“[C]ollective appropriation can arise only from the revolutionary action of the productive class – or proletariat – organized in a distinct political party. … [S]uch an organization must be pursued by all the means the proletariat has at its disposal including universal suffrage which will thus be transformed from the instrument of deception that it has been until now into an instrument of emancipation. … [S]ocialist workers, in adopting as the aim of their efforts the political and economic expropriation of the capitalist class and the return to community of all the means of production, have decided, as a means of organization and struggle, to enter the elections with the following immediate demands…”
The above words are the heart of revolutionary democratic socialist perspective and were written by none other than Karl Marx in 1880, long after the Paris Commune supposedly proved that socialist strategy hinges on smashing rather than conquering the state. Did Marx change his mind or has his stance on these issues been either misunderstood or misconstrued? These and related questions underpin this blog’s unapologetically one-sided focus on elections and parliamentary forms of struggle.