants, with the semi-proletarians, with all the exploited, against capitalism, including the rural rich, the kulaks, the profiteers, and to that extent the revolution becomes a socialist one.


So, as you can see, there is clearly two stages: first with the whole of the peasantry, the bourgeois revolution. Then, with the proletariat and the peasantry, against the bourgeoisie. This is the socialist revolution. Very simple isn't it?

Quote:
Did Lenin actually say that the period from Feb 1917 to October was a democratic dictatorship of the workers and peasants?

According to Lenin, as I said, it was the Soviets, which were half of the Dual Power, which represented the "democratic dictatorship". So yes, from February to October, there was a stage of democratic dictatorship in Russia. Lenin wrote:

"What is this dual power? Alongside the Provisional Government, the government of bourgeoisie, another government has arisen, so far weak and incipient, but undoubtedly a government that actually exists and is growing—the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies.

What is the class composition of this other government? It consists of the proletariat and the peasants (in soldiers’ uniforms). What is the political nature of this government? It is a revolutionary dictatorship..."
(Lenin, The Dual Power, April 1917)

So there is nothing to discuss there. Your own quotation says exactly the same: "The Petrograd and the other, the local, Soviets constitute precisely such a dictatorship". This is clear. Lenin said that the February revolution "moved close towards" this democratic dictatorship because there was two powers after February : a power of the kind of the democratic dictatorship, and Kerensky's bourgeois-democratic government. I think this is quite clear.

Lenin never said that certain soviets only constitute this democratic dictatorship. No, he says all the soviets constituted this democratic dictatorship: "The Petrograd and the other, the local, Soviets...". Where do you see certain Soviets only? He writes again, in your own quotation: "the dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry (the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies)."

Quote:
The peasantry clearly started splitting in the autumn of 1917, read the full chapter from the History of the Russian Revolution, it goes into some detail.

I quoted Lenin, who says that this split occured in the summer and autumn of 1918. You are just proving me that Trotsky had one more disagreement with Lenin. I'm not Trotskyist comrade, I'm Leninist.

Quote:
So he does express in in stagist terms at times, but also says a "year after the proletarian revolution", and as we saw before talked of socialist and bourgeois tasks being done "at the same time".

No no no.You are cheating. Lenin speaks about the proletarian revolution, but the revolution "in the capitals". Why did you forgot the end of the sentence? This isn't honest. Lenin says that the proletarian revolution started in the capitals only, then one year later in the campaigns. And then Lenin says, only after the split inside the peasantry, this is the end of the "democratic dictatorship".

Quote:
This is plain English. At the same time, over and above, for the socialist revolution. You really imagine that there was a distinct bourgeois revolution from Feb 1917 to mid 1918? This would imply the October revolution was neither here nor there, and that the Bolsheviks did nothing towards socialism until they had finished the bourgeois revolution.

I imagine nothing. This is clearly what Lenin explains. The socialist revolution starts only after the split of the peasantry, that is to say after the summer and autumn of 1918. Before that, there is a distinct bourgeois revolution. This bourgeois revolution was done by the proletariat in alliance with the peasantry. In 1917, this is a "proletarian revolution" in the capitals only. What does it means? It means that the proletariat takes power over Kerensky. Half of the Dual Power was destructed. What remains? The Soviets. What are the Soviets? The Democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry (as a whole). When does it ends? When the peasantry splits.

Lenin never said that they were doing two revolutions at the same time. He never said: Oh, we are doing at the same time a bourgeois revolution and a socialist revolution. He said: we are doing a bourgeois-democratic revolution in order to prepare the socialist revolution. When the proletariat took power in 1917, they were still preparing the socialist revolution.

That's why I quoted this in my article:

On the other hand, if the Bolshevik proletariat had tried at once, in October-November 1917, without waiting for the class differentiation in the rural districts, without being able to prepare it and bring it about, to “decree” a civil war or the “introduction of socialism” in the rural districts, had tried to do without a temporary bloc with the peasants in general, without making a number of concessions to the middle peasants, etc., that would have been a Blanquist distortion of Marxism, an attempt by the minority to impose its will upon the majority; it would have been a theoretical absurdity, revealing a failure to understand that a general peasant revolution is still a bourgeois revolution, and that without a series of transitions, of transitional stages, it cannot be transformed into a socialist revolution in a backward country.


