BOOK RE VIEWS
On the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
ETIENNE BALIBAR, ON THE DICTATORSHIP OF THE PROLETARIAT, New Left Books, London, 1977, pp 237.
IT is good news when in the midst of the stupefying fumes of Eurocomrnunism, we hear someone defending the Marxist-Leninist concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat,the target of attack of all reformists, revisionists and opportunists. Balibar is a member of the Communist Party of France which has a glorious tradition of revolutionary courage, devotion to Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism, and which drew the admiration of the world for its heroic role in the struggle of the French people against Hitler. When the French imperialists tried to reconquer Vietnam and Algeria, the Party relentlessly exposed their designs among the French working class and people, rendered valuable help to the fighting people of Vietnam and Algeria and added lustre to its revolutionary traditions. In recent years, however, the Party is known to be moving away from its previous convictions and embracing what is vaguely known as Eurocommunist ideology.
For instance, the twenty—second Congress of the Party, rejected the basic Marxist-Leninist concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Balibar quotes the following from the report which George Marchais, General Secretary of the Communist Party of France (CPF) presented at the Congress: "The reason that the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' does not appsar in the draft document in order to designate political power in the socialist France for which we are fighting is that it does not characterize the reality of our policy, the reality of what we are proposing for the country ... In contrast to all this, the term 'dictatorship' automatically evokes the fascist regimes of Hitler , Mussolini, Salazar and Franco. i.e. the very negation of democracy. That is not what we want"