Rights during a proletarian revolution

Submitted by Lucky Black Cat on February 18, 2022

In the Facebook group Council Communism, someone once commented that during a proletarian revolution:

"All persisting social classes should have rights while they're around, until the material basis of society shifts and they no longer exist as a distinct class."

This raises the question of whether there should be equal rights between the proletariat and capitalists* during a revolution*, or if there are any rights that the proletariat should have that capitalists don't.

I'm sure the author of the quoted comment would agree that the capitalist class should not have the right to hoard the means of production, but nobody will have that right, so we will all have equal rights in that regard.

But my understanding of a proletarian revolution is that capitalists don't have equal rights because they don't have the right to organize political power as a class, while workers do.

Should this be the only inequality of rights? What rights should be guaranteed to everyone? (This second question is huge so if you want to ignore it and just respond to the first question that's cool.)


* "Capitalists" includes former capitalists who've been expropriated if they continue to identify with their former class. And when I say "during a revolution" I'm assuming this is a period where counterrevolutionary resistance is still active, though I also assume this resistance won't be limited to capitalists.

darren p

2 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by darren p on February 19, 2022

I think the question has to be "rights to what?" and "granted by whom?"

Thinking about "rights" in the abstract is the wrong way to do it.

This might be interesting


2 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by uglyandproud on February 20, 2022

Rights are something of a myth as those who grant rights, such as nation states, are free to infringe on them whenever they like. America hardly even follows its own constitution half the time.

I think anarchy is necessarily the rejection of mythological and dogmatic ways of thinking in preference of focusing on material social needs. Those who lack resources should have their needs met and those who are subjugated to authority should be liberated. That's about the end of what I feel is worthwhile to care about.

klas batalo

2 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by klas batalo on February 21, 2022

yes to the fullest extent possible, those whom infringe on such rights would either be reactionaries and bourgious with their long history of actively witholding or denying such rights or counter-revolutionary tendencies within the communist movement


2 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ajjohnstone on February 22, 2022

The SPGB position on capturing the state machine - including its armed forces - is designed that if a recalcitrant faction resists the will of the majority, those who Marx expected to conduct a pro-slavery rebellion.

The freedom for capitalist apologists to peacefully advocate a return to capitalism will not be curtailed

“Censorship has outlived its time; where it still exists, it will be regarded as a hateful constraint which prohibits what is openly said from being written.”
– Karl Marx

“The truly radical cure for censorship would be its abolition.”
- Karl Marx


1 month 2 weeks ago

Submitted by westartfromhere on February 29, 2024

Our understanding of proletarian revolution is that it abolishes political power, as well as abstract rights. Any revolution that retains political power is not revolution, as the pillars of the building remain in place.