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(Part D)
PART FOUR: "PROLETARIAN DEMOCRACY VS.
DICTATORSHIPS AND DESPOTISM
" REVISITED

 Text coloring decodes as follows:

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

   We will skip over the nerve-grating, six-page
Introduction by A. J. Taylor, and proceed directly to Arnold Petersen's Foreword, where, on pages 11, 12 and 13 of his pamphlet, A.P. gave a fictional description of Lenin's relationship to both De Leon and the SLP.

p. 11:

"FOREWORD.

   "In reviewing the life and work of Daniel De Leon one is impressed with the striking similarity between De Leon's character, achievements and the recognition (or the lack of it) {1} and treatment accorded him by most of his contemporaries, and the character, achievements, etc., of his great predecessor Karl Marx, and, in a more limited sense, of Nicolai Lenin as well. {2} Each of these three outstanding personalities in the Socialist movement sprang from the wealthy bourgeoisie; each gave up a brilliant career to dedicate himself to the cause of the exploited proletariat; each, upon leaving the "sacred precincts" of his class, abandoned the ideology, the principles and the traditions of his class, and accepted unreservedly the principles of the revolutionary working class movement, planting himself squarely and with no thought of eventual retreat, on the basis of the class struggle. Each led a life of poverty and privation, entirely unlike the majority of the so-called intellectuals who, either as lawyers or writers, carried with them into the Socialist movement their special or petty bourgeois ideology and prejudices, frequently using the labor movement to enrich themselves at the expense of that movement.
   "
Each of these three men was largely ignored by the bourgeois officialdom of his time, and by the professional and usually corrupt labor leaders and supposed fellow Socialists. {3} Each was accused of being arrogant, domineering, tyrannical, sectarian, intolerant and what not, and each was abused and vilified solely because of his single-minded devotion to scientific principles and persevering pursuit of correct principles and tactics. {4} Marx and Lenin have achieved a partial recognition, which is bound to increase as the capitalist system in general utterly degenerates. {5} The recognition of De Leon will be, if anything, even more striking and universal once the American working class begins to realize that it must take the road of revolution, and when it begins to understand what means and methods must be employed, and when it becomes thoroughly convinced that there is no traveling back on the road to the past. {6}
   "
The case of Lenin, to the blind worshipper or to the special advocate of false and mostly anarchist notions, must at times appear a puzzling one. {7} For it can be shown that Lenin at times has made statements and observations which are flatly contradicted by utterances elsewhere in his writings and his speeches. {8} The apparent inconsistencies, however, are easily understood once we realize that the Lenin of post-1918 days is a somewhat different Lenin from the one of ante-1918 days, the reason for the difference being that before 1918 Lenin, like most of his contemporaries, was in total ignorance of the life and works of Daniel De Leon. {9} It was not so with the later Lenin. In 1918 and subsequent years, Lenin devoted himself to a study of De Leon's works, recognizing (and giving unreserved expression to the recognition) in De Leon a Marxist of the highest order and without a peer during the time that he worked in the Socialist cause. {10} So impressed was Lenin with the works of De Leon that he decided to have them translated into Russian. {11} Arthur Ransome observes that Lenin had introduced a few phrases of De Leon into the draft for the new program of the Communist Party, as if [said Ransome] "to do honor to his memory." {12} It is obvious then that Lenin, after reading De Leon, had begun to modify his ideas especially as regards highly developed capitalist countries. We have every reason to assume that if Lenin had been spared another ten or twenty years, he would have come out in open and all but unqualified recognition of the correctness of De Leon's principles and tactics as applied to ultra capitalist countries. {13} Lenin, however, was given scarcely more than three years of active life after the Bolshevik Revolution. For although he died in January 1924, it must be remembered that for almost an entire year he lived in retirement to recuperate from the effects of the wounds inflicted upon him by a cowardly assassin. And even after his return to an active life he was scarcely able to do more than attend to the most important and pressing problems which presented themselves. Moreover, one must never forget that he had virtually a continent on his hands, a fact which should go a long way toward explaining his seeming acquiescence in some of the craziest stunts of the then Zinoviev-led Third International. Though this may be speculation, it is speculation that is fully justified by the facts and circumstances known to us. {14}
   "
It has often been assumed that we are indebted to a renegade SLP member in Russia for Lenin's knowledge of De Leon. Arthur Ransome's statement proves beyond a doubt that this assumption is erroneous. Ransome quotes Lenin as saying that "he had read in an English Socialist paper a comparison of his own theories with those of an American, Daniel De Leon. HE HAD THEN BORROWED SOME OF DE LEON'S PAMPHLETS FROM REINSTEIN (who belongs [belonged] to the Party which De Leon founded in America), read them for the first time and was amazed to see how far and how early De Leon had pursued the same train of thought as the Russians." {15} It is reasonable then to assume that the SLP renegade referred to had kept his De Leonism securely under lock and key, in fear no doubt of making himself unpopular, until he was actually requested by Lenin to open his "treasure chest" of De Leon's pamphlets.
   "
Students of Socialist thought and history will do well to remember these facts, for they fully explain {16} not only the seeming inconsistencies in Lenin's writings and speeches, but they also justify, as I have already stated, the conclusion that Lenin would have accepted all that is essential in "De Leonism," and having so accepted would have urged, and undoubtedly caused, the acceptance of the De Leon principles by the crude movement then taking shape in the United States of America, and which now, in plain denial of Marxian principles, has developed into an Anarcho-Communist movement. {17} That this would have materially altered the course of events in America, that it would have resulted in a powerful Marxian movement based on all that is essential (and what isn't?) in the De Leon principles and tactics, no one can doubt. However, this, too, is speculation and it would be fruitless to dwell upon it or to pursue it further. {18} The so-called labor movement had taken a certain course, and hard as the work may be on the scientific Marxists of America, that movement will have to be deflected from that course and directed into channels that run parallel with the social and economic trend of present-day Industrial America." {19}
                                                                        "A.P."

   Petersen began by alleging similarities in the backgrounds of Marx, De Leon and Lenin that may or may not be true, but, since volumes would have to be compared to verify them, we will avoid making quantitative comparisons of lifestyles the subject of this book and move on to matters of fact and theory that can be more easily verified. A.P. heaped praise upon the three in abundance, probably in hopes of convincing his audience that they were all part of the same Marxist club, and that De Leon had Marxist credentials at least as valid as those of Lenin, but, unlike both Marx and Lenin, I have seen no indication that De Leon had been hounded out of one country after another, nor that he had been compelled to spend years in exile. What follows is a closer examination of some of the points A.P. made in his text:

1  'Daniel De Leon's ... recognition (or the lack of it)' ...

   The SLP has always looked upon De Leon's lack of recognition by the working class as not only a 'conspiracy of silence', but also 'a conspiracy against the only person whose program could liberate the workers away from wage-slavery.' But, De Leon's lack of recognition was the result of his own opportunistic muddling of Marxism, which will be further elucidated.

2  'De Leon's character, achievements and the recognition (or the lack of it) and treatment accorded him by most of his contemporaries, and the character, achievements, etc., of his great predecessor Karl Marx, and, in a more limited sense, of Nicolai Lenin as well.'

   The SLP has always admired the leading lights of socialism in a particular order, and the quantity of admiration for each has always been manipulated in the hopes of influencing workers to admire De Leon more than Marx, and Marx more than Engels, and any of the others more than Lenin. De Leon and others in the early SLP actually boycotted Engels, but I haven't seen any evidence to show that Lenin ever boycotted Marx or Engels. By the time A.P. wrote the pamphlet under scrutiny, the SLP embraced Marx, Engels and Lenin in words, but they were almost perfectly boycotted in substance.

3  'Each ... was largely ignored by the bourgeois officialdom ... labor leaders and ... fellow Socialists.'

   This stretched the alleged analogy between the four too far. To say that Marx and Lenin were ignored by the above groups is an absurdity, considering the volumes that continue to be written about them by scholars and historians. And, look at whom A.P. thought it was important not to be ignored by: 'bourgeois officialdom ... labor leaders and ... fellow Socialists.'
   Engels didn't regard very many of his fellow socialists very highly, as demonstrated by an October 1882 letter to Bebel (
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." ...

   A.P. should also have read the March 1892 letter to Lafargue, where Engels wrote: ... 'reap the masses, and discard the leaders.'

4  "Each was accused of being arrogant, domineering, tyrannical, sectarian, intolerant ... and each was abused and vilified solely because of his single-minded devotion to scientific principles and persevering pursuit of correct principles and tactics."

   Once again, we have to correct A.P. by noting that De Leon was not strong in scientific methodology, as demonstrated later in detail.

5  ... 'as the capitalist system in general utterly degenerates.'

   If the capitalist system is degenerating now, does that mean that it was once a paragon of virtue? In "Capital" (1867), Marx wrote (NW 17, p. 760):

   "If money, according to Augier, "comes into the world with a congenital blood-stain on one cheek," capital comes dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt."

   Many socialists look forward to the 'collapse of capitalism' as if it will fall of its own weight and disintegrate by itself, even if all we do is sit back and wait, and then all we have to do is pick up the pieces. The fact is that capitalism will be our economic system until the abolition of class distinctions, as explained elsewhere in this book.

6  "The recognition of De Leon will be, if anything, even more striking and universal once the American working class begins to realize that it must take the road of revolution, and when it begins to understand what means and methods must be employed, and when it becomes thoroughly convinced that there is no traveling back on the road to the past.'

   My experience with the SLP combined with the writing of this book cured me of whatever revolutionary aspirations I once harbored. I gave up on being a revolutionary in '94, and was inspired by Engels to become an evolutionary instead. In his Jan. 27, 1887 letter to Florence Kelley-Wischnewetzky, Engels wrote (MESC, p. 378): "Our theory is a theory of evolution, not a dogma to be learnt by heart and to be repeated mechanically."

   The events of 1989 et seq. proved that trying to apply notions of political revolution to existing democracies is the height of foolishness. The whole purpose of revolution was to bring democracy to where it previously didn't exist. Once a democracy has been established, social justice is no further away than the correct use of the newly available democratic tools.

7  "The case of Lenin, to the blind worshipper or to the special advocate of false and mostly anarchist notions, must at times appear a puzzling one."

   This is so true. Once in a great while, A.P. wrote a gem with which I could thoroughly agree. Why? Explanation: To the membership of the SLP, and to others who have been influenced by 'false and mostly anarchist notions', and who may have become blind worshipers of A.P. and/or De Leon, the case of Lenin must be a puzzling one, due to the impossibility of reconciling Leninism with the 'false and mostly anarchist notions' promulgated by A.P. and other anarchists. Whether intentional or not, A.P. told great truths on rare occasions.

8  'For it can be shown that Lenin at times has made statements and observations which are flatly contradicted by utterances elsewhere in his writings and his speeches.'

   Difficult as it is to maintain perfect consistency throughout one's whole lifetime, it still would have been appropriate for A.P. to have quoted just one little example to back up his accusation. But, no, we are left with no better than a vague impression of a quite inconsistent Lenin. Speaking of conflicts, let us not forget A.P.'s very own immense conflict between his 'three-fold obstacle to immediate and complete proletarian success' theory promulgated in one pamphlet, and his 'matter of course transformation into socialism' theory of another pamphlet, either of which scenarios were alleged to occur after the proletariat seized the (capitalist) state.

9   "The apparent inconsistencies, however, are easily understood once we realize that the Lenin of post-1918 days is a somewhat different Lenin from the one of ante-1918 days, the reason for the difference being that before 1918 Lenin, like most of his contemporaries, was in total ignorance of the life and works of Daniel De Leon."

   Well, at least Lenin may have had an excuse for his alleged inconsistencies, but what was A.P.'s excuse for his own? Lenin's alleged ignorance of De Leon before 1918 is highly improbable. Lenin wrote a "Preface to the Russian Translation of 'Letters by Johannes Becker, Joseph Dietzgen, Frederick Engels, Karl Marx, and Others to Friedrich Sorge and Others'" in April of 1907 (LCW 12, pp. 359-78). Therein, Lenin quoted comments by Marx and Engels on various socialist movements, including their observations of the isolation of the American Socialist Labor Party from the working class movement. While the existence of the Preface in itself does not prove that Lenin was aware of De Leon in 1907, there can be no doubt that he was aware of the SLP at least by 1907. Also, judging from Lenin's correspondence about the SLP, Lenin was critical of the Party's program from at least 1916 onwards.

10 'In 1918 and subsequent years, Lenin devoted himself to a study of De Leon's works, recognizing ... in De Leon a Marxist of the highest order and without a peer' ...

   As reproduced in Appendix 3, the extant record of Lenin's writings about De Leon and the SLP show no indication that Lenin appreciated what De Leon wrote except for De Leon's pamphlet "Two Pages from Roman History", and his phrase "labour lieutenants of the capitalist class". At least that much is in the official record. On the other hand, much of what Lenin wrote about the SLP can easily be seen to be critical of SLP philosophy and practice. Here's the bad, the mixed, and the good, gathered from the volumes of Lenin's Collected Works. More context surrounding the following comments is given in Appendix 3.

First the negative entries:

   "What Marx and Engels criticise most sharply in British and American socialism is its isolation from the working-class movement... they have reduced Marxism to a dogma, to "rigid [starre] orthodoxy" ... they consider it "a credo and not a guide to action" ... they are incapable of adapting themselves to the theoretically helpless, but living and powerful mass working-class movement that is marching alongside them." 1907

   ... "Marx & Engels ... both condemn the sectarian character of the SLP" (1915)

   ... "the sectarianism of the Social-Democratic Federation and of the German-American Socialists in America reduces theory to "rigid orthodoxy" ... ((they want undeveloped workers to swallow the theory all at once))." (1916)

   "Will the Socialist Labour Party agree to publish, if we pay the costs? Are these people hopeless sectarians or not? ... Why don't they send us copies of their papers in the Internationale Sozialistische Kommission? (I saw some quite by chance.) Or are they maniacs with an idée fixe {fixed idea} about a special "economic" organisation of workers?" (1916)

   ... "the American SLP have thrown out the whole minimum programme." (1916)

   "It appears that the SLP is throwing out all its minimum programme" ... (1917)

   ... "Kollontai is afraid of anarcho-syndicalist tendencies in the SLP (N.Iv. {Bukharin}, she says, is not afraid of this). I have read in the SLP organ (The Weekly People) that they are throwing overboard their minimum programme" ... (1917)

   By 'minimum programme', Lenin meant 'reforms', whereas 'maximum programme' equalled 'revolution'. Here is Lenin's mixed entry:

   "And what of the Socialist Labour Party? After all, they are internationalists (even if there is something narrowly sectarian about them)." (1916)

Here are the positive entries:

   ... "the question of the programme and tactics of a new socialism, genuinely revolutionary Marxism and not rotten Kautskyanism, is on the agenda everywhere. This is clear both from the SLP and The Internationalist in America" ... (1917)

   "Definitely a more revolutionary programme and tactics (there are elements of it in K. Liebknecht, the SLP in America" ... (1917)

   "They, and they alone, are internationalists in deed. In the United States, the Socialist Labour Party and those within the opportunist Socialist Party who in January 1917 began publication of the paper, The Internationalist" ... (1917)

   ... "our Mensheviks are nothing but "agents of the bourgeoisie in the working-class movement" ... or "labour lieutenants of the capitalist class", to use the splendid and profoundly true expression of the followers of Daniel De Leon in America." (1920)

   "This stratum of workers-turned-bourgeois, or the labour aristocracy ... are the real agents of the bourgeoisie in the working-class movement, the labour lieutenants of the capitalist class, real vehicles of reformism and chauvinism." (1920)

   "I think we should publish in Russian De Leon's Two Pages, etc., with Fraina's foreword and notes." (1920)

   That's it for negative and positive comments on the SLP and De Leon in the works of Lenin. There were a few more neutral comments not worth the ink to repeat in the present context. The positive stuff doesn't look like much to write home about. If Lenin really had been an admirer of De Leon's concept of an 'industrial state', there should have been some hard documentation for it. Instead, there was rather hard criticism over the 'fixed idea' of an 'economic organization'.
   The few interviews with Arthur Ransome that reflected Lenin's actual intent well enough to be included in the
Collected Works were concerned with unrelated political and economic matters. Many references to Boris Reinstein were included in the Collected Works, but aside from an early 'suspect bird' reference, most references were to Julius and/or Armand Hammer.

11  "So impressed was Lenin with the works of De Leon that he tried to have them translated into Russian."

   As we have just seen from the records, the single work of De Leon that Lenin seems to have been interested in having translated was "Two Pages From Roman History", which I also found to be an interesting work for its comparisons of ancient situations to modern times.

12  "Arthur Ransome observes that Lenin had introduced a few phrases of De Leon into the draft for the new program of the Communist Party, as if [said Ransome] "to do honor to his memory.""

   If any phrases made it into the draft for the new program, were they edited out of the finished product? Once again, beyond "labour lieutenants of the capitalist class" making it into "'Left-Wing' Communism, an Infantile Disorder" and into the 1920 Preface to "Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism", which other phrases might they have been?

13  "It is obvious then that Lenin, after reading De Leon, had begun to modify his ideas especially as regards highly developed capitalist countries. We have every reason to assume that if Lenin had been spared another ten or twenty years, he would have come out in open and all but unqualified recognition of the correctness of De Leon's principles and tactics as applied to ultra capitalist countries."

   On the contrary, Lenin validated principles of proletarian political dictatorship and 'legal and illegal work' as much for 'ultra capitalist countries' as he did for Russia. Nor can I recall any instance of Lenin declaring that 'the principles and tactics of revolutionary class struggle vary a lot from one country to another.'
   A.P. could have made his allegation that '
Lenin was influenced by De Leon' a lot more convincing by documenting it with at least a scrap of direct evidence. It would have been interesting to see if Lenin endorsed the theory that 'middle-class-deficient America doesn't need a dictatorship of the proletariat over their non-existent middle classes', or a theory like 'political solutions are appropriate for backward countries like Russia, while economic solutions are appropriate for technologically advanced countries.' Lenin didn't endorse any of those theories, in spite of A.P. citing Lenin out of context to that very effect.
   A.P. found it easy to assert that '
If Lenin had lived longer, he would have become a De Leonist.' A.P. thus rehashed a similar sentimental trick that he played on us in his infamous Preface to "Socialism: From Utopia to Science", where A.P. wrote on p. XIV:

   'Had Engels lived another ten or twenty years ... he would undoubtedly have realized the deficiency in his analysis' ...

   Isn't it sad when the credibility of the SLP program depended on what real revolutionaries would have done, thought or realized, if only they had lived longer? What if Marx had lived another 50 years; would he have seen the deficiencies in A.P.'s analyses? And if Marx had lived another 117 years, would he have approved of my analyses? We could go on with this futile way of seeking validation for our ideas, but instead it is braver to allow ideas to stand on their own merits.

14  "Moreover, one must never forget that he had virtually a continent on his hands, a fact which should go a long way toward explaining his seeming acquiescence in some of the craziest stunts of the then Zinoviev-led Third International. Though this may be speculation, it is speculation that is fully justified by the facts and circumstances known to us."

   Here we are left to wonder, 'what were the crazy stunts of the Third International' to which Lenin allegedly acquiesced? Was A.P.'s 'speculation' over Lenin's 'seeming acquiescence' 'fully justified by the facts and circumstances'? Certainly, there are a lot of questions here that can only be answered by a close factual examination of the activities of the Third International at that time; but, without a single stated example of a 'crazy stunt', there doesn't seem to be much of a reason for delving into that history.

15  "HE {Lenin} HAD THEN BORROWED SOME OF DE LEON'S PAMPHLETS FROM REINSTEIN (who belongs [belonged] to the Party which De Leon founded in America), read them for the first time and was amazed to see how far and how early De Leon had pursued the same train of thought as the Russians."

   With all of the research that Lenin had done on working class parties around the world, why would he suddenly act like he had never read De Leon before, especially after having been critical of the SLP since 1907? And this strange quirk about 'Lenin having been amazed to see how far and how early De Leon had pursued the same train of thought as the Russians.' Which Russians were they? Bakunin? Kropotkin? Plechanov? Was this an inadvertent hint that Lenin had noticed that De Leon was carrying on in Russian anarchist traditions?

16  'Students of Socialist thought and history will do well to remember these facts, for they fully explain' ...

   Did A.P. lump all of his speculations in with his 'facts'? Let's look at some predictions, speculations and instances of something other than facts having been related in A.P.'s Foreword:

   'partial recognition, which is bound to increase' ...
   '
recognition of De Leon will be ... even more striking and universal' ...
   '
once the American working class begins to realize that it must take the road of revolution' ...
   '
when it begins to understand what means and methods must be employed' ...
   '
when it becomes thoroughly convinced' ...
   '
The case of Lenin ... must at times appear a puzzling one.'
   '
For it can be shown that Lenin at times has made statements ... which are ... contradicted' ...
   '
It is obvious then that Lenin ... had begun to modify his ideas' ...
   '
We have every reason to assume ... he would have come out in ... recognition of the correctness' ...
   '
explaining his seeming acquiescence' ...
   '
Though this may be speculation, it is speculation that is fully justified' ...
   '
It is reasonable then to assume' ...
   '
in fear no doubt of making himself unpopular' ...
   '
That this would have materially altered the course of events ... it would have resulted in a powerful Marxian movement ... no one can doubt.'
   ... '
this, too, is speculation and it would be fruitless to dwell upon it or to pursue it further.'
   '
The so-called labor movement ... will have to be deflected from that course and directed into channels' ...

   These 16 instances of predictions, assumptions, appearances, speculations, caveats, instructions, and outright lies formed much of the basis of A.P.'s social science. So far, there seem to have been very few facts in his Foreword. But, in spite of the lack of hard documentation presented so far, A.P. suggested that (p. 14) ...

17  ... 'these facts ... fully explain not only the seeming inconsistencies in Lenin's writings and speeches, but they also justify ... the conclusion that Lenin would have accepted all that is essential in "De Leonism," and ... would have urged, and undoubtedly caused, the acceptance of the De Leon principles by the crude movement then taking shape in the United States of America, and which now, in plain denial of Marxian principles, has developed into an Anarcho-Communist movement.'

   Now we learn that, if Lenin had lived longer, the American movement would have become De Leonist! Why not more Leninist? If Joe Schmoe had fought his way to the top of a pack of would-be leaders and had come to dominate, does anyone think he would do it in the name of someone else? Schmoe would want everyone to think like Schmoe! To think that Lenin could have caused the movement to adopt De Leonism, as though Lenin had the power to cause people to adopt whatever kind of ideology he wanted, and that they would blindly obey his instructions, stretched credulity past the breaking point. Dictatorial powers were insinuated on Lenin's character, but the powers were not to be used for his self-aggrandizement, but rather to aggrandize De Leon!
   A.P. seems to have taken a great liking to the term '
Anarcho-Communist', as he used it more than once. It seems to imply gratuitous violence combined with the domination of a centralized bureaucracy. The question is, whose party was A.P. describing?

18  'That this would have materially altered the course of events in America, that it would have resulted in a powerful Marxian movement based on all that is essential ... in the De Leon principles and tactics, no one can doubt. However, this, too, is speculation and it would be fruitless to dwell upon it or to pursue it further.'

   In the past two excerpts, A.P. speculated that 'Due to Lenin's premature demise, Anarcho-Communism developed in the USA instead of Marxism-De Leonism.' What a pleasant epitaph for De Leonism, R.I.P. De Leonism was too weak to stand on its own, and, failing to win support from Lenin, it went on to obscurity, forcing charlatans to create fictional accounts of its history in vain attempts to breathe life into its rotting corpse.

19  'The so-called labor movement had taken a certain course, and hard as the work may be on the scientific Marxists of America, that movement will have to be deflected from that course and directed into channels that run parallel with the social and economic trend of present-day Industrial America.'

   In an insidious passage, A.P. admitted that the mission of the SLP was to deflect the labor movement off of its course, which, in 1931, was that of 'sharing work equitably among all workers by means of reducing hours of labor.' The reason why 'the work of deflecting the labor movement may be difficult' was not mentioned, but, considering the bankruptcy of the SIU program and the correctness of the popular work-sharing movement, the difficulty may then be explained by the necessity of members to distribute many more millions of leaflets to workers, a chore that was not very much appreciated. It would have been so much simpler if the SIU program had some intrinsic value whose merits could have been spread by the grapevine.
   That being the end of A.P.'s
Foreword, we can proceed to Part I of his pamphlet "Proletarian Democracy vs. Dictatorships and Despotism":

"I
p. 15:

"DE LEONISM-

TWENTIETH CENTURY MARXISM.

   Skipping over A.P.'s introductory paragraph of no consequence, we arrive at: (p. 16):

p. 16:

"Marxism a Science.

   "Marxism, or Socialism if you like, is a science - it is the social science. The hall-mark of any science is its capacity, and willingness (on the part of the scientist), to reject conclusions previously formed when subsequently ascertained facts and later experiences make that necessary. {1} Likewise, to add to itself such new elements as new facts and more ripe experience make possible. {2} It has been the custom to conceive of Marxism as a product finished at the hands of the master. {3} In a certain sense this is true. Quantitatively Marxism has been added to since the days of Marx. By that I mean that expository works have been written, works applying the science of Marxism to particular events and special circumstances, but which in themselves did not constitute creative work in the science, important though they may have been. The point may be reached, however, where quantity is transmuted into quality. It is at such a point that the science becomes enlarged. {4} But let us not deceive ourselves; not every "innovation" in the field is necessarily an addition to the science of Marxism. To prove itself an addition it must (1) be a logical and harmonious extension of the fundamental principle; it must form (2) an integral part of the science - that is, once discovered, it must ever after render the science incomplete, in fact, untenable, for the absence of it; {5} and, (3) it must fill a need which theretofore, vaguely or otherwise, had been felt, and which those engaged in the Marxian movement had struggled to overcome, without deserting the central principle of Marxism. {6} The one man, and the only one, who has added qualitatively to the science of Marxism, is the American scholar, student and proletarian organizer, Daniel De Leon. {7} Since in the course of my talk this afternoon I shall have occasion to refer repeatedly to the great Russian Marxist, Nicolai Lenin, it would seem proper at this time to mention the fact that of all the reputedly great Marxists of the last thirty or forty years, he was the only one to recognize the genius of De Leon and the importance of his achievements. John Reed (who now lies buried under the Kremlin Wall), appearing before the National Executive Committee of the Socialist Labor Party in 1918, reported that:

   ""Premier Lenin is a great admirer of Daniel De Leon, considering him the greatest of modern Socialists - the only one who has added anything to Socialist thought since Marx. It is Lenin's opinion [continued Reed] that the Industrial 'State' as conceived by De Leon will ultimately have to be the form of government in Russia." {8}

   "This is the clearest and most definite of the numerous utterances by Lenin on De Leon's greatness and his contribution to Marxism. {9} In direct line with Reed's statement is the report of the then New York World correspondent, Arno Dosch-Fleurot, who wired his paper that: {10}

   ""Daniel De Leon, late head of the Socialist Labor Party in America, is playing, through his writings, an important part in the construction of a Socialist state in Russia. The Bolshevik leaders are finding his ideas of an industrial state in advance of Karl Marx's theories." {11}

   "It has been said that it requires genius to recognize genius. That is not quite true, for after all, if it were true, there would be quite a few geniuses in this world. To the understanding Marxist, however, it is cause for gratitude that a man of the stature of Lenin should have seen so clearly the important contribution which De Leon made to Socialist thought." {12}

   In this chapter, A.P. informed us that 'Marxism is indeed a social science', and that 'new discoveries require the reassessment of what previously passed as state-of-the-art knowledge.' A.P. enumerated some standards by which new scientific developments may replace the old science that becomes obsolete, De Leon was praised for his scientific acumen, and Lenin was once again trotted out to sing De Leon's praises. Let us examine a few of these points one by one:

1  "The hall-mark of any science is its capacity, and willingness (on the part of the scientist), to reject conclusions previously formed when subsequently ascertained facts and later experiences make that necessary."

