Permanent revolution

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Permanent revolution is a term within Marxist theory coined by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels by at least 1850, but which has since become most closely associated with Leon Trotsky. Furthermore, the uses of the term by different theorists are not identical. For instance, Marx used it to describe the strategy of a revolutionary class to continue to pursue its class interests independently and without compromise despite overtures for political alliances and the political dominance of opposing sections of society. Trotsky extrapolated this to his conception of permanent revolution as an explanation of how socialist revolutions could occur in societies that had not achieved advanced capitalism. Trotsky's theory also argues: (1) that the bourgeoisie in late-developing capitalist countries are incapable of developing the productive forces in such a manner as to achieve the sort of advanced capitalism which will fully develop an industrial proletariat; and (2) that the proletariat can and must therefore seize social, economic and political power, leading an alliance with the peasantry.

Karl Marx Revolutionary socialist

Karl Marx was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist and socialist revolutionary.

Friedrich Engels German social scientist, author, political theorist, and philosopher

Friedrich Engels was a German philosopher, communist, social scientist, journalist and businessman. His father was an owner of large textile factories in Salford, England and in Barmen, Prussia.

Leon Trotsky Marxist revolutionary from Russia

Lev Davidovich Bronstein, better known as Leon Trotsky, was a Russian revolutionary, Marxist theorist, and Soviet politician whose particular strain of Marxist thought is known as Trotskyism.


According to Marx and Engels

Marx first used the term in the phrase "by substituting permanent war for permanent revolution" in the following passage from The Holy Family (1844) in which he also wrote:

<i>The Holy Family</i> (book) literary work

The Holy Family is a book written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in November 1844. The book is a critique of the Young Hegelians and their trend of thought, which was very popular in academic circles at the time. The title was a suggestion by the publisher and is meant as a sarcastic reference to the Bauer Brothers and their supporters. The book created a controversy with much of the press and caused Bruno Bauer to attempt to refute the book in an article which was published in Wigand's Vierteljahrsschrift in 1845. Bauer claimed that Marx and Engels misunderstood what he was trying to say. Marx later replied to his response with his own article that was published in the journal Gesellschaftsspiegel in January 1846. Marx also discussed the argument in chapter 2 of The German Ideology.

Napoleon presented the last battle of revolutionary terror against the bourgeois society which had been proclaimed by this same Revolution, and against its policy. Napoleon, of course, already discerned the essence of the modern state; he understood that it is based on the unhampered development of bourgeois society, on the free movement of private interest, etc. He decided to recognise and protect this basis. He was no terrorist with his head in the clouds. Yet at the same time he still regarded the state as an end in itself and civil life only as a treasurer and his subordinate which must have no will of its own. He perfected the terror by substituting permanent war for permanent revolution. He fed the egoism of the French nation to complete satiety but demanded also the sacrifice of bourgeois business, enjoyments, wealth, etc., whenever this was required by the political aim of conquest. If he despotically suppressed the liberalism of bourgeois society—the political idealism of its daily practice—he showed no more consideration for its essential material interests, trade and industry, whenever they conflicted with his political interests. His scorn of industrial hommes d'affaires [businessmen] was the complement to his scorn of ideologists. In his home policy, too, he combated bourgeois society as the opponent of the state which in his own person he still held to be an absolute aim in itself. Thus he declared in the State Council that he would not suffer the owner of extensive estates to cultivate them or not as he pleased. Thus, too, he conceived the plan of subordinating trade to the state by appropriation of roulage [road haulage]. French businessmen took steps to anticipate the event that first shook Napoleon's power. Paris exchange-brokers forced him by means of an artificially created famine to delay the opening of the Russian campaign by nearly two months and thus to launch it too late in the year. [1]

Revolutionary terror Wikimedia disambiguation page

Revolutionary terror refers to the institutionalized application of force to counterrevolutionaries, particularly during the French Revolution from the years 1793 to 1795. The term "Communist terrorism" has also been used to describe the revolutionary terror, from the Red Terror in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) to the reign of the Khmer Rouge and others. In contrast, "reactionary terror", such as White Terror, has been used to subdue revolutions.

