Lack of unity, existing of political contradictions in ICS masked by “General Conclusions”

On her website of the International Communist Seminar1( http://www.icseminar.org) is said:”Since 1992, the International Communist Seminar (ICS) gathers communist and workers' parties and organisations from the whole world.”
Previous ICS-meetings still combined the analysis of the actual situation with how the communist parties could grasp the situation in order to make strategical steps towards socialist revolution... So were some subjects:
  • 2012,     The relation between the immediate tasks of communists and their     struggle for socialism
  • 2011,     The strengthening of communist     parties in times of a deepening capitalist systemic crisis
  • 2010,     The consequences of the economic crisis and the intervention of     communist parties
  • 2005,     Internationalist experiences and tasks of Communists in the struggle     against imperialism
  • 2003,     The Marxist-Leninist Party and the anti-imperialist Front facing the     war
  • 2001,     The world socialist revolution in the conditions of imperialist     globalisation.
  • 1997,     The way of the October revolution is the way of the liberation of     the workers
In 2013 the subject of the ICS-meeting was: The attacks on the democratic rights and freedoms in the world capitalist crisis. Strategies and actions in response.
Although opportunism was in a large extend “tolerated” and so could be “used” by revisionist parties and organisations to present Marxist-sounding analyses which had to “prove” the correctness and the “revolutionary character” of the REFORMIST road taken (you can read HERE an analysis I made of contributions in the ICS, HERE a short article but in which I made links to different texts and analyses), the subject of an ICS-meeting was somehow, more or less about “the most important actual tasks of communists and their organisations”.
So today the subject is preliminary set: “
what has to be the strategy and actions in response to the attacks on the democratic rights and freedoms in the world capitalist crisis”. So the first task seen  for communists is, to develop a strategy and to lead the struggle for the regain of the REFORMS once achieved and now again under attack.
In order “to prove its revolutionary character”,first has to be said (and illustrated with quotes of Marx, Engels and Lenin that “
the struggle for democratic rights and freedoms” (ON ITSELF!) is an “important” and “crucial” struggle.
Of course it is then  - but very FORMALLY -  linked (otherwise no communist party would subscribe those “
General Conclusions”) to the “struggle for socialism”...
In order to present the ending of the meeting as a “
unity after discussion”, probably there was tried to formulate a “joint declaration” or “resolution”..... But there was no unity, so was formulated a text in which everyone could find themselves and where nobody could really be against. Therefore the text is called “General Conclusions”.

The text “
General Conclusions2 is treating following points:
A. The importance of the struggle for democratic rights and freedoms
B. The character and role of the bourgeois State
C. Brief historical overview
D. The current attacks against democratic rights and freedoms
E. Actions and strategies in response
F. Democratic rights and freedoms under socialism
About the FORMAL and GENERAL (and so DOGMATIC) character of the “analysis” in these different points
A. The importance of the struggle for democratic rights and freedoms
1. Marx, Engels and Lenin dealt with « democracy » on the basis of class criteria, distinguishing bourgeois democracy and working class democracy. They maintained that the struggle for democratic rights and freedoms was necessary in order to clearly show the contradiction of interests between the working class and the bourgeoisie and to create more favorable conditions for the full development of the political struggle of the working class. Communists put themselves at the helm of the struggle for democratic rights.
2. The workers' democratic aspirations cannot be realized in a complete and sustainable manner under capitalism, where only the bourgeois class holds power. The democratic gains wrested from the bourgeoisie remain limited and insufficient, and can be restricted or withdrawn at any time, especially in periods of crisis of the capitalist system.
3. For this reason, communists place their actions for democratic rights in the broader strategic perspective of fighting against capitalism and for socialism, as the only way that leads to an authentic democracy for the toiling masses, who exercise power under socialism. This power “implies and presents to the toiling classes, i.e., the vast majority of the population, greater practical opportunities for enjoying democratic rights and liberties than ever existed before, even approximately, in the best and the most democratic bourgeois republics3.4

In fact here is “suggested” that the way to revolution goes in stages, first “
the struggle for democratic rights and freedoms” and than the struggle for revolution. Marx and Engels never separated the two. In fact Marx  attracted the attention on the concrete formulation of a revolutionary program to be propagated (for example in “Critic on the Gotha Program” and in all he wrote about “the Commune of Paris”)
And even then there is no analogy possible between the historical timeframe in which lived Marx and Engels and the world in 2013. It was then the young development of capitalism, in which the working class had to struggle for better working-conditions, wage, social achievements.....all those things which was not the priory things of the capitalists and the developing capitalist states in order to develop the capitalist production-relations. And all those “democratic rights and freedoms” obtained (and meant a better situation than before) were the result of a struggle which had revolutionary sparks.....and were in fact “allowed” in order to “cool down” that spontaneous revolutionary fire.
At his moment, all those “democratic, social rights” were for a part “achieved” (at least in the imperialist centres) in the period after the Second World War and the outbreak of the crisis in 1974.. Now, in a world which is totally “divided” by imperialism, the market is quasi not-extendable (let say there are 1 billion possible “consumers” - so buyers” of the products produced under capitalist production-relations), the crisis is general and global. The only “solution” is sharp and aggressive capitalist competition in which the exploitation-level is increased as much as possible at least more than at the competitor.... (and all achieved “democratic and social rights and freedoms” are under fire everywhere)
So the “struggle for democratic rights and freedoms” can only be a struggle in retreat, trying to hold still a bit of what is attacked. So the only way out is the revolutionary one.

