Luke Pickrell offers his latest polemic in the ongoing debate with Henry DeGroot around Marxist Unity Group’s call for a Democratic Republic.1
Leonid Aleksandrovich Golub, Lenin with the People (1958)
My last article opened up multiple topics of debate between me and Henry. After talking for a while, it’s time to take stock of where things stand. I’m unmoved by Henry’s latest response to my two articles, and it’s safe to say he is also unswayed by my interventions. Now that we’ve come to an impasse, the most helpful intervention is to clear away historical errors and distortions. It’s impossible to move forward without putting those stubborn things called facts in line.
Henry places far more emphasis than I do on the history and relevance of the Russian Revolution. He thinks the revolution rendered the longstanding demand for a democratic republic obsolete, and that the political project of pre-1917 Marxism has been transcended. Democracy is important but shouldn’t take center stage, and certainly not as the strategic demand for convening a constituent assembly elected by universal and equal suffrage.
Any reader of the recent back-and-forth will recognize our disagreement on the above point. That’s fine. But Henry’s historical distortions are regrettable, especially when they contribute to an overall downplaying of the demand for a democratic republic in the pre-1917 Marxist canon. We can disagree on where to concentrate our activity and what we should say, but there’s no need to imply I’ve misunderstood history.
First, it’s necessary to clear up the confusion about the content of a democratic republic and what distinguishes it from a bourgeois republic. Henry does not understand or does not want to acknowledge any distinction between the two, writing, “…the French state was already a democratic republic, that is, a bourgeois republic.” Yet, he later seems to acknowledge a distinction when he states that “…most people understand democratic republic to mean what we have currently, that is, a bourgeois republic.” Henry’s flip-flopping (his initial comment marks him as “most people” who think the democratic republic is a bourgeois republic) must be addressed.
The description of the French Third Republic (1871-1940) provided by eminent Marxists in no way matches that of the democratic republic. Take Engels, who described the Third Republic as “nothing but the Empire established in 1799 without the Emperor.”2 Or Kautsky, who provided the most detailed analysis of any bourgeois constitutional regime in The Republic and Social Democracy in France.3 In his 1905 work, Kautsky explained that the democratic republic is “a [state] organization such as the one the Paris Commune started to create: that is…the most comprehensive expansion of self-government, the popular election of all officials and the subordination of all members of representative bodies to the control and discipline of the organized people.”4
The Third Republic was substantially different. Adolph Thier’s regime had “nothing in common” with the state established by the French Revolution of 1789 or the abortive Paris Commune almost a century later.5 From the outset, the Third Republic “could not do without … a ‘unitarily centralized executive authority which was suited for energetic action” and “vigorous suppression of the proletariat.”6 The President was indirectly elected to a seven-year term.7 He had supreme command of the army and the power to unilaterally conclude treaties. Regarding these expansive powers, one SPD newspaper wrote that at least in Britain, the other members of the government were made aware of a treaty’s content: “In France, however, the representatives of the people are only allowed to find out about it after fifteen years – along with the rest of the world.”8
Like its counterpart in the United States, the French bicameral legislature was split between an upper house (the Senate), elected through unequal suffrage (to the disadvantage of large cities), and invested with greater power than the lower house (the Chamber of Deputies). The president could unilaterally adjourn the Chamber and dissolve it entirely with approval from the Senate. A vast bureaucracy, ripe with corruption and gross mismanagement, fed off the working class and peasantry. All state officials, including judges, were protected from democratic oversight. The new constitution abolished the national guard, which had sided with the Communards. Weapons were taken from the people and placed in barracks staffed by professional soldiers, who were “subject to a particular discipline and jurisdiction enforced by a privileged caste of officers” above ordinary law.9
The democratic and bourgeois republic are not equivalent. Furthermore, “bourgeois democracy” is a misnomer because the bourgeoisie is a minority. There cannot be a democracy of the minority, nor can a pocket of democracy (a so-called “democracy for the bourgeoisie”) exist within an undemocratic totality. I’m a democratic purist, and so were Marx and Engels. If the majority of people (today’s working class) make the laws and have control over the political and social aspects of their lives and the direction of society as a whole, then the state is a democracy; if the majority of people don’t make the laws and control the direction of society, then it’s not.