In this passage, Marx says that Napoleon prevented the bourgeois revolution in France from becoming fulfilled; that is, he prevented bourgeois political forces from achieving a total expression of their interests. According to Marx, he did this by suppressing the "liberalism of bourgeois society" and did it because he saw "the state as an end in itself", a value which supported his "political aim of conquest". Thus, he substituted "permanent war for permanent revolution". However, the final two sentences show that the bourgeoisie did not give up hope, but continued to pursue their interests. For Marx, permanent revolution involves a revolutionary class (in this case, the bourgeoisie) continuing to push for and achieve its interests despite the political dominance of actors with opposing interests.

Bourgeois revolution Marxist historiographical term

Bourgeois revolution is a term used in Marxist theory to refer to a social revolution that aims to destroy a feudal system or its vestiges, establish the rule of the bourgeoisie, and create a bourgeois state. In colonised or subjugated countries, bourgeois revolutions often take the form of a war of national independence. The English, French, and American revolutions are considered the archetypal bourgeois revolutions, in that they attempted to clear away the remnants of the medieval feudal system, so as to pave the way for the rise of capitalism. The term is usually used in contrast to "proletarian revolution", and is also sometimes called a "bourgeois-democratic revolution".

By 1849, Marx and Engels were able to quote the use of the phrase by other writers (Eugen Alexis Schwanbeck, a journalist on the Kölnische Zeitung newspaper; [2] and Henri Druey), [3] suggesting that it had achieved some recognition in intellectual circles.

Henri Druey member of the Swiss Federal Council

Daniel-Henri Druey was a Swiss politician of the 19th century and a founding father of constitutional democracy and member of Free Democratic Party in Switzerland.

March 1850 Address

Marx's most famous use of the phrase permanent revolution is his March 1850 Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League. [4] His audience is the proletariat in Germany, faced with the prospect that "the petty-bourgeois democrats will for the moment acquire a predominant influence", i.e. temporary political power. He enjoins them as such:

The proletariat is the class of wage-earners in an economic society whose only possession of significant material value is their labour-power. A member of such a class is a proletarian.

While the democratic petty bourgeois want to bring the revolution to an end as quickly as possible, achieving at most the aims already mentioned, it is our interest and our task to make the revolution permanent until all the more or less propertied classes have been driven from their ruling positions, until the proletariat has conquered state power and until the association of the proletarians has progressed sufficiently far – not only in one country but in all the leading countries of the world – that competition between the proletarians of these countries ceases and at least the decisive forces of production are concentrated in the hands of the workers. [4]

In the remainder of the text, Marx outlines his proposal that the proletariat "make the revolution permanent". In essence, it consists of the working class maintaining a militant and independent approach to politics both before, during and after the struggle which will bring the petty-bourgeois democrats to power.

Proletariat should organise autonomously

Marx is concerned that throughout the process of this impending political change the petty-bourgeoisie will "seek to ensnare the workers in a party organization in which general social-democratic phrases prevail while their particular interests are kept hidden behind, and in which, for the sake of preserving the peace, the specific demands of the proletariat may not be presented. Such a unity would be to their advantage alone and to the complete disadvantage of the proletariat. The proletariat would lose all its hard-won independent position and be reduced once more to a mere appendage of official bourgeois democracy". [4]

Marx outlines how the proletariat should respond to this threat. First, he says that "above all the [Communist] League, must work for the creation of an independent organization of the workers' party, both secret and open, and alongside the official democrats, and the League must aim to make every one of its communes a center and nucleus of workers' associations in which the position and interests of the proletariat can be discussed free from bourgeois influence". That is, "it is essential above all for them to be independently organized and centralized in clubs". [4] Marx does say that "an association of momentary expedience" is permissible if and only if "an enemy has to be fought directly", although this is not an excuse for a long term alliance since emergency alliances will arise satisfactorily when needed.

