“The great question that must now be asked of Marx is: when did he think the revolution would break out, that is, at what stage and under what conditions of capitalism? There is one main theory in Marx on this point, with traces of a second which has been further developed by later communists. First, let us take the main theory. Here the answer is beyond dispute: the revolution will come only when the ‘objective possibilities’ are present, when capitalism is ripe, when the productive forces have outgrown the existing property relations. The dialectical processes of history can never be telescoped or by-passed. Marx was quite definite: “No social order can ever disappear before all the productive forces for which there is room in it have been developed; and new higher relations of production never appear before the material conditions of their existence have matured in the womb of the old society itself”. “[Society] can neither overleap the natural phases of evolution, nor shuffle them out of the world by decrees. But this much at least it can do; it can shorten and lessen the birth-pangs…. A country in which industrial development is more advanced than in others, simply presents those others with a picture of their own future”. And Engels: “Revolutions are not made intentionally and arbitrarily, but everywhere and always they have been the necessary consequences of conditions which were wholly independent of the will and direction of individual parties and entire classes” (8). All this, and much more in the same vein, is quite clear in Marx and Engels: the economic revolution must precede the political; one system must play out its historic role before another can succeed it: Revolutions of this kind cannot be made to order, but when the conditions are fulfilled, the revolution is inevitable; when the egg is ready to hatch the shell will be broken: ‘the economic revolution  must be followed by a political one, for the latter is only the expression of the former’. The ‘coup de grâce’  would be given, Marx thought, during a trade crisis or perhaps during a war” [Henry B. Mayo, ‘Introduction to Marxist Theory’, New York, 1960] [(8) Marx, Selected Works, 1948, I, p. 357; ‘Capital, I, pp. 863, 864; Engels, ‘Principles of Communism’, p. 13]