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Lenin - On democratic StruggleDownload or Read PDF
"Can a class-conscious worker forget the democratic struggle for the sake of the socialist struggle, or forget the latter for the sake of the former? No, a class-conscious worker calls himself a Social-Democrat for the reason that he understands the relation between the two struggles. He knows that there is no other road to socialism save the road through democracy, through political liberty. " (P211)One of the most striking examples of the kinship between the right and left opportunism -reinforcing each other-, shows itself on the question of " democratic struggle ", "democratic tasks" of Marxist Leninists.
In colonial, semi colonial or dependent countries in general, and in countries where capitalism developed due to unequal laws of economy such as in Turkey particular, the understanding of democratic struggle, either consciously or unconsciously, presents itself in two forms; one is the Right deviation which takes democratic struggle as the base and spread the illusion that the Republic as the ultimate goal, the other is the left deviation which ignores the concrete facts, conditions and situation and rejects the democratic struggle exclusively under the pretext that it is " bourgeois tailgating " and spreads the illusion that the socialist revolution is on the agenda.
As Lenin explains;
To the Marxist the problem is simply to avoid either of two extremes: on the one hand, not to fall into the error of those who say that, from the standpoint of the proletariat, we are in no way concerned with any immediate and temporary non-proletarian tasks, and on the other, not to allow the proletariat’s co-operation in the attainment of the immediate, democratic tasks to dim its class-consciousness and its class distinctiveness.” (P136)For Marxist Leninists democratic and socialist tasks and struggle for both are dialectically connected, not isolated from each other. One cannot be achieved independently from the other. Lenin clearly explains the meaning of both and their dialectical interconnection;
"The object of the practical activities of the Social-Democrats is, as is well known, to lead the class struggle of the proletariat and to organise that struggle in both its manifestations: socialist (the fight against the capitalist class aimed at destroying the class system and organizing socialist society), and democratic (the fight against absolutism aimed at winning political liberty and democratizing the political and social system ). We said as is well known. And indeed, from the very moment they appeared as a separate social-revolutionary trend, the Russian Social-Democrats have always quite definitely indicated this object of their activities, have always emphasized the dual manifestation and content of the class struggle of the proletariat and have always insisted on the inseparable connection between their socialist and democratic tasks—a connection clearly expressed in the name they have adopted.
Simultaneously with the dissemination of scientific socialism, Russian Social-Democrats set themselves the task of propagating democratic ideas among the working class masses; they strive to spread an understanding of absolutism in all its manifestations, of its class content, of the necessity to overthrow it, of the impossibility of waging a successful struggle for the workers’ cause without achieving political liberty and the democratization of Russia’s political and social system... every resolute and consistent democratic demand of the proletariat always and everywhere in the world causes the bourgeoisie to recoil.. " (P175)This connection is especially much more important in countries where feudalism and semi-feudalism reigns. In regard to these types countries, "the principal task of the proletariat at present " says Lenin "is to win the broadest freedom and bring about the most complete destruction of landlord (feudal) landed proprietorship. Only by doing this, only by completely smashing the old, semi-feudal society through democratic action, can the proletariat rise to full stature as an independent class, lay full emphasis on its specific (i.e., socialist) tasks, as distinct from the democratic tasks common to “all the oppressed”, and secure for itself the most favourable conditions for an unrestricted, sweeping, and intensified struggle for socialism. If the bourgeois-democratic liberation movement stops half-way, if it is not carried through, the proletariat will have to spend a great deal more of its forces on general democratic (i.e., bourgeois-democratic) tasks than on its own class, proletarian, i.e., socialist, tasks. " (P249)
Lenin speaking of undeveloped countries states;
"The undeveloped countries are a different matter. They embrace the whole of Eastern Europe and all the colonies and semi-colonies .... In those areas, as a rule, there still exist oppressed and capitalistically undeveloped nations. Objectively, these nations still have general national tasks to accomplish, namely, democratic tasks, the tasks of overthrowing foreign oppression.While the proletariat of the advanced countries is overthrowing the bourgeoisie and repelling its attempts at counter-revolution, the undeveloped and oppressed nations do not just wait, do not cease to exist, do not disappear. ...The social revolution can come only in the form of an epoch in which are combined civil war by the proletariat against the bourgeoisie in the advanced countries and a whole series of democratic and revolutionary movements, including the national liberation movement, in the undeveloped, backward and oppressed nations." Lenin, A Caricature of Marxism and Imperialist Economism, “Monism and Dualism”Related to the democratic revolution, emphasizing the importance of democratic struggle in these types of countries, Lenin states;
