Daniel De Leon editorial : "State Socialism"


'State Socialism'
Daniel De Leon
from the Daily People, February 17, 1911

Web site editor's comment: OCR from a reprinting in The Weekly People. I did not note the date of the clipping from the Weekly People. The ellipsis in the fourth paragraph is presented here as given as in that reprint. -- M.L.

A De Leon editorial

Marx and the State


(Daily People, February 17, 1911)

A California correspondent is intensely anxious to know whether Marx and Engels were "State Socialists," also whether the Editor of the Daily People is a "State Socialist."

No Socialist is a "State Socialist."

"State Socialism" is a concept that flows from pure and simple political Socialism. It is a concept that ignores the necessity of the union in the achievement and perpetuation of the revolutionary act. In short, or to compress a good deal in a few words, "State Socialism" ignores the origin of the State; hence, the inevitableness of the State's downfall; hence, and finally, the inevitableness of governmental structure that breaks loose from the structure of State rule to make room for the structure of industrial administration. The Socialist Republic, labored for by the Socialist and pointed to by Marx and Engels, is, accordingly, something wholly different from State Socialism.

.... The Socialist Commonwealth, whose existence, according to the words of Marx, requires the classconscious union as a condition precedent, marks an era that harkens back to that of primitive communism, an era when the State was not known, and was unknowable -- as unknown as slavery.

Indeed, "State Socialism" is a contradiction in terms. We shall either have Socialism -- and that means that the State shall have vanished; or we shalT preserve the State, and then we shall have no Socialism.