Back to Home Page

Back to Book Index

(Part C)

A.P.'s Preface to: "Socialism: From Utopia to Science"

 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

   To embark upon this more militant venture, I needed to find another work that contained lots of theory and had many quotes from the founders of socialism. I had also become curious about the Socialist Labor Party's position on 'state power', which is also relevant to their rejection of the dictatorship of the proletariat. I found just what I was looking for in Arnold Petersen's 1947 Preface to a SLP reprint of Engels' pamphlet: "The Development of Socialism From Utopia to Science" (which pamphlet, in his correspondence, Engels often referred to as his 'Entwicklung' - the German word for 'development').
   What follows is the analysis I worked on during the last few months of '76, toward the end of my "career" with the
Socialist Labor Party. The present version of the analysis is a rather extensive expansion of the original, but the general format is similar: A.P.'s text was split into seventeen parts, and each part is analyzed separately. The pages of A.P.'s Preface were numbered in Roman Numerals, and are included for reference. The cover page of my original analysis included quotes that bore directly on A.P.'s theses, so my cover page is reproduced here, slightly augmented from the original:


Analysis of Arnold Petersen's Preface to:
Engels': "
Socialism: From Utopia to Science"

1 - "[E]ach political party sets out to establish its rule in the state" ...

2 - "As soon as our Party is in possession of political power it has simply to expropriate the big landed proprietors just like the manufacturers in industry. Whether this expropriation is to be compensated for or not will to a great extent depend not upon us but the circumstances under which we obtain power, and particularly upon the attitude adopted by these gentry, the big landowners themselves. We by no means consider compensation as impermissible in any event; Marx told me (and how many times!) that in his opinion we would get off cheapest if we could buy out the whole lot of them."

3 - "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."


4 - "Anarchy, then, is the great war-horse of their master Bakunin, who has taken nothing from the socialist systems except a set of slogans. What all socialists understand by anarchy is this: once the aim of the proletarian movement, the abolition of classes, has been obtained, the power of the State, which serves to keep the great majority of producers under the yoke of a numerically small exploiting minority, disappears, and the functions of government are transformed into simple administrative functions. The Alliance puts matters the other way round. It proclaims anarchy in the proletarian ranks as the surest means of breaking the powerful concentration of social and political forces in the hands of the exploiters. Under this pretext it demands of the International, at the very moment when the old world is seeking to crush it, that it should replace its organisation by anarchy ..."

5 - "Although the anarchist caricature of the working class movement has long since passed its zenith, the European and American governments are still so interested in its continued existence and are spending such large sums of money in its support, that we cannot entirely disregard the anarchists' heroic exploits ..."

1    Engels, "The Housing Question", 1872, MESW II, p. 356
2    Engels, Nov. 1894, "
The Peasant Question in France and Germany", MESW III, p. 474
3    Engels, Jun. 1891,"
Critique of Draft Social Democratic Program", MESW III, p.435
4    Marx and Engels, Jun. 19, 1873, "
Fictitious Splits in International", NW 153, p. 74
5    Engels, Jan. 3, 1894,
Note from "The Bakuninists at Work" NW 153, p.125

MESW = Marx and Engels, Selected Works in 3 volumes, Progress Publishers, 1973
NW 153 = Anarchism+Anarcho-Syndicalism, New World Paperback, 1972

by: Ken Ellis        
October 24, 1976


Analysis of Petersen's Preface

   SLP 'translations' have a history of being terrible. In an October 24, 1891 letter to Sorge, Engels criticized the SLP for pirating his "The Development of Socialism From Utopia to Science" pamphlet, and then butchering its translation (MESC, p. 411):

   ... "[Socialism: Utopian and Scientific] will be published here in a translation prepared by Aveling and edited by me ... In face of this authorised translation the American pirate edition with its miserable English will be rather innocuous. It is moreover not even complete, whatever they found too difficult they have left out" ...

   Some members have made excuses for some of the "flaws" or "discrepancies" within Party literature, including: 1) "There were differences in translations between the literature that the SLP relied upon and what others relied upon", and 2) "The early Party authors didn't have access to all the works that modern scholars do." Those were some of the excuses I heard from experienced members during my early Party involvement. Aside from the very poor translations, there is also the matter of faking 'translations' to aid and abet the process of confusing and falsifying socialist ideas and principles.
Marxist theory of the state was well illuminated by Engels throughout his pamphlet. In his Preface thereto, however, A.P. felt it necessary to criticize that theory as outdated and deficient so that he could posit the SLP's Socialist Industrial Union program as a solution to the 'problems' that he found within Marxism, but A.P.'s 'solutions' created even more problems. On page XI of his Preface, A.P. began 'correcting' his very own distortions of the Marxist theory of the state (p. XI):

1    "Engels's work speaks for itself. However, a certain section of the work requires brief comment and explanation. Reference is here made to the famous passages in which Engels outlines the passing of capitalism to Socialism. Engels wrote: "While it ["the capitalist mode of production"] forces on more and more the transformation of the vast means of production, already socialized [i.e., social production, albeit under private ownership], into State property, it shows itself the way to accomplishing this revolution. The proletariat seizes political power and turns the means of production into State property." (Italics in original.)"

   This passage outlined the prelude to, and the culmination of, the revolutionary act. A.P.'s very next words followed thus (p. XI):

   "And again: 'When at last it [the State] becomes the real representative of the whole of society, it renders itself unnecessary. As soon as there is no longer any social class to be held in subjection .... a repressive force, a State, is no longer necessary .... the government of persons is replaced by the administration of things, and by the conduct of processes of production. [Italics ours.] The State is not 'abolished.' It dies out." (Italics in original.)"

   This collection of rather disconnected snippets described the final stages of the transition to classless, stateless society. Conspicuous by its absence between A.P.'s excerpts was any passage descriptive of the state or classes during the proletarian dictatorship. Such a passage, omitted by A.P. right after the part about 'the proletariat seizing political power and turning the means of production into state property', went as follows (MESW III, p. 146):

   "But, in doing this, it abolishes itself as proletariat, abolishes all class distinctions and class antagonisms, abolishes also the state as state."

   These were to be some important tasks for the proletariat during its dictatorship. The paragraphs entitled "III. Proletarian Revolution" on page 67 of the SLP edition of Engels' pamphlet are also consistent with the tasks of the proletariat during its dictatorship (MESW III, p. 151):

   "III. Proletarian Revolution - Solution of the contradictions. The proletariat seizes the public power, and by means of this transforms the socialised means of production, slipping from the hands of the bourgeoisie, into public property. By this act, the proletariat frees the means of production from the character of capital they have thus far borne, and gives their socialised character complete freedom to work itself out. Socialised production upon a predetermined plan becomes henceforth possible. The development of production makes the existence of different classes of society thenceforth an anachronism. In proportion as anarchy in social production vanishes, the political authority of the state dies out. Man, at last the master of his own form of social organisation, becomes at the same time the lord over Nature, his own master - free.
To accomplish this act of universal emancipation is the historical mission of the modern proletariat. To thoroughly comprehend the historical conditions and thus the very nature of this act, to impart to the now oppressed proletarian class a full knowledge of the conditions and of the meaning of the momentous act it is called upon to accomplish, this is the task of the theoretical expression of the proletarian movement, scientific socialism." {End of Engels' pamphlet.}

   The reason why A.P. jumped from capitalism to classless, stateless society, and omitted the dictatorship of the proletariat, was to set the stage for his next major theoretical thrust (p. XI):

2    "Engels here admirably outlines the process toward what we now call "State Capitalism.""

   Engels would have been the last to confuse socialism with state capitalism, a concept that was quite well understood, and had already been criticized quite thoroughly. As an example, the Prussian state of the time supposedly was an example of state capitalism at work. Engels explained in his pamphlet that private capitalism would evolve into state capitalism, as production on a broadly social basis previewed a future state-ownership mode of production, one in which all of the decisions would be made by salaried employees, and in which the capitalists would no longer be in direct control. Even in the text of the same pamphlet that A.P. prefaced, in a footnote on page 55 of the SLP's edition of "Socialism: From Utopia to Science", Engels attacked the "spurious socialism" of those who declared all state ownership to be socialistic (MESW III, p. 144):

   ... "For only when the means of production and distribution have actually outgrown the form of management by joint-stock companies, and when, therefore, the taking them over by the state has become economically inevitable, only then - even if it is the state of today that effects this - is there an economic advance, the attainment of another step preliminary to the taking over of all productive forces by society itself. But of late, since Bismarck went in for state ownership of industrial establishments, a kind of spurious socialism has arisen, degenerating, now and again, into something of flunkeyism that without more ado declares all state ownership, even of the Bismarckian sort, to be socialistic. Certainly, if the taking over by the state of the tobacco industry is socialistic, then Napoleon and Metternich must be numbered among the founders of socialism. If the Belgian state, for quite ordinary political and financial reasons, itself constructed its chief railway lines; if Bismarck, not under any economic compulsion, took over for the state the chief Prussian lines, simply to be the better able to have them in hand in case of war, to bring up the railway employees as voting cattle for the government, and especially to create for himself a new source of income independent of parliamentary votes - this was, in no sense, a socialistic measure, directly or indirectly, consciously or unconsciously. Otherwise, the Royal Maritime Company, the Royal porcelain manufacture, and even the regimental tailor shops of the Army would also be socialistic institutions, or even, as was seriously proposed by a sly dog in Frederick William III's reign, the taking over by the state of the brothels."

   A.P.'s absurd allegation that Engels did not know the difference between socialism and state capitalism was amply disproved by the very text of the pamphlet for which A.P. wrote his Preface. Since A.P. also quoted its text, he also had to have read it, so what excuse could he have had for his absurd charge that 'The socialism of Engels equals state capitalism', unless his misrepresentation was only setting the stage for what followed (p. XI):

3    "He assumed, however, that, once the proletariat had "seized political power," the transformation into Socialism would follow as a matter of course. We know better today."

   This 'matter of course transformation into socialism' theory just happens to adequately assess Engels' assumption. Marx himself stated that "One day the worker will have to seize political supremacy to establish the new organisation of labour". One would not ordinarily expect a socialist theoretician to criticize Engels' assumption as incorrect, but such faulty critiques occur often in A.P.'s writings. The problems created by his faulty critiques then justified the creation of new solutions, such as the Party's SIU program.
   When the most essential aspects of
Marxism became fair targets for A.P.'s attacks, the results often contradicted themselves. For example, the 'matter of course transformation into socialism' theory ascribed to Engels just happens to contradict a certain 'three-fold obstacle' theory that A.P. also ascribed to Marx and Engels in "Proletarian Democracy vs. Dictatorships and Despotism" (pp. 25-6):

   "For he {Lenin}, as well as Engels and his contemporaries, proceeded on the assumption that the victorious proletariat would have three main factors to deal with before instituting Socialism proper. First, a powerful and potent, though temporarily beaten, capitalist class; second, a numerically strong petty bourgeois and peasant element, with the actual proletariat everywhere in the minority; and third, an insufficient industrial development. Throughout all the writings of Marx and Engels on this subject (and the same holds true of the writings of Lenin, who in industrially backward Russia largely faced the same situation generally prevailing at the time of the Paris Commune), Marx and Engels reverted to that three-fold obstacle to immediate and complete proletarian success."

   In "PD vs. D+D", the 'three-fold obstacle to socialism' theory was ascribed to Marx and Engels; but, in A.P.'s Preface to "Socialism: From Utopia to Science", we find instead ascribed to Engels the theory that - '.. once the proletariat had "seized political power," the transformation into Socialism would follow as a matter of course.' If only A.P. were still alive, he would no doubt tell us which theory he wanted us to use. Or, did the founders of socialism describe the achievement of socialism both ways, and, if so, where's the documentation for 'the three-fold obstacle theory'? In his Preface, A.P. did not at all seem to mind labeling the result of the political victory of the working class as 'state capitalism'; but, why didn't this alleged state capitalism find a three-fold obstacle in its path?
   In one pamphlet, '
proletarian victory would confront a three-fold obstacle', while in A.P.'s other pamphlet, 'proletarian victory would yield only state capitalism'; but the consistency between the two scenarios was that, in both cases, 'proletarian victory was spoiled as the result of having been obtained politically'. No matter which of the two scenarios was fated to happen, the proletariat allegedly would meet only with danger or defeat if they were to use political solutions.
   A.P. continued (p.

4    "It was the genius of De Leon which perceived that to transform private capitalist property into "State property" amounted to consolidating all economic power into the hands of a few capitalists, leaving the workers empty-handed, their political victory rendered null and void by reason of this capitalist State-consolidated economic power."

   One could ask just how stupid a working class would have to be in order to convert all of the means of production into capitalist state property in the belief that this was the program of socialism. This has all of the appearance of a straw man theory that it doesn't take a genius to demolish, for it is clear from Engels' text that the state property into which the means of production was to be converted was the state property of the armed workers, rather than the capitalist state. And, look at where the straw man theory takes us: look at the horror reflected in the loss of all of that economic power, that economic loss supposedly rendering the political victory null and void, as if the whole revolution revolved around capturing economic power, or the means of production. This pattern shows up over and over.
   Sometimes one can cover up a falsification of theory by describing it as
a stroke of genius. One could do well to remember WW2, when it was theorized that 'if a big lie was repeated often enough, the masses would soon take it for gospel.' This 'politics-negating' aspect of De Leonism is a key to understanding how it differs from Marxism, for De Leonism holds that 'All state power is capitalist state power', and 'Workers' state power is illogical and inconceivable for the USA.'
   Also, let us look more closely at our premises. If one were to interpret the
'political victory' of the workers as a simple electoral victory at the ballot box, then A.P.'s scenario of 'consolidating all economic power into the hands of a few capitalists' is not implausible; for, even after the political victory of the workers' party at the ballot box, the elements of force in the state remain in the hands of the capitalist class, and if the program of the workers' party included 'transforming private capitalist property into "State property"', then private capitalist property would become the property of the capitalist state.
   But, what, precisely, is this particular scenario? De Leon certainly was not criticizing the
Marxist theory of the state, what with its smashing up of the old state apparatus, and its replacement with a workers' state. What De Leon criticized here was merely the Social-Democratic, or reform-socialist, or state-socialist, or state-ownership theory of the state that A.P. accused Engels of not being able to move beyond. That theory equates socialism with state ownership of the means of production, and implies that, in a democratic republic, 'socialism can be peacefully achieved by concentrating the means of production into the hands of the state'. Regardless of whether that's a good idea or not, the fraud element materialized when the state ownership theory was labeled by A.P. and De Leon as the Marxist theory.
   To the hard-line,
Marxist, smash-the-state type of theorist, what's missing in the state socialist theory is the element of revolution, i.e., the smashing of the bourgeois state, and its replacement by the proletarian state. According to Marxist theory, the proletariat transforms both capitalist state property and capitalist private property into proletarian state property. The machinery of state that preserved capitalist relations of production and private property would be replaced by the state of the armed workers. State power in the hands of the poor and oppressed would allow workers' cooperatives to compete as viable entities, while capitalists who refrained from hostility and cooperated with the new state could still count on making profits, albeit curtailed by a progressive profit or income tax.
   A.P. continued (p.