In november 1918, he said:


"We did not decree socialism immediately throughout industry, because socialism can only take shape and be consolidated when the working class has learnt how to run the economy and when the authority of the working people has been firmly established. Socialism is mere wishful thinking without that [...]

Anyone who has studied rural life and come into contact with the peasants would say that it was only in the summer and autumn of 1918 that the urban October Revolution became a real rural October Revolution. And the Petrograd workers and the Petrograd garrison soldiers fully realised when they took power that great difficulties would crop up in rural organisational work, and our progress there would have to he more gradual and that it would be the greatest folly to try to introduce socialised farming by decree, fot only an insignificant number of enlightened peasants might support us, while the vast majority had no such object in view. We therefore confined ourselves to what was absolutely essential in the interests of promoting the revolution—in no case to endeavour to outrun the people’s development, but to wait until a movement forward occurred as a result of their own experience and their own struggle. In October we confined ourselves to sweeping away at one blow the age-old enemy of the peasants, the feudal landowner, the big landed proprietor. This was a struggle in which all the peasants joined. At this stage the peasants were not yet divided into proletarians, semi-proletarians, poor peasants and bourgeoisie. We socialists knew there would be no socialism without such a struggle, but we also realised that knowing it was not enough—it had to be brought home to the millions, and through their own experience, not through propaganda. And for that reason, since the peasants as a whole could only conceive of the revolution on the basis of equal land tenure, we openly declared in our decree of October 26, 1917, that we would take the Peasant Mandate on the Land as our starting-point. We said frankly that it did not accord with our views, that it was not communism, but we were not imposing on the peasants something that was merely in accord with our programme and not with their views."

So, no discussion there either, there was no socialism in October 1917. The Soviet Republic became a Soviet Socialist Republic only in July 1918.
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Post 08 May 2012, 04:39
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jan 2012, 22:09
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Post 10 May 2012, 10:39
OP-Bagration wrote:

You say that I don't "stick" to Lenin's words.
Let's analyze what I said. I said:
Lenin says: "we are making a bourgeois revolution, and thanks to this bourgeois revolution, we are opening the path to a socialist revolution".

He says, first with the whole of the peasantry, the bourgeois revolution, the first step. Then, with the proletariat, for the socialist revolution. This is clear and simple."


And you ask where he said that. I already quoted it in my article, which is a clear evidence that you didn't read what I wrote. But let's quote it again:

Things have turned out just as we said they would. The course taken by the revolution has confirmed the correctness of our reasoning. First, with the “whole” of the peasants against the monarchy, against the landowners, against medievalism (and to that extent the revolution remains bourgeois, bourgeois-democratic). Then, with the poor peasants, with the semi-proletarians, with all the exploited, against capitalism, including the rural rich, the kulaks, the profiteers, and to that extent the revolution becomes a socialist one.


So, as you can see, there is clearly two stages: first with the whole of the peasantry, the bourgeois revolution. Then, with the proletariat and the peasantry, against the bourgeoisie. This is the socialist revolution. Very simple isn't it?




No. You shouldnt paraphrase in quotation marks like that use 'these ones' instead. In Lenins quote he says
"The question which Kautsky has so tangled up was fully explained by the Bolsheviks as far back as 1905. Yes, our revolution is a bourgeois revolution as long as we march with the peasants as a whole. This has been as clear as clear can be to us; we have said it hundreds and thousands of times since 1905, and we have never attempted to skip this necessary stage of the historical process or abolish it by decrees. Kautsky’s efforts to “expose” us on this point merely expose his own confusion of mind and his fear to recall what he wrote in 1905, when he was not yet a renegade.

Beginning with April 1917, however, long before the October Revolution, that is, long before we assumed power, we publicly declared and explained to the people: the revolution cannot now stop at this stage, for the country has marched forward, capitalism has advanced, ruin has reached fantastic dimensions, which (whether one likes it or not) will demand steps forward, to socialism. For there is no other way of advancing, of saving the war-weary country and of alleviating the sufferings of the working and exploited people."

