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Hal Draper : Marx and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat (1962)
Source: Marxist’s Internet Archive ""
Article published on 21 October 2012
last modification on 21 November 2013

by Eric Vilain

The reader might be surprised to find on an anarchist website a study on the « dictatorship of the proletariat » written from a Marxist point of view.
Hal Draper’s text is a good text, in that it develops an argument and shows a scholarship that could be convincing if it did not forget to say that Marx uses the expression only a few times, in his early writings (around 1850) and 25 years later in a text that was not destined to be published (Critique of the Gotha Programme — 1875).

Hal Draper’s study must be put into perspective with another text, which unfortunately has not yet been translated into English, Pouvoir, classe ouvrière et “dictature du prolétariat" (« Power, Working Class and “dictatorship of the proletariat” »). (

We hope to provide a translation as soon as possible, since it not only develops on this question an anarchist point of view, but contributes to a large relativization of the importance of the concept in Marx’s thought..

Eric Vilain.