"the more incomplete and irresolute this revolution, the longer and the more heavily will general democratic tasks, and not socialist, not purely class, proletarian tasks, weigh upon the proletariat. The more complete the victory of the peasantry, the sooner will the proletariat stand out as a distinct class, and the more clearly will it put forward its purely socialist tasks and aims. " (P254)Stalin summarizes the essence of democratic struggle in these types of countries;
"" Today we are demanding a democratic republic. Can we say that a democratic republic is good in all respects, or bad in all respects? No, we cannot! Why? Because a democratic republic is good only in one respect: when it destroys the feudal system; but it is bad in another respect: when it strengthens the bourgeois system. Hence, we say: in so far as the democratic republic destroys the feudal system it is good -- and we fight for it; but in so far as it strengthens the bourgeois system it is bad -- and we fight against it. "" (P231)
Marxist Leninist does not forget the democratic struggle for the sake of the socialist struggle or forget the socialist struggle for the sake of democratic struggle. However, always subordinates the democratic struggle to the struggle for socialism. As Lenin points out in " Marxism and Proudhonism on the national Question;
"In contrast to the petty-bourgeois democrats, Marx regarded every democratic demand without exception not as an absolute, but as an historical expression of the struggle of the masses of the people, led by the bourgeoisie, against feudalism. There is not one of these demands which could not serve and has not served, under certain circumstances, as an instrument in the hands of the bourgeoisie for deceiving the workers. ..In practice, the proletariat can retain its independence only by subordinating its struggle for all democratic demands, not excluding the demand for a republic, to its revolutionary struggle for the overthrow of the bourgeoisie."In his critique of Kautskyites, he stresses the fact that only the socialists wage sincere democratic struggle in connection with the socialist Struggle;
"“you are opposed to democratic demands,” the Kautskyists argue, in the hope that inattentive people will not notice that this objection substitutes non-existent bourgeois-democratic tasks for the existing socialist tasks."Oh no, gentlemen, we reply to the Kautskyists. We are in favour of democratic demands, we alone fight for them sincerely, for the objective historical situation prevents us from advancing them except in connection with the socialist revolution.” (P299)"The Commune " says Lenin, "was a splendid example of the unanimity with which the proletariat was able to accomplish the democratic tasks which the bourgeoisie could only proclaim." Lessons of the Commune " Let the liberals give democracy away for a few pennies and throw away the whole for the sake of banal and feeble, paltry dreams of doles." Socialists "must rouse among the people consciousness of integral democratic tasks and imbue the proletariat with a clear understanding of revolutionary aims. We must enlighten the minds of the masses of workers and develop their readiness to struggle, not befog their minds by toning down contradictions, by toning down the aims of the struggle.” (P270)
For Socialists " Instead of speaking about the “full” utilization of “broad” liberty (as a matter of fact, this is just vague phrase-mongering, which could very well be replaced, and should be, by definite reference to a democratic republic and a democratic constitution, for “full” utilization means consistent democracy)— instead of this, it was imperative to state that it is not only the working class that is interested in political liberty. Silence on this score is tantamount to opening the door wide to the worst forms of “economism,” and to forgetting our general democratic tasks. Lenin, A Letter to the Northern League
Lenin explains his statement " it was imperative to state that it is not only the working class that is interested in political liberty";
"Why are the conditions for the democratic struggle not the same as those for the socialist struggle? Because the workers will certainly have different allies in each of those two struggles. The democratic struggle is waged by the workers together with a section of the bourgeoisie, especially the petty bourgeoisie. On the other hand, the socialist struggle is waged by the workers against the whole of the bourgeoisie. The struggle against the bureaucrat and the landlord can and must be waged together with all the peasants, even the well-to-do and the middle peasants. On the other hand, it is only together with the rural proletariat that the struggle against the bourgeoisie, and therefore against the well-to-do peasants too, can be properly waged." (P211)In contrast to the Permanent revolution theory of counter revolution which disregards and ignores any intermediate stages, processes and impatiently leaps to the last stage in a Utopian, abstract way, Marxist- Leninist theory of Uninterrupted revolution takes in to account the constant changes in the social content of the revolution; constantly changing relations between the classes, constant changes in development in one stage to other. Revolution passes through a serious of stages. At these stages’ proletariat has different allies. Democratic struggle in particular will have various allies depending on the given situation and concrete conditions.
