Critique of the Gotha Programme

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Critique of the Gotha Programme
by Karl Marx
Critique of the Gotha Programme is a critique of the draft programme of the United Workers' Party of Germany. In this document Marx address the dictatorship of the proletariat, the period of transition from capitalism to communism, the two phases of communist society, the production and distribution of the social goods, proletarian internationalism, and the party of the working class.

Lenin later wrote:

The great significance of Marx's explanation is, that here too, he consistently applies materialist dialectics, the theory of development, and regards communism as something which develops out of capitalism. Instead of scholastically invented, 'concocted' definitions and fruitless disputes over words (What is socialism? What is communism?), Marx gives analysis of what might be called the stages of the economic maturity of communism.

(Lenin Collected Works, Volume 25, p. 471)

Engels wrote a foreword when the document was first published in 1891. Together with the Critique of the Gotha Programme Engels published Marx's letter to Bracke, directly bound up with the work.


Foreword[edit]

Letter to Bracke[edit]

Part I[edit]

  • Labor is the source of wealth and all culture, and since useful labor is possible only in society and through society, the proceeds of labor belong undiminished with equal right to all members of society.
  • In present-day society, the instruments of labor are the monopoly of the capitalist class; the resulting dependence of the working class is the cause of misery and servitude in all forms.
  • The emancipation of labor demands the promotion of the instruments of labor to the common property of society and the co-operative regulation of the total labor, with a fair distribution of the proceeds of labor.
  • The emancipation of labor must be the work of the working class, relative to which all other classes are only one reactionary mass.
  • The working class strives for its emancipation first of all within the framework of the present-day national states, conscious that the necessary result of its efforts, which are common to the workers of all civilized countries, will be the international brotherhood of peoples.

Part II[edit]

  • Starting from these basic principles, the German workers' party strives by all legal means for the free state—and—socialist society: that abolition of the wage system together with the iron law of wages -- and—exploitation in every form; the elimination of all social and political inequality.

Part III[edit]

  • The German Workers' party, in order to pave the way to the solution of the social question, demands the establishment of producers' co-operative societies with state aid under the democratic control of the toiling people. The producers' co-operative societies are to be called into being for industry and agriculture on such a scale that the socialist organization of the total labor will arise from them.

Part IV[edit]

  • The free basis of the state.
  • The German Workers' party demands as the intellectual and ethical basis of the state

Appendix[edit]

  • Normal working day.
  • Restriction of female labor and prohibition of child labor.
  • State supervision of factory, workshop, and domestic industry.
  • Regulation of prison labor.
  • An effective liability law.