5    "The present writer has dealt in some detail with this question in an address published under the title, "Daniel De Leon: Social Architect." The following relevant passages are quoted from that address:

   "De Leon's concept of the Industrial Union Government in operation precluded, of course, the existence of the political State. But that the political State would cease to be under Socialism was not a conclusion born of De Leon's discovery. Both Marx and Engels had demonstrated that the State as such would die out."

   A.P.'s statement led his readers into a fine mass of confusion. First of all, using Lenin's definition, socialism is a form of political state, i.e., a proletarian dictatorship in evolution to classless, stateless society. On the other hand, if A.P.'s "Socialism" described classless, stateless society, then Marx and Engels never expected the proletarian revolution to yield A.P.'s "Socialism" right away. Marx and Engels knew that workers would have to possess their own state machinery in order to carry out the social revolution, i.e., abolish capital, class distinctions, and the antitheses between mental and manual labor and between town and country. It was not the capitalist state or "the State as such" that was to die out, but rather the proletarian state, during the era of proletarian dictatorship. A.P.'s concept of "the State as such" does not distinguish between capitalist and proletarian state power, so "the State as such" came in handy for those who saw the state in general as the main evil in the world, and who therefore (unlike Marx, Engels and Lenin) could not conceive of a state that could represent the interests of the poor, oppressed and working classes.
   If '
De Leon's government precluded the existence of the political state', then, no matter how A.P. defined it, precluding the state meant nothing less than substituting the program of anarchy for the program of socialism. Which class of people does the philosophy of anarchism represent? In 1850, Engels wrote a revealing article entitled "The Catchword: "Abolition of the State" and the German "Friends of Anarchy"" (NW 153, p. 27):

   "For Communists abolition of the state makes sense only as the necessary result of the abolition of classes, with whose disappearance the need for the organised power of one class for the purpose of holding down the other classes will automatically disappear. The abolition of the state in bourgeois countries means the reduction of state power to the North American level. Class contradictions there are not fully developed, and class conflicts are always palliated by the outflow of the proletarian surplus population to the West; state interference is reduced to a minimum in the East and entirely absent in the West. Abolition of the state in feudal countries means the abolition of feudalism and the establishment of a conventional bourgeois state. In Germany the slogan conceals either a cowardly flight from actual concrete struggles, the extravagant bogus transformation of bourgeois liberty into absolute freedom and independence of the individual, or finally the indifference of the bourgeois towards any form of state so long as it does not hamper the development of bourgeois interests. ...
All these factions agree in their desire to maintain the existing bourgeois society. Since they uphold bourgeois society they are bound to uphold the rule of the bourgeoisie and in Germany even the winning of this rule by the bourgeoisie; they differ from the real members of the bourgeoisie only in the matter of unusual form, which gives them the semblance of "going further", of "going further than anyone else". This semblance vanishes on all real conflicts; in every case these exponents of anarchy did their utmost to stem anarchy when faced with the real anarchy of revolutionary crises, when the masses fought with "brute force". In the final analysis this much praised "anarchy" amounts in substance to what in more advanced countries is termed "order". The "friends of anarchy" in Germany find themselves in complete and friendly agreement with the "friends of order" in France."

   The more things change, the more they stay the same. In a letter to Paul Lafargue in April of 1870, Marx criticized the three points of Bakunin's program (NW 153, pp. 45-6):

   " ... But Bakounine's programme was "the theory". It consisted, in fact of 3 points.
   "1) That the first requirement of the social Revolution was - the abolition of inheritance, Saint-Simoniste nonsense, of which the charlatan and ignoramus Bakunin became a responsible publisher. It is evident: If you have had the power to make the social Revolution in one day, par decret plebiscitaire, you would abolish at once landed property and capital, and would therefore have no occasion at all to occupy yourself with the right of inheritance. On the other hand, if you have not that power (and it is of course foolish to suppose such a power), the proclamation of the abolition of inheritance would be not a serious act, but a foolish menace, rallying the whole peasantry and the whole small middle-class round the reaction. Suppose for instance that the Yankees had not had the power to abolish slavery by the sword. What an imbecility it would have been to proclaim the abolition of inheritance in slaves! The whole thing rests on a superannuated idealism, which considers the actual jurisprudence as the basis of our economical state, instead of seeing that our economical state is the basis and source of our jurisprudence! As to Bakounine, all he wanted was to improvise a programme of his own making. That's all. It was a haphazard programme.
2) "Equality of different classes". To suppose on the one hand the continued existence of classes, and on the other hand the equality of the members belonging to them, this blunder shows you at once the shameless ignorance and superficiality of that fellow who made it his "special mission" to enlighten us on "theory".
3) The working class must not occupy itself with politics. They must only organise themselves by trades-unions. One fine day, by means of the Internationale they will supplant the place of all existing states. You see what a caricature he has made of my doctrines! As the transformation of the existing States into Associations is our last end, we must allow the governments, these great Trade-Unions of the ruling classes, to do as they like, because to occupy ourselves with them is to acknowledge them. Why! In the same way the old socialists said: You must not occupy yourselves with the wages question, because you want to abolish wages labour, and to struggle with the capitalist about the rate of wages is to acknowledge the wages system! The ass has not even seen that every class movement as a class movement, is necessarily and was always a political movement."

   In a January, 1872 letter to Cuno, Engels contrasted socialism with some Bakuninist theories (MESW II, pp. 424-30):

   ... "Bakunin, who up to 1868 had intrigued against the International, joined it after he had suffered a fiasco at the Berne Peace Congress {where he lost his bid to get his program endorsed} and at once began to conspire within it against the General Council. Bakunin has a peculiar theory of his own, a medley of Proudhonism and communism. The chief point concerning the former is that he does not regard capital, i.e., the class antagonism between capitalists and wage-workers which has arisen through social development, but the state as the main evil to be abolished. While the great mass of the Social-Democratic workers hold our view that state power is nothing more than the organisation which the ruling classes - landowners and capitalists - have provided for themselves in order to protect their social privileges, Bakunin maintains that it is the state which has created capital, that the capitalist has his capital only by the grace of the state. As, therefore, the state is the chief evil, it is above all the state which must be done away with and then capitalism will go to blazes of itself. We, on the contrary, say: Do away with capital, the concentration of all means of production in the hands of the few, and the state will fall of itself. The difference is an essential one: Without a previous social revolution the abolition of the state is nonsense; the abolition of capital is precisely the social revolution and involves a change in the whole mode of production. Now then, inasmuch as to Bakunin the state is the main evil, nothing must be done which can keep the state - that is, any state, whether it be a republic, a monarchy or anything else - alive. Hence complete abstention from all politics. To commit a political act, especially to take part in an election, would be a betrayal of principle. The thing to do is to carry on propaganda, heap abuse upon the state, organise, and when all the workers, hence the majority, are won over, depose all the authorities, abolish the state and replace it with the organisation of the International. This great act, with which the millennium begins, is called social liquidation.
All this sounds extremely radical and is so simple that it can be learned by heart in five minutes; that is why the Bakuninist theory has speedily found favour also in Italy and Spain among young lawyers, doctors, and other doctrinaires. But the mass of the workers will never allow itself to be persuaded that the public affairs of their countries are not also their own affairs; they are naturally politically-minded and whoever tries to make them believe that they should leave politics alone will in the end be left in the lurch. To preach to the workers that they should in all circumstances abstain from politics is to drive them into the arms of the priests or the bourgeois republicans.
Now, as the International, according to Bakunin, was not formed for political struggle but to replace the old state organisation as soon as social liquidation takes place, it follows that it must come as near as possible to the Bakuninist ideal of future society. In this society there will above all be no authority, for authority = state = absolute evil. (How these people propose to run a factory, operate a railway or steer a ship without a will that decides in the last resort, without single management, they of course do not tell us.) The authority of the majority over the minority also ceases. Every individual and every community is autonomous; but as to how a society of even only two people is possible unless each gives up some of his autonomy, Bakunin again maintains silence.
And so the International too must be arranged according to this pattern. Every section, and in every section every individual, is to be autonomous. To hell with the Basle resolutions, which confer upon the General Council a pernicious authority demoralising even to itself! Even if this authority is conferred voluntarily it must cease just because it is authority!
Here you have in brief the main points of this swindle. But who are the originators of the Basle resolutions? Well, Mr. Bakunin himself and Company! ...
   ... "
So long as these gentlemen keep within legal bounds the General Council will gladly let them have their way. This coalition of the most diverse elements will soon fall apart; but as soon as they start anything against the Rules or the Congress resolutions the General Council will do its duty.
If you reflect upon the fact that these people have launched their conspiracy precisely at the moment when a general hue and cry is being raised against the International, you cannot help thinking that the international sleuths must have a hand in the game. And so it is. In Beziers the Geneva Bakuninists have picked the central police commissioner [Bousquet] as their correspondent! Two prominent Bakuninists, Albert Richard from Lyons and Leblanc, were here and told a worker named Scholl, also from Lyons, to whom they had addressed themselves, that the only way to overthrow Thiers was to restore Bonaparte to the throne; and they were traveling about on Bonaparte money to conduct propaganda among the refugees in favour of a Bonapartist restoration! That is what these gentlemen call abstaining from politics!

   In "Marx and the Trade Unions", Lozovsky revealed some early anarchist vacillations (M+TU, p. 134):

   "The Proudhonists and Bakuninists, as is known, had originally been against the trade unions and against strikes, but afterwards they turned through 180 degrees and became energetic defenders of the trade unions, considering them the only form for workers' associations, and strikes as the only form of struggle."

   A.P. continued (p. XII):

6    "Engels observed that 'the government of persons is replaced by the administration of things, and by the conduct of the processes of production.' ("Socialism From Utopia to Science.") That is a happily phrased designation of the Industrial Union Government, but unhappily it is only a phrase, for Engels never worked out the actual form or details of the social organism which necessarily must take over 'the conduct of the processes of production' when the State dies out, though he does say that 'anarchy in social production is replaced by systematic, definite organization.' (Ibid.) Again we ask: How, and what kind?"

   The two phrases from Engels juxtaposed by A.P. were from opposite ends of the era of proletarian dictatorship. The first phrase described activity at the end of the dictatorship, in its transition to classless, stateless society (MESW III, p. 147):

   "State interference in social relations becomes, in one domain after another, superfluous, and then dies out of itself; the government of persons is replaced by the administration of things, and by the conduct of processes of production. The State is not "abolished." It dies out."

   The second phrase's 'replacement of anarchy by planning' was to happen right after the proletariat's conquest of political power, and continue indefinitely after. Even on page 64 of the SLP edition of "Socialism: From Utopia to Science", it can easily be seen that the sentence containing 'systematic, definite organization' directly follows a sentence which is clearly post-revolutionary and embraces both the dictatorship of the proletariat and classless, stateless society (MESW III, pp. 149-50):

   "With the seizing of the means of production by society, production of commodities is done away with, and, simultaneously, the mastery of the product over the producer. Anarchy in social production is replaced by systematic, definite organisation. The struggle for individual existence disappears. Then for the first time, man, in a certain sense, is finally marked off from the rest of the animal kingdom, and emerges from mere animal conditions of existence into really human ones. The whole sphere of the conditions of life which environ man, and which have hitherto ruled man, now comes under the dominion and control of man, who for the first time becomes the real, conscious lord of Nature, because he has now become master of his own social organization. The laws of his own social action, hitherto standing face to face with man as laws of Nature foreign to, and dominating him, will then be used with full understanding, and so mastered by him. Man's own social organization, hitherto confronting him as a necessity imposed by Nature and history, now becomes the result of his own free action. The extraneous objective forces that have hitherto governed history pass under the control of man himself. Only from that time will man himself, more and more consciously, make his own history - only from that time will the social causes set in movement by him have, in the main and in a constantly growing measure, the results intended by him. It is the ascent of man from the kingdom of necessity to the kingdom of freedom."

   When A.P. inserted the phrase 'anarchy in social production is replaced by systematic, definite organization' right after repeating the thought 'when the State dies out', an inattentive reader could easily be led to believe that: 'Anarchy in social production is replaced by systematic, definite organization only after society becomes classless and stateless.' But, the era of proletarian state power was not to preclude the systematic organization of production. On the contrary, that was to be the only time it could begin in earnest, according to Engels, who labeled production under capitalism as anarchical many times in his pamphlet, as well as in many other writings. The fact that anarchy in production was to be replaced by 'systematic, definite organisation' during the era of proletarian political power is a fact that no honest commentator could have avoided becoming aware of.
   With regard to '
the actual form or details' of a future society, the actual experience of the proletariat in the Commune was that the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie was replaced - not by a classless, stateless administration of things - but rather by a workers' state using the political form of a democratic republic. Engels wrote about the form of proletarian dictatorship in several places. Especially illuminating was his March 6, 1894 letter to Lafargue (MESC, p. 447):

   "With respect to the proletariat the republic differs from the monarchy only in that it is the ready-for-use political form for the future rule of the proletariat. You are at an advantage compared with us in already having it; we {Germans} for our part shall have to spend twenty-four hours to make it. But a republic, like every other form of government, is determined by its content; so long as it is a form of bourgeois rule it is as hostile to us as any monarchy (except that the forms of this hostility are different). It is therefore a wholly baseless illusion to regard it as essentially socialist in form or to entrust socialist tasks to it while it is dominated by the bourgeoisie. We shall be able to wrest concessions from it but never to put in its charge the execution of what is our own concern, even if we should be able to control it by a minority strong enough to change into the majority overnight" ...

   Notice the implication, in the last sentence especially, of the insufficiency of an electoral victory of a workers' party in a republic to create socialism. Engels was critical of those who worshiped democracies, believing that socialism could be achieved by victories at ballot boxes, while ignoring the consequences of capitalist domination, and the corruption of politicians after taking office. In a January 1894 letter to Turati, Engels wrote about some pitfalls around electing socialists to government (MESC, p. 446):

   "After the common victory {with other democratic parties} we might be offered some seats in the new government, but so that we always remain a minority. That is the greatest danger. After February 1848 the French socialist democrats (of the Réforme, Ledru-Rollin, Louis Blanc, Flocon, etc.) made the mistake of accepting such posts. Constituting a minority in the government they voluntarily shared the responsibility for all the infamies and treachery which the majority, composed of pure {bourgeois} Republicans, committed against the working class, while their presence in the government completely paralysed the revolutionary action of the working class which they claimed they represented."

   Valuable lessons are contained in these words, especially when considering the promises of those who claim to represent the interests of the poor and oppressed and then sell out those classes after getting elected.
   Where A.P. wrote that ... '
Engels never worked out the actual form or details of the social organism which necessarily must take over 'the conduct of the processes of production' when the State dies out' ... , A.P. created confusion on a variety of levels. After attaining political supremacy, few problems were anticipated with regard to the processes of production. The Communist Manifesto made it clear that capitalist production was to co-exist with proletarian dictatorship. Workers' parties were to be dominant in several democratic republics, so the future form of government was already well-known, the republic already having been used in various western European countries for centuries.
   Secondly, A.P.'s timing was all off, for the workers' government was certainly not going to
wait for their state to die out before taking control over the conduct of processes of production.
the state that dies out was implied by A.P. to be the capitalist state, whereas, of course, Engels always intended that the workers' state would be moribund.
   A.P. continued (p.