   This is not a bad assessment on A.P.'s part, and it pretty much agrees with what Engels wrote about science in his October 1890 letter to Schmidt (MESW III, p. 492):

   ... "The history of science is the history of the gradual clearing away of this nonsense or rather of its replacement by fresh but always less absurd nonsense." ...

2  "Likewise, to add to itself such new elements as new facts and more ripe experience make possible."

   This also cannot be contested. But, what 'new facts and experiences' allowed the SLP to replace the 'proletarian dictatorship over the bourgeoisie' with a 'proletarian dictatorship over the peasantry'? (Unless it was Stalin's example of harsh treatment of kulaks (rich peasants)). Which 'new facts and experiences' allowed the SLP to advocate replacing the capitalist state with an administration of things, but without a transition period of proletarian dictatorship?

3  "It has been the custom to conceive of Marxism as a product finished at the hands of the master."

   Marx's theories were based upon what he saw going on in the world that he knew. In this post-1889 era of rejection of state ownership models, as in Russia and the old Warsaw Pact nations, new government machinery has already replaced the old semi-Marxist models. The only thing truly Marxist about them was the state ownership part, which is being replaced by capitalist privatization.

4  ... 'expository works have been written ... but which in themselves did not constitute creative work ... The point may be reached, however, where quantity is transmuted into quality. It is at such a point that the science becomes enlarged.'

   After disinforming us that the mountain of material produced since Marx did not constitute creative work, A.P. went on to throw doubt on his own assertion by implying that the sum of those increments of 'non-creative work' actually amounted to an enlargement of Marxian science, as though nothing plus nothing plus nothing ad infinitum equals something. Maybe the addition of a large enough number of zeros does yield a tangible sum after all.

5  'To prove itself an addition it must be (1) a logical and harmonious extension of the fundamental principle; it must form (2) an integral part of the science - that is, once discovered, it must ever after render the science incomplete, in fact, untenable, for the absence of it' ...

   Thanks to A.P., we now have yardsticks by which to measure the Marxist quality of his theories, such as his 'dictatorship of the proletariat over the middle classes', 'the wielding of the capitalist state by the proletariat', and the 'three-fold obstacle to immediate and complete proletarian success'. As an exercise, I'll leave it to readers to determine how well A.P.'s theories measured up to his rules 1 and 2.

6  ... '(3) it must fill a need which theretofore, vaguely or otherwise, had been felt, and which those engaged in the Marxian movement had struggled to overcome, without deserting the central principle of Marxism.'

   Whether or not A.P.'s theories fulfilled the standards of the first two rules or not, they certainly filled the anarchists' need to discourage workers from using available political tools. On page 40 of "PD vs. D+D", A.P. defined the central principle as the: 'emancipation of the working class, i.e., the victory of the proletariat', which is perfectly consistent with Marxism.

7  'The one man ... who has added qualitatively to the science of Marxism, is ... Daniel De Leon.'

   Has there always been competition among Marxists to see who would be the first to be recognized as adding to Marxism? Until it is disproven that all that De Leon did to Marxism was to muddle it, A.P.'s statement will remain a lie. After putting so much garbage in the mouths of the founders of socialism, A.P. assured us that De Leon lived up to the same exacting standard of garbage as well. One of the aims of this book is to show that De Leon was as guilty of crimes against consciousness as A.P.
   A.P. then supposedly quoted Lenin:

8  ... "the Industrial 'State' as conceived by De Leon will ultimately have to be the form of government in Russia."

   As anyone in the SLP will attest, "Industrial State" is a contradiction in terms, for the 'Industrial Union government', by definition, is a classless, stateless administration of things. An 'industrial state' interpretation of De Leon's ideas was a perfect reflection of likewise muddled and impossible ideas.

9  'This is the clearest and most definite of the numerous utterances by Lenin on De Leon's greatness and his contribution to Marxism.'

   If so, then I should have been able to find some evidence of truth to that claim in one of the 45 Volumes of Lenin's Collected Works, but there is nothing that comes even close to praise for any of De Leon's political and economic theories. And besides, where is the proof that it actually was an 'utterance' of Lenin? Such praise would have been worthy of a proclamation, rather than a mere 'utterance', which word has for an obsolete meaning: 'the sale or disposal (as of goods or commodities) to the public'. But, socialists would never sell us a bill of goods, would they? Ha.

10  ... 'Arno Dosch-Fleurot, who wired his paper that:' ...

   Under circumstances favorable to his cause, A.P. was capable of quoting exactly, and his quote appears to be an exact replica of what I saw in the microfilm of the New York World of January 31, 1918. But, neither of the two concluding paragraphs that praised De Leon seemed to have any relation to the main content of the article entitled "Worst of Famines Impends in Russia". It was also interesting that the 1887 editor of the Workmen's Advocate accused Joseph Pulitzer of the World of being a 'purchasable editor' (See Appendix 2). But, even if the testimony was unsolicited, the total of it contains a strong hint that the Soviet plan for industrial organization had already been discovered without De Leon's help, even alongside the part about De Leon supposedly having affected European thought.

11  'The Bolshevik leaders are finding his ideas of an industrial state in advance of Karl Marx's theories.'

   Could the Bolshevik leaders have been able to understand De Leon's theories and still formulate as self-contradictory a phrase as 'industrial state'? 'Industrial' implies classless and stateless society, while 'state' implies political oppression. The mere formulation of such an oxymoron implied a fundamental lack of understanding of Industrial Unionism.

12  "It has been said that it requires genius to recognize genius. That is not quite true, for after all, if it were true, there would be quite a few geniuses in this world. To the understanding Marxist, however, it is cause for gratitude that a man of the stature of Lenin should have seen so clearly the important contribution which De Leon made to Socialist thought."

   Poking fun at genii, A.P. wrote a joke which depended on his perception, accurate or not, that some people who claimed the status of genius for themselves or others may not have deserved such status. A.P. implied that 'genius' #1 in the first sentence represented Lenin, while 'genius' #2 was De Leon, and that people shouldn't mistake Lenin for being a genius for his alleged recognition of De Leon's alleged genius.
   If it takes a genius to recognize a genius, then the only recognition that the genii would receive would be from each other, so - limited recognition. But, if
it doesn't take a genius to recognize a genius, then the number of genii would remain as unchanged as if only a genius could recognize another genius, but a lot more people would be able to recognize them as genii. So, if it's recognition as a genius that one values, then being a genius would have limited value if only the genii could recognize one other.
   If A.P.'s statement had not been a joke, then it was at least a bit of a paradox, for the '
genii' of the second sentence were not really meant to be genii at all, but rather only functional enough to recognize genius in others. A.P. praised Lenin's 'genius' only to the extent that quotes or misquotes of Lenin could be used to glorify De Leon.
   The only statement about genius that I have not forgotten is: "
The essence of genius is the search for the truth." And searching for truth is something that any person can do.
   In A.P.'s next chapter, he finally wrote something that made sense, and in my early
Party involvement there was enough sense in what I saw in the SLP to attract me to it. A.P. continued (pp. 18-20):

p. 18:

"Marxian Fundamentals.

   "In order properly to estimate the importance of De Leon's contribution to Marxian science it becomes necessary here to review briefly the essence of Marxism as it was formulated by Marx with the aid of his co-worker, Frederick Engels.
   "
First, The Extraction of Surplus Value. Marxism demonstrates that under capitalism the worker, as the sole producer of social wealth, is robbed of the major portion of the product of his labor. The social means of production (themselves representing past and accumulated labor) being privately owned, and the worker possessing nothing but his labor power, that is, his ability to perform some useful productive function, he is compelled to sell that labor power to the private owner of the means of production. That which he receives in the form of wages is, normally, equivalent to the value of his labor power. If it takes one and a half hours to produce his own value, i.e., sufficient food, shelter and clothing, etc., for one day, and if the working day is nine hours, it follows that the value produced in excess of the value of his own labor power would constitute five-sixths of the total produced by him. Or, to put it in another way, in order to be allowed to work for the capitalist owner of the tools, he must produce six times his own value. Or, finally, he receives but one-sixth of the wealth produced by him. The five-sixths goes to the capitalist class and is called surplus value. The surplus value (taking the sum total produced by the working class) is divided into interest, profit, rent, and once appropriated by the capitalist class it is expended in reinvestment, in riotous living, graft, taxes, etc., etc. Apart from the extraction of surplus value, the important points to be noted in this connection are the fact of the working class reproducing itself as such, the permanent existence of wage labor being an indispensable condition for the maintenance of capitalism; the concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands; the impelling need of disposing of the surplus products in foreign markets, the home market (in the given circumstances) being unable to absorb them, with the consequent elimination of these foreign markets in the measure that they in turn develop as capitalist commodity-producing nations."

   This wasn't a bad explanation of the basic mechanism of the extraction of surplus value, a fundamental feature of capitalism. Many years ago, a casual aquaintance quoted leftist scuttlebutt to the effect that: 'If a radical would like to learn about capitalist economics, then go to the SLP; but, to learn about politics, go to some other party.' At the time, however, I had no idea of what implications that statement could have included.
   In Engels' 1892 "
Preface to the English Edition" of "The Condition of the Working Class in England", Engels described the basic economic process of capitalist exploitation in his own words (Progress Publishers, 1973, pp. 27-8):

   ... "And thus it renders more and more evident the great central fact that the cause of the miserable condition of the working class is to be sought, not in these minor grievances {petty thefts upon the workpeople}, but in the capitalistic system itself. The wage-worker sells to the capitalist his labour-force for a certain daily sum. After a few hours' work he has reproduced the value of that sum; but the substance of his contract is, that he has to work another series of hours to complete his working-day; and the value he produces during these additional hours of surplus labour is surplus value, which costs the capitalist nothing, but yet goes into his pocket. That is the basis of the system which tends more and more to split up civilised society into a few Rothschilds and Vanderbilts, the owners of all the means of production and subsistence, on the one hand, and an immense number of wage-workers, the owners of nothing but their labour-force, on the other. And that this result is caused, not by this or that secondary grievance, but by the system itself - this fact has been brought out in bold relief by the development of Capitalism in England since 1847."

   In a letter to Sombart in March of 1895, Engels wrote that the the value of commodities in modern capitalist society was considerably more more difficult to determine than in previous history (MESC, p. 456):

   "When commodity exchange began, when products gradually turned into commodities, they were exchanged approximately according to their value. It was the amount of labour expended on two objects which provided the only standard for their quantitative comparison. Thus value had a direct and real existence at that time. We know that this direct realisation of value in exchange ceased and that now it no longer happens. And I believe that it won't be particularly difficult for you to trace the intermediate links, at least in general outline, that lead from directly real value to the value of the capitalist mode of production, which is so thoroughly hidden that our economists can calmly deny its existence. A genuinely historical exposition of these processes, which does of course require thorough research but in return promises amply rewarding results, would be a very valuable supplement to {Karl Marx's} Kapital."

   According to a Progress Publishers Note, Engels' Supplement to the Third Volume of Capital explored that very topic. Complications included the increasing use of machinery at the various stages in production from raw materials to final product, the replacement of barter by money as a medium of exchange, the intervention by merchants into the process of production, and inequalities of rates of profit at various stages of productive capacity, to name a few.
   Auto repair is one part of the service industry in which the rate of exploitation can sometimes easily be determined. After leaving the
SLP in 1977, I worked for a small auto repair shop for nearly two years. At the end of that job, my nominal pay had moved up to $7.50 per hour, whereas the shop's labor rate was $25.00 per hour. A typical hour of my labor netted me around $5.25 after taxes and deductions, while, provided I didn't mess up the jobs too badly, the owner took home $17.50, minus a few dollars worth of expenses such as taxes, insurance, uniform cleaning, depreciation, etc. Thus, for every dollar that I took home, the owner took home two to three times as much as I did - not on the labor that he did, but on the labor that I did. And that didn't count the profit on the parts that I installed, which was no trivial amount.
   In "
Socialism: From Utopia to Science", Engels thought that exploitation of labor would end sometime after the revolution (MESW III, pp. 149-50):

   "The possibility of securing for every member of society, by means of socialised production, an existence not only fully sufficient materially, and becoming day by day more full, but an existence guaranteeing to all the free development and exercise of their physical and mental faculties - this possibility is now for the first time here, but it is here.
   "
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."

   According to Engels, the way to overcome exploitation was by taking away the property of the rich, and to put it all in the hands of a worker's state. But, for Engels, expropriation was merely the means to the greater end of 'full participation in the economy', as explained in his 1877 short biography entitled "Karl Marx" (MESW 3, pp. 85-6):

   ... "that historical leadership has passed to the proletariat, a class which, owing to its whole position in society, can only free itself by abolishing altogether all class rule, all servitude and all exploitation; and that the social productive forces, which have outgrown the control of the bourgeoisie, are only waiting for the associated proletariat to take possession of them in order to bring about a state of things in which every member of society will be enabled to participate not only in production but also in the distribution and administration of social wealth, and which so increases the social productive forces and their yield by planned operation of the whole of production that the satisfaction of all reasonable needs will be assured to everyone in an ever-increasing measure."

   Nowadays, this higher motivation behind socialism seems completely forgotten. When confronted with this quote, activists usually either deny it completely, or else have nothing to say, which in itself is a sad commentary on the current condition of activism.

   A.P. continued with some more useful information (pp. 19-20):

   "Second, The Materialist Conception of History (and the Class Struggle), which reduces itself to the proposition that "in every historical epoch, the prevailing mode of economic production and exchange, and the social organization necessarily following from it, form the basis upon which is built up, and from which alone can be explained, the political and intellectual history of that epoch; that consequently the whole history of mankind (since the dissolution of primitive tribal society, holding land in common ownership) has been a history of class struggles, contests between exploiting and exploited, ruling and oppressed classes; that the history of these class struggles forms a series of evolution in which, nowadays, a stage has been reached where the exploited and oppressed class - the proletariat - cannot attain its emancipation from the sway of the exploiting and ruling class - the bourgeoisie - without, at the same time, and once for all, emancipating society at large from all exploitation, oppression, class distinctions and class struggles.""

   Back in my first study class, so taken was I by that passage, an exact replica of which appears in Engels' "Preface to the 1888 English edition of the Manifesto of the Communist Party" (MECW 26.517), that I couldn't stop myself from memorizing it. A decade previous, back in my college days, ordinary treatments of economics and history were so dreadful that they were the only subjects that I ever came close to flunking or actually flunked. They seemed such a mass of unconnected names, dates, and events to be memorized, that my eyes glazed over. I had been running out of motivation in college anyway, and the least tasteful subjects were the ones whose study I abandoned first. I never thought for as long as I lived that I would ever again find those subjects interesting, but Marx's treatments of history surprised me by changing my attitude.
   In his August 1890 letter to Schmidt, Engels complained about
some writers turning 'the materialist conception of history' into a mere phrase (MESC, pp. 393-4):

   ... "The materialist conception of history has a lot of dangerous friends nowadays, who use it as an excuse for not studying history. Just as Marx, commenting on the French "Marxists" of the late seventies used to say: "All I know is that I am not a Marxist."" ...
   "
In general, the word "materialist" serves many of the younger writers in Germany as a mere phrase with which anything and everything is labeled without further study, that is, they stick on this label and then consider the question disposed of. But our conception of history is above all a guide to study, not a lever for construction after the Hegelian manner. All history must be studied afresh, the conditions of existence of the different formations of society must be examined in detail before the attempt is made to deduce from them the political, civil-law, aesthetic, philosophic, religious, etc., views corresponding to them. Up to now very little has been done in this respect because only a few people have got down to it seriously. We need a great deal of help in this field, for it is immensely big, and anyone who will work seriously can achieve much and distinguish himself. But instead of this too many of the younger Germans simply make use of the phrase historical materialism (and everything can be turned into a phrase) only in order to get their own relatively scanty historical knowledge - for economic history is still in its swaddling clothes! - constructed into a neat system as quickly as possible, and they then fancy that they have achieved something tremendous.
   "
The self-conceit of the journalist must therefore accomplish everything and the result looks like it. It often seems as if these gentlemen think anything is good enough for the workers. If these gentlemen only knew that Marx thought his best things were still not good enough for the workers, and that he considered it a crime to offer the workers anything but the very best!" ...

   A.P. continued (p. 20):

   "Third, The Emancipation of the Working Class. Here, in the language of Marx and Engels, it is postulated that "the emancipation of the working class must be the act of the working class itself," by which is meant that only through classconscious efforts of the working class, expended through independent working class organizations, political and economic, will the working class be able to free itself from the fetters of wage slavery."

   Though Marx and Engels certainly favored independent economic and political movements for workers, their independence was supposed to be from bourgeois parties and movements, but not from one another, though, in this particular instance, it wasn't made clear as to which kind of independence A.P. alluded. In the present excerpt, A.P. chose to stress the organization of the working class into economic movements, and no particular argument in favor of their separation from political movements was put forth. But, in our upcoming analysis of the Hamann quote, A.P. made it abundantly clear that he intended for working class political and economic movements to be separate from one another, and other material indicates that both politics and the state were considered 'realms of bourgeois activities', and were not fit for workers to bother themselves with, except to abolish. In the next chapter of A.P.'s pamphlet, the sentence beginning with 'Independent political action' laudably seems to have implied independence from bourgeois influence (pp. 20-21):

p. 20:

"Tactical Questions.


   "These were the Marxian principles which De Leon accepted when he commenced to take an active part in the Socialist and labor movement in this country. With his keen, analytical mind, he applied these principles to the conditions at hand, and accepted the full logic of the premises. But in doing so he ran foul of all the furies that are released under private property systems, and particularly the capitalist system, when one begins to act contrary to the life principle of such systems. Successively he struggled with the difficulties encountered, providing for the shortcomings in the movement as they were revealed to him. It would take us too far afield to go into these this afternoon. Besides, important as were these tactical questions they were still merely incidental to the main question which was looming up before De Leon's searching mind, the question of the instrumentality through which the working class might successfully effect its emancipation, and consolidate into permanent social institutions the fruits of the revolutionary struggle. The struggles involved in the important tactical questions that De Leon had to deal with were indeed essential to the unfolding of his genius, for subsidiary as were these questions to that one question of superior importance, the road to that question inescapably led through each and every one of them. Independent political action - the cutting of the bourgeois navel string that bound the working class to the old order - was essential. Party ownership of the press was essential, for, no press, no party, and a privately owned press meant a privately owned party, which, of course, meant no party at all."

   Engels wrote a little about party tactics and party independence in his September 1892 letter to Kautsky (MESC, p. 422):

   ... "In our tactics one thing is firmly established for all modern countries and times: to convince the workers of the necessity of forming their own independent party, opposed to all bourgeois parties." ...

   In a December 1889 draft of a letter to Gerson Trier, Engels wrote about the independence of the workers' party from the bourgeoisie, and about collaboration with other parties (MESC, pp. 386-7):

   "You reject on principle any and every collaboration, even the most transient, with other parties. I am enough of a revolutionary not to renounce even this means if in the given circumstances it is more advantageous or at least less harmful. ...
   "
We are agreed on this: that the proletariat cannot conquer political power, the only door to the new society, without violent revolution. For the proletariat to be strong enough to win on the decisive day it must - and Marx and I have advocated this ever since 1847 - form a separate party distinct from all others and opposed to them, a conscious class party.
   "
But that does not mean that this party cannot at certain moments use other parties for its purposes. Nor does this mean that it cannot temporarily support the measures of other parties if these measures either are directly advantageous to the proletariat or progressive as regards economic development or political freedom. I would support anyone waging a real struggle in Germany for the abolition of primogeniture {the exclusive right of the eldest son to inherit property} and other feudal survivals, the bureaucracy, protective tariffs, the Anti-Socialist Law, and restrictions on the right of assembly and of association. If our German Progressive Party or your Danish Venstre were real radical-bourgeois parties and did not simply consist of wretched windbags who take to the bushes at the first threat of a Bismarck or Estrup, I would by no means be unconditionally opposed to any and every temporary collaboration with them for definite purposes. It is also collaboration when our deputies cast their votes for a proposal which was submitted by another party - and they have to do that often enough. But I am for this only if the advantage to us is direct or if the historical development of the country in the direction of the economic and political revolution is indisputable and worth while; and provided that the proletarian class character of the Party is not jeopardised thereby. For me this is the absolute limit. You can find this policy set forth as early as 1847 in the Communist Manifesto; we pursued it in 1848, in the International, everywhere. ...

   From the German edition of the Collected Works, the next paragraphs in the same letter went on to state (MEW 37, p. 327):

   ... "Aside from the question of morality - this is not the point here, so I leave it aside - I, as a revolutionary, approve of any means that lead to success, the most violent but also the apparently most peaceful ones.
   "
Such a policy demands insight and character, but which other policy doesn't? It exposes us to the danger of corruption, the anarchists and friend Morrison say. Yes, if the working class is a bunch of idiots and weaklings and easily corruptible blackguards we better close up shop right away, then the proletariat and we all have no business in the political arena. The proletariat, like all other parties, becomes smart most likely through the consequences of its own mistakes; nobody can quite save them from these mistakes.
   "
In my opinion, therefore, you are wrong if you raise a primarily purely tactical question to a matter of principle. And for me this is fundamentally only a tactical question. But a tactical mistake can under certain circumstances also end in a break of principle.
   "
And there you have proceeded correctly, as far as I can judge, against the tactic of the Hovedbestyrelsen {Supervising Committee}. For years the Danish Left has played an unworthy opposition comedy and never tires to state to the world, again and again, its own powerlessness. It has long since passed up the opportunity to chastise the violation of the constitution with weapon in hand - if that opportunity ever existed - and it seems that a growing number of these Leftists are longing for reconciliation with Estrup. With such a party, it seems to me, a real proletarian party can under no circumstances associate without losing, in the long run, its own class character as a Labor Party. Therefore, as far as you, in contrast to these politics, emphasize the class character of the movement, I can only agree with you."

   A historical note regarding 'Party ownership of the press': As part of the big move to Palo Alto in 1974, the SLP sold off its heavy old printing press machinery and equipment that had been used in New York, so it newly contracted with West Coast professionals for printing new editions of the People, Party leaflets, pamphlets, NEC reports, etc. In spite of an obvious violation of what had once seemed like a Party principle, printing SLP literature outside of Party premises lost its old importance. Back in the days before cheap and accurate publishing, when not all groups could own their own press, or otherwise could not exercise full control over what was published, annoying mistakes often found their way into print, and many views were misrepresented, as the 1860's experiences of the First International with the "Beehive" and other periodicals demonstrated. Thanks to advances in technology, word processing, desktop publishing, etc., imparting ideas accurately is a lot less of a problem for various groups today.

Taxes!

   A.P. continued (p. 21):

   "The question of taxation was important. To expose the absurdity of the claim that the working class was paying the taxes was to render the movement immune to the reform snares of the petty bourgeoisie. If the working class could be convinced that it was a tax-paying class, it could be shown to have interests in common with the capitalist class. "Taxes!" exclaims Frederick Engels. "A matter, to the bourgeoisie of deep, to the workingmen, however, of very slight concern. That which the workingmen pay in taxes goes, in the long run, into the value of labor power, and, accordingly, must be borne by the capitalists.""

   That the working and capitalist classes have long had interests in common might have come as a surprise to A.P., who might have forgotten that both classes wanted to replace feudal monarchies with democracies, which shows that they have had at least some political interests in common.
   In his 1875 "
Critique of the Gotha Program", Marx defined taxes (MESW III, p. 27):

   "Taxes are the economic basis of the government machinery and of nothing else."

   A.P. took Engels' quote about taxes from near the end of Part One of "The Housing Question", and essentially conveyed its message intact. In his book, Engels had engaged in a vigorous refutation of the writings of the Proudhonist Mülberger. "Taxes!" was a part of a diatribe which included "Credit!", "State debts!", and "Private debts!". Engels' explained (MESW II, p. 323):

   "All these things which are held up to us here as highly important questions for the working class are in reality of essential interest only to the bourgeois, and still more so to the petty-bourgeois; and, despite Proudhon, we maintain that the working class is not called upon to safeguard the interests of these classes."

   Was Engels' little blurb the final word on taxes according to Marx, Lenin, and even Engels himself? A closer look at their writings will reveal a deeper perspective. All three looked upon heavy taxation for the lower classes as unjust, and fought for their right to be free of them. Marx wrote leaflets and articles to encourage the oppressed to boycott support of the German monarchy during the revolutions of 1848. A series of short articles appeared in the "Neue Rheinische Zeitung", which included the following text (from "Karl Marx on Revolution", Edited by Saul K. Padover, McGraw-Hill, 1971, pp. 452-5):

"We Refuse to Pay Taxes
{excerpt, p. 452}

   "There is only one way to defeat the monarchy ...
   
"The monarchy not only defies the nation, it defies the citizens.
   
"Let us, therefore, defeat it in a citizen's way.
   
"And how does one defeat the monarchy in a citizen's way?
   
"By starving it out.
   
"And how does one starve it out?
   
"By refusing to pay taxes."

"The Ministry Under Indictment
{excerpt, pp. 453-4}

   "A hunger cure would teach these officials the power of the citizens and make them good citizens themselves.
   "
Starve the enemy and refuse to pay taxes! Nothing is more foolish than to provide a high-treason government with the means for a fight against the nation, and the means of all means is - money."

"No More Taxes!
{excerpt, p. 455}

   "The National Assembly was once again driven out of the Kollnische {Cologne} City Hall by armed force. It then moved to the Mielenz Hotel, where in the end, with 226 votes, it unanimously adopted the following resolution on tax avoidance:
   "
"THE BRANDENBURG MINISTRY IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO DISPOSE OF GOVERNMENT MONEYS OR TO COLLECT TAXES, SO LONG AS THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY IN BERLIN CANNOT CONTINUE ITS SESSIONS FREELY.
   "
"THIS DECISION GOES INTO EFFECT ON NOVEMBER 17.
                           "
"THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF NOVEMBER 15."
   "
FROM THIS DAY ON, ALL TAXES ARE THEREFORE SUSPENDED! ! ! TAXPAYING IS HIGH TREASON, TAX AVOIDANCE IS THE FIRST DUTY OF THE CITIZEN!"