Kautsky earned the title of the most memorable flip-flopper regarding the content of the democratic republic. Having penned his detailed critique of the bourgeois republic in France, he contradicted himself on his own terms in 1918 by describing the Weimar Republic as a workers’ state.10 The Weimar Constitution was similar to that of the Third Republic, including in the emergency powers it gave to the executive branch.11 Ben Lewis explained how Kautsky’s absurd claim was merely “parroting the majority SPD mantra that the revolution had essentially been completed because peace had been restored, the right to vote for all men and women over 20 guaranteed, pre-war labor regulations reintroduced and an eight-hour day enforced.”12 Meanwhile, “the powerful German state bureaucracy of the old order remained intact and the army supreme command remained master of the situation – not the armed people.”13
It’s crucial to acknowledge that Marx and Engels were sometimes inconsistent in how they defined democratic forms of government. In The Critique of the Gotha Program, Marx described “universal suffrage, direct legislation, popular rights, [and] a people’s militia” as “nothing beyond the old democratic litany” already present in North America.14 But as any first-year law student would understand, the Constitution expressly blocks direct legislation. Similarly, Marx’s reference to the US military as a people’s militia contradicted his definition of a people’s militia found in The Civil War in France.
Five years after the union at Gotha, Marx helped draft the program of the French Workers’ Party. Contrary to his previous dismissal of the radicality of universal suffrage, Marx wrote that under the leadership of a working-class political party, universal suffrage could be “transformed from the instrument of deception…into an instrument of emancipation.”15 After calling the demand for a people’s militia the “mere echo”16 of bourgeois parties only a few years prior, Marx endorsed the demand in the program of a major socialist party.
Nor was Engels free from error. In The Principles of Communism, he stated that the proletariat would establish its dominance through a democratic constitution and then move to enact “measures directed against private property and ensuring the livelihood of the proletariat.”17 But several paragraphs later, Engels claimed that a democratic constitution had already been established in North America. Here again, the contradiction between claims to democracy on the one hand, and the reality of the US Constitution on the other, is obvious. Half a lifetime later, Engels explained that “Marx and I, for forty years, repeated ad nauseam that for us the democratic republic is the only political form in which the struggle between the working class and the capitalist class can first be universalized and then culminate in the decisive victory of the proletariat.”18
Marx operated under the assumption that the United States was already a democratic republic. Seeing that egoism and religion thrived in the United States, he concluded that this egoism could only be overcome by the abolition of private property.19 Henry takes Marx’s comments in On The Jewish Question as support for his belief that orthodox Marxists should recognize trade unions as the key point of struggle to achieve socialism. But Marx was wrong in his analysis. He had little to no understanding of the US Constitution (Thomas Hamilton was an insufficient guide in this regard)20 and he followed the American Workers’ Parties in the mistaken belief that universal suffrage rather than universal and equal suffrage constituted democracy.21
Henry is also wrong to say that economic freedom (socialism) is needed to attain “real political freedom.” Political democracy is political freedom, and therefore, political freedom can (and must) be achieved before economic freedom. But the idea of having “only political and not economic freedom” is playing with words and a practical absurdity. As if the majority, having obtained control over the state, would stand still instead of immediately beginning to make inroads on private property!
Marx and Engels explained in the Communist Manifesto that the working class would begin and could only begin laying hands on the means of production from the vantage point of political democracy, writing that workers would use “political supremacy to wrest, by degree, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the State, i.e., of the proletariat organized as the ruling class”:22 the revolution is political in order to be social. Political freedom is needed to achieve economic freedom, and both are needed to achieve human freedom.
Henry and I disagree about how much the Russian Revolution changed the political strategy of socialism. We disagree on the generalizability of theories and decisions crafted during specific times and places, and how to remember Lenin and early 20th-century Russian history.
