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(Part B)
PART TWO:
THE DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT

 Text coloring decodes as follows:

 Black:  Ken Ellis
 Red:  Marx, Engels, Lenin
 Green:  Uncontested info, etc.
 Blue:  Correspondent, adversary, SLP-related
 Purple:  Unreliable Info
 Brown:  Inaccurate quote, but true to intent

   In
Part II of "Proletarian Democracy vs. Dictatorships and Despotism", Arnold Petersen started building a case for some kind of basic antagonism between the proletariat and the peasantry. This is the portion of his pamphlet that upset me so much back in June of 1976, when I discovered the many lies in it.

   The numbers in brackets {xx} indicate points of interest that are later analyzed piece by piece. The bulk of the more easily refuted lies began on page 41 of A.P.'s:

"Proletarian Democracy vs. Dictatorships and Despotism"

... "And Lenin, in his "The State and Revolution," says:

   "On the Continent of Europe, in 1871, the proletariat did not in a single country constitute the majority of the people. A 'people's' revolution actually sweeping the majority into its current, could be such only if embracing both the proletariat and the peasantry."

p. 41:    "Peasantry and Proletariat.

   "Note that Lenin places the proletariat in juxtaposition to the peasantry. A whole class which is the legitimate result of definite historical causes and present economic conditions, and which possesses considerable economic power, however diffused it may be, cannot arbitrarily be swept aside, or ignored. It must be taken into account. {1} Likewise the small bourgeois who is barely hanging on to existence by the skin of his teeth. Lenin has described this situation graphically in his biting criticism of his own domestic brand of burlesque bolsheviks: "To defeat the great, centralized bourgeoisie is a thousand times easier than to 'defeat' millions and millions of small owners who in their daily, imperceptible, inconspicuous but demoralizing activities achieve the very results desired by the bourgeoisie, and restore the bourgeoisie." {2} ("Left-Wing Communism, An Infantile Disorder.") {3} Property interests are bound to dominate the actions of such groups, {4} and they must be convinced that it is in their interest to support the proletarian revolution, or be subjected to forcible repression in the interest of that revolution. {5} This condition, as I have intimated, prevailed also in Russia in 1917. Does it prevail in the United States? Even to ask the question is to subject oneself to ridicule: {6} The over-whelming, the immense majority of the people in this country is of the wage working class. {7} The so-called middle class is so dependent on "big business" that its group status is largely a fiction. {8} In a revolutionary (or any other thorough-going crisis) it would, almost to a man, be hurled into the ranks of the proletariat. {9} And as for "the peasantry" in America - well, even a fifty horsepower microscope would fail to reveal the presence of that outlandish species, {10} the Anarcho-Communists and Mr. Mencken to the contrary notwithstanding.

   "So important a factor is the presence of a peasantry considered by Lenin, {11} that he observes (in his refutation of Kautsky's plea for "bourgeois democracy") that "if Kautsky still remembered it, he could not have denied the need for a proletarian dictatorship in a country in which the small peasant producer is predominant." {12} ("The Proletarian Revolution.") The logic of this statement is that in a country where this peasantry is conspicuous by its complete absence, {13} where, in short, the fact of complete industrialization, even of agriculture, is so obvious as to impress itself upon the dullest intellect - {14} that in such a country there is no need of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat in the contemporaneous sense of continental Europe of 1871 or Russia of 1917. {15} We have here agricultural wage workers {16} - proletarians who happen to live in the country. We have the large bonanza farms, the great mechanized agricultural plants, and we have small or tenant farmers whose status - economically - corresponds exactly to the petty corner grocers and similar petty bourgeois elements and whose economic power is exactly zero." {17}

   This theoretical material can be analyzed in two different ways. The second way will be an analysis of the three quotes that A.P. used, but first, let us summarize all of A.P.'s theoretical material:

 1   'The economic power of the petty-bourgeoisie and peasantry on the continent of Europe of the last century was considerable and had to be taken into account.
 2   'Using Lenin as an authority on the issue, it is easier for the proletariat to defeat the big bourgeoisie than to defeat the class of small owners.
 3   'Property interests dominate the interests of small owners.
 4   'Small owners must be convinced that the proletarian revolution is also in their own interests, or they will be subjected to forcible repression in the interests of that revolution.
 5   'Class compositions in Russia in 1917, and in Europe in 1871, were similar.
 6   'One must be careful not to question SLP pronouncements on class composition, lest one be subjected to ridicule.
 7   'Wage-labor predominates in American industry.
 8   'The status of the middle class in the United States is a fiction, due to its dependence on big business.
 
9   'The American middle class would be hurled down into the ranks of the proletariat in the face of any real crisis.
10   'The American peasantry barely exists at all.
11   'Lenin considered the presence of the peasantry to be very important in Russia.
12   'Lenin's quote showed that a dictatorship of the proletariat is necessary in a country in which the small property holders predominate.
13   'The American peasantry barely exists at all.
14   'In America, agriculture has been completely industrialized.
15   'In America, the dictatorship of the proletariat is not necessary, as in the example of Russia in 1917, or of Europe in 1871.
16   'American agricultural workers are wage-workers.
17   'The economic power of small owners, tenant farmers, and small business people is zero.'

   Collecting similar points, let us rearrange them into four groups:    

 1   'The economic power of the petty-bourgeoisie and peasantry on the continent of Europe of the last century was considerable and had to be taken into account.
 
3   'Property interests dominate the interests of small owners.
 
5   'Class compositions in Russia in 1917, and in Europe in 1871, were similar.
11   'Lenin considered the presence of a peasantry to be very important in Russia.

   From these four points, it looks as though: 'The peasantry and middle classes in Europe and Russia in the old days adhered very strongly to bourgeois values, and were economically very important.'

   Now for the next group of similars:

 2   'Using Lenin as an authority on the issue, it is easier for the proletariat to defeat the big bourgeoisie than to defeat the class of small owners.
 4   '
Small owners must be convinced that the proletarian revolution is also in their own interests, or they will be subjected to forcible repression in the interests of that revolution.
12   'Lenin's quote showed that a dictatorship of the proletariat is necessary in a country in which the small property holders predominate.

   From these four points, it may be concluded that: 'The dictatorship of the proletariat is a dictatorship over the peasantry, middle classes and small property holders.'

   Now for the next group of similars:

 7   'Wage-labor predominates in American industry.
 8   'The status of the middle class in the United States is a fiction, due to its dependence on big business.
 9   'The American middle class would be hurled down into the ranks of the proletariat in the face of any real crisis.
10   'The American peasantry barely exists at all.
13   '
The American peasantry barely exists at all.
14   'In America, agriculture has been completely industrialized.
16   'American agricultural workers are wage-workers.
17   'The economic power of small owners, tenant farmers, and small business people is zero.'

   From these eight points, it looks as though: 'Small owners and peasants play an insignificant role, or less, in America today, the only important economic relationship being that between capitalist and wage-worker.'

   There are two remaining points:

 6   'One should be careful not to question Party pronouncements on class composition, lest one be subjected to ridicule.
15   'In America, the dictatorship of the proletariat is not necessary, as in the example of Russia in 1917, or of Europe in 1871.'

