The fruit of a longstanding interest in the relationship between the ideas of Marx and Engels and those of Gracchus Babeuf - the "first revolutionary communist".
Abstract: Marx’s and Engels’ commitment to democracy is often doubted. I argue that support for democratic political processes was integral to the political tradition with which they identified themselves: broadly speaking, that of support for the French Revolution, and more specifically, for the kind of democratic communism advocated during the Revolution by Gracchus Babeuf and his followers. The Babeuvistes aimed primarily at the reinstitution of the democratic Constitution of 1793, and expected any future communist society to be run on fully democratic lines; Marx and Engels held similar beliefs.
A later version of the paper is available on SSRN.