>>13649Yes it was, and "democracy" is clearly code for constitutional loyalist reformism. There are some other anachronisms as well such as the use of "comrade" as a title, which only took off in the 1890s (I believe) in Germany and Russia and the 1920s in English-speaking parties.
"Democracy is the only road to socialism", while not an actual quote, is indeed in the spirit of Marx's politics however. "Democracy" in this case is not code for constitutional loyalism and parliamentary horse trading, as it usually implies, but genuine political rule by the majority, a radically democratic republic as described in The Civil War in France
and Lenin's State and Revolution
. Because the working class makes up the vast majority of society, a truly democratic state would inexorably begin the transition towards socialism. To quote Engels in his Critique of the Erfurt Program:
>The working class can only come to power under the form of a democratic republic. This is even the specific form for the dictatorship of the proletariat, as the Great French Revolution [in context the Paris Commune] has already shown."
Because of this fact, the ruling class will never accede to true majority rule willingly, which makes revolutionary action or the potential for it a necessity. However, this insurrection must be launched with a popular mandate of a political majority of society (not the same as a parliamentary majority due to ruling class control of the electoral system and media, although representation in parliament will be substantial). When the insurrection comes, it will be popular enough that most people will likely come up with excuses to claim it as a legal act.
This strategy to fight for what Marx termed "extreme democracy" in the state contrasted strongly with his anarchist opponents in the First International. People forget that the nineteenth century was the golden age of communist insurrections - small conspiratorial groups like those led by Louis Blanqui regularly raided houses of government, police stations, etc. multiple times a year, hoping that this minority "propaganda of the deed" would inspire millions into the street to abolish capitalism on the spot. Mikhail Bakunin himself was personally involved in many of these small scale insurrections, and this was the reason why Marx had him kicked out of the First International. When Bakunin and his supporters conspired to launch insurrectionary action, they weren't just alienating the working class at large - they were compromising the democratic structure of the party as a whole, by refusing to state their political aims in public and refusing to abide by the decisions of the majority.
Karl Marx's political strategy only gained mass support after it was adopted by the German SPD in the mid 1880s. The Russian RSDLP copied this strategy, and in 1917 led the first successful communist revolution in history - backed by a formal majority of representatives in the Petrograd Soviet. Ultimately however, this popular support was not to last - the vast majority of the population was in the peasantry, not the proletariat, and state functions could only be fulfilled by a privileged stratum of professionals. Lenin sought to solve this problem by spreading the revolution westward. Communist parties in the west would restrict internal democracy and function as an "iron military order" so as to direct massive insurrections in the decade to come. This strategy, while defensible at the time, ultimately failed, and the "Leninist" party model (actually invented after 1917) has led to endless splits, a "revolving door" of students disillusioned with the movement, and ultimately the political irrelevance of the communist left for more than half a century. Karl Marx's revolutionary strategy succeeded in uniting the left, from an assortment of different insurrectionist sects at the beginning of the 19th century to unified, disciplined communist parties at the end of it. Now that we're in the 21st century, it's time to repeat that process again.That's my effortpost, back to shitty games