the revolutionary programme of TheDictatorship of the Proletariat, the conquest of political power by the working class in alliance with thenon-proletarian sections of the working people, was the culminating point ofMarxism. Karl Mark and F. Engels CollectedWorks Vol.I NY International Publishers1975 Vol.I XV.
Marx’s proofs concerning The Dictatorship of the Proletariat were in fact prophecies state with great force and conviction. The class struggle must necessarily lead to the dictatorship of proletariat was his most original contribution to the theory of class struggle, and he meant by The Dictatorship of the Proletariat precisely what he said: The ruling power would fall into the hands of the poor farmers and the unskilled and semi-skilled workers. The aristocrats, bourgeoisie, and the skilled workers would be dethroned, and majority poor, would inherit the earth. Then in the course of time The Dictatorship of the Proletariat would give way to a classless society. Robert Payne, The Unknown Marx,NY university Press 1971,p.6
Karl Kautsky in 1918 wrote TheDictatorship of the Proletariat, arguing that Lenin’s ‘revolutionary dictatorship’ was far from removed from what Marx had in mind. When he used thephrase ‘The Dictatorship of the Proletariat’. Marx has not meant by this ‘aform of government’. Karl Kautsky, The Dictatorship of the Proletariat (University of Michigan PressAnn Arber 1964, 1919 ed) p.140.
Kautsky insisted that “The proletariatclass struggle, as a struggle of masses presupposes democracy…masses can not beorganised secretly and above all a secret organisation cannot be a democraticone. It always led to the dictatorship of a single man, or of a small knot ofleaders. The ordinary members can only become instruments for carrying outorders. Such a method may be ended necessary for an oppressed class in theabsence of democracy, but it would not be promote the self-government andindependence of the masses, rather would it farther the Messiah-consciousnessof leaders, and their dictatorship habits. Karl Kautsky, The Dictatorship of the Proletariat (University of Michigan PressAnn Arber 1964, 1919 ed) p.19-20
The Dictatorship of the Proletariatwhich Marx envisaged as following the revolution is not clear. In 1848 the term‘dictatorship’ had not yet acquired the unrelievedly negative connotation ofour time- a dictator was still seen by many as an emergency office in the Romemould, whereby all powers were granted to some person(s) acting in theinterests of the state as a whole. Marx never see it as the rule of one men,but as the collective will of a class. Engels likened it to the government ofthe Paris Commune. Lenin subordinating the will of the soviet to that of theparty. Peter Calvert, Revolution and Counter-revolution. Open university Press 1990p.12. Calvert is the professor of Comparative and International politics at theuniversity of Southampton.
Shortly before his death Marx andsubsequently Engels on more than one occasion stated that it was possible thatthe proletariat would gain power in advanced industries countries byconstitutional means, without the need for an armed struggle. A furtherunforeseen factor was the rise and consolidation of nationalism.Peter Calvert, Revolution and Counter-revolution. Open university Press 1990p.10. see Marx and Engels 1962, I Selected Works. Moscow, Foreign languagesPublishing House. P.21-65.
Marx in the “Civil War in France”pointed out that The dictatorship represents ‘proletariat democracy’. Much likethe commune of Paris, it will consist of elected councillors who functionsimultaneously as legislators and executives. There is to be universalsuffrage, a citizens army, elected judges, police and officials, equal pay asworkers, subject to recall at any time; seizure of all closed factories and theeventual abolition of private ownership of productive property, universaleducation.See Marx, civil War in France, KMSW II.498-99; later in life Marx did not limitthe form of the proletariat state to that of Paris commune.