   Ignoring point #6, we can go back and collect four main conclusions:

 1   'The peasantry and middle classes in Europe and Russia in the old days adhered very strongly to bourgeois values, and were economically very important.
 
2   'The dictatorship of the proletariat is a dictatorship over the peasantry, middle classes and small property holders.
 
3   'Small owners and peasants play an insignificant role, or less, in America today, the only important economic relationship being that between capitalist and wage-worker.
 
4   'In America, the dictatorship of the proletariat is not necessary, as in the example of Russia in 1917, or of Europe in 1871.'

   One way to combine the four points would be: 'The peasantry and middle classes played an important role in Europe and Russia in the old days, but, in America today, they do not play an important role. Since the dictatorship of the proletariat is a dictatorship over the peasantry and middle classes, then such a dictatorship is not necessary in America today, where those classes have no significant numbers, or play no significant role, and consequently would scarcely need to be repressed.'

   Of the 4 points, #2 and #3 can easily be proved to be wrong. The only point that can easily be conceded is the 1st point, that 'the peasantry and middle classes were economically important in Europe and Russia in the old days.' With that fact, we can take no issue at all. So, let us look more closely at the other points, starting with the second: 'The dictatorship of the proletariat is a dictatorship over the peasantry, middle classes and small property holders.'
   This point can easily be proven false in two major ways. First of all, the bona fide evidence from the works of Marx, Engels and Lenin shows that
the dictatorship of the proletariat is a dictatorship over the uppermost classes, and secondly, there is plenty of evidence to show that the proletariat and the middle classes were to ally against their common enemy - the uppermost classes.
   In the last few centuries, the bourgeoisie was commonly known as the middle class, i.e., the class between the 'nobility' of feudal landowners and the lower classes of serfs, workers and peasants, depending upon the time and country. In those days, middle classes, i.e., small manufacturers and merchants tried to evolve, but feudal relations of production and exchange hampered their economic activities. Nowadays in America, the term '
middle class' has evolved to include small business owners and/or higher-salaried professionals.
   Secondly, the
Hammer and Sickle on the flag of the old Soviet Union in itself was symbolic of the worker-peasant alliance, indicating the great theoretical importance that the worker-peasant alliance held for the founders of the Soviet Union. Dictatorship and alliance were often intertwined as topics in the works of Marx and Engels. In Marx's 1874 "Comments on Bakunin's Book, Statehood and Anarchy", Bakunin's spurious attack on Marx was quoted, and then Marx commented on it (MESW II, pp. 411-2):

B:  "For example, ... the vulgar peasants, the peasant rabble, towards whom, it is common knowledge, the Marxists [are not] kindly disposed, and who, standing on the lowest level of culture, will probably be ruled by the urban and factory proletariat."

M:  "That means that wherever the peasant en masse exists as a private proprietor, where he even forms a more or less substantial majority, as is the case in all countries of the West-European continent, where he has not disappeared and has not been replaced by agricultural day labourers, as in England, the following may happen: either he prevents and wrecks every workers' revolution, as he has up to the present done in France, or else the proletariat (for the peasant-owner does not belong to the proletariat, and even where his position makes him belong to it, he thinks that he does not) in governing must take measures which lead to a direct improvement in his condition, and which, consequently, win him over to the side of the revolution. From the very outset these measures must facilitate the transition from private to collective landownership, so that the peasant himself comes to it through economic means; care should, however, be taken not to antagonise him, for example, by proclaiming the abolition of the inheritance right or of his property. The latter can be done only where the capitalistic tenant has ousted the peasant, and where the actual cultivator is just as much a proletarian, a wageworker as the rural worker and, hence, has directly, not indirectly, identical interests with him; much less should landownership be strengthened by enlarging the parcel through the simple handing over of large estates to the peasants, as in Bakunin's revolutionary programme.

B:  ""Or, if we consider the question from a national viewpoint, then, we may presume, to the Germans the Slavs will for the same reason be in the same slavish dependence on the German proletariat in which the latter is on its own bourgeoisie" (p. 278).

M:  "Schoolboyish rot! A radical social revolution is connected with definite historical conditions of economic development; the latter are its prerequisites. Therefore, it is possible only where, alongside with capitalist production, the industrial proletariat accounts for at least a considerable portion of the people. To have any chance of success it must be able mutatis mutandis* to do directly for the peasants at least as much as the French bourgeoisie did for the then existing French peasants during its revolution. A pretty idea that the rule of the workers involves oppression of agricultural labour! But this is where Mr. Bakunin's innermost thought is revealed. He has no idea of social revolution, knows only its political phrases; its economic conditions have no meaning for him. Since all previous economic forms, irrespective of whether they are developed or not, involved the enslavement of the worker (be it in the form of wage-worker, peasant, etc.), he believes that a radical revolution is equally possible under all these forms. He goes even further. He wants the European social revolution, whose economic basis is capitalist production, to be founded on the level of the Russian or Slavic farming and stock-breeding peoples, and that it should not exceed that level; he wants this even though he realises that navigation creates difference among brothers, but only navigation, because this is a difference known to all politicians! The will, not economic conditions, is the basis of his social revolution."
__________
   
"* With the necessary changes having been made.-Ed ." {Note by Progress Publishers.}"

   As Marx himself has shown, there simply can be no question about the meaning of the dictatorship of the proletariat except as a dictatorship over the big bourgeoisie, and absolutely not a dictatorship over the peasantry or petty bourgeoisie. Also, note the ridicule with which Marx greeted Bakunin's theory that 'the workers would repress the peasants'.

The Worker-Peasant Alliance

   In an 1847 interview entitled "Principles of Communism", in which the ideas of the worker-peasant alliance may not have been as well developed as in his later works, Engels answered some questions (MESW I, p. 90):

   "Q[uestion]18: What will be the course of this revolution?
   
"A[nswer]: In the first place it will inaugurate a democratic constitution and thereby directly or indirectly the political rule of the proletariat. Directly in England, where the proletariat already constitutes the majority of the people. Indirectly in France and in Germany, where the majority of the people consists, in addition to proletarians, of petty peasants and bourgeois, who are now being proletarianised and in their political interests are becoming more and more dependent on the proletariat and therefore soon will have to submit to the demands of the proletariat. Perhaps this will involve a second fight, one that can end only in the victory of the proletariat."

   Compared to the excerpts that follow, this 1847 excerpt cannot be regarded as the last word on the worker-peasant alliance. In the works of Marx and Engels that I have accessed so far, this is the only language that I have seen of the quality of "submit to the demands of the proletariat", or "Perhaps ... a second fight".
   In "
The Class Struggles in France", written in 1850, Marx observed the worker-peasant alliance in action, and in one passage, descriptive of the essence of this alliance, wrote (MESW I, p. 214):

   "The French workers could not take a step forward, could not touch a hair of the bourgeois order, until the course of the revolution had aroused the mass of the nation, peasants and petty bourgeois, standing between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, against this order, against the rule of capital, and had forced it to attach itself to the proletarians as their protagonists. The workers could buy this victory only through the tremendous defeat in June.*"
__________
   
* "This insurrection was the first great civil war between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie." {From Note 42 of the Progress Publishers Edition.}

   In "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte", Marx compared the social position of the peasantry under the first and second Napoleons and gave a sense of how class alliances change from one era to another (MESW I, pp. 481-2):

   "The bourgeois order, which at the beginning of the {19th} century set the state to stand guard over the newly arisen small holding and manured it with laurels, has become a vampire that sucks out its blood and brains and throws them into the alchemistic cauldron of capital. The Code Napoleon is now nothing but a codex of distraints, forced sales and compulsory auctions. To the four million (including children, etc.) officially recognised paupers, vagabonds, criminals and prostitutes in France must be added five million who hover on the margin of existence and either have their haunts in the countryside itself or, with their rags and their children, continually desert the countryside for the towns and the towns for the countryside. The interests of the peasants, therefore, are no longer, as under Napoleon, in accord with, but in opposition to the interests of the bourgeoisie, to capital. Hence the peasants find their natural ally and leader in the urban proletariat, whose task is the overthrow of the bourgeois order."

