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On the Situation in Russia by 2009

By | 07/10/2017

Recent years were marked by increasing expansion of the Russian capital. For six years the sum of the Russian investments placed abroad has grown in more than 12 times; and only in 2008 crisis has slowed down this process somewhat.

In 2007 Gazprom Germania bought 25 % in the fourth license block in Northern Sea, and Gazprom received several projects in Libya. Together with other Russian companies Gazproms is consolidating in Venezuela, Nigeria and Northern America. Supporting Serbia in a question on keeping Kosova had given a prize to Gazprom which had got power holding Naftna Industrija Srbije. In 2008 Gazprom decided to take part in privatization of Kyrgyzgaz and Kyrgyzneftegaz, and then signed the agreement with the government of Tadjikistan on geological prospecting of four large oil-and-gas deposits. Gazprom declares its intention to become the company number one over the world.

In 2007 Lukoil got 376 filling stations in Europe. The same firm achieved the right to develop oil field West Qurnah-2 in Iraq. Lukoil became the first foreign firm which received access to gas deposits in Uzbekistan.

Evraz Group got companies Claymont Steel and Oregon Steel Mills and became the world’s largest manufacturer of rails; in Ukraine its basic shareholder bought the metallurgical enterprises of group Privat and half of the largest Southern ore-dressing and processing enterprise. Novolipetsk Steel got John Maneely Company, the largest independent manufacturer of pipes in Northern America. Severstal has four factories in the USA that makes it the fourth manufacturer of steel there. State monopoly Russian Railways took as a concession the network of Armenian Railways. Vympelcom got the cellular operator Sotelco in Cambodia and created joint telecommunication holding in Vietnam. The cellular operator MTS bought K-Telecom (two third of Vietnam’s market).

In Mongolia Russians own half of railways and large shares in gold and copper mines. In Kyrghyzstan in exchange for debt forgiveness Russia received a control stock of factory Dastan, one of the largest manufacturers of the sea weapon in the ex-USSR.

Imperialistic expansion caused deterioration of relations with neighbours; their ‘obduracy’ raises chauvinistic disapproval. So, ‘for last half-year Russians had essentially cooled off’ even loyal A. Lukashenko (as it was marked by sociologists in the beginning of 2007). So he broke down and declared that Russia aspires not only to get some enterprises for a song but also to privatize the entire republic. At the end of 2008 Russia tried to get 12 dairy factories for the credit, and after refusal the Federal service on supervision in protection of the consumers’ rights forbid import of dairy production of Belarus. Russian EuroChem Mineral and Chemical Company tried to buy for a song the Gomel chemical plant having over 90 % in the Belarusian market of phosphoric fertilizers. At last Lukashenko declared aggrievedly: ‘Our officials should stop creeping on theirs knees in the Russian offices.’ Belarus has never recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In March of 2010 it even complained against Russia to Economic court of the CIS in connection with introduction export duties on products of oil refining and petrochemical raw material by later (this measure ‘means threat of a full work stoppage on the largest enterprises of a petrochemical complex in Belarus…

For economic and military interests of Russia Ukraine has special value that places its sovereignty under a threat. So when the deputy chief of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine called a payment by Russia for using objects of the Black Sea Fleet ‘absolutely inadequate amount’, the counsellor of embassy of the Russian Federation in Kiev V. Lysenko declared that attempt of its revision could become the basis for raising by Russia demand for all Crimea. Meanwhile the Supreme economic court of Ukraine confirmed that the Russian Black Sea Fleet illegally uses navigating-hydrographic objects in Crimea; however Russia refuses to implement such judgements. Crimean resorts belong to Russian proprietors too, in particular, to the Moscow government. By the way in 2009 the prime minister of the Russian Federation V. Putin declared its readiness to take part in privatization of gas-transport system of Ukraine.

In 2007 Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network bought state owned Transdniestrian radiotelevision centre though the vice-speaker of Moldova’s parliament I. Roşca declared that his country didn’t recognize any privatization bargain in Transdniestria.

As Izvestia frankly wrote, Russians ‘possess half of unrecognized republic’ of Abkhazia. Such a thing had became possible due to the secession carried out by Russia: ‘Apartments and houses being up for sale now belonged to Georgians formerly. During the war they became refugees.

In 2007 Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods bought the third dairy products manufacturer in Georgia – Georgian Products Ltd., intending to use this factory as jumping-off place for the markets of Armenia and Azerbaijan. However the countries have extremely strained political relations. At summit of the CIS countries in October, 2007, the president of Georgia Michael Saakashvili declared that concerning Georgia in the CIS ‘any favourable rule doesn’t work’ and Russia subjected his country to economic and transport blockade.

As a result of the war in August, 2008, Russia annexed Abkhazia and South Ossetia, including the areas historically populated by Georgians. These actions were justified with widely propagated but false messages on murdering two thousand Ossets in Tskhinval. In Kodori Gorge and the Georgian enclaves in South Ossetia massive ethnic cleanings against the Georgians were carried out.

From the end of 2009 the new obviously far-fetched anti-Georgian campaign was launched in connection with the demolition of the Memorial of Glory in Kutaisi. Though accusations against Estonia in connection with the transferring of the Bronze Soldier in 2007 were more proved however then campaign of protests in Russia had great-power chauvinistic character too.

The famous TV reporter, United Russia’s party member M. Leontjev openly declared on December 15, 2008: ‘Why we not returning Baltic as well? Why not? The state independence of Baltic republics appeared insolvent. The great majority of ethnically local electorate is Nazis. … They should be shot. … So they will end up by our tanks’ deployment in Riga.

Militaristic moods dominate over the society. This decade ‘both in speeches of the overwhelming majority of politicians and almost in all mass-media demands of military expenditure’s increase became distinctly prevail.’ According to sociological interrogations, the overwhelming majority of the population feels pride, respect and hope to army; almost three quarters consider that military expenditure should be increased.

To facilitate military interventions, the upper chamber of parliament in December, 2009, gave the right ‘to decide on operative armed forces’ use abroad personally’ to the president. Russia remains, alongside with the USA, one of the largest sellers of armament, keeping a quarter of the world market.

For the summer of 2005 on the Russian Air Forces’ base in Kyrghyzstan were stationed about 500 soldiers and officers and two dozens of airplanes. Then the contingent was increased in 2.5 times. In August, 2007, the Russian ambassador in Kyrghyzstan V. Vlasov declared new increase of personal and technical stuff of this base. In July, 2009, Russia came to agreement with Kyrghyzstan leaders about deployment one more military base there (in spite of the fact that Uzbekistan ‘categorically’ opposes creations of new foreign bases in the territory of neighbouring countries).

In September, 2007, the vice-speaker of the State Duma A. Tchilingarov declared, that Russia should lay claim to Lomonosov and Mendeleev Ridges containing a quarter of world reserves of hydrocarbons. Analytics marked that ‘the struggle for the Arctic shelf reminded last colonial redivision of the world.’ The questioned belonging of Kuriles, transfer of islands on the river Amur to China and the Chinese immigration to Russia don’t become the important questions of interstate politics but are constantly present at mass consciousness generating nationalist flashes.

The international organizations note curtailment of democracy in Russia. Even the president of Belarus A. Lukashenko expressed his uneasiness that there the cult of personality of his colleague V. Putin was formed in Russia. In 2007 the press-secretary of ODIHR U. Gunnarsdottir declared that OSCE cannot guarantee qualitative performance of standard procedure on supervision over elections in conditions of ‘unprecedented’ restrictions on presence of the international observers. The threshold was raised from 5 % to 7 %, the turnout minimum and a ballot choice ‘against all’ were abolished, independent Russian observers were forbidden. Observers from OSCE and the PACE estimated these elections as not free, unfair and accompanied with numerous infringements. According opinion surveys, by 2007 already more than half of Russians had come to a conclusion, that there is only one strong party – Unites Russia, the others do not play an appreciable role. By the way, by 2008 UR at last had directly formulated that it asserted the conservative ideology.

In 2008 Amnesty International ascertained that for last years all basic civil rights and freedoms (first of all, the right on freedom of speech, and also the right of associations and meetings) were considerably restricted in Russia. LGBT-militants note: ‘United Russia has created the extremely homophobic climate in our country.

Minister of Internal Affairs R. Nurgaliev noted ‘rude and even boorish treatment’ of citizens by police, and the chief of HR department recognized growth of drug crimes in the police, traffic accidents involving police, and a large corruption.

Former judge of the Supreme Court V. Radchenko notes that over 15 million were condemned for criminal offences for 1992–2007 in Russia. Annual average of condemned grew twice against 1987–1991. This growth exceeds growth of criminality that speaks about repressive character of the present criminal legislation. The deputy general public prosecutor E. Zabarchuk recognized that prisoners’ rights on health protection and proper sanitary conditions weren’t observed.

Nationalist and chauvinistic moods are widely-spread. During public opinion poll (2006) 55 % supported the slogan ‘Russia for Russians’ in a varying degree. Meanwhile many small-numbered peoples proved to be critically endangered as a result of neo-liberalism in 1990ies. Tatar militants are anxious about the position of their nation too. On October 11, 2009, they come to Memorial Day of Kazan’s defenders with the slogan: ‘Our Goal is Independence’. The event’s resolution noted that ‘there is a continuous russification and christianization the Russian Federation, all is adjusted under the Putin’s [power] vertical’, and emphasized: ‘The concept of national-liberation movement is renamed into terrorism.

Well-known experts G. Kozhevnikova and A. Verhovsky noted: ‘…Growth of neo-Nazi and racist violence proceeds. Activity and mass character of the public events by right radicals increase… It becomes more and more obvious that not only right radicals but also quite respectable parties are ready to use (and already use) ethnonationalism as an electoral resource. Xenophobic moods of Russians are used for the justification inadequately aggressive policy of Russia to the nearest neighbours… …The State even more often addresses to illegitimate use of the antiextremist legislation against political opposition…’; ‘Attacks against representatives of the left movements or youth subcultures alternative to skinheads’ have become more frequent.

The Russian capital actively exploits migrant workers whose contribution to economy exceeded 3,8 % of GNP in 2007. In 2008 Russia took the second place in the world (after the USA) on number of immigrants. Huge shares of workers of Tadjikistan, Kyrghyzstan and Moldova work in Russia.

It is supposed that besides 1.65 million registered foreigners still about 2 million worked at Russia illegally. The Federal migratory service involves youth movement Mestnye (The Natives) to ‘hunting’ on ‘illegal’ workers. The neo-fascist MAII cooperates with it too.

The average working day of migrant builders exceeds 12 hours. Sometimes migrant workers are keeping as slaves. Brutal conditions of workers’ settlement cause their deaths: seven workers from Tadjikistan were lost in Zhulebino in the underground garage (their dwelling) which burned out in January, 2009.

Migrant workers are organized for protection of their rights: in Ekaterinburg over 300 Tadjik builders called a strike and complained to public prosecutor’s office after they did not receive any wages more than four months.

The situation in Ciscaucasia remains tense. In August, 2007, the military group of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Ingushetia was increased up to almost 2.5 thousand cadres and supported by dozens of armoured units. Ingushetian MIA’s chiefs were replaced with the officials from Moscow and Saint Petersburg. A lawlessness of repressive bodies provokes terrorism. D. Umarov (who accepted responsibility for explosions in the Moscow underground on March 29, 2010.) declared that it was a revenge for special action of federal forces in villages Arshty and Datyh which caused four deaths of non-combatants.

Clericals have a strong support by authorities in a strengthening their influence on broad masses. Recently the Ministry of culture implementing orders of the country’s leaders introduced a move for an official celebrating of Day of the Baptism of Rus. The Chechen president R. Kadyrov threatened to close all local broadcasting companies which did not explain bases of the Islam.

Soon after the Russia–Georgia War the deputy head of the department of external church relations of The Moscow Patriarchate protoiereus V. Chaplin called the Russian authorities ‘to be strong, including the military respects, to have will and ability to stop any encroachment on… our interests in the world and our ability to influence processes all over the world.

However ‘only third of Russians are ready to base the public life on religious… values…’ The deputy director of the State policy department of the Ministry of Education and Science T. Petrova noted on christianisation in schools that ‘as you go further from Moscow, this activity is decreasing.

The level of health of the population in Russia is much worse, than usually in the countries with comparable economic conditions. Distribution of a drug addiction and the bad culture of contraception (lasting since revisionist epoch) cause significant number of AIDS cases. Alcoholic poisoning annually kills more than 30 thousand Russians. For last ten years consumption of wines has increased twice, and beer – three times! The nutrition structure ‘is characterized by reduction… of adequate proteins, vitamins and mineral substances; non-balancing of a diet…’ President D. Medvedev noted that third dying in Russia are able-bodied population including ‘190 thousand deaths from influence of harmful and dangerous manufactures’.

