The revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat (alternative: revolutionary dictatorship; or, dictatorship of the proletariat; or, workers' state; or, Republic of Labour; or, workers' republic; or, workers' government) is a transient state constructed in the transition period of social reconstruction coinciding with the social revolution.

Etymology Edit

Understanding the etymology of 'dictatorship' is crucial to disallow misinterpretations. When Marx used the term dictatorship it corresponded to the meaning of 'dictator' in Roman Law. In the Roman Republic, the dictator (“one who dictates”), was an extraordinary magistrate (magistratus extraordinarius) with the absolute authority to perform tasks beyond the authority of the ordinary magistrate (magistratus ordinarius). The office of dictator was a legal innovation originally named Magister Populi (Master of the People), i.e., Master of the Citizen Army. The dictatorial powers of the dictator were possessed temporarily only for the durability of the civil insurrection that he was meant to crush. The word 'dictatorship' in the sense that Marx used it in inherently conveyed the meaning of temporary powers. Hence, Marx speaks of a "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie" only by specifically referencing Cavaignac: "he was the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie". Gavaignac crushed a workers' uprising and relinquished power after he had done so, consistent with the use of dictatorship in that time.

The term 'dictatorship' does not convey oppression or subjugation as is sometimes argued. The dictatorship of the proletariat (a sort of temporary emergency measure) cannot be equated with general bourgeois class rule (indefinite). Later followers of Marx, including Lenin, used it generally, referring to all bourgeois class rule as a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.

Paris Commune Edit

The Paris Commune is regarded