   In "The Class Struggles in France", Marx exposed the detrimental effects of high taxes on the lives of the peasants (MESW I, pp. 276-7):

   "The condition of the French peasants, when the republic had added new burdens to their old ones, is comprehensible. It can be seen that their exploitation differs only in form from the exploitation of the industrial proletariat. The exploiter is the same: capital. The individual capitalists exploit the individual peasants through mortgages and usury; the capitalist class exploits the peasant class through the state taxes. The peasant's title to property is the talisman by which capital held him hitherto under its spell, the pretext under which it set him against the industrial proletariat. Only the fall of capital can raise the peasant; only an anti-capitalist, a proletarian government can break his economic misery, his social degradation. The constituent republic is the dictatorship of his united exploiters; the social-democratic, the Red republic, is the dictatorship of his allies."

   In his 1852 "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte", Marx wrote of the relation of heavy taxes to the executive branch of government (MESW I, p. 482):

   ... "Besides the mortgage which capital imposes on it, the small holding is burdened by taxes. Taxes are the source of life for the bureaucracy, the army, the priests and the court, in short, for the whole apparatus of the executive power. Strong government and heavy taxes are identical."

   In his 1866 "Instructions for Delegates of the Provisional General Council" of the First International Workingmen's Association, Marx wrote what seems to have been some principles of working-class policy towards taxes (MESW II, pp. 83-4):

   "7. Direct and Indirect Taxation

   "(a) No modification of the form of taxation can produce any important change in the relations of labour and capital.
   "
(b) Nevertheless, having to choose between two systems of taxation, we recommend the total abolition of indirect taxes, and the general substitution of direct taxes.
   "
Because indirect taxes enhance the prices of commodities, the tradesmen adding to those prices not only the amount of the indirect taxes, but the interest and profit upon the capital advanced in their payment;
   "
Because indirect taxes conceal from an individual what he is paying to the state, whereas a direct tax is undisguised, unsophisticated, and not to be misunderstood by the meanest capacity. Direct taxation prompts therefore every individual to control the governing powers while indirect taxation destroys all tendency to self-government."

   Indirect taxes are taxes like sales taxes, value-added taxes, excise taxes, and other taxes on commodities. Direct taxes, on the other hand, are taxes on income, property, gifts, inheritance, etc. On the relations between the national debt, taxes, and the expropriation of the lower classes, Marx wrote in Part VIII of "Capital" (MESW II, p. 138):

   ... "As the national debt finds its support in the public revenue, which must cover the yearly payments for interest, &c., the modern system of taxation was the necessary complement of the system of national loans. The loans enable the government to meet extraordinary expenses, without the taxpayers feeling it immediately, but they necessitate, as a consequence, increased taxes. On the other hand, the raising of taxation caused by the accumulation of debts contracted one after another, compels the government always to have recourse to new loans for new extraordinary expenses. Modern fiscality, whose pivot is formed by taxes on the most necessary means of subsistence (thereby increasing their price), thus contains within itself the germ of automatic progression. Over-taxation is not an incident, but rather a principle. In Holland, therefore, where this system was first inaugurated, the great patriot De Witt, has in his "Maxims" extolled it as the best system for making the wage-labourer submissive, frugal, industrious, and overburdened with labour. The destructive influence that it exercises on the condition of the wage-labourer concerns us less however, here, than the forcible expropriation, resulting from it, of peasants, artisans, and in a word, all elements of the lower middle class. On this there are not two opinions, even among the bourgeois economists. Its expropriating efficacy is still further heightened by the system of protection, which forms one of its integral parts.
   "
The great part that the public debt, and the fiscal system corresponding with it, has played in the capitalisation of wealth and the expropriation of the masses, has led many writers, like Cobbett, Doubleday and others, to seek in this, incorrectly, the fundamental cause of the misery of the modern peoples." ...

   In his 1884 "
Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State", Engels contrasted a more modern system of taxation with the absence of taxation in gentile society (MESW III, pp. 327-8):

   "This public power exists in every state; it consists not merely of armed men but also of material adjuncts, prisons and institutions of coercion of all kinds, of which gentile [clan] society knew nothing. It may be very insignificant, almost infinitesimal, in societies where class antagonisms are still undeveloped and in out-of-the-way places as was the case at certain times and in certain regions in the United States of America. It [the public power] grows stronger, however, in proportion as class antagonisms within the state become more acute, and as adjacent states become larger and more populous. We have only to look at our present-day Europe, where class struggle and rivalry in conquest have tuned up the public power to such a pitch that it threatens to swallow the whole of society and even the state.
   "
In order to maintain this public power, contributions from the citizens become necessary - taxes. These were absolutely unknown in gentile society; but we know enough about them today. As civilization advances, these taxes become inadequate; the state makes drafts on the future, contracts loans, public debts. Old Europe can tell a tale about these, too.
   "
Having public power and the right to levy taxes, the officials now stand, as organs of society, above society. The free, voluntary respect that was accorded to the organs of the gentile [clan] constitution does not satisfy them, even if they could gain it; being the vehicles of a power that is becoming alien to society, respect for them must be enforced by means of exceptional laws by virtue of which they enjoy special sanctity and inviolability. The shabbiest police servant in the civilised state has more "authority" than all the organs of gentile society put together; but the most powerful prince and the greatest statesman, or general, of civilisation may well envy the humblest gentile chief for the unstrained and undisputed respect that is paid to him."

   The destructive effects of taxes on the lower classes were also well known to Lenin, who suggested in his 1916 article "Tasks of the Left Zimmerwaldists in the Swiss Social-Democratic Party" that demands for high rates for the rich and exemption for the lower classes be incorporated into party platforms (LCW 23, pp. 140-1):

   "11. Social-Democrats must propagate as widely as possible among the masses the urgent necessity of introducing a uniform federal property and income tax, with high and progressive scales ...
   "
12. Social-Democrats must ruthlessly combat the bourgeois lie, spread also by many opportunists in the Social-Democratic Party, that it is "impractical" to advocate revolutionary-high rates of property and income taxation. ...
   "
The larger the section of people we convince of the justice of revolutionary-high taxation rates and of the need to fight to secure such rates, the sooner will the bourgeoisie make concessions. And we will utilise every concession, however small, in the unswerving struggle for the complete expropriation of the bourgeoisie."

   In "The Founding of the Communist International", written in 1919, Lenin wrote (LCW 28, p. 485):

   "We seek no agreement with the bourgeoisie, we are marching to the final and decisive battle against them. But we know that after the ordeal, agony and distress of the war, when the people throughout the world are fighting for demobilisation, when they feel they have been betrayed and appreciate how incredibly heavy the burden of taxation is that has been placed upon them by the capitalists who killed tens of millions of people to decide who would receive more of the profits - we know that these brigands' rule is at an end!"

   The founders of socialism didn't live in the days of the computer, with its means of tracking people from cradle to grave, taxing workers in such exacting ways that many barely earn the value of their labor power, and in many cases, less. But, now that the computer is used as a means of class oppression, still we are assured by the SLP that taxes should no more matter to us than the weather. Their official position on taxes has probably not changed since A.P. wrote his pamphlet in 1931.
   It's hard to think of a place where '
the movement' was rendered 'immune to the reform snares of the petty bourgeoisie'. In the USA, where reformism has been part of our way of life for a long time, no ideology but bourgeois ideology hardly exists for the mass of rich and poor alike, and as well for opportunists who make businesses out of (mis)leading would-be revolutionaries.
   Does the working class pay any
taxes? When they drive to the gas station on the way to work and fill up their tanks, do they not pay fuel taxes? When their vehicle wears out and they have to buy another, do they not pay sales taxes, and on nearly everything else they buy as well? If they are lucky enough not to have to rent their abodes, do they not pay property taxes? And when they get their pay checks, do they not find already deducted their so-called income taxes? Both Federal and State? Plus FICA (Social Security)? And others, such as excise taxes? Workers pay many types of taxes nowadays, so it is absurd to say that 'workers don't pay taxes.'
   Would anyone in their right minds want to seriously try to convince workers that they are not
taxpayers? Many years ago, while a new member, I used to try to convince 'the man on the street' to that effect, and all I ever succeeded in doing was in discrediting myself and earning ridicule. As much as I tried to explain that they were receiving the value of their labor power, and that they were being compensated for the taxes that they were merely passing on to the government, I could get no one to listen to me after positing that argument, even if the argument was technically permissible. It was almost as though average people only needed to listen to a member try to convince them that they were not paying taxes to prove to themselves that the SLP was irrelevant. Maybe the theory that the SLP was working on was that those who could see its logic, and who could accept the theory willingly, thus passed a crucial test of suitability for SLP membership.
   Was the proposition that '
the working class pays taxes' a simple absurdity? When A.P. wrote his pamphlet in 1931, some of the above taxes were non-existent, and others less burdensome than they have become today. But, by the time A.P. met his maker, taxes had become a considerable burden to workers. The SLP, if it had at all been interested in being anything but a fan club for De Leon, could have updated its literature to account for changes and trends in the extraction of surplus value from labor.
   Why not simplify matters by saying that '
if people take money out of their pockets to give to the government, directly or indirectly, then that person pays taxes', simply as an obvious, face-value transaction, even though an economist could come along, analyze the flow of money, and say that the employer pays workers enough extra money to pay their taxes. In the same way, the argument could be made that workers don't really pay their rent if their bosses give them enough extra to pass on to their landlords. If, on the other hand, the SLP could convince workers that they are not paying taxes, and that therefore 'the middle and upper classes are really paying all of the taxes', it would then make the government appear like a purely capitalist institution that workers should not think twice about abolishing. That was the hidden anarchist agenda. Make the government appear as though it is a purely bourgeois institution and has no redeeming value whatsoever to workers, and the chances of workers abolishing the state are enhanced by a part in a zillion.
   Another way of looking at the '
who pays the taxes' question is to say that the producing classes create wealth. They keep part of the wealth they create, another part goes to their employers, and another part is siphoned off in the form of taxes. So, who pays the taxes? Who else but the producing classes? For anyone to claim that it is a matter of little concern for the producers as to how much they pay, where it goes, and how it's used, cannot have much faith in democratic republics.

Reform or Revolution?

   A.P. went on to present the Party perspective on the question of reform (pp. 21-2):

   "The question of reform or revolution was important in the same sense that the taxation question was important, for so long as the workers were doped with the opium of reform, no class view, and still less revolutionary action could be thought of. It has been well said that reform is a compromise with the past. At any rate, the reform road leads back and never forward."

   This uncompromising stance reveals the SLP conviction that 'no reform could ever be worth fighting for', and that 'nothing less than the Party's own version of out-and-out revolution is worth anything'. This stance clearly contradicts the Party's early advocacy of reforms, such as the eight hour day and reductions in the length of the working day commensurate with the march of technology, as documented in the Workmen's Advocate (see Appendix 2). The modern hard-line position has a certain appeal to some (like myself at one time) who are so alienated that nothing less than a complete change in society would be acceptable. There is a desperation to this aspiration to elevate society to the highest stage possible on an immediate time-table. Consistent with the factor of isolation, combined with the need for uncompromising revolution, is the impatience with the dictatorship of the proletariat, which, as a mere transition to classless, stateless society, fails to satisfy cravings for a truly immediate new basis for relations between people. No compromise! No trimming or trading! Except with the truth. As to parties that reject reform as a matter of principle, Lenin, in an article entitled "Two Paths", wrote in May of 1914 (LCW 20, p. 308):

   ... "If there were a group that denied the use of reforms and partial improvements, we could not join it, because that would be a non-Marxist policy, a policy harmful to the workers."

   In September of 1913, Lenin wrote a small article entitled: "Marxism and Reformism", the first paragraph of which states (LCW 19, p. 372):

   "Unlike the anarchists, the Marxists recognise struggle for reforms, i.e., for measures that improve the conditions of the working people without destroying the power of the ruling class. At the same time, however, the Marxists wage a most resolute struggle against the reformists, who, directly or indirectly, restrict the aims and activities of the working class to the winning of reforms. Reformism is bourgeois deception of the workers, who, despite individual improvements, will always remain wage-slaves, as long as there is the domination of capital." ...

   Lenin's first sentence is one more circumstantial confirmation of the anarchist nature of the SLP, a Party that has been unwilling to fight for the smaller gains that can sometimes be wrested from governments. In democracies, the only progressive agenda items are reforms to ease the lot of the workers. Due to ongoing world-wide democratization, the old opportunities of 'socialists helping replace monarchies with democracies, and further developing those democracies into a wide-spread proletarian dictatorship' have forever ended. Because ameliorative reforms make workers less likely to rebel, anarchists find reforms intolerable. To them, only a suffering proletariat has the motivation to revolt, so any reform that reduces the pressure cooker of oppression must be fought against. But, it's probably easier for middle-class anarchists to prosper without reforms than it is for average workers.
   In his 1916 "
Open Letter to Charles Naine, member of the International Socialist Committee in Berne", Lenin wrote that in a revolutionary situation, such as during a world war ... (LCW 23, p. 224):

   ... "Who does not know that we Social-Democrats are not against the struggle for reforms, that, unlike the social-patriots, unlike the opportunists and reformists, we do not confine ourselves to the struggle for reforms, but subordinate it to the struggle for revolution?" ...

   For Lenin, further developing the Social-Democratic revolution into proletarian dictatorship was plausible in Russia in 1917, when taking state power was of the highest priority for his party. At the same time, Lenin attempted to drum up support for overturning capitalist rule in Western democracies, which proved unfeasible, as every other revolution near Russia's border was reversed.

Union Questions

   A.P. continued (p. 22):

   "These and numerous subsidiary tactical questions were important enough, and each had to be settled as the road was being cleared. But the one thing that De Leon recognized above all other things was the need of an aggressive, economic organization of labor. {1} The labor unions that he found were either decadent, or they were, as he put it in the adopted phrase, bulwarks of capital against Socialism. {2} In his immortal address, "Two Pages from Roman History," De Leon has portrayed the "labor leader," or the labor lieutenant of the capitalist class, in his true colors. The analogy he draws here between the ancient Roman plebs leader and the modern labor faker is a stroke of genius."

   Taking the most important points one by one:

1  ... 'the need of an aggressive, economic organization of labor.'

   This anarchist theme was repeated over and over, and while the organization of workers into unions is not to be argued with, the Party ignored political organizing for the most part, except to fulfill the anarchist mission of abolishing parties, politics and government.
   A recent article in an
engineering trade magazine projected that all human physical labor will end by 2086, all of it to be displaced by robots and automation (if we don't first completely ruin the environment, or annihilate ourselves in Armageddon). Others forecast the end of work by 2050, and others by 2029. If workers are soon not going to have an 'economy' to participate in, they might want to consider uniting into 'an aggressive, political organization of labor' in order to protect their class interests, and reduce the length of the working day to distribute what little work that is left for people to do among all who could use a little work to get by. Economic organizations, by and large, are characterized by preoccupation with issues around wages, benefits, working conditions, etc., and are mostly for those who already have jobs. Unions generally leave it to government to provide for those who can't find work. A political organization to fight for the interests of the whole working class will soon be the order of the day, as presaged by recent remarks in the press about 'the rapid progress of technology'.

2  'The labor unions ... were either decadent, or ... bulwarks of capital against Socialism.'

   Though socialism a century ago might have been a more popular word than it is today, it was dead wrong to portray unions as 'bulwarks of capital against Socialism', for, capitalism in this country has never been threatened with revolutionary socialism. The ascendancy of the republican form of bourgeois rule extinguished the possibility of playing out the old Marxist scenario of simultaneous revolutions in the most advanced countries, especially after Europe failed to follow Russia's example with similarly long-lasting revolutions.
   To have labeled
unions as 'bulwarks of capital' was also tantamount to a slanderous attack on workers. Unions have always been organizations of working people, and if they didn't answer the needs of workers, they would not have fought to create them, keep them in operation, and continually elect leaders from among their own ranks. In a country and world in which many workers suffer from lousy pay, benefits and working conditions, they have plenty of need for organizations to try to protect what's left of their standards of living. During the Depression of the 1930's, organized labor wanted work to be shared by means of a 30-hour week, and the corresponding Black-Connery Bill was opposed by then President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and was eventually defeated after being passed by the Senate.
   A.P. continued his
chapter with (p. 22):

   "To supply the proletariat with a union thoroughly imbued with a class spirit the Socialist Trade and Labor Alliance was launched. The S.T. and L.A. was a tremendous step forward, but it still did not fully answer the question: How to insure success of the revolution and provide the new social system with governmental machinery suited to its needs and purposes? By 1904 De Leon had all but solved the question - intellectually. But before going further it becomes necessary to retrace our steps."

   'Supplying the proletariat with a union thoroughly imbued with a class spirit' was presented as the De Leonist solution to the labor-faker problem. A.P.'s choice of words almost made it sound as though an enterprising individual or group could make a business of supplying unions to workers, turning Hamann's theory of 'only the trade union can set on foot the true political party of labor' on its head. What people at that time got was the exact opposite of Hamann's theory, as the SLP set on foot a labor union known as the Socialist Trade and Labor Alliance. In "'Left-Wing' Communism, an Infantile Disorder", Lenin criticized the deviant behavior of (LCW 31, pp. 54):

   ... "refusing to work within the trade unions, on the pretext that they are "reactionary", and invent a brand-new, immaculate little "Workers' Union", which is guiltless of bourgeois-democratic prejudices and innocent of craft or narrow-minded craft-union sins" ...

   Was the ST & LA the proletarian solution to the 'problem' of existing trade unions? Did the proletariat flock to a union that was 'pure and free from all corrupting influences'? The record shows that the ST & LA never really caught on. It might have been an interesting experience for those who were not already organized in other unions, but, in order for workers to be able to afford to abandon their old trade unions, it probably helped to also be able to afford to go out and do whatever else they wanted, an option not open to very many in the producing classes. On the other hand, Lenin suggested working within existing unions, or 'boring from within', a policy that was very much frowned upon by the Party leadership after their experiences with the Knights of Labor and the AF of L.
   A utopian theme was repeated as well, and the answer as to 'who or what' was going to '
provide the new social system with governmental machinery' was introduced a few pages later in A.P.'s pamphlet: The SLP will supposedly provide us with the form of administration, and all that the workers have to do is buy and implement it.
   A.P. continued with a new chapter (pp.
22-4):

p. 22:

"Essential Lack in Socialist Thought.


   "What was the one thing that was lacking in Socialist thought, to use Lenin's phrase? {1} The answer is: The form under which could be worked out the economic emancipation of labor in a fully developed capitalist country. {2} The standard formula, as stated in the "Communist Manifesto," and as restated with minor variations by Socialists everywhere before De Leon, declared that:

   ""The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie; to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the state, i.e., of the proletariat organized as the ruling class; and to increase the total of productive forces as rapidly as possible ." ("Communist Manifesto.")"

   This alleged 'standard formula' that A.P. excerpted looks like what Marx wrote, and the SLP edition of the "Communist Manifesto" seems to agree nearly perfectly with the Progress Publishers edition. The clause that dealt with 'quickly increasing the total of productive forces' was the only clause A.P. italicized, so perhaps he thought that 'it was the only important point.' For an anarchist, perhaps it was, but it wasn't emphasized, repeated or italicized in the original, and neither were a lot of other things that A.P. emphasized.
   Observe in the first sentence of the alleged '
standard formula', that the economic system of capitalism was to continue to function after the revolution, as capital was to be wrested from the bourgeoisie only by slow degrees. If capitalism was to continue after the revolution, then wage labor, exploitation of producing classes, etc., would also continue after the revolution, so anarchists especially might wonder 'what good is this Marxist revolution, anyway?' And this is the point: In the Marxist scenario, the only thing that was to change dramatically was the class content of the state, going from bourgeois to proletarian after a fight, or, in other words, there was to be a dramatic political change.
   Now for economic change: If Marx and Engels knew of a magic socialist system for carrying on
socialist production right after the revolution, surely they would have mentioned it in the context of their criticisms of the systems proposed by Bakunin and Becker, or somewhere else it could be accessed. In its absence, not to despair, for there may not be a better system than capitalism for diminishing the labor required to produce the commodities and services we all depend on, throwing the producing classes out on the street wholesale, creating the pressure to share the remaining work by reducing the length of the work week, and in the process of us equitably sharing work while reducing labor time to zero, class distinctions would be abolished as well. The final goal of the movement for Marx and Engels was the abolition of capital, and the gradual reduction of the work week is an intelligent way to do just that. If, someday, no one is forced by economic necessity to go to work, then capitalism as we know it will be over and done with. R.I.P.
   A.P. left out a preliminary paragraph that contained an important part of the 'formula' (
MESW I, p. 126):

   ... "We have seen above, that the first step in the revolution by the working class, is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class, to win the battle of democracy."

   Could making the working class into the ruling class be worth anything? Obviously, it would mean that the state continues to exist after the revolution. And if there is a state, then there must also exist classes and class oppression, and, if classes exist, then also parties that represent the interests of the different classes. And if the working class is to be supreme in the state, then it could only become supreme because the working class would have a party that represents its interests.
   Can '
winning the battle for democracy' be worth anything? To the working classes of Europe, dominated as they were by monarchies at the time of the "Communist Manifesto", winning the battle for democracy had a very high priority, whereas, in a democratic republic like the USA, the battle for democracy had already been won, though suffrage in the USA certainly needed to be made more inclusive, which it was, over time. If a big party still doesn't represent the interests of the workers here, it could mean that working Americans don't recognize their membership in an underclass, nor that we live in a class-divided society. But it's hard to blame workers, for Engels believed (as shown in the appendix) that the USA was the most bourgeois country in the world, where everyone could aspire to their own farm or business: "America is so purely bourgeois, has no feudal past at all, and is therefore proud of its purely bourgeois organization - and so they will get rid of the old traditional mental rubbish only through practical experience." But that was then, and it's hard to believe that there aren't enough poor people around now who could use better representation.

1   "What was the one thing that was lacking in Socialist thought, to use Lenin's phrase?"

   Did what was 'lacking in Socialist thought' have anything to do with honesty? My search for a clue in the Indexes to Lenin's Collected Works was fruitless.

2   "The answer is: The form under which could be worked out the economic emancipation of labor in a fully developed capitalist country."

   A.P.'s predictable answer certainly didn't resemble anything Lenin would have said on that matter. Why couldn't A.P. have provided a reference for 'Lenin's phrase' for us to look up? The most probable reason for the unfortunate lapse in documentation is that A.P. could not possibly have found a phrase of Lenin's that would have remotely supported A.P.'s theory of a missing economic form, unless he could have excerpted a phrase out of context. The lack of a form was not the problem confronting workers, as implied by Marx at the Hague Congress of the First International (MESW II, p. 292):

   ... "The worker will some day have to win political supremacy in order to organise labour along new lines." ...

   First things first: Marx believed that political supremacy would have to be won by workers before they could reorganize themselves to carry on production cooperatively, and that they shouldn't worry about the second step until they had completed the first, whereas the SLP puts it the other way around and requires the organization of labor into an unfamiliar form before workers are emancipated. And Marx's 'standard formula' extended to the most advanced countries of the world. The SLP, on the other hand, says: 'Reorganize labor into the economic form De Leon discovered, and the need for workers to use the political state after their victory will be eliminated.' Good luck. Not much in common with Marxism there, nor with the experience of the lower classes, which means that the workers won't do anything close to what the SLP wants them to do.
   Marx didn't propose workers do very much more than what they had already done for themselves, even if only in embryo. Though Marx criticized the
Communards of Paris for not taking over the National Bank, and for not marching to Versailles to defeat the ruling class, he might have been wishing for more than what French workers were actually ready to do. His "The Civil War in France" mentioned workers compensating capitalists for the abandoned factories they took over during the Commune, indicating less communist sentiment among workers than what M+E would have liked. The republicanism that was sweeping through Europe might have been mistaken for the beginning of a world-wide proletarian revolution, which explains their optimism over developments in Russia, where the bourgeois revolution of 1917 further developed into at least a caricature of proletarian dictatorship in late 1917, echoing Marx's 1871 observation that 'middle class republics have become impossible in Europe'.
   The job of capitalism is far from over. Capitalism will be our economic system for decades more, at least until human labor gets completely replaced by machinery, and people are no longer forced by economic necessity to work for a living.

A Fate for the State

   A.P. continued with his analysis of the state (p. 23):

   "More concisely, Engels later stated the problem as follows:

   ""By converting the large majority of the population more and more into proletarians, the capitalist mode of production creates the power which, under penalty of its own destruction, is forced to accomplish this revolution. By urging more and more the conversion of the large already socialized means of production into State property, it points the path for the accomplishment of this revolution. The proletariat seizes the machinery of the State and converts the means of production first into State property ." ("Socialism, Utopia to Science.")"

   Translation note: This terrible 'translation' does not seem to match even the standard SLP version of "Socialism: From Utopia to Science". What competent translator would write - "points the path"? So that Engels' thoughts can be better analyzed, here are some important paragraphs that preceded the portion A.P. chose to quote (MESW III, pp. 145-6):

   "But the transformation, either into joint-stock companies and 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.    "This solution can only consist in the practical recognition of the social nature of the modern forces of production, and therefore in the harmonising of the modes of production, appropriation, and exchange with the socialised character of the means of production. And this can only come about by society openly and directly taking possession of the productive forces which have outgrown all control except that of society as a whole. The social character of the means of production and of the products today reacts against the producers, periodically disrupts all production and exchange, acts only like a law of Nature working blindly, forcibly, destructively. But with the taking over by society of the productive forces, the social character of the means of production and of the products will be utilised by the producers with a perfect understanding of its nature, and instead of being a source of disturbance and periodical collapse, will become the most powerful lever of production itself.
   "
Active social forces work exactly like natural forces: blindly, forcibly, destructively, so long as we do not understand, and reckon with them. But when once we understand them, when once we grasp their action, their direction, their effects, it depends only upon ourselves to subject them more and more to our own will, and by means of them to reach our own ends. And this holds quite especially of the mighty productive forces of today. As long as we obstinately refuse to understand the nature and the character of these social means of action - and this understanding goes against the grain of the capitalist mode of production and its defenders - so long these forces are at work in spite of us, in opposition to us, so long they master us, as we have shown above in detail.
   "
But when once their nature is understood, they can, in the hands of the producers working together, be transformed from master demons into willing servants. The difference is as that between the destructive force of electricity in the lightning of the storm, and the electricity under command in the telegraph and the voltaic arc; the difference between a conflagration, and fire working in the service of man. With this recognition, at last, of the real nature of the productive forces of today, the social anarchy of production gives place to a social regulation of production upon a definite plan, according to the needs of the community and of each individual. Then the capitalist mode of appropriation, in which the product enslaves first the producer, and then the appropriator, is replaced by the mode of appropriation of the products that is based upon the nature of the modern means of production; upon the one hand, direct social appropriation, as means to the maintenance and extension of production - on the other, direct individual appropriation, as means of subsistence and of enjoyment.
   "
Whilst the capitalist mode of production more and more completely transforms the great majority of the population into proletarians, it creates the power which, under penalty of its own destruction, is forced to accomplish this revolution. Whilst it forces on more and more the transformation of the vast means of production, already socialised, 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."