To reduce labour force costs capitalists indirectly exploit a work outside working week and of unemployed relatives of workers: dachas (suburban plots) which almost of half of Russians have serve as additional help for livelihood more and more. Other way is a lowering pensionable age. President assistant A. Dvorkovich cynically told about this: ‘It seems to me that time has come, and there is no need to deceive itself that people aren’t ready. They are ready.

The belief in efficiency of strikes has considerably decreased for last twenty years: the fifth part of Russians believes that strikes can gain nothing. Up to half of Russians note an opportunity of prosecutions for participation in strikes during public opinion poll.

Three significant problems prevent us from recognising the left movement in Russia as communist.

First, it is under oppression of social-chauvinism. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation demanded military aggression of the government, up to an incursion into Tbilisi. Alas, more left groups actually supported the anti-Georgian propagation in many respects.

Second, the left are keen on ‘a political pops’: they adjoin to petty-bourgeois mass movements, not putting forward their own program and dragging behind (nationalist or liberal) anticommunists. It is appreciable, for example, in connection with introduction of the USE, the unified examination procedure between secondary and higher education. Left participants of the anti-USE movement refuse to put forward slogans of a cancellation of examinations or general higher education as ‘unrealistic’!

Thirdly, since the reshuffle in 2008 (V. Putin become the prime minister and his ‘successor’ D. Medvedev was elected as new president) there is occurred their contraposition frequently: some support ‘democrat’ Medvedev against ‘autocrat’ Putin and some support ‘patriot’ Putin against ‘comprador’ Medvedev. People, however, is more sober than such odd theorists: four fifth are convinced that Medvedev ‘mainly’ or ‘exactly proceeds Putin’s politics’.

The left movement remains shattered, however it is hard to welcome integration process around of the Tyulkin’s RCWP–RPC. It goes on a unscrupulous basis, without exposure of mistakes and opportunistic lines of this party and its allies. Alliance ROT-front is essentially created for the sake of obtaining the state registration and participation in elections, but propagandists from the RCWP–RPC pass it off as something the greater and suppress communist criticism against the antimarxist elements in it.

On the ICOR-Resolution on US Presidential Election

By | 12/25/2016

We regret that the ICC of the ICOR ignored our political observations on the draft ICOR-Resolution on US presidential election and consider it necessary to openly express our views in this text and the results of the election.

  1. We share and support the title idea of the resolution: “US presidential election between pest and cholera”.

  2. However, the resolution by itself runs counter to that title. It’s very one-sided and all along suggests that Clinton is allegedly less reactionary or even the preferred candidate. But this is not the case. To represent Trump as more reactionary than Obama or Clinton is to completely miss the fact that it is just Clinton who openly claims to overthrow the governments of other countries and acts as a warmonger in international relations.

    It is a well known and generally recognized fact that Trump meant when he was speaking on December 1 in Cincinnati and promising to “stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments1. Clinton herself talked about interventions in Libya and Syria, for example, in an interview with “Atlantic” in August, 2014 2. Jill Stein who was the Green Party’s candidate in this election correctly pointed out that “Donald Trump is a total wildcard, but Hillary has the proven record of the most pro-conflict military policy possible”, and warned that if Clinton would win then it would need to be to “get ready for war with Russia3 It is a fact that can’t be ignored! 4

  3. The ICOR resolution is almost entirely (except of course the final provisions) acceptable for Clinton’s supporters and shamefully flirts with them! We believe that the Marxist-Leninists should fully and expressly exclude any illusions about Clinton while condemning Trump.

    This is especially important in our country. Because Clinton is a fierce advocate of escalating tensions between the US and Russia, a pro-Clinton position is an anti-Russian one at the same time. Therefore the resolution which doesn’t reject Clinton’s aggressive policy sufficiently clearly will only stir up sympathy for the reactionary Trump among Russian people.

  4. Although Clinton indeed ostentatiously defends some of the democratic gains in the US it should not be given too much importance, because there is a contradiction within the imperialist empire center, of a more or less uniform distribution of the imperialist super-profits, and of a more or less liberal governance of parasitic society. 5

Notes:

  1. On December 1, 2016, Trump spoke in Cincinnati (Ohio): “At the same time, we will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past. We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments, folks. Remember, $6 trillion, $6 trillion in the Middle East, $6 trillion. Our goal is stability not chaos, because we want to rebuild our country. It’s time. It’s time. We will partner with any nation that is willing to join us in the effort to defeat ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism. OK? We have to say the term. Have to say the term”. (Hereinafter comments are by Maoism.Ru editor being not a part of the statement approved by the RMP.)
  2. Clinton said in the interview with Jeffrey Goldberg on August 10, 2014: “…We helped overthrow Qaddafi” and “Well, I did believe, which is why I advocated this, that if we were to carefully vet, train, and equip early on a core group of the developing Free Syrian Army, we would, number one, have some better insight into what was going on on the ground”.
  3. Stein said in an interview with Fox Business on November 3, 2016: “And she [Clinton] has said that she will lead the charge with a no-fly zone in Syria, and that basically amounts to a declaration of war against Russia, who is there under international law, having been invited by the sitting government. Like it or not, Russia has the sanction of international law to be there. For us to go in and declare a no-fly zone means get ready for war with Russia”. In the interview with the journalist Marc Lamont Hill, November 6, 2016, Stein, branded Clinton as a “warmonger”, and Trump as a “fascist” said: “Yes, Donald Trump is a total wildcard, but Hillary has the proven record of the most pro-conflict military policy possible”. See Jill Stein Agrees with Trump: Hillary Clinton Presidency Means Nuclear War, a ‘Mushroom Cloud Waiting to Happen’ and This is a mushroom cloud waiting to happen: Jill Stein blasts ‘warmonger’ Hillary saying a vote for Clinton could lead to nuclear war with Russia.
  4. See also what the Revolutionary Organization of Labor, the ICOR party in the United States, writes on this election (RAY O’ LIGHT NEWSLETTER November-December 2016 Number 99): “In that light, a Clinton presidency would have been more dangerous for the international working class and the oppressed peoples of the world. One example: The anti-Russia hysteria fomented by the Clinton/Democratic Party campaign in concert with the monopoly capitalist-controlled mass media turned Clinton’s Wikileaks problem into a Trump problem of allegedly being ‘soft’ on Russia and promoting Russian interference in the U.S. election. A President Clinton could have led in short order to a major war between Russia and the USA, as Clinton’s bloody record as Secretary of State in Libya, Syria, Honduras et al. demonstrates. Certainly the Trump election has made this specific horrific prospect less likely at least in the near future”. And then: “While Clinton was more immediately dangerous regarding the U.S. Empire’s unceasing war abroad against the rest of the international working class and the oppressed peoples of the world, Trump represents a more immediate danger to the workers and oppressed nationalities within the U.S. multinational state. The Trump campaign with its outrageously chauvinistic attacks on Muslims, Latino immigrants, Afro-Americans, its misogyny toward women as well as antipathy toward LGBT, disabled and other marginalized folks, the violence encouraged toward so many by Trump himself, all point toward an increasingly fascist culture and society to match the fascistic bipartisan Republicrat foreign policy that has included an unending war of terror over the last 15 years against the peoples of the world, including those of us in the belly of the beast itself.
  5. See, e.g.: First World Elections, First World Divisions by Jacob Brown.

Manifesto of the Communist Party

By | 09/19/2016

A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies.

Where is the party in opposition that has not been decried as communistic by its opponents in power? Where is the opposition that has not hurled back the branding reproach of communism, against the more advanced opposition parties, as well as against its reactionary adversaries?

Two things result from this fact:

  1. Communism is already acknowledged by all European powers to be itself a power.

  2. It is high time that Communists should openly, in the face of the whole world, publish their views, their aims, their tendencies, and meet this nursery tale of the Spectre of Communism with a manifesto of the party itself.

To this end, Communists of various nationalities have assembled in London and sketched the following manifesto, to be published in the English, French, German, Italian, Flemish and Danish languages.

Chapter Ⅰ. Bourgeois and Proletarians 1

The history of all hitherto existing society 2

Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master 3 and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.

In the earlier epochs of history, we find almost everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders, a manifold gradation of social rank. In ancient Rome we have patricians, knights, plebeians, slaves; in the Middle Ages, feudal lords, vassals, guild-masters, journeymen, apprentices, serfs; in almost all of these classes, again, subordinate gradations.

The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones.

Our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie, possesses, however, this distinct feature: it has simplified class antagonisms. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other — Bourgeoisie and Proletariat.

From the serfs of the Middle Ages sprang the chartered burghers of the earliest towns. From these burgesses the first elements of the bourgeoisie were developed.

The discovery of America, the rounding of the Cape, opened up fresh ground for the rising bourgeoisie. The East-Indian and Chinese markets, the colonisation of America, trade with the colonies, the increase in the means of exchange and in commodities generally, gave to commerce, to navigation, to industry, an impulse never before known, and thereby, to the revolutionary element in the tottering feudal society, a rapid development.

The feudal system of industry, in which industrial production was monopolised by closed guilds, now no longer sufficed for the growing wants of the new markets. The manufacturing system took its place. The guild-masters were pushed on one side by the manufacturing middle class; division of labour between the different corporate guilds vanished in the face of division of labour in each single workshop.

Meantime the markets kept ever growing, the demand ever rising. Even manufacturer no longer sufficed. Thereupon, steam and machinery revolutionised industrial production. The place of manufacture was taken by the giant, Modern Industry; the place of the industrial middle class by industrial millionaires, the leaders of the whole industrial armies, the modern bourgeois.

Modern industry has established the world market, for which the discovery of America paved the way. This market has given an immense development to commerce, to navigation, to communication by land. This development has, in its turn, reacted on the extension of industry; and in proportion as industry, commerce, navigation, railways extended, in the same proportion the bourgeoisie developed, increased its capital, and pushed into the background every class handed down from the Middle Ages.

We see, therefore, how the modern bourgeoisie is itself the product of a long course of development, of a series of revolutions in the modes of production and of exchange.

Each step in the development of the bourgeoisie was accompanied by a corresponding political advance of that class. An oppressed class under the sway of the feudal nobility, an armed and self-governing association in the medieval commune 4: here independent urban republic (as in Italy and Germany); there taxable “third estate” of the monarchy (as in France); afterwards, in the period of manufacturing proper, serving either the semi-feudal or the absolute monarchy as a counterpoise against the nobility, and, in fact, cornerstone of the great monarchies in general, the bourgeoisie has at last, since the establishment of Modern Industry and of the world market, conquered for itself, in the modern representative State, exclusive political sway. The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.

The bourgeoisie, historically, has played a most revolutionary part.

The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors”, and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment”. It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom — Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.

The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage labourers.

The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation.

The bourgeoisie has disclosed how it came to pass that the brutal display of vigour in the Middle Ages, which reactionaries so much admire, found its fitting complement in the most slothful indolence. It has been the first to show what man’s activity can bring about. It has accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals; it has conducted expeditions that put in the shade all former Exoduses of nations and crusades.

The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.

The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the entire surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connexions everywhere.

The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country. To the great chagrin of Reactionists, it has drawn from under the feet of industry the national ground on which it stood. All old-established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed. They are dislodged by new industries, whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilised nations, by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material, but raw material drawn from the remotest zones; industries whose products are consumed, not only at home, but in every quarter of the globe. In place of the old wants, satisfied by the production of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climes. In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal inter-dependence of nations. And as in material, so also in intellectual production. The intellectual creations of individual nations become common property. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible, and from the numerous national and local literatures, there arises a world literature.

The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilisation. The cheap prices of commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the barbarians’ intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image.

The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. Just as it has made the country dependent on the towns, so it has made barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the civilised ones, nations of peasants on nations of bourgeois, the East on the West.

The bourgeoisie keeps more and more doing away with the scattered state of the population, of the means of production, and of property. It has agglomerated population, centralised the means of production, and has concentrated property in a few hands. The necessary consequence of this was political centralisation. Independent, or but loosely connected provinces, with separate interests, laws, governments, and systems of taxation, became lumped together into one nation, with one government, one code of laws, one national class-interest, one frontier, and one customs-tariff.

The bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. Subjection of Nature’s forces to man, machinery, application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam-navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalisation of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground — what earlier century had even a presentiment that such productive forces slumbered in the lap of social labour?

We see then: the means of production and of exchange, on whose foundation the bourgeoisie built itself up, were generated in feudal society. At a certain stage in the development of these means of production and of exchange, the conditions under which feudal society produced and exchanged, the feudal organisation of agriculture and manufacturing industry, in one word, the feudal relations of property became no longer compatible with the already developed productive forces; they became so many fetters. They had to be burst asunder; they were burst asunder.