Also is here suggested (by the use of the quote of Lenin, that in the “democratic bourgeois republic” the democratic rights and liberties perhaps can be deployed to a certain extend” of course not as far than under socialism....  But in the
same text of Lenin is said about the “most democratic bourgeois republic” that the most democratic bourgeois republic is no more than a machine for the suppression of the working class by the bourgeoisie, for the suppression of the working people by a handful of capitalists. There is not a single revolutionary, not a single Marxist among those now shouting against dictatorship and for democracy, who has not sworn and vowed to the workers that he excepts this basic truth of socialism. But now, when the revolutionary proletariat is in a fighting mood and taking action to destroy this machine of oppression and to establish proletarian dictatorship, these traitors to socialism claim that the bourgeoisie have granted the working people “pure democracy", have abandoned resistance and are prepared to yield to the majority of the working people. They assert that in a democratic republic there is not, and never has been, any such thing as a state machine for the suppression of labor by capital.5

It is preceeded by the remarks that talking about liberties, freedoms and democratic rights WITHOUT talking about the CLASS-CONTENT of those concepts....is “
defending bourgeois reformism:
“1. Faced with the growth of the revolutionary workers’ movement in every country, the bourgeoisie and their agents in the workers’ organizations are making desperate attempts to find ideological and political arguments in defense of the rule of the exploiters. Condemnation of dictatorship and a sense of democracy are particularly prominent among these arguments. The falsity and hypocrisy of this argument, repeated in a thousand strains by the capitalist press and at the Berne yellow International Conference in February 1919, are obvious to all who refuse to betray the fundamental principles of socialism.
2. Firstly,
this argument employs the concepts of “democracy in general” and “dictatorship in general “, without posing the question of the class concerned. This nonclass or above class presentation, which supposedly is popular, is an outright travesty of the basic tenet of socialism, namely, its theory of class struggle, which Socialists who have sided with the bourgeoisie recognize in words but disregard in practice. For in no civilized capitalist country does “democracy in general” exist; all that exists is bourgeois democracy, and it is not a question of “dictatorship in general", but of the dictatorship of the oppressed class, i.e., the proletariat, over its oppressors and exploiters, i.e., the bourgeoisie, in order to overcome the resistance offered by the exploiters in their fight to maintain their domination.

3. History teaches us that no oppressed class ever did, or could, achieve power without going through a period of dictatorship, i.e., the conquest of political power and forceable suppression of the resistance always offered by the exploiters—the resistance that is most desperate, most furious, and that stops at nothing.
The bourgeoisie, whose domination is now defended by the Socialists who denounce “dictatorship in general” and extol “democracy in general", won power in the advanced countries through a series of insurrections, civil wars, and the forcible suppression of kings, feudal lords, slaveowners and their attempts at restoration. In books, pamphlets, Congress resolutions, and propaganda speeches, Socialists have everywhere thousands and millions of times explained to people the class nature of these bourgeois revolutions and this bourgeois dictatorship. That is why the present defense of bourgeois democracy under the cover of talk about “democracy in general", and the present howls and shouts against proletarian dictatorship under the cover of shouts about “dictatorship in general", are an outright betrayal of socialism. They are, in fact, desertion to the bourgeoisie, denial of the proletariat’s right to its own, proletarian revolution, and a defense of bourgeois reformism at the very historical juncture when bourgeois reformism throughout the world has collapsed and the war has created a revolutionary situation.6
Which bring us by the remark that indeed Marx talked about the “struggle for democratic rights and freedoms on the base of class-criteria” ......so indeed he talked about the role of class-struggle. But Marx talked about a lot of things. But he himself saw as the biggest contribution – as Lenin quoted Marx in “State and Revolution” - ....:
3. The Presentation of the Question by Marx in 1852
In 1907, Mehring, in the magazine
Neue Zeit7 (Vol.XXV, 2, p.164), published extracts from Marx's letter to Weydemeyer dated March 5, 1852. This letter, among other things, contains the following remarkable observation:

"And now as to myself, no credit is due to me for discovering the existence of classes in modern society or the struggle between them. Long before me bourgeois historians had described the historical development of this class struggle and bourgeois economists, the economic anatomy of classes. What I did that was new was to prove: (1) that the existence of classes is only bound up with the particular, historical phases in the development of production (historische Entwicklungsphasen der Produktion), (2) that the class struggle necessarily leads to the dictatorship of the proletariat, (3) that this dictatorship itself only constitutes the transition to the abolition of all classes and to a classless society."

In these words, Marx succeeded in expressing with striking clarity, first, the chief and radical difference between his theory and that of the foremost and most profound thinkers of the bourgeoisie; and, secondly, the essence of his theory of the state.