   Note the warning to the working class contained in the last paragraph: A propertyless class is being created that will be destroyed unless it seizes political power. A.P. continued (pp. 23-4):

   "Discussing here the new conditions (as conceived by him) Engels continues:

   ""The first act wherein the State appears as the real representative of the whole body social - the seizure of the means of production in the name of society - is also its last independent act as a State. The interference of the State in social relations becomes superfluous in one domain after another, and falls of itself into desuetude; the place of a government over persons is taken by the administration of things, and by the conduct of the processes of production. [Emphases here mine.] The State is not 'abolished.' It dies out." ("Socialism, Utopia to Science.")"

   Like the previous extracts, both may have come from the infamous De Leon-Vogt pirate translation. The extracts also differ greatly from the authorized Aveling translation used in both the SLP and the Progress Publishers editions that were much easier to understand. Continuing from above, Engels wrote (MESW III, pp. 146-7):

   "But, in doing this, it abolishes itself as proletariat, abolishes all class distinctions and class antagonisms, abolishes also the state as state. Society thus far, based upon class antagonisms, had need of the state. That is, of an organisation of the particular class which was pro tempore the exploiting class, an organisation for the purpose of preventing any interference from without with the existing conditions of production, and, therefore, especially, for the purpose of forcibly keeping the exploited classes in the condition of oppression corresponding with the given mode of production (slavery, serfdom, wage-labour). The state was the official representative of society as a whole; the gathering of it together into a visible embodiment. But it was this only in so far as it was the state of that class which itself represented, for the time being, society as a whole: in ancient times, the state of slave-owning citizens; in the Middle Ages, the feudal lords; in our own time, the bourgeoisie. When at last it 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; as soon as class rule, and the individual struggle for existence based upon our present anarchy in production, with the collisions and excesses arising from these, are removed, nothing more to be repressed, and a special repressive force, a state, is no longer necessary. The first act by virtue of which the state really constitutes itself the representative of the whole of society - the taking possession of the means of production in the name of society - that is, at the same time, its last independent act as a state. 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. This gives the measure of the value of the phrase "a free state," both as to its justifiable use at times by agitators, and as to its ultimate scientific insufficiency; and also of the demands of the so-called anarchists for the abolition of the state out of hand."

   In a March 1875 letter to Bebel, in the context of a critique of the German Workers Party's new (Gotha) program, Engels included more thoughts about the scientific insufficiency of the term "free people's state", and further expounded on the differences between the capitalist state and the workers' state (MESW III, pp. 34-5):

   ... "Taken in its grammatical sense, a free state is one where the state is free in relation to its citizens, hence a state with a despotic government. The whole talk about the state should be dropped, especially since the Commune, which was no longer a state in the proper sense of the word. The "people's state" has been thrown in our faces by the Anarchists to the point of disgust, although already Marx's book against Proudhon and later the Communist Manifesto directly declare that with the introduction of the socialist order of society the state will dissolve of itself and disappear. As, therefore, the state is only a transitional institution which is used in the struggle, in the revolution, to hold down one's adversaries by force, it is pure nonsense to talk of a free people's state: so long as the proletariat still uses the state, it does not use it in the interests of freedom but in order to hold down its adversaries, and as soon as it becomes possible to speak of freedom the state as such ceases to exist. We would therefore propose to replace state everywhere by Gemeinwesen, a good old German word which can very well convey the meaning of the French word "commune."

   Lenin added his own criticism of the "free people's state" in "The State and Revolution" (LCW 25, p. 403):

   "The "free people's state" was a programme demand and a catchword current among the German Social-Democrats in the seventies. This catchword is devoid of all political content except that it describes the concept of democracy in a pompous philistine fashion. Insofar as it hinted in a legally permissible manner at a democratic republic, Engels was prepared to "justify" its use "for a time" from an agitational point of view. But it was an opportunist catchword, for it amounted to something more than prettifying bourgeois democracy, and was also {a} failure to understand the socialist criticism of the state in general. We are in favor of a democratic republic as the best form of state for the proletariat under capitalism. But we have no right to forget that wage-slavery is the lot of the people even in the most democratic bourgeois republic. Furthermore, every state is a "special force" for the suppression of the oppressed class. Consequently, every state is not "free" and not a "people's state"."

   Looking at some 'differences in translations', where Engels used "The proletariat seizes political power" ..., A.P. used "The proletariat seizes the machinery of the State" ... . While searching the library for the actual German words that could have been translated into 'the machinery of the State', I ran across Staatsgewalt, which Cassell's Dictionary translated into "supreme or executive power", which conceivably could be stretched into 'the machinery of the State', so I found this development to be puzzling. I then discovered that Engels' work originally had been written in 1880 as a series of articles in the French periodical La Revue socialiste, and that the authorized Aveling English translation didn't appear until 1892. So, whence the lousy translation?
   Appendix 1 includes an October 1891 complaint to Sorge about '
the American pirate edition with its miserable English'. Perhaps De Leon and Vogt of the SLP used the 1883 German translation as the raw material for their translation, and translated from German into English, instead of from the original French into English, perhaps to beat the 1892 Aveling English edition into print. I wonder how many copies they sold, and how many royalties they cheated away from Engels. It looks like a stroke of De Leon's pure financial genius, and yet another chapter of less than glorious SLP history.
   Where A.P. quoted: '
The interference of the State ... falls of itself into desuetude', he could instead have used the much plainer "State interference ... dies out of itself", as Aveling used, but maybe the Party didn't have the rights to the authorized Aveling translation at that time. 'Desuetude', being a rather obscure word, sent me to the dictionary to see if it was a synonym for 'dying out', but it was only approximate. Here is the definition: "1: discontinuance from use, practice, exercise, or functioning ... 2: a state of protracted suspension or of apparent abandonment ... : outmoded or discarded status ..." Thus, 'Desuetude' sounds like something that was cut off from use or abandoned, rather than something that gradually decayed. The section dealing with the origin of the word says: "... akin to L suus one's own - more at SUICIDE ...". Well, it's no wonder that A.P. used the word 'desuetude', for the 'suicide of the state' is exactly what the anarchists would like for the state to commit, for then no anarchist would ever have to expend the energy to abolish it.
   A.P. continued (p.
24):

   "Here is projected a much clearer picture of the industrial commonwealth of labor than heretofore. First, the uselessness of the State as a means of directing production is clearly shown; secondly, it is made abundantly clear that the administration of the new society will be industrial instead of political. {1} The seeming inconsistencies (as, for example, that the first act of the State as a representative of the whole of society becomes at the same time its last act, while nevertheless the new "State" is shown to be functioning for quite some time) {2} are to be explained in the light of the conditions of the time. I shall return to that later." {3}

   Engels' theories of the state were similarly analyzed on page xi of A.P.'s 1947 Preface to the SLP edition of "Socialism: From Utopia to Science" (and were critiqued in Part C of this book), but A.P.'s present 'analysis' sufficiently differs from the aforementioned to merit a separate examination:

1   ... 'it is made abundantly clear that the administration of the new society will be industrial instead of political.'

   While Engels' paragraphs spanned three historical epochs, from 1) capitalism through 2) the proletarian dictatorship, and on into 3) classless and stateless society, A.P. misconstrued Engels as indicating that: 'The capitalist era (1) is to be superseded directly by (3) classless, stateless society'. But, A.P. gave us no better than a phony version of Marxist societal evolution in which step 2) - the dictatorship of the proletariat (i.e., the workers' state, the state which was to die out) - was omitted entirely. By consistently omitting the era of proletarian dictatorship, A.P.'s assertions of a non-political nature of post-revolutionary society could sound plausible to some, but Engels' text showed that the post-revolutionary administration was to be as markedly political as the pre-revolutionary, but with a proletarian, rather than a capitalist, class character.

One or Two Stages of Socialism?

   One of the many ways in which the Party contradicts Marxism revolves around the number of stages of socialism (i.e., of post-revolutionary society), of which stages Marx enumerated at least two, but of which the SLP recognizes only an upper stage of classless and stateless society. A.P. asserted that 'technologically advanced countries, such as the USA, could aspire to classlessness and statelessness directly after capitalism.' But, Marx's "Critique of the Gotha Program" described at least two stages of post-revolutionary society (MESW III, p. 26):

   "Nevertheless, the different states of the different civilised countries, in spite of their motley diversity of form, all have this in common, that they are based on modern bourgeois society, only one more or less capitalistically developed. They have, therefore, also certain essential characteristics in common. In this sense it is possible to speak of the "present-day state", in contrast with the future, in which its present root, bourgeois society, will have died off.
   "
The question then arises: what transformation will the state undergo in communist society? In other words, what social functions will remain in existence there that are analogous to present state functions? This question can only be answered scientifically, and one does not get a flea-hop nearer to the problem by a thousand-fold combination of the word people with the word state.
   "
Between capitalist and communist society lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.
   "
Now the programme does not deal with this nor with the future state of communist society."

   These words expressed the following ideas:

1) The root of the present-day state is the bourgeois mode of production. Under proletarian rule, the state will dissolve.

2) Between capitalist and communist society lies a transition period in which the state can only be the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.

   Marx envisioned society as proceeding from capitalism to the dictatorship of the proletariat, and then to classless and stateless communism (aka the administration of things). If at least two distinct stages of post-revolutionary society were not predicted, Marx would not have enumerated two different techniques by which workers would be compensated (Ibid., p. 19):

   "Thus, with an equal performance of labour, and hence an equal share in the social consumption fund, one will in fact receive more than another, one will be richer than another, and so on. To avoid all these defects, right instead of being equal would have to be unequal.
   "
But these defects are inevitable in the first phase of communist society as it is when it has just emerged after prolonged birth pangs from capitalist society. Right can never be higher than the economic structure of society and its cultural development conditioned thereby.
   "
In a higher phase of communist society, after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labour, and therewith also the antithesis between mental and physical labour, has vanished; after labour has become not only a means of life but life's prime want; after the productive forces have also increased with the all-round development of the individual, and all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly - only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!"

   After reading this, which honest person would argue against Marx having a vision of at least two phases of communism - 1) a lower stage of post-revolutionary society, and 2) a higher stage, after antitheses between classes, between mental and manual labor, and between town and country have been eliminated? But, A.P. took excerpts from the works of Marx, Engels and Lenin that described no more than the upper phase of communism, and used the quotes out of context to portray post-revolutionary society as if 'in technologically advanced countries, classless and stateless society would directly displace capitalist society.' Unaware readers might be led to believe that Marx, Engels and Lenin had advocated a program that amounts to anarchy, not understanding that neither anarchism nor communism had been defined by SLP leaders in a way in which more objective anarchists, socialists or communists had already understood those terms, nor that the SLP leaders re-labeled anarchy as 'socialism' for mass consumption. Nowadays, it's not unusual for parties with anarchist programs to call themselves socialist, because 'anarchist party' is a contradiction in terms.

2  'The seeming inconsistencies (as, for example, that the first act of the State as a representative of the whole of society becomes at the same time its last act, while nevertheless the new "State" is shown to be functioning for quite some time)' ...

   Poor Engels! When he wrote his pamphlet in 1880, was he just a confused old man? Considering the 'seeming inconsistency' of the first act of the state also being its last act, and yet the state goes on functioning, Engels wrote that sentence in the same spirit that he wrote (MESW III, p. 146):

   "The proletariat seizes political power and turns the means of production into state property.
   
"But, in doing this, it abolishes itself as proletariat, abolishes all class distinctions and class antagonisms, abolishes also the state as state."

   If A.P. had wanted to complain about an inconsistency as seemingly paradoxical as 'The proletariat ... abolishes also the state as state', and yet the state goes on functioning, then it's a wonder why A.P. didn't also excerpt and complain about the equally remarkable 'The proletariat ... abolishes itself as proletariat'. It doesn't take too many smarts to figure out that Engels was describing a historical process in both cases, but instead we were being asked to aspire to an extremely low state of cognition and surmise that Engels contradicted himself within his same paragraph by suggesting that 'the abolition of the state would take place all at once, and yet the very same state would go on existing.' Using the same yardstick, if A.P. had wanted to voice as much concern over the proletariat abolishing itself as he did for the proletariat's alleged abolition of the state, perhaps he would have accused Engels of advocating the proletariat commit mass suicide, especially if that could have fit into A.P's anarchist schemes.
   Into that second little sentence, however, Engels compressed what he considered to be the future experience of billions of people over unknown quantities of time. The way in which the state was to be abolished '
as state' was, from the moment of the proletariat taking political power onward, class contradictions would begin to dissolve, the rich would lose their wealth, and the poor would lose their economic insecurity. Class distinctions would be abolished over time by means of working class policy in the state, by lawfully reducing hours of labor, thereby gradually bringing workers up to the same level of personal freedom as the rich. While abolishing class distinctions over the unspecified time period of the proletarian dictatorship, the state was to lose its political and class character while all members of society became equal in wealth, and as the administration of things increasingly replaced the class oppression functions of state. It was such a sweet dream.
   This
revolutionary scenario was based on what Marx and Engels witnessed happening and developing in Europe, but their expectations failed to materialize. Now that democracies are facts of life in the technologically advanced countries, and modern communications makes it impossible for terror to reign without everyone knowing about it, the task of the day is to prepare for the abolition of class distinctions as though the lower classes could use the state as they see fit, if only they had a party they could call their own that would fight for their 'class-abolitionist' interests. In republics, reform alone will be the method for social change.

3  'The seeming inconsistencies ... are to be explained in the conditions of the time. I shall return to that later.'

   Here A.P. may have cast doubt on his own analysis, as he qualified Engels' alleged inconsistencies as only seeming to be so. If, according to A.P., 'the state was, is, and always will be, a capitalist state', then the seeming inconsistencies of Engels' statement may have better been explained in light of psychiatric reports of the time, for, to have formulated the evolution of the state in the way A.P. tried to make Engels appear to have formulated it, Engels would have to have been off his rocker. Assuming that the followers of A.P. will not soon provide a better explanation than 'conditions', the following alternative explanation for the 'seeming inconsistencies' is humbly submitted:
   What the revolutionary classes would do after
attaining political supremacy was fertile ground for a bit of speculation, even in the works of Marx and Engels. The "Communist Manifesto" mentioned 1) 'wresting all capital from the bourgeoisie by slow degrees'. "The Peasant Question in France and Germany" (1894), one of Engels' most mature works, provided two different plans: 2) 'expropriate the biggest owners of land and means of production'; and 3) 'the buy-out of the capitalist class'. Expropriation was the method used in the Soviet Union back in 1917, as described by Lenin in "The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky" (LCW 28, pp. 313-4):

   "On October 26, 1917, i.e., on the very first day of the proletarian, socialist revolution, private ownership of land was abolished in Russia."

   This amounted to a gigantic expropriation of the land-owning classes in the old Soviet Union, and the after-effects of that expropriation have been the subject of other books. Those effects could not have been very good, for we recently witnessed the replacement of their system of state ownership with private ownership. Though what the revolutionary classes would do after winning political supremacy was debatable, even in the works of Marx and Engels, everything that the revolutionary classes would ever want to dream about was dependent upon first winning political supremacy. Marx and Engels made that clear in the Communist Manifesto, repeated it in the First International, and repeated it over and over in various writings and correspondence, so it should be considered settled ancient theory.

The Commune and the State

   So, what about the first act also being the last act, and yet the state goes on existing? After winning political supremacy, the workers' state was to become - not a state in the old sense of the word, as Engels explained in his 1875 letter to Bebel - but rather more like a Gemeinwesen, i.e., a Commune, as in 'Paris Commune'. And the Commune was to have the important function of making sure that the upper classes did not restore their rule during the transition period, when productive forces were building up to the point where 'the machines could run by themselves', i.e., no wage-slaves would someday be needed. As class distinctions were being abolished, the state would be dying out, as in 'an evolutionary process'.
   In spite of Engels' definition of the
Commune as a dictatorship of the proletariat, A.P. didn't do much more than pick out bits and pieces of what Marx wrote about it, and try to make Marx's administration of things appear consistent with A.P.'s anarchist vision. A.P.'s analysis of the Commune commenced (pp. 24-6):

   "But Engels's statement marked an advance over previous attempts at outlining the functions of the State and the transition period, and this advance was due in a large measure to the Paris Commune of 1871. {1}

p. 24:

"The Passing of the State.
   "We are, most of us, familiar with Marx's analysis of the Paris Commune. In his famous work on the subject ("The Civil War in France") - at once profound and spirited - he returns again and again to the constitution of the Commune and its workings. This great historic event convinced Marx that "the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made State machinery, and wield it for its own purposes." {2} And he adds: "The Commune was to be a working, not a parliamentary, body, executive and legislative at the same time." Here is embedded the germ of the great thought which De Leon was to work out completely thirty years later. By contrasting "working" with "parliamentary," Marx indicates that an entirely new governmental machine had to be evolved, one suited to the new social groundwork, in short, an administration of things, or an industrial administration. "It was [said Marx] essentially a working class government, the product of the struggle of the producing against the appropriating class, the political form (at last discovered) under which to work out the economic emancipation of labor." {3}
   "
What Marx here says is that the working class, upon securing or seizing power, must dismantle the Political (parliamentary) State while, on the one hand, it represses the opponents of the working class, and, on the other hand, gradually and as speedily as possible, increases "the total of productive forces." {4} While Marx clearly realized the true nature of the proletarian revolution, while he clearly saw that the proletariat, to use the forceful language of Lenin, must smash up the old State machinery, {5} he failed (or did not think it necessary at the time) to take into account the development of a situation much more radically different from the seventies than the seventies were from 1847. {6} For he, 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. {7} 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. {8} The transition period to them was not only a prolonged one, but one fraught with real dangers to the proletarian regime. Hence, their repeated insistence (especially since the Paris Commune) on the repressive features of the projected working class government, and their emphasis on the necessity of undisputed working class rule which they occasionally designated the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. {9} Because of the significance attached to this phrase since the Russian Revolution I want to emphasize here that the essence of this dictatorship (asunderstood by Marx and Engels) was: Exercise of supreme power by the proletariat, unconditional surrender of the capitalist class, with the rubbish of parliament, constituent assembly and what not, consigned to the museum of antiquities, as Engels put it. {10} I shall return to the phrase "Dictatorship of the Proletariat" later."

   Marx's "Civil War in France" is better known to readers of SLP literature as "The Paris Commune", which sounds a lot more idyllic, peaceful, classless, and stateless than a "Civil War in France" ever could. In his 'analysis' thereof, A.P. committed some of the more outrageous examples of fraud that have been analyzed in this book, interpreting snippets from Marx as indicating that: 'The anti-capitalist revolution will directly yield classless and stateless society, except in economically less developed countries, where the working class government will have to be repressive toward the middle classes and build up the productive forces during their transition to classless and stateless society.' Let's take a closer look before buying A.P.'s analysis.

1   'But Engels's statement marked an advance over previous attempts at outlining the functions of the State and the transition period' ...

   It would have been nice for A.P. to have elaborated on what those earlier attempts comprised, and in what manner they fell short, or at least to have given us the identities of their proponents, but again, we were given nothing of substance.

2   "This great historic event convinced Marx that "the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made State machinery, and wield it for its own purposes."

   A.P. enjoyed using this quote to persuade us that 'Marx warned workers not to have anything to do with the state or state power.' Of the contrasts Marx drew between the institutions of the French Third Republic and those of the Commune, A.P. misconstrued those contrasts as between capitalist institutions and classless, stateless society. A.P. might have fooled quite a few people, but Engels' Jan. 1, 1884, letter to Bernstein illuminated the meaning of that phrase very well (me47.74): "It is simply a question of showing that the victorious proletariat must first reshape the old, bureaucratic, administratively centralised state machine before they can use it for their own purposes; whereas, since 1848, all bourgeois republicans, so long as they were in opposition, have heaped abuse on that machine but, no sooner in office, have taken it over intact and made use of it, partly against reaction but to an even greater extent against the proletariat."

   So, here we learn that, instead of us doing what A.P. wanted and summarily abolishing the state, Engels wanted the state reshaped well enough for the proletariat to use it.

3   'And he adds: "The Commune was to be a working, not a parliamentary, body, executive and legislative at the same time." Here is embedded the germ of the great thought which De Leon was to work out completely thirty years later. By contrasting "working" with "parliamentary," Marx indicates that an entirely new governmental machine had to be evolved, one suited to the new social groundwork, in short, an administration of things, or an industrial administration. "It was [said Marx] ... the political form (at last discovered) under which to work out the economic emancipation of labor."'

   At least A.P. got his math in the ballpark this time, but, having grasped at two little words - 'working' and 'parliamentary' - A.P.'s imagination ran amok in a flight of fantasy. If Marx had been utopian enough to indicate that 'the form of an industrial administration had to be evolved', he surely would have written so in a place where A.P. could have quoted him directly. But there is no such place. There was, on the other hand, the experience of the working class in the Commune, which was, as A.P. himself quoted, 'the political form (at last discovered) under which to work out the economic emancipation of labor.' And the working class was to use this new Commune - this socially controlled democratic republic - to abolish class distinctions and proceed to the classless and stateless administration of things. Certainly the Commune, short-lived as it was, lasting a mere nine weeks, could not be considered a finished and polished product. That was probably the reason Marx slipped into a future tense when describing some of its features, the vast bulk of which, however, were described in the past tense as accomplishments.
   A closer look at the context of "
The Civil War in France" (just before the sentence A.P. quoted) illustrates a bit more of what A.P. did not want us to know about the political nature of the Commune (MESW II, pp. 222-3):

   ... "The Commune made that catchword of bourgeois revolutions, cheap government, a reality, by destroying the two greatest sources of expenditures - the standing army and State functionarism.* Its very existence presupposed the non-existence of monarchy, which, in Europe at least, is the normal incumbrance and indispensable cloak of class-rule. It supplied the Republic with the basis of really democratic institutions. But neither cheap Government nor the "true Republic" was its ultimate aim; they were its mere concomitants.
   "
The multiplicity of interpretations to which the Commune has been subjected, and the multiplicity of interests which construed it in their favour, show that it was a thoroughly expansive political form, while all previous forms of government had been emphatically repressive. Its true secret was this. It was essentially a working class government, the product of the struggle of the producing against the appropriating class, the political form at last discovered under which to work out the economic emancipation of labour.
   "
Except on this last condition, the Communal Constitution would have been an impossibility and a delusion. The political rule of the producer cannot coexist with the perpetuation of his social slavery. The Commune was therefore to serve as a lever for uprooting the economical foundations upon which rests the existence of classes, and therefore of class-rule. With labour emancipated, every man becomes a working man, and productive labour ceases to be a class attribute."
____________
* In Lenin's "
The State and Revolution", this word was translated as "officialdom". - K.E.

   Marx's text illuminated the political nature of the Commune. It was the political form in which the economic emancipation of the working class was to occur, the political form that had already been discovered, and had been in operation for some nine weeks, as opposed to A.P.'s 'had to be evolved', as if what happened in the Commune was such a failure that the experience only proved that something better had to be evolved. The Commune was such a success that the French and German forces of reaction, which hitherto had been at war with each other, suddenly found some vital interests in common against the existence of the Commune, and then cooperated with one another to crush it.
   Notice also that, scarcely weeks after the
Commune had been crushed by the reaction, Marx wrote about "the multiplicity of interests which construed it in their favor". Indeed, as Lenin pointed out in a critique of Plekhanov's book entitled "Anarchism and Socialism" (LCW 25, p. 481):

   ... "The anarchists had tried to claim the Paris Commune as their "own", so to say, as a corroboration of their doctrine; and they completely misunderstood its lessons and Marx's analysis of these lessons. Anarchism has given nothing even approximating true answers to the concrete political questions: Must the old state machine be smashed? and what should be put in its place?
   "
But to speak of "anarchism and socialism" while completely evading the question of the state, and disregarding the whole development of Marxism before and after the Commune, meant inevitably slipping into opportunism. For what opportunism needs most of all is that the two questions just mentioned should not be raised at all. That in itself is a victory for opportunism." ...

   Lenin generously stated that 'the anarchists ... completely misunderstood its lessons and Marx's analysis of these lessons.' Perhaps some of 'the best' of the anarchists deserved Lenin's leniency, but I can't help but regard those who were responsible for "Proletarian Democracy vs. Dictatorships and Despotism" as anything less than professional falsifiers of Marxism who understood the intent of their falsifications, and were in the business of deceiving workers about the entire method of ending their subservience to capital.

4   'What Marx here says is that the working class, upon securing or seizing power, must dismantle the Political (parliamentary) State while, on the one hand, it represses the opponents of the working class, and, on the other hand, gradually and as speedily as possible, increases "the total of productive forces."'

   Was that the experience of the Commune? No matter how many times I read Marx's sentence, or even that sentence in combination with the other 2 phrases that A.P. quoted in "The Passing of the State", I cannot see where Marx said anything resembling the three things A.P. said he did. Take 'the dismantling of the state': A.P. had just finished quoting Marx to the effect that the Commune was the political form in which the economic emancipation of labor was to take place. One better have a darn good reason, then, for dismantling the instrument of freedom. In "The Civil War in France", Marx wrote (MESW II, p. 217):

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

   And did this "ready-made state machinery" equal 'the Political (parliamentary) State' that A.P. wanted dismantled? No matter how bureaucratic, undemocratic, and unrepresentative of the lower classes that the representative institutions might have been, they were not the state institutions that Marx wrote about smashing, nor did they present any threat or danger greater than that of lying to workers or passing bad law; but look at the state machinery that was included in the very next paragraph of "The Civil War in France" (MESW II, p. 217):

   "But the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery and wield it for its own purposes.
   "
The centralised State power, with its ubiquitous organs of standing army, police, bureaucracy, clergy, and judicature -" ...

   Marx went on to give a history of the struggles for control of the French State since feudalism, making it clear that the state power consists of repressive institutions used by the ruling classes to maintain their interests by a variety of means against any threats. If A.P. had wanted to use a quote indicative of dismantling the state, he could have used the following, just a few pages away (MESW II, pp. 221-2):

   "It is generally the fate of completely new historical creations to be mistaken for the counterpart of older and even defunct forms of social life, to which they may bear a certain likeness. Thus, this new Commune, which breaks the modern State power, has been mistaken for a reproduction of the mediaeval Communes, which first preceded, and afterwards became the substratum of, that very State power."