Henry holds Lenin’s trade union work in higher regard than his political work and encourages others to do the same. To this end, he blunts the edge of Lenin’s critique of the trade union secretary by claiming that “the economists downplay the tasks of socialists to be the ‘tribune of the people,’ while the ‘ultra-political’ tendency downplays the tasks of socialists to be the ‘trade union secretary.’” Henry previously invoked dialectics during a similar sleight-of-hand. In his first letter, he presented a dialectic of contradiction and unity between the “economic and political terrain” to argue against my privileging the political struggle. He then turned around and put the economic struggle on a pedestal. Now, Henry summons the dialectic to craft an imaginary middle ground between two tendencies – social democracy and economism – that does not exist. The reason I downplay the task of socialists to be trade union secretaries is that there is no such task. Lenin was explicit on this point: Social Democrats “… should not be a secretary of a tred-iunion but a people’s tribune who can respond to each and every manifestation of abuse of power and oppression, wherever it occurs, whatever stratum or class it concerns, who can generalize all these manifestations into one big picture of police violence and capitalist exploitation, who is able to use each small affair to set before everybody his socialist convictions and his democratic demands and to explain to each and all the world-historical significance of the liberation struggle of the proletariat.”23
Alas, no good deed goes unpunished. For my sins of defending the primacy of political democracy, I am branded “ultra-political” and cast out as such. But if “ultra-political” means supporting Lenin’s intransigent radical republicanism and distaste for so-called Social Democrats who acted more like Robert Knight than Wilhelm Liebknecht, it’s a badge I happily accept.24
Yes, Lenin emphasized the importance of trade unions. Organizing economic and political indictments is a necessary part of raising the consciousness of the working class to the point at which it recognizes the necessity of writing general laws – the greatest and most expansive of which would come through a constituent assembly. As Neil Harding explained, “The very attempt at economic amelioration was, and would be seen to be, greatly hampered by political and legal restraints. The workers would come to recognize that the economic struggle was, by necessary extension, a political struggle.”25 Trade union interventions are part and parcel of agitation and analysis that seeps into every aspect of life. This analysis can only reach the masses by operating on the plateau of politics. Lenin’s understanding of the class point of view is massive, and his definition of class consciousness is strenuous. So massive and strenuous that the trade union struggle alone can’t do it justice.
Henry further attempts to downplay the Bolsheviks’ focus on the constituent assembly and democratic republic by claiming that I present an “ahistorical picture of Lenin” that engages in “ceaseless repetition of a few quotes from [What Is To Be Done?] while ignoring a large selection of his life’s writings and organizational work.” I’ll defend the centrality of democratic republicanism by once again flagging the first two demands in the 1903 Program of the Russian Social Democratic Party (RSDLP). Demand one: “Sovereignty of the people—that is, the concentration of supreme state power wholly in the hands of a legislative assembly consisting of representatives of the people and forming a single chamber.” Demand two: “Universal, equal and direct suffrage, in elections both to the legislative assembly and to all local organs of self-government, for all citizens and citizenesses who have attained the age of 20…”26 The program’s entire political section is filled with such details about the future republic.
