By Marx, Karl; Lenin, Vladimir I.; Nimtz, August H
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It cannot and never will be anything more in the present-day state; but that,” he continued, “is sufficient. ”66 Cognizant of Bismarck’s censors, Engels could not be as forthright with his metaphor as he was eight years later when he made this very same point to Paul Lafargue, following electoral gains for the party in France, about the value of elections for the revolutionary process. Do you realize now what a splendid weapon you in France have had in your hands for forty years in universal suffrage; if only people knew how to use it!
To preach abstention would be to push them into the arms of bourgeois politics. Especially in the aftermath of the Paris Commune which placed the political action of the proletariat on the agenda, abstention is quite impossible. We seek the abolition of Classes. What is the means of achieving it? The political domination of the proletariat . . revolution is the supreme act of politics; whoever wants it must also want the means, political action, which prepares for it, which gives the workers the education for revolution and without which the workers will always be duped .
Bismarck’s ban of the SAPD gave—perhaps intentionally—its parliamentary Fraktion, which tended to be to the right of the membership, far more influence in the party than before. ”64 He held, however, that “they can neither demand nor impose the implicit obedience [of the membership] that could be demanded by the former party leadership, specifically elected for the purpose. ”65 In this, Engels was stating an essential principle later associated with democratic centralist organizing—that is, centralism in action required full democracy in decision making.