Political programme of demands which threaten the bourgeois consensus

In an article two years earlier, Marx had referred to "a programme of permanent revolution, of progressive taxes and death duties, and of organisation of labour". [5] This confirms the impression that Marx's theory of permanent revolution is not about revolution per se , but rather more about the attitude that a revolutionary class should adopt in the period of their political subjection, including the programme of political demands they should propose. This aspect is raised in the Address. As well as overtures for organisational alliance with the petty bourgeoisie, Marx is concerned about attempts to "bribe the workers with a more or less disguised form of alms and to break their revolutionary strength by temporarily rendering their situation tolerable". [4] Therefore, the workers' party must use their autonomous organisation to push a political programme which threatens the bourgeois status quo along the following lines:

1. They can force the democrats to make inroads into as many areas of the existing social order as possible, so as to disturb its regular functioning and so that the petty-bourgeois democrats compromise themselves; furthermore, the workers can force the concentration of as many productive forces as possible – means of transport, factories, railways, etc. – in the hands of the state.
2. They must drive the proposals of the democrats to their logical extreme (the democrats will in any case act in a reformist and not a revolutionary manner) and transform these proposals into direct attacks on private property. If, for instance, the petty bourgeoisie propose the purchase of the railways and factories, the workers must demand that these railways and factories simply be confiscated by the state without compensation as the property of reactionaries. [...] The demands of the workers will thus have to be adjusted according to the measures and concessions of the democrats. [4]

In this passage, we can see that Marx believes the proletariat should refuse to moderate its demands to the petty-bourgeois consensus and advocate extensive nationalisation. Furthermore, the demand of the workers should always seek to push the bourgeois further than they are prepared to go, without the revolution threatening them as well.

Address in context

Marx concludes his Address by summarising the themes elucidated above:

Although the German workers cannot come to power and achieve the realization of their class interests without passing through a protracted revolutionary development, this time they can at least be certain that the first act of the approaching revolutionary drama will coincide with the direct victory of their own class in France and will thereby be accelerated. But they themselves must contribute most to their final victory, by informing themselves of their own class interests, by taking up their independent political position as soon as possible, by not allowing themselves to be misled by the hypocritical phrases of the democratic petty bourgeoisie into doubting for one minute the necessity of an independently organized party of the proletariat. Their battle-cry must be: The Permanent Revolution. [4]

Since Marxism emphasises the contingency of political developments on material historical circumstances (as against idealism), it is worthwhile to have some idea of how Marx saw the context in which he advocated permanent revolution. It seems that he believed that "the first act of the approaching revolutionary drama [in Germany] will coincide with the direct victory of their own class in France and will thereby be accelerated". That is, the petty-bourgeois are expected to come to power in Germany at the same time as the direct victory of the proletariat in France. Furthermore, Marx seems to believe that the former and hence of both is "imminent" (c.f. the third paragraph of the Address). [4] Therefore, Marx clearly believes that Europe is entering a time and is at a level of development of the productive forces in which the proletariat have the social revolution within their reach. Although circumstances did not develop as anticipated, this observation proved accurate at the dawn of the 20th century leading into the First World War and the Russian Revolution.

Summary and relation of Marx's theory to Trotsky's

Marx and Engels advocated permanent revolution as the proletarian strategy of maintaining organisational independence along class lines and a consistently militant series of political demands and tactics. However, at no stage does Marx make the central claim with which Trotsky's conception of permanent revolution is concerned, i.e. that it is possible for a country to pass directly from the dominance of the semi-feudal aristocrats, who held political power in Russia in the early part of the 19th century, to the dominance of the working class, without an interceding period of dominance by the bourgeois. On the contrary, Marx's statements in his March 1850 Address explicitly contradict such a view, assuming a "period of petty-bourgeois predominance over the classes which have been overthrown and over the proletariat". [4] In his History of the Russian Revolution , Trotsky argues that this was shortened to the period between February and October 1917.

