Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 
Tell the Publisher!
Id like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The "Dictatorship of the Proletariat": From Marx to Lenin [Hardcover]

Hal Draper
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Available from these sellers.


Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback 9.95  
Amazon.co.uk Trade-In Store
Did you know you can use your mobile to trade in your unwanted books for an Amazon.co.uk Gift Card to spend on the things you want? Visit the Books Trade-In Store for more details or check out the Trade-In Amazon Mobile App Guidelines on how to trade in using a smartphone. Learn more.

Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Monthly Review Pr (Jun 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0853457271
  • ISBN-13: 978-0853457275
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.2 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,837,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

Customer Reviews

5 star
0
4 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars From Marx to Draper 25 Dec 2010
Format:Hardcover
Hal Draper was a revolutionary socialist who played an important part in the Berkeley Free Speech Movement. For a short period, he had also been a member of the Trotskyist movement in the United States but then embarked on a more independent course.

His book "The dictatorship of the proletariat from Marx to Lenin" is a sequel to his magnum opus "Karl Marx' Theory of Revolution". Draper, while supportive of the Bolshevik revolution, nevertheless sharply criticizes Lenin. His sympathies seem to be with Rosa Luxemburg and the pre-1917 Trotsky. He also argues that Lenin on various points distorted the real message of Marx and Engels.

More specifically, Draper argues that Lenin deliberately misunderstood the expression "dictatorship of the proletariat". To Marx and Engels, this expression was simply a synonym for the workers' state. It simply meant the political rule of the working class. Thus, "the dictatorship of the proletariat" was compatible with a wide extension of democracy. Famously, Engels pointed to the Paris Commune as an example of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Draper further argues that Marx and Engels used "dictatorship of the proletariat" almost exclusively in anti-Blanquist polemics, counterposing it to Blanqui's notion of a minority dictatorship. Thus, the point of Marx' and Engels' expression was to emphasize that *class* rule (the rule of the majority class, the workers) was the immediate revolutionary goal, not rule by a small minority of conspirators.

Draper believes that Lenin had a very different notion of "the dictatorship of the proletariat". To Lenin, the important thing about it was precisely that it's dictatorial, in the everyday sense of that term (repressive, unbound by law, based on sheer force, etc).
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars From Marx to Draper 20 Jun 2010
By Ashtar Command - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Hal Draper was a revolutionary socialist who played an important part in the Berkeley Free Speech Movement. For a short period, he had also been a member of the Trotskyist movement in the United States but then embarked on a more independent course.

His book "The dictatorship of the proletariat from Marx to Lenin" is a sequel to his magnum opus "Karl Marx' Theory of Revolution". Draper, while supportive of the Bolshevik revolution, nevertheless sharply criticizes Lenin. His sympathies seem to be with Rosa Luxemburg and the pre-1917 Trotsky. He also argues that Lenin on various points distorted the real message of Marx and Engels.

More specifically, Draper argues that Lenin deliberately misunderstood the expression "dictatorship of the proletariat". To Marx and Engels, this expression was simply a synonym for the workers' state. It simply meant the political rule of the working class. Thus, "the dictatorship of the proletariat" was compatible with a wide extension of democracy. Famously, Engels pointed to the Paris Commune as an example of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Draper further argues that Marx and Engels used "dictatorship of the proletariat" almost exclusively in anti-Blanquist polemics, counterposing it to Blanqui's notion of a minority dictatorship. Thus, the point of Marx' and Engels' expression was to emphasize that *class* rule (the rule of the majority class, the workers) was the immediate revolutionary goal, not rule by a small minority of conspirators.

Draper believes that Lenin had a very different notion of "the dictatorship of the proletariat". To Lenin, the important thing about it was precisely that it's dictatorial, in the everyday sense of that term (repressive, unbound by law, based on sheer force, etc). This was connected to Lenin's belief in a vanguard party, the real leaders of the "dictatorship of the proletariat". Draper also attacks Lenin's formula "the democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry", as previously unheard of, absurd, etc. (Here, he takes a clue from his erstwhile mentor Trotsky.)

I'm somewhat perplexed by this book. Somehow, it feels as if Draper is missing the point. His main emphasis is to prove that Lenin regarded the dictatorship of the proletariat as a repressive institution, while Marx and Engels (who were altogether nicer guys) simply meant "workers' power". But this is unconvincing, since Lenin too could use the phrase as a mere synonym to workers' power. Indeed, Draper is forced to concede this. Conversely, Marx and Engels certainly believed in the necessity of repressing the enemies of the revolution, as when they criticized the Commune for not taking decisive action against Versailles much earlier. Draper's juggling with Lenin quotations feels somewhat lawyer-like. The *real* difference between Lenin and the founders of Marxism was, of course, the notion of the vanguard party. Draper mentions this at various points, but never makes it his central case. The book therefore feels scholastic. Honestly, who cares whether Lenin in some obscure article wrote that workers beating up police during a riot are exercising "the dictatorship of the proletariat"?

This may not have been the "scientific" way of using the expression, so beloved of librarians at Berkeley, but it feels somewhat beside the point...

"The dictatorship of the proletariat from Marx to Lenin" probably tells us more about Hal Draper than it does about Lenin.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History of a semantic catastrophe 11 April 2002
By John C. Landon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The term 'dictatorship of the proletariat' is so obscured by its history of reversed meaning amid the semantic misfortunes it has suffered at the hands of all parties since its first limited usage by Marx and Engels, as to be a case study in semantic catastrophe. Hal Draper valiantly traces the way in which the early usages, in the generation of 1848, not at first counterposed to the term 'democracy, later become fatally misleading and are finally appropriated in the Leninist and final Stalinist versions. This actual history is so tricky that I would not contribute further to short clarifications perpetuating confusion by summarizing the book here, and one can only recommend reading the details, since short summaries and official corrections and clarifications trying to get the matter straight are themselves part of the confusion. Suffice it to say that Marx's occasional references were quite innocent of the later interpretations of the phrase. This book should be required reading for anyone attempting to plot against the government.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews
ARRAY(0xbbff5498)

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback