: : Of course in the beginning, this cannot be affected except by means of despotic inroads..." (Marx & Engels, The Communist Manifesto, at 104 [International 1948, p. 30]).
: Now, now, Piper, let's have the probity to allow Marx and Engels the REST of their sentence.
: 'Of course, in the beginning, [the proletarian revolution] cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures, therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old order, and are unavoidable as a means of revolutionizing the mode of production.'
: Now, it specifically states in the Communist Manifesto that the revolution will require force (because no ruling class surrenders property without a fight) and that dictatorship of the proletariat will use the state to oppress the bourgeoisie (i.e., to make EVERYONE a worker).
: But the way you were chopping that sentence above put too much of an emphasis on oppressing people when the whole idea is to oppress---and end---social relations.
Piper: But in 'oppressing social relations' you are in effect oppressing people. Let's not use colourful concepts to escape the facts of the matter.
: And that is a qualitative difference.
Piper: You'll have to demonstrate that one to me.
: Using force on people is only an unfortunate by-product of the revolution; the point is NOT to oppress people. The point is to oppress property relations. If that could be effected peacefully, Marx and Engels would have been all for it.
Piper: I didn't say is was the object of the revolution to oppress, i said it was a necessary concomitant of the revolution.
: So! Let's make that 'little' distinction when we counter-agitate, shall we?
Piper: Sorry Barry, I'm not convinced that you can draw a distinction between 'the oppression of social relations' and the 'oppression of people'. They both amount to the same thing in my book.
I will agree though that the dictatorship under a marxist revolution would be a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. However this does not change the essential character of the dictatorship. It is still oppressive.