Into their place stepped free competition, accompanied by a social and political constitution adapted in it, and the economic and political sway of the bourgeois class.

A similar movement is going on before our own eyes. Modern bourgeois society, with its relations of production, of exchange and of property, a society that has conjured up such gigantic means of production and of exchange, is like the sorcerer who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells. For many a decade past the history of industry and commerce is but the history of the revolt of modern productive forces against modern conditions of production, against the property relations that are the conditions for the existence of the bourgeois and of its rule. It is enough to mention the commercial crises that by their periodical return put the existence of the entire bourgeois society on its trial, each time more threateningly. In these crises, a great part not only of the existing products, but also of the previously created productive forces, are periodically destroyed. In these crises, there breaks out an epidemic that, in all earlier epochs, would have seemed an absurdity — the epidemic of over-production. Society suddenly finds itself put back into a state of momentary barbarism; it appears as if a famine, a universal war of devastation, had cut off the supply of every means of subsistence; industry and commerce seem to be destroyed; and why? Because there is too much civilisation, too much means of subsistence, too much industry, too much commerce. The productive forces at the disposal of society no longer tend to further the development of the conditions of bourgeois property; on the contrary, they have become too powerful for these conditions, by which they are fettered, and so soon as they overcome these fetters, they bring disorder into the whole of bourgeois society, endanger the existence of bourgeois property. The conditions of bourgeois society are too narrow to comprise the wealth created by them. And how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises? On the one hand by enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces; on the other, by the conquest of new markets, and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones. That is to say, by paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises, and by diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented.

The weapons with which the bourgeoisie felled feudalism to the ground are now turned against the bourgeoisie itself.

But not only has the bourgeoisie forged the weapons that bring death to itself; it has also called into existence the men who are to wield those weapons — the modern working class — the proletarians.

In proportion as the bourgeoisie, i.e., capital, is developed, in the same proportion is the proletariat, the modern working class, developed — a class of labourers, who live only so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labour increases capital. These labourers, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity, like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market.

Owing to the extensive use of machinery, and to the division of labour, the work of the proletarians has lost all individual character, and, consequently, all charm for the workman. He becomes an appendage of the machine, and it is only the most simple, most monotonous, and most easily acquired knack, that is required of him. Hence, the cost of production of a workman is restricted, almost entirely, to the means of subsistence that he requires for maintenance, and for the propagation of his race. But the price of a commodity, and therefore also of labour, is equal to its cost of production. In proportion, therefore, as the repulsiveness of the work increases, the wage decreases. Nay more, in proportion as the use of machinery and division of labour increases, in the same proportion the burden of toil also increases, whether by prolongation of the working hours, by the increase of the work exacted in a given time or by increased speed of machinery, etc.

Modern Industry has converted the little workshop of the patriarchal master into the great factory of the industrial capitalist. Masses of labourers, crowded into the factory, are organised like soldiers. As privates of the industrial army they are placed under the command of a perfect hierarchy of officers and sergeants. Not only are they slaves of the bourgeois class, and of the bourgeois State; they are daily and hourly enslaved by the machine, by the overlooker, and, above all, by the individual bourgeois manufacturer himself. The more openly this despotism proclaims gain to be its end and aim, the more petty, the more hateful and the more embittering it is.

The less the skill and exertion of strength implied in manual labour, in other words, the more modern industry becomes developed, the more is the labour of men superseded by that of women. Differences of age and sex have no longer any distinctive social validity for the working class. All are instruments of labour, more or less expensive to use, according to their age and sex.

No sooner is the exploitation of the labourer by the manufacturer, so far, at an end, that he receives his wages in cash, than he is set upon by the other portions of the bourgeoisie, the landlord, the shopkeeper, the pawnbroker, etc.

The lower strata of the middle class — the small tradespeople, shopkeepers, and retired tradesmen generally, the handicraftsmen and peasants — all these sink gradually into the proletariat, partly because their diminutive capital does not suffice for the scale on which Modern Industry is carried on, and is swamped in the competition with the large capitalists, partly because their specialised skill is rendered worthless by new methods of production. Thus the proletariat is recruited from all classes of the population.

The proletariat goes through various stages of development. With its birth begins its struggle with the bourgeoisie. At first the contest is carried on by individual labourers, then by the workpeople of a factory, then by the operative of one trade, in one locality, against the individual bourgeois who directly exploits them. They direct their attacks not against the bourgeois conditions of production, but against the instruments of production themselves; they destroy imported wares that compete with their labour, they smash to pieces machinery, they set factories ablaze, they seek to restore by force the vanished status of the workman of the Middle Ages.

At this stage, the labourers still form an incoherent mass scattered over the whole country, and broken up by their mutual competition. If anywhere they unite to form more compact bodies, this is not yet the consequence of their own active union, but of the union of the bourgeoisie, which class, in order to attain its own political ends, is compelled to set the whole proletariat in motion, and is moreover yet, for a time, able to do so. At this stage, therefore, the proletarians do not fight their enemies, but the enemies of their enemies, the remnants of absolute monarchy, the landowners, the non-industrial bourgeois, the petty bourgeois. Thus, the whole historical movement is concentrated in the hands of the bourgeoisie; every victory so obtained is a victory for the bourgeoisie.

But with the development of industry, the proletariat not only increases in number; it becomes concentrated in greater masses, its strength grows, and it feels that strength more. The various interests and conditions of life within the ranks of the proletariat are more and more equalised, in proportion as machinery obliterates all distinctions of labour, and nearly everywhere reduces wages to the same low level. The growing competition among the bourgeois, and the resulting commercial crises, make the wages of the workers ever more fluctuating. The increasing improvement of machinery, ever more rapidly developing, makes their livelihood more and more precarious; the collisions between individual workmen and individual bourgeois take more and more the character of collisions between two classes. Thereupon, the workers begin to form combinations (Trades’ Unions) against the bourgeois; they club together in order to keep up the rate of wages; they found permanent associations in order to make provision beforehand for these occasional revolts. Here and there, the contest breaks out into riots.

Now and then the workers are victorious, but only for a time. The real fruit of their battles lies, not in the immediate result, but in the ever expanding union of the workers. This union is helped on by the improved means of communication that are created by modern industry, and that place the workers of different localities in contact with one another. It was just this contact that was needed to centralise the numerous local struggles, all of the same character, into one national struggle between classes. But every class struggle is a political struggle. And that union, to attain which the burghers of the Middle Ages, with their miserable highways, required centuries, the modern proletarian, thanks to railways, achieve in a few years.

This organisation of the proletarians into a class, and, consequently into a political party, is continually being upset again by the competition between the workers themselves. But it ever rises up again, stronger, firmer, mightier. It compels legislative recognition of particular interests of the workers, by taking advantage of the divisions among the bourgeoisie itself. Thus, the ten-hours’ bill in England was carried.

Altogether collisions between the classes of the old society further, in many ways, the course of development of the proletariat. The bourgeoisie finds itself involved in a constant battle. At first with the aristocracy; later on, with those portions of the bourgeoisie itself, whose interests have become antagonistic to the progress of industry; at all time with the bourgeoisie of foreign countries. In all these battles, it sees itself compelled to appeal to the proletariat, to ask for help, and thus, to drag it into the political arena. The bourgeoisie itself, therefore, supplies the proletariat with its own elements of political and general education, in other words, it furnishes the proletariat with weapons for fighting the bourgeoisie.

Further, as we have already seen, entire sections of the ruling class are, by the advance of industry, precipitated into the proletariat, or are at least threatened in their conditions of existence. These also supply the proletariat with fresh elements of enlightenment and progress.

Finally, in times when the class struggle nears the decisive hour, the progress of dissolution going on within the ruling class, in fact within the whole range of old society, assumes such a violent, glaring character, that a small section of the ruling class cuts itself adrift, and joins the revolutionary class, the class that holds the future in its hands. Just as, therefore, at an earlier period, a section of the nobility went over to the bourgeoisie, so now a portion of the bourgeoisie goes over to the proletariat, and in particular, a portion of the bourgeois ideologists, who have raised themselves to the level of comprehending theoretically the historical movement as a whole.

Of all the classes that stand face to face with the bourgeoisie today, the proletariat alone is a really revolutionary class. The other classes decay and finally disappear in the face of Modern Industry; the proletariat is its special and essential product.

The lower middle class, the small manufacturer, the shopkeeper, the artisan, the peasant, all these fight against the bourgeoisie, to save from extinction their existence as fractions of the middle class. They are therefore not revolutionary, but conservative. Nay more, they are reactionary, for they try to roll back the wheel of history. If by chance, they are revolutionary, they are only so in view of their impending transfer into the proletariat; they thus defend not their present, but their future interests, they desert their own standpoint to place themselves at that of the proletariat.

The “dangerous class”, [lumpenproletariat] the social scum, that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of the old society, may, here and there, be swept into the movement by a proletarian revolution; its conditions of life, however, prepare it far more for the part of a bribed tool of reactionary intrigue.

In the condition of the proletariat, those of old society at large are already virtually swamped. The proletarian is without property; his relation to his wife and children has no longer anything in common with the bourgeois family relations; modern industry labour, modern subjection to capital, the same in England as in France, in America as in Germany, has stripped him of every trace of national character. Law, morality, religion, are to him so many bourgeois prejudices, behind which lurk in ambush just as many bourgeois interests.

All the preceding classes that got the upper hand sought to fortify their already acquired status by subjecting society at large to their conditions of appropriation. The proletarians cannot become masters of the productive forces of society, except by abolishing their own previous mode of appropriation, and thereby also every other previous mode of appropriation. They have nothing of their own to secure and to fortify; their mission is to destroy all previous securities for, and insurances of, individual property.

All previous historical movements were movements of minorities, or in the interest of minorities. The proletarian movement is the self-conscious, independent movement of the immense majority, in the interest of the immense majority. The proletariat, the lowest stratum of our present society, cannot stir, cannot raise itself up, without the whole superincumbent strata of official society being sprung into the air.

Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle. The proletariat of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie.

In depicting the most general phases of the development of the proletariat, we traced the more or less veiled civil war, raging within existing society, up to the point where that war breaks out into open revolution, and where the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie lays the foundation for the sway of the proletariat.

Hitherto, every form of society has been based, as we have already seen, on the antagonism of oppressing and oppressed classes. But in order to oppress a class, certain conditions must be assured to it under which it can, at least, continue its slavish existence. The serf, in the period of serfdom, raised himself to membership in the commune, just as the petty bourgeois, under the yoke of the feudal absolutism, managed to develop into a bourgeois. The modern labourer, on the contrary, instead of rising with the process of industry, sinks deeper and deeper below the conditions of existence of his own class. He becomes a pauper, and pauperism develops more rapidly than population and wealth. And here it becomes evident, that the bourgeoisie is unfit any longer to be the ruling class in society, and to impose its conditions of existence upon society as an over-riding law. It is unfit to rule because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within his slavery, because it cannot help letting him sink into such a state, that it has to feed him, instead of being fed by him. Society can no longer live under this bourgeoisie, in other words, its existence is no longer compatible with society.

The essential conditions for the existence and for the sway of the bourgeois class is the formation and augmentation of capital; the condition for capital is wage-labour. Wage-labour rests exclusively on competition between the labourers. The advance of industry, whose involuntary promoter is the bourgeoisie, replaces the isolation of the labourers, due to competition, by the revolutionary combination, due to association. The development of Modern Industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable.

Chapter Ⅱ. Proletarians and Communists

In what relation do the Communists stand to the proletarians as a whole?

The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to the other working-class parties.

They have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole.

They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own, by which to shape and mould the proletarian movement.

The Communists are distinguished from the other working-class parties by this only: 1. In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries, they point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat, independently of all nationality. 2. In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through, they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole.

The Communists, therefore, are on the one hand, practically, the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country, that section which pushes forward all others; on the other hand, theoretically, they have over the great mass of the proletariat the advantage of clearly understanding the line of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement.

The immediate aim of the Communists is the same as that of all other proletarian parties: formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat.

The theoretical conclusions of the Communists are in no way based on ideas or principles that have been invented, or discovered, by this or that would-be universal reformer.

They merely express, in general terms, actual relations springing from an existing class struggle, from a historical movement going on under our very eyes. The abolition of existing property relations is not at all a distinctive feature of communism.

All property relations in the past have continually been subject to historical change consequent upon the change in historical conditions.

The French Revolution, for example, abolished feudal property in favour of bourgeois property.

The distinguishing feature of Communism is not the abolition of property generally, but the abolition of bourgeois property. But modern bourgeois private property is the final and most complete expression of the system of producing and appropriating products, that is based on class antagonisms, on the exploitation of the many by the few.

In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.

We Communists have been reproached with the desire of abolishing the right of personally acquiring property as the fruit of a man’s own labour, which property is alleged to be the groundwork of all personal freedom, activity and independence.