Three years later, Lenin described the demand for a popular constituent assembly as the “keynote” of the party’s program. With all its detail and concreteness, the program served as a touchstone to draw in allies or expose all those “least consistent in the struggle for liberty or who even struggle against it.”27 The program was spread far and wide in conjunction with three other slogans singled out by Lenin for particular emphasis: “the overthrow of the tsarist autocracy…its replacement by the democratic republic…[and] the sovereignty of the people, safeguarded by a democratic constitution, i.e., the concentration of supreme governmental authority entirely in the hands of a legislative assembly composed of representatives of the people and forming a single chamber.”28 These were not the “general democratic slogans” of the liberal parties, but the “proletarian-democratic slogans in their full scope.”29 No consistent democrat would reject these slogans, announced Lenin; after all, “the very word ‘democrat’… denotes an adherent of the sovereignty of the people. It is absurd, therefore, to talk of democracy and in the same breath to reject even a single one of these slogans. But the main contradiction, the contradiction between the desire of the bourgeoisie to preserve private property at all costs and its desire for liberty, is so profound that spokesmen or followers of the liberal bourgeoisie inevitably find themselves in this ridiculous position.”30
Finally, I’ll also point to the massive political campaign waged by the RSDLP Duma faction after 1906. Regarding their Duma work, Lenin wrote that bills introduced by the RSDLP must clearly present the minimum program and “not excessively isolate various spheres of social reform and democratic changes.”31 To that end, bills need to “give the working class the most definite idea possible of the necessary connection between factory (and social in general) reforms and the democratic political changes without which all ‘reforms’…are inevitably destined to…be reduced to a dead letter.”32 At the RSDLP’s Sixth All-Russian Conference in 1912, Lenin presented the democratic republic as the first of three election slogans,33 and explained that the Party’s “general tactical line” should be “a merciless struggle against the tsarist monarchy and the parties of landowners and capitalists supporting it…”34 The RSDLP’s election platform declared that “Anyone seriously and sincerely desiring political freedom, will raise the banner of a republic proudly and bravely, and all the live forces of Russian democracy will certainly be drawn to that banner by the politics of the tsarist-landowning gang.”35 The platform continued: “Time was, and not so long ago, when the slogan ‘Down with the autocracy’ seemed too advanced for Russia. Nevertheless, the R.S.D.L Party issued this slogan, the advanced workers caught it up and spread it throughout the country; and in two or three years this slogan became a popular saying. To work then, all comrades and all citizens of Russia…The Russian Social-Democrats, the Russian workers will succeed in making ‘Down with the tsarist monarchy, long live the Russian Democratic Republic!’ a nation-wide slogan” (emphasis mine).36
I could go on. The demand for a constituent assembly and democratic republic permeated Lenin’s oeuvre. It’s not a mere addition or afterthought to an otherwise worked-out strategy. The political content (the demand for a democratic republic) served as the standard by which people and parties were judged, and the bedrock upon which all other changes (both immediate and long-term) were built.
Finally, Henry tells a misleading story of the early socialist movement by claiming that “What separated Marx and Engels’ scientific socialism from earlier utopian socialism was precisely their emphasis on the working class and the economic struggle.” In fact, what separated Marx and Engels from previous socialists was their desire to merge the socialist movement with the working class struggle for democracy and political power as embodied in the Chartists. The Plug Riots in 1842 were an immediate consequence of Parliament’s rejection of the Chartist petition made by Thomas Duncombe.37 Strikers refused to return to work until the People’s Charter became law. Chartist leaders George Harney, Thomas Cooper, and Feargus O’Connor were intimately involved in the strikers.
“Proletarian revolution” was not an abstract phrase for Marx and Engels: it meant the conquest of political power through democracy by the working class organized into a political party like the Chartists. As Engels explained, “The union of Socialism with Chartism, the reproduction of French Communism in an English manner, will be the next step, and has already begun. Then only, when this has been achieved, will the working class be the true intellectual leader of England. Meanwhile, political and social development will proceed, and will foster this new party, this new departure of Chartism.”38
Henry brings our attention to a Marxist Unity Group member who “openly and entirely rejects dialectical materialism, base-superstructure theory, [and] the labor theory of value…but considers themselves a defender of Marx and Lenin…” because of their democratic republicanism. Here, Henry attempts to create a historical narrative in which Lenin, like Henry, demanded theoretical unity on various points to be considered a fellow traveler. In reality, all those who fought for democracy, regardless of their position on socialism and other theoretical intricacies, were welcomed by Lenin as comrades in the struggle to abolish tsardom through a democratic republic.
Lenin’s understanding of the relationship between democracy and socialism appears in many places besides What Is To Be Done? and the RSDLP’s 1903 program. The first is in his 1897 pamphlet, The Tasks of the Russian Social-Democrats, in which Lenin argues that there’s an “inseparable connection” between “socialist and democratic tasks.”39 Socialists (those who “fight against the capitalist class” and work to destroy the class system) must be democrats (those who “fight against absolutism” and work to win political liberty and democratize the political and social system), and vice-versa.40 Put another way, every true democrat should be a Social Democrat (both a democrat and a socialist), and every true socialist should be a Social Democrat (both a socialist and a democrat). Lenin argued this point because there were democratic revolutionaries who were not socialists and socialists who weren’t democrats.