7    "Marx speaks similarly, and although his conception of the non-political, classless future society seems to be projected with greater precision, he still fails to answer the 'How?' and 'What kind?' In an otherwise remarkable passage, contrasting the two elements of the Proletarian Revolution, political action as the destructive, economic action as the constructive, element, he said: 'Where its organizing activity begins, where its proper aim, its soul, emerges, there Socialism casts away the political hull.' ("On the King of Prussia and Social Reform.")"

   First of all, 2 other published translations of Marx's article give 'political mask' and 'political cloak' instead of A.P.'s "political hull". A hull can be regarded as 1) the outer layer of a seed, such as a 'shell' or 'casing', or it can be regarded as 2) the essence of an object, like the hull of a ship; so, A.P.'s use of the word 'hull' creates confusion. A.P.'s misuse of 'hull' is also investigated again at the end of Part D of this book.
   Are we to believe, from A.P.'s little quote, or from anything else he wrote, that '
Marx projected his conception of the non-political, classless future society with greater precision than Engels'? It's too bad that A.P. didn't quote something more convincing, but the reason he didn't was that neither Marx nor Engels had ever tried to define the structure of the future classless and stateless society, and that was a conscious decision on their part, not an oversight, as A.P. implied, since no one can predict what that structure will look like. I trust people will safely make that transition at the proper time, and without any help from Marx, De Leon, or anyone else from now or the past. The form that WAS continually discovered and rediscovered in the days of Marx and Engels was the democratic republic, the Paris Commune being the example that held great promise.
   A.P. implied all along that a classless, stateless
administration of things would be the natural and immediate successor to capitalism, a conclusion that could have been reached only by ignoring the entire body of the mature political writings of Marx and Engels. If the political hull is to be cast away when socialism's organizing activity begins, does that mean that the state is to be abolished in a revolution? That theory would not correlate with the meaning of an earlier passage from the very same "Critical Notes on the Article 'The King of Prussia and Social Reform. By a Prussian'" (Marx, Early Writings, Vintage Press, 1975, p. 419):

   ... "the political soul of revolution consists in the tendency of the classes with no political power to put an end to their isolation from the state and from power." ...

   How 'the classes with no political power' could 'put an end to their isolation from the state and from power' by 'casting away the political hull' is a puzzle that A.P. probably did not wish to discuss. This was a perfect example of A.P. taking a quote out of historical context, this time from one of Marx's earliest efforts. Was the Marxist theory of the state incomplete in July of 1844 when the 'King of Prussia' article was written? In April of 1883, in a letter to Van Patten of the SLP in New York, Engels wrote (MESC, pp. 340-341):

   "Marx and I, ever since 1845, have held the view that one of the final results of the future proletarian revolution will be the gradual dissolution and ultimate disappearance of that political organization called the state; an organization the main object of which has ever been to secure, by armed force, the economical subjection of the working majority to the wealthy minority. With the disappearance of a wealthy minority the necessity for an armed repressive state-force disappears also. At the same time we have always held that in order to arrive at this and the other, far more important ends of the social revolution of the future, the proletarian class will first have to possess itself of the organised political force of the state and with this aid stamp out the resistance of the capitalist class and re-organise society. This is stated already in the Communist Manifesto of 1847, end of Chapter II.
The Anarchists reverse the matter. They say, that the proletarian revolution has to begin by abolishing the political organization of the state. But after the victory of the proletariat, the only organization the victorious working class finds ready-made for use is that of the state. It may require adaptation to the new functions. But to destroy that at such a moment, would be to destroy the only organism by means of which the victorious working class can exert its newly conquered power, keep down its capitalist enemies and carry out that economic revolution of society without which the whole victory must end in a defeat and in a massacre of the working class like that after the Paris Commune.
Does it require my express assertion that Marx opposed these anarchist absurdities from the very first day that they were started in their present form by Bakunin? The whole internal history of the International Working Men's Association is there to prove it. The Anarchists tried to obtain the lead of the International, by the foulest means, ever since 1867 and the chief obstacle in their way was Marx. The result of the five years' struggle was the expulsion, at the Hague Congress, Sept. 1872, of the Anarchists from the International, and the man who did most to procure that expulsion was Marx. Our old friend F. A. Sorge of Hoboken, who was present as a delegate, can give you further particulars if you desire.
Now as to Johann Most. If any man asserts that Most, since he turned anarchist, has had any relations with, or support from Marx, he is either a dupe or a deliberate liar. ... We had for his anarchism and anarchist tactics the same contempt as for those people from whom he had learnt it."

   The first sentence of that excerpt shows that Marx and Engels agreed on their theory of the dissolution of the state only after 1845, which information could not have been avoided by A.P. during the preparation of his Preface, because, on the bottom of page XIII thereof, that very same letter to Van Patten was again quoted. The 1844 'King of Prussia' article was also misused by A.P. to lead the reader to believe that 'there is a sharp division between proletarian political and economic activities', but with no explanation of the historical context from which Marx's phrases were taken. The case that A.P. was trying to build was that: 'Political power is destructive only, and is useful to abolish the capitalist state, but economic reconstruction begins only when political action ceases.'
   By themselves, the early phrases of Marx and Engels were incapable of leading the reader to a full understanding of their theories, but the same early phrases were abused by A.P. to facilitate justification of his anarchist theories. This was highly unethical, and was also thoroughly contradicted by the more elaborate writings of Marx and Engels in their refutations of the anarchists, especially around the final years of the
First International.
   A.P. continued (p.

8    "In other words, although both Marx and Engels knew, and said so in general terms, that the political form of society would yield to the industrial form, they did not develop the vital point beyond the general, and, for all practical purposes, left the problem unsolved."

   Though it's entirely possible that political forms may someday yield to a classless, stateless administration of things in the future, Marx and Engels believed that an entire historical epoch known as the dictatorship of the proletariat would have to rise and fall between the end of capitalism and the start of classless, stateless society. One of the many places where A.P. went wrong was in stating that 'Marx and Engels failed to solve the problem of specifying an industrial form for future society.' The development of such an industrial form must have been such a "vital point" for Engels that he wrote in "The Housing Question" (MESW II, pp. 368-369):

   "To be utopian does not mean to maintain that the emancipation of humanity from the chains which its historic past has forged will be complete only when the antithesis between town and country has been abolished; the utopia begins only when one ventures, "from existing conditions," to prescribe the form in which this or any other antithesis of present-day society is to be resolved."

   The SLP's Socialist Industrial Union program fits Engels' definition of utopia perfectly, because it prescribes the form into which the working class must organize in order to resolve the contradiction between social production and private appropriation of the product of labor. Another criticism leveled against utopian forms in "The Housing Question" was that they failed completely to help the proletariat become the ruling class. The stated intent of Engels' German party, on the other hand, was to take full state power and pursue working class policies in the new state against the interests of the bourgeoisie (MESW II, p. 356):

   "But the German Social-Democratic Workers' Party, just because it is a workers' party, necessarily pursues a "class policy," the policy of the working class. Since each political party sets out to establish its rule in the state, so the German Social-Democratic Workers' Party is necessarily striving to establish its rule, the rule of the working class, hence "class domination." Moreover, every real proletarian party, from the English Chartists onward, has put forward a class policy, the organization of the proletariat as an independent political party, as the primary condition of its struggle, and the dictatorship of the proletariat as the immediate aim of the struggle."

   The SIU program rejects political forms for future society altogether by calling for the dismantling of the state as soon as SLP political candidates get elected to office. The SIU recognizes no post-electoral political or state organization of the proletariat, which is completely ahistorical, and unscientific.
   A.P. continued (p.

9    "But, being anything but anarchists, they were compelled to fall back on the doomed and dying political State as the instrument, not merely of destruction, but of construction as well - a conclusion which, in the Marxian premises, and particularly in the light of Morgan's important discoveries and summary (accepted in the main by Marx and Engels), amounted to a contradiction in terms."

   After pulling every trick in the book to put anarchist philosophy in the mouths of Marx and Engels, A.P. then reminded us that 'Marx and Engels were anything but anarchists.' According to A.P., 'The anarchists would abolish the state, and replace it with nothing at all', but the anarchists that Marx and Engels fought against wanted to replace the state with organizations of trade unions, or with the First International, or with a non-political administration of things, practically the same as the SIU program.
   A.P. stated that Marx and Engels
were ... 'compelled to fall back on the doomed and dying political State as the instrument, not merely of destruction, but of construction as well' ... A.P. also theorized that 'the political state can only be a capitalist state'. Those two statements enjoy a certain consistency of logic, for it is difficult to imagine the CAPITALIST state being very interested in either socialist construction or the repression of the capitalist class. But, Engels was not so primitive or confused as to expect a state that was designed to protect capitalist interests to carry out tasks that contravene those same interests. It is difficult as well to imagine the alleged contradiction between Morgan's discoveries and Marx's theories. In "Ancient Society", Morgan wrote (New York Labor News, N.Y., 1971, p. 552):

   "The time will come, nevertheless, when human intelligence will rise to the mastery over property, and define the relations of the state to the property it protects, as well as the obligations and the limits of the rights of its owners. The interests of society are paramount to individual interests, and the two must be brought into just and harmonious relations. A mere property career is not the final destiny of mankind, if progress is to be the law of the future as it has been of the past. The time which has passed away since civilization began is but a fragment of the past duration of man's existence; and but a fragment of the ages yet to come. The dissolution of society bids fair to become the termination of a career of which property is the end and aim; because such a career contains the elements of self-destruction. Democracy in government, brotherhood in society, equality in rights and privileges, and universal education, foreshadow the next higher plane of society to which experience, intelligence and knowledge are steadily tending. It will be a revival, in a higher form, of the liberty, equality and fraternity of the ancient gentes."

   Exactly how this statement about human intelligence mastering property, or how any other of Morgan's statements contradicted Marx's theories was not explained by A.P. Perhaps the lapse was related to the continuation of the state after the victory of the workers, a state that A.P. always interpreted as a capitalist state, but which Marx and Engels intended to be a workers' state. Since A.P.'s misinterpretation meant that he thought that Marx's scenario would perpetuate capitalist property forever, that may be why he stated that the perspectives of Marx and Morgan were at odds.
   A little off point, and in no attempt to discredit Morgan, but of interest to those concerned with racial issues, Lewis Henry Morgan also stated on the next page (Ibid., p. 553):

   "It must be regarded as a marvelous fact that a portion of mankind five thousand years ago, less or more, attained to civilization. In strictness but two families, the Semitic and the Aryan, accomplished the work through unassisted self-development. The Aryan family represents the central stream of human progress, because it produced the highest type of mankind, and because it has proved its intrinsic superiority by gradually assuming control of the earth. And yet, civilization must be regarded as an accident of circumstances" ...

   Out of Morgan's whole book, that was the only paragraph of its type that I could find. A.P. continued (p. XIII):

10   "The reason for the failure of Marx and Engels to project the indicated synthesis lies beyond the subject in hand. But that Engels sensed the deficiency in the analysis of the State, and the necessity for an organ to administer things, is, I believe, subject to demonstration."

   A.P.'s statement appears to be a cop-out. A.P. could not give a reason for an alleged 'failure ... to project the indicated synthesis', because they did not fail in that particular manner. If Marx and Engels completely, consciously and publicly refused to describe the form of classless, stateless society, then there can be no failure on their part in that area. But, what A.P. avoided discussing was the lesson Marx and Engels took from the Paris Commune experience: M+E expected the political era beyond capitalist rule to be a proletarian dictatorship, and the specific form of that dictatorship would be a democratic republic.
   With regard to A.P.'s second sentence, and in light of all that has been uncovered about A.P.'s methods employed so far, his statement rather seems like a complaint that
Engels did not leave a few handy phrases around that could have been taken out of context and manipulated into a sense of deficiency in what he had written.
   A.P. continued (p.

11   "The Marxian premise was sound as far as it went, but the premise was incomplete. And, as Buckle reminds us: 'Whenever something is kept back in the premises, something must be wanting in the conclusion.'"

   Wasn't it just a little ironic for A.P. to have complained about 'Marxian' premises being incomplete? What about all of the premises that are missing from A.P.'s theories? Why didn't his theories include 1) the worker-peasant alliance, and 2) the dictatorship of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie? With those premises missing, how accurate could his conclusions be? Engels wrote in "The Housing Question" (MESW II, p. 314):

   "If one has so arranged one's premises that they already contain the conclusion, then of course it requires no greater skill than any charlatan possesses to produce the result, prepared beforehand, from the bag and proudly point to unshakeable logic whose result it is."

   With regard to a conclusion that is severely wanting in logic and suitability to American conditions, was the SIU the marvelous gift from De Leon that the SLP claims it is, or had it already been criticized by Marx as essentially a crazy Bakuninist scheme? In his letter to Lafargue of April 19, 1870, Marx began point #3 with a sarcastic critique of Bakunin's anarchist theories (NW 153, p. 46):

   "3) The working class must not occupy itself with politics. They must only organize themselves by trades-unions. One fine day, by means of the Internationale they will supplant the place of all existing states. You see what a caricature he {Bakunin} has made of my doctrines! As the transformation of the existing States into Associations is our last end, we must allow the governments, these great Trade-Unions of the ruling classes, to do as they like, because to occupy ourselves with them is to acknowledge them. Why! In the same way the old socialists said: You must not occupy yourselves with the wages question, because you want to abolish wages labour, and to struggle with the capitalist about the rate of wages is to acknowledge the wages system! The ass has not even seen that every class movement, as a class movement, is necessarily and was always a political movement."

   It appears as though the idea of unions taking the place of the existing states had been proposed by Bakunin as early as the days of the First International Working Men's Association (1864-1872), and Marx had criticized it some 35 years before De Leon gave his alleged stroke of genius to the American anarchists. According to Lozovsky, Bakunin invented anarcho-syndicalism, of which the Socialist Industrial Union idea is but a variation that took into account the vertical monopoly ownership of industries by positing a corresponding industrial union organization of the working class. If Bakunin's idea was a 'mistake', then De Leon's SIU was a monument to that 'mistake', and the SLP is a church in which that 'mistake' has been worshiped for a long time.
   Because of the European and Russian roots of anarchy, the old idea that had been fed to me in my old
study class about the totally American character of the Party program proved to be just another lie. If Bakunin really was the author of the essence of the SIU, then it turns out to be far more European in origin than what the SLP said it was, and, what's worse for Party notions of prestige, the SIU turns out to be Russian. Thus we find, much to the contrary of all of A.P.'s wind about 'conditions', it may have been the backward conditions of Bakunin's Russia that gave birth to anarcho-syndicalism, and to the basic idea behind the Party program. With all of the repressive absolute monarchies of that era, especially around Eastern Europe, an Eastern European origin for anarcho-syndicalism is not surprising. On the other hand, anarcho-syndicalism spontaneously arising in a republic like the USA, or in England of that era, WOULD be surprising, because workers in republics have democratic and peaceful mechanisms to help them, while workers in absolute tyrannies have nothing but their own devices with which to defend themselves against state institutions that rightfully appear useless and hostile. There, workers could easily be attracted to notions of replacing absolute tyrannies with a classless and stateless administration of things. Compare the state of open class warfare associated with feudal monarchies to the rather easy-going life in republics, which enjoy tremendous amounts of mass invovement and participation in government.
   In a way, it's too bad that the
Party took such a low road by alleging a Marxian basis for the SIU. If they had instead simply offered it without trying to justify it in Marxian science, it might have had a better chance of being accepted, for their idea of bypassing political solutions to the social question simply because of advances in the means of production may have had a certain appeal that might never have required a poorly engineered justification in Marxism.
   A.P. continued (p.