   Marx went on to identify four other types of state that, according to other 'thinkers' of the time, the new Commune resembled. But, in that excerpt, Marx wrote, ... 'this new Commune ... breaks the modern State power' ... , indicating that the Commune replaced "The centralised State power, with its ubiquitous organs of standing army, police, bureaucracy, clergy, and judicature" ... with new organs of state power created by the lower classes (MESW II, pp. 219-21):

   "The direct antithesis to the empire was the Commune. The cry of "social republic," with which the revolution of February {1848} was ushered in by the Paris proletariat, did but express a vague aspiration after a Republic that was not only to supersede the monarchical form of class-rule, but class-rule itself. The Commune was the positive form of that Republic.
   "
Paris, the central seat of the old governmental power, and, at the same time, the social stronghold of the French working class, had risen in arms against the attempt of Thiers and the Rurals to restore and perpetuate that old governmental power bequeathed to them by the empire. Paris could resist only because, in consequence of the siege, it had got rid of the army, and replaced it by a National Guard, the bulk of which consisted of working men. This fact was now to be transformed into an institution. The first decree of the Commune, therefore, was the suppression of the standing army, and the substitution for it of the armed people.
   "
The Commune was formed of the municipal councillors, chosen by universal suffrage in the various wards of the town, responsible and revocable at short terms. The majority of its members were naturally working men, or acknowledged representatives of the working class. The Commune was to be a working, not a parliamentary, body, executive and legislative at the same time. Instead of continuing to be the agent of the Central Government, the police was at once stripped of its political attributes, and turned into the responsible and at all times revocable agent of the Commune. So were the officials of all other branches of the Administration. From the members of the Commune downwards, the public service had to be done at workmen's wages. The vested interests and the representation allowances of the high dignitaries of State disappeared along with the high dignitaries themselves. Public functions ceased to be the private property of the tools of the Central Government. Not only municipal administration, but the whole initiative hitherto exercised by the State was laid into the hands of the Commune.
   "
Having once got rid of the standing army and the police, the physical force elements of the old Government, the Commune was anxious to break the spiritual force of repression, the "parson-power," by the disestablishment and disendowment of all churches as proprietary bodies. The priests were sent back to the recesses of private life, there to feed upon the alms of the faithful in imitation of their predecessors, the Apostles. The whole of the educational institutions were opened to the people gratuitously, and at the same time cleared of all interference of Church and State. Thus, not only was education made accessible to all, but science itself freed from the fetters which class prejudice and governmental force had imposed upon it.
   "
The judicial functionaries were to be divested of that sham independence which had but served to mask their abject subservience to all succeeding governments to which, in turn, they had taken, and broken, the oaths of allegiance. Like the rest of public servants, magistrates and judges were to be elective, responsible, and revocable."

   That was the way in which the Commune broke up the old monarchical institutions and replaced them with a democratic republic that was more democratic than any bourgeois democratic republic that ever existed, and Marx didn't have to tell them what to do; the Communards didn't have to look up the 'formula' for what to do in a book; they acted by instinct in their own self-interest in the same way no one has to 'tell' the ruling classes how to act in their self interest.
   Secondly, there was nothing in A.P.'s three little quotes from Marx that would indicate that (p. 25):

   ... 'the working class ... gradually and as speedily as possible, increases "the total of productive forces."'

   The closest that any of the three quotes came to approaching that idea was when A.P. quoted Marx as having said that the Commune was (p. 25):

   ... 'the political form (at last discovered) under which to work out the economic emancipation of labor.'

   And nothing in this phrase even comes close to being capable of being interpreted as relating to the speed of the increase of the total of the productive forces. Also, it was not sufficient, according to A.P., for the working class to 'increase the total of productive forces.' Rather, the working class was to increase the total of productive forces 'gradually and as speedily as possible'! But, let's not dwell too long upon the seeming contradiction of doing things 'gradually and as speedily as possible' at the very same time.
   The actual answer to the question, from "
The Manifesto of the Communist Party", was that (MESW I, p. 126):

   "The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the State, i.e., of the proletariat organised as the ruling class; and to increase the total of productive forces as rapidly as possible."

   Was there anything 'gradual' implied by 'as rapidly as possible'? For synonyms of 'gradual', my dictionary gives: 'changing ... by fine, slight, or often imperceptible gradations'. The reason Marx specified a 'rapid' pace was to quickly create the economic conditions that would make it less likely for capitalist rule to be restored. Bureaucratic, wasteful and non-productive jobs would be eliminated, and labor was to be replaced with machinery at a more rapid pace under proletarian rule than under capitalist rule, creating all of the commodities and capabilities that society would ever want in plenty, soon creating a climate in which the re-imposition of capitalist rule would become an absurdity that only a rapidly decreasing segment of the population would ever long for. It was such a sweet dream, but proved impossible to realize, so it should be given a decent burial and replaced with a plan more appropriate to highly developed democracies.
   Nowhere in the works of Marx and Engels that I have accessed so far did the post-revolutionary task of '
increas[ing] the total of productive forces as rapidly as possible' hardly rate the lifting of an eyebrow, because, until 1917, it had never been on anyone's immediate agenda. But A.P. raised it to a matter of high importance in his writings, which was consistent with the way he raised any kind of economic activity to the pinnacle of priorities while down-playing political activities.
   Notice that Marx used the words: "
The proletariat will ... centralise .... production in the hands of the State, i.e., of the proletariat organised as the ruling class", which should be enough to prove to honest people that the dictatorship of the proletariat was to be nothing less than a state controlled by the lower classes, and that it was theoretically possible for them to take and hold state power of their very own, and not capitalist state power, such as when winning a mere electoral victory at the ballot box. But, professional falsifiers of Marxism may forever deny that this was the Marxist theory.

5   ... 'Marx clearly ... saw that the proletariat, to use the forceful language of Lenin, must smash up the old State machinery' ...

   Though A.P. would allow that 'the proletariat ... must smash up the old State machinery', he was not deserting his pacifist anarchist cause, for, according to his caricature of revolution, only legislative bodies were to be disbanded. For A.P., no standing army, police, bureaucracy, clergy, and judicature, etc., existed to smash up. Only the assemblies of the dreaded elected.

Economic Conditions and Political Solutions

   A.P. continued:

6   ... 'Marx ... failed (or did not think it necessary at the time) to take into account the development of a situation much more radically different from the seventies than the seventies were from 1847.'

   What situation developed that Marx overlooked? A.P. was very vague here about the nature of this alleged situation, and didn't define it once, but yet Marx was blamed for perhaps even willfully ignoring it, or otherwise failing to take it into account. Until A.P.'s biographers release the details, if they can find them, one could guess that it had something to do with the enormous development of the means of production that gave rise to monopoly capitalism, and which allegedly gave De Leon his 'great inspiration', or SIU, but that would be speculation. On the other hand, in his 1895 Introduction to Marx's "Class Struggles in France", Engels accounted for the development of many different situations during the previous fifty years, such as advances in the means of production, small and large armaments, mass use of democratic institutions, revolutionary consciousness, the decreasing likelihood of street-fighting, and party tactics. In Marx's February 1881 letter to Domela Nieuwenhuis, advances in the development of the means of production were specifically mentioned (MESC, p. 318):

   "The doctrinaire and inevitably fantastic anticipation of the programme of action for a revolution of the future only diverts one from the struggle of the present. The dream that the end of the world was near inspired the early Christians in their struggle with the Roman Empire and gave them confidence in victory. Scientific insight into the inevitable disintegration of the dominant order of society, a disintegration which is going on continually before our eyes, and the ever-growing fury into which the masses are lashed by the old ghostly governments, and the enormous positive development of the means of production taking place simultaneously - all this is a sufficient guarantee that as soon as a real proletarian revolution breaks out the conditions of its immediately next modus operandi (though it will certainly not be idyllic) will be in existence."

   The theory of succession of modes of production from slavery to feudalism to capitalism to socialism depended upon corresponding advances in the development of the means of production. Marx and Engels thought that the means of production had developed to a level sufficient for socialism (or proletarian dictatorship) in their day. By suggesting that Marx or Engels did not take the evolution of various situations into account, A.P. was way off base, as usual.

7   'For he, 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.'

   Look at this very strange theory of revolution: ... 'the victorious proletariat would have three main factors to deal with before instituting Socialism proper.' And just what stage would society have reached when 'the proletariat was victorious, but yet found itself unable to institute socialism'? The victory of the proletariat, in and of itself, sounds like an event that could be celebrated big time, as though things would never again be the same. Or, did A.P. regard the victory of the proletariat as relatively uneventful as the victory of a workers' party at the ballot box? Toward answers to these questions, we were given not a clue.
   Marx theorized that the
victory of the proletariat, by definition, heralds the lower stage of socialism, but A.P. instead told us that the victorious proletariat would have to deal with 'three main factors' before instituting socialism. If such is the case, it begs the question of just how, after the proletariat has dealt with the three main factors, the victorious proletariat would get to institute socialism? Would it be ceremonial, or imperceptibly gradual? To those questions as well, A.P. provided not a hint. Also, try as I did to find a single bit of evidence for this 'three-fold obstacle' or 'three main factors' theory in the works of Marx, Engels and Lenin, I was unable to uncover any. It would have been nice for the scholar A.P. to have provided us with just one little reference.
   Though A.P.'s theory bore no resemblance to
Marxism, it did reflect some of the conditions of the Soviets earlier in this century. Did A.P. learn something relevant from the experience of the Soviets? Think of it: the victorious proletariat having to deal with the capitalist class, the middle classes, and insufficiently developed industry before they could institute socialism. The struggle for proletarian rule in Russia met with many similar difficulties caused by the underdeveloped conditions, the devastation of the war against external aggression, the civil war against propertied elements, the battle against starvation, and other factors. Lenin enumerated them all in his post-revolutionary works and ended up proposing some transitional measures, such as state capitalism, to prepare for a true Soviet proletarian dictatorship at some future date.
   From its context, A.P. seems to have consigned the applicability of Marx's alleged '
three main factors' theory to developmentally backward countries, but Marx and Engels lived mainly in the most economically advanced countries, and believed that the proletarian revolution could not be successful except through simultaneous revolutions in England and Western Europe - the most advanced capitalist countries - where the 'three main factors' would have impinged less upon hopes of revolutionary success than in any other part of the world, so the 'three main factors' theory could not have originated with Marx and Engels.
   Also, A.P.'s '
three main factor' theory contradicted the 'matter of course ... transformation into socialism' theory he attributed to Engels in his Preface to "Socialism: From Utopia to Science" (analyzed in Part C of this book). There we learned that ... (p. XI):

   'Engels ... 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.'

   Well, the 'matter of course ... transformation into socialism' theory was good enough for A.P.'s other pamphlet because, assuming that the 'seizure of political power' meant only an electoral victory of a workers' party, A.P. easily showed that transforming means of production into state property amounted to transforming the means of production into capitalist state property, which would then introduce an era of state capitalism, which also meant just another defeat for the well-intentioned, but not-so-bright workers that the Party has forever tried to save from the 'mistake' of using politics and government.
   To make sure that the proletariat was
defeated after victory in "PD vs. D+D" as well (as a punishment for the sin of being politically minded), a whole new 'three main factor' theory that didn't apply to 'American conditions' had to be dreamt up: 'Because the super-development of means of production in the USA also enables the formation of Socialist Industrial Unions, the total absence of the 'three main factors' here in the USA will facilitate our immediate establishment of classless and stateless socialism.'
   While trying to choose from A.P.'s
two theories of revolution, a novice might not know which to believe, especially when they contradict one another on the very same issue of arriving at socialism. It was also one more way in which the 'Marxist' SLP consistently invalidated Marx's political theories. If only A.P. were still around to tell us which of the two theories was correct, both of which were alleged to yield failure for the revolution.

8   '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.'

   'Revert', in the dictionary, is a word of many meanings. If Marx and Engels reverted to the three-fold obstacle theory, that could have implied that the three-fold obstacle theory was more primitive compared to some unstated, more highly evolved theory which was not mentioned in that particular context. Could it have been the 'matter of course ... transformation into socialism' theory, or some other theory? Without A.P. here to help us, speculation could go on forever.

9   'The transition period to them was not only a prolonged one, but one fraught with real dangers to the proletarian regime. Hence, their repeated insistence (especially since the Paris Commune) on the repressive features of the projected working class government, and their emphasis on the necessity of undisputed working class rule which they occasionally designated the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.'

   Marx always advocated arming the proletariat, and lots of blood was spilt in his day by brave people fighting to replace monarchical despotisms with democracies, and even a bourgeois democracy was regarded as a major step forward (as revealed in Marx's Sept. 27, 1877, letter to Sorge (me45.278): "The French crisis {between monarchists and republicans} is an altogether secondary affair compared with the oriental one. Yet one can only hope that the bourgeois republic wins, for otherwise we shall have the same old game all over again, and no nation can afford to repeat the same stupidities too often.") Marx and Engels were never in command of a proletarian army, and nowhere in the world did the proletariat enjoy political supremacy. Students of history should be aware of important differences between the theoretical proletarian dictatorship imagined by M+E, and the new state that materialized in the old Soviet Union under Lenin, how matters changed under Stalin, etc.
   A.P.'s treatment of revolutionary violence for the 1800's hints that '
living in an era of low technological development necessitates violent solutions to the social question.' If that was all that violence was predicated upon, then the modern age should be very enlightened and peaceful indeed, based solely on our circumstance of living in an era of advanced technological development. But, such a theory would simply be another example of the crudest type of economic determinism.
   In reality, replacing intransigent monarchies with democracies was often a bloody affair, and the
further development of fledgling democracies into a wide-spread proletarian dictatorship (by means of winning universal suffrage) might not have been a day at the beach. But, the struggle for democracy and Marx's real theories of proletarian revolution were never acknowledged in A.P.'s pamphlet.
   A.P. implied that
Marx and Engels may have learned something during the Commune that caused ... 'their repeated insistence ... on the repressive features of the projected working class government'. Here we may have a grain of truth in what A.P. wrote, for Marx did criticize the Commune for paying more attention to elections than to maintaining their strategic and political advantages, failing to take over a major bank, failing to march on the old government holed up in Versailles, etc.

10  "Because of the significance attached to this phrase since the Russian Revolution I want to emphasize here that the essence of this dictatorship (as understood by Marx and Engels) was: Exercise of supreme power by the proletariat, unconditional surrender of the capitalist class, with the rubbish of parliament, constituent assembly and what not, consigned to the museum of antiquities, as Engels put it."

   First of all, how does 'supreme power' differ from state power?
   Secondly, nowhere in the works of Marx and Engels have I seen any mention of the alleged '
surrender of the capitalist class', either on the points of bayonets, conditionally, or otherwise. Of the 70 combinations of the word 'capitalist' or 'bourgeois' with 'surrender' in the Collected Works, not one showed up in the manner A.P. would have us believe it should have, but many were similar to (me9.214): "But it is just this noble reproductive power that the worker surrenders to capital in exchange for means of subsistence received." The Collected Works often indicated that, if the bourgeoisie were to surrender to anyone, the surrender would have been to feudal nobility, or to a constitution.
   Not mentioned by A.P. was the very intelligent '
buy-out of the capitalist class', which was one civil solution to the social question suggested by Marx himself, according to Engels in his 1894 "The Peasant Question in France and Germany" (MESW III, p. 474):

   "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."

   Thirdly, A.P. once again interpreted the state to be nothing more than the 'rubbish of parliament, constituent assembly and what not', and displayed his usual willingness to consign them all 'to the museum of antiquities' , which is nothing less than the deliberate act of abolishing democratically elected representative bodies, much in the way the Party's SIU program would also deal with elected political bodies, which A.P. always misinterpreted as the sum total of the state. In his "Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State", Engels gave a more reasonable view of putting the "whole machinery of state ... into the museum of antiquities" (MESW III, p. 330):

   "At a certain stage of economic development, which was necessarily bound up with the split of society into classes, the state became a necessity owing to this split. We are now rapidly approaching a stage in the development of production at which the existence of these classes not only will have ceased to be a necessity, but will become a positive hindrance to production. They will fall as inevitably as they arose at an earlier stage. Along with them the state will inevitably fall. Society, which will reorganise production on the basis of a free and equal association of the producers, will put the whole machinery of state where it will then belong: into the museum of antiquities, by the side of the spinning wheel and the bronze axe."

   A.P. could not let his readers know that, according to Engels, putting the "whole machinery of state ... into the museum of antiquities" was possible only after 'Society ... will reorganise production on the basis of a free and equal association of the producers' and 'the split of society into classes ... will have ceased to be a necessity.' As is widely accepted on the left, proletarian dictatorships, or states of any other kind, are concomitants of class divisions. Reduce class distinctions, and the necessity for a state of any kind declines proportionally. A.P. could not have helped notice that very concept in that same quote from Engels, so A.P. knew he was taking the concept of 'putting the machinery of state into the museum of antiquities' completely out of context.
   A.P. continued with a
chapter which seemed to be but a prelude to a subsequent chapter about unions (pp. 26-8):

p. 26:

"Political Victory Insufficient.
   "As I stated before, by 1904 De Leon had come face to face with the question of what to do when political power fell to the working class. {1} With the tremendous industrial development in America, with its numerically insignificant, and economically weak "middle class," and its total absence of a peasantry such as is found in continental Europe, he had come to realize that a mere political victory of the working class here was insufficient - nay, a menace. {2} For despite periodic outbreaks of "middle class" discontent, the rule of top-capitalism was undisputed in every real sense; the power of the plutocracy was practically unlimited. {3} On the other hand, the proletariat formed the overwhelming majority in the country, and as the spurs of exploitation were driven deeper into its flanks, the working class was becoming more and more restless. Hence the need of a "bulwark" and hence, again, the capitalist-inspired and capitalist-nurtured craft unions and the plebs leaders or labor lieutenants. {4} Politically, the country was (and it still is) in the grip of the entrenched politicians of the Republican and Democratic parties. Well has Engels described the extent and nature of this powerful political domination:

   ""Nowhere [said Engels in 1891] {5} do the 'politicians' form a more distinct and more powerful subdivision of the nation than in the United States. Here both the great parties, to which the predominance alternately falls, are in their turn ruled by people who make a business of politics, who speculate upon seats in the legislative bodies of the Union and the separate States, or who live by agitation for their party and are rewarded with offices after its victory. It is well known how the Americans have tried for thirty years past to throw off this yoke, which has become intolerable, and how, notwithstanding, they sink ever deeper into the mire of corruption. It is just in the United States that we can most clearly see the process through which the State acquires a position of independent power over against the society, for which it was originally designed as a mere tool. There exist here no dynasty, no aristocracy, no standing army with the exception of a few men to guard against the Indians, no bureaucracy permanently installed and pensioned. Nevertheless, we have here two great rings of political speculators, that alternately take possession of the power of State and exploit it with the most corrupt means and to the most corrupt purposes. And the nation is powerless against these men, who nominally are its servants, but in reality are its two overruling and plundering hordes of politicians." (Engels's Introduction to German edition of "Paris Commune" by Marx.)"

      "This description, as you will note, is as adequate today as thirty years ago."

   Let's see, 1931 minus 1891 is thirty - No! - forty years. Not only could A.P. not convincingly falsify the Marxist theory of the state, but he also couldn't subtract very well. And this was from the sixth edition, which may also be an indication of the degree to which the Party bureaucracy respected accuracy. I wonder if any of the members ever wrote to A.P. about his math error. If they did, it certainly didn't do any good.
   Overall, this whole
chapter seems to be a lesson in 'what an absolutely bloody swamp political life is, an evil best left to the miserable slimy critters who inhabit that dark world. Even Engels thought that American politics was a Charybdis that would only pull its victims down.' A.P. was obviously setting us up for his presentation of the 'only' way for workers to climb out of their predicament.
   Going back to the top of the
chapter "Political Victory Insufficient", A.P. wrote (p. 26):

1   'As I stated before, by 1904 De Leon had come face to face with the question of what to do when political power fell to the working class.'

   Once again, A.P. repeated the passive theory of the revolution, practically identical to the fable introduced in his Preface to "Socialism: From Utopia to Science", where he wrote that 'Lenin ... discussing the problem confronting the workers of Russia when political power fell into their hands.' But, if A.P. had been in Russia in 1917, he would have seen just how passive was that particular change in power. The passive kind of 'political victory' cohabits somewhat comfortably with a peaceful victory of the workers' party at the ballot box, common occurrences in Europe and America for over a century, but quite inconsistent with violent replacements of feudal monarchies with democracies, as in the February revolution in Russia, and in so many revolutions in France.
   The
Party leadership that was so antagonistic toward reforms was also very much dependent upon the reformist 'pure and simple political victory of the proletariat' as the launching point for its critique of democracy. By restricting the meaning of the political victory to electoral victories, they could then logically criticize the insufficiency of such a victory to perfect the abolition of the state and capitalism. The Party ignored another Marxist meaning of political victory, that of replacing capitalist states with workers' states, under which scenario the concentration of productive forces into the hands of the proletariat organized as ruling class could never have been interpreted as the concentration of productive forces into the hands of the capitalist state, as it plausibly could if political victories were restricted to mere electoral victories of workers' parties.
   
The victory at the ballot box was one aspect of Marxist tactics, applicable in Marx's time only to democratic republics like the USA, England, and few others. In Lenin's opinion, the rise of militarist bureaucracy during the early 1900's would preclude an electorally victorious socialist party from socializing ownership of means of production. But, the lower classes in the West refused to adopt the Marxist-Leninist goal of gaining control of state power in order to expropriate the capitalist class. Because labor creates property, Marx's German Ideology of the 1840's advised conceiving the abolition of property as the abolition of labor. If activists had taken Marx's early philosophy to heart, expropriation might not have become such a pressing agenda item, and lots of alienating waste avoided.

2   'With the tremendous industrial development in America, with its numerically insignificant, and economically weak "middle class," and its total absence of a peasantry such as is found in continental Europe, he had come to realize that a mere political victory of the working class here was insufficient - nay, a menace.'

   Oh, sure, workers here shouldn't even think about a political victory, and certainly not a 'menacing' electoral victory at the ballot box. A.P. sounded worried that the political dominance of the capitalist class would be menaced by proletarian political power. A.P. again aroused curiosity as to why the alleged weakness of the middle classes made a political victory a menace, but we were given not a clue until A.P.'s subsequent chapter entitled "Political Movement Destructive", where the simple electoral victory was described as a menace supposedly because 'the capitalist class would ignore the mandate at the ballot box and block production', which was described as a catastrophe.

3   "For despite periodic outbreaks of "middle class" discontent, the rule of top-capitalism was undisputed in every real sense; the power of the plutocracy was practically unlimited. On the other hand, the proletariat formed the overwhelming majority in the country, and as the spurs of exploitation were driven deeper into its flanks, the working class was becoming more and more restless."

   A.P. seemed to be building up to some kind of conclusion, so we should take note that, after the 'menace of a political victory for the proletariat' element, A.P. added the elements of 'unlimited power for the plutocracy', and the 'increasing economic exploitation of an increasingly restless proletariat.'

A Swipe at Unions

4   "Hence the need of a "bulwark" and hence, again, the capitalist-inspired and capitalist-nurtured craft unions and the plebs leaders or labor lieutenants. Politically, the country was (and it still is) in the grip of the entrenched politicians of the Republican and Democratic parties."

   After the previous elements, A.P. added 'capitalist-inspired labor unions', and 'the political domination of the country by the two major capitalist political parties'. One could summarize all of the above as: 'The political situation was hopeless, the working class was increasingly exploited economically, and was boxed in by capitalist economic organizations.' From this hopeless set of circumstances, whatever could the working class do?
   As had been so often taught in the old
study class, the union is the defense mechanism that the working class organizes to ward off encroachments by capital. But, until the mid-70's, the SLP Constitution forbade members from joining unions, if possible, and to always refuse leadership positions therein. This blunder certainly helped keep the Party isolated from the working class, making it difficult to correct its mistakes, but while I was there, the National Office intellectual staff began a campaign against the absurd ban on participation in unions, and by the late 70's it was changed, which shows that the Party could occasionally do some sensible things, and members given chances to finally learn new things. When SLP criticism of the trade unions was properly aimed at the corruption of some labor leaders, it could be somewhat educational. In "'Left-Wing' Communism, an Infantile Disorder", Lenin sharply criticized parties that refused to work within 'reactionary' trade unions (LCW 31, pp. 51-5):

   "Further. In countries more advanced than Russia, a certain reactionism in the trade unions has been and was bound to be manifested in a far greater measure than in our country. Our Mensheviks found support in the trade unions (and to some extent still do so in a small number of unions), as a result of the latter's craft narrow-mindedness, craft selfishness and opportunism. The Mensheviks of the West have acquired a much firmer footing in the trade unions; there the craft-union, narrow-minded, selfish, case-hardened, covetous, and petty-bourgeois "labour aristocracy", imperialist-minded, and imperialist-corrupted, has developed into a much stronger section than in our country. That is incontestable. ...
   "
We are waging a struggle against the "labour aristocracy" in the name of the masses of the workers and in order to win them over to our side; we are waging the struggle against the opportunist and social-chauvinist leaders in order to win the working class over to our side. It would be absurd to forget this most elementary and most self-evident truth. Yet it is this very absurdity that the German "Left" Communists perpetrate when, because of the reactionary and counter-revolutionary character of the trade union top leadership, they jump to the conclusion that .. we must withdraw from the trade unions, refuse to work in them, and create new and artificial forms of labour organisation! This is so unpardonable a blunder that it is tantamount to the greatest service Communists could render the bourgeoisie. Like all the opportunist, social-chauvinist, and Kautskyite trade union leaders, our Mensheviks are nothing but "agents of the bourgeoisie in the working-class movement" (as we have always said the Mensheviks are), or "labour lieutenants of the capitalist class", to use the splendid and profoundly true expression of the followers of Daniel De Leon in America. To refuse to work in the reactionary trade unions means leaving the insufficiently developed or backward masses of workers under the influence of the reactionary leaders, the agents of the bourgeoisie, the labour aristocrats, or "workers who have become completely bourgeois" (cf. Engels' letter to Marx in 1858 about the British workers).
   "This ridiculous "theory" that Communists should not work in reactionary trade unions reveals with the utmost clarity the frivolous attitude of the "Left" Communists towards the question of influencing the "masses", and their misuse of clamour about the "masses". If you want to help the "masses" and win the sympathy and support of the "masses", you should not fear difficulties, or pinpricks, chicanery, insults and persecution from the "leaders" (who, being opportunists and social-chauvinists, are in most cases directly or indirectly connected with the bourgeoisie and the police), but must absolutely work wherever the masses are to be found. You must be capable of any sacrifice, of overcoming the greatest obstacles, in order to carry on agitation and propaganda systematically, perseveringly, persistently and patiently in those institutions, societies and associations - even the most reactionary - in which proletarian or semi-proletarian masses are to be found. ...
   "
Millions of workers in Great Britain, France and Germany are for the first time passing from a complete lack of organisation to the elementary, lowest, simplest, and (to those still thoroughly imbued with bourgeois-democratic prejudices) most easily comprehensible form of organisation, namely, the trade unions; yet the revolutionary but imprudent Left Communists stand by, crying out "the masses", "the masses!" but refusing to work within the trade unions, on the pretext that they are "reactionary", and invent a brand-new, immaculate little "Workers' Union", which is guiltless of bourgeois-democratic prejudices and innocent of craft or narrow-minded craft-union sins, a union which, they claim, will be (!) a broad organisation. "Recognition of the Soviet system and the dictatorship" will be the only(!) condition of membership. (See the passage quoted above.)
   "It would be hard to imagine any greater ineptitude or greater harm to the revolution than that caused by the "Left" Revolutionaries! Why, if we in Russia today, after two and a half years of unprecedented victories over the bourgeoisie of Russia and the Entente, were to make "recognition of the dictatorship" a condition of trade union membership, we would be doing a very foolish thing, damaging our influence among the masses, and helping the Mensheviks. The task devolving on Communists is to convince the backward elements, to work among them, and not to fence themselves off from them with artificial and childishly "Left" slogans.
   "There can be no doubt that the Gomperses, the Hendersons, the Jouhaux and the Legiens are very grateful to those "Left" revolutionaries who, like the German opposition "on principle" (heaven preserve us from such "principles"!), or like some of the revolutionaries in the American Industrial Workers of the World advocate quitting the reactionary trade unions and refusing to work in them. These men, the "leaders" of opportunism, will no doubt resort to every device of bourgeois diplomacy and to the aid of bourgeois governments, the clergy, the police and the courts, to keep Communists out of the trade unions, oust them by every means, make their work in the trade unions as unpleasant as possible, and insult, bait and persecute them. We must be able to stand up to all this, agree to make any sacrifice, and even - if need be - to resort to various stratagems, artifices and illegal methods, to evasions and subterfuges, as long as we get into the trade unions, remain in them, and carry on communist work within them at all costs. Under tsarism we had no "legal opportunities" whatsoever until 1905. However, when Zubatov, agent of the secret police, organised Black-Hundred workers' assemblies and workingmen's societies for the purpose of trapping revolutionaries and combating them, we sent members of our Party to these assemblies and into these societies ...
   "
They established contact with the masses, were able to carry on their agitation, and succeeded in wresting workers from the influence of Zubatov's agents.* Of course, in Western Europe, which is imbued with most deep-rooted legalistic, constitutionalist and bourgeois-democratic prejudices, this is more difficult of achievement. However, it can and must be carried out, and systematically at that."
__________
   "
* The Gomperses, Hendersons, Jouhaux and Legiens are nothing but Zubatovs, differing from our Zubatov only in their European garb and polish, and the civilised, refined and democratically suave manner of conducting their despicable policy." {Note by Lenin.}

   Among other things in this excerpt, we could note that: 1) the unions of the advanced western countries were far more capitalist-oriented than those of the Soviet Union, 2) it is a blunder for communists to try to create new kinds of unions instead of working within the old ones, 3) the interests of some radicals in forming these separate unions indicates a real gulf between their interests and those of the rank-and-file, 4) requiring rank-and-file unionists to adhere to some kind of ideology as a condition of membership to new unions is a blunder that only isolates the rank-and-file from contact with socialist ideas, 5) radical unionists who advocate new and pure unions are helping reactionary ideas to prevail in older and bigger unions, 6) communists should use deception and illegal means, if necessary, to stay in unions and carry on propaganda within them, and 7) in spite of the hardships of working within reactionary unions, that is the only real way to get communist work done among uneducated rank-and-filers.
   Certainly as well, the excerpts beg the question of how hard
Lenin studied De Leon's writings and still not see that De Leon's program was similar to what some of his 'domestic Mensheviks' were advocating.
   This excerpt also reveals Lenin's determination to
bring communism to the USA by any means necessary. In 1931, American workers were deep in the abyss of the Depression. Organized labor wanted to pass a 30-Hour Bill to enable scarce work to be equitably shared among many more workers. That same Bill made it all of the way through the Senate and looked like it was going to pass the House when FDR began to campaign against it. In exchange for supporting FDR's policies, Labor received concessions like the Wagner Act, which protected Labor's right to organize.