   A.P.'s denial of the worker-peasant alliance could easily have been avoided if he had merely referred to the Party's own reprints of Marx's pamphlets "The Class Struggles in France" and "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte", but A.P.'s denial of that alliance is just one of the many ways in which SLP literature contradicts Marx.
   A.P.'s second point concerned the class composition of agricultural labor:

The Alleged Predominance of Russian Middle Classes

   A.P. identified agricultural labor in Russia almost exclusively with small peasant owners, whereas Lenin's figures showed that agricultural labor in Russia was actually closer to 65% wage labor. In his 1903 pamphlet entitled "To the Rural Poor" (LCW 6, pp. 361-430, esp. p. 381), Lenin described the increasingly capitalist nature of agricultural production in Russia. Using figures that excluded Siberia and the Caucasus, Lenin found that of ten million owners of fifteen million horses, six and one half million owned either one horse or no horse at all, and were forced to sell their labor power at least part of the time, and were thus counted among the very poor peasants. Also, two million middle peasants owned four million horses, and one and one-half million rich peasants owned seven and one-half million horses. Also, throughout most of Russia (except Siberia and the Caucasus), Lenin found that peasants applied for more than eight million passports in order to migrate to perform wage-labor. There were still some feudal relations of agricultural production that Lenin brought to light, but the trend in agriculture moved increasingly toward capitalist relations of production.
   A good portion of Lenin's early writings refuted writings of petty-bourgeois "
Narodniks", who represented the interests of rich peasants who tended to idealize peasant life. They ignored the splitting of the peasantry into capitalist and proletarian classes after the 'freeing' of the serfs in 1861, and they also lumped all agricultural workers into one homogeneous group, much in the way A.P. hypothesized 'a uniform class that the proletariat would have to rule after coming to power', similar to Bakunin's theory. In a major work, "The Development of Capitalism in Russia", Lenin presented a great deal of data to back up his analyses (LCW 3):

   (p. 311): "Secondly, the small rural bourgeois (in Russia, as in other capitalist countries) is connected by a number of transitional stages with the small-holding "peasant," and with the rural proletarian who has been allotted a patch of land. This circumstance is one of the reasons for the viability of the theories which do not distinguish the existence of a rural bourgeoisie and a rural proletariat among "the peasantry."*
__________
   "
* The favorite proposition of the Narodnik economists that "Russian peasant farming is in the majority of cases purely natural economy" is, incidentally, built up by ignoring this fact. ... One has but to take "average" figures, which lump together both the rural bourgeoisie and the rural proletariat - and this proposition will pass as proved!"

   (pp. 376-7): "It is usual at the lower stage of capitalism which we are reviewing for the industrialist still to be scarcely differentiated from the peasant. The combination of industry with agriculture plays an extremely important part in aggravating and accentuating the differentiation of the peasantry: the prosperous and the well-off peasants open workshops, hire workers from among the rural proletariat, and accumulate money for commercial and usurious transactions. The peasant poor, on the other hand, provide the wage-workers, the handicraftsmen who work for buyers-up, and the bottom groups of petty-master handicraftsmen, those most crushed by the power of merchant's capital. Thus, the combination of industry with agriculture consolidates and develops capitalist relations, spreading them from industry to agriculture and vice-versa. That characteristic of capitalist society, the separation of industry from agriculture, manifests itself at this stage in the most rudimentary form . . .

   (pp. 377-8): "The separation of industry from agriculture takes place in connection with the differentiation of the peasantry, and does so by different paths at the two poles of the countryside: the well-to-do minority open industrial establishments, enlarge them, improve their farming methods, hire farm labourers to till the land, devote an increasing part of the year to industry, and - at a certain stage of the development of the industry - find it more convenient to separate their industrial from their agricultural undertakings, i.e., to hand over the farm to other members of the family, or to sell farm buildings, animals, etc., and adopt the status of burghers, of merchants. The separation of industry from agriculture is preceded in this case by the formation of entrepreneur relations in agriculture. At the other pole of the countryside the separation of industry from agriculture consists in the fact that the poor peasants are being ruined and turned into wage-workers (industrial and agricultural). At this pole of the countryside it is not the profitableness of industry, but need and ruin, that compels the peasant to abandon the land, and not only the land but also independent industrial labour; here the process of the separation of industry from agriculture is one of the expropriation of the small producer."

   In these excerpts, the actual dynamics of Russian society were illuminated by Lenin. Contrast Lenin's treatment of class dynamics with A.P.'s oversimplifications, and it isn't difficult to see how the oversimplifications aided and abetted A.P.'s agenda of persuading his readers to think of Russia as 'the home of a uniform class of small-holding peasants that the proletariat would have to rule over'. If we did not make ourselves aware of the similarity of interests of the proletariat and peasantry (they being largely the very same people in Russia at that time), it would be a lot easier to swallow the 'dictatorship of the proletariat over the peasantry' scam. Lenin continued:

   (p. 429): "It seems paradoxical that the growth of small (sometimes even "independent") industries should be an expression of the growth of capitalist manufacture: nevertheless it is a fact. The "independence" of such "handicraftsmen" is quite fictitious. Their work could not be done, and their product would on occasion even have no use-value, if there were no connection with other detailed operations, with other parts of the product. And only big capital, ruling (in one form or another) over a mass of workers performing separate operations was able* to and did create this connection. One of the main errors of Narodnik economics is that it ignores or obscures the fact that the "handicraftsman" performing a single operation is a constituent part of the capitalist manufactory.
__________
   "
* Why is it that only capital was able to create this connection? Because, as we have seen, commodity production gives rise to the scattered condition of the small producers and to their complete differentiation, and because the small industries bequeathed to manufacture a heritage of capitalist workshops and merchant's capital."

   (p. 433): "The economic structure of manufacture is characterised by a far deeper differentiation among the industrialists than is the case in the small industries; differentiation in industry is paralleled by differentiation in agriculture. . . .

   (pp. 433-4): "If even in the West the manufacturing period of capitalism could not bring about the complete separation of the industrial workers from agriculture, in Russia, with the preservation of many institutions that tie the peasants to the land, such separation could not but be retarded. Therefore, we repeat, what is most typical of Russian capitalist manufacture is the non-agricultural centre which attracts the population of the surrounding villages - the inhabitants of which are semi-agriculturalists and semi-industrialists - and dominates these villages.
   "
Particularly noteworthy in this connection is the fact of the higher cultural level of the population of such non-agricultural centres. A higher degree of literacy, a considerably higher standard of requirements and life, vigorous dissociation from the "rawness" of "native village soil" - such are the usual distinguishing features of the inhabitants of such centres.