12   "Criticizing the anarchists for wishing to destroy the State out of hand, with nothing to take its place, Engels (in a letter written in 1883) said:

   "'The anarchists put the thing upside down. They declare that the proletarian revolution must begin by doing away with the political organization of the State. But after its victory the sole organization which the proletariat finds already in existence is precisely the State.' ("Marx-Engels Correspondence.")

   "Precisely. Without the concept of Industrial Unions, and the Industrial Union form of government, the State appeared to be the only social organization capable of holding society together and to carry on, somehow, social production, until that undefined, nebulous 'administration of things' could be organized.

   By attributing that quote to as vast a body of work as the 'Marx-Engels Correspondence', A.P. thereby refused to admit that it came from the same 1883 letter to Van Patten that he had already extensively quoted. A.P. falsely portrayed it as indicating that 'Engels thought that the capitalist state would survive the political victory of the workers' party.'
Political victory, yes, but what kind of political victory? Let's consider three different kinds, from the most ordinary to the most empowering: At the low end, consider winning reforms in democracies, such as reducing the length of the working day, or winning the right to unionize, or the right to free and universal health care, etc. Second, consider a workers' party winning an electoral victory at the ballot box, such as what occurred in the past century of European politics. Third, consider the proletariat taking full state power, as in the Paris Commune, the early Soviets, Mao in China, Castro in Cuba, etc.
working class electoral victories, the state that survives the election is indeed the capitalist state, as proven by European politics, which didn't provide enough force to enable property ownership to be socialized without compensation. But, electorally victorious Europeans were able to win reforms that put them ahead of the USA, at least in terms of health care and vacation time.
   Without a very careful examination of Engels' letter to Van Patten, the intent of his second paragraph could be subjected to a variety of interpretations, especially if one were to take every sentence as
Marxist gospel, as A.P. chose to do. A.P. opportunistically allowed one sentence: 'But after its victory the sole organization which the proletariat finds already in existence is precisely the State' to convey the anarchist theory that: 'The state that survives the political victory of the proletariat {in the electoral sense} is the capitalist state, or the state as such, an entity of no value to the proletariat, and which is to be abolished.' However, the absurdity of this misinterpretation was made evident by another passage in the very same letter (MESC, p. 341):

   "At the same time we have always held that in order to arrive at this and the other, far more important ends of the social revolution of the future, the proletarian class will first have to possess itself of the organized political force of the state and with this aid stamp out the resistance of the capitalist class and reorganize society."

   How the proletariat would "stamp out the resistance of the capitalist class" with capitalist state machinery is beyond my ability to comprehend, and yet A.P. attributed the formulation of that very absurdity to Engels, in spite of the writings of Marx and Engels on the palpable experience of the Paris Commune, with its replacement of the old state machinery with a workers' state, proving that the anarchists either learned nothing from history (this is too charitable a conclusion), or else they willfully studied history in order to teach other than what really happened. In other words, they studied history in order to be better able to butcher it. What with the myriad connections of anarchists to the police, the uncharitable conclusion is probably the more accurate.
Electoral victories were the only type of political victories A.P. allowed us to consider, and he prevented his readers from contemplating the possibility of the ultimate type of political victory, i.e., taking full state power. In A.P.'s pamphlet analyzed in Part 4 of this book, two of the three types of political victories were eliminated as options for an 'anarchist political party'. Limited viewpoints run throughout anarchist philosophy, i.e., they limit the options for militant action to an insufficient few, or they set up straw-man options that the lower classes would never consider adopting en masse.
   For the third time already, A.P. falsely charged that
the anarchists would destroy the state out of hand, with nothing to take its place, as though no one would ever again read about the perfect willingness of anarchists to replace the state with an administration of things, much the same way Bakunin and his brainchild SIU program would like to do. But, what if there was something that the anarchists wanted to destroy out of hand, but nothing to take its place existed, and the name of that 'irreplaceable something' was 'capitalism'? There often was a glimmer of plausibility lurking somewhere in what A.P. wrote.
   A.P. continued (p.

13   "Had Engels lived another ten or twenty years, and particularly if he had lived to witness the logical development of the State administration idea (however expectantly temporary) into the ultra-reactionary fascist State machinery, he would undoubtedly have realized the deficiency in his analysis and projection of the post-revolutionary requirements and possibilities."

   Though falling an inch or two short of directly attributing fascism's paternity rights to Engels, A.P. once again accused Engels of not knowing the difference between socialism and state capitalism, but, in a long footnote in the plain text of "Socialism: From Utopia to Science", i.e., even on pages 56-7 of the SLP edition of the pamphlet, Engels differentiated between socialism and state capitalism in greater than sufficient detail (MESW III, p. 145):

   "But the transformation, either into joint-stock companies or trusts, or into state ownership, does not do away with the capitalistic nature of the productive forces. In the joint-stock companies and trusts this is obvious. And the modern state, again, is only the organisation that bourgeois society takes on in order to support the external conditions of the capitalist mode of production against the encroachments as well of the workers as of individual capitalists. The modern state, no matter what its form, is essentially a capitalist machine, the state of the capitalists, the ideal personification of the total national capital. The more it proceeds to the taking over of productive forces, the more does it actually become the national capitalist, the more citizens does it exploit. The workers remain wage-workers - proletarians. The capitalist relation is not done away with. It is rather brought to a head. But, brought to a head, it topples over. State ownership of the productive forces is not the solution of the conflict, but concealed within it are the technical conditions that form the elements of that solution."

   In order to believe that Engels did not know the difference between state capitalism and socialism, one would have to shut one's eyes completely to passages like that, and to many others elsewhere as well. A careful reader of even the SLP version of Engels' pamphlet would not have to go to the library to figure out that A.P. had misrepresented Engels.
   Germany would be a logical choice for an example of
a state capitalism which evolved into an ultra-reactionary state machine. From the context of A.P.'s criticisms of Engels' alleged state capitalism, A.P. was not above suggesting that 'Engels was the unwitting father of fascism.' What with the alleged dictatorship of the proletariat over the peasantry that Marx and Engels allegedly promoted, and that Stalin carried out to an extreme, it isn't very difficult to imagine that A.P. would blame both fascism and Stalinism on Marx and Engels for their 'crime' of advocating political solutions, as if politics could be avoided during the present era of class divisions, if enough minds are put to the task.
   With regard to the '
however expectantly temporary' nature of Engels' state administration idea, A.P. here conceded that the use of the state by the workers was to be a temporary measure in Marxist theory, so, it shouldn't be a total surprise if the temporary use of the state by the workers had been honored by the founders of socialism with an official name, but A.P. dismissed it as 'a period of little consequence', instead of admitting that the name of this temporary period was to be nothing less than the dictatorship of the proletariat.
   As for the quality of the translation, the text of the
SLP pamphlet and that of the Progress Publishers version agree practically exactly, with the major exception that the SLP editions quite consistently capitalized the term 'State' most of the time, undoubtedly to lend an exclusive and capitalist coloring to 'the state', thereby building mass hostility to it. In the above passage, the Progress Publishers edition also printed "capitalistic nature of the productive forces" instead of "capitalist nature". But, in this pamphlet, these differences in translations were not so gross as to cause concern, unlike the way in which 'differences in translations' in other pamphlets grossly affected the intent of what Marx, Engels and Lenin had written.
   A.P. continued (p.

14   "Lenin did realize the deficiency, for in October, 1917, discussing the problem confronting the workers of Russia when political power fell into their hands, he wrote that "there is no doubt that with the old State machine the proletariat could not have retained power, and to create a new power all of a sudden is impossible!' (Lenin: "Will the Bolsheviks Maintain Power?")"

   While A.P. gave the title of Lenin's booklet as "Will the Bolsheviks Maintain Power?", the title in the Collected Works just happens to read "Can the Bolsheviks Retain State Power?". Though some apologists for A.P. might explain that 'the difference between titles was just another difference in translations', omitting the word 'State' is really too large a difference to be anything but another example of a deliberate anarchist retreat from Lenin's 'State Power', a retreat caused by A.P.'s dread of the notion of 'political power' being scrutinized or considered by the lower classes, driving A.P. wherever possible to omit material that hinted at that option.
   Doesn't the phrase '
when political power fell into their hands' sound just a little too passive to be based in reality? Did A.P. have in mind a European election, or a plain old election in the USA, where power alternately 'falls into the hands' of Republicans and Democrats? In a country like Russia, one that has not had a long tradition of regular democratic elections, political power has often been gained or maintained by nothing less than force, and the change in power from the hands of one class to another hardly ever meant anything less than a fight. To suggest that 'power fell into the hands of the Russian proletariat' could indicate that A.P. was portraying Lenin's Bolshevik Party as just another party competing with other parties for power in a democracy, and as though political conditions under the Russian monarchy were not much different from American democratic conditions.
   The contrast between the allegedly
similar political conditions of America and Russia, and their allegedly diametrically opposed economic conditions, was an interesting turnabout. Too bad for A.P. that the opposite was far closer to the truth. From a political perspective, the American republic was diametrically opposed to the old Russian monarchy, democracy being the negation of monarchy, while, at the same time in history, the economic systems of both America and Russia were similar in that they were both capitalist. A.P.'s reversal persuaded readers to think that 'political solutions were appropriate for the primitive economic conditions of Russia, while economic solutions are appropriate to the super-advanced economic conditions of America.' Notice the compatibility of that lie with the alleged necessity of a proletarian dictatorship over the peasantry in backward countries with relatively large peasant populations.
   True to form, A.P. lifted that quote from Lenin entirely out of context. In "
Can the Bolsheviks Retain State Power?", written a few weeks before the Bolshevik revolution, Lenin explained that the soviets were organizations that would help the proletariat take full state power (LCW 26, p. 104):

   "In 1905, our Soviets existed only in embryo, so to speak, as they lived altogether only a few weeks. Clearly, under the conditions of that time, their comprehensive development was out of the question. It is still out of the question in the 1917 Revolution, for a few months is an extremely short period and - this is most important - the Socialist-Revolutionary and Menshevik leaders have prostituted the Soviets, have reduced their role to that of a talking-shop, of an accomplice in the compromising policy of the leaders. The Soviets have been rotting and decaying alive under the leadership of the Liebers, Dans, Tseretelis and Chernovs. The Soviets will be able to develop properly, to display their potentialities and capabilities to the full only by taking full state power; for otherwise they have nothing to do, otherwise they are either simply embryos (and to remain an embryo too long is fatal), or playthings. "Dual power" means paralysis for the Soviets.
If the creative enthusiasm of the revolutionary classes had not given rise to the Soviets, the proletarian revolution in Russia would have been a hopeless cause, for the proletariat could certainly not retain power with the old state apparatus, and it is impossible to create a new apparatus immediately. The sad history of the prostitution of the Soviets by the Tseretelis and Chernovs, the history of the "coalition", is also the history of the liberation of the Soviets from petty-bourgeois illusions, of their passage through the "purgatory" of the practical experience of the utter abomination and filth of all and sundry bourgeois coalitions. Let us hope that this "purgatory" has steeled rather than weakened the Soviets."

   Obviously, Lenin was not at all discussing, or even alluding to, 'a deficiency in the Marxist theory of the state', nor was it 'Lenin's lament over power having fallen into the hands of the workers'. Rather, it was a celebration of the fact that the soviets had already been organized, and needed only to be turned to a revolutionary purpose under the leadership of the Bolsheviks, rather than over to the allegedly petty-bourgeois leadership of the Mensheviks and other parties that might never have been able to lead the workers to completely defeat the old regime. The exposure of A.P. having so brazenly taken Lenin's phrase completely out of context has again left us with no concrete evidence of a sense of deficiency in the Marxist analysis of the state by Marx, Engels or Lenin, but comprises additional clear evidence with which to convict A.P. of gross fraud.
   A.P. continued (p.

15   "This is the point De Leon incessantly hammered home - the workers must organize the agency needed to administer production, a new government machine is needed to supplant the old State machine. We cannot doubt that Frederick Engels would have seen this as clearly as Lenin did, and probably more so."

   After bombarding his readers with little better than lies, and as though SLP members would lap them all up like obedient servants, A.P. proceeded to suggest that he had such a familiarity with their inner thoughts that 'Engels probably would have seen the need for an organization to administer production' 'as clearly as Lenin did'! From all of the nonsense that he fabricated out of quotes out of context, A.P. concluded that 'workers must replace the capitalist state with an administration of things', as though 'administering production was to be the most important post-revolutionary function'. A.P. entirely ignored the possibility that the capitalist class would fight to retain its ownership of industry and its political advantages.
   A.P. continued (p.

16   "Indeed, he does anticipate that the State, in the role he assigns to it (illogical and impossible as we now clearly see), 'might require very considerable alterations before it can fulfill its new functions.' ("Socialism From Utopia to Science")"

   Though this phrase was attributed to "Socialism: From Utopia to Science", it can only be found in Engels' letter to Van Patten. Under the circumstances of an honest scholar attempting an exploration of a deficiency in the Marxist analysis of the state, a failure to credit excerpts correctly might be forgiven like typographical errors; but, in the present circumstances, where practically every sentence of A.P.'s contains one or more lies, it's easy to think of a reason why he wouldn't want too much material attributed to the Van Patten letter. Having used it so often, it would have been logical for a scholar to have included the whole letter in an appendix, had it not contained so much contradictory evidence to so many of A.P.'s arguments and assertions.
   Did Engels really suggest that
the capitalist state, or 'the state as such', 'may require adaptation to the new functions', i.e., the administration of production and the repression of the capitalists? In his introduction to "The Civil War in France", written for the twentieth anniversary of the Paris Commune, Engels got quite specific about altering the state machine (MESW II, pp. 187-189):