Hard-won, self-acquired, self-earned property! Do you mean the property of petty artisan and of the small peasant, a form of property that preceded the bourgeois form? There is no need to abolish that; the development of industry has to a great extent already destroyed it, and is still destroying it daily.

Or do you mean the modern bourgeois private property?

But does wage-labour create any property for the labourer? Not a bit. It creates capital, i.e., that kind of property which exploits wage-labour, and which cannot increase except upon condition of begetting a new supply of wage-labour for fresh exploitation. Property, in its present form, is based on the antagonism of capital and wage labour. Let us examine both sides of this antagonism.

To be a capitalist, is to have not only a purely personal, but a social status in production. Capital is a collective product, and only by the united action of many members, nay, in the last resort, only by the united action of all members of society, can it be set in motion.

Capital is therefore not only personal; it is a social power.

When, therefore, capital is converted into common property, into the property of all members of society, personal property is not thereby transformed into social property. It is only the social character of the property that is changed. It loses its class character.

Let us now take wage-labour.

The average price of wage-labour is the minimum wage, i.e., that quantum of the means of subsistence which is absolutely requisite to keep the labourer in bare existence as a labourer. What, therefore, the wage-labourer appropriates by means of his labour, merely suffices to prolong and reproduce a bare existence. We by no means intend to abolish this personal appropriation of the products of labour, an appropriation that is made for the maintenance and reproduction of human life, and that leaves no surplus wherewith to command the labour of others. All that we want to do away with is the miserable character of this appropriation, under which the labourer lives merely to increase capital, and is allowed to live only in so far as the interest of the ruling class requires it.

In bourgeois society, living labour is but a means to increase accumulated labour. In Communist society, accumulated labour is but a means to widen, to enrich, to promote the existence of the labourer.

In bourgeois society, therefore, the past dominates the present; in Communist society, the present dominates the past. In bourgeois society capital is independent and has individuality, while the living person is dependent and has no individuality.

And the abolition of this state of things is called by the bourgeois, abolition of individuality and freedom! And rightly so. The abolition of bourgeois individuality, bourgeois independence, and bourgeois freedom is undoubtedly aimed at.

By freedom is meant, under the present bourgeois conditions of production, free trade, free selling and buying.

But if selling and buying disappears, free selling and buying disappears also. This talk about free selling and buying, and all the other “brave words” of our bourgeois about freedom in general, have a meaning, if any, only in contrast with restricted selling and buying, with the fettered traders of the Middle Ages, but have no meaning when opposed to the Communistic abolition of buying and selling, of the bourgeois conditions of production, and of the bourgeoisie itself.

You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths. You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society.

In one word, you reproach us with intending to do away with your property. Precisely so; that is just what we intend.

From the moment when labour can no longer be converted into capital, money, or rent, into a social power capable of being monopolised, i.e., from the moment when individual property can no longer be transformed into bourgeois property, into capital, from that moment, you say, individuality vanishes.

You must, therefore, confess that by “individual” you mean no other person than the bourgeois, than the middle-class owner of property. This person must, indeed, be swept out of the way, and made impossible.

Communism deprives no man of the power to appropriate the products of society; all that it does is to deprive him of the power to subjugate the labour of others by means of such appropriations.

It has been objected that upon the abolition of private property, all work will cease, and universal laziness will overtake us.

According to this, bourgeois society ought long ago to have gone to the dogs through sheer idleness; for those of its members who work, acquire nothing, and those who acquire anything do not work. The whole of this objection is but another expression of the tautology: that there can no longer be any wage-labour when there is no longer any capital.

All objections urged against the Communistic mode of producing and appropriating material products, have, in the same way, been urged against the Communistic mode of producing and appropriating intellectual products. Just as, to the bourgeois, the disappearance of class property is the disappearance of production itself, so the disappearance of class culture is to him identical with the disappearance of all culture.

That culture, the loss of which he laments, is, for the enormous majority, a mere training to act as a machine.

But don’t wrangle with us so long as you apply, to our intended abolition of bourgeois property, the standard of your bourgeois notions of freedom, culture, law, &c. Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of the conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class made into a law for all, a will whose essential character and direction are determined by the economical conditions of existence of your class.

The selfish misconception that induces you to transform into eternal laws of nature and of reason, the social forms springing from your present mode of production and form of property – historical relations that rise and disappear in the progress of production – this misconception you share with every ruling class that has preceded you. What you see clearly in the case of ancient property, what you admit in the case of feudal property, you are of course forbidden to admit in the case of your own bourgeois form of property.

Abolition [Aufhebung] of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists.

On what foundation is the present family, the bourgeois family, based? On capital, on private gain. In its completely developed form, this family exists only among the bourgeoisie. But this state of things finds its complement in the practical absence of the family among the proletarians, and in public prostitution.

The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes, and both will vanish with the vanishing of capital.

Do you charge us with wanting to stop the exploitation of children by their parents? To this crime we plead guilty.

But, you say, we destroy the most hallowed of relations, when we replace home education by social.

And your education! Is not that also social, and determined by the social conditions under which you educate, by the intervention direct or indirect, of society, by means of schools, &c.? The Communists have not invented the intervention of society in education; they do but seek to alter the character of that intervention, and to rescue education from the influence of the ruling class.

The bourgeois clap-trap about the family and education, about the hallowed co-relation of parents and child, becomes all the more disgusting, the more, by the action of Modern Industry, all the family ties among the proletarians are torn asunder, and their children transformed into simple articles of commerce and instruments of labour.

But you Communists would introduce community of women, screams the bourgeoisie in chorus.

The bourgeois sees his wife a mere instrument of production. He hears that the instruments of production are to be exploited in common, and, naturally, can come to no other conclusion that the lot of being common to all will likewise fall to the women.

He has not even a suspicion that the real point aimed at is to do away with the status of women as mere instruments of production.

For the rest, nothing is more ridiculous than the virtuous indignation of our bourgeois at the community of women which, they pretend, is to be openly and officially established by the Communists. The Communists have no need to introduce community of women; it has existed almost from time immemorial.

Our bourgeois, not content with having wives and daughters of their proletarians at their disposal, not to speak of common prostitutes, take the greatest pleasure in seducing each other’s wives.

Bourgeois marriage is, in reality, a system of wives in common and thus, at the most, what the Communists might possibly be reproached with is that they desire to introduce, in substitution for a hypocritically concealed, an openly legalised community of women. For the rest, it is self-evident that the abolition of the present system of production must bring with it the abolition of the community of women springing from that system, i.e., of prostitution both public and private.

The Communists are further reproached with desiring to abolish countries and nationality.

The working men have no country. We cannot take from them what they have not got. Since the proletariat must first of all acquire political supremacy, must rise to be the leading class of the nation, must constitute itself the nation, it is so far, itself national, though not in the bourgeois sense of the word.

National differences and antagonism between peoples are daily more and more vanishing, owing to the development of the bourgeoisie, to freedom of commerce, to the world market, to uniformity in the mode of production and in the conditions of life corresponding thereto.

The supremacy of the proletariat will cause them to vanish still faster. United action, of the leading civilised countries at least, is one of the first conditions for the emancipation of the proletariat.

In proportion as the exploitation of one individual by another will also be put an end to, the exploitation of one nation by another will also be put an end to. In proportion as the antagonism between classes within the nation vanishes, the hostility of one nation to another will come to an end.

The charges against Communism made from a religious, a philosophical and, generally, from an ideological standpoint, are not deserving of serious examination.

Does it require deep intuition to comprehend that man’s ideas, views, and conception, in one word, man’s consciousness, changes with every change in the conditions of his material existence, in his social relations and in his social life?

What else does the history of ideas prove, than that intellectual production changes its character in proportion as material production is changed? The ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class.

When people speak of the ideas that revolutionise society, they do but express that fact that within the old society the elements of a new one have been created, and that the dissolution of the old ideas keeps even pace with the dissolution of the old conditions of existence.

When the ancient world was in its last throes, the ancient religions were overcome by Christianity. When Christian ideas succumbed in the 18th century to rationalist ideas, feudal society fought its death battle with the then revolutionary bourgeoisie. The ideas of religious liberty and freedom of conscience merely gave expression to the sway of free competition within the domain of knowledge.

“Undoubtedly,” it will be said, “religious, moral, philosophical, and juridical ideas have been modified in the course of historical development. But religion, morality, philosophy, political science, and law, constantly survived this change.”

“There are, besides, eternal truths, such as Freedom, Justice, etc., that are common to all states of society. But Communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis; it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience.”

What does this accusation reduce itself to? The history of all past society has consisted in the development of class antagonisms, antagonisms that assumed different forms at different epochs.

But whatever form they may have taken, one fact is common to all past ages, viz., the exploitation of one part of society by the other. No wonder, then, that the social consciousness of past ages, despite all the multiplicity and variety it displays, moves within certain common forms, or general ideas, which cannot completely vanish except with the total disappearance of class antagonisms.

The Communist revolution is the most radical rupture with traditional property relations; no wonder that its development involved the most radical rupture with traditional ideas.

But let us have done with the bourgeois objections to Communism.

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.

The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degree, 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 productive forces as rapidly as possible.

Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures, therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionising the mode of production.

These measures will, of course, be different in different countries.

Nevertheless, in most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable.

  1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.

  2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

  3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

  4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

  5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.

  6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.

  7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

  8. Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

  9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.

  10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c, &c.

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.

In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.

Chapter Ⅲ. Socialist and Communist Literature

1. Reactionary Socialism

A. Feudal Socialism

Owing to their historical position, it became the vocation of the aristocracies of France and England to write pamphlets against modern bourgeois society. In the French Revolution of July 1830, and in the English reform agitation 5, these aristocracies again succumbed to the hateful upstart. Thenceforth, a serious political struggle was altogether out of the question. A literary battle alone remained possible. But even in the domain of literature the old cries of the restoration period had become impossible. 6

In order to arouse sympathy, the aristocracy was obliged to lose sight, apparently, of its own interests, and to formulate their indictment against the bourgeoisie in the interest of the exploited working class alone. Thus, the aristocracy took their revenge by singing lampoons on their new masters and whispering in his ears sinister prophesies of coming catastrophe.

In this way arose feudal Socialism: half lamentation, half lampoon; half an echo of the past, half menace of the future; at times, by its bitter, witty and incisive criticism, striking the bourgeoisie to the very heart’s core; but always ludicrous in its effect, through total incapacity to comprehend the march of modern history.

The aristocracy, in order to rally the people to them, waved the proletarian alms-bag in front for a banner. But the people, so often as it joined them, saw on their hindquarters the old feudal coats of arms, and deserted with loud and irreverent laughter.

One section of the French Legitimists and “Young England” exhibited this spectacle.

In pointing out that their mode of exploitation was different to that of the bourgeoisie, the feudalists forget that they exploited under circumstances and conditions that were quite different and that are now antiquated. In showing that, under their rule, the modern proletariat never existed, they forget that the modern bourgeoisie is the necessary offspring of their own form of society.

For the rest, so little do they conceal the reactionary character of their criticism that their chief accusation against the bourgeois amounts to this, that under the bourgeois régime a class is being developed which is destined to cut up root and branch the old order of society.

What they upbraid the bourgeoisie with is not so much that it creates a proletariat as that it creates a revolutionary proletariat.

In political practice, therefore, they join in all coercive measures against the working class; and in ordinary life, despite their high-falutin phrases, they stoop to pick up the golden apples dropped from the tree of industry, and to barter truth, love, and honour, for traffic in wool, beetroot-sugar, and potato spirits. 7

As the parson has ever gone hand in hand with the landlord, so has Clerical Socialism with Feudal Socialism.

Nothing is easier than to give Christian asceticism a Socialist tinge. Has not Christianity declaimed against private property, against marriage, against the State? Has it not preached in the place of these, charity and poverty, celibacy and mortification of the flesh, monastic life and Mother Church? Christian Socialism is but the holy water with which the priest consecrates the heart-burnings of the aristocrat.

B. Petty-Bourgeois Socialism

The feudal aristocracy was not the only class that was ruined by the bourgeoisie, not the only class whose conditions of existence pined and perished in the atmosphere of modern bourgeois society. The medieval burgesses and the small peasant proprietors were the precursors of the modern bourgeoisie. In those countries which are but little developed, industrially and commercially, these two classes still vegetate side by side with the rising bourgeoisie.

In countries where modern civilisation has become fully developed, a new class of petty bourgeois has been formed, fluctuating between proletariat and bourgeoisie, and ever renewing itself as a supplementary part of bourgeois society. The individual members of this class, however, are being constantly hurled down into the proletariat by the action of competition, and, as modern industry develops, they even see the moment approaching when they will completely disappear as an independent section of modern society, to be replaced in manufactures, agriculture and commerce, by overlookers, bailiffs and shopmen.