It is often said and written that the main point in Marx's theory is the class struggle. But this is wrong. And this wrong notion very often results in an opportunist distortion of Marxism and its falsification in a spirit acceptable to the bourgeoisie. For the theory of the class struggle was created not by Marx, but by the bourgeoisie before Marx, and, generally speaking, it is acceptable to the bourgeoisie. Those who recognize only the class struggle are not yet Marxists; they may be found to be still within the bounds of bourgeois thinking and bourgeois politics. To confine Marxism to the theory of the class struggle means curtailing Marxism, distorting it, reducing it to something acceptable to the bourgeoisie. Only he is a Marxist who extends the recognition of the class struggle to the recognition of the dictatorship of the proletariat. That is what constitutes the most profound distinction between the Marxist and the ordinary petty (as well as big) bourgeois. This is the touchstone on which the real understanding and recognition of Marxism should be tested. And it is not surprising that when the history of Europe brought the working class face to face with this question as a practical issue, not only all the opportunists and reformists, but all the Kautskyites (people who vacillate between reformism and Marxism) proved to be miserable philistines and petty-bourgeois democrats repudiating the dictatorship of the proletariat. Kautsky's pamphlet,
The Dictatorship of the Proletariat, published in August 1918, i.e., long after the first edition of the present book, is a perfect example of petty-bourgeois distortion of Marxism and base renunciation of it in deeds, while hypocritically recognizing it in words (see my pamphlet, The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky, Petrograd and Moscow, 1918).

Opportunism today, as represented by its principal spokesman, the ex-Marxist Karl Kautsky, fits in completely with Marx's characterization of the bourgeois position quoted above, for this opportunism limits recognition of the class struggle to the sphere of bourgeois relations. (Within this sphere, within its framework, not a single educated liberal will refuse to recognize the class struggle "in principle"!) Opportunism does not extend recognition of the class struggle to the cardinal point, to the period of transition from capitalism to communism, of the overthrow and the complete abolition of the bourgeoisie. In reality, this period inevitably is a period of an unprecedently violent class struggle in unprecedentedly acute forms, and, consequently, during this period the state must inevitably be a state that is democratic in a new way (for the proletariat and the propertyless in general) and dictatorial in a new way (against the bourgeoisie).

