The Communist Party and the Idea of Dictatorship~Rudolf Rocker

…dictatorship never delivers revolution; instead, dictatorship heralds an incipient counter-revolution.Cromwell was in no sense the embodiment of the English revolution, but the brutal violence of counter-revolution which degenerated into a brand-new form of despotism and blocked off any trend in the direction of freedom. The dictatorship of Robespierre and the Jacobins was not emblematic of a sublime transformation releasing France from the curse of feudalism and absolutist monarchy; no, that dictatorship was to be the revolution’s shroud and led on to Napoleon’s military dictatorship.In our own day, Bolshevism is merely the death knell heralding the death of the Russian revolution, after having conjured up the mental climate in which fascism can flourish.Socialism can only cling to its meaning for the future if all of its efforts are committed to put paid once and for all, not just to monopolistic ownership of the land and the means of production, but also to any form of man’s exploitation of his fellow man. The banishment of the authority principle from the life of society rather than the capture of power should be the great goal towards which socialism strives; and it must never give up on it, unless it means to turn its back on its very essence. Anybody who reckons that freedom of the individual can be replaced by equal ownership rights, has failed to grasp the basis of socialism. There is no substitute for freedom; and no replacement. Equality of economic circumstances for all and for every single person is merely a precondition for human freedom, but, on its own, cannot be a substitute for such freedom. Whoever trespasses against freedom trespasses against the very spirit of socialism. Socialism is nothing but solidaristic collaboration on the basis of a shared goal and equal rights for all. Now, solidarity is founded upon the unfettered decision-making of the individual and cannot be imposed without its turning into tyranny and reneging upon its very self….when Lenin ventured as far as to state that “freedom is merely a bourgeois prejudice”, the words mirrored [his] mind-set, the kinship between which simply cannot be denied. Lenin’s cynical remark proves only that he was unable to elevate his mind to the heights of the authentic notion of socialism and instead turned in despair to the obsolete circle of versions of political Jacobinism. Generally, the distinction between authoritarian socialism and free socialism seems pointless and monstrous; either socialism is going to be free or there not going to be any socialism.

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