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On White and Red Terror - Marx, Engels, Lenin

Draft Cover page

The Purpose is not only to debunk the distorted -bourgeois- meaning of the concept, but to clarify the historical meaning, ideological use of term and explain the difference between the "individual terror" and "mass terror", between the "white" and "red" terror.

Red terror - the forcible suppression of oppressors and exploiters, use of force against Fascist dictatorships, imperialist invasion and annexation - either direct or through their proxies and mercenaries; Revolutionary Terror as an integral part of revolution.

White Terror - the torture and execution of  revolutionaries,  workers and peasants through fascist dictatorships, imperialist wars- either direct invasion and annexations or through their proxies and mercenaries- and forced migration; counter-revolutionary terror as an integral part of Counter Revolution.

Few Extracts;

""The purposeless massacres perpetrated since the June and October events, the tedious offering of sacrifices since February and March, the very cannibalism of the counterrevolution will convince the nations that there is only one way in which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated, and that way is revolutionary terror."

We have no compassion and we ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror." Marx-Engels, Suppression of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung,  May 1849

"We must not combat fascism in the way of the reformists in Italy, who beseeched them to “leave me alone, and then I’ll leave you alone.” On the contrary! Meet violence with violence. But not violence in the form of individual terror—that will surely fail. But rather violence as the power of the revolutionary organized proletarian class struggle."  Clara Zetkin, The Struggle Against Fascism

"Social-Democracy knows of no universal methods of struggle, such as would shut off the proletariat by a Chinese wall from the strata standing slightly above or slightly below it. At different   periods Social-Democracy applies different methods, always qualifying the choice of them by strictly defined ideological and organisational conditions." Lenin, Guerrilla Warfare

"In principle we have never rejected, and cannot reject, terror. Terror is one of the forms of military action that may be perfectly suitable and even essential at a definite juncture in the battle, given a definite state of the troops and the existence of definite conditions. But the important point is that terror, at the present time, is by no means suggested as an operation for the army in the field, an operation closely connected with and integrated into the entire system of struggle, but as an independent form of occasional attack unrelated to any army. " Lenin, Where to Begin?

Contents (DRAFT - related leaflets, resolutions, instructions, calls, correspondence will be added)


Engels, Insurrection, September 18, 1852.

Marx,  Revolutionary Spain, 1854

Engels, The Fighting in France, 1870-71.

Engels, Anti-Dühring, 1877

Engels, Introduction to Marx’s Class Struggles in France, 1895

Lenin, A Draft of Our Party Program, 1899

Lenin, Where to Begin? ,  May 1901

Lenin, What Is To Be Done?, 1901 and February 1902

Lenin, TO G. V. PLEKHANOV, July 2, 1902

Lenin, Revolutionary Adventurism, September 1, 1902

Lenin, A Militant Agreement for the Uprising, February 21, 1905

Lenin, The Third Congress of the R.S.D.L.P., April 12 -April 27, 1905

Lenin, Some Features of the Present Collapse, July 2 , 1905

Lenin, The Revolutionary Army, and the Revolutionary Government

Lenin, Lessons of the Moscow Uprising, August 29, 1906

Lenin, Guerrilla Warfare, September 30, 1906, 

Lenin, The Political Situation, and the Tasks of the Working Class, December 24, 1906

Lenin, The Menshevik Tactical Platform, March 1907

Lenin, The Assessment of the Russian Revolution, April 1908

Lenin, On the İrish Rebellion,  July 1916

Lenin, The Impending Catastrophe and How to Combat It, October 1917

Lenin, Plekhanov on Terror, January 4, 1918

Lenin, To:   G. Y. ZINOVIEV, June 26, 1918

Lenin, To:   G. F. FYODOROV, August 9, 1918


Lenin, Letter To American Workers, 20 August 1918

Lenin, on The Valuable Admissions Of Pitirim Sorokin, 21 November 1918, 

Lenin, Moscow Party Workers’ Meeting, November 27, 1918

Lenin,  Answers  To An American Journalist’s Questions, 20 July,1919

Lenin, Speech At The First All-Russia Congress Of Workers In Education and Socialist Culture, July 30, 1919

Lenin, Speech At A Non-Party Conference Of Workers And Men Of The Red Army, August 6, 1919

Lenin, Letter To The Workers And Peasants, Apropos Of The Victory Over Kolchak, 24 August 1919

Lenin, Seventh All-Russia Congress Of Soviets, December 5-9, 1919

Lenin, Eighth All-Russia Conference Of The R.C.P(B.), December 2-4, 1919

Lenin, Report On The Work Of The All-Russia Central Executive Committee , February 2, 1920

Lenin, Reply to the Letter of the Independent Social-Democratic Party of Germany, March 1920

Lenin, Letter to the British Workers, 30 May 1920

Lenin, Speech At A Workers’ Meeting At The Elektrosila Plant No. 3, 6 November 1921

Lenin, Speech Delivered To A Meeting Of The Communist Group At The All-Russia Congress Of Metalworkers, March 6, 1922

Lenin, Letter To D. I. Kursky, 17 May 1922

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