In the meantime, I’d like to post various documents that illustrate legitimate Marxist-Leninist Thought. This first selection is from The Principles of Communism, by Frederick Engels.
Answer : It would be desirable if this could happen, and the communists would certainly be the last to oppose it. The communists know only too well that all conspiracies are not only useless but even harmful. They know all too well that revolutions are not made at will and arbitrarily, but that everywhere and at all times they have been the necessary consequence of conditions which were quite independent of the will and the direction of individual parties and entire classes. But they also see that the development of the proletariat in nearly all civilized countries has been forcibly suppressed, and that in this way the opponents of the communists have been working towards revolution with all their strength. If the oppressed proletariat is thereby finally driven to revolution, then we communists will defend the cause of the proletarians with deeds just as we now defend it with words.
Answer : No, no more than the existing productive forces can at one stroke be multiplied to the extent necessary for the creation of a communal society. Hence, the proletarian revolution, which in all probability is approaching, will be able gradually to transform existing society and abolish private property only when the necessary means of production have been created in sufficient quantity.
Question 18 : What will be the course of this revolution?
Answer : Above all, it will establish a democratic constitution and thereby directly or indirectly the political rule of the proletariat. Directly in England, where the proletarians already constitute the majority of the people. Indirectly in France and in Germany, where the majority of the people consists not only of proletarians but also of small peasants and petty bourgeois who are now in the process of falling into the proletariat, who are more and more dependent on the proletariat in all their political interests and who must therefore adapt themselves to the demands of the proletariat. Perhaps this will cost a second struggle, but the outcome can only be the victory of the proletariat.
Democracy would be quite valueless to the proletariat if it were not immediately used as a means for putting through measures directed against private property and ensuring the livelihood of the proletariat. The main measures, emerging as the necessary result of existing relations, are the following:
1. Limitation of private property through progressive taxation, heavy inheritance taxes, abolition of inheritance through collateral lines (brothers, nephews, etc.), forced loans, and so forth.
2. Gradual expropriation of land owners, factory owners, railway and shipping magnates, partly through competition by state industry, partly directly through compensation in the form of bonds.
3. Confiscation of the possessions of all emigrants and rebels against the majority of the people.
4. Organization of labour or employment of proletarians on publicly owned land, in factories and workshops, thereby putting an end to competition among the workers and compelling the factory owners, insofar as they still exist, to pay the same high wages as those paid by the state.
6. Centralization of the credit and monetary systems in the hands of the state through a national bank operating with state capital, and the suppression of all private banks bankers.
7. Increase in the number of national factories, workshops, railways, and ships; bringing new lands into cultivation and improvement of land already under cultivation — all in the same proportion as the growth of the capital and labour force at the disposal of the nation.
8. Education of all children, from the moment they can leave their mothers’ care, in national establishments at national cost. Education and production together.
9. Construction on national lands, of great palaces as communal dwellings for associated groups of citizens engaged in both industry and agriculture, and combining in their way of life the advantages of urban and rural conditions while avoiding the one-sidedness and drawbacks of either.
10. The demolition of all unhealthy and jerry-built dwellings in urban districts.
11. Equal right of inheritance for children born in and out of wedlock.
12. Concentration of all means of transport in the hands of the nation.
It is impossible, of course, to carry out all these measures at once. But one will always bring others in its wake. Once the first radical attack upon private property has been launched, the proletariat will find itself forced to go ever further, to concentrate increasingly in the hands of the state all capital, all agriculture, all industry, all transport, all commerce. All the foregoing measures are directed to this end; and they will become feasible and their centralizing effects will develop in the same proportion as that in which the productive forces of the country are multiplied through the labour of the proletariat. Finally, when all capital, all production, and all exchange have been brought together in the hands of the nation, private property will disappear of its own accord, money will become superfluous, and production will have so increased and men will have so changed that the last forms of the old social relations will also be sloughed off.