The Vanguard Party and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat
Lenin argued that only a well-organized political vanguard party can persuade and mobilize the proletariat and other oppressed classes to bring down the state and lead them toward socialism. He defined the bourgeois state as an instrument of suppression of the proletariat, the primary target of the proletarian revolution. On the verge of the Russian Revolution, Lenin conceptualized the dictatorship of the proletariat to explain the transitory nature of the revolutionary state replacing the bourgeois state. Luxemburg’s response to Lenin’s theory and practice of the dictatorship of the proletariat was that a genuine dictatorship of the proletariat distinguishes the hard kernel of the bourgeois democracy, that is, social inequality, from its sweet shell of formal equality and freedom. Thus, while keeping formal democracy, the dictatorship of the proletariat goes beyond the shell and practices unlimited democracy.