   "From the very outset the Commune was compelled to recognize that the working class, once come to power, could not go on managing with the old state machine; that in order not to lose again its only just conquered supremacy, this working class must, on the one hand, do away with all the old repressive machinery previously used against it itself, and, on the other, safeguard itself against its own deputies and officials, by declaring them all, without exception, subject to recall at any moment. What had been the characteristic attribute of the former state? Society had created its own organs to look after its common interests, originally through simple division of labor. But these organs, at whose head was the state power, had in the course of time, in pursuance of their own special interests, transformed themselves from the servants of society into the masters of society. This can be seen, for example, not only in the hereditary monarchy, but equally so in the democratic republic. Nowhere do "politicians" form a more separate and powerful section of the nation than precisely in North America. There, each of the two major parties which alternately succeed each other in power is itself in turn controlled by people who make a business of politics, who speculate on seats in the legislative assemblies of the Union as well as of the separate states, or who make a living by carrying on agitation for their party and on its victory are rewarded with positions. It is well known how the Americans have been trying for thirty years to shake off this yoke, which has become intolerable, and how in spite of it all they continue to sink ever deeper in this swamp of corruption. It is precisely in America that we see best how there takes place this process of the state power making itself independent in relation to society, whose mere instrument it was originally intended to be. Here there exists no dynasty, no nobility, no standing army, beyond the few men keeping watch on the Indians, no bureaucracy with permanent posts or the right to pensions. And nevertheless we find here two great gangs of political speculators, who alternately take possession of the state power and exploit it by the most corrupt means and for the most corrupt ends - and the nation is powerless against these two great cartels of politicians, who are ostensibly its servants, but in reality dominate and plunder it.
Against this transformation of the state and the organs of the state from servants of society into masters of society - an inevitable transformation in all previous states - the Commune made use of two infallible means. In the first place, it filled all posts - administrative, judicial and educational - by election on the basis of universal suffrage of all concerned, subject to the right of recall at any time by the same electors and, in the second place, all officials, high or low, were paid only the wages received by the workers. The highest salary paid by the Commune to anyone was 6,000 francs. In this way an effective barrier to place-hunting and careerism was set up, even apart from the binding mandates to delegates to representative bodies which were added besides.
This shattering [Sprengung] of the former state power and its replacement by a new and truly democratic one is described in detail in the third section of The Civil War. But it was necessary to dwell briefly here once more on some of its features, because in Germany particularly the superstitious belief in the state has been carried over from philosophy into the general consciousness of the bourgeoisie and even of many workers. According to the philosophical conception, the state is the "realisation of the idea," or the Kingdom of God on earth, translated into philosophical terms, the sphere in which eternal truth and justice is or should be realised. And from this follows a superstitious reverence for the state and everything connected with it, which takes root the more readily since people are accustomed from childhood to imagine that the affairs and interests common to the whole of society could not be looked after otherwise than as they have been looked after in the past, that is, through the state and its lucratively positioned officials. And people think they have taken quite an extraordinarily bold step forward when they have rid themselves of belief in hereditary monarchy and swear by the democratic republic. In reality, however, the state is nothing but a machine for the oppression of one class by another, and indeed in the democratic republic no less than in the monarchy; and at best an evil inherited by the proletariat after its victorious struggle for class supremacy, whose worst sides the victorious proletariat, just like the Commune, cannot avoid having to lop off at once as much as possible until such time as a generation reared in new, free social conditions is able to throw the entire lumber of the state on the scrap heap.
Of late, the Social-Democratic Philistine has once more been filled with wholesome terror at the words: Dictatorship of the Proletariat. Well and good, gentlemen, do you want to know what this dictatorship looks like? Look at the Paris Commune. That was the Dictatorship of the Proletariat."

   Engels well answered the question of 'altering' or 'adapting' the state in his reference to the state as:

   ... "an evil inherited by the proletariat after its victorious struggle for class supremacy, whose worst sides the victorious proletariat, just like the Commune, cannot avoid having to lop off at once as much as possible" ...

   The lack of substantive change after the transition from Republican to Democratic administrations in American elections can be contrasted to the depth of change that the administration of Paris experienced at the time of the Commune.
   Some aspects of Engels' critique of the American
two-party system are still relevant now. He also made it clear that the pre-revolutionary and the post-revolutionary states are two entirely different animals. While the role of the post-revolutionary state was alleged by A.P. to be that of merely administering production, its primary role in Marxist theory is to keep down the workers' class enemies.
the capitalist state could administer production, then why couldn't the proletarian state? By now, we have seen how badly the existing communist states have failed in that function so far, and by labeling the post-revolutionary administration of production by the state as 'illogical and impossible', this may be yet another place where the Party concluded correctly for all of the wrong reasons.
   A.P. continued (pp.

17   "But that a new organ of social administration and production is essential, he leaves open to no doubt. For he goes on to say that to destroy the State at the moment of proletarian political victory 'would be to destroy the only organism by means of which the victorious proletariat can assert its newly conquered power, hold down its capitalist adversaries and carry out that economic revolution of society WITHOUT WHICH THE WHOLE VICTORY MUST END IN A NEW DEFEAT AND IN A MASS SLAUGHTER OF THE WORKERS SIMILAR TO THOSE AFTER THE PARIS COMMUNE.' (Ibid.)"

   A.P.'s two sentences contradicted one another. A.P. first wrote that Engels left 'open to no doubt' that 'a new organ of social administration and production is essential.' If so, then the very next sentence might want to confirm the 'new organ' thesis in A.P.'s first sentence, but A.P. merely went on to quote the Van Patten letter to the effect that 'the working class agenda was going to be accomplished with the old state machine'! Nothing in A.P.'s second sentence implied or indicated that 'Engels saw the need for a new organ' at all! This was all we got from A.P., in spite of the fact that Engels praised the Commune as an example of a new state machine, in fact a proletarian dictatorship.
   Though A.P.'s "
Ibid." implied that the quote was taken from "Socialism: From Utopia to Science", it could only be found in the Van Patten letter. This was the last of three times that A.P. quoted that letter, but he barely credited it once. By fragmenting the letter and attributing the fragments to different sources, the internal logic of the letter was broken up, and it could not readily testify against the points made by A.P. in his Preface to the effect that: 1) 'the anarchists wanted to abolish the capitalist state with nothing to replace it', 2) 'the capitalist state shouldn't be abolished unless something exists to replace it', 3) 'the capitalist state is needed by the victorious proletariat to assert its newly conquered power', 4) 'the capitalist state is needed by the victorious proletariat to hold down its capitalist adversaries', and 5) 'the capitalist state is needed by the victorious proletariat to carry out an economic revolution WITHOUT WHICH THE WHOLE VICTORY MUST END IN A NEW DEFEAT AND IN A MASS SLAUGHTER OF THE WORKERS SIMILAR TO THOSE AFTER THE PARIS COMMUNE.' ...
   If the founders of socialism had actually formulated and believed in the five absurdities enumerated above, one could quite easily get the impression that: '
People in the last century had quite primitive brains and intellects, but we have come so much further today.' And, if we could guess why we have come so far along, 'it was entirely due to the advances in the means of production.' I wonder how many members understood and agreed with A.P.'s 'analysis', and how many might have speculated that it would have explained a lot to Marx and Engels if only it had been available to them while they were alive. How many members wished that they could have stepped into a time machine to go back to the last century to deliver that analysis to Marx and Engels themselves?
   The one sentence from the excerpt of A.P.'s text that was not a miserable lie was the first sentence, for Marx and Engels certainly did believe that
a new organization of the poor and oppressed was essential, though not entirely for the purpose of administering production. It is difficult to imagine how Engels, on the one hand, could have intended that (MESC, p. 341):

   ... 'after the victory of the proletariat, the only organization the victorious working class finds ready-made for use is that of the capitalist state.'

   ... while, on the other hand, in his 'Twentieth Anniversary Introduction to The Civil War in France', Engels had written that (MESW II, p. 187):

   ... "the working class, once come to power, could not go on managing with the old state machine; that in order not to lose again its only just conquered supremacy, this working class must, on the one hand, do away with all the old repressive machinery previously used against it itself" ...

   There Engels stated in his own words what Marx had observed in "The Civil War in France", namely that (MESW II, p. 217):

   ... 'the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery, and wield it for its own purposes.'

   Does this not contradict the anarchist absurdity that 'the proletariat finds the capitalist state ready-made for use after its victory'? But, if the victory in question happens to be an electoral victory in a democratic republic, then that form of state is ready-made for the proletariat to use. The state and the form of the state are two different things. In a January 1884 letter to Bernstein, Engels elaborated further on the idea of adapting the old state to new functions (MESC, p. 345):

   "It is simply a question of showing that the victorious proletariat must first refashion the old bureaucratic, administratively centralised state power before it can use it for its own purposes; whereas all bourgeois republicans since 1848 inveighed against this machinery so long as they were in the opposition, but once they were in the government they took it over without altering it and used it partly against the reaction but still more against the proletariat."

   These last statements can only mean that the bourgeoisie used the state machine that it inherited from the feudal regimes unmodified for its own purposes, whereas the lower classes cannot directly use or wield the unmodified old ruling class state machine for socialist purposes.
   One fact that seems not to have been freely advertised was the connection between Engels and various
SLP personalities. Philip Van Patten was a National Secretary of the SLP from 1877-83, a period of time when the SLP stood on a Marxist platform, as Engels claimed in his letter to Sorge of 3-10-1887 (LTA, p. 178):

   ... "it is the sole workers' organization in America wholly standing on our platform."

   The SLP might have had a Marxist platform in 1887, but it certainly changed after 1889. Some of the history of the SLP's conversion to anarchist ideology is presented in Appendix 2.

Recap of Falsifications, Misrepresentations, and Omissions

   From the above analysis of A.P.'s Preface to Engels' "Socialism: From Utopia to Science", the following synopsis of inaccuracies has been compiled:

Point #:

1  Quotes from Engels were selected so as to exclude any material describing the era of proletarian dictatorship.

2  Engels was accused of advocating state capitalism because of allegedly not knowing the difference between socialism and state capitalism, in spite of evidence to the contrary in the very text of his pamphlet.

3  A.P.'s 'matter of course transformation into Socialism' theory contradicted his 1931 'three-fold obstacle to immediate and complete proletarian success' theory, as advanced in "PD vs. D+D".
   It was implied that
more modern theories held that 'socialism' would not result from the 'matter of course transformation.'

4  The Marxist concept of the working class political victory was limited to an electoral victory at the ballot box.
The concentration of property into the hands of the workers' state' was misstated by De Leon as 'the concentration of property into the hands of the capitalist state', and De Leon's 'genius' was credited for that lie.

5  By precluding the existence of the political state, De Leon's Industrial Union program fitted the program of anarchy, but it was not labeled as such.
political state, or dictatorship of the proletariat, was incorrectly declared to cease to exist under 'socialism'.
   Marx and Engels were alleged to have shown that '
the state as such (the capitalist state) will die out', instead of 'the dictatorship of the proletariat will wither away'.

6  Engels was faulted for not specifying the form to be taken by the classless, stateless administration of things.
   The democratic republic form of state was ignored as the form that Marx and Engels saw the workers use in the
Paris Commune.
   By carefully juxtaposing Engels' phrases, the "
systematic, definite organization of production" was implied to be consistent only with classless, stateless society, instead of consistent with both lower and upper stages of post-revolutionary society.

7  Marx was faulted for failing to specify the form of the future structure of society.
A more precise conception of classless, stateless society than that of Engels was allegedly
projected by Marx, but with little documentation other than a sentence from 1844 given to back up the assertion.
   That single sentence quoted from an early work of Marx was taken out of historical - as well as actual - context to buttress the theory that '
political action is destructive only, while economic action is constructive, but will not begin until political action is finished.'
   That early quote from Marx was used to imply that '
classless, stateless society will emerge from capitalism right after the revolution.'
   Evidence that the
Marxist theory of the state might have been incomplete in 1844 was totally ignored, even though the evidence of that possibility could not have been avoided.

8  Marx and Engels were faulted for 'not developing the vital point of the yielding of the political form to the industrial form', even though they had repeatedly criticized speculation about forms of classless, stateless society as utopian.
   The ample number of examples in the writings of Marx and Engels to the effect that '
the democratic republic was to be the form of the dictatorship of the proletariat' were entirely ignored.

9  The anarchists were again accused of wishing to destroy the state, while offering nothing with which to replace it.
   The '
doomed and dying political state' was implied to be either the capitalist state or an entity that stood above classes.
   A '
constructive and destructive capitalist state' theory was improperly substituted for Marx's 'constructive and destructive proletarian state', and it was then shown that the falsified 'Marxist' theory of the state contradicted itself.
Morgan illuminated 'the contradictory nature of Marx's theory of a constructive and destructive political state' was left for the reader only to imagine.

10 Marx and Engels were improperly criticized for an alleged 'failure to project the indicated synthesis', or otherwise resolve contradictions arising from their alleged advocacy of proletarian use of the 'capitalist' political state.
   A reason for the alleged
failure of Marx and Engels to 'project the indicated synthesis' was implied to exist, but was not specified.
   A.P. hinted that
Engels might have sensed a deficiency in the Marxist analysis of the state, and 'the necessity for an organ to administer things', but did not document it. A.P. failed to show that Engels believed that production could be administered by a workers' state.

11 An anarchist premise was incorrectly labeled as a 'Marxian' premise, and, with a little help from a quote by Buckle, the premise was declared to be 'incomplete'.

12 Engels was alleged to have 'criticized the anarchists for wishing to destroy the State out of hand, with nothing to take its place', but no example of that type of criticism was ever offered as proof.
   The Van Patten letter was not credited, in spite of its having been quoted elsewhere.
   A portion of the Van Patten letter was quoted out of context to enable the post-revolutionary state appear to be
capitalist in content, in spite of the many writings by Marx and Engels that showed the post-revolutionary state was to be proletarian in content.
   The capitalist state was alleged to
survive the proletarian revolution, and was falsely given a role in the management of post-revolutionary society.
Industrial Union form of government was presented as the form of administration of things that would solve the problems associated with the Marxist scenario of administering production with a post-revolutionary capitalist state.
democratic republic form of proletarian dictatorship was never mentioned.

13 Engels was accused of not knowing the difference between socialism and state capitalism, and of not having lived to see the realization of the state capitalism idea, in spite of documentation to the contrary in the very same pamphlet for which A.P. wrote his Preface.
   On faulty grounds, the
Marxist theory of the state was alleged to be deficient.
   The post-revolutionary state was alleged to be a
capitalist state.
   The democratic republic was omitted from Engels' alleged projection of '
post-revolutionary requirements and possibilities'.

14 On the basis of a quote out of context, Lenin was alleged to have been aware of a 'deficiency' in the Marxist analysis of the state.
Political power was misrepresented as having merely fallen into the hands of the workers, rather than having been fought for.

15 The building of an economic agency to administer production was falsely put at the top of the list of priorities for the working class, as though economic administration was to be the only function of the post-revolutionary state.
   Lenin was misrepresented as
having seen the need for an agency of economic administration to assume the post-revolutionary functions of the workers' state, but with no documentation.
   On the basis of lies and quotes out of context, it was falsely claimed that '
Engels would have seen the need for such a post-revolutionary economic administrative agency as clearly as Lenin did, and probably more so.'

16 Engels' quote from the Van Patten letter was falsely attributed to "Socialism: From Utopia to Science".
   The capitalist state, or '
the state as such' was substituted for the proletarian state in A.P.'s analysis of post-revolutionary roles for the state.
   Contempt for the
post-revolutionary role of administering production was expressed for the state, such as 'illogical and impossible'.

17 In his first sentence, A.P. stated that Engels advocated a new organ for social and productive administration, though, in his next sentence, this advocacy was contradicted by misusing quotes from the Van Patten letter to imply that 'all of the social changes under socialism would take place using the old state machine.'
   A.P. failed to make any distinction between the state and the form of state, enabling him to assert that '
Marx and Engels taught that the proletariat would carry out the revolution with the old state machine', rather than stating that 'the democratic republic would be as much the form of state for the proletariat as it is for the bourgeoisie.'
   The old capitalist state, or '
the state as such' was designated as the vehicle by which the proletariat would 1) 'assert its newly conquered power', 2) 'hold down its capitalist adversaries', 3) 'carry out that economic revolution of society 'WITHOUT WHICH ..' etc.'
   Engels' quote from the Van Patten letter was again falsely attributed to "
Socialism: From Utopia to Science".