In countries like France, where the peasants constitute far more than half of the population, it was natural that writers who sided with the proletariat against the bourgeoisie should use, in their criticism of the bourgeois régime, the standard of the peasant and petty bourgeois, and from the standpoint of these intermediate classes, should take up the cudgels for the working class. Thus arose petty-bourgeois Socialism. Sismondi was the head of this school, not only in France but also in England.

This school of Socialism dissected with great acuteness the contradictions in the conditions of modern production. It laid bare the hypocritical apologies of economists. It proved, incontrovertibly, the disastrous effects of machinery and division of labour; the concentration of capital and land in a few hands; overproduction and crises; it pointed out the inevitable ruin of the petty bourgeois and peasant, the misery of the proletariat, the anarchy in production, the crying inequalities in the distribution of wealth, the industrial war of extermination between nations, the dissolution of old moral bonds, of the old family relations, of the old nationalities.

In its positive aims, however, this form of Socialism aspires either to restoring the old means of production and of exchange, and with them the old property relations, and the old society, or to cramping the modern means of production and of exchange within the framework of the old property relations that have been, and were bound to be, exploded by those means. In either case, it is both reactionary and Utopian.

Its last words are: corporate guilds for manufacture; patriarchal relations in agriculture.

Ultimately, when stubborn historical facts had dispersed all intoxicating effects of self-deception, this form of Socialism ended in a miserable fit of the blues.

C. German or “True” Socialism

The Socialist and Communist literature of France, a literature that originated under the pressure of a bourgeoisie in power, and that was the expressions of the struggle against this power, was introduced into Germany at a time when the bourgeoisie, in that country, had just begun its contest with feudal absolutism.

German philosophers, would-be philosophers, and beaux esprits (men of letters), eagerly seized on this literature, only forgetting, that when these writings immigrated from France into Germany, French social conditions had not immigrated along with them. In contact with German social conditions, this French literature lost all its immediate practical significance and assumed a purely literary aspect. Thus, to the German philosophers of the Eighteenth Century, the demands of the first French Revolution were nothing more than the demands of “Practical Reason” in general, and the utterance of the will of the revolutionary French bourgeoisie signified, in their eyes, the laws of pure Will, of Will as it was bound to be, of true human Will generally.

The work of the German literati consisted solely in bringing the new French ideas into harmony with their ancient philosophical conscience, or rather, in annexing the French ideas without deserting their own philosophic point of view.

This annexation took place in the same way in which a foreign language is appropriated, namely, by translation.

It is well known how the monks wrote silly lives of Catholic Saints over the manuscripts on which the classical works of ancient heathendom had been written. The German literati reversed this process with the profane French literature. They wrote their philosophical nonsense beneath the French original. For instance, beneath the French criticism of the economic functions of money, they wrote “Alienation of Humanity”, and beneath the French criticism of the bourgeois state they wrote “Dethronement of the Category of the General”, and so forth.

The introduction of these philosophical phrases at the back of the French historical criticisms, they dubbed “Philosophy of Action”, “True Socialism”, “German Science of Socialism”, “Philosophical Foundation of Socialism”, and so on.

The French Socialist and Communist literature was thus completely emasculated. And, since it ceased in the hands of the German to express the struggle of one class with the other, he felt conscious of having overcome “French one-sidedness” and of representing, not true requirements, but the requirements of Truth; not the interests of the proletariat, but the interests of Human Nature, of Man in general, who belongs to no class, has no reality, who exists only in the misty realm of philosophical fantasy.

This German socialism, which took its schoolboy task so seriously and solemnly, and extolled its poor stock-in-trade in such a mountebank fashion, meanwhile gradually lost its pedantic innocence.

The fight of the Germans, and especially of the Prussian bourgeoisie, against feudal aristocracy and absolute monarchy, in other words, the liberal movement, became more earnest.

By this, the long-wished for opportunity was offered to “True” Socialism of confronting the political movement with the Socialist demands, of hurling the traditional anathemas against liberalism, against representative government, against bourgeois competition, bourgeois freedom of the press, bourgeois legislation, bourgeois liberty and equality, and of preaching to the masses that they had nothing to gain, and everything to lose, by this bourgeois movement. German Socialism forgot, in the nick of time, that the French criticism, whose silly echo it was, presupposed the existence of modern bourgeois society, with its corresponding economic conditions of existence, and the political constitution adapted thereto, the very things those attainment was the object of the pending struggle in Germany.

To the absolute governments, with their following of parsons, professors, country squires, and officials, it served as a welcome scarecrow against the threatening bourgeoisie.

It was a sweet finish, after the bitter pills of flogging and bullets, with which these same governments, just at that time, dosed the German working-class risings.

While this “True” Socialism thus served the government as a weapon for fighting the German bourgeoisie, it, at the same time, directly represented a reactionary interest, the interest of German Philistines. In Germany, the petty-bourgeois class, a relic of the sixteenth century, and since then constantly cropping up again under the various forms, is the real social basis of the existing state of things.

To preserve this class is to preserve the existing state of things in Germany. The industrial and political supremacy of the bourgeoisie threatens it with certain destruction — on the one hand, from the concentration of capital; on the other, from the rise of a revolutionary proletariat. “True” Socialism appeared to kill these two birds with one stone. It spread like an epidemic.

The robe of speculative cobwebs, embroidered with flowers of rhetoric, steeped in the dew of sickly sentiment, this transcendental robe in which the German Socialists wrapped their sorry “eternal truths”, all skin and bone, served to wonderfully increase the sale of their goods amongst such a public.

And on its part German Socialism recognised, more and more, its own calling as the bombastic representative of the petty-bourgeois Philistine.

It proclaimed the German nation to be the model nation, and the German petty Philistine to be the typical man. To every villainous meanness of this model man, it gave a hidden, higher, Socialistic interpretation, the exact contrary of its real character. It went to the extreme length of directly opposing the “brutally destructive” tendency of Communism, and of proclaiming its supreme and impartial contempt of all class struggles. With very few exceptions, all the so-called Socialist and Communist publications that now (1847) circulate in Germany belong to the domain of this foul and enervating literature. 8

2. Conservative or Bourgeois Socialism

A part of the bourgeoisie is desirous of redressing social grievances in order to secure the continued existence of bourgeois society.

To this section belong economists, philanthropists, humanitarians, improvers of the condition of the working class, organisers of charity, members of societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, temperance fanatics, hole-and-corner reformers of every imaginable kind. This form of socialism has, moreover, been worked out into complete systems.

We may cite Proudhon’s Philosophie de la Misère as an example of this form.

The Socialistic bourgeois want all the advantages of modern social conditions without the struggles and dangers necessarily resulting therefrom. They desire the existing state of society, minus its revolutionary and disintegrating elements. They wish for a bourgeoisie without a proletariat. The bourgeoisie naturally conceives the world in which it is supreme to be the best; and bourgeois Socialism develops this comfortable conception into various more or less complete systems. In requiring the proletariat to carry out such a system, and thereby to march straightway into the social New Jerusalem, it but requires in reality, that the proletariat should remain within the bounds of existing society, but should cast away all its hateful ideas concerning the bourgeoisie.

A second, and more practical, but less systematic, form of this Socialism sought to depreciate every revolutionary movement in the eyes of the working class by showing that no mere political reform, but only a change in the material conditions of existence, in economical relations, could be of any advantage to them. By changes in the material conditions of existence, this form of Socialism, however, by no means understands abolition of the bourgeois relations of production, an abolition that can be affected only by a revolution, but administrative reforms, based on the continued existence of these relations; reforms, therefore, that in no respect affect the relations between capital and labour, but, at the best, lessen the cost, and simplify the administrative work, of bourgeois government.

Bourgeois Socialism attains adequate expression when, and only when, it becomes a mere figure of speech.

Free trade: for the benefit of the working class. Protective duties: for the benefit of the working class. Prison Reform: for the benefit of the working class. This is the last word and the only seriously meant word of bourgeois socialism.

It is summed up in the phrase: the bourgeois is a bourgeois — for the benefit of the working class.

3. Critical-Utopian Socialism and Communism

We do not here refer to that literature which, in every great modern revolution, has always given voice to the demands of the proletariat, such as the writings of Babeuf and others.

The first direct attempts of the proletariat to attain its own ends, made in times of universal excitement, when feudal society was being overthrown, necessarily failed, owing to the then undeveloped state of the proletariat, as well as to the absence of the economic conditions for its emancipation, conditions that had yet to be produced, and could be produced by the impending bourgeois epoch alone. The revolutionary literature that accompanied these first movements of the proletariat had necessarily a reactionary character. It inculcated universal asceticism and social levelling in its crudest form.

The Socialist and Communist systems, properly so called, those of Saint-Simon, Fourier, Owen, and others, spring into existence in the early undeveloped period, described above, of the struggle between proletariat and bourgeoisie (see Section 1. Bourgeois and Proletarians).

The founders of these systems see, indeed, the class antagonisms, as well as the action of the decomposing elements in the prevailing form of society. But the proletariat, as yet in its infancy, offers to them the spectacle of a class without any historical initiative or any independent political movement.

Since the development of class antagonism keeps even pace with the development of industry, the economic situation, as they find it, does not as yet offer to them the material conditions for the emancipation of the proletariat. They therefore search after a new social science, after new social laws, that are to create these conditions.

Historical action is to yield to their personal inventive action; historically created conditions of emancipation to fantastic ones; and the gradual, spontaneous class organisation of the proletariat to an organisation of society especially contrived by these inventors. Future history resolves itself, in their eyes, into the propaganda and the practical carrying out of their social plans.

In the formation of their plans, they are conscious of caring chiefly for the interests of the working class, as being the most suffering class. Only from the point of view of being the most suffering class does the proletariat exist for them.

The undeveloped state of the class struggle, as well as their own surroundings, causes Socialists of this kind to consider themselves far superior to all class antagonisms. They want to improve the condition of every member of society, even that of the most favoured. Hence, they habitually appeal to society at large, without the distinction of class; nay, by preference, to the ruling class. For how can people, when once they understand their system, fail to see in it the best possible plan of the best possible state of society?

Hence, they reject all political, and especially all revolutionary action; they wish to attain their ends by peaceful means, necessarily doomed to failure, and by the force of example, to pave the way for the new social Gospel.

Such fantastic pictures of future society, painted at a time when the proletariat is still in a very undeveloped state and has but a fantastic conception of its own position, correspond with the first instinctive yearnings of that class for a general reconstruction of society.

But these Socialist and Communist publications contain also a critical element. They attack every principle of existing society. Hence, they are full of the most valuable materials for the enlightenment of the working class. The practical measures proposed in them — such as the abolition of the distinction between town and country, of the family, of the carrying on of industries for the account of private individuals, and of the wage system, the proclamation of social harmony, the conversion of the function of the state into a more superintendence of production — all these proposals point solely to the disappearance of class antagonisms which were, at that time, only just cropping up, and which, in these publications, are recognised in their earliest indistinct and undefined forms only. These proposals, therefore, are of a purely Utopian character.

The significance of Critical-Utopian Socialism and Communism bears an inverse relation to historical development. In proportion as the modern class struggle develops and takes definite shape, this fantastic standing apart from the contest, these fantastic attacks on it, lose all practical value and all theoretical justification. Therefore, although the originators of these systems were, in many respects, revolutionary, their disciples have, in every case, formed mere reactionary sects. They hold fast by the original views of their masters, in opposition to the progressive historical development of the proletariat. They, therefore, endeavour, and that consistently, to deaden the class struggle and to reconcile the class antagonisms. They still dream of experimental realisation of their social Utopias, of founding isolated “phalansteres”, of establishing “Home Colonies”, or setting up a “Little Icaria” 9 — duodecimo editions of the New Jerusalem — and to realise all these castles in the air, they are compelled to appeal to the feelings and purses of the bourgeois. By degrees, they sink into the category of the reactionary [or] conservative Socialists depicted above, differing from these only by more systematic pedantry, and by their fanatical and superstitious belief in the miraculous effects of their social science.

They, therefore, violently oppose all political action on the part of the working class; such action, according to them, can only result from blind unbelief in the new Gospel.

The Owenites in England, and the Fourierists in France, respectively, oppose the Chartists and the Réformistes.

Chapter Ⅳ. Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Existing Opposition Parties

Section Ⅱ has made clear the relations of the Communists to the existing working-class parties, such as the Chartists in England and the Agrarian Reformers in America.

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. In France, the Communists ally with the Social-Democrats 10 against the conservative and radical bourgeoisie, reserving, however, the right to take up a critical position in regard to phases and illusions traditionally handed down from the great Revolution.

In Switzerland, they support the Radicals, without losing sight of the fact that this party consists of antagonistic elements, partly of Democratic Socialists, in the French sense, partly of radical bourgeois.

