On the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
by Etienne Balibar Afterword by Louis Althusser Introduction by Grahame Lock
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238 pages / January 1977 / 9780902308596

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Debating the transition to communism.

No-one and nothing, not even the Congress of a Communist Party, can abolish the dictatorship of the proletariat. That is the most important conclusion of this book by Etienne Balibar. 

Balibar spells out his reasoning against the background of the 22nd Congress of the French Communist Party, which decided to ‘drop’ the aim of the dictatorship of the proletariat and to substitute the objective of a ‘democratic’ road to socialism. His concrete references are therefore usually to arguments put forward within the French Party. But it is quite obvious that the significance of this book is much wider, not least because, in spite of the important political and economic differences separating the nations of western Europe, many of their Communist Parties are evolving in an apparently similar ideological direction, and indeed appear to be borrowing arguments from one another in support of their new positions.

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