A: Peace, land, and bread.
Q: But how will you actually achieve that?
A: Social revolution.
Q: But sir, come on? Specifically what laws will you pass to make this happen? What authority do you have to do that? And how would that work?
A: Workers take over the factories. Peasants take over the land. And together through the Soviets we overthrow the Constituent Assembly. Then we stop the war.
Q: But what happens to the big landowners and factory owners? Where would they go?
A: I am not running an estate or factory. So I don’t know.
Q: What happens when the business owners and the aristocracy tries to hold onto their property and wealth. How would you stop that?
A: They will be suppressed. Let me tell you, in a capitalist society we have a democracy that is curtailed, wretched, false, a democracy only for the rich, for the minority.
This capitalist democracy is inevitably narrow and stealthily pushes aside the poor. It is hypocritical and false democracy through and through, a democracy of, for and by the 1 percent. For this capitalist democracy forward development does not proceed simply, directly and smoothly, towards “greater and greater democracy”, as the liberal professors and petty-bourgeois opportunists would have us believe. It requires a dictatorship of the proletariat.
Q: Okay. dictatorship of the proletariat? I’m not quite…
A: Let me be very clear about this. Alright? The dictatorship of the proletariat, the period of transition to communism, will for the first time create democracy for the people, for the majority, along with the necessary suppression of the exploiters, of the minority.
I mean look the dictatorship of the proletariat, the organization of the vanguard of the oppressed as the ruling class for the purpose of suppressing the oppressors, cannot result merely in an expansion of democracy. Simultaneously with an immense expansion of democracy, which for the first time becomes democracy for the poor, democracy for the people, and not democracy for the money-bags, the dictatorship of the proletariat imposes a series of restrictions on the freedom of the oppressors, the exploiters, the capitalists.
We must suppress them in order to free humanity from wage slavery, their resistance must be crushed by force; it is clear that there is no freedom and no democracy where there is suppression and where there is violence.
Q: But how exactly do you do this?
A: The supersession of the bourgeois state by the proletarian state is impossible without a violent revolution. A revolution carried out by the working class and its political party.
Q: Okay, so you have this ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ through a violent social revolution, but what happens next? I am only pressing because you have made it such a central part of your political efforts.
A: We, the workers, shall organize large-scale production on the basis of what capitalism has already created, relying on our own experience as workers, establishing strict, iron discipline backed up by the state power of the armed workers. We shall reduce the role of state officials to that of simply carrying out our instructions as responsible, revocable, modestly paid “foremen and accountants” (of course, with the aid of technicians of all sorts, types and degrees). This is our proletarian task.
Q: Leaving aside the question of whether this should be done, isn’t this just all a little far-fetched? It sounds like a distant dream?
A: Of this kind of dreaming there is unfortunately too little in our movement. And the people most responsible for this are those who boast of their sober views, their “closeness” to the “concrete”, the representatives of legal criticism and of illegal “tail-ism”.
Q: We must ask, what gives you the authority to do any of this?
A: The working class itself.
Q: How do you get on the tram today?
A: Jump over the turnstile.