In Poland, they support the party that insists on an agrarian revolution as the prime condition for national emancipation, that party which fomented the insurrection of Cracow in 1846.

In Germany, they fight with the bourgeoisie whenever it acts in a revolutionary way, against the absolute monarchy, the feudal squirearchy, and the petty bourgeoisie.

But they never cease, for a single instant, to instill into the working class the clearest possible recognition of the hostile antagonism between bourgeoisie and proletariat, in order that the German workers may straightway use, as so many weapons against the bourgeoisie, the social and political conditions that the bourgeoisie must necessarily introduce along with its supremacy, and in order that, after the fall of the reactionary classes in Germany, the fight against the bourgeoisie itself may immediately begin.

The Communists turn their attention chiefly to Germany, because that country is on the eve of a bourgeois revolution that is bound to be carried out under more advanced conditions of European civilisation and with a much more developed proletariat than that of England was in the seventeenth, and France in the eighteenth century, and because the bourgeois revolution in Germany will be but the prelude to an immediately following proletarian revolution.

In short, the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things.

In all these movements, they bring to the front, as the leading question in each, the property question, no matter what its degree of development at the time.

Finally, they labour everywhere for the union and agreement of the democratic parties of all countries.

The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.

Working Men of All Countries, Unite! 11

Notes:

  1. By bourgeoisie is meant the class of modern capitalists, owners of the means of social production and employers of wage labour. By proletariat, the class of modern wage labourers who, having no means of production of their own, are reduced to selling their labour power in order to live. [Engels, 1888 English edition]
  2. That is, all written history. In 1847, the pre-history of society, the social organisation existing previous to recorded history, all but unknown. Since then, August von Haxthausen (1792-1866) discovered common ownership of land in Russia, Georg Ludwig von Maurer proved it to be the social foundation from which all Teutonic races started in history, and, by and by, village communities were found to be, or to have been, the primitive form of society everywhere from India to Ireland. The inner organisation of this primitive communistic society was laid bare, in its typical form, by Lewis Henry Morgan’s (1818-1881) crowning discovery of the true nature of the gens and its relation to the tribe. With the dissolution of the primeval communities, society begins to be differentiated into separate and finally antagonistic classes. I have attempted to retrace this dissolution in The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, second edition, Stuttgart, 1886. [Engels, 1888 English Edition and 1890 German Edition (with the last sentence omitted)]
  3. Guild-master, that is, a full member of a guild, a master within, not a head of a guild. [Engels, 1888 English Edition]
  4. This was the name given their urban communities by the townsmen of Italy and France, after they had purchased or conquered their initial rights of self-government from their feudal lords. [Engels, 1890 German edition] “Commune” was the name taken in France by the nascent towns even before they had conquered from their feudal lords and masters local self-government and political rights as the “Third Estate.” Generally speaking, for the economical development of the bourgeoisie, England is here taken as the typical country, for its political development, France. [Engels, 1888 English Edition]
  5. A reference to the movement for a reform of the electoral law which, under the pressure of the working class, was passed by the British House of Commons in 1831 and finally endorsed by the House of Lords in June, 1832. The reform was directed against monopoly rule of the landed and finance aristocracy and opened the way to Parliament for the representatives of the industrial bourgeoisie. Neither workers nor the petty-bourgeois were allowed electoral rights, despite assurances they would.
  6. Not the English Restoration (1660-1689), but the French Restoration (1814-1830). [Note by Engels to the English edition of 1888.]
  7. This applies chiefly to Germany, where the landed aristocracy and squirearchy have large portions of their estates cultivated for their own account by stewards, and are, moreover, extensive beetroot-sugar manufacturers and distillers of potato spirits. The wealthier British aristocracy are, as yet, rather above that; but they, too, know how to make up for declining rents by lending their names to floaters or more or less shady joint-stock companies. [Note by Engels to the English edition of 1888.]
  8. The revolutionary storm of 1848 swept away this whole shabby tendency and cured its protagonists of the desire to dabble in socialism. The chief representative and classical type of this tendency is Mr Karl Gruen. [Note by Engels to the German edition of 1890.]
  9. Phalanstéres were Socialist colonies on the plan of Charles Fourier; Icaria was the name given by Cabet to his Utopia and, later on, to his American Communist colony. [Note by Engels to the English edition of 1888.] “Home Colonies” were what Owen called his Communist model societies. Phalanstéres was the name of the public palaces planned by Fourier. Icaria was the name given to the Utopian land of fancy, whose Communist institutions Cabet portrayed. [Note by Engels to the German edition of 1890.]
  10. The party then represented in Parliament by Ledru-Rollin, in literature by Louis Blanc, in the daily press by the Réforme. The name of Social-Democracy signifies, with these its inventors, a section of the Democratic or Republican Party more or less tinged with socialism. [Engels, English Edition 1888]
  11. The famous final phrase of the Manifesto, “Working Men of All Countries, Unite!”, in the original German is: “Proletarier aller Lä.nder, vereinigt euch!” Thus, a more correct translation would be “Proletarians of all countries, Unite!” “Workers of the World, Unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains!” is a popularisation of the last three sentences, and is not found in any official translation. Since this English translation was approved by Engels, we have kept the original intact.

No to the oppression of sexual minorities! Yes to the concerns for the real needs of the people!

By | 04/20/2016

The deputies of RuSSia’s [sic] federal Duma continue to support the processes of their bureaucratic thinking at the expense of the workers; processes which are completely useless and often even harmful for our suffering people. V. Bulavinov, G. Raykov, D. Rogozin and later A. Mitrofanov have become troubled by the depopulation of the Russian people and with a bourgeois casualness offered to solve this problem by welcoming gays and lesbians into the jail system.

Of course, from the point of view of the ruling class, the reduction of workforce, which it sees as unfavourable, is caused by the uncomfortable conquest of democracy, for example individual freedom. As we analyze the assessment of depopulation as an abnormal phenomenon, we look at it from the point of view of the people, struggling not due to an excess of civil liberties, but rather due to the lack of the most basic means of existence.

To oppose the utopian stupid plans of the deputies, as they seek to force the people to reproduce like livestock, we put forward our fair demands, the carrying out of which is indissolubly tied to the normalization of the demographic situation:

  • The liquidation of poverty, the establishment of salaries and social benefits at a fitting level for all and the timely payment thereof;
  • The uninterrupted supplying of the population with electricity, cold and hot water and gas;
  • The resettlement of people living in homes that do not meet sanitary requirements into new apartments;
  • The return to free and quality education and health care;
  • The integration of youth sexual education in order to reduce the level of abortions and sexually-transmitted diseases.

It goes without saying that for all this, it is necessary that the rich abandon the capitals, which serve only them, and that the public servants start working not for their own benefit and their protectors, but rather for the common good. The people do not need the masters showing them how to correctly have sex. The people need what belongs rightfully to them – willpower and the resources created by its labour.

The briefly formulated communists’ blames against the Russian Communist Workers’ Party

By | 02/11/2016
  1. The RCWP—RPC is far from being so numerous and strong as it tries to simulate (it declares that it has 55 thousand members but really has only about 3 thousand members). It is not a workers’ party, it just rarely nominates workers at elections. It has only few youth or women, its main stuff are oldsters and it is frequently and wittingly guided by them.

  2. There is no inner-party democracy in the RCWP—RPC, bosses runs everything, questions are solved at the backstage, masses are kept in ignorance, the criticism from below is suppressed, conditions for discussion are not created. Even the 1998 Program was accepted by Congress delegates blindly. Control bodies are helpless, they exist for the sake of appearances. It happens that bosses use cunning, deceive their own party and the public.

  3. The RCWP—RPC doesn’t recognise the restoration of capitalism in the USSR by Khrushchovite—Brezhnevite revisionists and that the main causes of that restoration were internal. The revisionist regime is regularly eulogized, including its worse enterprises, such as the confrontation with the Maoist China, intrusions into Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan. Brezhnev’s or Andropov’s coming to power is wrongly described as the return of the socialism. The party is the successor of the revisionist “CPSU”, the bosses had average posts in it. They hadn’t breaken with it right up to its crash but were critically supporting Gorbachovs free-market reforms. The party allows idealistic statements about a continuation of the existence of the USSR de jure.

  4. The RCWP—RPC opportunistically treats the basic concepts of communism: it allows supporting “market socialism” and protects petty-bourgeois “personal property”, easily removes revolution from the propagation under insignificant pressure, has accepted the concept of the proletarian dictatorship only inconsistently and with deviation at every step, and all the same spoils it with the rotten formalism.

  5. At the international level the RCWP—RPC prefers to maintain relations with other centrist parties (“Communist Party of Greece”, “Workers Party of Belgium”, “New Communist Party of Yugoslavia”), participates in forums with the Chinese and Vietnamese revisionists, doesn’t shun to support anti-Semites (the Communist Party of Syria) and bloody traitors of revolution (the Communist Party of India (Marxist)). The party considers present China and Vietnam as the socialist countries.

  6. The RCWP—RPC consistently wrongly estimates the extremely opportunistic, reactionary, nationalist “Communist party of the Russian Federation” as communist party, periodically daring to say even about support of its programs. The RCWP—RPC dissolves in the “Communist Party of the Russian Federation” on parliamentary elections and supports its representative on presidential elections.

  7. The RCWP—RPC considers the right-wing nationalist organizations (“Russian All-People’s Union”, “Movement in Support of the Army”, G. Tikhonov’s “The Union”, “Agrarian Party of Russia”, “Army of the People’s Will”) and newspapers (Zavtra, Duel) as its allies and friends. The party even nominated neo-fascist bard A. Harchikov on parliamentary elections.

  8. Chauvinism and anti-Semitism are widespread in the RCWP—RPC, including even its top (B. Yachmenyov, G. Turetsky, Y. Slobodkin). One of the main party newspapers Trudovaya Tyumen (under the leadership of A. Tcherepanov, who is one of the party’s leaders) regularly publishes anti-Semitic materials and the central newspaper Trudovaya Rossiya occasionally does just the way. Anti-Semitism is even fixed in the party program in the guise of “anti-Zionism”. The constant author of Trudovaya Tyumen A. Ushakov (who majors in chauvinism of the “Yellow Peril” fear) and the Leningrad leader G. Turetsky talks in chauvinistic manner routinely. Trudovaya Rossiya allows the kindling of anti-migrant moods.

  9. The RCWP—RPC avoids the question about neo-colonial oppression of non-Russians areas (internal and external) by Russia. The RCWP—RPC doesn’t consistently condemn the Kremlin’s war and occupation of the Chechen Republic. Moreover, its members periodically expresses sympathy to these actions and even to Budanov’s gangsterism (the widely known colonel—the murderer of Chechen young girl Kungaeva).

  10. Members of the RCWP–RPC frequently substitute proletarian internationalism with the pan-Slavism and the glorification of Lukashenko and Milosevic. Also the belief in a special way of Russia (in the spirit of the reactionary pseudo-science geopolitics) and special advantages of Russian people is frequently exposed. They whitewashe predatory politics of Tsarism. The RCWP—RPC allows the “state patriotism” and even the “red Putinism” (D. Kuzmin). The bourgeois military service and the strengthening of army is frequently propagandized (R. Barmin, D. Kuzmin, G. Turetsky).

  11. The RCWP—RPC allows the propagation of privileges of the Orthodoxy Church (V. Bahvalov, G. Ruzova, V. Kushakov) and, on the contrary, the propagation of neo-pagan mysticism (M. Osintsev in the newspaper Trudovaya Tyumen).

  12. Patriarchal views of the RCWP—RPC are exposed in talks against sexual education of youth (A. Zhivoluk, G. Ruzova) and for an interdiction of abortions (A. Buslaev), but especially in widespread homophobia in which the party is close to reactionary phoney-scientists (like A. Zimichev).

  13. The RCWP—RPC pursues the mendacious politics that was exposed, for example, by the supporting for Petersburg governor Yakovlev and Chelyabinsk governor Sumin. It happens that the high-ranking members of the RCWP—RPC run to the progovernmental party (B. Borneliner) or show of their readiness to do so (N. Sarvarov).

We are the Russian Maoist Party, the Party of Rednecks, Dirty Migrants, Chicks and Faggots

By | 02/04/2016

We are the Russian Maoist Party, the party of rednecks 1, dirty migrants, chicks and faggots. That is what the bourgeoisie named us. If only it were not half-blind and could tell us apart – us little, dumb, wicked inbreds. Well, that’s fine, the whole founding congress of the Communist Party of China in 1921 fit on a boat on a lake in a park; whereas today there are 100 million of accursed revisionists, who are in power and are following a path toward capitalism. We hope to repeat anew the beautiful revolutionary history of the CPC (or of Lenin’s and Stalin’s VKP(b)) and, given the possibility, avoid its embarrassing transformation.

