nature of "dictatorship of the proletariat"

82 posts / 0 new
Last post
Kronstadt_Kid's picture
Kronstadt_Kid
Offline
Joined: 6-02-09
Mar 28 2013 20:50

Many thanks to the people who are responding seriously.

I am aware of the controversies etc around this term. The question I am asking is, are there any anarchists that have not rejected the term itself.

freemind wrote:
As Bakunin stated or interpreted the Dictatorship of the Proletariat meant the working class dictating or controlling the means of production.

Would you have a source for this, freemind?

slothjabber, I think I agree with every word of that!!

radicalgraffiti
Offline
Joined: 4-11-07
Mar 28 2013 23:30
Kronstadt_Kid wrote:
Angelus Novus wrote:
Seriously, what do you care if there are anarchists who use the term or not?

Anybody who uses the term is politically tone-deaf. It's about as helpful to mobilization as hammer and sickle symbolism.

I want to know because it is part of how I am trying to figure out the difference between anarchists and marxists. But more importantly, I am curious and like to know things.

this wont help you figure out the difference between anarchists and marxists because different terminology can be used to mean the same thing and the same words can be used to mean different things, and also because for some anarchists and marxists the only difference is what they call themselves

Kronstadt_Kid's picture
Kronstadt_Kid
Offline
Joined: 6-02-09
Mar 29 2013 09:07

Perhaps I should have said the 'formal' difference.

freemind
Offline
Joined: 10-10-08
Mar 29 2013 11:21

Hello Kronstadt-Kid!
To be honest I can't recall exactly where the source was for my paraphrasing of Bakunin's position but it may have been in Statism or Anarchy or Marxism,Freedom and the State.
The notion of D of P is fraught with difficulties and misunderstandings but as Anarchiists I feel its up to us to clarify these positions.
Anarchism has been the author of its own misfortune in that its lack of clarity on certain issues has left it open to abuse,exploitation and distortion by right wing scum/ fakirs and Ancaps etc.
D of P is a microcosm of this and a sad example of the fracture and dissolution of original Communist principles from the 1st International onwards which has hampered a unified libertarian workers movement.

klas batalo's picture
klas batalo
Offline
Joined: 5-07-09
Apr 10 2013 06:47

do i believe in the dictatorship of the proletariat the answer is probably yes...

do i believe it is an outdated and confusing term for mass propaganda, probably yes...

notrueliberal
Offline
Joined: 11-04-13
Apr 11 2013 04:48

This is exactly the nature of the dictatorship of the proletariet. It is the main reason why I don't think that Communism as aspoused by Marx is anarchistic. Democracy, Monarchy, Theocracy are all forms of the State.

If we define the State as the holders of the "legitimate" power to use coercion, than we see that whether one votes or has a king both systems are coercive and evil. If we are to look at the nature of Man we can see that Man acts to remove his uneasiness and to move towards happiness. By this fact alone we can see that giving men power, and then expecting them not to use it is fool hardy, and asking for trouble.

As I see it the only requisite for a system to be anarchistic is the acknowledgement and adherence to the NAP. Any system that does not adhere to the NAP is not anarchistic, it cannot be.

What is the NAP? The NAP is the non aggression principle the idea that initiating coercion is immoral. The only way to be without rulers is to acknowledge this principle. Anarchy is not an economic system, anarchy is not about socialism or capitalism it is about the market.

The only consistent peace advocate is an anarchist. Anyone who thinks it is morally okay to initiate coercion on people and force them to do things against their will is a Statist not an anarchist. Do not confuse my meaning and think that I am a pacifist, because I'm not. I believe in self defence.

timeX's picture
timeX
Offline
Joined: 4-12-12
Apr 12 2013 00:31

I think the DotP as a marxist concept has been over-analyzed to the point that it's a meaningless term. I, like the majority of left-comms, basically see it as the expression of authority executed by the working class. A "dictatorship of the proletariat" would probably take the form of a provisional government designed to protect the revolution from reactionary elements. I see it as a component of a revolution rather than as a phase after it.

notrueliberal
Offline
Joined: 11-04-13
Apr 13 2013 06:52

TimeX as I am new to this forum, and to Anarcho-Communism in general. I identify myself as an Anarcho-Capitalist (please do not fight me over the term, I'll probably start a post so we can bicker over it there if you want) anyway my question is this, what is a "left-com" is it opposed by a "right-comm" and if so what are the differences?

Thanks for your time.

Peace be with you.

Croy's picture
Croy
Offline
Joined: 26-05-11
Apr 13 2013 10:17

I knew it the instant you used NAP. Fan of Stefan Molyneux by chance ?

timeX's picture
timeX
Offline
Joined: 4-12-12
Apr 13 2013 21:16
notrueliberal wrote:
TimeX as I am new to this forum, and to Anarcho-Communism in general. I identify myself as an Anarcho-Capitalist (please do not fight me over the term, I'll probably start a post so we can bicker over it there if you want) anyway my question is this, what is a "left-com" is it opposed by a "right-comm" and if so what are the differences?

Thanks for your time.

Peace be with you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-communism

A very broad tendency of Marxists who oppose Trotskyism, Stalinism, and Anarchism to a lesser degree.

notrueliberal
Offline
Joined: 11-04-13
Apr 13 2013 23:18

The croydonian

No I'm not I hate that man with a passion. Before he said "martial arts is a useless skill set" I was nuetral to him. After he said that I began to actively disdain him.

Agent of the International's picture
Agent of the In...
Offline
Joined: 17-08-12
Apr 14 2013 01:14

Are NAPs anything like IFBs*?