Stalin with his skill in clarifying the subject sheds light to the question;
"does not mean, of course, that since capitalism is decaying the socialist system can be established any time we like. Only Anarchists and other petty-bourgeois ideologists think that. The socialist ideal is not the ideal of all classes. It is the ideal only of the proletariat; not all classes are directly interested in its fulfillment the proletariat alone is so interested. This means that as long as the proletariat constitutes a small section of society the establishment of the socialist system is impossible. The decay of the old form of production, the further concentration of capitalist production, and the proletarianisation of the majority in society -- such are the conditions needed for the achievement of socialism. But this is still not enough. The majority in society may already be proletarianised, but socialism may still not be achievable. This is because, in addition to all this, the achievement of socialism calls for class consciousness, the unity of the proletariat and the ability of the proletariat to manage its own affairs. In order that all this may be acquired, what is called political freedom is needed, i.e., freedom of speech, press, strikes and association, in short, freedom to wage the class struggle.
But political freedom is not equally ensured everywhere. Therefore, the conditions under which it is obliged to wage the struggle: under a feudal autocracy (Russia), a constitutional monarchy (Germany), a big bourgeois republic (France), or under a democratic republic (which Russian Social-Democracy is demanding), are not a matter of indifference to the proletariat. Political freedom is best and most fully ensured in a democratic republic, that is, of course, in so far as it can be ensured under capitalism at all. Therefore, all advocates of proletarian socialism necessarily strive for the establishment of a democratic republic as the best "bridge" to socialism.That is why, under present conditions, the Marxist programme is divided into two parts: the maximum programme, the goal of which is socialism, and the minimum programme, the object of which is to lay the road to socialism through a democratic republic." (P231)Lenin, reiterates the words of Engels to emphasize the dialectic connection between theory and the assessment of existing condition for related practice;
" Marxism requires of us a strictly exact and objectively verifiable analysis of the relations of classes and of the concrete features peculiar to each historical situation. We Bolsheviks have always tried to meet this requirement, which is absolutely essential for giving a scientific foundation to policy. " (P335)Left and right deviation kinship have always found their justification in eclecticism, in far-left phrase making, memorized slogans that has nothing to do with the concrete condition and situations. Either the petty bourgeois impatiens that Engels identifies as childishly naive "“What childish innocence it is to present one’s own impatience as a theoretically convincing argument!” !" (P351) or the petty bourgeois tactics to escape from the struggles of day to day and immediate questions. " Marx and Engels always said, rightly ridiculing the mere memorising and repetition of "formulas", that at best are capable only of marking out general tasks, which are necessarily modifiable by the concrete economic and political conditions of each particular period of the historical process. “(P335)
The statements on the part of deviations to escape from the democratic struggle, have become a habitual routine losing its random nature, same way the rejection and belittling of the democratic struggle to bond with the masses have become a habit. As Engels notes;
"...‘We are Communists’ [the Blanquist Communards wrote in their manifesto], ‘because we want to attain our goal without stopping at intermediate stations, without any compromises, which only postpone the day of victory and prolong the period of slavery.’" ” (P351)Due to their impatience and/or escape from the struggle, regardless of the concrete situation, the abstract slogans such as "revolution now", "either all or nothing" despite its catchy sounding, does not serve the interests of working class and its struggle - unless the revolutionary situation exists. For a " Marxist must take cognisance of real life, of the true facts of reality. ' "" ... " A Marxist must not abandon the ground of careful analysis of class relations.” (P335)
Lenin states that the " general failure of the representatives of old revolutionary theories to understand the principles of Social-Democracy, accustomed as they are to base their programmes and plans of activity on abstract ideas and not on an exact appraisal of the actual classes operating in the country, classes that have been placed in certain relationships by history."" The Tasks of the Russian Social-Democrats
Criticizing the far-left with abstract approach and slogans, "German communists," says Engels, " are Communists because, through all the intermediate stations and all compromises created, not by them but by the course of historical development, .... The thirty-three Blanquists are Communists just because they imagine that, merely because they want to skip the intermediate stations and compromises, the matter is settled, and if ‘it begins’ in the next few days—which they take for granted—and they take over power, ‘communism will be introduced’ the day after tomorrow. If that is not immediately possible, they are not Communists. “(P351)
