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New Left Review I/55, May-June 1969

Mikhail Tukhachevsky

Revolution from Without

The struggle of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie must eventually result in the seizure of State power by the proletariat. One would naturally expect this to take place independently in each individual State, and Marx has pointed out that ‘in form, if not in essence, the struggle of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie is primarily a national struggle. The proletariat of every country will abolish its own bourgeoisie.’ However, the matter cannot always be resolved so favourably. The immense strength contained in the State power of the bourgeoisie, the scant probability of a simultaneous revolutionary socialist outburst in several countries at once, and finally the experience the bourgeoisie has gained in its struggle with the working class, force one to acknowlege that a country where the proletariat has taken power into its own hands may for some time remain an isolated socialist island amidst a surrounding sea of bourgeois states.

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Mikhail Tukhachevsky, ‘Revolution from Without’, NLR I/55: £3

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