   In a little over four pages of his Preface, from page XI to XV, Arnold Petersen told 48 lies, and maybe more.


The SLP Theories of the State

   According to A.P.'s butchery of Marxist theory, the theories of the state would have been explained by the indicated authors in the following ways:

'By Marx and Engels'

   'The proletariat does not create its own State power, but uses the capitalist State in order to administer production after the revolution. Private property is gradually converted into capitalist State property. When the capitalist State represents the whole of society, it dies out.
   'The Anarchists wanted to abolish the State out of hand with nothing to take its place, but that would have been foolish, since the capitalist state is the only post-political victory organization still in existence that the proletariat can use to administer production.
   'After the victory of the proletariat, it may be necessary to alter the capitalist State to get it to conform to its new task of socialist reconstruction.'

'By Daniel De Leon'

   'Because the continued use of the capitalist State beyond the political victory means certain failure for the proletarian revolution, the workers must organize into Industrial Unions so that the capitalist State can be immediately disposed of.
Though they knew that the workers cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made State machinery, and wield it for their own purposes, Marx and Engels were forced to rely on the capitalist State to perform the tasks of socialist reconstruction and to administer production, because conditions had not yet evolved sufficiently to show them the form of the new administration of things.'

'By Lenin'

   'De Leon did the proletarian movement a great service by discovering at last the new form of the administration of things. Socialist Industrial Unionism is what we are building in the Soviet Union. By correcting the deficiency in the Marxist analysis of the State, De Leon was the only one to add anything to Marxian Science.'

What to Think?

   The preceding theories of the state were distilled from SLP falsifications and anarchist absurdities, which were supported by quotes out of context and lies cut from whole cloth. Anyone with a little curiosity could quite easily verify for themselves that when the proletariat seized state power in the Paris Commune, they created their own state power. Engels declared that the Paris Commune was the dictatorship of the proletariat, and it was a dictatorship over the old ruling classes, and not over the peasantry; and the form of that proletarian government was a democratic republic.


The Real Theories of the State

   The following theories of the state were distilled from the works of Marx, Engels, and Lenin:

Marx and Engels

   The working class builds a party of its own, independent of bourgeois influence. The working class party allies itself with other progressive forces, and comes to power in the form of a democratic republic. The proletarian dictatorship is the state that dies out as class contradictions are abolished, and after the antitheses between town and country and between mental and manual labor have been abolished.
   In the American republic of the 1800's, a proletarian victory would have been as simple as getting a majority of workers' party representatives elected to office. But, prosperous economic conditions and opportunities to expand to the West prevented wide-spread working class militancy, and prevented organization of an effective workers' party to vie for state power.
   The First International Workingmen's Association urged European workers to ally with democratic forces to replace monarchies with democracies by any means necessary. In either type of change, electoral or revolutionary, only by first of all organizing into a distinct and independent political party and by conquering political power could labor be organized along new lines. This scenario had little appeal to anarchists, who wanted workers to spurn political activity and organize themselves into unions which would displace existing states.


   Lenin was generally in agreement with Marx and Engels on theories of the state. One exception is covered later. In his April 1917 "Letters on Tactics", Lenin wrote, (LCW 24, p. 49):

   ..."[A]narchism denies the need for a state and state power in the period of transition from the rule of the bourgeoisie to the rule of the proletariat, whereas I, with a precision that precludes any possibility of misinterpretation, advocate the need for a state in this period, although, in accordance with Marx and the lessons of the Paris Commune, I advocate not the usual parliamentary bourgeois state, but a state without a standing army, without a police opposed to the people, without an officialdom placed above the people."

   From Lenin's 1918 "The Immediate tasks of the Soviet Government" (NW153, p. 289, or LCW 27, p. 263):

   ... "it would be extremely stupid and absurdly utopian to assume that the transition from capitalism to socialism is possible without coercion and without dictatorship. Marx's theory very definitely opposed this petty-bourgeois-democratic and anarchist absurdity long ago."

A Caricature of Marxist Philosophy

   In his Preface to "Socialism: From Utopia to Science", A.P. 'confused and confounded' his readers by quoting Marx, Engels and Lenin out of context to try to prove that 'every kind of state power can only be capitalist state power.' This grand fraud, were it actually a true appraisal, very much limits revolutionary possibilities. 'If State power always and exclusively is bourgeois state power, it is worthless to try to wield that which will always be used against the proletariat. If Marx said that the proletariat cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery and wield it for their own purposes, and if anarchists want to abolish the state and replace it with nothing at all, then there arises the problem of finding a form of organization with which to administer production after the revolution.'
Hence Marx's reliance on the capitalist state on a temporary basis, but if the contradiction was too difficult for Marx to solve, how can any mere mortal be expected to come up with a valid solution? Here was an obvious deficiency in the Marxist analysis of the state. Even Engels may have suspected a deficiency in the Marxist analysis of the state, although Arnold Petersen did not have the time to find perfectly convincing documentation for that sentiment. But, Lenin certainly realized that this deficiency did exist.'
To save the present generation from becoming too depressed over the lack of options for revolution, it was the genius of Daniel De Leon that came up with the form into which the workers should organize to implement the administration of things so that the capitalist state can be immediately disposed of. Thanks to De Leon and the advances in the means of production which made such ideas possible, the state can be abolished and the socialist administration of things that Marx and Engels could only dream about in their day can become an immediate reality.'
   The previous paragraphs echo the ideology of the
Socialist Labor Party in a condensed form, much of which is taught by members and sympathizers as socialist gospel. Those for whom the caricature serves essential purposes will want to continue to perpetrate it. Opportunists who join with the objective of climbing high in the Party will thoroughly learn the nuances of the caricature, and participate in the task of getting members and sympathizers to part with their dollars to support the hierarchy. They might become familiar with the documentation of lies, dirty tricks and self-serving actions of previous administrations, and continue to hide the evidence of shameful crimes against the members and the workers. In their haughtiness, they could say that 'the emancipation of the membership is the class-conscious act of the membership itself!'
   Purposely kept in a state of ignorance, members hate to be reminded of their alleged
laziness, and though they sometimes complain, they send in ever more money to the National Office, hoping never to hear words of chastisement again, but the prodding gets repeated over and over again, lest members forget their duties to the god-like intellectuals without whom the Party would cease to exist.

Anarchist World Outlook

   The SLP's application of the term "Stalinist bureaucracies" or "bureaucratic state despotisms" to revolutionary governments or aspiring revolutionary movements all over the world emanated from the SLP's denial of the theoretical existence of proletarian state power. Previously oppressed classes that became politically dominant, overturned colonial rule, and came to power in new states of their own, with working-class ideology, were automatically perceived, simply because they were states, as 'exploiting' or 'capitalist' states, and could therefore not be supported in any way.
   The conflict in Vietnam was not seen as
a struggle for self-determination, but rather as the struggle of one group of exploiters against other exploiters seeking domination over poor people with little say in their own fate. The Party subscribed to a three-way imperialist struggle theory in which 'American imperialists, if defeated, would only be traded off for Soviet or Chinese imperialists, and the Vietnamese would go on being exploited as if nothing had happened. If the Vietnamese Communists were to take state power, then they intended to wield their capitalist state for their own purposes, undoubtedly to the detriment of Vietnamese workers. So why should the struggle of Vietnamese communists against Americans be supported in any way whatsoever? Any communist victory over Americans along with their Vietnamese puppets would be null and void due to their intent to wield their capitalist state against the proletariat.' Furthermore, as far as the SLP could determine, the communists were not building Socialist Industrial Unions, and showed no intention of abolishing their state after victory.
SLP regarded all of the other parties on the left as revisionist and opportunist because they saw the need for a party to rule in a state. As a consequence of the SLP's perspective on the state, the great majority of other parties were treated as though they were as much an enemy of workers as any capitalist state, so the SLP could not cooperate to demonstrate or to otherwise help put an end to America's savage war in Vietnam. Though members were never allowed to participate directly in demonstrations against the war that were organized by other groups, the existence of sizable demonstrations convinced the SLP to allow its members to leaflet on the fringes, but never to allow their leafletting and agitational activities to be interpreted as being in support of the protest or the protesters. To maintain its purity, the SLP could do and say little about the unjust war in Vietnam. Members could not join with other progressive forces in the USA to protest the gross injustice, slaughter and destruction of the planet and its peoples without feeling dirty, compromised and aligned with alleged Stalinists.
   But, amazingly enough, the decree from A.P.'s successors in 1975 was that
the three-way imperialist conflict theory was a mistake! The intellectuals wished to attract new blood to the Party, and because so many new prospects probably also shared the gut feeling that the Vietnamese victory was to be celebrated, the intellectuals did not want the Party to maintain such a ridiculous line that new blood would be so alienated by the old position as to refuse to have anything to do with the Party. So, the new verdict was that the final outcome of the Vietnamese conflict was the national liberation of Vietnam, and the liberation was progressive.
   But, because the ongoing financial support of the
NO by the longtime members was definitely a matter of interest to the intellectuals (a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush), they did not want to overly antagonize those who were comfortable with the old position, so they found a way to prevent the total alienation of the old blood by claiming that: 'There were other dimensions to the Vietnamese conflict, including the opposing interests of the superpowers, a not insignificant factor.' Even though the new position was officially adopted by the Party, many long-time members could not understand why the old line was incorrect, which they ended up repeating out of habit, much to the consternation of the intellectuals. But, for being afraid to get to the root of the misunderstanding in the first place, much of the fault for the misunderstandings of the long-time members lay with the intellectuals themselves. They could have initiated the process of throwing out the rubbish entirely if they had dared.
SLP ideology relies heavily on the notion that the existence of the state (which state?) can only mean the existence of slavery* (of which class?), the newly adopted position on the Vietnamese situation had to accommodate itself to that 'state = slavery' equation. The only type of scenario which the SLP could understand, and into which the Vietnamese victory could plausibly fit, was a bourgeois-democratic type of revolutionary state, where a capitalist class overthrows a feudal monarchy and establishes a bourgeois-democratic republic, much like the bourgeois democracies that were established in Europe over the past few hundred years. But, if what happened in Vietnam was a bourgeois-democratic revolution, then why didn't the victorious Vietnamese bourgeoisie stay in Vietnam? If there hadn't been so many pictures of boat people emigrating with their cargoes of gold, the bourgeois-democratic thesis might have had some credibility, but the image of the capitalist class leaving Vietnam in 1975 could only indicate that something other than a traditional bourgeois-democratic revolution had occurred.
   *In his 1844 article entitled "
Critical Notes on the Article 'The King of Prussia and Social Reform. By a Russian'", Marx wrote (Marx, Early Writings, Vintage Press, 1975, p. 419): "The existence of the state is inseparable from the existence of slavery." The Party failed to credit this phrase from one of Marx's earliest works, a few of whose theoretical constructions before 1845 could be considered to be immature.
   Another indication that it was not a bourgeois-democratic revolution was that the Vietnamese immigrants were accepted into the USA with open arms, just as many of the immigrants from Cuba, the Soviet Union and every other communist country were welcomed. The welcoming of immigrants from communist countries was in direct opposition to the policy of exclusion and expulsion which greeted refugees from the oppressed classes of El Salvador, Haiti, and other dictatorships supported by the American government.
SLP world outlook is based upon the denial of proletarian state power, as well as the denial of alliances between fractions of the lower classes, and these denials have been shown to be based upon falsifications of Marx's theories of the state, and upon ignorance of Marx's policies of workers' support of national liberation struggles.

Anarchy and the Party

   As anarchist as the SLP has been, but having called itself socialist all along, its leadership long ago discerned the necessity to 'prove' that 'it is indeed socialist' in order to satisfy the needs of the membership to feel as though they were supporting a genuine Marxist program. One way to put on a socialist front was to reproduce the writings of the founders of socialism, and then proudly portray them as the Party's own ideas. When pressed to explain exactly how the Party program was based upon Marxism, they cited as much corroborating material as they could possibly squeeze out of context, and then used the phony quotes to support the Party's theories.
   If a party would like to prove that
the proletariat cannot exercise a working class policy in its own state, then proof must be found in the works of Marx, Engels and Lenin. But, the number of passages one can draw upon to 'prove' this are very few in number, so a falsifier must be very imaginative. Assuming that their readers would never bother to check the 'proof', appropriate passages could be appropriated, and an impression created in the minds of the members that: 1) 'In the old days, the only tool the proletariat had to keep down its capitalist enemies after the revolution was the capitalist state', 2) 'if all property is transformed into state property, it is transformed into capitalist state property', 3) 'the consequence of the proletariat's failure to organize the new administration of things after its political victory will be to face the wrath of the capitalist state.' Working with theories like that, reluctance to take state power is the natural result. It would have been one thing for Party theoreticians to give a fair representation of the Marxist theory of the state before criticizing its deficiencies, but instead, they first falsified Marxist theories, and then found deficiencies in the falsified theories. Then they proposed the SIU solution to 'correct' the artificially phonied deficiencies.
   Until the
SLP casts off its anarchist program and the lies that support it, and learns what it can from the actual experience of the working classes of the world to build a valid program, its program will be of no value to the lower classes. Only the present members can correct the course of the Party from within. As Engels wrote to Eduard Bernstein on October 20, 1882, in the context of criticizing old Bakuninist tactics of lies, calumniation and secret cliquishness (MESC, p. 332):

   ... "It seems that every worker's party of a big country can develop only through internal struggle, which accords with the laws of dialectical development in general." ...

   In an October 1882 letter to Bebel, Engels reiterated that idea, and added (MESC, p. 334):

   ... "The development of the proletariat proceeds everywhere through internal struggles, and France, which is now setting up a workers' party for the first time, is no exception. We in Germany have left behind the first phase of the internal struggles (with the Lassalleans); other phases still lie before us. Unity is quite a good thing so long as it is possible, but there are things which stand above unity. And when, like Marx and myself, one has all one's life fought harder against self-styled Socialists than against anyone else (for we regarded the bourgeoisie only as a class and hardly ever involved ourselves in conflicts with individual bourgeois), one cannot be greatly grieved that the inevitable struggle has broken out." ...

- End of Critique of A.P.'s Preface. -

   After the SLP eliminated peaceful means of internal struggle, writing about it on the outside of it became the only alternative. Such is the fruit of the Party's censorious, bureaucratic, secretive and sectarian ways.