Note how he says beginning in April 1917. But Trotsky was saying it back in 1906. After 1917 they didnt discuss it much, they both agreed and got on with it.

"Things have turned out just as we said they would. The course taken by the revolution has confirmed the correctness of our reasoning. First, with the “whole” of the peasants against the monarchy, against the landowners, against medievalism (and to that extent the revolution remains bourgeois, bourgeois-democratic). Then, with the poor peasants, with the semi-proletarians, with all the exploited, against capitalism, including the rural rich, the kulaks, the profiteers, and to that extent the revolution becomes a socialist one. To attempt to raise an artificial Chinese Wall between the first and second, to separate them by anything else than the degree of preparedness of the proletariat and the degree of its unity with the poor peasants, means to distort Marxism dreadfully, to vulgariso it, to substitute liberalism in its place. It means smuggling in a reactionary defence of the bourgeoisie against the socialist proletariat by means of quasi-scientific references to the progressive character of the bourgeoisie in comparison with medievalism."

Ok, so he is giving it a slightly stagist sounding slant here, but he does say to that extent, and elsewhere round about the same time he does say at the same time. Lets face it, he's hardly gonna just say "Trotsky was right" in stark terms, plus he was arguing against all sorts of ultralefts and reformists, so to some extent he had to explain in in a way they would understand. He does actually say "We carried the bourgeois revolution to its conclusion." But I still wouldnt call this a normal bourgeois revolution or one like Stalin envisaged for China etc. What Lenin means is the Bolsheviks finished off what classically was seen as bourgeois tasks, tasks of the bourgeois revolution. It's not as if the Bolsheik party was full of capitalists or there were capitalists in their government, there was a civil war against them. Stalin wanted Popular Fronts, in fact he actually wanted Mao to dissolve the CCP and surrender to the KMT. There is no comparison. I'm not saying you are deliberately quote mining but you cant just interpret a few words how you want. I think there is a big difference between Lenin calling things like land reform a 'bourgeois revolution', and Stalin telling the CCP to join the KMT.




OP-Bagration wrote:
"Did Lenin actually say that the period from Feb 1917 to October was a democratic dictatorship of the workers and peasants?"

According to Lenin, as I said, it was the Soviets, which were half of the Dual Power, which represented the "democratic dictatorship". So yes, from February to October, there was a stage of democratic dictatorship in Russia. Lenin wrote:

"What is this dual power? Alongside the Provisional Government, the government of bourgeoisie, another government has arisen, so far weak and incipient, but undoubtedly a government that actually exists and is growing—the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies.

What is the class composition of this other government? It consists of the proletariat and the peasants (in soldiers’ uniforms). What is the political nature of this government? It is a revolutionary dictatorship..."
(Lenin, The Dual Power, April 1917)

So there is nothing to discuss there. Your own quotation says exactly the same: "The Petrograd and the other, the local, Soviets constitute precisely such a dictatorship". This is clear. Lenin said that the February revolution "moved close towards" this democratic dictatorship because there was two powers after February : a power of the kind of the democratic dictatorship, and Kerensky's bourgeois-democratic government. I think this is quite clear.

Lenin never said that certain soviets only constitute this democratic dictatorship. No, he says all the soviets constituted this democratic dictatorship: "The Petrograd and the other, the local, Soviets...". Where do you see certain Soviets only? He writes again, in your own quotation: "the dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry (the Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies)."


hmm.. sounds like Lenin trying to square the events with what he had said earlier. Cant blame him. But Trotsky was much closer in his predictions than Lenin.


OP-Bagration wrote:
"The peasantry clearly started splitting in the autumn of 1917, read the full chapter from the History of the Russian Revolution, it goes into some detail. "
I quoted Lenin, who says that this split occured in the summer and autumn of 1918. You are just proving me that Trotsky had one more disagreement with Lenin. I'm not Trotskyist comrade, I'm Leninist.



But you just quoted Lenin saying that the soldiers in Petrograd were peasants, which they largely were. This fits with the picture painted by Trotsky. I said the split began around September 1917. As evidenced by the revolutionary peasant soldiers. Trotsky gave detail of it in the countryside. He should know, he largely organised the revolution. Both Lenin and Trotsky said that the spilt happened over the course of 1918.