5   'Well has Engels described the extent and nature of this powerful political domination:' ...

   The Progress Publishers translation of the long quote from Engels' Introduction to "The Civil War in France" is reproduced in Part C of this book. In comparison, A.P.'s 'translation' appears no better than a butchery or a radical modification of a bona fide version, perhaps to correspond to 'American conditions'. For instance, where Engels wrote "North America", "United States" was substituted, as though a translator couldn't tell the difference; and in the SLP version, the language is contorted, as in: 'the State acquires a position of independent power over against the society' ... Compare that to: "the state power making itself independent in relation to society" ...
   All of the elements that A.P. assembled could be summarized as: '
Both the political and economic situations were totally dominated by the capitalist class, while the exploitation of the working class was increasing.' After setting up this scenario, A.P. continued with (pp. 28-30):

p. 28:

"Union Mission Defined.
   "These, I repeat, were the conditions generally prevailing when in 1904 De Leon made his epoch-making address, "The Burning Question of Trades Unionism." Here De Leon, for the first time fully and with great precision and clarity, outlined his contribution to Marxian thought, viz., the "great historic revolutionary mission" of the true economic organization of labor. He (De Leon) derides the "pure and simple" politicians for contending that the union is of no great use to the workers, "that the union might as well be smashed now as later." He adds, "They are the real Utopians of today who imagine the Socialist Commonwealth can be established as spring establishes itself through its balmy atmosphere, and without effort melts away the winter snows." He lashes the "pure and simple" unionist for failing to understand the necessity of political action on the part of labor. He emphasizes the fact that the working class has no knowledge of, and no interest in, capitalist law-making, except to "sweep the vermin [of capitalist law] into the ash-barrel of oblivion." {1} The political aspect of the labor movement, he said, spells REVOLUTION. He points to the duty of Socialist workingmen (if any) elected to office - "no tinkering, no compromise, unqualified overthrow of existing laws. That means the dethronement of the capitalist class." {2} He then outlines the reason for the power of the capitalist class, "the fact that the WORKING CLASS is not organized." {3} The majority of the voters are workers. But even if this majority were to sweep the field, they would find the capitalist able to throw the country into panic, chaos, and famine unless "THE WORKINGMEN WERE SO WELL ORGANIZED IN THE SHOPS THAT THEY COULD LAUGH AT ALL SHUT-DOWN ORDERS, AND CARRY ON PRODUCTION." {4} Referring to the heterogeneous nature of the constituency in political territory he comes to the crux of the matter:

   ""Civilized society will know no such ridiculous thing as geographic constituencies. It will only know industrial constituencies. The parliament of civilization in America will consist, not of Congressmen from geographic districts, but of representatives of trades throughout the land, and their legislative work will not be the complicated one which a society of conflicting interests, such as capitalism, requires but the easy one which can be summed up in the statistics of the wealth needed, the wealth producible, and the work required - and that any average set of workingmen's representatives are fully able to ascertain, {5} infinitely better than our modern rhetoricians in Congress. . ."

   "De Leon then outlines the supreme mission of the revolutionary economic organization as being that of organizing the working class industrially - those with, as well as those without, jobs - and he adds that the mission of the economic organization is important also in that "the industrial organization forecasts the future constituencies of the parliaments of the Socialist Republic." {6} (Emphasis mine.)"

   After setting up the hopeless scenario in his previous chapter, A.P. then provided us with 'the economic solution we were waiting for.' What a relief to finally know what to do! A.P. alluded to the political victory of the workers' party at the ballot box in his phrase: ... 'if this majority were to sweep the field'. Let it be noted that no political victories other than those allowed by democratic processes were ever mentioned by A.P.

'Unions are Good, Politics are Bad.'

   A.P. described De Leon's teachings (p. 28):

1   "He emphasizes the fact that the working class has no knowledge of, and no interest in, capitalist law-making, except to "sweep the vermin [of capitalist law] into the ash-barrel of oblivion.""

   Dumping capitalist laws and lawmakers seems to have been defined here as an essential post-revolutionary task. Eliminating capitalist law would be consistent with the other scenario, viz., disbanding elected legislative bodies. One can only guess as to how much of civil, criminal, maritime, commercial, or every law would be disposed of. Was there any basis for such 'revolutionary' political action in the works of Marx and Engels? Here's what Marx wrote about law in his 1872 "The Nationalisation of the Land" (MESW II, p. 288):

   "In the progress of history the conquerors found it convenient to give to their original titles, derived from brute force, a sort of social standing through the instrumentality of laws imposed by themselves.
   "
At last comes the philosopher and demonstrates that those laws imply and express the universal consent of mankind. If private property in land be indeed founded upon such an universal consent, it will evidently become extinct from the moment the majority of a society dissent from warranting it."

   The key here is 'universal consent'. Laws relating to property have survived other changes in class rule. In his 1872 "Housing Question", Engels showed how law evolved through the ages (MESW II, pp. 365-6):

   "At a certain, very primitive stage of the development of society, the need arises to bring under a common rule the daily recurring acts of production, distribution and exchange of products, to see to it that the individual subordinates himself to the common conditions of production and exchange. This rule, which at first is custom, soon becomes law. With law, organs necessarily arise which are entrusted with its maintenance - public authority, the state. With further social development, law develops into a more or less comprehensive legal system. The more intricate this legal system becomes, the more is its mode of expression removed from that in which the usual economic conditions of the life of society are expressed. It appears as an independent element which derives the justification for its existence and the substantiation of its further development not from the economic relations but from its own inner foundations or, if you like, from the "concept of the will." People forget that their right derived from their economic conditions of life, just as they have forgotten that they themselves derive from the animal world. With the development of the legal system into an intricate, comprehensive whole a new social division of labour becomes necessary; an order of professional jurists develops and with these legal science comes into being. In its further development this science compares the legal systems of various peoples and various times not as a reflection of the given economic relationships, but as systems which find their substantiations in themselves. The comparison presupposes points in common, and these are found by the jurists compiling what is more or less common to all these legal systems and calling it natural right. And the stick used to measure what is natural right and what is not is the most abstract expression of right itself, namely, justice. Henceforth, therefore, the development of right for the jurists, and for those who take their word for everything, is nothing more than a striving to bring human conditions, so far as they are expressed in legal terms, ever closer to the ideal of justice, eternal justice. And always this justice is but the ideologised, glorified expression of the existing economic relations, now from their conservative, and now from their revolutionary angle. The justice of the Greeks and Romans held slavery to be just; the justice of the bourgeois of 1789 demanded the abolition of feudalism on the ground that it was unjust. For the Prussian Junker even the miserable District Ordinance is a violation of eternal justice. The conception of eternal justice, therefore, varies not only with time and place, but also with the persons concerned, and belongs among those things of which Mülberger correctly says, "everyone understands something different." While in everyday life, in view of the simplicity of the relations discussed, expressions like right, wrong, justice, and sense of right are accepted without misunderstanding even with reference to social matters, they create, as we have seen, the same hopeless confusion in any scientific investigation of economic relations as would be created, for instance, in modern chemistry if the terminology of the phlogiston theory were to be retained. The confusion becomes still worse if one, like Proudhon, believes in this social phlogiston, "justice," or if one, like Mülberger, avers that the phlogiston theory is as correct as the oxygen theory."

   Engels showed how customs developed into laws, and how both depend upon underlying economic relationships. There was no indication here, nor anywhere else in the works of Marx and Engels that I have seen, where laws, or elected law-making bodies, were to be the targets of proletarian direct action, simply because, as in the Communist Manifesto, the abolition of capitalism was not on the immediate agenda. If capitalism was intended to be the economic system, even under proletarian rule, then there should be no question about keeping intact a good deal of law, capitalist or not, until the abolition of class distinctions.

2   "The political aspect of the labor movement, he said, spells REVOLUTION. He points to the duty of Socialist workingmen (if any) elected to office - "no tinkering, no compromise, unqualified overthrow of existing laws. That means the dethronement of the capitalist class.""

   For some reason, De Leon's rhetoric conjures up images of law books being thrown out of library windows after the revolution. Once again, A.P. gave us a very non-Marxist concept of revolution, where the 'overthrow of existing laws' climaxes the political part of revolution. Simple, but also violent, for bodies of law which have undergone evolution over eons are not so easily tossed out. De Leon's gimmick sounds like the negation of only the most civilized part of the state apparatus, and the subject of whether armed enforcers of 'capitalist' law would stand by and allow such a wholesale demolition of law was never approached.

3   "He then outlines the reason for the power of the capitalist class, "the fact that the WORKING CLASS is not organized.""

   This was a reasonable statement for a change. Once in a while the old anarchists could say something with which I could agree. If everything they said was a lie, they'd have no credibility with which to build on. But this rare occasion only led us to:

4   'The majority of the voters are workers. But even if this majority were to sweep the field, they would find the capitalist able to throw the country into panic, chaos, and famine unless "THE WORKINGMEN WERE SO WELL ORGANIZED IN THE SHOPS THAT THEY COULD LAUGH AT ALL SHUT-DOWN ORDERS, AND CARRY ON PRODUCTION."'

   What an idiotic scenario. Workers would never get anywhere near to an electoral victory running on a platform that got the capitalist class so riled up as to lock workers out of their factories, as if that had a snow-ball's chance in hell of being a natural consequence of an equally unlikely display of overwhelming socialist sentiment among workers. Another 'big mistake' here was the suggestion that the battle for supremacy was a battle for control of the means of production, instead of a battle for political influence, or for state power.

5   "Referring to the heterogeneous nature of the constituency in political territory he comes to the crux of the matter:

   '"Civilized society will know no such ridiculous thing as geographic constituencies. It will only know industrial constituencies. The parliament ... will consist, not of Congressmen from geographic districts, but of representatives of trades ... and their legislative work will ... be ... the easy one which can be summed up in the statistics of the wealth needed, the wealth producible, and the work required - and that any average set of workingmen's representatives are fully able to ascertain"' ...

   Here De Leon described an essence of utopian and anarcho-syndicalist theory: a revolutionary change to a stateless administration of things by means of the economic organization of labor. No one should hold their breath waiting for this scheme of organizing classless and stateless society to materialize anytime soon. While the final goal of arriving at classless and stateless society is desired by many Marxists, reformers and anarchists alike, anarchists deny any need for political evolution to get to that goal, which to them is to be achieved 'at once'.

6   'De Leon then outlines the supreme mission of the revolutionary economic organization as being that of organizing the working class industrially - those with, as well as those without, jobs - and he adds that the mission of the economic organization is important also in that "the industrial organization forecasts the future constituencies of the parliaments of the Socialist Republic."'

   More utopia, but this was one of those not very frequent places where the jobless were mentioned. De Leon wrote of the 'supreme mission' of the economic organization, but just what that mission might be has been the subject of differing shades of opinion. Marx differentiated between economic and political working class missions in a November 1871 letter to Bolte (MESC, pp. 254-5):

   "The ultimate object of the political movement of the working class is, of course, the conquest of political power for this class, and this naturally requires that the organisation of the working class, an organisation which arises from its economic struggles, should previously reach a certain level of development.
   "
On the other hand, however, every movement in which the working class as a class confronts the ruling classes and tries to constrain them by pressure from without is a political movement. For instance, the attempt by strikes, etc., in a particular factory or even in a particular trade to compel individual capitalists to reduce the working day, is a purely economic movement. On the other hand the movement to force through an eight-hour, etc., law is a political movement. And in this way, out of the separate economic movements of the workers there grows up everywhere a political movement, that is to say, a class movement, with the object of enforcing its interests in a general form, in a form possessing general, socially coercive force. While these movements presuppose a certain degree of previous organisation, they are in turn equally a means of developing this organisation."

   From the above, it appears that the most class-conscious workers and unions are those that fight on political, as well as economic fronts, and that the real victory of the workers will be in the political arena. And look at what politically minded workers fight for - reductions in working hours! How apt. In the not-so-apt anarcho-syndicalist movement, however, it is held that unions will be the units of organization of the future society, and that political organization is secondary. This idea reflected the more despotic political conditions of absolute monarchies, back when workers were not politically represented. Various schemes for circumventing such restrictions, and reorganizing society using unions as a new foundation, are old hat. During the First International, such an idea became the fancy of one of Marx's old friends, Johannes Philip Becker (DFI 3, p. 445, footnote 168):

   "On the eve of the Eisenach Congress (of the German Social-Democratic Workers' Party), Becker worked out a scheme for founding a German workers' party on the basis of trade organisations which were to form a union embracing all German-speaking workers in different countries. This union was to be headed by a Central Committee. This scheme did not conform with the level of the working class movement in Germany where conditions were ripe for forming a proletarian party on a national scale. Becker's plan was sharply criticised by Engels who wrote to Marx on July 30, 1869: "Old Becker must have gone completely off his rocker. How can he decree that the trades unions must be the true workers' association and the basis of any organisation, that the other unions must only temporarily exist alongside with them, etc. All this in a country where there are no real trades unions as yet. What 'intricate' organisation! On the one hand, each trade centralises itself in a national summit and, on the other hand, various trades of a locality centralise themselves in a local summit. If one wants to make incessant squabbling permanent, he should use this form of organisation. But in essence it is nothing more than the wish of the old German artisan to save in each town his own 'tavern' which he regards as a basis for the unity of the workers' organisation.""

   In "Marx and the Trade Unions", Lozovsky revealed the origin of anarcho-syndicalist thought in the works of Bakunin (M+TU, pp. 35-6):

   "It is interesting to note the views of Bakunin on what the workers must demand. In the draft programme of the International Revolutionary Society, Bakunin writes:

   "The worker demands and must demand: (1) Equality - political, economic and social - for all classes and all peoples on earth; (2) the abolition of inherited property; (3) transfer of the land to the agricultural associations for use by them, and the transfer of capital and all means of production to the workers' industrial associations."

   "Whereas Marx raised the question of the abolition of classes, Bakunin speaks of the equality of classes. (True, later on, under the pressure of Marx's criticism, Bakunin abandoned this formulation.) Bakunin already here expressed the idea of transferring the enterprises to the workers' industrial associations, the idea that was afterwards taken as a basis for all theories developed by the French, Spanish and Italian anarchists and anarcho-syndicalists. It is a theory that never has been or could have been realised in practice anywhere, although the anarchists, opposed to power, succeeded in establishing their power over considerable territories (for example, Machno in Russia)."

   SLP literature has long propagandized that their Socialist Industrial Union program was De Leon's unique and brilliant invention, but there is plenty of evidence to show that its basis had already been thought up many years before. Was De Leon the first to modify Bakunin's idea to include industrial unions? That would be like competing for the honor of having falsified Marxism in a way that would bring in more workers who are susceptible to believing in phony theories. It would differ little from the pride of shady capitalists who successfully figure out how to con even more people to buy shoddy goods.
   A.P. continued with a new chapter (pp.
30-1):

p. 30:

"Marxism Fulfilled.
   "Here we have the rounding out of the Marxian principle of proletarian revolution. This is the real form at last discovered "under which [in ultra-capitalist countries] to work out the economic emancipation of labor." {1} What Marx forecast, and what was implied in his comments on the Paris Commune, De Leon here presents, not yet in full-fledged form, but with sufficient precision and clearness as to outline in this important and the only contribution "to Socialist thought since Marx." In the parts quoted we have the fulfillment of all the conditions laid down by Marx, and of all that is implicit in Marxism. {2} But the next year was to provide De Leon with the opportunity of completing his theory of the industrial constituency of the new society. By this time the Industrial Workers of the World had been launched, and inspired by the presence of this new promising union, he threw himself into the task of clarifying obscure points. His revolutionary ardor has now risen to new heights. It is, indeed, an inspired, yet a sober and thoroughly balanced Marxian revolutionist who at Minneapolis lays down the principles of Socialist reconstruction of society. Yet, it is not an egotist who here frantically sings his own praises. At no time does he announce to the world that he has made a great discovery. {3} Rather does he emphasize the fact that the highly developed capitalist system in this country has made possible the projection of this addition to Marxian science. {4} And while it is true that circumstance makes the man, it is also true that the right man must be there to serve as the true instrument of circumstance. And the right man was, indeed, there, in the full flower of his genius. Speaking on the point that the final, the consummating act of working class emancipation must be achieved by the toilers "taking and holding" the product of their labor "through an economic organization of the working class, etc.," {5} he says:

   ""In no country, outside of the United States, is this theory applicable; in no country, outside of the United States, is the theory rational. It is irrational and, therefore, inapplicable in all other countries, with the possible exception of Great Britain and the rest of the English-speaking world, because no country but the United States has reached that stage of full-orbed capitalism - economic, political and social - that the United States has attained. In other words, no other country is ripe for the execution of Marxian revolutionary tactics." {6} ("Socialist Reconstruction of Society.")"

   The main point made by A.P. seems to be that 'Marxism would be perfectly fulfilled in the United States and possibly the rest of the English-speaking world by implementing the De Leonist plan to industrially reorganize labor.' It made me proud at one time to discover that I was living in one of the few countries where this could happen, until I finally got around to educating myself as to the improbability of that plan. This theme of national chauvinism has often been repeated in SLP literature, and when I first saw it, it had the desired effect of making me feel proud to live in the country with 'the perfect flowering of capitalist technological development', though I wasn't sure if I should trust that feeling, especially after becoming quite critical of the USA, particularly for its role in the Vietnam war. But, to some extent, I felt for awhile that I was in the right place at the right time, even if the revolution didn't seem to be at hand. Later on, as I became more skeptical of all of the Party's promises with such a small delivery, I wondered where the workers fit in who were carrying out revolutions in the colonies. After I thought about it long enough and watched the producing classes of the colonies overturn colonial oppressors and have profound effects upon their living conditions - while conditions in this country continued to deteriorate - I felt like I had been taken to the cleaners one more time.

The Day De Leon Saved the World

   According to A.P., it was all a matter of form:

1   'Here we have the rounding out of the Marxian principle of proletarian revolution. This is the real form at last discovered "under which [in ultra-capitalist countries] to work out the economic emancipation of labor."'

   Here A.P. sloppily paraphrased a portion of Marx's "The Civil War in France" (MESW II, p. 223):

   ... 'the Commune ... was ... the political form at last discovered under which to work out the economic emancipation of labour.'

   The Commune was both a 'real' and a political form that was discovered and implemented by the producing classes of France, as opposed to De Leon's economic SIU form, which has yet to be organized.
   Paraphrasing the founders of socialism is a clever technique, especially if their words can be manipulated to appear harmonious with
anarchist doctrine. Left out of A.P.'s phrase was the fact that 'the Commune was a POLITICAL form'. Minus the 'political' adjective, the phrase could conceivably be interpreted to appear as harmonious with: 'The SIU is the economic form at last discovered under which to work out the economic emancipation of labor.' In order to prevent the concept of political activism from forming in the minds of his readers, A.P. consistently refrained from using the "political" adjective whenever possible.
   Speaking of paraphrasing: A long time ago, one of the members paraphrased a certain statement from Lenin's "
The State and Revolution". The original phrase was (LCW 25, p. 417):

   "Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat."

   This quote was paraphrased by the member as 'Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the Socialist Industrial Union.' That sounded impressive and profound at the time, and I harbored little doubt about it until after my discovery of the Party's fraudulent treatment of the subject.

2   'In the parts quoted we have the fulfillment of all the conditions laid down by Marx, and of all that is implicit in Marxism.'

   Here A.P. proclaimed that De Leon's version of 'Marxism' met his false standards with flying colors. But, as usual, Party theories of economic revolution bear little resemblance to Marx's theories and observations of political revolution.

3   "Yet, it is not an egotist who here frantically sings his own praises. At no time does he announce to the world that he has made a great discovery."

   I'm sure everyone was grateful for the restraint allegedly displayed by De Leon. Was it an unusual display of self-restraint that made this biographical note so important an item for our consumption?

4   'Rather does he emphasize the fact that the highly developed capitalist system in this country has made possible the projection of this addition to Marxian science.'

   A.P. would have loved for us to believe that: 'Advances in the means of production showed De Leon the form into which workers should organize in order to achieve their emancipation.' If anything qualifies as an addition to Marxian science, it was Marx's own 1872 statement that democratic governments enable workers to self-emancipate peacefully. The Party praises the allowance for peaceful change written into our Constitution, but, after the SIU revolution, the US Constitution would go out the window, along with all the rest of 'capitalist law'.

5   ... 'the final, the consummating act of working class emancipation must be achieved by the toilers "taking and holding" the product of their labor "through an economic organization of the working class, etc.,"'

   Putting all of the 'revolutionary' elements together: 'The political part of the revolution is the electoral victory of the workers' party, the abolition of elected representative bodies, and the discarding of capitalist law; while the economic aspect is the taking and holding of the means of production.' Overall, this is getting to be a pretty complicated revolution, and has nothing in common with revolutions that have occurred so far.

6    ""In other words, no other country is ripe for the execution of Marxian revolutionary tactics.""

   A.P. failed 100% to reproduce Marx's revolutionary tactics for our edification, but that didn't stop him from declaring them to be 100% compatible with his SIU program.
   Petersen continued with a new
chapter (pp. 31-4):

p. 31:

"Political Movement Destructive.
      "With magnificent scorn and contempt De Leon lashes the various "owls, the pseudo-Marxists included," {1} who are all set afluttering in their failure to understand, or unwillingness to accept, the revolutionary implications of the supreme mission of the economic organization. Branding the capitalist unionism of the A.F. of L. {2} as a "capitalist contrivance . . . calculated to block the path of [true] unionism," he makes this significant statement:

   ""The Preamble of the Industrial Workers of the World is the first pronouncement on the field of practice that clinches this many-sided issue. As becomes her opportunities, therefore her duty, this fruit first ripened on the soil of America." {3} ("Socialist Reconstruction of Society.")

   "He thereupon takes up the question of the political party. With equal incisiveness, and great clarity of thought, he places the reason for, and the function of a political party in its proper relation to the central question, which is the "taking and holding" of industry for the purpose of planned social production:

   ""It does not lie in a political organization, that is, a party, to 'take and hold' the machinery of production. {4} Both the 'reason' for a political party and its 'structure' unfit it for such work.....

   ""The 'reason' for a political party unfits it to 'take and hold' the machinery of production. {5} As shown when I dealt with the first sentence of this clause - the sentence that urges the necessity of political unity - the 'reason' for a political movement is the exigencies of the bourgeois shell in which the Social Revolution must partly shape its course. The governmental administration of capitalism is the State, the government proper (that institution is purely political). Political power, in the language of Marx, is merely the organized power of the capitalist class to oppress, to curb, to keep the working class in subjection. {6} The bourgeois shell in which the Social Revolution must partly shape its course dictates the setting up of a body that shall contest the possession of the political robber burg by the capitalist class. The reason for such initial tactics also dictates their ult imate goal - THE RAZING TO THE GROUND OF THE ROBBER BURG OF CAPITALIST TYRANNY. {7} The shops, the yards, the mills, in short, the mechanical establishments of production, now in the hands of the capitalist class - they are all to be 'taken,' not for the purpose of being destroyed, but for the purpose of being 'held'; for the purpose of improving and enlarging all the good that is latent in them, and that capitalism dwarfs; in short, they are to be 'taken and held' in {8} order to save them for civilization. It is exactly the reverse with the 'political power.' That is to be taken for the purpose of ABOLISHING IT. It follows herefrom that the goal of the political movement of labor is purely DESTRUCTIVE. Suppose that, at some election, the classconscious political arm of Labor were to sweep the field; suppose the sweeping were done in such a landslide fashion that the capitalist election officials are themselves so completely swept off their base that they wouldn't, if they could, and they couldn't, if they would, count us out; suppose that, from President down to Congress and the rest of the political redoubts of the capitalist robber burg, our candidates were installed; - suppose that, {9} what would there be for them to do? What should there be for them to do? Simply TO ADJOURN THEMSELVES, ON THE SPOT, SINE DIE. Their work would be done by disbanding. The political movement of labor, that, in the event of {10} triumph, would prolong its existence a second after triumph, would be a usurpation. It would be either a usurpation, or the signal for a social catastrophe. It would be the signal for a social catastrophe if the political triumph did not find the working class of the land industrially organized, that is, in full possession of the plants of production and distribution, capable, accordingly, to assume the integral conduct of the productive powers of the land. The catastrophe would be instantaneous. {11} The plants of production and distribution having remained in capitalist hands, production would be instantly blocked. On the other hand, if the political triumph does find the working class industrially organized, then for the political movement to prolong its existence would be to attempt to usurp the powers which its very triumph announces have devolved upon the central administration of the industrial organization. The 'reason' for a political movement obviously unfits it to 'take and hold' the machinery of production. What the political movement 'moves {12} into' is not the shops, but the robber burg of capitalism - for the purpose of dismantling it." ("Socialist Reconstruction of Society.")

