You are here

قراءة كتاب Dictatorship vs. Democracy (Terrorism and Communism): a reply to Karl Kantsky

تنويه: تعرض هنا نبذة من اول ١٠ صفحات فقط من الكتاب الالكتروني، لقراءة الكتاب كاملا اضغط على الزر “اشتر الآن"

‏اللغة: English
Dictatorship vs. Democracy (Terrorism and Communism): a reply to Karl Kantsky

Dictatorship vs. Democracy (Terrorism and Communism): a reply to Karl Kantsky

No votes yet
دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 1

Photo of Leon Trotsky




A Reply to Karl Kautsky by

With a Preface by
and Foreword by Max Bedact


Published 1922 by
799 Broadway, Room 405
New York City


Foreword V
Preface XI
Introduction 5
The Balance of Power 12
The Dictatorship of the Proletariat 20
Democracy 28
Terrorism 48
The Paris Commune and Soviet Russia 69
Marx and … Kautsky 91
The Working Class and its Soviet Policy 98
Problems of the Organization of Labor 128
Karl Kautsky, His School and His Book 177
In Place of an Epilogue 188



By Max Bedact

In a land where "democracy" is so deeply entrenched as in our United States of America it may seem futile to try to make friends for a dictatorship, by a close comparison of the principles of the two—Dictatorship versus Democracy. But then, confiding in the inviting gesture of the Goddess of Liberty many of our friends and fellow citizens have tested that sacred principle of democracy, freedom of speech, a little too freely—and landed in the penitentiary for it. Others again, relying on the not less sacred principle of democracy, freedom of assembly, have come in unpleasant contact with a substantial stick of hardwood, wielded by an unwieldily guardian of the law, and awoke from the immediate effects of this collision in some jail. Again others, leaning a little too heavily against the democratic principle of freedom of press broke down that pasteboard pillar of democracy, and incidentally into prison.

Looking at this side of the bright shining medal of our beloved democracy it seems that there is not the slightest bit of difference between the democracy of capitalist America and the dictatorship of Soviet Russia. But there is a great difference. The dictatorship in Russia is bold and upright class rule, which has as its ultimate object the abolition of all class rule and all dictatorships. Our democracy, on the other hand, is a Pecksniffian Dictatorship, is hypocrisy incarnate, promising all liberty in phrases, but in reality even penalizing free thinking, consistently working only for one object: to perpetuate the rule of the capitalist class, the capitalist dictatorship.

"Dictatorship versus Democracy" is, therefore, enough of an open question even in our own country to deserve some consideration. To give food for thought on this subject is the object of the publication of Trotsky's book.

This book is an answer to a book by Karl Kautsky, "Terrorism and Communism." It is polemical in character. Polemical writings are, as a rule, only thoroughly understood if one reads both sides of the question. But even if we could not take for granted that the proletarian reader is fully familiar with the question at issue we could not conscientiously advise a worker to get Kautsky's book. It is really asking our readers to undertake the superhuman task of reading a book which in the guise of a scientific treatise is foully hitting him below the belt, and then expect him to pay two dollars for it in the bargain.

Anyhow, to read Kautsky's book is an ordeal for any revolutionist. Kautsky, in his book, tries to prove that the humanitarian instincts of the masses must defeat any attempt to overpower and suppress the bourgeoisie by terrorist means. But to read his book must kill in the proletarian reader the last remnants of those instincts on which Kautsky's hope for the safety of the bourgeoisie is based. There would even not be enough of those instincts left to save Kautsky from the utter contempt of the proletarian masses, a fate he so richly deserves.

Mr. Kautsky was once the foremost exponent of Marxism. Many of those fighting to-day in the front ranks of the proletarian army revered Kautsky as their teacher. But even in his most glorious days as a Marxist his was the musty pedantry of the German professor, which was hardly ever penetrated by a live spark of revolutionary spirit. Still, the Russian revolution of 1905 found a friend in him. That revolution did not commit the unpardonable sin of being successful. But when the tornado of the first victorious proletarian revolution swept over Russia and destroyed in its fury some of the tormentors and exploiters of