Four years later, in The Drafting of 183 Students into the Army, Lenin argues that any worker who didn’t support the abused students was not a democrat and, therefore, not a true socialist.41 Furthermore, Russian society must recognize that “the injustices and petty tyrannies from which the students suffer are mere drops in the ocean of oppression the people are forced to suffer.” Almost simultaneously, Lenin penned Political Agitation and the ‘Class Point of View,’ in which he explained that any Social Democrat worthy of the name must expose and agitate around each manifestation of injustice, regardless of who was the victim. In response, Lenin’s detractors accused him of straying away from a focus on the working class and betraying their (warped) understanding of what it meant to be a Marxist.
Positions like the ones above led Neil Harding and Lars Lih, respectively, to say of Lenin’s theory of political consciousness and strategy that one “did not have to have come to socialist consciousness in order to acquire political consciousness”42 (meaning you didn’t have to be a socialist to want to overthrow the Tsar and establish a democratic republic), and, “If you were willing to fight for political freedom [the democratic republic], you were Lenin’s ally, even if you were hostile to socialism. If you downgraded the goal of political freedom in any way, you were Lenin’s foe, even if you were a committed socialist.”43
Though it may sound heretical to Henry, the task of winning the battle for democracy isn’t a task reserved for believers in the various theoretical claims found in Marx’s extensive canon. We cannot form a massive political party around adherence to the tendency of the rate of profit to fall or an appreciation for base/superstructure. The desire for unity around esoteric aspects of theory has plagued the socialist movement for over a century, leaving it isolated and prone to splits, implosions, and bureaucratic centralism. The theory and strategy of the democratic republic provide the only sound basis for left unity in the United States and the only way to avoid the destructive cycles of sectarian splits that have plagued the socialist movement for too long.
I’ll end by dissecting Henry’s attempts to mark the parameters of a future revolution between two questionable points. The first – “general strikes, mass demonstrations, insurrection and ultimately civil war” – repeats the Russian Revolution. The second – “the orderly convening of a constitutional convention” – is an ahistorical strawman attempting to make democratic republicanism sound like the parliamentary road to socialism. There is no one way that constituent assemblies are formed and constitutions are penned. Nor is it likely that future historians will describe a third American revolution as “peaceful” or “orderly.”
Take the Continental Congress, which was formed two years before the American Revolutionary War and “effectively took over as the de facto national government” when British authority collapsed.44 Having served as the wartime provisional government, it eventually gave way to the First United States Congress under the Constitution we know today. During the war, Pennsylvania drafted a constitution with a unicameral legislature and popular control over the judiciary.45 Nearly a century later, newly-elected southern state legislatures met under the occupation of Northern soldiers (many of them ex-slaves) to forge new constitutions during the ongoing wars of Reconstruction.46
In France, the meeting of the Estates General of 1789 birthed the National Constituent Assembly. Its members vowed, “not to separate, and to reassemble wherever circumstances require until the constitution of the kingdom is established and consolidated upon solid foundations.”47 After the storming of the Bastille, the Constituent Assembly became the country’s formal governing body and drafted the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens. Soon after, France’s colony Saint-Domingue would hold multiple conditional conventions, first in the middle and then at the end of its war for independence and the abolition of slavery.
In 1905, Russian workers, influenced by decades of Social Democratic rhetoric, presented the Tsar with a petition around the centerpiece of a Constituent Assembly. It explained that “Russia is too vast, her wants too manifold, to admit of bureaucrats alone governing her. It is absolutely necessary that the people should assist because only they know their own hardships.” The petitioners asked the Tsar to “give orders without delay to representatives of all classes in the land to meet together. Let capitalists and workmen be present; let officials, priests, physicians, and teachers all come and choose their own delegates. Let all be free to elect whom they will, and for this purpose let the elections to the Constituent Assembly be organized on the principle of universal suffrage. This is our principal request, on which everything else depends.”48 The gathered soldiers opened fire in response.