   "Note here the close parallel between this last quoted statement and Marx's declaration that the purpose of the "Communal Constitution [was to] become a reality by the destruction of the State power which claimed to be the embodiment of that unity independent of, and superior to, the nation itself, from which it was but a parasitic excrescence.""

   Instead of being consistent with the Marxist intent of 'taking and holding the power of the state', much of the emphasis in this chapter was with taking and holding the means of production, which is basic anarchist ideology. The paradigm of 'the workers' industrial organization ready to carry on production after the victory at the ballot box' has a lot of revolutionary tension associated with it, and while searching for a model with similar revolutionary tension in the works of Marx and Engels, all that seemed applicable was their frequent warnings to revolutionaries to avoid taking state power before enough supportive forces had been gathered, in order to avoid a blood bath.

  'With magnificent scorn and contempt De Leon lashes the various "owls, the pseudo-Marxists included," who are all set afluttering in their failure to understand, or unwillingness to accept, the revolutionary implications of the supreme mission of the economic organization.'

   Does this 'owl' talk mean that some 'wise guys' tried to 'hoot' De Leon off the stage? Note the violent language used by the peaceful anarchist A.P., with his descriptions of 'magnificent scorn and contempt', 'lashes', and 'branding'. A similar approach to the enemies of the anarchists has been observed in other places in this and other pamphlets, including a tendency to use 'fighting words'. Don't let anybody get in their way. One could also fall victim to abuse from anarchists for a mere 'failure to understand or unwillingness to accept' anarchist doctrine. Lest one be naive enough, as I once was, to unquestioningly accept their conclusions and 'conditions' arguments, there is nothing but smooth sailing. But, once one begins to question the basis of their programs, one thereby opens oneself up to "scorn", "contempt", "lashes", "branding", and, no doubt, to other forms of abuse. What ever happened to patient and logically consistent arguments?

2   'Branding the capitalist unionism of the A.F. of L. as a "capitalist contrivance . . . calculated to block the path of [true] unionism' ...

   Not very many unionists in advanced Western countries express interest in discarding capitalism, which is the mission A.P. insinuated on 'true' unionism. Big unions voice interests in the future of capitalism, have forged partnerships between capital and labor, and have invested strike and pension funds in capitalist enterprises. As unions grew up and bureaucratized, they figured out how to make a business out of trade unionism. Simultaneously, the SLP figured out how to make a business out of anarchism disguised as socialism. Joining the AFL could sometimes put money into a worker's pocket, whereas joining the SLP was more likely to drain it. Competing business interests were the source of the conflict, and fierce competition led to the slander of the AFL by the SLP. If the AFL had been all wrong, Sam Gompers would not have asked Engels to intervene in the controversy between himself and Lucien Sanial of the SLP in 1891 (See Appendices 1 and 2). De Leon's claim that the AFL was calculated to block the path of [true] unionism gave the SLP concept of unionism far too much credit as 'a boon to workers that didn't deserve to be blocked.'

3  ... '"this fruit first ripened on the soil of America."'

   There goes the national chauvinism again, as though 'the soil of America' was something special. Maybe that phrase was useful in welcoming immigrants of the time into the Party.

The Party Destructive

   Here we learn the purpose of the De Leonist party of labor:

4   '"It does not lie in a political organization, that is, a party, to 'take and hold' the machinery of production. Both the 'reason' for a political party and its 'structure' unfit it for such work....."'

   Did anyone propose 'taking and holding the means of production' to be the purpose of a workers' party? Why did De Leon find it necessary to repudiate that particular idea, and was it just an example of setting up a straw man only to demolish it in order to impress the politically naive? Many who have flirted with socialist or progressive ideas may have suspected that a workers' party is supposed to take and hold 'something', but were not exactly sure what that 'something' might be. Then along comes De Leon to proclaim with great authority that 'the means of production are to be taken and held'. Not only that, but, 'it is not the party that is fit for taking and holding the means of production, but rather the economic organization of labor.' In that manner, De Leon could hope to replace 'workers' normal desire to wield influence in government' with 'desire to take over the means of production', and all in the name of Marx.

5   '"The 'reason' for a political party unfits it to 'take and hold' the machinery of production. ... the 'reason' for a political movement is the exigencies of the bourgeois shell in which the Social Revolution must partly shape its course."'

   One of the ideas De Leon developed was: 'Unions are suited to run the means of production, while the workers' party is suited for shutting down the bourgeois state.' Any unity of duties, purpose, and connection between the union and party of labor was minimized. The text so far has propagandized that: 'The destructive party and state are bourgeois and are to be abolished, self-destruct, or commit suicide; but the union is constructive and will carry on production after the revolution.' This definition of duties could conceivably appeal to some people, but it's quite different from the Marxian dictum (DFI 4, pp. 444-5): "That in the militant state of the working class, its economical movement and its political action are indissolubly united." And what could best encapsulate that unity better than the struggle to share work by lawfully reducing hours of labor?

6   '"The governmental administration of capitalism is the State, the government proper (that institution is purely political). Political power, in the language of Marx, is merely the organized power of the capitalist class to oppress, to curb, to keep the working class in subjection."'

   Once again, De Leon gave us a black and white way of looking at politics, but whoever thinks that the state is purely political hasn't done their homework. One could also read the October 1890 letter to Schmidt in which Engels emphatically stated that "Force (that is, state power) is also an economic power!"
   De Leon's second sentence is a good example of a
half-truth, because Marx did not make state power a one-way street in which capitalist state power over the proletariat could not be turned around; rather, Marx left it open for any class to oppress any other. To the master of deceit, however, 'state power has always been capitalist state power over the working class', and 'contemplating the reverse is absurd.' In the "Communist Manifesto", however, Marx and Engels wrote (MESW I, p. 127):

   "When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organise itself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class."

   How could a so-called revolutionary extract a sentence from this paragraph and make it appear as though political power is a one way street without committing gross fraud? But what did SLP leaders care about truth when they had a revolution to sell?

7   '"The bourgeois shell in which the Social Revolution must partly shape its course dictates the setting up of a body that shall contest the possession of the political robber burg by the capitalist class. The reason for such initial tactics also dictates their ultimate goal - THE RAZING TO THE GROUND OF THE ROBBER BURG OF CAPITALIST TYRANNY."'

   When I first read this excerpt, it didn't seem possible that the De Leonist party would be Marxist enough to want to contest the possession of the state, for, possession is not ordinarily contested unless a party plans to use the state, as Engels wrote in "The Housing Question", etc. As I read on, however, it became apparent that the De Leonist purpose for possessing the state was to enable its immediate abolition. Their contest for possession was only to be a part of the initial tactics of the party, and then, for reasons insufficiently explained, the initial tactics were to be scrapped and replaced with the tactic of 'the abolition of the state.' Exactly how the 'initial tactic' of contesting possession 'dictates the ultimate goal of abolition' unfortunately was not explained here, but maybe somewhere in the archives of anarchist thought it was explained at least as 'logically' as the 'conditions' argument was. So, here's another field of research for someone brave enough to enter the swamp.

8   '"The ... mechanical establishments of production ... are all to be 'taken,' ... for the purpose of being 'held'; for the purpose of improving and enlarging all the good that is latent in them ... in order to save them for civilization. It is exactly the reverse with the 'political power.' That is to be taken for the purpose of ABOLISHING IT. It follows herefrom that the goal of the political movement of labor is purely DESTRUCTIVE."'

   If the goal of the political movement is purely destructive, why would Engels have suggested concentrating means of production into the hands of that very 'destructive' state? To enable one heck of a Luddite smash-up-the-means-of-production party after taking state power? I doubt it. Once again, De Leon was being entirely un-Marxist by suggesting that 'all forms of state power are forms of capitalist state power', and that 'state power is purely political, destructive, bourgeois, and is to be abolished.' De Leon also was at odds with his previous philosophy when he was in the Nationalist movement and advocated nationalizing industries, i.e., concentrating all means of production into the hands of government.

9   '"Suppose that, at some election, the classconscious political arm of Labor were to sweep the field ... in such a landslide fashion that the capitalist election officials ... couldn't ... count us out; suppose that ... our candidates were installed; ... what ... should there be for them to do? Simply TO ADJOURN THEMSELVES, ON THE SPOT ... Their work would be done by disbanding."'

   The idea of waiting for an election to abolish the state is a pacifist absurdity. The abolition of the state is a sweeping destruction of a great number of institutions, and involves a traumatic disruption of a great number of lives. The state would undoubtedly fight back to preserve itself, dooming would-be revolutionaries to defeat.

10  '"The political movement of labor, that, in the event of triumph, would prolong its existence a second after triumph, would be a usurpation ... or the signal for a social catastrophe ... if the political triumph did not find the working class of the land industrially organized ... in full possession of the plants of production and distribution ... to assume the integral conduct of the productive powers of the land."'

   Implied by this scenario is a possible division of interests between the political and economic arms of the workers' movement, a division possibly on the scale of that between communists and anarchists. But, since, according to the De Leonist scenario, 'the industrial union is the only body that can set on foot the true political party of labor', and since 'the party has no other mandate than to abolish the government', what desire to usurp union control over the economy could possibly exist? Isn't the party supposed to totally submit to the desires of the unions, given that the union sets the party on foot? Why even bring up this idea of usurpation? The De Leonist scenario of giving up state power after a proletarian political victory was strongly opposed by Lenin in "The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky" (LCW 28, p. 261):

   "Whoever sincerely shared the Marxist view that the state is nothing but a machine for the suppression of one class by another, and who has at all reflected upon this truth, could never have reached the absurd conclusion that the proletarian organisations capable of defeating finance capital must not transform themselves into state organisations. It was this point that betrayed the petty bourgeois who believes that "after all is said and done" the state is something outside classes or above classes. Indeed, why should the proletariat, "one class", be permitted to wage unremitting war on capital, which rules not only over the proletariat, but over the whole people, over the whole petty bourgeoisie, over all the peasants, yet this proletariat, this "one class", is not to be permitted to transform its organisation into a state organisation? Because the petty bourgeois is afraid of the class struggle, and does not carry it to its logical conclusion, to its main object.
   "
Kautsky has got himself completely mixed up and has given himself away entirely. Mark you, he himself admits that Europe is heading for decisive battles between capital and labour, and that the old methods of economic and political struggle of the proletariat are inadequate. But these old methods were precisely the utilisation of bourgeois democracy. It therefore follows...?
   "
But Kautsky is afraid to think of what follows."

   Kautsky allegedly feared thinking about the proletarian dictatorship when workers retained state power, instead of appeasing the bourgeoisie and giving it up, as the SLP wants them to.

11  ""The catastrophe would be instantaneous. The plants of production and distribution having remained in capitalist hands, production would be instantly blocked.""

   Using De Leonist standards, a situation in which 'the party was victorious while the union remained unorganized' could mean that 'the party had not been set on foot by the union that had not yet been fully organized.' In that case, such a party would want to hold onto power after the electoral victory. The catastrophe which would thereby result was defined by De Leon as: the blocking of that all-important production.
   The
De Leonist revolution has a lot of interlocking elements: 1) the workers' party having to be the brainchild of the economic movement, responsible to it alone, 2) the political victory identified as the victory of the workers' party at the ballot box, 3) the readiness of the economic movement to take over the means of production at the moment of electoral victory, 4) the catastrophe of production being blocked if the economic movement isn't ready to take over the means of production at the moment of electoral victory, 5) the other possibility that the political movement would usurp the duties of the economic movement if it didn't disband itself and the state at its moment of victory. So many possibilities in an increasingly complicated scenario.

12  ""The 'reason' for a political movement obviously unfits it to 'take and hold' the machinery of production. What the political movement 'moves into' is not the shops, but the robber burg of capitalism - for the purpose of dismantling it." ("Socialist Reconstruction of Society.")

   "Note here the close parallel between this last quoted statement and Marx's declaration that the purpose of the "Communal Constitution [was to] become a reality by the destruction of the State power which claimed to be the embodiment of that unity independent of, and superior to, the nation itself, from which it was but a parasitic excrescence.""

   Could Marx have written anything as vague or unintelligible as that? Compare what A.P. 'quoted' to what Marx really wrote in "The Civil War in France" (MESW II, p. 221):

   "The Paris Commune was, of course, to serve as a model to all the great industrial centres of France. The Communal regime once established in Paris and the secondary centres, the old centralised Government would in the provinces, too, have to give way to the self-government of the producers. In a rough sketch of national organisation which the Commune had no time to develop, it states clearly that the Commune was to be the political form of even the smallest country hamlet, and that in the rural districts the standing army was to be replaced by a national militia, with an extremely short term of service. The rural communes of every district were to administer their common affairs by an assembly of delegates in the central town, and these district assemblies were again to send deputies to the National Delegation in Paris, each delegate to be at any time revocable and bound by the mandat imperatif (formal instructions) of his constituents. The few but important functions which still would remain for a central government were not to be suppressed, as has been intentionally misstated, but were to be discharged by Communal, and therefore strictly responsible agents. The unity of the nation was not to be broken, but, on the contrary, to be organised by the Communal Constitution and to become a reality by the destruction of the State power which claimed to be the embodiment of that unity independent of, and superior to, the nation itself, from which it was but a parasitic excrescence. While the merely repressive organs of the old governmental power were to be amputated, its legitimate functions were to be wrested from an authority usurping pre-eminence over society itself, and restored to the responsible agents of society. Instead of deciding once in three or six years which member of the ruling class was to misrepresent the people in Parliament, universal suffrage was to serve the people, constituted in Communes, as individual suffrage serves every other employer in the search for the workmen and managers in his business. And it is well known that companies, like individuals, in matters of real business generally know how to put the right man in the right place, and, if they for once make a mistake, to redress it properly. On the other hand, nothing could be more foreign to spirit of the Commune than to supersede universal suffrage by hierarchic investiture."

   Let's look at one of the many interesting statements:

   'The few but important functions which still would remain for a central government were not to be suppressed, as has been intentionally misstated, but were to be discharged by Communal, and therefore strictly responsible agents.'

   After the crushing of the Commune, and before two months had yet to pass, unnamed falsifiers were already at work intentionally misstating the experience and intentions of the Commune, apparently stating that all of the functions of the central government were to be suppressed. We shall see if the SLP would also have suppressed the Commune's central government. To rebut the advocates of autonomy, Marx also wrote:

   'The unity of the nation was not to be broken, but, on the contrary, to be organised by the Communal Constitution and to become a reality by the destruction of the State power' ...

   Compare this to what A.P. 'extracted' (p. 34):

   ... 'the purpose of the "Communal Constitution [was to] become a reality by the destruction of the State power"' ...

   Whatever that purpose was imputed to be, A.P.'s version stated that 'the purpose of the Communal Constitution [was to] become a reality', whereas Marx wrote that 'the unity of the nation was ... to become a reality'. Was A.P. merely the victim of a 'bad translation'? I don't see how anyone who read Marx's version could have interpreted or translated it any other way. But, because anarchists promote the autonomy of every entity, it's likely that they couldn't let it be known that the Communal Constitution was to unify the nation under a central state authority, and certainly not destroy authority.
   Much of the
literature of the SLP written by Arnold Petersen praised Daniel De Leon's alleged accomplishments and promoted his theories. Some of the prose was similar to the kind of adulation associated with cults of personality that were fostered around Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and others. Perhaps the SLP filled a real psychological need for some members and sympathizers by providing a 'hero' or 'savior' for them to admire and/or worship. On the subject of SLP literature, I drafted the following to a member back in 1977:
   'On the subject of politics, the "
Paris Commune" and the "Communist Manifesto" seem to be our only good translations. Our "18th Brumaire", "Class Struggles in France", and "Gotha Program" are not so much translations as they are hatchet jobs. Just try for yourself, for instance, to understand the SLP version of "Class Struggles in France". You would probably more be 'awed by the genius of Marx' than to be able to understand him. The SLP version is downright incomprehensible compared with any other publisher's version. A line by line comparison will show that Henry Kuhn {the translator} wanted more to prevent comprehension than to promote it.'
   It's no mere coincidence that all of the butchered quotes in
SLP literature leaned in a direction that enabled anarchist conclusions to be drawn, and gave the politically naive all the more incentive to abolish the state. The old state power that the Commune broke was well described by Marx in the third part of his "Civil War in France" (MESW II, pp. 217-19):

"III

   "On the dawn of the 18th of March, Paris arose to the thunderburst of "Vive la Commune!" What is the Commune, that sphinx so tantalising to the bourgeois mind?

   ""The proletarians of Paris," said the Central Committee in its manifesto of the 18th March, "amidst the failures and treasons of the ruling classes, have understood that the hour has struck for them to save the situation by taking into their own hands the direction of public affairs.... They have understood that it is their imperious duty and their absolute right to render themselves masters of their own destinies, by seizing upon the governmental power."

   "But the working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery, and wield it for its own purposes.
   "
The centralised State power, with its ubiquitous organs of standing army, police, bureaucracy, clergy, and judicature - organs wrought after the plan of a systematic and hierarchic division of labour, - originates from the days of absolute monarchy, serving nascent middle-class society as a mighty weapon in its struggles against feudalism. Still, its development remained clogged by all manner of mediaeval rubbish, seigniorial rights, local privileges, municipal and guild monopolies and provincial constitutions. The gigantic broom of the French Revolution of the eighteenth century swept away all these relics of bygone times, thus clearing simultaneously the social soil of its last hindrances to the superstructure of the modern State edifice raised under the First Empire, itself the offspring of the coalition wars of old semi-feudal Europe against modern France. During the subsequent regimes the Government, placed under parliamentary control - that is, under the direct control of the propertied classes - became not only a hotbed of huge national debts and crushing taxes; with its irresistible allurements of place, pelf, and patronage, it became not only the bone of contention between the rival factions and adventurers of the ruling classes; but its political character changed simultaneously with the economic changes of society. At the same pace at which the progress of modern industry developed, widened, intensified the class antagonism between capital and labour, the State power assumed more and more the character of the national power of capital over labour, of a public force organised for social enslavement, of an engine of class despotism. After every revolution marking a progressive phase in the class struggle, the purely repressive character of the State power stands out in bolder and bolder relief. The Revolution of 1830, resulting in the transfer of Government from the landlords to the capitalists, transformed it from the more remote to the more direct antagonists of the working men. The bourgeois Republicans, who, in the name of the Revolution of February {1848}, took the State power, used it for the June massacres, in order to convince the working class that "social" republic meant the Republic ensuring their social subjection, and in order to convince the royalist bulk of the bourgeois and landlord class that they might safely leave the cares and emoluments of Government to the bourgeois "Republicans." However, after their one heroic exploit of June, the bourgeois Republicans had, from the front, to fall back to the rear of the "Party of Order" - a combination formed by all the rival fractions and factions of the appropriating class in their now openly declared antagonism to the producing classes. The proper form of their joint-stock Government was the Parliamentary Republic, with Louis Bonaparte for its President. Theirs was a regime of avowed class terrorism and deliberate insult toward the "vile multitude." If the Parliamentary Republic, as M. Thiers said, "divided them (the different fractions of the ruling class) least," it opened an abyss between that class and the whole body of society outside their spare ranks. The restraints by which their own divisions had under former regimes still checked the State power, were removed by their union; and in view of the threatening upheaval of the proletariat, they now used that State power mercilessly and ostentatiously as the national war-engine of capital against labour. In their uninterrupted crusade against the producing masses they were, however, bound not only to invest the executive with continually increased powers of repression, but at the same time to divest their own parliamentary stronghold - the National Assembly - one by one, of all its own means of defence against the Executive. The Executive, in the person of Louis Bonaparte, turned them out. The natural offspring of the "Party-of-Order" Republic was the Second Empire.
   "
The Empire, with the coup d'état for its certificate of birth, and the sword for its sceptre, professed to rest upon the peasantry, the large mass of producers not directly involved in the struggle of capital and labour. It professed to save the working class by breaking down Parliamentarism, and, with it, the undisguised subserviency of Government to the propertied classes. It professed to save the propertied classes by upholding their economic supremacy over the working class; and, finally, it professed to unite all classes by reviving for all the chimera of national glory. In reality, it was the only form of government possible at a time when the bourgeoisie had already lost, and the working class had not yet acquired, the faculty of ruling the nation. It was acclaimed throughout the world as the saviour of society. Under its sway, bourgeois society, freed from political cares, attained a development unexpected even by itself. Its industry and commerce expanded to colossal dimensions; financial swindling celebrated cosmopolitan orgies; the misery of the masses was set off by a shameless display of gorgeous, meretricious and debased luxury. The State power, apparently soaring high above society, was at the same time itself the greatest scandal of that society and the very hotbed of all its corruptions. Its own rottenness, and the rottenness of the society it had saved, were laid bare by the bayonet of Prussia, herself eagerly bent upon transferring the supreme seat of that regime from Paris to Berlin. Imperialism is, at the same time, the most prostitute and the ultimate form of the State power which nascent middle-class society had commenced to elaborate as a means of its own emancipation from feudalism, and which full-grown bourgeois society had finally transformed into a means for the enslavement of labour by capital."

   A.P. could not have missed the fact that the old state power that the Commune broke up did not merely consist of parliaments and constituent assemblies - but, rather, the old state power was the 'standing army, police, bureaucracy, clergy, and judicature - organs wrought after the plan of a systematic and hierarchic division of labour ... a hotbed of huge national debts and crushing taxes ... the national war-engine of capital against labour ... and ... the greatest scandal of that society and the very hotbed of all its corruptions.' Marx's history of class struggle was written in a way that made history interesting, enabling us to understand what kind of state institutions were smashed up in 1871, and how especially rotten ripe for overthrow was that 'saviour of society'.
   A.P. continued (pp.
34-6):

p. 34:

"Rise of Industrial Union Power.
   ""And, now, [continued De Leon] as to the 'structure' of a political party. Look closely into that, and the fact cannot escape you that its structure also unfits the political movement to 'take and hold' the machinery of production. The disability flows inevitably from the 'reason' for politics. The 'reason' for a political party, we have seen, is to contend with capitalism upon its own special field - the field that determines the fate of political power. It follows that the structure of a political party must be determined by the capitalist governmental system of territorial demarcations - a system that the Socialist Republic casts off like a slough that society shall have outgrown. {1} Take Congress, for instance, whether Senate or House of Representatives. The unit of the congressional representation is purely politically geographic; it is arbitrary. The structure of the congressional district reflects the purpose of the capitalist State - political, that is, class tyranny over class. The thought of production is absent, wholly so, from the congressional demarcations. It cannot be otherwise. Congress - not being a central administration of the productive forces of the land, but the organized power of the capitalist class for oppression {2} - ITS constituent bodies can have no trace of a purpose to administer production. {3} Shoemakers, bricklayers, miners, railroad men, together with the workers in all manner of other fractions of industries, are, accordingly, jumbled together in each separate congressional district. Accordingly, the political organization of labor intended to capture a congressional district is wholly unfit to 'take and hold' the plants of industry. The only organization fit for that is the organization of the several industries themselves - and they are not subject to political lines of demarcations; they mock all such arbitrary, imaginary lines. The central administrative organ of the Socialist Republic - exactly the opposite of the central power of capitalism, not being the organized power of a ruling class for oppression, in short, not being political, but exclusively administrative of the producing forces of the land - ITS constituent bodies must be exclusively industrial. {4} The artillery may support the cavalry; the cavalry may support the infantry of an army in the act of final triumph; in the act, however, of 'taking and holding' the nation's plants of production, the political organization of the working class can give no help. Its mission will have come to an end just before the consummation of that consummating act of labor's emancipation. The form of central authority to which the political organization had to adapt itself and consequently looked, {5} will have ceased to be. As the slough shed by the serpent that immediately reappears in its new skin, the Political State will have been shed, and society will simultaneously appear in its new administrative garb. The mining, the railroad, the textile, the building industries, down or up the line, each of these, regardless of former political boundaries, will be the constituencies of that new central authority the rough scaffolding of which was raised last week in Chicago. Where the General Executive Board of the Industrial Union of the nation will sit there will be the nation's capital. Like the flimsy cardhouses that children raise, the present political governments of counties, of states, aye, of the city on the Potomac herself, will tumble down, their places taken by the central and the subordinate administrative organs of the nation's industrial forces. Obviously, not the 'structure' of the POLITICAL movement, but the structure of the ECONOMIC movement is fit for the task, to 'take and hold' the industrial administration of the country's productive activity - the only thing worth 'taking and holding.'" ("Socialist Reconstruction of Society.")"

   In this chapter, A.P. quoted De Leon's theories for the structure of the political party of labor. Two main clues to a definition of that structure include:

1   ... '"the structure of a political party must be determined by the capitalist governmental system of territorial demarcations"' ...

... and ...

5   '"The form of central authority to which the political organization had to adapt itself and consequently looked, will have ceased to be."'

   The territorial demarcations aspect of Party structure means organizing people into city, county, state, region, and national groups, with smaller subdivisions electing representatives to larger ones. De Leon apparently didn't find it necessary for the form of the workers' party to differ from the form of the capitalist state. There is a certain quality of logic to the theory that, 'since the Party and the state are both to share the same fate of being discarded, why not share the same form and structure?'
   It can also be argued that the forms of organization adopted by states and parties have served to protect and perpetuate those institutions. If a party uses the same organizational form as the state and other political parties, and yet its ultimate goal is so different from the others, could the difference in goals be significant enough to reflect upon its structural form? Could one not argue that the wide variance in final goals could possibly reflect on the form of a party?
   While the role of the
SLP is the abolition of the state at the ballot box, one of the roles of the democratic state is to allow for all of the various parties to engage in contests, or elections, for control and maintenance of the state. A comparison of the roles of the SLP and that of the state in contemporary democratic times would reveal that both have their own peaceful goals with respect to one another. On the one hand, the state has allowed the Party to exist for a long time, even if the goal of the Party is the abolition of the state and itself. On the other hand, the Party, at least as late as the 1970's, put up candidates for President and other political offices, and, without the voting public investigating too deeply, they could be led to conclude that the Party has the same electoral goals as the vast bulk of the rest of the parties. At the forefront of their campaigns, Party candidates have often put forth criticisms of capitalism and politics, they have put forth the SIU plan for reorganizing society, and have often saved the abolition of the state at the ballot box for last.
   De Leon wrote that,
like other political parties, the SLP, in its original set of tactics, could do nothing other than to peacefully contest control of the state. The outward appearance of entering a political campaign lends weight to the argument that the Party has a stake in the continuation of politics; and, with an allegedly socialist platform, a continuation of politics, but with working class supremacy in the state. But, since the ultimate goal of the Party is not for workers to maintain possession of the state, the Party only initially maintains the appearance as though its purpose is to take and hold state power, but, at some point in the process of people familiarizing themselves with the Party, they eventually become aware that its end goal is far more radical than what most people are ready to accept.
   The contradiction between the
real goal and the initially apparent goal of the Party could create stress for members. It takes quite an act of courage to come right out in public and admit that the campaigns they run, if successful, would culminate with the abolition of the Party, the state, political process, laws, and everything else that political people use. Even the least sophisticated among the public might be tempted to ask: "Why run for office if your only political purpose is to abolish the office to which you are elected?" The member could always reply: "To make use of public forums in which to carry on socialist propaganda." To which a skeptical citizen might reply, "If such a self-destructive program is socialism, then give me anything but socialism."