   (p. 504): "[A]mong the agricultural population we have about 48.5 million proletarians and semi-proletarians; about 29.1 million poor small peasant farmers and their families, and about 19.4 million of the population on the well-to-do small farms.

   (p. 505): "For the commercial and industrial population we shall then get about 1.5 million big bourgeoisie, about 2.2 million well-to-do, about 4.8 million needy small producers, and about 13.2 million belonging to the proletarian and semi-proletarian strata of the population.
   "
By combining the agricultural, commercial and industrial, and unproductive sections of the population, we shall get the following approximate distribution of the entire population of Russia according to class status:

    Total population, both sexes
 Big bourgeoisie, landlords, high officials, etc.  about    3.0 million
 Well-to-do small proprietors    "    23.1  "
 Poor small proprietors    "   35.8   "
 Proletarians* and semi-proletarians    "   63.7
     _________

 Total

 ......  125.6 million
 _________
* These number not less than 22 million.

   Lenin's figures and data show that the Russian economy was predominantly capitalist in nature, and that the proletariat and other lower classes constituted close to 80% of the total population. His facts and figures pretty well refute A.P.'s assertion that 'the Russian proletariat was a tiny minority in a uniform peasant economy.'

The Alleged Absence of the American Middle Classes

   Point 3 of A.P.'s analysis was that 'Small owners and peasants play an insignificant role in America', and in 8 separate places, A.P. did his best to diminish the importance of American middle classes. In the 1988 edition of Small Business Data, statistics showed that in 1982, there were 3.66 million small businesses in the USA, and in 1987, small business dominated industries employed over 46 million people, or nearly half the work force, which, in itself, totally disproves A.P.'s thesis that small business plays an insignificant role in the United States. While it is true that employment on small farms has shrunk drastically over the years, for instance, from 6.7% in 1950 to 1.7% in 1990, this trend does not at all signify a corresponding shrinkage in the middle classes in general. Many farmers sold their farms to start small businesses in the city. Statistics show that the American small-business community and other middle classes are still going very strong. And even without statistics, if we only just look around us, it's easy to see that the middle classes are everywhere.
   While getting acquainted with
SLP literature, I often ran across a number of hostile references to the middle classes, and, as part of a family that was in business on the smallest end of the scale, that caused me some concern. A.P. seemed to be writing about the class I identify with as though it wasn't low enough for people therefrom to have revolutionary aspirations, despite our proximity to wage-slavery. In fact, many wage-workers have led far more opulent lives than I ever did, so I often puzzled why A.P. was so consistently hostile toward the middle classes, until sometime after the significance of the fraud that he perpetrated had completely sunk in: In his role as 'number one proletarian', A.P. had to affect hostility against the middle classes in order to lend consistency to his theory of a dictatorship of the proletariat over the middle classes.
   Can the middle classes harbor revolutionary aspirations? In a January 1894 letter to Turati about prospects for revolution in Italy at that time, Engels stated (
MESC, p. 444):

   ... "Evidently the socialist party is too young and, on account of the economic situation, too weak to be able to hope for an immediate victory of socialism. In this country the agricultural population far outweighs the urban population. There is not much large-scale industries, in the towns the typical proletariat is therefore rather small; handicraftsmen, small shopkeepers and declassed elements - a mass fluctuating between the petty bourgeoisie and the proletariat - compose the majority. It is the petty and middle bourgeoisie of the Middle Ages in decay and disintegration, for the most part proletarians of the future but not yet proletarians of the present. It is this class alone which, always facing economic ruin and now driven to desperation, will be able to furnish both the bulk of fighters and the leaders of a revolutionary movement as well. It will be supported by the peasants, who are prevented from displaying any effective initiative because of the territorial fragmentation and their illiteracy, but they will nevertheless be powerful and indispensable allies." . . .

   From this, it is obvious that Engels did not think that a middle class background would prevent people from fighting for a socialist revolution. Marx and Engels themselves were of middle class background.

Misquoting the Founders of Socialism

   In the next three sections, it will be shown that the three quotes from Lenin that A.P. used to 'prove' his theses were taken entirely out of context, and that the actual context proves things to the contrary of what A.P. alleged. A.P. started off with a quote from Lenin's 1917 pamphlet "The State and Revolution", from which A.P. concluded that the peasantry played an important role in production back in the times of Marx and Lenin, so the proletariat would have to take peasants into account and somehow deal with them during a revolution. Lenin described how Marx used the term "people's revolution", and how the proletariat and peasantry fit in (LCW 25, pp. 419-22):

   "On April 12, 1871, i.e., just at the time of the Commune, Marx wrote to Kugelmann:

   ""If you look up the last chapter of my Eighteenth Brumaire, you will find that I declare that the next attempt of the French Revolution will be no longer, as before, to transfer the bureaucratic-military machine from one hand to another, but to smash it [Marx's italics - the original is zerbrechen], and this is the precondition for every real people's revolution on the Continent. And this is what our heroic Party comrades in Paris are attempting." . . .

   "The words, "to smash the bureaucratic-military machine", briefly express the principal lesson of Marxism regarding the tasks of the proletariat during a revolution in relation to the state. And it is this lesson that has been not only completely ignored, but positively distorted by the prevailing, Kautskyite, "interpretation" of Marxism! . . .
   "
It is interesting to note, in particular, two points in the above-quoted argument of Marx. First, he restricts his conclusion to the Continent. This was understandable in 1871, when Britain was still the model of a purely capitalist country, but without a militarist clique and, to a considerable degree, without a bureaucracy. Marx therefore excluded Britain, where a revolution, even a people's revolution, then seemed possible, and indeed was possible, without the precondition of destroying the "ready-made state machinery".
   "Today, in 1917, at the time of the first great imperialist war, this restriction made by Marx is no longer valid. Both Britain and America, the biggest and the last representatives - in the whole world - of Anglo-Saxon "liberty", in the sense that they had no militarist cliques and bureaucracy, have completely sunk into the all-European filthy, bloody morass of bureaucratic-military institutions which subordinate everything to themselves, and suppress everything. Today, in Britain and America, too, "the precondition for every real people's revolution" is the smashing, the destruction of the "ready-made state machinery" (made and brought up to "European", general imperialist, perfection in those countries in the years 1914-17).
   "
Secondly, particular attention should be paid to Marx's extremely profound remark that the destruction of the bureaucratic-military machine is "the precondition for every real people's revolution". This idea of a "people's" revolution seems strange coming from Marx, so that the Russian Plekhanovites and Mensheviks, those followers of Struve who wish to be regarded as Marxists, might possibly declare such an expression to be a "slip of the pen" on Marx's part. They have reduced Marxism to such a state of wretchedly liberal distortion that nothing exists for them beyond the antithesis between bourgeois revolution and proletarian revolution, and even this antithesis they interpret in an utterly lifeless way.
   "
If we take the revolutions of the twentieth century as examples we shall, of course, have to admit that the Portuguese and the Turkish revolutions are both bourgeois revolutions. Neither of them, however, is a "people's" revolution, since in neither does the mass of the people, their vast majority, come out actively, independently, with their own economic and political demands to any noticeable degree. By contrast, although the Russian bourgeois revolution of 1905-07 displayed no such "brilliant" successes as at times fell to the Portuguese and Turkish revolutions, it was undoubtedly a "real People's" revolution, since the mass of the people, their majority, the very lowest social groups, crushed by oppression and exploitation, rose independently and stamped on the entire course of the revolution the imprint of their own demands, their attempts to build in their own way a new society in place of the old society that was being destroyed.
   "
In Europe, in 1871, the proletariat did not constitute the majority of the people in any country on the Continent. A "people's" revolution, one actually sweeping the majority into its stream, could be such only if it embraced both the proletariat and the peasants. These two classes then constituted the "people". These two classes are united by the fact that the "bureaucratic- military state machine" oppresses, crushes, exploits them. To smash this machine, to break it up, is truly in the interest of the "people", of their majority, of the workers and most of the peasants, is "the precondition" for a free alliance of the poor peasants and the proletarians, whereas without such an alliance democracy is unstable and socialist transformation is impossible.
   "
As is well known, the Paris Commune was actually working its way toward such an alliance, although it did not reach its goal owing to a number of circumstances, internal and external.
   "
Consequently, in speaking of a "real people's revolution", Marx, without in the least discounting the special features of the petty bourgeoisie (he spoke a great deal about them and often), took strict account of the actual balance of class forces in most of the continental countries of Europe in 1871. On the other hand, he stated that the "smashing" of the state machine was required by the interests of both the workers and the peasants, that it united them, that it placed before them the common task of removing the "parasite" and of replacing it by something new.
   "
By what exactly?"