On the absurdity of learning Marxism from rote and sloganization of phrases, Lenin was saying;
" It would be absurd to formulate a recipe or general rule (“No compromises!”) to suit all cases. One must use one’s own brains and be able to find one’s bearings in each particular instance." (P351)Every democratic struggle duration may have "special situations" within, responses to which should be made based on the concrete assessment of the current special situation and determined the form of struggle and the tactical alliance for it. Lenin continues the previous quote;
"It is, in fact, one of the functions of a party organisation and of party leaders worthy of the name, to acquire, through the prolonged, persistent, variegated and comprehensive efforts of all thinking representatives of a given class, the knowledge, experience and—in addition to knowledge and experience—the political flair necessary for the speedy and correct solution of complex political problems " (P351)For those opportunists who rejects any tactical alliance for the purpose of any given democratic struggle on the agenda, again, with far-left sounding pretexts like "supporting bourgeoisie", "tailgating Bourgeoisie" and choosing to do nothing and thereby, serving the interests of bourgeoisie indeed, Lenin states following;" it is our bounden duty to explain to the proletariat every liberal and democratic protest, to widen and support it, with the active participation of the workers, be it a conflict between the Zemstvo and the Ministry of the Interior, between the nobility and the police régime of the Orthodox Church, between statisticians and the bureaucrats, between peasants and the “Zemstvo” officials, between religious sects and the rural police, etc., etc. Those who contemptuously turn up their noses at the slight importance of some of these conflicts, or at the “hopelessness” of the attempts to fan them into a general conflagration, do not realize that all-sided political agitation is a focus in which the vital interests of political education of the proletariat coincide with the vital interests of social development as a whole, of the entire people, that is, of all its democratic elements. It is our direct duty to concern ourselves with every liberal question, to determine our Social-Democratic attitude towards it, to help the proletariat to take an active part in its solution and to accomplish the solution in its own, proletarian way. Those who refrain from concerning themselves in this way (whatever their intentions) in actuality leave the liberals in command, place in their hands the political education of the workers, and concede the hegemony in the political struggle to elements which, in the final analysis, are leaders of bourgeois democracy. " (P128)
Some of the” urgent task " arise due to specific conditions requires the revolutionaries "" to have the task of approaching to various layers of population" , this task " should not be limited with the " intellectual layer " (P25)
What we have seen in the example of Turkey, for example, is the tragic irony where rather than supporting and trying to gain the leadership of the spreading broad masses of opposition and spontaneous opposition movement to fascist power, they prefer an alliance with the variations of Trotskyism who has no base in masses.
If we consider the specific case (religious-fascist dictatorship) and urgent task, the revolutionaries have to meet the needs of " awaking proletariat, to organize them, and strengthen the ties with the revolutionary groups and wage a struggle in order to integrate the " democratic tasks with the socialist tasks.
Distrust to the masses in essence derives from the distrust to herself, her own theory and practice capacity. Thus, the choice would be either individual practice isolated from the masses or similar movements, even counter-revolutionary "intellectual" groups. "However, " says Lenin, "the working class does not stand alone; at its side are all the political opposition elements, strata and classes, since they are hostile to absolutism and are fighting it in one form or another. Here side by side with the proletariat stand the opposition elements of the bourgeoisie, or of the educated classes, or of the petty bourgeoisie, or of the nationalities, religions and sects, etc., etc., persecuted by the autocratic government. The question naturally arises of what the attitude of the working class towards these elements should be." (P25)
It is unavoidable for the left and right deviations' response to the question of "what the attitude of the working class towards these elements should be". Even though the response would look contradictory to each, in fact, in the final analyses, their approach would both be mutually supporting, reinforcing each other in the service of bourgeoisie. That is the nature of revisionism. Against the reformist outlook a " far - left outlook that turns its back to the democratic struggle with the claim of being pure socialist - that escapes from the struggle. Quote from Lenin below is quite important in understanding the subject;