Further. The essence of Marx's theory of the state has been mastered only by those who realize that the dictatorship of a single class is necessary not only for every class society in general, not only for the proletariat which has overthrown the bourgeoisie, but also for the entire historical period which separates capitalism from "classless society", from communism. Bourgeois states are most varied in form, but their essence is the same: all these states, whatever their form, in the final analysis are inevitably the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. The transition from capitalism to communism is certainly bound to yield a tremendous abundance and variety of political forms, but the essence will inevitably be the same: the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The text “General Conclusions” is talking also about “the” State and “the bourgeois state”....and with a quote of Lenin out of his book “State and Revolution”....of course not the quote here above!
“B. The character and role of the bourgeois State
4. The State has become a necessity at a certain stage of economic development, when society got divided into classes, into exploiters and exploited.
5. The State does not constitute a neutral organ encompassing society, but an organ of class dominance, for the oppression of one class by another. The core function of the bourgeois State is to force the oppressed classes to respect private property and class domination, prevent sharp class conflicts and, if necessary, repress them violently in order to prevent them going beyond the framework of bourgeois legality and risk to overthrow bourgeois power. To this end, it has at its disposal open and secret police services, a justice system and armed forces. The State is also a corps of higher civil servants who manage the “continuity” of the State, independent of changes in the political majority.
6. Oppression is a necessary concomitant of class exploitation. The intensification of repression and the escalation of the attacks on democratic and trade union rights and freedoms on the part of the bourgeois class in the entire capitalist world, is the other side of the intensification of exploitation and the concentration and centralization of capital. It is in the nature of the bourgeoisie in power to carry out attacks on the democratic rights and freedoms of the working class and the people in order to preserve the system of exploitation.
7. The regime of class domination does not only use repression but also ideology : the class that owns the material means of production also owns the cultural means of production. The ruling ideas in every society and era are the ideas of the ruling class. The major mass media, education and other means and forms of culture and information, both public and private, are instruments in the hands of the ruling class to maintain its positions, at the expense of the mass of workers. The bourgeoisie also tries to impose its ideology by its influence and control over certain NGOs, trade unions and other associations.
8. Finally, the bourgeois State plays an important international role : it conquers new markets or defends existing ones for its capitalists, by arms if necessary. To this end, it is using an administration of foreign affairs, embassies, export services and above all offensive armed forces, integrated in international capitalist alliances (such as NATO).
9. Compared to the feudal State, the bourgeois State constitutes a significant progress. In the capitalist system, the State may take on several forms. But even in its most developed form, the democratic republic, it remains within the framework of capitalist exploitation. The real power resides in the capitalists' dominance over wage labor. Early on, since the very overthrow of the old regimes, the bourgeoisie restricts the exercise of democracy and excludes the “inferior classes” from it. The rights of the immense majority are limited, mutilated or even totally absent. The bourgeois State also uses emergency laws that can be used to overrule democratic rights if “need” be.
10. In the democratic republic, the bourgeoisie exerts its power in an indirect way. As Lenin writes : “
In a democratic republic, Engels continues, “wealth exercises its power indirectly, but all the more surely", first, by means of the “direct corruption of officials”; secondly, by means of an “alliance of the government and the Stock Exchange”. (...) A democratic republic is the best possible political shell for capitalism, and, therefore, once capital has gained possession of this very best shell, it establishes its power so securely, so firmly, that no change of persons, institutions or parties in the bourgeois-democratic republic can shake it.”10 The decisions taken by the bourgeois governments are aligned to the priorities of major companies, banks and speculation funds, and imperialist institutions like the IMF, the World Bank, the ECB and the like.
In this part of the “General Conclusions” are just repeated the general definitions about “the State” (in general) which then are “mixed” with the general definitions of “the capitalist state”. And of course these remarks are approved with a quote of Lenin out of his book “State and Revolution”, in fact out of chapter 1.....
This is in fact an “analyse” made in a DOGMATIC way, and within the whole of the “General Conclusions” these remarks are accepted and subscribed by parties – to my opinion” who are not seeing this form of opportunism (so dogmatism) BECAUSE they are themselves “contaminated” with  this form of opportunism, or by parties who out of a false loyalty to the “respect for the autonomy of each party to develop the strategy towards socialism in their own country” or out of a dangerous UNDERESTIMATION of the conscious use of forms of opportunism as “cover” for REVISIONISM (the bourgeois ideology and bourgeois political line formulated in Marxist-sounding phrases)
To unmask as well as OPPORTUNISM as REVISIONISM (what Lenin called “Kautskyanism”), THAT was the purpose of the book “State and Revolution”. And of course in that book, Lenin STARTED – in the first chapter – with the general Marxist definitions of what is “the State” (in general) and what is the “Capitalist State”.!
But already in the first part of the first Chapter, Lenin is warning:
“On the other hand, the “Kautskyite” distortion of Marxism is far more subtle. “Theoretically”, it is not denied that the state is an organ of class rule, or that class antagonisms are irreconcilable. But what is overlooked or glossed over is this: if the state is the product of the irreconcilability of class antagonisms, if it is a power standing above society and “alienating itself more and more from it", it is clear that the liberation of the oppressed class is impossible not only without a violent revolution, but also without the destruction of the apparatus of state power which was created by the ruling class and which is the embodiment of this “alienation”. As we shall see later, Marx very explicitly drew this theoretically self-evident conclusion on the strength of a concrete historical analysis of the tasks of the revolution. And — as we shall show in detail further on — it is this conclusion which Kautsky has “forgotten” and distorted. 11
The dogmatic repeating of the definitions given by Lenin in his first chapter has to “cover” the lack of concrete content of the formal formulation of “ communists place their actions for democratic rights in the broader strategic perspective of fighting against capitalism and for socialism, as the only way that leads to an authentic democracy for the toiling masses, who exercise power under socialism.”.
For example not is mentioned that “socialism = first stage of communism = proletarian dictatorship = (socialist) STATE” as Lenin did in other parts of “State and Revolution”(of course NOT quoted by our revisionists):

“Marx continued:
"Between capitalist and communist society lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of the one into the other. Corresponding to this is also a political transition period in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat."
Marx bases this conclusion on an analysis of the role played by the proletariat in modern capitalist society, on the data concerning the development of this society, and on the irreconcilability of the antagonistic interests of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.
Previously the question was put as follows: to achieve its emancipation, the proletariat must overthrow the bourgeoisie, win political power and establish its revolutionary dictatorship.
Now the question is put somewhat differently: the transition from capitalist society--which is developing towards communism--to communist society is impossible without a "political transition period", and the state in this period can only be the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.
What, then, is the relation of this dictatorship to democracy?
We have seen that the
Communist Manifesto simply places side by side the two concepts: "to raise the proletariat to the position of the ruling class" and "to win the battle of democracy". On the basis of all that has been said above, it is possible to determine more precisely how democracy changes in the transition from capitalism to communism.
In capitalist society, providing it develops under the most favourable conditions, we have a more or less complete democracy in the democratic republic. But this democracy is always hemmed in by the narrow limits set by capitalist exploitation, and consequently always remains, in effect, a democracy for the minority, only for the propertied classes, only for the rich. Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in the ancient Greek republics: freedom for the slave-owners. Owing to the conditions of capitalist exploitation, the modern wage slaves are so crushed by want and poverty that "they cannot be bothered with democracy", "cannot be bothered with politics"; in the ordinary, peaceful course of events, the majority of the population is debarred from participation in public and political life.”
And not clear is defined “what IS socialism” as Lenin did in other parts of “State and Revolution” (of course NOT quoted by our revisionists):
3. The First Phase of Communist Society
In the
Critique of the Gotha Programme, Marx goes into detail to disprove Lassalle's idea that under socialism the worker will receive the “undiminished” or "full product of his labor". Marx shows that from the whole of the social labor of society there must be deducted a reserve fund, a fund for the expansion of production, a fund for the replacement of the "wear and tear" of machinery, and so on. Then, from the means of consumption must be deducted a fund for administrative expenses, for schools, hospitals, old people's homes, and so on.

