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The marxist concept of the party in Marx and Engels

17 January 2017

Bensaïd begins his lecture with a survey of the general conditions of building a revolutionary proletarian party. Under this heading, he sets out the differences between the proletarian revolution and the bourgeois revolution. The conditions of the exploitation of the proletariat reproduce the conditions of class and an alienated relation with the goals of production. Bensaïd relates these points to the party question, where workers need to organise themselves to take power. Bensaïd then discusses several points from Marx, Engels and the party question regarding building a proletarian conscious party. He underlines that the concept of the party in Marx and Engels was different from the concept of party in Lenin. The two meanings of party: historical party, and the conjunctural party. In Engels, revolution was a natural process and the party is not an active agent of the revolution. Bensaïd then moves onto the Leninist theory of the party, which is mainly taken as a technical process of organisation. The concept of "class party". However the key point is not the technical aspect, it's not the degree of centralisation or discipline; it is the delimitation of the party from the class.

Duration: 45:58
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