""particularly in regard to the political struggle that the “class point of view” demands that the proletariat give an impetus to every democratic movement. The political demands of working-class democracy do not differ in principle from those of bourgeois democracy, they differ only in degree. In the struggle for economic emancipation, for the socialist revolution, the proletariat stands on a basis different in principle and it stands alone... In the struggle for political liberation, however, we have many allies, towards whom we must not remain indifferent. But while our allies in the bourgeois-democratic camp, in struggling for liberal reforms, will always glance back and seek to adjust matters so that they will be able, as before, “to eat well, sleep peace fully, and live merrily” at other people’s expense, the proletariat will march forward to the end, without looking back. While the confreres of R. N. S... haggle with the government over the rights of the authoritative Zemstvo, or over a constitution, we will struggle for the democratic republic. We will not forget, however, that if we want to push someone forward, we must continuously keep our hands on that someone’s shoulders. The party of the proletariat must learn to catch every liberal just at the moment when he is prepared to move forward an inch and make him move forward a yard. If he is obdurate, we will go forward without him and over him.” (P128)In Turkey, for example, the current " chief enemy " is autocracy and the urgent agenda to fight against its anti- democratic, fascist attacks . As Lenin explains;
" Since its immediate task is the overthrow of the autocracy, Social-Democracy must act as the vanguard in the fight for democracy, and consequently, if for no other reason, must give every support to all democratic elements of the population .. and win them as allies. "....The proletariat must not regard the other classes and parties as “one reactionary mass”; on the contrary, it must take part in all political and social life, support the progressive classes and parties against the reactionary classes and parties, support every revolutionary movement against the existing system, champion the interests of every oppressed nationality or race, of every persecuted religion, of the disfranchised sex, etc.” (P53)Lenin speaking of autocratic countries says;
" The day-to-day work, which the class-conscious proletariat should never forget under any circumstances, includes also the work of organisation. Without broad and diverse workers’ organisations, and without their connection with revolutionary Social-Democracy, it is impossible to wage a successful struggle against the autocracy." (P156)In a struggle aiming the socialist revolution, “Our principal and fundamental task" says Lenin, " is to facilitate the political development and the political organisation of the working class. Those who push this task into the background, who refuse to subordinate to it all the special tasks and particular methods of struggle, are following a false path and causing serious harm to the movement. . (P83)
It is beneficial to repeat Lenin's words again which says; " Social-Democrats.. have always emphasized the dual manifestation and content of the class struggle of the proletariat and have always insisted on the inseparable connection between their socialist and democratic tasks—a connection clearly expressed in the name they have adopted " (P25)
The struggle for the protection and expanding the Democratic rights is the preservation and expansion of struggle socialism, and also exposing the illusion of bourgeois democracy in the very practical life of the working masses. “The more democratic the system of government, the clearer will the workers see that the root evil is capitalism, not lack of rights.” A Caricature of Marxism and Imperialist Economism, The Other Political Issues Raised and Distorted By P. Kievsky
In addition, as Lenin puts it; ".. every resolute and consistent democratic demand of the proletariat always and everywhere in the world causes the bourgeoisie to recoil.. " (P175)
Democratic struggle is also an undeniable task in order to bond with the masses. Vanguardship, Leadership cannot be achieved in one day, it can be gained in the process of struggles integrated with the masses. It is not through abstract call-outs like " Socialism now ", but through struggles for concrete, specific democratic rights. As Lenin puts it;"" if the working class stands out as the vanguard fighter for democratic institutions, this will strength the democratic movement, will strengthen the struggle for political liberty, because the working class will spur on all the other democratic and political opposition elements, will push the liberals towards the political radicals, will push the radicals towards an irrevocable rupture with the whole of the political and social structure of present society.”( P25)
So democratic struggle is unavoidable task, first of all for; 1) the development of revolutionary movement and the struggle 2) the exposure of bourgeoisie fraud in practice 3) the integration with the working masses, empowerment and gaining the leadership.
The history of struggle at every period encountered the problems of not being able to comprehend the dialectical connection between these two tasks and consequently without any regard to the specific conditions, have been rejecting either the democratic struggle (political), or the economic struggle (socialist).
