I recently reread The Communist Manifesto (https://libcom.org/library/communist-manifesto-marx-engels-0) and am struggling with how to interpret this quote:
Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels
We have seen above that the first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class to win the battle of democracy.
It seems Marx is suggesting that the working class can become the ruling class by winning an election. But I’m hesitant to believe this is what he meant because I know Marx was a revolutionary. Although it’s true that Marx advocated forming workers’ parties that participate in elections, I thought he saw this as supplementary, and that he believed workers could only take power by a revolution.
But was this not yet what he believed in 1848, when The Communist Manifesto was published? Is Marx in fact saying here that the proletariat can become the ruling class through electoralism?
If so, at what point did Marx change his opinion on this issue and is there any specific text where he makes it clear that he has rejected this opinion?