The names of the four categories represent the bottomless oceans of our strength.

Rednecks are the workers (not some well-paid brigadiers and masters, of course) and the poor people (different servants, retirees, students from the rural areas, and etc.). The income gap of the population in Russia is, of course, not as great as in Brazil, but way worse than in Japan and in Europe, and even somewhat wider than in the USA with their Blacks and MexicaJDvbW4wQYAAns. Lawyers and managers, TV journalists and politicians are the devotees of the modern world. As they stroll around with a pompous look, they gladly discuss their own importance, their ‘holy actions’ devoid of any intelligent sense, yet they make money hand over fist. Income is determined not by the labour, but rather by such vulgar things as ownership and status. The elite gated itself away from the people through diplomas and connexions, feeding just a handful of particularly cunning and subservient intellectuals.

At the same time, millions of persons cannot earn enough to pull themselves out of poverty, even if they are working hard. There is a catastrophic lack of noble accommodation (not elitist, but rather for the masses!). In many cities, people are periodically left without light, heat and water (in some places these basics are even unheard of). Employers force the proletariat to work in harmful, often physically-endangering environments and pay pennies. Vodka is the source of the cheapest calories – it kills workers from the inside. Even those who don’t drink cannot afford full meals; they don’t get enough vitamins and amino acids. As a result, long before retirement, the labourer becomes a wreck, and then he is forced to spend whatever he possesses on medicine (benefits for the procurement of which have also been cancelled, by the way).

“Women carry half of the sky on their shoulders” they were saying in revolutionary China. But do they get equal salaries? Definitely not! The best that they managed to achieve is “equal pay for equal work”. Behind the crafty formulation hides an unpleasant fact – traditionally female occupations are seen by society as less important, and therefore lower-paid. What is the point in the absence of salary discrimination when women are being driven by the upbringing, education, culture, consumer and economic sectors to settle on non-prestigious professions? Often their work is tougher, but appears to be less qualified, that’s why female textile industry workers receive 1.5-2 times less than the guys from the next-door mechanical repairs workshop.Xb0qbB0kmAE

Another reason why employers allow themselves to pay a lesser salary for female-dominated professions is based on their assumption: a ‘chick’ must find herself a ‘dude’, who will ‘take care of her’. Women are basically being urged on to prostitution. Public morale’s ‘merit’ requires this prostitution to be life-long, calling it a ‘holy conjugal bond’. How can we even talk about love?! How can a woman freely choose her partner, if she is required to guarantee her survival? How can a man count on the honesty of his partner if she is materially-dependent on him?

“Woman is the nigger of the world” sang John Lennon. Yet we also have our own real ‘niggers’ – the non-Russian peoples that every second one of our compatriots, without giving it a second thought, will call an insulting name, even if working side by side, let’s say, with Tatars or Karelians. The eyesight, clouded over by chauvinism, does not notice the poor immigrants, who are running from war and hunger, as they slog away as road sweepers and construction workers. The crowd of political journalists patronizes the Ukrainians from the position of ‘big brother’. The politics of russification have almost buried the languages of the peoples of Russia. In the framework of ‘putinisation’, national autonomies are being liquidated. Whereas the federal army cruelly represses numerous attempts at founding their own independent country, Noxchis (Chechens) have lost a portion of their population comparable to the losses of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War. Many of those that have heard stories of successful Chechen entrepreneurs or names such as Alekperov or Nurgaliyev cannot understand why they should riot. The truth is that the poorest peoples of Russia are the Ingush people, the Kalmyks, the Buryats, the Komi-Permyaks, the Mari people, the Tuvans….

However, even the proud-sounding name ‘Russian’, for many centuries, stood for only one right – the bitter and humiliating right to subjugate oneself to the Moscow-based hand of the sovereign. If we are to exclude the Moscow megalopolis and a few rich natural resource-extracting regions out of the statistics, we will see quite a poor central Russia, a hopelessly hard-working Volga region and a completely poverty-stricken Far East. In order to break free of this situation, the regions of Russia and the national autonomies must emancipate themselves from Moscow’s centralised dictatorship, must avoid being welded into the Empire. The regions require a new federal treaty, a treaty that makes them equal and free, not a ‘treaty’ where they are regarded as vassals of the new tsars.

What can we say about ‘faggots’, meaning lesbians and gays? Traditionally, they are disliked in the population; in the best case scenario they are considered a curiosity. Meanwhile, they are not leaders of an aesthetic movement descended from the stage, but rather millions of normal individuals, who live among us, study, work, love and dream. Sadly, they are not quite ready to organize and defend their right for a dignified, proportional place in society (as it was in the Occident in the 1960’s). The attitude toward them happens to be a measure of social progress. It’s not in vain that their attempt to exit their cultural ghetto and conduct a gay parade was met with unlawful opposition from Moscow authorities. It’s not in vain that reactionaries from LDPR (Liberal Democratic Party of Russia) and Rodina are proposing, seemingly out of the blue, to introduce a criminal punishment for ‘improper’ sex. On the other hand, foreign experience (and we’re not talking about that in the West) cultivates an example for the left: recently the Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines organized a gay marriage for two of its guerilla fighters. Russia’s gays and lesbians will still have a chance at ‘playing their violin’, and we shall hope that they will play in the same orchestra as the proletariat.

The four pillars are proletarian poverty, oppressed peoples, discriminated women and humbled sexual minorities; together this is the ‘Great Campaign’ against orthodox rich white sirs that represent the government, the corporations and their spongers.

With such a strong mass base, even the tiniest, dumbest, stupidest and most wicked inbreds such as us can be sure of victory.

Long live the Revolution!

Notes:

  1. The Russian original uses word быдло (working cattle, blue-collars, precariat and jobless), not жлобы (rednecks).— Maoism.ru.

On disintegration of Ukraine, on Crimea and Novorossiya

By | 10/28/2015
  1. The current events in Ukraine are caused by the emerging and the consolidation of Ukrainian national state. It is a progressive process in itself, but it has been implemented in highly undesirable way being accompanied by an outburst of reactionary ideologies (chauvinism of all hues, social racism etc.), a war, fascistization of Kiev regime and intensifying of international tensions.

  2. Two major nations have more or less taken shape in Ukraine. One, Ukrainian, speaks Ukrainian and votes for the Ukrainian national parties (the parties of the coalitions United Opposition Fatherland (Batkivshchyna) and then “European Ukraine”, as well as ultra-right Freedom (Svoboda) and Right Sector (Pravyi Sektor), etc.). Anti-communism, especially in the form of anti-Stalinism and “Banderaphilia,” Russophobia and Eurocentrism became as its cardinal ideas. Another nation speaks Russian and votes for the Russian national parties (the Party of Regions and its successors, as well as the CPU), for secession or doesn’t vote at all. Its cardinal ideas are Russophilia and Soviet nostalgia with ambiguous nature. This nation prevails in Crimea and eight South-Eastern regions, which became known as the “Novorossiya” (lit. New Russia). Both nations are affected by nationalism and by the restoration of religiosity to some extent.

  3. There is no need to prove that one or another national minority in bourgeois state is subjected to national oppression. All past history eloquently testifies that it is a true and exceptions are the peculiarities which require justification. The minority itself has to judge practically on this issue.

  4. The Russian national minorities of Ukraine put forward the requirements of the linguistic equality; federalization and even secession. Democratic way of addressing these issues was unbendingly rejected by the new regime in Kiev. Thereafter the area of Novorossiya (above all – Donetsk and Lugansk regions which have self-determinated) should be considered to be annexed lands (in terms of the Decree On Peace, i.e. forcibly retained) by Ukraine.

  5. Numerous testimonies of people with different beliefs do not allow to doubt the sincerity and the voluntariness of the self-determination of the majority of Crimean population in favor of joining Russia and to depict it as alleged “annexation” or “occupation,” even if it was implemented only due to the Russian military intervention. As for Russians, they have a double feeling of the return of Crimea: on the one hand, it is a sense of great-power supremacy pushing for the expansion and hegemonic claims; on the other hand, it is the sentiments of reunification of Russian people as the long-awaited triumph of justice.

  6. There is no doubt that Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian minorities would suffer some infringements in the seceded Russian regions (even though justly declared official bilingualism or trilingualism). However Kiev propaganda, of course, depicts these infringements in an exaggerated manner for its expansionist ends. This problem should be considered carefully, comprehensively and without confidence in the biased sources of both sorts.

  7. We stand in solidarity with the Marxist-Leninist organization Struggle (Borotba), as well as all activists persecuted for communist activity. By and large, Ukrainian left agenda is now publicly articulated by anti-authoritarianist and pro-Kiev regime Autonomous Workers’ Union (AST), Social Movement Party (Socialny ruh) rejecting the dictatorship of the proletariat and the right of nations to self-determination, reformist and nationalistically inclined Left Opposition (based on the CPU and the PSPU) and the above mentioned Borotba. Leading light for communists in other countries is apparent.

  8. The main objectives, which should be pursued in the current Ukrainian conflict:

    1. International recognition of self-determination of Crimean peoples, peoples of DPR and LPR (as well as other partially recognized states – Republic of Abkhazia, Republic of South Ossetia, Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, Republic of Kosovo), and cessation of military aggression of Kiev regime;

    2. Democratic solution of the national question also in the rest of the Novorossiya region (through full legalization of autonomist or secessionist parties, peaceful negotiations and referendums under the supervision of all states concerned);

    3. Termination of Ukrainian policy of legalizing of fascism and criminalization of communism in Ukraine.

  9. In connection with the current Ukrainian conflict the following statements become especially true:

    1. The universal and consistent respect for the right of nations to self-determination,

    2. Protection of the importance and integrity of the historic heritage of the anti-Hitler coalition against fascism,

    3. International solidarity of the proletarians and the poor.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Statement

By | 10/10/2015

On May 13, the Bonn government of West Germany, disregarding the strong opposition of the Arab peoples, brazenly established full diplomatic relations with Israel. This is a new provocation against the Arab peoples made by West German militarism and Zionism at U.S. imperialist instigation; it is also a grave provocation against the people of Asia, Africa and
the whole world. . . .

What is called Israel is nothing but a product of the U.S. imperialist policy of aggression. The whole world knows that it is U.S. imperialism which, manipulating the United Nations, artificially created Israel as a dagger thrust into the heart of the Arab world and it is U.S. imperialism which has spent billions of American dollars in rearing and arming
Israel so as to threaten the independence and security of the Arab countries. . . .

The Arab people have risen like one man against the aggression and provocation of their enemies, U.S. imperialism, West German militarism, and Zionism; they have demonstrated the nettle of a heroic people and so won general praise among the peoples of the world.

They have broken Marx and Lenin for fine pieces…

By | 07/03/2015

They have broken Marx and Lenin for fine pieces, not to mention us”, Mao sadly spoke about revisionists spreading under the Soviet aegis all over the world. The enemies of revolutionary knowledge, enemies of the people and the proletariat are not always able to ignore or to forge geniuses; they look as no more than unlucky midgets near to them.

So they launch their miserable attempts to shatter the classics’ heritage, to select the most harmless for their reactionary mock-theories pieces from it and to consecrate their own poverty by the shine of bits broken off from them.

What is the Maoism? This ideological current was exposed to the mad defamation in the Soviet Union, it was forged in every way and served up to masses in the monstrously mutilated and hashed shape. The present left movement in Russia still suffers a heavy burden of Brezhnev-Suslov black propagation, slander and fabrications. “There is no need to read many books” – these Mao’s words every remembers. Enemies repeat them with venomous gloating, phony-friends add them to their arsenal and swing them as a banner, don’t applying their forces to penetrate into the sense of them. A rare person recalls that the reform of the education which was chained with old and partly still feudal frameworks of the formalism and the dogmatism, was absolutely necessary for Chine rising on the way of industrialization and construction of socialism. This is a root of a myth about Mao’s “anti-intellectual attitude”.

It is necessary to read just more Marxist literature” – Mao indeed constantly emphasized. However it is much easier to not read of the Marxist and new, Maoist literature and to not continue Mao’s cause but to call for petty-bourgeois riot or indulgently pat Chinese Marxists on the head for the justified struggle against Khrushchov’s distortions.

Only the foulest jackals of the modern Russian revisionism do not fit the parts of the Maoist clothes at least. “Every scum gets out on its own”. Someone will pull Red Guard’s arm-band, another person will get Maoist jacket or cap like one what Mao presented to Che Guevara. In other words, someone pulls out for private interests Great Polemic of 1950’ies and 1960’ies, which was only diligent implementation of Marxism by the Chinese’s, but gives up further analysis of decay of the Soviet regime, which was logically follow from the Polemic. Someone takes rebellious spirit, which becomes simply petty-bourgeois leftism without the genuine Mao’s ideas, regardless of number of “Mao’s ideas’ banners” rising during this. Someone takes the anti-bureaucratic orientation, limiting and adapting it to the needs. Somehow or other, bits broken of the most advanced and consecutive ideology lose their value. These bits aren’t Maoist and their carriers speculate in the Mao’s ideas at the best and frequently directly go against this ideas.