“In our opinion the ground has been prepared for this sad state of affairs by three circumstances. First, in their early activity, Russian Social-Democrats restricted themselves merely to work in propaganda circles. When we took up agitation among the masses, we were not always able to restrain ourselves from going to the other extreme. Secondly, in our early activity we often had to struggle for our right to existence against the Narodnaya Volya adherents, who understood by "politics" an activity isolated from the working-class movement and who reduced politics purely to conspiratorial struggle. In rejecting this sort of politics, the Social-Democrats went to the extreme of pushing politics entirely into the background. Thirdly, working in the isolation of small local workers' circles, the Social-Democrats did not devote sufficient attention to the necessity of organising a revolutionary party which would combine all the activities of the local groups and make it possible to organise the revolutionary work on correct lines. The predominance of isolated work is naturally connected with the predominance of the economic struggle.” (P83)
The approach, in order to set the balance in order not to deviate, is to subordinate the democratic struggle to socialist struggle and to safeguard the political independence in alliances. Because, isolated from political struggle " the working-class movement becomes petty and inevitably becomes bourgeois." That’s why, its task is not to serve the working-class movement passively at each of its separate stages, but to represent the interests of the movement as a whole, to point out to this movement its ultimate aim and its political tasks, and to safeguard its political and ideological independence.” (P83)
Without waging a democratic struggle subordinated to socialist struggle, without creating a leadership embracing and organizing the masses, " without such organisation, the proletariat will never rise to the class-conscious struggle; without such organisation the working-class movement is doomed to impotency." (P83)
Here comes another subject of justification for the left-deviation in order to reject the democratic struggle. They refuse all kind of alliances and conciliation under the pretext of " safeguarding their political and ideological independence." Although I will be taking the question of compromise on another title; "Lenin- On Compromise”, it is important to touch the subject here in direct connection with the current title.
Lenin in “Left wing communism an infantile Disorder” states; "to reject compromises “on principle”, to reject the permissibility of compromises in general, no matter of what kind, is childishness, which it is difficult even to consider seriously." ..There are different kinds of compromises. One must be able to analyse the situation and the concrete conditions of each compromise, or of each variety of compromise.....It would be absurd to formulate a recipe or general rule ("No Compromises!") to serve all cases. One must use one's own brains and be able to find one's bearings in each separate case." He continues; " Naive and utterly inexperienced people imagine that it is sufficient to admit the permissibility of compromises in general in order to obliterate the dividing line between opportunism, against which we wage and must wage an irreconcilable struggle, and revolutionary Marxism, or Communism.''
Conciliation for an alliance, requires to be in line with the interests of working peoples and their struggle and based on objective assessment of the concrete situation. A decision of support or an alliance made in line with this approach, is not called opportunism but a necessity for the struggle aiming a specific issue on the agenda.
" to refuse beforehand to manoeuvre, to utilize the conflict of interests (even though temporary) among one's enemies, to refuse to temporize and compromise with possible (even though temporary, unstable, vacillating and conditional) allies -- is not this ridiculous in the extreme? .. ..The more powerful enemy can be vanquished only by exerting the utmost effort, and without fail, most thoroughly, carefully, attentively and skilfully using every, even the smallest, "rift" among the enemies,.. and also by taking advantage of every, even the smallest, opportunity of gaining a mass ally even though this ally be temporary, vacillating, unstable, unreliable and conditional. Those who fail to understand this, fail to understand even a particle of Marxism, or of scientific, modern Socialism in general. Those who have not proved by deeds over a fairly considerable period of time, and in fairly varied political situations, their ability to apply this truth in practice have not yet learned to assist the revolutionary class in its struggle to emancipate all toiling humanity from the exploiters. And this applies equally to the period before and after the proletariat has conquered political power. "(P351)
The confusion is in the difference between the support and or conciliation in general, and in particular. In some concrete situation cases, either negotiated or not, the support of an ally against the chief enemy, carries in it the the protection of immediate, short term interests but also of the long -term interests. Socialists, "says Lenin, " support the progressive social classes against the reactionary classes, the bourgeoisie against the representatives of privileged landowning estate and the bureaucracy, the big bourgeoisie against the reactionary strivings of the petty bourgeoisie. This support does not presuppose, nor does it call for, any compromise with non-Social-Democratic programmes and principles—it is support given to an ally against a particular enemy. Moreover, the Social-Democrats render this support in order to expedite the fall of the common enemy, but expect nothing for themselves from these temporary allies, and concede nothing to them.” (P25)
In conclusion, there cannot be a socialist struggle by rejecting, ignoring the democratic tasks e.g. struggle for the protection and achievement of the existing and non-existing democratic rights and freedoms. Socialists struggle aiming to destroy the class system and to build a socialist society cannot be isolated from the democratic tasks which aims at gaining political freedom and democratize the existing political and social systems, struggles against the dictatorships, fascism, autocracy, religious reaction etc. The argument of” one is the tasks of the reformist" and” the other is the task of revolutionaries", is an argument from the marshes of revisionism regardless of how skillfully concealed with far-left slogans and phrase making.