The Aftermath

   At some point in my Section's agenda, it had been decided to unite business meetings with the study class, take care of business first, and study afterwards. After distributing my critique of A.P.'s Preface to Engels' "Socialism: From Utopia to Science" to Section Santa Clara County, and after giving them a couple of weeks to digest it, I moved for a discussion of my critique. However, they were in the middle of discussing Lenin's "The State and Revolution", and didn't want to interrupt it. After a brief discussion, they tabled my motion, and the consensus was that discussing my critique would be reconsidered after the Section completed studying "The State and Revolution", though, at that point, I began to suspect that they would never get around to it. But, I went along with their plan because the reading of Lenin would help expose some of the more poorly educated members to a different concept of the state, and anything they could learn about Leninism's closer approximation to Marxism would come in handy during a discussion of my critique. It also gave me a little more time in which I could save more money for a time when I might be unemployed for a while.
   The following is part of a draft of a letter written to a member right about that time:
   "You might ask how I can possibly survive working at the
NO, knowing what I know. I must admit that relations have been strained, but I am tolerated because 1) I learned a long while back how to do my work well even under great emotional stress if I thought there was a goal worth working for, and 2) my Comrades have not even attempted to refute my theories and have even expressed partial agreement when I forced them to say something, and 3) I feel that there is so much force behind the principle of exposing deceptions that it is only a matter of time before my views .... {Manuscript broke off.}
   'But the fact is that my position at the nerve center is both advantageous and disadvantageous. It is advantageous because I can keep a good eye on the general mood of the
Party as a whole {this statement contradicts the alienation I always felt as a shipping clerk, but I was much closer to the scene of the crime than were the members of the outlying Sections} and I can keep the kind of perspective on the Party that would be unobtainable in a Section ... It is disadvantageous in that I have found it impossible to get the "leadership" of the Party interested enough in my ideas to do anything with them. They have been very non-committal so far and this fact has been a source of bitterness in the past between us, but I realize that they cannot do everything. They pour in so much energy into just maintaining the organization and doing positive things, that any effort to come up with a new coherent line must come from an entity different from an overworked leadership. The problem we face is a universal problem throughout the Party and the source is no longer a conspiracy against the revolution by any group or unit within the Party. This is why we can now cure ourselves and even stay together in the process, painful though it will be.'
   Parts of this paragraph were very conciliatory toward those I also accused of blocking my process. It is one of the few written reminders of the great internal conflict between alternately blaming the
Party and myself for my inability to accomplish the changes that needed to occur.
   Though I wrote many a personal letter to some members back East, I never got much encouragement from them to keep doing my research, nor (with the exception of one) was I made aware that they
agreed or disagreed with what I wrote. Their general failure to respond to the ideas in my letters was always disappointing. At first I did little more than point out quotes that A.P. had taken out of context, but I got no response at all. That was scary, as I could not figure out if the member in question was simply numb or was waiting for me to crack altogether, or what. Silence on my major points!
   In my first batch of letters, I never attacked my potential allies in the
NO, and always limited my attacks to Petersen or SLP ideology, but after my quitting became inevitable, my letters started attacking my co-workers in the NO as well. During the course of my last few months with the Party, my previous jovial and amiable conversations with the Party intellectuals declined to the point of breaking off. Toward the end, the only discourse that I had that was halfway pleasant was with a few of the older members, even if it wasn't very intellectually stimulating.

The Send Off

   During the study classes of that time period, I usually said very little, and waited patiently to someday bring up my critique of A.P.'s pamphlet. An exception to my usual reticence occurred one day while we were discussing possible forms of proletarian rule. I felt a certain level of excitement and desire to share what I had discovered about this aspect of Marxism, for I had already incorporated some of that relevant research into my critique. Being very careful not to phrase my argument in a way that would cause them to be put down violently, I somewhat apprehensively informed the class of what Engels had written in 1891 about 'the specific form of proletarian rule being a democratic republic'. To my amazement, one of the intellectuals piped up and exclaimed in a veritable shout, "Engels was wrong!!" 'Wrong', thought I, as the words reverberated in my ears for a while. If Engels was wrong, then I had to have been wrong as well, but, because Engels had made his statement so emphatically and so positively, I had all along thought that Engels was right. But I had not yet read everything he and Marx had written about the democratic republic, so I didn't have much of a solid platform from which to argue. All I could do was to clam up, do some more homework, and hope to bring it up again in the future if the evidence I found seemed overwhelming.
   After it was over, I sulked over the incident for awhile, and I could not recall it without feeling as though I had been swindled one more time. But, thought I, there might still be a little hope that my critique would be picked up off the table, and we would see who was right and who was wrong. But, ignorant was I of the plans that the intellectuals wanted to impose on the members.
   After the
Section finished studying Lenin's "The State and Revolution", we picked up my old motion about whether or not to discuss my critique of Petersen's Preface, and they decided not to discuss it, a decision that I had pretty much expected by that time. Still, the drama had to be played out, and, at that point, I threatened to quit the Party if it wasn't discussed, but my threat to quit brought no reaction at all. The Section didn't even want to discuss what the Party had upheld for decades as the correct theory of the state.
   Instead, they moved to a discussion of
the possible necessity of the workers to take state power within the framework of Socialist Industrial Unionism! For the second time in the meeting, I felt betrayed and invalidated. I was overwhelmed by the audacity of the intellectuals. I had never been one for thinking on my feet too well, and I'll admit that I was in a double state of shock at the additional news of making the SIUs into state organizations. I sat back and thought about two things: 1) how I was going to depart the Party and the NO, and 2) the absolute treachery of my fellow Comrades, who were probably going to ram home the idea of "fighting SIUs" through the Section, the National Executive Committee, and then the whole rest of the Party, without increasing the understanding of the members by one iota.
   Later on, I remembered what I had been taught so many times about
the SIU being the specific form into which workers must organize in order to avoid having to take (capitalist) state power for the tasks of socialist reconstruction, but the intellectual cream of the National Office was now telling us that the SIU might be used in a manner that would have had A.P. and De Leon turning over in their graves. All that was regarded as essential from "The State and Revolution" was the fact that 'workers' state power would be arrived at with new forms of workers' organizations', and that, 'since the SIU could be described as a new form of workers' organization, it could logically be expected to play a role as an organization of state power', a logic that completely ignored the more official logic of 'the SIU rendering state power unnecessary.'
   At the end of ramrodding such an important theoretical matter through
Party bureaucracy without discussion, the members would remain in complete ignorance about how the Party could have arrived at such a new conflicting position on the SIU, but the intellectuals could probably have cared less, just as long as they could fulfill their goals, which included: 1) presenting to the American workers a Party program that was not so ridiculously pacifist as to totally exclude the possibility of either a violent revolution or a dictatorship of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie; 2) doing the above in a manner that appeared logical and grounded in Marxism and the philosophy of the Party, thereby eliminating criticism on those grounds; and 3) doing the above in a manner that didn't alienate the older members by directly attacking the falsifications of Marxism that gave birth to the Party's fraudulent anarchist program in the first place.

Unity and Separation

   The bad times I endured during my last ten months with the Party were probably the most disagreeable ones I ever lived through. I had to live with the conflict of knowing that my labor was being used to confuse the working class, but the goal of enlightening my fellow members coupled with my poor financial circumstances had been enough to warrant my staying on for awhile. Though I failed in my immediate goal of enlightening anyone to my satisfaction at the time, the idea grew that at least someday I would write a book about it, but it took 15 years for the right circumstances to arrive.
   I really hoped at one time to see unity between myself and the intellectuals by cooperating with them on a mutual attack on the fraudulent premises of the
Party program. I thought at one time that one plausible reason why that unity had never happened was that the others were probably afraid that that particular kind of digging into Party history might have resulted in their getting fired. It's difficult for me to assess the sentiment of the NEC very well, since I didn't get to know but one of them to any extent, but I do suppose that they could have had a bunch of us fired for attacking the Party program. But then, who would have been left to write the Weekly People and keep the Party together? The NEC would surely have had to take those dire straits into account, so getting fired can be dismissed as having been the problem that the intellectuals might have been worried about.
   A more plausible reason why that unity never happened was that the
NO staff had already invested so much of their lives perpetuating the fraud, or simply allowing it to be perpetuated, and could not easily be expected one day to proceed in the opposite direction just because one individual came around and pointed out a not particularly comfortable path for them to follow. They probably thought that it was far better for the SLP to die a predictable and slow death mired in fraud, bureaucracy, censorship, secrecy, and a cult of De Leonist personality, than to take a chance on a whole lot of truth getting out, upsetting the old dogma and making life just a little too unpredictable than the one that could be obtained by working forty hours with a reliable pay-check at the end of each week.
   About the potential for such unity, I wrote to a member:
   "At one time, when I had just begun to uncover the mountain of lies, I had thought that my colleagues at the
NO would help me to explain the lies and their significance to the rest of the members so that the members would decide for themselves what to do ...
   "What was uncovered in the following nine months, however, was not so much the lies in
Party literature, but the depth of the rottenness of the 'Comrades' who determined that this information should never reach the membership. Some of my Comrades had been critical of Party literature long before I had even heard of the SLP, but were far more willing to prostitute themselves to the fleshpots of Petersenism than I had ever suspected any 'socialist' to be capable."
   'But no group is as dedicated to certain
truths than some of my Comrades, however. One truth that they must certainly recognize is the decline of the Party. In their efforts to gain more members, they have decided to inject a little Leninism into SLP ideology. They will try to reconcile the irreconcilable - Anarchy and state power! And the way it will be done will be by proposing that the Socialist Industrial Unions become organs of state power, in spite of my having been taught that the SIU is the specific form into which the proletariat should organize so as to avoid the use of the state or state power. Maybe the new talent of the NO will be no less adept at burying the history of the SIU than the old talent was at burying the history of the proletariat.
Party has been doing as much harm with its lies as good, so any diminution of its effectiveness by its disappearance would be as much a blessing for the workers as a pain for the NO. Some of the staff might be basically honest, but they are so scared of doing anything to lose their income that they have accepted the plan of slowly reforming the Party, and under no circumstances revealing the truth about the Party or Petersen. They will not do anything that will jeopardize the flow of money from the pockets of the Petersenites, of whom the party is mostly composed.
   "Thus, my thesis that the
Party members were basically honest and would be able to understand how Petersen lied and would want to do something about it took a back seat to the NO clique's theory that the Party consisted of stupid babies who would abandon the NO if disparaging comments about Petersen's theories were allowed to be freely circulated within the Party. But this was only a cover for their greed. If the Party really cared about truth, they would throw out the NO if they thought the NO was withholding something.
NO knew that Petersen was dishonest intellectually, and that what I had to say was nothing new to them. But rather than allowing the information to come out as quickly ... by allowing freedom of speech, they instead put a clamp on it so that they could continue to live their suburban lives. One of them even said that their plan was to 'someday come down hard on Petersen' and that the half-million bucks that the party had saved was going to 'pay our salaries for the next twenty years'.
   "Rather than be part of their plan, I opted out. It was objectionable to me because I saw myself as merely being used by them to
help spread Petersen's lies so that the NO could stay alive. But having fought so very hard for ten years to seek and spread understanding, I knew that I could not prostitute myself to their plan. I thought of all of the people who might be in a position of truth-searching that I was once in, and I could betray them by spreading lies at the rate of $3.50 per hour? Perhaps for $4.50 or $5.00 per hour, I could be so rotten. But I was beginning to despise the filth of the whole situation, so I was not about to ask for a raise, even though there might have been a chance that I could command it. I was a damned good shipping clerk. I kept busy all of the time and gave the Party its full money's worth.
   "That the
NO clique was merely using me and the other four {who quit at nearly the same time} was evidenced by the statement of one of the clique at our very last session when I was threatening to quit, to the effect: "Why are you being so unreasonable? We treat you well." Later on I interpreted the statement to mean 'Why can't you keep your mouth shut like we do and enjoy your life?'"
   Never having had the money to enjoy life like a bourgeois, that may have been why I was more interested in correcting social injustice wherever I found it, even in the midst of a
Party that was ostensibly dedicated to doing just that.

Psychological Conflicts

   My failure to lead the Party out of its difficulties was a big problem for me. I had for a long time been bothered with the feeling that someone else in my shoes, in better control of their lives, just a little more street wise, or somehow able to cope with similar opportunities, or what-have-you, could have done what I only dreamed of doing. The discovery of something rotten that others were making a living from, and sought to perpetuate, if not in original form, then at least intact in general intent - perhaps the interests of the other players in the game were sufficient to doom the efforts of anyone like myself who would have rid the Party of its rotten roots.
   Rules against discussing
inner Party business with Party sympathizers, against talking about the business of one Section with members of other Sections, the near total lack of meaningful response from other members, the paranoia that led me to feel that even to talk about what was on my mind would only lead to my ostracism or even to my death, my own history of limited achievement in expressing myself - all of those factors combined to leave me quite isolated, and may have been sufficient in themselves to condemn my efforts to failure.
   Of these conflicts, I wrote:
   'I found it easy at times to blame my failures entirely on the existing machinery. In letters to
Comrades back east, I ranted and raved at 'the lack of democracy within the Party.' I fulminated endlessly that 'there was more freedom of speech in the very state machine that the SLP had sworn to abolish.' I have not been alone in this charge against the Party, for many others have made the same accusation. In my case, however, I could not decisively blame the Party as much as I would have wanted, due to my failure to fully exhaust my administrative remedies. Though I was running out of remedies, I still feel that I could have done more, but when I was denied the right to speak to my Section, I decided to end what could have turned out to be an endless pattern of denial of my right to speak. Maybe I was right, I may never know for sure. The fact that someone said to someone else that "Ken really got f----d over", and that sentence found its way back to me, indicates that I might never have been allowed to speak. But, as mentioned already, I will never know, as I simply gave up, threw in the towel, and walked out.'
   'The biggest mistake I made (so that others may learn) was my reluctance to vigorously pursue my goal. By pursuing my arguments through my
Section, where they were easily prevented from reaching the rest of the Party, I instead could have used my strategic position as a NO employee to write a letter to the NEC simply stating that I would refuse to ship out any more copies of "Socialism: From Utopia to Science", "Proletarian Democracy vs. Dictatorships and Despotism", and "Karl Marx and Marxian Science", listing some of the major lies from each work. It might have been my fear of being dismissed that kept me from consciously considering that option.'
   "The most detrimental factor to the unfortunate outcome of my case was my fear of being immediately dismissed for a too forceful pursuit of my goal as
Party reformer. Thus I didn't conceptualize more forceful modes of struggle that might have realized my goal of ..." {Manuscript broke off here.}
   'Amazingly enough, I was never attacked for my conflict with the
program. I thought for sure that some rabid Industrial Unionist was going to someday bring me up on the charge of being in conflict with the program, but it never happened. If it had happened early in the game, I never would have had much of a chance to prove my points. Later on, when things got boring, I might have welcomed being challenged. I think that the reason that I was never brought up on charges was the fact that I continued to do my work conscientiously and, except for my paper challenges, vocally I remained relatively subdued.'
   I felt guilty for not continuing to torture myself by tying the
Party around my neck like the albatross in the poem. The self-torture went on and on, and here is a sample:
   "I would have been willing to stay on had the
Party been willing to be liberal enough to allow my new-found discoveries of dishonesty and the substantive issues of what the Party should do about them to be discussed within the whole Party. But nothing becomes so simply because one wishes it so, and the desire for freedom of speech was not going to be won by me, because I was not willing to work for it. And here I must take issue with something I said in my last letter to the effect that the Party was too bourgeois to want to do anything about the deceptions it unwittingly perpetrates on the working class. I was merely rationalizing my own unwillingness to struggle for what I believed to be correct ... And by refusing to struggle and by giving up, I naturally have discredited my whole argument and all of the work that I did and wished to go on doing because I was too weak to really fight it out within the Party.
   "I therefore abandoned the honest people of the
Party, i.e., the people who would not be repeating the mistakes that have been repeated so many decades simply because the mistakes seemed so plausible to people who were never interested in Marxism enough to find out what it really is.
   "So these were my motivations for staying and leaving. Would it have helped the movement if I had stayed in the
Party and fought it out to the end? I wasn't motivated to do it, in this Party, at least, so it's impossible to say. I was just killing time, and consider my Party involvement to be just so much water over the dam, like so much else of my life, a waste of time, a mass of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