For over a decade, the Bolsheviks were adamant that a constituent assembly would be held by hook or by crook. They exposed the liberal parties’ vacuous phrases about freedom and democracy and poured scorn upon all pretenders. They conducted all their interventions with an understanding that “there can be no such thing as really free elections…unless the government that is combating the revolution is replaced by a provisional revolutionary government.”49 The Bolshevik’s inspiration came in part from the orthodox Marxism disseminated by Georgi Plekhanov and the early Russian Social Democrats, whose 1887 Draft Program called for “the abolition of the present system of political representation and its replacement by direct popular legislation” as a precondition for “the direct participation of citizens in the management of social affairs.”50 Eventually, the constituent assembly was convened and then dissolved in the context of a soon-to-be civil war.
History demonstrates that the “orderly convening of a constitutional convention” is a fallacy. Today, my position is the same as the Bolsheviks: we need a democratic constitution that inaugurates a democratic republic as the dictatorship of the proletariat. (Henry is concerned that my understanding of the dictatorship of the proletariat is different from that of Marx. Hal Draper’s exhaustive work51 will answer any questions). Like the Chartists’ slogan,52 a future assembly will be achieved peacefully if possible and forcefully if necessary. The demand for a constituent assembly is the demand for the people to govern themselves, and when the people govern themselves the progressive socialization of the economy is not far behind.
I’ll end by repeating the RSDLP’s 1912 election slogan: “Anyone seriously and sincerely desiring political freedom, will raise the banner of a republic proudly and bravely, and all the live forces of Russian democracy will certainly be drawn to that banner by the politics of the tsarist-landowning gang.” Replace “Russian” with “American” and “the tsarist-landowning gang” with “the Democratic and Republican parties,” and one finds a powerful anthem for our country’s third revolution:
Anyone seriously and sincerely desiring political freedom will raise the banner of a democratic republic proudly and bravely, and all the live forces of American democracy will certainly be drawn to that banner by the politics of the Democratic and Republican parties.
Liked it? Take a second to support Cosmonaut on Patreon! At Cosmonaut Magazine we strive to create a culture of open debate and discussion. Please write to us at CosmonautMagazine@gmail.com if you have any criticism or commentary you would like to have published in our letters section.
- The debate began with De Groot’s criticism of this article by Pickrell; it continued with another article from comrade Luke, which was challenged yet again with another response from comrade Henry.
- Engels, Friedrich. “Critique of the Erfurt Program.” https://marxists.architexturez.net/archive/marx/works/1891/06/29.htm
- Lewis, Ben. Karl Kautsky on Democracy and Republicanism. Chicago, IL: Haymarket Books, 2020.
- Ibid, p. 243.
- Ibid, p. 210.
- Ibid, p. 201.
- Not until 1965 was another French president elected through universal and direct suffrage.
- Ibid, pp. 201-2.
- Ibid, p. 209.
- Kautsky, Karl. “Guidelines for a Socialist Action Program.” Marxist.org. https://www.marxists.org/archive/kautsky/1919/01/guidelines.html
- Article 48 of the constitution allowed the Reich president to rule without the prior consent of the Reichstag. Friedrich Ebert invoked the article 136 times, including to remove communists from state governments. Hindenburg and then Hitler continued to rely on the decree as an excuse to curb constitutional rights.
- Lewis, Ben. “Kautsky: ‘Guidelines for a socialist action programme.’” Weekly Worker. https://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/889/kautsky-guidelines-for-a-socialist-action-programm/
- Marx, Karl. “Critique of the Gotha Program.” 1875. https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1875/gotha/ch01.htm.
- Marx, Karl. “The Programme of the Parti Ouvrier.” https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1880/05/parti-ouvrier.htm
- Marx, Karl. “Critique of the Gotha Program.” 1875. https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1875/gotha/ch01.htm.
- Engels, Friedrich. “The Principles of Communism.” https://marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/11/prin-com.htm
- Engels, Friedrich. “Reply to the Honourable Giovanni Bovio,” 1892, https://marxists.architexturez.net/archive/marx/works/1892/02/critica-sociale.htm.
