C. E. Ruthenberg

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C. E. Ruthenberg in 1922

Charles Emil Ruthenberg (July 9, 1882 – March 1, 1927), known to his friends as C.E., was an American Marxist politician and a founder and head of the American Communist Party


  • Bolshevism — what fear and anger the word arouses in the minds of the rulers of society!
    • "The Bolshevists: Grave-Diggers of Capitalism" (1919)
  • Bolshevism is not something strange and new. It is not a blind, raging force of destruction. If at present its triumph is accompanied by bloodshed and destruction it is because the bankruptcy of capitalism precipitated a cataclysm and the workers are obliged to build the new order amidst the wreckage of the old and with those who profited from their former oppression and exploitation placing every obstacle possible in their path. Bolshevism is Marxian Socialism in action. It is the social revolution underway. It is the workers on the road to victory and a better world.
    • "The Bolshevists: Grave-Diggers of Capitalism" (1919)
  • The goal of the Socialist Party is Socialism, not a reformed capitalism. Its tactics must be those that will bring about Socialism. If those who are advocating reversion can show that these proposals will help to establish Socialism, and are not merely personal views and predilections in regard to the war, which have no relation to a Socialist policy, then the party should be ready to listen to them. If they can not show that then their advice deserves no consideration. To prove that Socialism will be attained, not by a working class movement fighting a class struggle for the reorganization of our industrial system, but through an alliance with the enemy we are fighting, that is the impossible task before those who are urging the party to change its position.
    • "Where do We Stand?" (1918)

Quotes about[edit]

  • The work that Ruthenberg performed with such fidelity in his lifetime remains behind him. His example of courage, devotion, and self-sacrifice remains as an asset of the movement as a whole. His tradition as a revolutionary fighter will be treasured by every section of the militant labor movement. The new generation of militants will be influenced by that tradition and will carefully safeguard it.
    • James P. Cannon, "Ruthenberg, the Fighter:The Passing of an American Pioneer"
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