   The next section of Lenin's "The State and Revolution" was entitled "What is to Replace the Smashed State Machine?" and it didn't mention the SLP's Socialist Industrial Union Program at all. Rather, Marx observed that a democratic republic of a new type - which came to be known as the Paris Commune - replaced the old state machine.
   Let us now recap a very important point from the long section quoted above. We saw the actual context of the term "
people's revolution" as it was used by both Marx and Lenin, and how it embraced both the proletariat and the peasantry. Between the proletariat and peasantry there was to be a free alliance, and unity between the two against the parasitic bureaucratic-military state machine protecting the interests of the upper classes, but nowhere was there a hint about conflict or hostility between the lower classes. A.P. could not have lifted that little quote out of Lenin without failing to take note of its context of a worker-peasant alliance against the old state machine, but he chose to ignore - not only that alliance in its entirety - but also the real meaning of the dictatorship of the proletariat over the wealthiest landowners and capitalists, and the smashing of their old state machinery.

'Defeating' the Middle Classes

   The second quote from Lenin was used by A.P. to create the impression that the proletariat and the middle classes would engage in a battle against each other. A.P. loosely quoted Lenin (p. 42):

   ""To defeat the great, centralized bourgeoisie is a thousand times easier than to 'defeat' millions and millions of small owners who in their daily, imperceptible, inconspicuous but demoralizing activities achieve the very results desired by the bourgeoisie, and restore the bourgeoisie." ("Left-Wing Communism, An Infantile Disorder.")"

   Was Lenin alluding to a battle between the proletariat and middle classes? A.P.'s version readily imparts that impression, so let's compare it to the official version of "'Left-Wing' Communism - An Infantile Disorder" (LCW 31, pp. 44-45):

   "From the standpoint of communism, repudiation of the Party principle means attempting to leap from the eve of capitalism's collapse (in Germany), not to the lower or the intermediate phase of communism, but to the higher. We in Russia (in the third year since the overthrow of the bourgeoisie) are making the first steps in the transition from capitalism to socialism or the lower stage of communism. Classes still remain, and will remain everywhere for years after the proletariat's conquest of power. Perhaps in Britain, where there is no peasantry (but where petty proprietors exist), this period may be shorter. The abolition of classes means, not merely ousting the landowners and the capitalists - that is something we accomplished with comparative ease; it also means abolishing the small commodity producers, and they cannot be ousted, or crushed; we must learn to live with them. They can (and must) be transformed and re-educated only by means of very prolonged, slow, and cautious organisational work. They surround the proletariat on every side with a petty-bourgeois atmosphere, which permeates and corrupts the proletariat, and constantly causes among the proletariat relapses into petty- bourgeois spinelessness, disunity, individualism, and alternating moods of exaltation and dejection. The strictest centralisation and discipline are required within the political party of the proletariat in order to counteract this, in order that the organisational role of the proletariat (and that is its principal role) may be exercised correctly, successfully, and victoriously. The dictatorship of the proletariat means a persistent struggle - bloody and bloodless, violent and peaceful, military and economic, educational and administrative - against the forces and traditions of the old society. The force of habit in millions and tens of millions is a most formidable force. Without a party of iron that has been tempered in the struggle, a party enjoying the confidence of all honest people in the class in question, a party capable of watching and influencing the mood of the masses, such a struggle cannot be waged successfully. It is a thousand times easier to vanquish the centralised big bourgeoisie than to "vanquish" the millions upon millions of petty proprietors; however, through their ordinary, everyday, imperceptible, elusive and demoralising activities, they produce the very results which the bourgeoisie need and which tend to restore the bourgeoisie."

   Back in the days of Marx, Engels and Lenin, the abolition of class distinctions was envisioned as taking place only during the era of proletarian dictatorship, during which era of working class political supremacy, the proletariat was to cooperate with the middle classes, and not try to defeat them militarily. All class distinctions were to be abolished during the historical period known as the dictatorship of the proletariat, facilitating society's ascension to a higher phase of classless, stateless communism. Lenin had not at all discussed or proposed a battle between the peasantry and proletariat, and A.P. could not have avoided becoming aware of that very point.

Proletarian Dictatorship ... over the Peasantry?

   A.P.'s use of yet another quote from Lenin strongly created the impression that the dictatorship of the proletariat was a dictatorship over the peasantry. The next excerpt is the particular one, which, when proved irrevocably to myself to have been taken entirely out of context, caused me to lose my appetite back in 1976, as I learned that A.P. had committed nothing less than gross fraud upon the Party and the working classes (pp. 42-3 of PD vs. D+D):

P:  "So important a factor is the presence of a peasantry considered by Lenin, that he observes (in his refutation of Kautsky's plea for "bourgeois democracy") that "if Kautsky had still remembered it, he could not have denied the need for a proletarian dictatorship in a country in which the small peasant producer is predominant." ("The Proletarian Revolution.") The logic of this statement is that in a country where this peasantry is conspicuous by its complete absence ... there is no need of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat in the contemporaneous sense of continental Europe of 1871 or Russia of 1917."

