The selected fragments are from: Czy socjaliści mogą uznać “dyktaturę proletariatu”? (“Can the Socialists Recognize the ‘Dictatorship of the Proletariat’?”), Lubelski Okręgowy Komitet Wyborczy PPS: Lublin 1927, pp. 4-11.
Today the most ingenious authors of radical “simplifications” are the communists, and central among these simplifications is the dictatorship of the proletariat offered to the world as a panacea all the more confidently now that it has been ten years since they organized a vast state on the basis of this “dictatorship of the proletariat”.
Let us reflect, then, on the Russian “dictatorship of the proletariat”. European socialists have collected such a rich dossier on this matter that we can avail ourselves of a number of certitudes, or rather established things. After three years of a gigantic war in which over ten million soldiers were called to arms, after thrusting the country into economic ruin, after revealing high treason at the top, after terrible defeats in war and the disorganization of the army, a revolution breaks out in 1917 in which the most revolutionary Bolsheviks, by way of revolutionary logic, come out on top and convene the Constituent Assembly. They spoke on behalf of the entire nation. Now, however, it turns out that an overwhelming majority of representatives of this nation is in favor of parliamentary democracy! If the will of these representatives were carried out, an immense field for civil activity and political struggle would open for one hundred and fifty million people. The frontiers of Europe would expand to the Urals. […] The Bolsheviks simplify the matter, surround the Constituent Assembly with machine guns, shamelessly disperse it, reject parliamentary democracy and against the overwhelming majority of the nation proclaim the dictatorship of their own party, spuriously calling it the “dictatorship of the proletariat”. Despotism triumphed. Asia expanded its frontiers to Zdolbunov. […]
From the outset, the “dictatorship of the proletariat” in Bolshevik Russia is a government based on a minority that violently forces its will on the majority. The governing minority does not amount to half a percent of the population and remains in power by means of such cruel and bloody violence that no other civilized country would endure such a savage tyranny. It is impossible to imagine a country in Western Europe submitting to a government under whose rule seven, or, as other researchers say, eleven million people died of starvation in one year! However, by the perpetration of atrocities worthy of the former Tsars, the Bolshevik “dictatorship of the proletariat” did not achieve any of the ideological ends of the proletariat. Quite the contrary, it denied them all. The Russian worker for many years struggled heroically for political freedom, and the Bolsheviks gave him bondage; he struggled for improved material conditions, they gave him poverty; he struggled for civil development, they gave him Soviet bureaucracy.
The violence of such a tiny minority naturally had to enlist the aid of three times the number of foreign helpers, often hostile to the Soviet government, and could not organize society on the basis of the proletarian principle, and still less the socialist one. Hence soon after the murders and butcheries, after the allegedly most “dictatorial” power revealed its might, the Bolsheviks willingly make concessions to capitalism and rich peasantry, and they organize the rest of industry and commerce into state-run trusts, which have nothing to do with socialism or with the proletariat. The abject poverty of two million unemployed, thousands upon thousands of orphans wandering all over Russia, the despotic oppression of the whole population, and incessant attempts of the government to get money from foreign capitalists by selling off the treasures of the Russian land: such is the fruit of the monstrous “dictatorship of the proletariat”.
Those guilty of the grim tragedy of the proletariat, the Bolsheviks, have the audacity to invoke Karl Marx! He is claimed to have been their teacher and his directives are claimed to have been realized in Russia! Karl Marx, writing his works of genius in the middle of the nineteenth century, predicted a priori that a moment will come in the development of the working class when all that will be required in order to institute the socialist system will be a short, provisional dictatorship of the organized working class, which thanks to its power would practically have already achieved dominance in the most developed society, creating objective conditions for the rise of a socialist society. The whole of Marxist theory rests on the main premise of the powerful development of capitalism, which by economic means pushes society in a revolutionary direction. It does this by detaching the peasant masses from land, by the proletariatization of the middle classes, and by a large increase in the number and the organizational power of the proletariat, which has modern capital behind it, concentrated in the hands of a small minority. The “expropriators will be expropriated!” writes Marx, the “expropriators” being a tiny minority, while the “expropriating” constitute an overwhelming majority of society.