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Friday 10:00am

The dictatorship of the proletariat from Marx to Lenin

Marxist theory

Introduced by Darren Roso, socialist activist and author of Daniel Bensaid: From the Actuality of Revolution to the Melancholic Wager (Historical Materialism Book Series).

Marxism is a theory of working-class self-emancipation. Marxism is a theory that takes the idea of class struggle between workers and their bosses to its logical conclusion. The logical outcome of the class struggle for Marxism – unlike Social Democracy or anarchism – is the seizure of power in the hands of the working class. This is called the dictatorship of the proletariat and it is the precondition for the overthrow of the capitalist mode of production. The idea of working-class rule has been out of fashion for some time, but it is the most important aspect of any politics of human liberation. Without it, capitalism cannot be overthrown. This talk will go into the history of the argument from Marx to Lenin.


Hal Draper: The ‘Dictatorship of the Proletariat’ in Marx and Engels (1987)


Hal Draper: Marx and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat (1962)


Marx, Civil War in France


Lenin, State and Revolution.


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