The Departure

   My associates must have understood that I was not afraid to upset the applecart, and they must have decided that, in this particular war, it was far better for one radical to be sacrificed than for half of the NO to be sacrificed. They must have sensed that I was on the verge of quitting anyway, for one can only stand to be disappointed in one's Comrades just so long before reaching the breaking point. I had already planned that, if the Section failed to discuss my critique, I would definitely quit.
   And so I did. But it took a couple of weeks. I informed the
National Secretary of my intentions, and at first planned to stay long enough to train someone to do my job, but that would have taken too long, and I really couldn't stand being around much longer. So after waffling in my intentions to train someone else, or appeal to the NEC, and after lasting two weeks beyond the fatal Section meeting, I went back to the NO late on a Friday night, cleaned out my locker, and put my key in an envelope along with a note as to my intentions to desert the Party, and tossed it in the door slot.
   What a relief it was to be finally rid of them! I didn't care how much, if any, the
Party might have suffered as a result of my sudden departure. I would have been much happier to see the Party dissolve into nothing than to have it go on spreading the lies that had deceived me and perhaps so many others.
   Right around the same time, and entirely unrelated to my own departure, the four new people who had come to work at the
NO had become so dissatisfied with their jobs that they quit the NO as well. I can remember one of them complaining that the articles he and another had spent long hours preparing were not being printed, or were severely butchered. The five of us hung around with each other for a little while afterwards, but since they didn't have much conflict with the Party program and philosophy, I didn't have that much in common with them. I was disappointed that they didn't join in with my criticisms of the Party program, but no one seemed very interested.
   Some time after we had left the
Party, one of them mentioned to me that one of the intellectuals had told him that "Ken really got f----d over." This told me right away that the intellectuals knew very well what they were doing by denying me the right to try to sway the opinion of the Section. They were well aware that they were rationing the scarce resource of freedom of speech to only those who already had it, namely, themselves.
   Of this
freedom of speech issue, I wrote to a member:
   "My very own
Section has admitted in its own Minutes of October, 1976, that examples of misinformation exist in SLP literature. But when I tried, just this past study class of March 28, 1977, to convince the Section to take the first step to getting these important matters discussed before the Party, they turned me down cold, and in full knowledge that I would quit if they turned me down. I had waited months for the Section to finish reading "The State and Revolution" so that we could discuss evidence of distortion on the very question of the state, a subject which I had written about and submitted to the Section for discussion in November of 1976.
   "But, to them,
what I wished to discuss further was not important enough to go before the Party, though they did admit that the question of the use of the state by the workers was important enough to advocate that the SIUs could and should be state organizations, in spite of the fact that for more than 70 years the program has been generally considered ... to have been designed specifically to render such use of the state by the workers unnecessary.
   "To the
Section, however, this advocacy of the SIUs as state organizations is not contradictory at all, no insult to anyone's intelligence, not at all. It is probably no more contradictory than were the claims of A.P. that Engels did not know the difference between state capitalism and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
   "Perhaps it is felt by the ruling clique that
if enough little changes are made to the Party program, Party history will look muddled enough in theoretical content to allow increasingly larger changes to occur in the future with only manageable disruption. The older portion of the Party, which is often blamed for "holding back Party progress because of their dogmatic methods" does not take kindly to changes in Party positions because of their instinctive knowledge that the explanations for the changes advanced so far have been inadequate, to say the least."
   In one letter, I came down real hard on my fellow workers at the
National Office:
   'There are only two possible explanations for their present activities. One: that they are truly conscious of the value of anarchist theories in splitting the working class movement and are agents of the state, or Two: that they are merely prostitutes, and maintain a semblance of interest in Petersen's theories only to maintain a level of income from Petersen's idolizers, while at the same time trying to convert to a more
Leninist position on state power in an effort to attract those workers who know or suspect that the SIU is nothing more than anarcho - syndicalist nonsense. In this manner they will be able to discard the Petersen faction that they often make fun of when they think they are in safe circle of friends. At any rate, the hostility of the NO staff to Petersen's writings became less and less of a secret the more I got involved.'
   Because I was so green for so long, and blamed all of my failures on my own inadequacies, a vicious circle evolved in which I blamed myself for everything and lost self-confidence. I didn't realize then how much the cards were stacked against anyone who would have wanted to do for their
Party what I wanted to do for mine, and I might have dismissed as ridiculous any possibility that my own problems were not caused exactly by myself alone. The nice part about struggling for clarity is that eventually I found a sense of balance and peace within myself, even if my first attempts to defeat oppression resulted in ridiculous mistakes, and temporarily worsened various situations.

Freedom of Information and Censorship

   The subjects of freedom of information and censorship were not treated as objects of interest while I was a member, thoughts thereof seemingly absent in the minds of the membership. The Party's work of promoting the SIU was self-explanatory, issues within the Party apparently non-existent. And yet, there was a subterranean roar, members and Sections continued to be expelled, but no one who wasn't in the fray had any idea of what the issues could have been about. Such matters were 'handled' by the National Secretary and his alleged 'rubber-stamp' NEC. If the Party administrators were not infallible and perfect, but instead had their own axes to grind and didn't want their own foibles too closely examined, they protected themselves from criticism from the rank-and-file by promoting strict control over intra-Party information, labeling any attempt of the Party to inform itself as a "lampoon". I once drafted the following to a member:
   "The refusal of the
NO staff to cooperate with me to expose the fraud in SLP literature created the tensions that caused me to walk out. I could no longer pretend that I didn't despise them thoroughly, but neither could I openly express my anger. In their stubbornness to maintain control of the Party by seeing that only their "carefully selected" viewpoints were allowed to be disseminated "legally" within the Party, they trampled on the first principle of democracy - equal freedom of expression - and this caused myself and finally four others to walk out.
   "The significance of this lack of freedom is that there is a lot of dirt to be hidden, dirt which can be uncovered only by a concerted effort of a strong enough portion of the membership who are conscientious enough to demand the
truth and demand putting an end to the lies and falsifications that presently make the SLP program and literature objects of scorn and derision among the proletariat.
   "Their defense to their upperhandedness is that the '
The Party is not ready for certain topics', which translates into 'We will not be able to retain power if certain things are allowed to be discussed.' 'Certain things', such as the truth."
Party organizational procedures make it possible for the central group to dominate because freedom of information dissemination is not guaranteed but has to be funneled and digested by that body before it can be allowed to spread to the rest of the Party. Instead of serving the Party, the NO dominates the Party. Where is this a principle of democracy?
   'If everyone in the
Party had heard all of the lies about socialism before, and were properly immunized, what would be the harm of any individual spreading 'lies'? And if this individual were really sincere and was making honest mistakes, then what is the harm of at least hearing this person out and correcting the mistakes instead of suppressing the viewpoints so that they can not even be heard? Would not the correcting of the mistakes be good training for all of the members involved? Let it not be forgotten that I also had a track record of some of my major points being agreed on by my Section.' A Section that contained the bulk of the professional intellectuals of the Party, besides.
   'If the
Party cannot allow for the voice of one faction to be heard on an equal level with that of another, then the faction that wins all of the time will keep on winning until it finds itself quite alone, and then it may continue to split up further within itself. This process is what is happening now and will continue to happen until the right of a minority viewpoint to be heard is guaranteed.'
   "The {
internal Party} newsletter is a sham because the NS is the one who determines the content thereof, and I know there was no way I could get my stuff printed without the backing of my Section, and they wouldn't even let me present it to them."
   The ways in which internal communications are handled in the
SLP make it possible for the faction in power to tyrannize other viewpoints. If one's views match those of one's Section and later the internal Party bulletin editors, then there's no problem, and everything that everybody already agrees with gets rehashed one more time. If one's views don't agree with those of one's Section, then they have little hope of making their views known legally.
   The frustrating experience of many members, past or present, lends credibility to the theory that, with respect to
freedom of expression, Party democracy is more limited than that of the state that the Party is sworn to abolish. Why should one's Party be more oppressive than one's government in any respect? Any group that seeks to publish propaganda of its own for internal and external distribution is subject to censure by the Party executive, as in the case of the 'New Unionists' of a few years back. On the other hand, any group within the confines of the state is considerably more free to publish most anything they wish, and even have it delivered by the U.S. Post Office.
   A.P. may have learned his own undemocratic ways from his predecessors in a Danish Party that Engels criticized in a December 1889 letter to Gerson Trier in Copenhagen, in which Engels philosophized about the relation of
freedom of speech to the workers' party (MEW 37, pp. 327-8):

   "With regard, now, to the procedure of the Hovedbestyrelsen {Supervising Committee} toward you and your friends, such a summary expulsion from the party has happened in the secret societies from 1840-51; the secret organization made it unavoidable. It has furthermore happened, and often enough, with the English physical force Chartists under the dictatorship of O'Connors. But the Chartists were a party directly organized to strike out, as the name says, therefore they were under a dictatorship, and expulsion was a military measure. On the other hand, in times of peace, I know of a similar arbitrary procedure only of the Lassalleans of J. B. von Schweitzer's "strict organization"; von Schweitzer needed it because of his suspicious dealings with the Berlin Police, and thereby only hastened the dissolution of the Allgemeine Deutsche Arbeiterverein. Among the socialist workers' parties existing today it would hardly occur to a single one - after Mr. Rosenberg in America {SLP} eliminated himself - to treat an opposition, which grew out of it, after the Danish model. It belongs to the life and well-being of any party that out of it more moderate and more extreme directions develop and fight each other, and those who simply exclude the more extreme ones only encourage their growth. The workers' movement is based on the sharpest critique of existing society, critique is its vital element; how can it remove itself from criticism, forbid debate? Are we demanding from others free speech for us, only to abolish it again in our own ranks?"

   It's too bad that Rosenberg did not take his censorious techniques with him when he left the SLP, but this type of censorship is exactly what the Party bureaucracy has practiced for a long time. I found it also indicative of the immaturity of the American movement as a whole that this portion of Engels' letter to Trier was not readily available in the English language until just recently. Did parties and groups lobby publishers to omit this portion of the letter so as to be better able to blame their totalitarian practices on ignorance? Food for thought.
   Lenin struggled for many years against the censorship of the
Tsarist regime of Russia, and he also recognized the destructive effects of the lack of freedom to freely discuss theoretical material within his own party. More than once he campaigned for theoretical journals for the RSDLP members to discuss their views. In his June, 1914 "Report of the Central Committee of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party to the Brussels Conference", Lenin struggled with a faction of "liquidators", and proposed dealing with their propaganda in the following way (LCW 20, p. 519):

   "7. The existence of two rival newspapers in the same town or locality shall be absolutely forbidden. The minority shall have the right to discuss before the whole Party, disagreements on programme, tactics and organisation in a discussion journal specially published for the purpose, but shall not have the right to publish, in a rival newspaper, pronouncements disruptive of the actions and decisions of the majority.
Inasmuch as the liquidators' newspaper in St. Petersburg, which is supported chiefly by bourgeois, not proletarian funds, is published contrary to the will of the acknowledged and indisputable majority of the class-conscious Social-Democratic workers in St. Petersburg, and causes extreme disorganisation by advocating disregard for the will of the majority, it shall be deemed necessary to close this newspaper immediately and to issue a discussion journal in its place."

   In 1921, an alleged 'anarcho-syndicalist deviation' known as the "Workers' Opposition", led by Alexandra Kollontai, campaigned for industrial unions and workers' control in the Soviet Union. Even though Lenin disagreed with them, much of their propaganda was ordered printed by the Central Committee of the Communist Party, and Kollontai herself was granted a seat on the Central Committee. Compare that treatment to how my critiques of A.P.'s theories were treated. In a certain inner-Party communication, the NS complained about my 'pre-occupation with distortions in Party literature', but I never learned if the NEC Subcommittee or the NEC itself had been allowed to gather any idea of the specifics of my charges of 'distortions'.
   On page 16 of the
SLP's edition of Marx's "Critique of the Gotha Programme", a line of Marx's prefatory letter to W. Bracke of May, 1875 that was critical of the Lassallean faction of his German party was replaced by a series of dots. In the interests of the education of interested parties, here is the sentence that the SLP found too dangerous to print (MESW III, p.12):

   "One had obviously a desire to stifle all criticism and to give one's own party no opportunity for reflection."

   Now, would the Party have been hurt very much by printing that sentence? Probably not. But, a Party leadership that was so guilty of manipulating its own members became paranoid enough about their learning that the same kind of manipulation could have happened within other parties at other times, that it resorted to the additional crime of omitting pertinent passages from the historical writings of the founders of socialism. The extreme horror of the Party's perpetration of fraud against the working class required the studied exercise of the weapon of censorship to maintain it.
   The acceptance of secrecy and censorship by the members also prepared them to accommodate themselves to the growing climate of authoritarian oppression in the country, even though, in the same country in which the
Party program met with comparatively little interference from government, there was no rational need for the Party to operate within its shroud of secrecy, unless its secrecy was designed to prevent its fraud from becoming known to its members, in the same way that the secrecy of government keeps its own fraud and crime from being detected by the public. As above, so below.

Party Process

   The following is from the bulk of a draft of a letter about how various Party positions were achieved:
   'The position change on the
Vietnamese War came about as the result of a criticism of an April 1975 Weekly People article on the Vietnamese victory over the Americans. The matter went to the NEC, and, almost without discussion, they changed the Party position on the nature of the conflict. Then it was recapped once again at the '76 Convention, and I will bet that not one per cent will remember or understand how the original position (three-way superpower conflict) was arrived at or why the new position was not that much better.'
   "Then on the
union question came the reprinting of the "Mines to the Miners" pamphlet which advocated members working within the unions. Again the question was handled by the NEC, but they complained that they didn't have the time to consider all of the implications of a position change and they were surprised that it should have to be decided upon without more discussion.
   "Though a swallow doth not a summer make, I could see a real precedent growing that the "
new" NO, which claims to have "done more to bring democracy to the Party than any other group in history", was going to use the same methods of "getting things done" as did the previous administration.
   "This is all leading up to a plan by the
NO to make state organizations out of the SIUs, perhaps at the next Convention, and perhaps without giving the membership the opportunity to reflect and discuss these important questions. In other words, instead of proclaiming that the SIUs are deficient and giving the members a year or so to carry on a free discussion (uncensored), most of the members do not know what plans the NO has for them, and what a surprise this one will be!
   'Is it not your experience that
the SIUs are the specific form into which the workers should organize so as to avoid having to take state power? Wouldn't it seem a little contradictory if these SIUs, just because they are organizations of working people, should become state organizations? And isn't the idea so wonderful that a paper that I wrote that attacked the problem of state power on a much more fundamental level five months ago, should be deemed not fit to discuss on the Section floor and instead be repressed? Democracy in action - business as usual. The new NO has shown itself to be as interested in bona-fide criticism as the old one.'


*  *

   So far in this book, only a relatively small number of theoretical issues in SLP literature have been examined, but now that a few preliminary theories have been explored, the pamphlet that had originally so outraged me with its falsifications will be investigated further in order to see what else therein can also be proven to be false. Almost all of the analyses from here on were written after 1992.

(End Part C. Continued in Part D.)

Back to Home Page

Back to Book Index