OP-Bagration wrote:
"So he does express in in stagist terms at times, but also says a "year after the proletarian revolution", and as we saw before talked of socialist and bourgeois tasks being done "at the same time"."



No no no.You are cheating. Lenin speaks about the proletarian revolution, but the revolution "in the capitals". Why did you forgot the end of the sentence? This isn't honest. Lenin says that the proletarian revolution started in the capitals only, then one year later in the campaigns. And then Lenin says, only after the split inside the peasantry, this is the end of the "democratic dictatorship".

Yes the revolution happened in the cities first. Exactly. Proletarian tasks in the cities and bourgeois ones in the countryside. In the end lenin wanted to get the poor peasants into cooperatives, but Stalin wasnt interested.

OP-Bagration wrote:
"This is plain English. At the same time, over and above, for the socialist revolution. You really imagine that there was a distinct bourgeois revolution from Feb 1917 to mid 1918? This would imply the October revolution was neither here nor there, and that the Bolsheviks did nothing towards socialism until they had finished the bourgeois revolution."

I imagine nothing. This is clearly what Lenin explains. The socialist revolution starts only after the split of the peasantry, that is to say after the summer and autumn of 1918. Before that, there is a distinct bourgeois revolution. This bourgeois revolution was done by the proletariat in alliance with the peasantry. In 1917, this is a "proletarian revolution" in the capitals only. What does it means? It means that the proletariat takes power over Kerensky. Half of the Dual Power was destructed. What remains? The Soviets. What are the Soviets? The Democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry (as a whole). When does it ends? When the peasantry splits.

Lenin never said that they were doing two revolutions at the same time. He never said: Oh, we are doing at the same time a bourgeois revolution and a socialist revolution. He said: we are doing a bourgeois-democratic revolution in order to prepare the socialist revolution. When the proletariat took power in 1917, they were still preparing the socialist revolution.

That's why I quoted this in my article:

On the other hand, if the Bolshevik proletariat had tried at once, in October-November 1917, without waiting for the class differentiation in the rural districts, without being able to prepare it and bring it about, to “decree” a civil war or the “introduction of socialism” in the rural districts, had tried to do without a temporary bloc with the peasants in general, without making a number of concessions to the middle peasants, etc., that would have been a Blanquist distortion of Marxism, an attempt by the minority to impose its will upon the majority; it would have been a theoretical absurdity, revealing a failure to understand that a general peasant revolution is still a bourgeois revolution, and that without a series of transitions, of transitional stages, it cannot be transformed into a socialist revolution in a backward country.


In november 1918, he said:


"We did not decree socialism immediately throughout industry, because socialism can only take shape and be consolidated when the working class has learnt how to run the economy and when the authority of the working people has been firmly established. Socialism is mere wishful thinking without that [...]

Anyone who has studied rural life and come into contact with the peasants would say that it was only in the summer and autumn of 1918 that the urban October Revolution became a real rural October Revolution. And the Petrograd workers and the Petrograd garrison soldiers fully realised when they took power that great difficulties would crop up in rural organisational work, and our progress there would have to he more gradual and that it would be the greatest folly to try to introduce socialised farming by decree, fot only an insignificant number of enlightened peasants might support us, while the vast majority had no such object in view. We therefore confined ourselves to what was absolutely essential in the interests of promoting the revolution—in no case to endeavour to outrun the people’s development, but to wait until a movement forward occurred as a result of their own experience and their own struggle. In October we confined ourselves to sweeping away at one blow the age-old enemy of the peasants, the feudal landowner, the big landed proprietor. This was a struggle in which all the peasants joined. At this stage the peasants were not yet divided into proletarians, semi-proletarians, poor peasants and bourgeoisie. We socialists knew there would be no socialism without such a struggle, but we also realised that knowing it was not enough—it had to be brought home to the millions, and through their own experience, not through propaganda. And for that reason, since the peasants as a whole could only conceive of the revolution on the basis of equal land tenure, we openly declared in our decree of October 26, 1917, that we would take the Peasant Mandate on the Land as our starting-point. We said frankly that it did not accord with our views, that it was not communism, but we were not imposing on the peasants something that was merely in accord with our programme and not with their views."