Maoism is the integral theory and practice of communist struggle, the third, the most modern step of Marxism-Leninism’s development. This is an iron, indisputable fact. Under the banner of Maoism proletariat and oppressed masses all over the world will go forward sweeping away all wretched imitators and slanders.

This inevitable victory will certainly not be a silly scuffle and torture as latent (and not such latent) sad-masochists like to imagine the Cultural Revolution. They like to picture persecutions of bureaucrats by Red Guards, their throwing out through windows onto the street and their smashing by legs. They like to picture hanging of a quite innocent animal, the cat of the British ambassador etc. Such propagandists fondly hope to win verdant youth in such way and following this distribute the false and distorted understanding of Maoism. It’s well-known that the punishments of the opponents during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution basically were the manifestation of the forces which was hostile to the Revolution. They directly contradicted the numerous instructions of Mao and the Communist party of China headed by him. Mao and his supporters inspired all the time that nobody should be executed not only for dissent but also even for open anticommunist speechs. Let speak – it was one of the slogans of Maoism. And there was given permissions to speak even to such worst enemies of revolution as the Soviet revisionists – their scribble was openly published by the Chinese publishers. At the same time Khrushchevist-Brezhnevists cowardly hid from the people not merely arguments of the Chinese but frequently the fact of polemic itself. Eventually they sunk into blocking of the Maoist books in the closed funds (which have just now became accessible for us) and launching the furious attack against China with mendacious accusing it for a nationalism and state-boundary aggression.

In the Peoples China there was a custom to discuss in a democratic way all disagreements among the people. It was recommended to handle sometimes even to the contradictions between the people and his enemies as to the contradictions within the people. In Beijing there was famous “Dazibaos’ wall”, on which everyone could put his leaflet up with a statement of his opinion. When enemies of the revolution came to power they severely prosecuted all successors of Mao’s ideas (first of all “the gang of four” – Jiang Qing, Wang Hongwen, Zhang Chunqiao and Yao Wenyuan, but also thousand honor communists all over China) and demolished this wall. The revisionists always well know what people thinks and what people wants, they consider the freedom of speech as an extreme heresy which must only be fight against with the KGB and other state structures while “entitled” official organizations drive the people forward as a dumb and thoughtless herd. Any activity of the masses on their own is considered as counter-revolutionary and subject to suppression. Such approach is deeply hostile to Maoism.

Everyone need to read the Maoist literature to understand Maoism. It isn’t enough to read four-volume edition published in the Soviet Union and even more complete Chinese edition in Russian language (which, by the way, isn’t easy to search out). Especially it isn’t enough to read “the small red book” made by Lin Byao in the concrete period for quite concrete “target group”. Our Russian reader can admire with the style but (s)he basically do not able to estimate the instructions to the Chinese soldiers incorporated in “the small red book”. And it is absolutely clear that it is impossible to acquire Mao’s ideas on the basis of the scrappy quotations.

It is necessary to read just more Marxist literature”. It is necessary to read it completely, diligently pondering into the historical context in which these diamonds of the revolutionary idea were created. Only a few succeed in attempts to intuitively recreate Maoism for him/herself not addressing to its products of the period of the Great polemic and especially the Cultural revolution. The Maoism’s greatest treasures are latent in these, late texts which low Brezhnevist ideologists-in-their-official-capacity have concealed from us. It would be not bad to get acquainted also with the modern Maoist literature – our movement naturally continues to derivate a plenty of the talented researchers and publicists.

The communists of all world armed not with the banners stolen at the revolutionaries of the past and only covering a present revisionism, but with the genuine ideas of Mao Zedong will achieve the final victory above an imperialism, capitalism and patriarchy!

Оn the Communist Party of Peru and Scandal around “Peace Talks”

By | 07/03/2015

We (the Russian Maoists) have been long enough ignoring quarrels waging in the world communist movement around the history of “peace talks” of the Peruvian Maoists with the Fujimori’s regime. However recently we have been directly faced with, firstly, rather rigid accusations of our fraternal organization in USA – Maoist Internationalist Movement – in this context and, secondly, request to stand on a precise position on this issue.

Let here be a small introduction in first. The Communist Party of Peru (PCP) aka Sendero Luminoso or Shining Path is a Maoist party waging guerrilla war since 1980. When in the early 1990’ies rather gentle APRA’s regime was replaced by the dictatorship of the butcher and the corrupted person Alberto Fujimori, the Maoists was exposed to the most severe prosecutions. In 1992 the founder and the leader of the Party, the Chairperson Gonzalo (Abimael Guzman) having huge authority with the Peruvian and world communist movement was seized. Soon after that the government published so-called “peace letters”, which firstly alleged about that it was Gonzalo who wrote it. There was rumours that the Maoists had agreed to negotiations with the government. But for all that Gonzalo wasn’t presented to public, independent journalists and human rights groups, so it isn’t known at all whether he is alive.

Now the representatives of a reviving French Maoism maintaining the Web site Etoile rouge have said to us that “MIM was accused to be a CIA group in the 1990’s by us maoists groups connected to support people’s war in Peru” and “MIM defends people that argue that they were peace talks with the peruvian government. This is the main point”.

Who was this people and where and when did MIM defended them – this isn’t talked by anybody for some unknown reason. Instead of this there was presented to us a document formulating charges against it: “But you certainly [read] the text that exists on: http://www.blythe.org/peru-pcp/misc/polemics/mim_rev.htm. Others texts exist too, and go far in that direction. But this texte is the main political one and will be enough for us. The fact is that MIM position after Gonzalo was arrested was not correct, and helped the CIA. So we wish to know your position about the Communist of Peru and the RIM in general. This is a main political question for all the maoists”.

For a start I don’t consider in no way a position on Peru as the main question for all Maoists. The Peruvian Maoism is beyond any reasonable doubt outstanding movement, but it isn’t unique: there are comparable Maoist practices in India, Nepal, Philippines and in same France or USA. Here in Russia the matter of principle undoubtedly is overcoming of the СPSU’s revisionist heritage. To expose a question about events in the single guerrilla movement (which we haven’t enough solid data on) as “a main political question” means to be in captivity of mythes and to go on a wrong way. I have impression that our western comrades have got cranky on the single particular issue.

However for almost every in the West have been looped around Peru and the mountains of mutual charges have reached the sky, probably, it makes sense to look into the issue in more detail. I have taken the trouble to translate and read the specified text, and also texts of the opposite party (articles in MIM Theory 14, 2001).

I make a reservation at once that the text on Blythe.org has seemed to me extremely unpersuasive, so that isn’t clear how it could even be accepted seriously by anybody. It just be gay with misrepresents. There are a plenty of distorted quotations. Assertions are attached with totally alien sense, Finally documentary base of all accusations is the weakest. For a start I’ll specify two basic points.

Firstly, this is frequently alleged that negotiations with reactionaries are basically inadmissible. The article on Blythe.org speaks: “MIM lies when it writes: ‘The ultraleft tried to sow confusion and attempted to stab the legacy of Lenin, Stalin and Mao in the back by acting as if these great leaders did not enter into negotiations with reactionaries of all sorts…’. MIM could well write that ‘Lenin, Stalin and Mao negotiated the revolution with reactionaries of all sorts’, in other words, they betrayed the revolution. This is an absolute lie, this is plain Trotskyism.

It’s a complete nonsense! It’s well-known that Lenin, Stalin and Mao indeed started negotiations with a bourgeoisie when it was necessary to keep and advance revolution. I’ll list the brightest and classical examples: the Brest peace, pact of Molotov and Ribbentrop, СPC’s entering into Kuomintang! It was just Trotskiy who spoke against the Brest peace and his followers who spoke against the Soviet-German pact and the union with Kuomintang! So how is possible to assert that the recognition of an admissibility to start negotiations “even with Devil” (Lenin’s words) under the certain conditions is Trotskyism (although Lenin asserted this thesis against Trotskiy)?!

The basic rejection of any negotiations with bourgeoisie under any conditions is the position of the “Left Communists” which was resolutely rejected by Marxist-Leninist. Such position is a leftist deviation and if MIM have really condemned it (according to сharges on Blythe.org) then it have been completely сorrect!

Secondly, for some unknown reason it’s used to consider the Communist Party of Peru as absolutely monolithic and unanimously opposing peace talks. However such position directly contradicts the Maoism, which emphasizes that there always are internal struggles in any Communist Party, there always are separate groups or figures fallen into opportunism (for their evil intent or lack of knowledges). If MIM have mentioned somewhere that there could be forces speaking for peace talks in the Communist Party of Peru it haven’t been a crime against the Communist Party of Peru. It would be odd if such forces don’t exist at all. The myth about an absolutely monolithic Party is metaphysics instead of any Maoism.

Thirdly and finally, groups working in imperialist centers for some unknown reason very confidently attend to judge what is good for the revolution in Peru. The author of the article on Blythe.org writes: “MIM, ignoring actual objective conditions, suggests that it is incorrect to completely reject the farce prepared and applied by the CIA, through its puppet Fujimori government.” Not to mention that there are no proofs that MIM “suggests” so through all the article, we can notice that the participation of the special services in peace talks isn’t the sufficient basis to reject it in any way. The special services are either way involved into any negotiations. Besides if the People’s war is really so victorious as the author asserts then peace talks can’t be a farce – the government is forced to enter into them under the pressure of progressive forces. However what we know about Peru suggests that the Communist Party of Peru was weakened in 1990’ies and is taking a revenge only now.

In that case it’s ridiculous to shout that peace talks is a treachery. The determination of tactics is the cause of the Peruvian communists themselves. And having no precise messages from them on tactics chosen to run ahead and to speak about a single tactics allowable (knowing not local conditions thoroughly) is really to restrict freedom of maneuver of Maoists in the People’s war.

However there was an indirect proof which was mentioned by MIM: if “peace letters” wouldn’t a forgery then the bloody tyrant Fujimori could allow Gonzalo’s meeting with independent journalists – and he necessarily would do it as it would be in his interests! However the author of the article on Blythe.org here accuses MIM, out of hand, that it have proved falsity of the trick with “peace letters” only but “on the contrary”, having assuming at first their authenticity what, on his idea, is an indelible sin. As I already have shown, assumption of a basic admissibility of peace talks under the specific conditions (which only Peruvian communists must to judge) don’t cast a shadow on them or anybody who makes such assumption anyway.

However how it’s adgusted this recognition that, in MIM opinion, “Gonzalo’s… continuing isolation proves that Fujimori is lying”, with the assertion of the author that “MIM agrees with the CIA’s and Fujimori’s plot, emphatically stating that President Gonzalo is calling for peace talks”? In no way it does indeed! The author vaguely feels on his own that something is wrong here and tries clumsily to get rid from MIM proof of the falseness of “peace letters”: “MIM forgets that reactionaries all over the world have been deceiving the masses for years”. A pretty business this! How it follows from the fact that the reactionaries frequently resorts to a direct deceit that it’s a crime against Marxism to state the proofs of one concrete deceit?! Should Marxist beforehand consider any action of a bourgeoisie as a deceit and consider any attempt of a substantiation of an exposure of this deceit as a heresy? It is a malicious caricature on Marxism being actually originally scientific outlook.

There are another example of far-fetching of phrases in the article on Blythe.org: “For MIM, the PCP Central Committee is ultraleft! This is how MIM presents it: ‘Further complicating matters in the International Communist Movement is an ultraleft line, nicely complementing right opportunism. According to the ultraleft, armed struggle is always the immediate task at hand, even in the imperialist countries…’… There is no connection between the people who support the armed struggle in Peru and those ‘ultraleftists’ that MIM refers to so much… It is not true that those who support the People’s War-and the PCP-consider ‘armed struggle as the immediate task at hand.’” But there are absolute no grounds to think that the MIM words concern to the PCP-CC or to the entire PCP or even to “the people who support the armed struggle in Peru”! MIM doesn’t assert anywhere that the PCP considers “armed struggle as the immediate task at hand”! The author simply invents a slander against the PCP and arbitrary alleges that the MIM words concern to it!

It isn’t yet a complete review but I think the aforesaid is enough to understand that the article on Blythe.org doesn’t prove anything at all.

However it’s necessary to note that the texts of El Diario Internacional reprinted by MIM Theory have the same declarative spirit. I have an impression that in the West the rationalistic position on an issue of Peru is considered as an extreme heresy. I would like say directly in the conclusion to the western comrades that their view on the Peruvian revolutionary movement as to the untouchable sanctuary isn’t clear to us (Russian Maoists) and requires any explanations.