True Democracy in Dictatorship of Proletariat as opposed to Capitalist Democracies

  True Democracy in Dictatorship of Proletariat as opposed to Capitalist Democracies

According to Lenin, capitalist democracies are not actually democratic. In his argument, he thinks society will be truly democratic under dictatorship of the proletariat. He gives his reasons. He argues that if the proletariat were to be raised to the position of the ruling class, then only then would the transition from capitalism to communism be possible. In a capitalist society, a democracy for the minority exists and such is based on the narrow limits dictated by capitalistic exploitation. The prevailing conditions leave the poor, who are the majority, so concerned with the resulting problems of want and poverty that they see no need of participating in public and political life.

A capitalist democracy is for an insignificant minority; it is for the rich. They cannot let the poor live just anywhere or hold any position in society, even in representative institutions where all are expected to be represented. The poor’s right of assembly is violated since they are denied access to public buildings. Existing in such a democracy are restrictions, exclusions, exceptions, and obstacles for the poor, though one needs to have close contact with the oppressed masses to notice them. The poor are squeezed, excluded and pushed out of politics and subsequent active participation in democracy. On the other hand, the dictatorship of the proletariat suppresses by force the oppressors and capitalist exploiters by imposing restrictions on their freedom. It excludes them from democracy and thus provides it (democracy) to the vast majority: the poor. Democracy here is for the people, the poor, not the money-bags.

Once democracy has undergone such a change, then transition from capitalism to communism is possible. Under such, there are no classes of people or distinctions since the capitalists have been crushed. Only then “the state….ceases to exist” and “it becomes possible to speak of freedom.” That is when a democracy without exceptions exists, a truly complete democracy.  (Lenin,1927).


Lenin, V. I. (1927). Collected works of V.I. Lenin. New York: International publishers.