   Let's determine what the logic of Lenin's statement actually was: Not long after Karl Kautsky had written a pamphlet entitled "The Dictatorship of the Proletariat", Lenin claimed that Kautsky had falsified almost every one of Marx's theories of proletarian dictatorship. Because Lenin believed that the proletarian dictatorship was becoming a practical matter in many countries near the end of World War One, he felt it necessary to try to set straight the theory of that dictatorship by refuting all of Kautsky's alleged falsifications. Lenin directly quoted Kautsky only three tiny paragraphs away from the place where A.P. had taken his snip of a quote, so it would have been impossible for A.P. to have misconstrued the intent of Lenin's refutation (LCW 28, pp. 296-7):

L:  "Secondly, my dear theoretician, have you considered the fact that the small peasant producer inevitably vacillates between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie? This Marxist truth, which has been confirmed by the whole modern history of Europe, Kautsky very conveniently "forgot", for it simply demolishes the Menshevik "theory" that he keeps repeating! Had Kautsky not "forgotten" this he could not have denied the need for a proletarian dictatorship in a country in which the small peasant producers predominate.
   "
Let us examine the main content of our theoretician's "economic analysis".
   "
That Soviet power is a dictatorship cannot be disputed, says Kautsky. "But is it a dictatorship of the proletariat?" (P. 34.)

K:  ""According to the Soviet Constitution, the peasants form the majority of the population entitled to participate in legislation and administration. What is presented to us as a dictatorship of the proletariat would prove to be - if carried out consistently, and if, generally speaking, a class could directly exercise a dictatorship, which in reality can only be exercised by a party - a dictatorship of the peasants" (p. 35).

L:  "And, highly elated over so profound and clever an argument, our good Kautsky tries to be witty and says: "It would appear, therefore, that the most painless achievement of socialism is best assured when it is put in the hands of the peasants" (p. 35)."

   According to Lenin, Kautsky ignored the data on the class composition of the soviets, and then erroneously framed his arguments in terms of a dictatorship of the peasantry over the bourgeoisie, rather than a dictatorship of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie. Lenin countered that the proletariat was better suited to leading a dictatorship over the bourgeoisie than was the peasantry, simply because '.. the small peasant producer inevitably vacillates between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie', and thus would not be as good at leading the majority of the exploited in the uncompromising, unvacillating way that the proletarian representatives allegedly could lead them. The vacillation of the peasantry was what Kautsky allegedly 'forgot', and that is why Lenin phrased the sentence the way that he did, not anticipating that, a decade later, Arnold Petersen would seize upon Lenin's phrase: '.. he could not have denied the need for a proletarian dictatorship in a country in which the small peasant producers predominate ..', remove it from its context, and completely misconstrue it to mean that 'the dictatorship of the proletariat is a dictatorship over the peasantry and middle classes.' But, by not sitting back and taking A.P.'s word for gospel, and by instead going back to the original text of Lenin's "The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky", it is easy enough to determine that the quote in question did not in the least indicate that 'the dictatorship of the proletariat is a dictatorship over the peasantry'.
   That example made it obvious to me that, if A.P. had even the slightest shred of integrity, he would never have used that quote in the way that he did, especially with so much evidence to the contrary surrounding the very quote that he took out of context. Sadly, as the reader will see, A.P. played this very same trick over and over again, proving his criminal intent to commit the filthiest kind of fraud on the less experienced workers, as well as on the rank-and-file members of the
SLP.
   As I began rereading "
Proletarian Democracy vs. Dictatorships and Despotism" with a critical eye, and was informed by A.P. that the dictatorship of the proletariat was a dictatorship over the peasantry, I didn't immediately recognize exactly what he was trying to say, since he never explicitly compared his theory to that of the founders of socialism, nor did he declare himself to be right and all the others wrong. Rather, he redefined the dictatorship in a sneaky way, more by implication than proclamation, and by letting readers draw their own conclusions from the quotes out of context. Since the Party study class that I had attended in my early days of Party involvement also tried to sweep the dictatorship of the proletariat under the rug by merely asserting that it would be inappropriate for the USA, it would be easy for a naive and/or new member to take the SLP definition as gospel and never question it again. The prevailing attitude seemed to be that 'non-issues are always non-issues, the case is closed, and it is of little value to rehash settled arguments'. Nowadays, proletarian dictatorship in the USA and in other republics may very well have become inappropriate, but not for the reasons that A.P. gave, one of which included:

"Conditions!"

   Some time before my discovery of A.P.'s fraud, and as I explored works of Lenin and others, I often ran across the term "dictatorship of the proletariat", and learned to always interpret it as a proletarian dictatorship over the bourgeoisie, and nothing other than that. As I understood the dictatorship, what with the way Lenin stressed its importance for the industrialized countries in "State and Revolution" and elsewhere, I would sometimes enter into idle discussion with my Comrades about 'the possible necessity of a proletarian dictatorship in the USA after our revolution'.
   Among the
Weekly People writers, I never had any doubt that they knew that the dictatorship of the proletariat is a dictatorship over the bourgeoisie, and that, from the context of our conversations, they at least held open the possibility that 'it might be required in the USA after our revolution.' But, the general membership always strongly resisted using that term in an American context, and I would consistently be reminded that 'the dictatorship of the proletariat would not be necessary in this country.' As I gradually learned to press them for a specific reason as to why it would not be necessary, they consistently gave the reason as "Conditions!".
   The first time that it happened, I might have been embarrassed by my failure to remember this important
SLP theoretical standpoint, and I might have kicked myself with, "Of course, silly, ... Conditions!" But after I recovered from my embarrassment and thought about it enough times, "Conditions!" became less and less adequate as an answer. In subsequent conversations, I prompted myself to ask "Which conditions?", and I eventually got them to say something to the effect: "The relatively advanced means of production in this country compared to those of the old days, or to those in the Soviet Union." But even that expanded reason soon failed to satisfy my slow-but-inquiring mind, and I pestered one of them to the point of annoyance, as it just didn't logically follow that an economic fact of life could preclude the necessity of a political institution.
   It seemed so easy for some members to accept and repeat that minuscule "
Conditions!" explanation that I often wondered if the reason I could not understand it was due to some kind of incapacity on my part. After all, in spite of all of my dreams and ambitions, I'd been stuck in ordinary working class jobs all my life and had yet to graduate from manual to mental labor. There was little in my record to indicate anything but a continuation of physical labor for the rest of my life, and I even took this as a sign that my long-dreamed-of equality to others would never be achieved.
   It hardly occurred to me at that time to wonder if other members also understood the
proletarian dictatorship as a dictatorship over the bourgeoisie, instead of over the peasantry and middle classes. The matter was as settled with me as the association of milk with cows, and I really couldn't imagine other members regarding the proletarian dictatorship any other way. Unless they had just finished reading "Proletarian Democracy vs. Dictatorships and Despotism" in order to 'correct' themselves, they might have had the same gut feeling about the dictatorship as I did, and it probably would have been just as easy for them to forget A.P.'s redefinition, especially since he was never brazen enough to come out and blatantly define it as a dictatorship over the middle classes, anyway.
   None of the members with whom I discussed the issue would repeat A.P.'s redefinition of the
proletarian dictatorship as a dictatorship over peasants, but they did remember and repeat the plausible thesis that 'American capitalist productive relations are far in advance of Soviet productive relations' ("conditions"), 'so the dictatorship of the proletariat is not necessary in America', which, when you really think about it, makes little more sense than, say, 'Americans have more grain than Russia; so capital punishment isn't necessary.' But, since the more influential members repeated it, others were led to repeat it as well, and it might have stood with them as solidly as any fact.
   How many hundreds - or maybe even thousands - of socialists had it been incontrovertibly "
proven" to them by A.P.'s quotes out of context that 'the dictatorship of the proletariat is not necessary in the USA'? On the other hand, what if the members had been able to tell me that I would be mistaken to advocate a dictatorship of the proletariat in the USA, and that the reason that I would be mistaken was that 'the dictatorship of the proletariat is a dictatorship over the peasantry and middle classes? And, because middle classes aren't predominate in the USA, compared to Russia in 1917, then America doesn't need a proletarian dictatorship over classes that are mostly absent.' Well, if that had been what they were willing or able to tell me, then I could have understood that argument very well! That would have been a plausible argument that would have been quite acceptable to me at the time, and I might have been able to live very happily with it, provided that I had not already educated myself as to the dictatorship's real definition. That would have been the only catch.
   So, why couldn't the other members have "
corrected" me? Was it because the notion of a proletarian dictatorship over the peasantry and other natural allies is such a piece of drivel that not even SLP members could bring themselves to repeat it?
   Also, what if the members had been able to explain their "
conditions" argument by saying that the "conditions" to which they referred meant the fact that the industrially advanced world lives mostly in democratic republics, where the lower classes are free to organize politically to pressure governments to improve health benefits, working conditions, shorten the length of the work-day, etc., and for those reasons, we do not need a proletarian dictatorship? That explanation certainly would have gone against Party teachings, and may not have been revolutionary enough of an argument for me to accept at the time, but such reforms remain the only logical means by which the working class can get what it wants.