Instead of Lassalle's hazy, obscure, general phrase ("the full product of his labor to the worker"), Marx makes a sober estimate of exactly how socialist society will have to manage its affairs. Marx proceeds to make a concrete analysis of the conditions of life of a society in which there will be no capitalism, and says:

"What we have to deal with here [in analyzing the programme of the workers' party] is a communist society, not as it has developed on its own foundations, but, on the contrary, just as it emerges from capitalist society; which is thus in every respect, economically, morally, and intellectually, still stamped with the birthmarks of the old society from whose womb it comes."

It is this communist society, which has just emerged into the light of day out of the womb of capitalism and which is in every respect stamped with the birthmarks of the old society, that Marx terms the “first”, or lower, phase of communist society.

The means of production are no longer the private property of individuals. The means of production belong to the whole of society. Every member of society, performing a certain part of the socially-necessary work, receives a certificate from society to the effect that he has done a certain amount of work. And with this certificate he receives from the public store of consumer goods a corresponding quantity of products. After a deduction is made of the amount of labor which goes to the public fund, every worker, therefore, receives from society as much as he has given to it.

“Equality” apparently reigns supreme.

But when Lassalle, having in view such a social order (usually called socialism, but termed by Marx the first phase of communism), says that this is "equitable distribution", that this is "the equal right of all to an equal product of labor", Lassalle is mistaken and Marx exposes the mistake.

"Hence, the equal right," says Marx, in this case still certainly conforms to "bourgeois law", which,like all law, implies inequality. All law is an application of an equal measure to different people who in fact are not alike, are not equal to one another. That is why the "equal right" is violation of equality and an injustice. In fact, everyone, having performed as much social labor as another, receives an equal share of the social product (after the above-mentioned deductions).

But people are not alike: one is strong, another is weak; one is married, another is not; one has more children, another has less, and so on. And the conclusion Marx draws is:

"... With an equal performance of labor, and hence an equal share in the social consumption fund, one will in fact receive more than another, one will be richer than another, and so on. To avoid all these defects, the right instead of being equal would have to be unequal."

The first phase of communism, therefore, cannot yet provide justice and equality; differences, and unjust differences, in wealth will still persist, but the exploitation of man by man will have become impossible because it will be impossible to seize the means of production--the factories, machines, land, etc.--and make them private property. In smashing Lassalle's petty-bourgeois, vague phrases about “equality” and “justice” in general, Marx shows the course of development of communist society, which is compelled to abolish at first only the “injustice” of the means of production seized by individuals, and which is unable at once to eliminate the other injustice, which consists in the distribution of consumer goods "according to the amount of labor performed" (and not according to needs).

The vulgar economists, including the bourgeois professors and “our” Tugan, constantly reproach the socialists with forgetting the inequality of people and with “dreaming” of eliminating this inequality. Such a reproach, as we see, only proves the extreme ignorance of the bourgeois ideologists.

Marx not only most scrupulously takes account of the inevitable inequality of men, but he also takes into account the fact that the mere conversion of the means of production into the common property of the whole society (commonly called “socialism”) does not remove the defects of distribution and the inequality of "bourgeois laws" which continues to prevail so long as products are divided "according to the amount of labor performed". Continuing, Marx says:

"But these defects are inevitable in the first phase of communist society as it is when it has just emerged, after prolonged birth pangs, from capitalist society. Law can never be higher than the economic structure of society and its cultural development conditioned thereby."

And so, in the first phase of communist society (usually called socialism) "bourgeois law" is not abolished in its entirety, but only in part, only in proportion to the economic revolution so far attained, i.e., only in respect of the means of production. "Bourgeois law" recognizes them as the private property of individuals. Socialism converts them into common property. To that extent--and to that extent alone--"bourgeois law" disappears.

However, it persists as far as its other part is concerned; it persists in the capacity of regulator (determining factor) in the distribution of products and the allotment of labor among the members of society. The socialist principle, "He who does not work shall not eat", is already realized; the other socialist principle, "An equal amount of products for an equal amount of labor", is also already realized. But this is not yet communism, and it does not yet abolish "bourgeois law", which gives unequal individuals, in return for unequal (really unequal) amounts of labor, equal amounts of products.

This is a “defect”, says Marx, but it is unavoidable in the first phase of communism; for if we are not to indulge in utopianism, we must not think that having overthrown capitalism people will at once learn to work for society without any rules of law. Besides, the abolition of capitalism does not immediately create the economic prerequisites for such a change.

Now, there are no other rules than those of "bourgeois law". To this extent, therefore, there still remains the need for a state, which, while safeguarding the common ownership of the means of production, would safeguard equality in labor and in the distribution of products.

The state withers away insofar as there are no longer any capitalists, any classes, and, consequently, no class can be suppressed.