Marx and Engels do not claim that socialism is impossible in one country, but they do say that "in all probability, the proletarian revolution will transform existing society gradually and will be able to abolish private property only when the means of production are available in sufficient quantity" (Engels' The Principles of Communism, Sections 17 and 19). [6] The Communist Manifesto alludes to Marx's view that the dominance of the bourgeoisie is a necessary prelude to that of the proletariat, arguing that "the bourgeoisie therefore produces [...] its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable". [7] In this sense, Trotsky's version of the theory represents both a development and to some observers a contradiction of the expressed opinions of Marx and Engels.

It must be borne in mind that for Marx the dominance of the bourgeoisie as a prerequisite for subsequent proletarian rule holds on a world scale as The Communist Manifesto makes clear: "Though not in substance, yet in form, the struggle of the proletariat with the bourgeoisie is at first a national struggle" (loc. cit.). Trotsky's theory took it for granted (as did Vladimir Lenin in The State and Revolution ) that the domination of the world by the bourgeoisie was complete and irreversible after the emergence of imperialism in the late 19th century. The uncertain relationship between international and national parameters in relation to class power underlies many of the disputes concerning the theory of the permanent revolution.

In the preface to the 1882 Russian edition of The Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels explicitly raised the issues Trotsky would later develop: "Now the question is: can the Russian obshchina , though greatly undermined, yet a form of primeval common ownership of land, pass directly to the higher form of Communist common ownership? Or, on the contrary, must it first pass through the same process of dissolution such as constitutes the historical evolution of the West? The only answer to that possible today is this: If the Russian Revolution becomes the signal for a proletarian revolution in the West, so that both complement each other, the present Russian common ownership of land may serve as the starting point for a communist development". [8]

By stating that this is "[t]he only answer possible today", they incontrovertibly emphasized the priority of the international class situation over national developments.

According to Trotsky

An edition of The Permanent Revolution published by Socialist Resistance PermanentRevolution.jpg
An edition of The Permanent Revolution published by Socialist Resistance

Leon Trotsky's conception of permanent revolution is based on his understanding—drawing on the work of fellow Russian Alexander Parvus—that a Marxist analysis of events began with the international level of development, both economic and social. National peculiarities are only an expression of the contradictions in the world system. According to this perspective, the tasks of the bourgeois-democratic revolution could not be achieved by the bourgeoisie itself in a reactionary period of world capitalism. The situation in the backward and colonial countries, particularly Russia, bore this out. [9] This conception was first developed in the essays later collected in his book 1905 and in his essay Results and Prospects and later developed in his 1929 book The Permanent Revolution.

The basic idea of Trotsky's theory [10] is that in Russia the bourgeoisie would not carry out a thorough revolution which would institute political democracy and solve the land question. These measures were assumed to be essential to develop Russia economically. Therefore, it was argued the future revolution must be led by the proletariat, who would not only carry through the tasks of the bourgeois-democratic revolution, but would also commence a struggle to surpass the bourgeois-democratic revolution itself.

How far the proletariat would be able to travel upon that road would depend upon the further course of events and not upon the designation of the revolution as bourgeois-democratic. In this sense, the revolution would be made permanent. Trotsky believed that a new workers' state would not be able to hold out against the pressures of a hostile capitalist world unless socialist revolutions quickly took hold in other countries as well. This theory was advanced in opposition to the position held by the Stalinist faction within the Bolshevik Party that socialism in one country could be built in the Soviet Union.

Trotsky's theory was developed in opposition to the social-democratic theory that undeveloped countries must pass through two distinct revolutions. First, the bourgeois-democratic revolution which socialists would assist and at a later stage the socialist revolution with an evolutionary period of capitalist development separating those stages. This is often referred to as the theory of stages, the two-stage theory or stagism.

Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks initially held to an intermediate theory. Lenin's earlier theory shared Trotsky's premise that the bourgeoisie would not complete a bourgeois revolution. Lenin thought that a democratic dictatorship of the workers and peasants could complete the tasks of the bourgeoisie. [11] By 1917, Lenin was arguing not only that the Russian bourgeoisie would not be able to carry through the tasks of the bourgeois- democratic revolution and therefore the proletariat had to take state power, but also that it should take economic power via a soviet. This position was put forward to the Bolsheviks on his return to Russia in his "April Theses". The first reaction of the majority of Bolsheviks was one of rejection. Initially, only Alexandra Kollontai rallied to Lenin's position within the Bolshevik Party.