Another Contradiction

   It's interesting how contradictions in A.P.'s theses keep on popping up. A proletarian dictatorship over the peasantry can only mean that the proletarian dictatorship has to be a form of proletarian state power. What else could it mean, given the definition of the state as the means of oppression of one class over others? If 'the peasantry and other small owners would have to be convinced that it is in their interest to support the proletarian revolution, or be subjected to forcible repression in the interest of that revolution', then the dictatorship of the proletariat over the peasantry sounds like a form of proletarian state power to me. But, as we shall see in Part III, SLP leaders poured a lot of energy into denying the possibility of proletarian state power.
   One could ask two questions here: 1) If '
proletarian state power over the peasantry' is conceivable, then why not 'proletarian state power over the bourgeoisie'? and, 2) if 'the only form of state power that can exist is bourgeois state power', then why was it that 'proletarian state power over the peasantry and other classes' was capable of being formulated at all? How many SLP members might have been expelled for discovering and trying to point out these contradictions? A.P. was quite willing to allow the proletariat to consider oppression against the middle classes, but would not for a moment allow the proletariat to consider oppression against the uppermost classes - the real class enemies of the proletariat - and the classes for whom A.P. must have been working all along.

Viva la Republique!

   While searching for the real meaning of the dictatorship of the proletariat, I also searched through the writings of Marx, Engels, and Lenin for even the slightest hint that the dictatorship would not be necessary in some capitalist countries due to advances in the means of production, but I found absolutely nothing along those lines. What I did find, however, was the possibility that, due to the existence of democracies in some capitalist countries, such as in the USA and England back then, it might be possible for workers' parties to come to power bloodlessly through democratic devices like elections.
   I also found that Marx and Engels had put in a considerable amount of effort rebutting utopians who wasted a considerable amount of ink and paper speculating on the future form of the coming socialist paradise. Engels hoped to put a lot of that kind of speculation to rest when he wrote, in his "
Critique of the Draft Social-Democratic Programme of 1891", that (MESW III, p. 435):

   ... "This forgetting of the great, the principal considerations for the momentary interests of the day, this struggling and striving for the success of the moment regardless of later consequences, this sacrifice of the future of the movement for its present, may be "honestly" meant, but it is and remains opportunism, and "honest" opportunism is perhaps the most dangerous of all!
   "
Which are these ticklish, but very significant points?
   "
First. If one thing is certain it is that our Party and the working class can only come to power under the form of a democratic republic. This is even the specific form for the dictatorship of the proletariat, as the Great French Revolution has already shown."

   In an August 1883 letter to Bernstein, Engels compared the roles of the monarchy and the democratic republic (MESC, pp. 342-3):

   ... "The part played by the Bonapartist monarchy (the characteristic features of which have been set forth by Marx in The Eighteenth Brumaire and by me in The Housing Question, II, and elsewhere) in the class struggle between proletariat and bourgeoisie is similar to the part the old absolute monarchy played in the struggle between feudalism and bourgeoisie. But just as this struggle could not be fought out under the old absolute monarchy but only in a constitutional one (England, France 1789-1792 and 1815-1830), so that between bourgeoisie and proletariat can only be fought out in a republic. If therefore favourable conditions and a revolutionary past helped the French to overthrow Bonaparte and set up a bourgeois republic, the French possess the advantage over us {in Germany}, who are still floundering in a hotchpotch of semi-feudalism and Bonapartism, in that they already possess the form in which the struggle must be fought out whereas we still have to conquer it. Politically they are a whole stage ahead of us. The result of a monarchist restoration in France would therefore be that the struggle for the restoration of the bourgeois republic would again be put on the order of the day. But the continuing existence of the republic on the other hand signifies increased intensification of the direct unconcealed class struggle between proletariat and bourgeoisie until a crisis is reached.
   "
In our country too the first and direct result of the revolution with regard to the form can and must be nothing but the bourgeois republic. But this will be here only a brief transitional period because fortunately we do not have a purely republican bourgeois party. The bourgeois republic, headed perhaps by the Progressive Party, will enable us in the beginning to win over the great masses of the workers to revolutionary socialism. This will be done in one or two years and will lead to the utter exhaustion and self-destruction of all intermediate parties that may still exist apart from our Party. Only then can we successfully take over.
   "
The big mistake the Germans make is to think that the revolution is something that can be made overnight. As a matter of fact it is a process of development of the masses that takes several years even under conditions accelerating this process. Any revolution completed overnight removed only a reaction that was hopeless at the very start (1830) or led directly to the opposite of what had been aspired to (1848, France)."

   Those are but a few of the many references in the works and correspondence of Marx and Engels to the democratic republic as the specific form of proletarian rule and dictatorship, i.e., the form that the proletariat would use to abolish class distinctions after acquiring political supremacy. Anyone who would deny that significance of the democratic republic to Marx and Engels is not proceeding from personal knowledge of their writings, or, as in A.P.'s case, is just plain lying.
   A major contribution of Marx and Engels to the working class movement was their writing down of observations of what the proletariat actually DID throughout history. The theory of
proletarian dictatorship was derived from what the proletariat actually DID, at least in embryo, in the struggles for power in France in 1789-93, 1830, 1848, 1871, and in other countries at other times. More on this later.

