two concepts of dictatorship of the proletariat

MD575151 at aol.com MD575151 at aol.com
Sat Feb 3 15:46:26 MST 1996


Greetings and salutations,
     Since I first became introduced to Marx's theory of revolution I have
been fascinated by the infamous dictatorship of the proletariat.  It is an
irony that in order to achieve freedom one must succumb to dictatorship.  Or,
perhaps, the dictatorship of the proletariat is a giant leap in freedom
compared to the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.  This is the point of my
letter.
     No one seems to agree on what the "dictatorship" should be.  Is it the
dictatorship of an individual representing the proletariat, or is it the
dictatorship of the proletarian class itself.  
     The former, dictatorship of an individual, resembles the paths of the
USSR, China, and Cuba.  The justification for such a dictatorship is
necessity.  When you revolt and establish a new system that declairs the rest
of the world powers to be theives and advocates subversive revelution in such
countrys, the need of dictatorship becomes evident.  When the USSR was
established all of the world powers atacked without hesitation.  When Cuba
emancipated itself from it's mecantil status the US and the other superpowers
cut off all trade relations, this is usualy the result when a third world
country demands anything remote to a fair deal.  If the USSR had immediatly
established a complete democracy that, could it have survived the western
attacks?  If Castro had not held onto power and had declaired elections in
the midst of turmoil, would Cuba have lasted as long as it has.  These
questions go beyond that of faith in the people.  Compare it to a
collective's chances in the capitalist market.  The market is basically made
up of fascist institutions, corperations.  If a workers controlled,
democratticaly run corperation is established, what chances does it have for
survival against all the athoritarian competitors?  The fact is, democracy is
less efficient in a time of war than is dictatorship.  This is a very touchy
issue.  
     There are many who say that this is not what Marx intended when he
penned the phrase.  Maybe Marx was thinking of a dictatorship of the people.
 If the proletarian class were to have unlimited control of the state instead
of the bourgeoisie the "dictatorship" would be far more democratic then the
previous capitalist democracy.  This is because the proletarians far
outnumber the bourgeoisie.  This concept has been adopted by most democratic
socialist parties, if they advocate revolution at all.  This idea is very
interesting and has great potential, but it is very vague and offers nothing
in the way of proof.  Would a newly declaired socialist country be able to
resist the onslaught of atacks of imperialist countries and counter
revolutionaries?  Take Haite, although Aristide was not an all out socialist
he did seek independance for Haite.  Aristide introduced Haite to it's first
free election fallowing the Haitian revolution.  The result is unfortunate.
 The US took advantage of Aristides democracy, the US soon undermined then
overthrew the new, free, Hatian people.  So, can socialism be introduced
without a dictator gardian?  Perhaps it could, perhaps it could not.  A
second problem is; how would you distinguish between proletariat and
bourgeoisie?  Would only workers be able to vote?  Would workers unions
replace their bosses, thus eliminating the bourgeoisie?  Could all this be
done without the rest of the world fallowing suit?  Although their are only
two classes, proletariat and bourgeoisie, it is difficult to distinguish
between the two in the middle class.  However, the idea of immediate
dictatorship of a class instead of an individual fallowing the revolution is
not a bad one, although it needs to be further developed.
     In order to prevent anyone from sifting through this post trying to find
my personal beliefs, I will do it for you.  Obviously, as a socialist, I seek
democracy.  How to obtain that democracy is the critical question.  However,
it is a necessary question that must be explored BEFORE the revolution.
 First, I do not beleive that socialism through election is possable, though
I do urge we try to get as far as we can with democracy as possable.  No one
wants a unnecessary revolution.  But, as the bottom line--revolution will be
necessary--(very, very, most likely).  After that revolution all powers will
crush down with all their might on the sole socialist nation.  When that
happens the new state will automatically be in a state of distress and
crisis.  To deal with this crisis extreme measures will have to be taken,
dictatorship will be necessary untill the majority of the world is with us.
 I would like this dictatorship to be as user friendly as posable, but I do
not think that much "user friendlyness" (sorry for using that dumb term) will
be realistic.  Basically, I think that an individual must obtain power,
perhaps a few individuals, and make quick decisions.  The problems with such
an arrangment are all to abvious, fascism is an all to real possability, the
Soviet Union and China should suffice as evidence of that.  However, I have
faith that the people will be capable of pulling of, once again, another
revolution.  Only this time there will not be the need to resort to yet
another dictatorship, before becoming fascist the dictatorship will have
already complete it's purpose, the resistance of the capitalist powers.  Then
the people will be able to begin life as it should be lived.  

--Mike Dean
  E-mail me at;   hs066 at cleveland.freenet.edu
  do not e-mail me at;  MD575151 at aol.com

PS; Anyone who knows me will tell you that my opinions often change in a very
short time.  As of 3:00 pm on saturday the third of febuary the above
statements have my approval and full support.  But I cannot guarentee you of
their legitimancy come febuary fourth! 


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