So, no discussion there either, there was no socialism in October 1917. The Soviet Republic became a Soviet Socialist Republic only in July 1918.


There was no socialism ever in the USSR. I think you are confusing things into a black and white 3 stages. Of course you cant run before you can walk, but it's not completely a separate thing. Lenin said it would take 2 or 3 generations to achieve socialism, and it would need the help of advanced countries. That never happened, so the revolution started to degenerate. Stalin took the side of the counter-revolutiuonaries. He helped the wealthy and the bureaucrats, they were his allies against Trotsky and the socialists. All this quotemining is a waste of time. Interesting exercise, but at the end of it the facts are still the same. What Lenin had in mind was socialism. What Stalin had in mind for China etc was capitalism.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Aug 2010, 14:21
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Post 10 May 2012, 11:51
Quote:
Ok, so he is giving it a slightly stagist sounding slant here, but he does say to that extent, and elsewhere round about the same time he does say at the same time. Lets face it, he's hardly gonna just say "Trotsky was right" in stark terms, plus he was arguing against all sorts of ultralefts and reformists, so to some extent he had to explain in in a way they would understand.

So the only answer you have is to say Lenin was wrong and Trotsky was right? Is it some kind of religion? My God ! Lenin is speaking about the slogan. I already responded to that in my article. There is a difference between the stage and the slogan. The aim of the democratic dictatorship is to prepare the socialist revolution.

Quotation from my article:

... I define “the specific feature of the present situation in Russia” as a period of transition from the first stage of the revolution to the second. I therefore considered the basic slogan, the “task of the day” at this moment to be: “Workers, you have performed miracles of proletarian heroism, the heroism of the people, in the civil war against tsarism. You must perform miracles of organisation, organisation of the proletariat and of the whole people, to prepare the way for your victory in the second stage of the revolution.


So, Lenin basically says that you have to prepare the socialist revolution once the democratic dictatorship is established. But he never said that this stage should be skiped. On the contrary, when he says that they were doing a "compromise" with the peasantry as a whole, this is the democratic dictatorship.
In 1905, Trotsky said that there should ne no "democratic dictatorship". In 1917, Lenin explains that there is indeed a democratic dictatorship, and therefore Lenin was right, not Trotsky.

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He does actually say "We carried the bourgeois revolution to its conclusion." But I still wouldnt call this a normal bourgeois revolution or one like Stalin envisaged for China etc. [...] Stalin wanted Popular Fronts, in fact he actually wanted Mao to dissolve the CCP and surrender to the KMT. There is no comparison. I'm not saying you are deliberately quote mining but you cant just interpret a few words how you want. I think there is a big difference between Lenin calling things like land reform a 'bourgeois revolution', and Stalin telling the CCP to join the KMT.

Don't try to flee. I already said that this is a Trotsky VS Lenin thread. Stalin and the 1930's has nothing to do in the discussion. And moreover, it was Trotsky who made the comparison. He wrote: ""Between Kerenskyism and the Bolshevik power, between the Kuomintang and the dictatorship of the proletariat, there is not and cannot be any intermediate stage, that is, no democratic dictatorship of the workers and peasants."
So you are repudiating Trotsky if you sau that there is no comparison.

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What Lenin means is the Bolsheviks finished off what classically was seen as bourgeois tasks, tasks of the bourgeois revolution.

Yes, in alliance with the peasantry as a whole. This is what he said in 1905.

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It's not as if the Bolsheik party was full of capitalists or there were capitalists in their government, there was a civil war against them.[

The essence of the State is about classes and nothing else.

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Yes the revolution happened in the cities first. Exactly. Proletarian tasks in the cities and bourgeois ones in the countryside. In the end lenin wanted to get the poor peasants into cooperatives.

The problem you see is that Lenin never said they started socialism in the cities either. He said we set up the workers control, but it wasn't socialism. He clearly states that they had to do a compromise with the peasantry.

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Lenin said it would take 2 or 3 generations to achieve socialism

To achieve it maybe, but certainly not to start it. He says that in October, they were still preparing the socialist revolution. And it really started in the summer and autumn of 1918. Before that, they didn't started to implement socialism because they were doing a compromise with the peasantry as a whole.
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