But the state has not yet completely withered away, since the still remains the safeguarding of "bourgeois law", which sanctifies actual inequality. For the state to wither away completely, complete communism is necessary. “
And by being very GENERAL in the definition of what is “the” State and “the” capitalist State, every discussion is avoided about what is to be conceived CONCRETELY as the ACTUAL CAPITALIST STATE-MACHINERY and what could be the CENTRALISED PROLETARIAN STATE. Which again has consequences for how the working class has to organise herself and what will be the organisation of the vanguard of that working class.
The most concrete definitions about “the state” of Marx are based on what was happening in the world in which he (Marx) was living:
“2. What is to Replace the Smashed State Machine?
In 1847, in the
Communist Manifesto, Marx's answer to this question was as yet a purely abstract one; to be exact, it was an answer that indicated he tasks, but not the ways of accomplishing them. The answer given in the Communist Manifesto was that this machine was to be replaced by "the proletariat organized as the ruling class", by the "winning of the battle of democracy".

Marx did not indulge in utopias; he expected the
experience of the mass movement to provide the reply to the question as to the specific forms this organisation of the proletariat as the ruling class would assume and as to the exact manner in which this organisation would be combined with the most complete, most consistent "winning of the battle of democracy."

Marx subjected the experience of the Commune, meagre as it was, to the most careful analysis in
The Civil War in France. Let us quote the most important passages of this work. [All the following quotes in this Chapter, with one exception, are so citied - Ed.]

Originating from the Middle Ages, there developed in the 19th century "the centralized state power, with its ubiquitous organs of standing army, police, bureaucracy, clergy, and judicature." With the development of class antagonisms between capital and labor, "state power assumed more and more the character of a public force organized for the suppression of the working class, of a machine of class rule. After every revolution, which marks an advance in the class struggle, the purely coercive character of the state power stands out in bolder and bolder relief." After the revolution of 1848-49, state power became "the national war instruments of capital against labor". The Second Empire consolidated this.

"The direct antithesis to the empire was the Commune." It was the "specific form" of "a republic that was not only to remove the monarchical form of class rule, but class rule itself."

What was this “specific” form of the proletarian, socialist republic? What was the state it began to create?

"The first decree of the Commune, therefore, was the suppression of the standing army, and the substitution for it of the armed people."

This demand now figures in the programme of every party calling itself socialist. The real worth of their programme, however, is best shown by the behavior of our Social-Revolutionists and mensheviks, who, right after the revolution of February 27, refused to carry out this demand!

"The Commune was formed of the municipal councillors, chosen by universal suffrage in the various wards of the town, responsible and revocable at any time. The majority of its members were naturally working men, or acknowledged representatives of the working class.... The police, which until then had been the instrument of the Government, was at once stripped of its political attributes, and turned into the responsible, and at all times revocable, agent of the Commune. So were the officials of all other branches of the administration. From the members of the Commune downwards, the public service had to be done at
workmen's wages. The privileges and the representation allowances of the high dignitaries of state disappeared along with the high dignitaries themselves.... Having once got rid of the standing army and the police, the instruments of physical force of the old government, the Commune proceeded at once to break the instrument of spiritual suppression, the power of the priests.... The judicial functionaries lost that sham independence... they were thenceforward to be elective, responsible, and revocable."[3]

The Commune, therefore, appears to have replaced the smashed state machine “only” by fuller democracy: abolition of the standing army; all officials to be elected and subject to recall. But as a matter of fact this “only” signifies a gigantic replacement of certain institutions by other institutions of a fundamentally different type. This is exactly a case of "quantity being transformed into quality": democracy, introduced as fully and consistently as is at all conceivable, is transformed from bourgeois into proletarian democracy; from the state (= a special force for the suppression of a particular class) into something which is no longer the state proper.

It is still necessary to suppress the bourgeoisie and crush their resistance. This was particularly necessary for the Commune; and one of the reasons for its defeat was that it did not do this with sufficient determination. The organ of suppression, however, is here the majority of the population, and not a minority, as was always the case under slavery, serfdom, and wage slavery. And since the majority of people itself suppresses its oppressors, a 'special force" for suppression is no longer necessary! In this sense, the state begins to wither away. Instead of the special institutions of a privileged minority (privileged officialdom, the chiefs of the standing army), the majority itself can directly fulfil all these functions, and the more the functions of state power are performed by the people as a whole, the less need there is for the existence of this power.

In this connection, the following measures of the Commune, emphasized by Marx, are particularly noteworthy: the abolition of all representation allowances, and of all monetary privileges to officials, the reduction of the remuneration of all servants of the state to the level of "workmen's wages". This shows more clearly than anything else the turn from bourgeois to proletarian democracy, from the democracy of the oppressors to that of the oppressed classes, from the state as a "special force" for the suppression of a particular class to the suppression of the oppressors by the general force of the majority of the people--the workers and the peasants. And it is on this particularly striking point, perhaps the most important as far as the problem of the state is concerned, that the ideas of Marx have been most completely ignored! In popular commentaries, the number of which is legion, this is not mentioned. The thing done is to keep silent about it as if it were a piece of old-fashioned “naivete”, just as Christians, after their religion had been given the status of state religion, “forgot” the “naivete” of primitive Christianity with its democratic revolutionary spirit.