The Resolution

   With what I was learning about the fraud that had been perpetrated in A.P.'s pamphlet, I decided that it was time to start fulfilling my promise to myself not be a willing party to that fraud, so I put aside many of the fears I had harbored about alienating my Comrades too much, and prepared a four-page report on what I considered to be the worst of the distortions in A.P.'s pamphlet, presented it to Section Santa Clara, and we read it over together. My apprehensions were excruciatingly intense. But, what happened after I distributed my analysis of "PD vs. D+D" to the Section? ... Nothing, of course. What did I expect? A revolution within the Party? In my naiveté, I think that I expected everything to change.
   A word about quality. My original four-page analysis was nowhere near as fully developed as the analysis pursued in the last many pages because I was so new to that kind of intrigue and method of analysis, and I was too afraid of a cataclysmic failure or success to really push a lot of conclusions that lay between the lines or were merely implied by my analysis. I even apologized on a fifth page for the few conclusions I allowed myself to put in writing. I erred on the side of over-caution because I was so financially insecure and was afraid of too quickly unleashing forces that might have landed me out on the street with nowhere to go, and with no money to get there. So, after waiting for a little while to see if anything at all would happen of its own accord, and seeing absolutely nothing happen, I decided to help things along with a resolution that the
Section could not possibly ignore.
   The resolution pointed out the denial of the
worker-peasant alliance, the redefinition of the dictatorship of the proletariat as a dictatorship over the peasantry instead of over the bourgeoisie, the quote out of context from Lenin's "The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky", and on the basis of these few incidents of fraud out of the literally dozens of others in that one pamphlet, the resolution recommended the removal of the pamphlet from circulation, and its retrieval from whatever public libraries in which it may have been placed. In order to drive home the point about the worker-peasant alliance, I appended an eleven-page set of quotes from Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, and Lewin's 1966 book, "The Russian Peasants and Soviet Power", all of which confirmed the necessity of alliances between the proletariat and other lower classes.
   To deal with the resolution, the
Section elected a sub-committee to look into the merit of my arguments, and after they took a couple of weeks to digest the material, the resolution was brought up as an order of business. During the discussion, most members would agree only that the pamphlet was 'terrible', but no one was willing to admit that A.P.'s deceptions were deliberate. One of the intellectuals convinced the Section to reject the resolution, and the lame excuse he gave revolved around the alleged "bulkiness" of the resolution, which, combined with supporting documentation totaled all of 19 pages. My notebooks from that period indicate another reason the Section gave for not discarding the pamphlet - the Party had nothing with which to replace it! Someone must have thought that a pack of lies should not be withdrawn until something else (or another pack of lies) could take its place, and in the meantime, we should keep on distributing the lies. Such a code of ethics! Or, was it expediency?
   Either way, though, the merit of my arguments didn't seem to be an issue at all, which made me feel like my work was vindicated; but, later on, I began to suspect that I had actually been swindled. The intellectuals could easily have helped me to do something about the resolution's "
bulkiness" so it could have gone up to higher bodies. It seemed as though they were quite willing to let A.P.'s lies go on spreading, rather than to openly admit that they exist at all. I thought that my resolution would help get the badly needed 'revolution within the Party' off to a start, but I guess no one else saw it that way. After the dust settled and I had a chance to re-assess the situation, I began to lose hope of working with anyone in my Section or the NO to help right the wrongs of the Party, but I remained committed to my original goal of giving the membership a chance to acquit itself. What this episode also signified was that the dimly anticipated and dreaded state of war between myself and my intellectual Comrades over a real issue was beginning to materialize.

My Meeting with the National Secretary

   Not long after that disappointing Section meeting, the National Secretary invited all NO workers to submit ideas about what should be discussed at the next NEC Session. It appears from my notes that I did submit something along the lines of the information I presented in my original resolution to the Section, but probably in a condensed form. One day, as expected, I was summoned by the NS to explain a little of what I had written about. With a heavy heart, I verbalized my arguments for awhile. Then, in a tone of voice I found rather intimidating, he asked if I was implying that A.P. was a charlatan. Well, deep down, of course, I knew that A.P. was a charlatan, but, what with the gravity of the tone of his inquiry, I figured that I had better not state my true feelings on the matter. The person who was asking the question had hired me a year and a half before, and he also had the power to fire me as well. Not wishing for my mission in the Party to come to an abrupt end, I feared that a totally honest answer could have precipitated my immediate dismissal, so I watered down my answer accordingly.
   So, I held off from my grand conclusion in front of the
NS, and retired back to my desk feeling frustrated and angry with myself, wishing that I had the guts to throw caution to the winds and tell the NS exactly what I thought. I also wondered whether it was a reasonable fear of getting fired, or just cowardice that had prevented me from giving a complete answer. It seemed like it was a golden opportunity lost forever, and I kicked myself for quite a while afterwards. If the NS had been the honest person that I had at one time hoped he was, I had a golden opportunity right then to fully inform him of my concerns. But, something in his tone caused me to back off. I yearned for an immediate public trial for my issues, and I yearned for the immediate ability to put my issues across in a convincing way. Would that day and that ability ever arrive?
   About my strained relationships with my co-workers, I drafted the following to a
Comrade back East:
   "Working at the
NO, I learned about the sordidness of internal Party life. While I was still trusted by the top and my loyalty was unquestioned, some interesting discussions would sometimes take place during which I gradually observed that only half-truths were being expressed about how bad the situation really was. I had the feeling that I was an outsider and that a lot of far more important and candid conversations were being held outside of my presence and that I was merely being used."
   One of the difficult rules that
Party members have to endure is that internal Party affairs are basically secret stuff and must not be shared with relatives, friends or sympathizers. I always used to wonder what the big deal was. After all, it wasn't as though we were plotting the violent overthrow of the United States government, or anything like that. Before I was under the stress of knowing that I was participating in the lies of the Party, I was also good friends with a couple of sympathizers, and when I finally discovered the dirt on the Party, it was absolute torture having to keep everything that I knew from those friends. I wanted so badly to tell them what was going on at times, but I was afraid that another member would find out and press charges against me, so I kept my mouth shut and gritted my teeth and pledged to myself not to stray from standard Party procedures. Consequently, that period of my life was a worse hell than usual. I didn't appreciate having to shut down any aspect of what remained of my non-Party life, but I did anyway, for the sake of being legal and not having to be paranoid about information about my 'mouth being out of control' getting back to my Comrades. When I could no longer hold back discussing issues with members outside of my Section, I drafted the following to one of them:
   'After reading this you may understand why I have shut myself off from contacts and sympathizers such as [X]. I was really on the horns of a dilemma for awhile about relating to sympathizers and felt uncomfortable with them for the longest while and still do. I like to tell people everything I know and feel, and I hate like hell to have to hide anything, but how could I tell someone outside the
Party that we have really "blown it"? So I didn't see [X] at all after May Day and now he's back at [Z]. I feel guilty in the way the whole thing went and I wish I had a twin brother right now who could go out to [Z] and tell [X] just what goes on. That I would love to do. [X] must surely think that we are a strange group and I couldn't blame him a bit. A Party that has so many lies to defend has to be a little "above it all".'
   After the dust settled from those meetings, and after a period of sulking, moaning, withdrawing and wishing I was far, far away, I decided to keep on working at the
NO because I was still quite broke and couldn't afford to leave my job, and I was determined to get busy on my next exposé. In that next work, I was going to pull out all the stops and not hold anything back in my conclusions, as I had in my analysis of "PD vs. D+D". I was determined that the next analysis of another of A.P.'s 'masterpieces' was going to make them either stand up, take notice, and expel me, or else they were going to see the light and start moving in the right direction. But, in the end, they did neither.

(End Part B. Continued in Part C.)

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