- “But one should be under no illusion about the limits of political emancipation. The division of the human being into a public man and a private man, the displacement of religion from the state into civil society, this is not a stage of political emancipation but its completion; this emancipation, therefore, neither abolished the real religiousness of man, nor strives to do so.” Marx, Karl. “On the Jewish Question.” https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/jewish-question/
- Revealed in several passages from “On the Jewish Question,” including this one: “Hamilton interprets this fact quite correctly from the political standpoint: the masses have gained a victory over the property owners and financial wealth.’ Is not private property abolished in an ideal sense when the propertyless come to legislate for the propertied?”
- Monahan, Sean F (2021). The American Workingmen’s Parties, Universal Suffrage, and Marx’s Democratic Communism. Modern Intellectual History 18 (2): 379-402.
- Marx, Karl; Engels, Friedrich. “Manifesto of the Communist Party.” https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/download/pdf/Manifesto.pdf
- Lih, Lars. Lenin Rediscovered. Chicago, IL: Haymarket Books, 2006. p. 746.
- Detractors hounded Lenin and Iskra for supposedly renouncing the “class point of view” by discussing issues related to the upper classes. I can’t help but notice a parallel between the Mensheviks’ hand-wringing over the Bolsheviks’ focus on a democratic republic and Henry’s concern with “ultra-politics.”
- Harding, Neil. Lenin’s Political Thought. Chicago, IL: Haymarket Books, 2019. p. 122
- Program of the Russian Social Democratic Party, 1903. https://www.marxists.org/history/international/social-democracy/rsdlp/1903/program.htm
- Lenin, V.I. “The Democratic Tasks of the Revolutionary Proletariat.” Marxist.org. https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1905/jun/17b.htm
- Nimtz, August. The Ballot, The Streets, or Both? Chicago, IL: Haymarket Books, 2019. p. 420.
- Ibid, p. 425.
- Ibid. p. 426.
- Ibid. p. 431.
- Simkin, John. “Plug Riots.” Spartacus Educational. https://spartacus-educational.com/CHplug.htm
- Engels, Friedrich. “The Condition of the Working Class in England.” https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/condition-working-class/ch10.htm
- Lenin, V.I. “The Tasks of Russian Social-Democrats.” Marxist.org. https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1897/dec/31b.htm
- Lenin writes, “The worker who can look on indifferently while the government sends troops against the student youth is unworthy of the name of socialist.” Lenin, V.I. “The Drafting of 183 Students into the Army.” https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1901/jan/drafting.htm#:~:text=The%20newspapers%20of%20January%2011,are%20being%20put%20into%20execution
- Harding, Neil. Lenin’s Political Thought. Chicago, IL: Haymarket Press, 2019. p. 122.
- Lih, Lars. Lenin Rediscovered. Chicago, IL: Haymarket Book, 2006. pp. 8-9.
- Office of the Historian. “Continental Congress, 1774-1781.” State.gov. https://history.state.gov/milestones/1776-1783/continental-congress#:~:text=The%20Continental%20Congress%20was%20the,years%20of%20the%20American%20Revolution
- “Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776.” http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/portal/communities/documents/1776-1865/pennsylvania-constitution-1776.html
- Egerton, Douglas R. The Wars of Reconstruction. London: Bloomsbury, 2016.
- “Tennis Court Oath.” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennis_Court_Oath#Background
- “St Petersburg Workingmen’s Petition to Tsar Nicholas II.” Marxist.org. https://www.marxists.org/history/ussr/events/1905/workers-petition.htm
- Lenin, VI. “The Democratic Tasks of the Revolutionary Proletariat.” https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1905/jun/17b.htm
- Plekhanov, G.V. “Second Draft Programme of the Russian Social-Democrats.” Marxist.org. https://www.marxists.org/archive/plekhanov/1887/xx/sdelg2.htm
- Draper, Hal. “The ‘Dictatorship of the Proletariat’ in Marx and Engels.” https://www.marxists.org/subject/marxmyths/hal-draper/article2.htm
- The 1839 National Chartist Convention adopted the motto “peaceably if we may, forcibly if we must.”