Marxist Leninists are conscious of the fact that under capitalism women's rights cannot be acquired, but this fact has not prevented and will not prevent them from waging the democratic struggle for women's rights within the boundaries of capitalist system.
Marxist Leninists are conscious of the fact that under capitalism labor rights cannot be realized, but they do not desert the democratic struggle for these rights.
Marxist Leninists are conscious of the fact that under capitalism secularism cannot be realized, but they do wage a democratic struggle for secularism.
Marxist Leninists are conscious of the fact that under capitalism justice, equality cannot be realized, but they do not desert the democratic struggle for these rights.
Marxist Leninists are conscious of the fact that under capitalism the salvation of oppressed peoples cannot be realized, but they do not make an excuse and desert the democratic struggle for it.
For dozens of such democratic rights which under capitalism cannot be realized, Marxist Leninists do not give up the democratic struggle for those with an attitude of "" nothing will change anyway "".Marxist Leninists, while struggling for these rights, also prevent the spread of illusion of possibility by emphasizing that it cannot be fully realized under capitalism.
Why? Because these are the tasks of democratic struggle which is an integral part of socialist struggle. This struggle is the practice of bonding with masses, educating and organizing them, and creating more appropriate condition and the environment for the socialist struggle. Without putting this struggle into practice, to speak about the socialist struggle is an illusion, reaction with left phrase making.
Reiterating Lenin's words;
"such a presentation of the question is too narrow, for it ignores the general democratic tasks” … "Can a class-conscious worker forget the democratic struggle for the sake of the socialist struggle, or forget the latter for the sake of the former? No, a class-conscious worker calls himself a Social-Democrat for the reason that he understands the relation between the two struggles… “Socialists "must rouse among the people consciousness of integral democratic tasks and imbue the proletariat with a clear understanding of revolutionary aims. "...We are in favour of democratic demands, we alone fight for them sincerely, for the objective historical situation prevents us from advancing them except in connection with the socialist revolution.”.. " it appears that, in the name of the socialist revolution, Parabellum scornfully rejects a consistently revolutionary programme in the sphere of democracy. He is wrong to do so. The proletariat cannot be victorious except through democracy, i.e., by giving full effect to democracy and by linking with each step of its struggle democratic demands formulated in the most resolute terms...We must combine the revolutionary struggle against capitalism with a revolutionary programme and tactics on all democratic demands.."E.A
Summary from various articles written in Turkish.
The Tasks of the Russian Social-Democrats 1897 P25
The Years of Organizing – Pre 1903
A Protest by Russian Social-Democrats 1899 P53
Draft of a Declaration of the Editorial Board of Iskra and Zarya 1900 P70
The urgent Tasks of our Movement 1900 P83
A Talk with Defenders of Economism 1901 P97
The Working class as Vanguard for Democracy 1902 P108
Political Agitation and “The Class Point of View” 1902 P128
The years of preparation of the revolution (1903-05)Reply to Criticism of our draft Programme 1903 P136
The Autocracy and the Proletariat 1904 P156
Petty-Bourgeois and Proletarian Socialism 1905 P211
From Narodism to Marxism 1905 P166
Will the Sweep of the Democratic Revolution be Diminished if the Bourgeoisie Recoils from it? 1905 P175
The Vulgar Bourgeois Representation of Dictatorship and Marx’s View of It 1905 P199
The years of revolution (1905–07)The Democratic Tasks of the Revolutionary Proletariat 1906 P222
Stalin, Anarchism or Socialism? Dialectic Materialism 1906 P231
The years of reaction (1907–10)The First Important Step 1907 P244
The Agrarian Question & the Forces of the Revolution 1907 P249
Speech on the Attitude Towards Bourgeois Parties 1907 P254
Report of the Commission Formed to Draft a Resolution on the State Duma 1907 P270
Revolution and Counter-Revolution 1907 P275
Lessons of the Commune 1908 P286
Those Who Would Liquidate Us 1911 P291
The First Imperialist World War (1914–17)
The Socialist Revolution& the Struggle for Democracy 1916 P296
The Peace Programme 1916 P299
The Nascent Trend of Imperialist Economism 1916 P309
Reply to P. Kievsky (Y. Pyatakov) 1916 P321
To: N. I. Bukharin, 1916 P329
The second revolution in Russia (February to October 1917)Letter on Tactics 1917 P335
tract from; No Compromises? 1920 P351