SLP Form and Function

   If the SLP was intended to be a model of what a self-destructing party of labor should look like, we should take a closer look at its structure, as illuminated somewhat by its Constitution. Article I of the 1977 SLP Constitution is entitled "Management", and contains but one section which merely states (p. 4):

   "Section 1. The affairs of the Socialist Labor Party shall be conducted by the National Executive Committee, the National Office, the state organizations, the local organizations, the Sections, the National Conventions, and the membership."

   On the national level back in the 1970's, the Party Convention elected a National Secretary and an Editor, each for four-year terms. The ten-member National Executive Committee was elected by the members of their respective ten regions for one-year terms. Meanwhile, U.S. citizens elect Presidents, Vice-Presidents and Congress. Elected officials appoint cabinets and all of their helpers, and the NS and Editor got to appoint or hire all of their own help. When the NS was re-elected, no machinery existed by which another candidate could debate the NS, or other candidates, or carry on an election campaign, and the pre-selected successor was usually approved without significant opposition.
   I remember the first time I had a chance to vote in a
national election in the SLP, and I didn't have the faintest idea for whom I was voting. All I can remember was going through the motions of a process which was familiar, due to my having voted a few times before in ordinary elections. Though I had heard and met with many of the LOCAL Party speakers, officers, and candidates, I knew nothing of the National Officer whose election I was being asked to approve.
   One of the problems with the
election of only two National Officers was that they then had lots of power over their wage-slaves who had little choice but to carry out the agendas of those two officials. The SLP's NO staff acted as a body of wage-slaves for the NS and Editor to manage. In this respect, the Party set a poor example for the abolition of wage-slavery. And, without a union, the staff probably thought twice before any of them dared to openly criticize the NS. The Party's structure was an approximate reflection of the structure of the government that the SLP is sworn to abolish.
   
Section 13 of Article V of the 1977 Party Constitution provided for the NEC members ... (p. 30):

   "(k) To initiate discussion with the Sections within their respective regions on the contents of each NEC session shortly after the holding of such session. Expenses incurred shall be borne by the National Office."

   Of the two national districts in which I had membership, I do not recall any such meetings, though it very well could be that such meetings regularly took place in the eight other districts.
Though the
Party's organizational form has changed since the mid-seventies, the administration of the Party back then - between the annual sessions of the NEC and the National Conventions - was conducted by a Subcommittee of five members elected by the NEC, and living "within practical commuting distance from national headquarters", though no details of this election process in my old SLP Constitution were printed. From Article V of the 1977 SLP Constitution (p. 30):

   "Section 16: The NEC Subcommittee in all its activities shall work in conjunction with the National Secretary, who shall attend all its meetings and have a voice but no vote in all its proceedings."

   During the 2+ years I worked at the NO, rumor had it that the historical role of both the Subcommittee and the NEC was that of a rubber stamp for the agenda of the National Secretary.
   The 1977
Edition of the SLP Constitution shows nothing at all with relation to National Office employees, with the exception that Section 17 of Article V prohibited a "permanent paid employee" from being on the NEC Subcommittee. If there were other bodies of rules associated with the duties, rights and privileges of NO employees, I never saw or heard about them. At the NO that I knew, the National Secretary got to hire and fire all of the employees of the National Office, even the WP staffers, since there was no other editor except the NS at the time. Instead of the NO being their unit of organization, all of the workers in the NO got organized into Sections local to their residences, which, in the period of my involvement, meant that one worker might have gone to Section San Francisco, while the bulk of us formed into Section Santa Clara. Even though I attended nearly all of my Section meetings, I never saw the NS or the Subcommittee members at the same meetings. They seemed to be in a class by themselves, exempt from those mostly boring Section meetings. Where was their exemption written in the rules? Rank-and-file NO wage-slaves, in the meantime, got to be treated like any other member in any other Section out in the field.

Comparison to the First International

   It's instructive to compare the structures of the First International and the Commune with that of the SLP. Perhaps for the sin of having been grounded in a lower level of technological development than what we now enjoy, a lot of things that evolved in the 19th century remained irrelevant to SLP leaders. The Party's literature didn't say a word about the organizational form of the First International Workingmen's Association, nor why the Party's form varies so much from the FI, especially if the Party allegedly evolved from it.
   The
International eliminated internal offices that were comparable to the offices of President and Vice-President, and did its work within the context of committees. The annual Congress of Delegates was the ultimate power of the organization. It elected a General Council to carry on the International's affairs between Congresses, and it fixed the seat of the Council, usually London. Each Delegate could represent up to five hundred rank and file members. The Congress could also expel any of the members of the General Council, or even the whole Council.
   The
Congress of the First International could relocate the seat of the GC to wherever it wanted, based upon the political conditions of a country and the qualifications of members local to the seat. In the interests of fairness, Marx often proposed a European country for the seat of the General Council, but due to persecution of the Reds in Europe, the GC always sat in London as a precaution. Later, due to growing friction between the internationalists, the reformers, and the anarchists, the Hague Congress of 1872 moved the GC to New York. After the move, the International gradually disintegrated and officially disbanded in 1876. Some of the members of the old International later helped to form the American SLP.
   The
GC also elected a Subcommittee to carry on some day-to-day business and for special tasks, such as the preparation of proclamations and addresses, etc. Marx sat on the Subcommittee during the 8 years of the International's heyday, drew up many of its documents and discussed them with the Subcommittee before presenting them to the General Council for their consideration. All of the statements, resolutions and manifestos of the International bore the signatures of the members of the GC.
   Members of the
General Council were equals, and elected their own functionaries from among themselves. They could also add to their own numbers at any time, and when Engels moved from Manchester to London in 1870, he was added as well. The International did not interfere in the internal affairs of its constituent bodies, but the annual Congress could expel sections, branches and federations if necessary. The whole arrangement had the advantage of flexibility that even made the police admire it. In a footnote at the end of their 1872 "Fictitious Splits in the International", Marx and Engels wrote (MESW II, p. 286):

   "In the report on the Defaure law, Sacase, the Rural Assembly deputy, attacks above all the International's "organisation." He positively hates that organisation. After having verified "the mounting popularity of this formidable Association," he goes on to say: "This Association rejects . . . the shady practices of the sects that preceded it. Its organisation was created and modified quite openly. Because of the power of this organisation . . . it has steadily extended its sphere of activity and influence. It is expanding throughout the world." Then he gives a "short description of the organisation" and concludes: "Such is, in its wise unity, . . . the plan of this vast organisation. Its strength lies in its very conception. It also rests in its numerous adherents, who are linked by their common activities, and, lastly, in the invincible impulse that drives them to action.""

   In a letter to Schweitzer in September of 1868, Marx complained about the election of a president to the German union, for, what with the other two elected independent bodies - the committee elected by the trades, and the congress elected by the locals - Marx considered the position of president superfluous (M+TU, p. 43). During the earlier days of the First International, there was a position called "President", but on Marx's motion, that post was eliminated. Two years later, at the Basle Congress of 1869, it was proposed that (DFI 2, p. 372, fn. #212):

   ... "all local sections should abolish the post of president in their sections."

   In an October 1868 letter to Schweitzer about the structure of the German trade unions, Marx wrote (MESC, p. 202):

   "Without going further into details I only want to remark that centralist organisation, although very suitable for secret societies and sectarian movements, goes against the nature of trade unions. Even if it were possible - I state outright that it is impossible - it would not be desirable, and least of all in Germany. Here where the worker's life is regulated from childhood on by bureaucracy and he himself believes in the authorities, in the bodies appointed over him, he must be taught before all else to walk by himself. ...
   "
Lassalle committed a gross blunder when he took over the "president elected by universal suffrage" from the French Constitution of 1852. And, moreover, in a trade union movement! The latter revolves largely around money questions and you will soon discover that here all dictatorship comes to an end."

   In a November 1877 letter to Wilhelm Blos, Marx advised against authoritarian structures in workers' parties (MESC, p. 291):

   "When Engels and I first joined the secret Communist Society we made it a condition that everything tending to encourage superstitious belief in authority was to be removed from the Rules. (Later on Lassalle exerted his influence in the opposite direction.)"

   Article VII of the 1977 SLP Constitution described the duties of the alleged ultimate power of the Party (p. 36):

   "Section 11. The National Convention shall frame the national Platform, decide the form of organization, and investigate and decide all difficulties within the Party submitted to the Convention."

   A good question could be asked: Who gets to submit the list of 'difficulties within the Party'? The delegates, the NS, the NEC, or who?

Party and Power

   In his letter to Turati of January 1894, Engels wrote about the relation of the party to political power, its immediate aims, and the interests of the working classes (MESC, pp. 444-5):

   "Ever since 1848 the tactics that have brought the Socialists the greatest successes were those set forth in the Communist Manifesto:
   "
"In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through, they [the Communists] always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole.... The communists fight for the attainment of the immediate aims, for the enforcement of the momentary interests of the working class; but in the movement of the present, they also represent and take care of the future of that movement."
   "
They therefore take an active part in every phase of the struggle between the two classes without ever losing sight of the fact that these phases are just so many stages leading to the first great goal: the conquest of political power by the proletariat as a means for reorganising society. Their place is in the ranks of those fighting to achieve immediate results in the interests of the working class. They accept all these political or social achievements, but merely as payments on account. Accordingly they consider every revolutionary or progressive movement as a step in the direction in which they themselves are moving. It is their special mission to impel the other revolutionary movements onward and, should one of them be victorious, to safeguard the interests of the proletariat. Those tactics, which never lose sight of the grand objective, spare Socialists the disappointment that inevitably will befall the other and less clear-sighted parties, be they pure republicans or sentimental Socialists, who mistake what is a mere stage for the final goal of their forward march."

   In "The Documents of the First International", the General Council in 1872 adopted Article 8 into the General Rules, written by Marx in response to the repeated disruptive activities of the anarchists (DFI 5, p. 426):

   "In its struggle against the collective power of the propertied classes the working class cannot act, as a class, except by constituting itself into a political party, distinct from, and opposed to, all old parties formed by the propertied classes. - This constitution of the working class into a political party is indispensable in order to ensure the triumph of the social revolution and its ultimate end - the abolition of classes. - The combination of forces which the working class has already effected by its economical struggles ought at the same time to serve as a lever for its struggles against the political power of its exploiters. - The lords of land and the lords of capital will always use their political privileges for the defense and perpetuation of their economical monopolies and for enslaving labour. To conquer political power has therefore become the great duty of the proletariat."

   Novices who go to the SLP for an explanation of why things in the world are as bad as they are may initially feel enlightened (as I once did) in the fields of Marxian economics, the class struggle, and the materialist conception of history; but those who want to progress beyond mere intellectual exercises into executing a plan of action will find their efforts frustrated. Because the SLP would have no role after the abolition of the state, there is not much incentive for the politically-minded to join a Party whose only function after victory is the shutting down of both itself and the state. In fact, the definition of the Party as a political entity is negated by its own program, as it contradicts Engels' statement: ... "each political party sets out to establish its rule in the state." If the Party does not set out to 'establish its rule in the state', then it is hard to justify its definition of itself as a political party.
   To consider what any of this has to do with what's going on in today's world: People who work for socially progressive organizations might find it instructive to compare their structures with that of the
First International:

1)   Is there a single individual or self-appointing group that has ultimate responsibility for hiring and firing?
2)   Are the terms of employment of each worker considered to be secret and private matters?
3)   Are the compensation packages of the 'executives' known to all other workers?
4)   Is there a significant gap between the compensation of the most humble worker and that of the highest paid 'executive'?
5)   Are the rank-and-file workers represented by a
union, or is union activity frowned upon?
6)   Does it seem like the opinions of volunteers and the lowest paid workers are mostly overlooked when important decisions are being made?
7)   Is there an atmosphere of
freedom of communication with everyone, inside and outside of the organization, or is the flow of information a one-way street?
8)   Is there a sense that outsiders are merely being sold a product?
9)   Is there a sense of interest in the basic human rights of all workers, paid and unpaid?
10)  Is the organization run collectively, or is there an individual or small group that makes all of the decisions?

   There is linkage between bureaucracy, censorship, secrecy, cults of personality, and sectarianism, all of which complement one another in the goal of maintaining scams, always at the expense of honesty, intellectual freedom, and mass involvement in decision making. What chance would bureaucracy, secrecy and sectarianism have if censorship were absent, and the rank and file allowed to fully discuss the other three elements? Likewise if any other element was missing while the others were in force. To be effective, the five elements usually work together in order for fraud to succeed in carrying the day in service to systems of human betrayal.

A False Dichotomy

   A.P. continued to quote De Leon (p. 35):

2   '"The structure of the congressional district reflects the purpose of the capitalist State - political, that is, class tyranny over class. The thought of production is absent, wholly so, from the congressional demarcations."'

   Regarding 'class tyranny over class': If, during the past 200 years, legislatures have done little more than legislate class oppression, the producing classes would have been ground into dust a long time ago from the combined political oppression and economic exploitation. If one looks at what is being legislated today, much of it turns out to be administration of production in terms of protection of both consumers and workers. Just exactly where is 'class tyranny over class' legislated? Let us note that the anarchist De Leon of 1905 happened to contradict an earlier Professor De Leon of Columbia University, as reported in an account of his speech in the Workmen's Advocate of August 3, 1889:

   "Nationalists look upon government not as an oppressive force ... but as emanating from the people. It is the very self of the nation. Nationalists, therefore, deem it necessary, and demand that all industries shall be of national organization, because these are the people's interests, and, consequently, the concerns of the government."

   There's quite a bit of difference between regarding the state as the mere instrument of 'class tyranny over class', and, in his earlier writings, 'not as an oppressive force'. What to believe? Much of the work of the legislature is involved with alleviating the worst abuses of economic inequalities as a result of pressure from below. In Engels' October 1890 letter to Schmidt, the text around "Code Napoleon" touched upon that very point (MESW III, p. 492):

   "Similarly with law. As soon as the new division of labour which creates professional lawyers becomes necessary, another new and independent sphere is opened up which, for all its general dependence on production and trade, has also a special capacity for reacting upon these spheres. In a modern state, law must not only correspond to the general economic condition and be its expression, but must also be an internally coherent expression which does not, owing to inner contradictions, reduce itself to nought. And in order to achieve this, the faithful reflection of economic conditions suffers increasingly. All the more so the more rarely it happens that a code of law is the blunt, unmitigated, unadulterated expression of the domination of a class - this in itself would offend the "conception of right." Even in the Code Napoleon the pure, consistent conception of right held by the revolutionary bourgeoisie of 1792-96 is already adulterated in many ways, and, in so far as it is embodied there, has daily to undergo all sorts of attenuations owing to the rising power of the proletariat. This does not prevent the Code Napoleon from being the statute book which serves as the basis of every new code of law in every part of the world. Thus to a great extent the course of the "development of right" consists only, first, in the attempt to do away with the contradictions arising from the direct translation of economic relations into legal principles, and to establish a harmonious system of law, and then in the repeated breaches made in the system by the influence and compulsion of further economic development, which involves it in further contradictions. (I am speaking here for the moment only of civil law.)"

   Nowadays there are laws regulating workplace safety, the length of the work week, the quality of food and drugs, health, education, welfare, civil rights, etc. Maybe anarchists would like a reform-free world in which the employers could pollute, endanger and enslave to their heart's content. Then maybe workers could be driven into the arms of the anarchists and led to smash the state. In their efforts to 'liberate' us, anarchists have offered us little better than contradictory sets of lies.

3   '"Congress - not being a central administration of the productive forces of the land, but the organized power of the capitalist class for oppression - ITS constituent bodies can have no trace of a purpose to administer production. Shoemakers, bricklayers, miners, railroad men, together with the workers in all manner of other fractions of industries, are, accordingly, jumbled together in each separate congressional district. Accordingly, the political organization of labor intended to capture a congressional district is wholly unfit to 'take and hold' the plants of industry."'

   That was another of De Leon's straw man arguments. His whole definition of the socialist revolution revolved around this very radical sounding, but totally ahistorical, 'taking and holding of means of production, with the industrial union fit to take and hold, and the political organization unfit'. In what revolutionary situations have workers won by taking and holding industries? None that I know of.

4   '"The central administrative organ of the Socialist Republic - exactly the opposite of the central power of capitalism, not being the organized power of a ruling class for oppression, in short, not being political, but exclusively administrative of the producing forces of the land - ITS constituent bodies must be exclusively industrial."'

   From lies to fairy tales: After his complete denial of the power of the state to protect both workers and consumers, De Leon took us to dreamland - the classless, stateless administration of things right after the summary execution of capitalism and the state. 'Abolishing capitalism and the state' appeals to those who are infected with ultra-radicalism, and misleads the naive who sincerely want to break with human betrayal. Capitalism is so strong in this country as a whole that people are not about to give it up for bizarre systems that diverse groups propose as alternatives.
   A.P. concluded
Part I of "PD vs. D+D" with (pp. 36-38):

p. 36:

"Revolutionary Tactics.
   "This completes the important contribution made by De Leon to Marxism. There remains but to quote De Leon's own summary of the foregoing principles with particular respect to their application to the field of tactics:

   ""The bona-fide or revolutionary Socialist movement needs the political as well as the economic organization of labor, the former for propaganda and to conduct the struggle for the conquest of the capitalist-controlled Political State upon the civilized plane of the ballot; {1} the latter as the only conceivable force with which to back up the ballot, without which force all balloting is moonshine, and which force is essential for the ultimate lockout of the capitalist. {2} Without the political organization, the Labor or Socialist movement could not attain the hour of its triumph; and without the economic organization, the day of its triumph would be the day of its defeat. {3} Without the economic organization, the movement would attract and breed the pure and simple politician, who would debauch and sell out the working class; and without the political organization, the movement would attract and breed the agent provocateur, who would assassinate the movement."

   "De Leon emphasized tirelessly the importance of political action. He met unflinchingly the challenge hurled by the Anarchist that the overthrow of capitalism involved economic action only and that political action was useless or worse than useless. {4} With equal zest did he take up the taunt of the pure and simple politician that since the Political State was to be demolished anyhow, it was useless to conquer it in the first place. {5} Marx, in a brilliant passage in one of his shorter essays, effectively answers Anarchist and politician alike. "The revolution as such [said Marx] - the overthrow of the existing power and the dissolution of the old conditions - is a political act. [There goes the Anarchist down!] But without a revolution, Socialism cannot be enforced. It requires this political act, so far as it has need of the process of destruction and dissolution. But where its organizing activity begins, where its proper aim, its soul, emerges, there Socialism casts away the political hull." [And down goes the pure and simple politician!] {6} ("On the King of Prussia and Social Reform.")"

   All that A.P. could dig up from Marx to support his assertion that 'The political movement is destructive, and the economic movement constructive' was that same old 1844 quote used so often in SLP literature; but, on the testimony of Engels in the Van Patten letter of 1883, it was written before he and Marx had mutually agreed on their theory of the future dissolution of the political state, including the era of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
   Earlier in this chapter, A.P. quoted De Leon:

1   '"The bona-fide or revolutionary Socialist movement needs the political ... organization of labor ... for propaganda and to conduct the struggle for the conquest of the capitalist-controlled Political State upon the civilized plane of the ballot"' ...

   De Leon took the term 'Political State' totally out of Marxist context by refusing to admit that the proletarian dictatorship was also to be a form of political state, as demonstrated in Engels' article "On Authority". There the term 'political state' was used in the sense of 'a state in the process of dissolution'. To say that 'the Political State is capitalist-controlled' totally excludes the possibility of worker control over the state, which historically has been the purpose and result of the struggle for universal suffrage.

2   ... '"the economic organization of labor ... the only conceivable force with which to back up the ballot, without which force all balloting is moonshine, and which force is essential for the ultimate lockout of the capitalist."'

   Where has De Leon's 'back up the ballot with the economic organization of labor' scenario ever come close to being realized? I can't think of a place. In the old Soviet Union, Lenin credited trade unions with assisting in the triumph of the Bolshevik revolution. Was there any evidence that they used the tactic of the lockout of the capitalist class during their struggle for power, and that this tactic assisted their victory? In the Collected Works of Lenin, nowhere have I seen the lockout of the capitalist class even hinted at. On the other hand, lockouts of workers by capitalists were written about as having been countered by go-slow strikes and demonstrations, but it was not intended that those tactics were to be pushed so militantly that workers would be put in danger.

3   '"Without the economic organization, the movement would attract and breed the pure and simple politician, who would debauch and sell out the working class; and without the political organization, the movement would attract and breed the agent provocateur, who would assassinate the movement."'

   De Leon may have found a good rhetorical way to rise above 'deviations' away from his brand of revolutionism, but his message looks like just another 'doom and gloom scenario' designed to herd the politically naive into supporting his program. Revolutionary movements often use scare tactics. The message is: 'Workers had better revolt the way we tell them to, or else they will suffer perpetual defeat!'

4   'De Leon emphasized tirelessly the importance of political action. He met unflinchingly the challenge hurled by the Anarchist that the overthrow of capitalism involved economic action only and that political action was useless or worse than useless.'

   It isn't too difficult to point out the absurdity of trying to 'overthrow capitalism by economic means alone'. Obviously, this was yet another straw man argument that didn't take a genius to demolish. Marx considered 'economic means' to be little more than boycotts, strikes, slowdowns, demonstrations, etc., during which time, workers could starve. Bosses could have all of their necessities brought in from elsewhere, and they could use their resources to harass and defeat workers. But, when speaking of 'overthrowing', Marx didn't speak in vague terms like 'overthrowing capitalism'. In his writings, the act of overthrowing was always associated with specific governments, usually either monarchies or red republics.
   De Leon might not have been joking aloud when he tried to differentiate his
revolutionary movement from anarchy by professing a faith in the 'political action' of a mere electoral victory. It was all such a joke, but a joke that has fooled quite a few.

5   'With equal zest did he take up the taunt of the pure and simple politician that since the Political State was to be demolished anyhow, it was useless to conquer it in the first place.'

   To allege that 'the pure and simple politician' would claim that it was 'useless to conquer the state' makes absolutely no sense. What is the meaning of a political career but for parties and politicians to get control of the state and try to keep it in their hands forever? Even the relatively enlightened reformer would only allow for the eventual dying out of the state, but certainly not its demolition, which is rather what an anarchist would recommend. De Leon would obviously not allow would-be radicals to consider any other than state-smashing scenarios in order to keep workers away from thinking about being political.

6   ""The revolution as such [said Marx] - the overthrow of the existing power and the dissolution of the old conditions - is a political act. [There goes the Anarchist down!] But without a revolution, Socialism cannot be enforced. It requires this political act, so far as it has need of the process of destruction and dissolution. But where its organizing activity begins, where its proper aim, its soul, emerges, there Socialism casts away the political hull." [And down goes the pure and simple politician!] ("On the King of Prussia and Social Reform.")"

   This quote, which had to have been one of A.P.'s all-time favorites, was also misused in his Preface to "Socialism: From Utopia to Science", analyzed in Part C of this book.
   A.P.'s "
revolution as such" does not seem to have originated from a pen of Marx or Engels, as no trace of such a phrase could be found in the Collected Works. Though the "state as such" appeared 16 times in the Collected Works, one of its last appearances (contained within a refutation of anarchist ideology) indicates that M+E must have regarded the "state as such" to be a fiction (me23.466): "Thus it is not the Bonapartist State, the Prussian or Russian State that has to be overthrown, but an abstract State, the State as such, a State that nowhere exists."
   Once again, as far as translations go, the one used by A.P. was pretty bad. Let us compare A.P.'s to the one provided by "
The Marx Library" (Marx, Early Writings, Vintage Press, 1975, p. 420):

   "All revolution - the overthrow of the existing ruling power and the dissolution of the old order - is a political act. But without revolution socialism cannot be made possible. It stands in need of this political act just as it stands in need of destruction and dissolution. But as soon as its organizing functions begin and its goal, its soul emerges, socialism throws its political mask aside."

   Notice the difference between A.P.'s 'Socialism cannot be enforced' and "socialism cannot be made possible". In A.P.'s version, 'cannot be enforced' implies that socialism was just lingering in the background like an unfulfilled desire, or like a ballot box victory that the capitalist class refused to honor, causing such a victory to hang in limbo, waiting to be realized by a revolution, 'i.e., by workers taking over industries', as De Leonists would want us to think of revolution; whereas "cannot be made possible" implies that socialism absolutely would not exist, and would be nowhere to be found, and would be hiding under no rock, until ... socialism was realized by the revolution, or, by the revolutionary party taking state power.
   Notice also how '
destruction and dissolution' took on the character of an option in A.P.'s version:

   'Socialism ... requires this political act, so far as it has need of the process of destruction and dissolution.'

   If socialism didn't need any 'destruction and dissolution', then, accordingly, socialism also wouldn't need the political act of revolution; whereas, in the Vintage Press edition:

   'socialism ... stands in need of this political act just as it stands in need of destruction and dissolution.'

   In the Vintage Press edition, 'destruction and dissolution' was as essential to socialism as was the revolution. To be kind, one could suggest that there were some subtle, but important, 'differences in translations'. But, instead of being kind to A.P.'s memory, I can't help but conclude that he butchered Marx's quote to conform to his anarcho-pacifist ideology.
   Notice also the difference between '
political hull' and 'political mask'. My dictionary fails to find a similarity between hull and mask, but that could be its fault, for it's only 2,662 pages long. It's not impossible to imagine someone making a mask from a giant seed (or hull) from a plant or tree. 'Casting away the political hull' bears far more of a resemblance to 'abolishing the state' than does 'throwing aside its political mask', which sounds more like a multi-sided concept of revolution, such as economic and political, constructive and destructive, simultaneously. Thus, the Vintage Press translation was far more consistent with the rest of the paragraph than was A.P.'s translation.
   If A.P. had a conscience, he surely would have paid attention to the very next paragraph of Marx's essay, which was written exactly with his kind of 'literary' efforts in mind (Ibid.):

   "Such lengthy perorations were necessary to break through the tissue of errors concealed in a single newspaper column. Not every reader possesses the education and the time necessary to get to grips with such literary swindles. In view of this does not our anonymous 'Prussian' owe it to the reading public to give up writing on political and social themes and to refrain from making declamatory statements on the situation in Germany, in order to devote himself to a conscientious analysis of his own situation?"

   Unfortunately for his followers, A.P. is no longer available 'to devote himself to a conscientious analysis of his own situation', but, if we are lucky, his successors will mount a noble effort.
   A.P. continued in
Part Two of his pamphlet with chapters devoted to dissuading readers away from Russian revolutionary techniques.

(End Part D. Continued in Part E.)

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