The reduction of the remuneration of high state officials seem “simply” a demand of naive, primitive democracy. One of the “founders” of modern opportunism, the ex-Social-Democrat Eduard Bernstein, has more than once repeated the vulgar bourgeois jeers at “primitive” democracy. Like all opportunists, and like the present Kautskyites, he did not understand at all that, first of all, the transition from capitalism to socialism is impossible without a certain “reversion” to “primitive” democracy (for how else can the majority, and then the whole population without exception, proceed to discharge state functions?); and that, secondly, "primitive democracy" based on capitalism and capitalist culture is not the same as primitive democracy in prehistoric or precapitalist times. Capitalist culture has created large-scale production, factories, railways, the postal service, telephones, etc., and on this basis the great majority of the functions of the old "state power" have become so simplified and can be reduced to such exceedingly simple operations of registration, filing, and checking that they can be easily performed by every literate person, can quite easily be performed for ordinary "workmen's wages", and that these functions can (and must) be stripped of every shadow of privilege, of every semblance of "official grandeur".

All officials, without exception, elected and subject to recall at any time, their salaries reduced to the level of ordinary "workmen's wages" — these simple and "self-evident" democratic measures, while completely uniting the interests of the workers and the majority of the peasants, at the same time serve as a bridge leading from capitalism to socialism. These measures concern the reorganization of the state, the purely political reorganization of society; but, of course, they acquire their full meaning and significance only in connection with the "expropriation of the expropriators" either bring accomplished or in preparation, i.e., with the transformation of capitalist private ownership of the means of production into social ownership.

"The Commune," Marx wrote, "made the catchword of all bourgeois revolutions, cheap government, a reality, by abolishing the two greatest sources of expenditure--the army and the officialdom."

From the peasants, as from other sections of the petty bourgeoisie, only an insignificant few "rise to the top", "get on in the world" in the bourgeois sense, i.e., become either well-to-do, bourgeois, or officials in secure and privileged positions. In every capitalist country where there are peasants (as there are in most capitalist countries), the vast majority of them are oppressed by the government and long for its overthrow, long for “cheap” government. This can be achieved only by the proletariat; and by achieving it, the proletariat at the same time takes a step towards the socialist reorganization of the state. “
And Lenin is confirming this correct way of analysing:
“3. Abolition of Parliamentarism
(...)There is no trace of utopianism in Marx, in the sense that he made up or invented a “new” society. No, he studied the birth of the new society out of the old, and the forms of transition from the latter to the former, as a mass proletarian movement and tried to draw practical lessons from it. He “Learned” from the Commune, just as all the great revolutionary thinkers learned unhesitatingly from the experience of great movements of the oppressed classes, and never addressed them with pedantic “homilies” (such as Plekhanov's: "They should not have taken up arms" or Tsereteli's: "A class must limit itself").
A (temporary) conclusion
So I think that in the definition of what is CONTEMPORARY “the capitalist state”, the communists and so also the working class have not to limit themselves by what the international bourgeois institutions recognised to be “a sovereign state”. I think that the actual capitalist state-apparatus – which is still in development – is build out of the institutions of the EU, INCLUDING the national member-state-institutions.( as an illustrating example: the “communal” institutions were becoming a part of the national state France, which was still in development on the moment of the Parisian Commune, the French state was becoming the capitalist state of French developing capitalism) And so the working class AND its vanguard-organisation (which is at the same time a part of that working class has to be organised in order to expropriate the capitalists on European level (in Greece, but also in Spain, France, Belgium Germany, Luxembourg, Italy, Hungary....
Of course this European revolution can perhaps START in Greece. But then it has to be considered (by the “Greek” working class and its “Greek” vanguard organisation) as the first step of the EUROPEAN revolution. At the same time and by the Belgian, Luxembourgian, Dutch,French, Spanish, .... working class AND its respective “vanguard-organisation, whenever the revolution should START in Greece, it should be considered as the start of THEIR revolution, and they should take the responsibility for it, by supporting it by all means, struggle against intervention by (as a start) waging general strikes everywhere to divide the repression forces, and going further in expropriating the monopoly-capitalists and so extending the started revolution to a European level And so in fact, there has to be built a real European vanguard-organisation, because only the vanguard of the European working class can mobilise the whole European working class to organise the necessary struggle-organisation.
....In a next article I will go further in my analyse, of the “
General Conclusions of the 22nd ICS meeting”, of how revisionists are proceeding by using already existing opportunist (dogmatic) views on applying Marxism by CHOOSING adapted QUOTES (out of their context – certainly when this “context” is just FIGHTING that opportunism and revisionism) in order to prove with Marxist-sounding phrases their bourgeois REFORMISM.
1In     fact her NEW website, because the old icsbrussels.org is closed     whereby reports older than those of 2008 no longer are attainable.
2 22nd International Communist Seminar , Brussels, May 31 – June 2, 2013 - www.icseminar.org – info@icseminar.org -,“The attacks on the democratic rights and freedoms in the world capitalist crisis. Strategies and actions in response.”,  “General conclusions “,http://www.icseminar.org/ICS/2013/resolutions_ao/ICS2013-General%20Conclusions-EN.pdf
3Lenin, Thesis and Report on Bourgeois Democracy and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, First Congress of
    the Communist International (1919) http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1919/mar/comintern.htm
422nd International Communist Seminar , Brussels, May 31 – June 2, 2013 - www.icseminar.org – info@icseminar.org -,“The attacks on the democratic rights and freedoms in the world capitalist crisis. Strategies and actions in response.”,  “General conclusions “,http://www.icseminar.org/ICS/2013/resolutions_ao/ICS2013-General%20Conclusions-EN.pdf
5“Thesis     and Report on Bourgeois Democracy and the Dictatorship of the     Proletariat - March 4”.First     published in 1920, in German, in the book “Der I. Kongress der     Kommunistischen Internationale. Protokoll” in Petrograd. First     published in Russian in 1921 in the book “First Congress of the     Communist International. Minutes” in Petrograd.
6“Thesis     and Report on Bourgeois Democracy and the Dictatorship of the     Proletariat - March 4”.First     published in 1920, in German, in the book “Der I. Kongress der     Kommunistischen Internationale. Protokoll” in Petrograd. First     published in Russian in 1921 in the book “First Congress of the     Communist International. Minutes” in Petrograd.
7Die     Neue Zeit (New Times)--theoretical journal of the German     Social-Democratic Party, published in Stuttgart from 1883 to 1923.     It was edited by Karl Kautsky till October 1917 and by Heinrich     Cunow in the subsequent period. It published some of Marx's and     Engels's writings for the first time. Engels offered advice to its     editors and often criticised them for departures from Marxism. In     the second half of the nineties, upon Engels's death, the journal     began systematically to publish revisionist articles, including a     serial by Bernstein entitled "Problems of Socialism".     which initiated a revisionist campaign against Marxism. During the     First World War the journal adhered to a Centrist position, and     virtually hacked the social-chauvinists.    
8See     Karl Marx and I rederick Engels, Selected Correspondence, Moscow,     1965, p. tb').
9https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/staterev/ch02.htm#s3     , In “3. The Presentation of the Question by Marx in 1852 “
10Lenin, State and Revolution (1917), chapter 1
11https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/staterev/index.htm,     "The State and Revolution - the Marxist Theory of the State and     The Tasks of the Proletariat in the Revolution ". Written:     August - September, 1917, by Lenin, Source: Collected Works, Volume     25, p. 381-492. First Published: 1918.Transcription\Markup: Zodiac     and Brian Baggins.Online Version: Lenin Internet Archive     (marxists.org) 1993, 1999, "Chapter I: Class Society and the     State: 1. The State: A Product of the Irreconcilability of Class     Antagonisms "
12https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/staterev/index.htm,     "The State and Revolution - the Marxist Theory of the State and     The Tasks of the Proletariat in the Revolution ". Written:     August - September, 1917, by Lenin, Source: Collected Works, Volume     25, p. 381-492. First Published: 1918.Transcription\Markup: Zodiac     and Brian Baggins.Online Version: Lenin Internet Archive     (marxists.org) 1993, 1999, "Chapter V: The Economic Basis of     the Withering Away of the State: 2. The Transition from Capitalism     to Communism ".
13https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/staterev/index.htm,     "The State and Revolution - the Marxist Theory of the State and     The Tasks of the Proletariat in the Revolution ". Written:     August - September, 1917, by Lenin, Source: Collected Works, Volume     25, p. 381-492. First Published: 1918.Transcription\Markup: Zodiac     and Brian Baggins.Online Version: Lenin Internet Archive     (marxists.org) 1993, 1999, "Chapter V: The Economic Basis of     the Withering Away of the State: 3. The First Phase of Communist     Society "
14https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/staterev/index.htm,     "The State and Revolution - the Marxist Theory of the State and     The Tasks of the Proletariat in the Revolution ". Written:     August - September, 1917, by Lenin, Source: Collected Works, Volume     25, p. 381-492. First Published: 1918.Transcription\Markup: Zodiac     and Brian Baggins.Online Version: Lenin Internet Archive     (marxists.org) 1993, 1999, "Chapter III: Experience of the     Paris Commune of 1871. Marx's Analysis : 2. What is to Replace the     Smashed State Machine?"
   15https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/staterev/index.htm,     "The State and Revolution - the Marxist Theory of the State and     The Tasks of the Proletariat in the Revolution ". Written:     August - September, 1917, by Lenin, Source: Collected Works, Volume     25, p. 381-492. First Published: 1918.Transcription\Markup: Zodiac     and Brian Baggins.Online Version: Lenin Internet Archive     (marxists.org) 1993, 1999, "Chapter III: Experience of the     Paris Commune of 1871. Marx's Analysis : 2. What is to Replace the     Smashed State Machine?"

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