[*from parecon]

Edit: This post is intended to be a joke. Its probably lame. Idk.

notrueliberal
Offline
Joined: 11-04-13
Apr 15 2013 03:10

Agent of the Fifth International,

I chuckled! smile

Die Rote Fahne's picture
Die Rote Fahne
Offline
Joined: 27-01-12
Apr 17 2013 13:18

I have far too little patience to read through every page of this before i post my two-cents, also known as me incoherently ranting.

The form the DotP will take could be, and I suggest should be, the form of workers' councils. This may not be the case; a new proletarian state form could be born. Acknowledging the fact that the workers need their own state form is important, and any Marxist that isn't a blithering idiot (aka not a Marxist) will oppose the utopian notions of parliamentary elections to power, coup d'etats, or any other notion of seizing and using the bourgeois state apparatus.

When looking at the DotP, a lot of people, particularly those opposed to it but also those in favour, tend to look to Soviet Russia as opposed to what it might look like in the USA, UK, or any of the most advanced capitalist nations. Remember when Marx said the revolution had to happen there -- in the advanced capitalist nations? The rapid procession of proletarian socialist revolution worldwide in the event that the American bourgeoisie were overthrown, I think, is something to consider when discussing the nature of the DotP.

Let me backtrack, what is the DotP? I'm not going to quote, but to put it simply, it is: the proletariat organized as the ruling class.

What is the purpose? Again, it is simply to coordinate and protect the gains of the revolution.

What is the mode of production it ultimately follows: capitalist. Yes, to any of my SPGB friends, it is capitalism. Not capitalism proper, otherwise the bourgeoisie would control the means of production, as opposed to the proletariat. It is the dying of the state, and the dying of the capitalist mode of production.

Good morning...

Spiorad Saor
Offline
Joined: 21-04-13
Apr 22 2013 02:30

This really is one question you could ask a dozen Marxists about and you would get a dozen different answers. It has been so distorted by both the Trots and the M-L's that the term pretty much depends on what tendency you are. Try having a debate with Trots or Stalinists and see how long before it turns into a shouting match and you get called a Anarchist as a insulting term.

Anyway my take on it is that what we have now in North America and just about every other country with a functioning government is Dictatorship of the Bourgeois. They use the state apparatus to oppress the proletariat class. Dictatorship of the Proletariat is simply a transitional phase where the proletariat as a whole achieve self emancipation through using the state to suppress the bourgeois and any reaction from them. Eventually the bourgeois will cease to be a class and thus will the proletariat along with them. Hence society becomes classless and the need for a state ceases to exist so the state essentially withers away.

That is my interpretation of Marx's writing on it not the Leninist take on it. Personally i think it is a outdated concept and that Marxists should have atleast dropped the term dictatorship as almost no worker is going to understand that Marx's definition of dictatorship is different from ours.

Navee's picture
Navee
Offline
Joined: 16-12-11
Apr 23 2013 02:04

I must object to arguments such as: "the DofP is an outdated term that is teribly compromised". Firstly, it is a question that is being discussed within the revolutionary movement for a long time, yes, but because we've yet had not a proper revolution, but mearly its baby steps, its still a question open for discussion. Secondly, what about other compromised phrases? We might as well call ourselves the dancing lillies and struggle for the world disneyland... Other than that, its not something you'll be in situation to use in mass propaganda, but rather in theoretical discussions.

The bourgeois ideology is such that it is constatly representing facts to its own benefit - the preservation of capitalism. The name of anarchism was distorted in one way, and the name of marxism in other. Changing our terminology will bring us nowhere, as ultimatively the same process is to repeat itself.

Pennoid's picture
Pennoid
Offline
Joined: 18-02-12
Feb 19 2015 16:47

It is a concept pretty under theorized I think. I mean, on the one hand it doesn't pretend to be that theoretically profound. But for many it is a core point of their politics. In Mike McNair's "Revolutionary Strategy he makes these distinctions:

1. Workers take power with a party that represents a minority of the working population (peasants and workers) and then to hold power must maintain class society. This was the Bolshevik revolution.
2. Workers get organized and utilize a "strategy of patience" where they get representation in gov't and build workplace organizations, as well as co-ops, mutual aid societies, neighborhood groups, schools, etc. Independent organizations of the working class, independent from the state and the capitalists. When a majority of workers like our ideas, then we can seize power. (Form DoTP)
3. Workers Councils/Mass Strike/Spontaneous/ Anarcho-syndicalist method of workers directly taking power in the process of struggle forming the *very same* organs of social administration to carry out the revolution and coordinate communist production. This is a DOTP that is significantly different from that as formulated by "workers' state" dotp.

Now I don't think the Bolsheviks were evil coup-craving power mongers. But they didn't have a choice once they decided to "take power" and could not ignore representing the peasantry in their social management scheme and so had to balance class interests and manage russian capitalism. In this way it *was* a coup in a sense. I'm not saying it was a *Bolshevik coup* but the military organization disbanding the government and erecting a workers government through the councils (and the party eventually) ended up having the social effect of a coup. At the early stages it did have considerable worker and anarchist support, but well, that ends when you start killing workers and anarchists.

I guess my question is: What is a party? What is it's role in the revolution? Can it be a non-electoral organization organized around a political program?

Why is a program important? Why don't the issues of a revolution manifest themselves as the concrete problems that they are to people in the process?

It seems that the distinctions above aren't all too well informed either. The "Left Wing" summary seems mistaken. They too, at least a/s kind of combined the Kautskyan center with independent strike action of the left. They advocated and built educational centers, newspapers etc.