Open main menu

Proletarian revolution

social revolution in which the working class attempts to overthrow the bourgeoisie
It follows that if the workers in England or France now liberate themselves, this must set off revolution in all other countries – revolutions which, sooner or later, must accomplish the liberation of their respective working class. ~ Friedrich Engels
The abolition of private property is, doubtless, the shortest and most significant way to characterize the revolution in the whole social order which has been made necessary by the development of industry – and for this reason it is rightly advanced by communists as their main demand. ~ Friedrich Engels
The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. ~ Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
The proletarian revolution is impossible without the sympathy and support of the overwhelming majority of the working people. ~ Vladimir Lenin

A proletarian revolution is a social revolution in which the working class attempts to overthrow the bourgeoisie. Proletarian revolutions are generally advocated by socialists, communists, and most anarchists. Marxists believe proletarian revolutions will inevitably happen in all capitalist countries, related to the concept of world revolution.

A communist revolution is a proletarian revolution, often but not necessarily inspired by the ideas of Marxism, that aims to replace capitalism with communism, typically with socialism as an intermediate stage. The idea that a proletarian revolution is needed is a cornerstone of Marxism; Marxists believe that the workers of the world must unite and free themselves from capitalist oppression to create a world run by and for the working class. Thus, in the Marxist view, proletarian revolutions need to happen in countries all over the world.

QuotesEdit

  • Big industry has brought all the people of the Earth into contact with each other, has merged all local markets into one world market, has spread civilization and progress everywhere and has thus ensured that whatever happens in civilized countries will have repercussions in all other countries. It follows that if the workers in England or France now liberate themselves, this must set off revolution in all other countries – revolutions which, sooner or later, must accomplish the liberation of their respective working class.
  • Everywhere the proletariat develops in step with the bourgeoisie. In proportion, as the bourgeoisie grows in wealth, the proletariat grows in numbers. For, since the proletarians can be employed only by capital, and since capital extends only through employing labor, it follows that the growth of the proletariat proceeds at precisely the same pace as the growth of capital. Simultaneously, this process draws members of the bourgeoisie and proletarians together into the great cities where industry can be carried on most profitably, and by thus throwing great masses in one spot it gives to the proletarians a consciousness of their own strength. Moreover, the further this process advances, the more new labor-saving machines are invented, the greater is the pressure exercised by big industry on wages, which, as we have seen, sink to their minimum and therewith render the condition of the proletariat increasingly unbearable. The growing dissatisfaction of the proletariat thus joins with its rising power to prepare a proletarian social revolution.
  • The abolition of private property is, doubtless, the shortest and most significant way to characterize the revolution in the whole social order which has been made necessary by the development of industry – and for this reason it is rightly advanced by communists as their main demand.
  • By creating the world market, big industry has already brought all the peoples of the Earth, and especially the civilized peoples, into such close relation with one another that none is independent of what happens to the others. Further, it has co-ordinated the social development of the civilized countries to such an extent that, in all of them, bourgeoisie and proletariat have become the decisive classes, and the struggle between them the great struggle of the day. It follows that the communist revolution will not merely be a national phenomenon but must take place simultaneously in all civilized countries. ... It is a universal revolution and will, accordingly, have a universal range.
  • The proletarian revolution is impossible without the sympathy and support of the overwhelming majority of the working people.
  • The Communist revolution is the most radical rupture with traditional property relations; no wonder that its development involves the most radical rupture with traditional ideas.
  • The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.
    WORKING MEN OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!
  • If I believed that force would ever build a better world, I would be a Marxist revolutionary. But I have no more faith in poor men's animalism than in rich men's. And I want no proletarian revolution until the proletariat has demonstrated devotion to reason which the rich, with larger opportunities to cultivate that virtue, have so universally failed to achieve. I favor the underdog against the upperdog, but I favor something better than a dog above both of them.
    • Milton S. Mayer, "I Think I'll Sit This One Out" in Saturday Evening Post (7 October 1939); republished in We Who Dared to Say No to War: American Antiwar Writing from 1812 to Now ( 2008), edited by Murray Polner and Thomas E. Woods, p. 193

External linksEdit

Wikipedia has an article about: