Marx on Democratic Forms of Government

Hal Draper


This is one chapter in a work on Karl Marx's Theory of Revolution which will be published in the near future. Many questions connected with the subject of this chapter and which are only briefly mentioned here are of course discussed in detail in other parts of the work. In a general way, Marx's socialism (communism) as a political programme may be most quickly defined, from the Marxist standpoint, as the complete democratization of society, not merely of political forms." But the democratic movement of the 19th century began by putting the struggle for advanced political forms in the forefront; and so did Marx, in a different programmatic context. For Marx, the fight for democratic forms of government-democratization in the state-was a leading edge of the socialist effort; not its be-all and end-all but an integral part of it all.

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