After the October Revolution, the Bolsheviks, now including Trotsky, did not discuss the theory of permanent revolution as such. However, its basic theses can be found in such popular outlines of communist theory as The ABC of Communism which sought to explain the program of the Bolshevik Party by Yevgeni Preobrazhensky and Nikolai Bukharin.

Later on after Lenin's death in the 1920s, the theory did assume importance in the internal debates within the Bolshevik Party and was a bone of contention within the opposition to Joseph Stalin. In essence, a section of the Bolshevik Party leadership, whose views were voiced at the theoretical level by Bukharin, argued that socialism could be built in a single country, even an underdeveloped one like Russia. Bukharin argued that Russia's pre-existing economic base was sufficient for the task at hand, provided the Soviet Union could be militarily defended.

The question of the Chinese Revolution and the subjection of the Chinese Communist Party to control by the Kuomintang at the behest of the Bolshevik Party was a topic of argument within the opposition to Stalin in the party. [12] On the one hand, figures such as Karl Radek argued that a stagist strategy was correct for China, although their writings are only known to us now second hand, having perished in the 1930s (if original copies exist in the archives, they have not been located since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991). On the other hand, Trotsky generalised his theory of permanent revolution which had only been applied in the case of Russia previously and argued that the proletariat needed to take power in a process of uninterrupted and permanent revolution in order to not only carry out the tasks of the bourgeois-democratic revolution, but to implement socialism.

His position was put forward in his essay entitled The Permanent Revolution which can be found today in a single book together with Results and Prospects. Not only did Trotsky generalise his theory of permanent revolution in this essay, but he also grounded it in the idea of uneven and combined development. In contrast to the conceptions inherent within stagist theory, this argument goes to argue that capitalist nations, indeed all class-based societies, develop unevenly and that some parts will develop more swiftly than others. However, it is also argued that this development is combined and that each part of the world economy is increasingly bound together with all other parts. The conception of uneven and combined development also recognises that some areas may even regress further economically and socially as a result of their integration into a world economy.

Theory since Trotsky


Since the assassination of Leon Trotsky in 1940, the theory of permanent revolution has been maintained by the various Trotskyist groups which have developed since then. However, the theory has been extended only modestly, if at all. While their conclusions differ, works by mainstream Trotskyist theoreticians such as Robert Chester, Joseph Hansen, Michael Löwy and Livio Maitan related it to post-war political developments in Algeria, Cuba and elsewhere.

Tony Cliff's deflected permanent revolution

An attempt to elaborate an exception to the theory was made by Tony Cliff of the Socialist Workers Party. In a 1963 essay, [13] Cliff develops the idea that where the proletariat is unable to take power, a section of the intelligentsia may be able to carry out a bourgeois revolution. He further argues that the use of Marxist concepts by such elements (most notably in Cuba and China, but also for example by regimes espousing Arab socialism or similar philosophies) is not genuine, but is the use of Marxism as an ideology of power. This reflects his view that these countries are state capitalist societies rather than deformed workers states.

Cliff's views have been criticised by more orthodox Trotskyists as an abandonment of Trotsky's theory in all but name in favour of the stagist theory, countering that Cliff was more cautious than Trotsky about the potential of the working class in underdeveloped countries to seize power. Cliff saw such revolutions as a detour or deflection on the road to socialist revolution rather than a necessary preliminary to it.

Mahir Çayan's critique of Trotskyist theory

According to Mahir Çayan, the revolutionary perspective of Marx and Engels in the phase from 1848 until Autumn 1850 is the permanent revolution. This strategical vision is the result of the misjudgment of the related phase. Based on the great crises (the global commercial and industrial crises and the agricultural crisis) in 1847, Marx and Engels assumed that the final hours of capitalism has come and the great fight and the age of the socialist revolutions have begun finally. This means Marx and Engels thought that the 1847 boomed global economical crisis of capitalism was the permanent and the last crisis of the system. This theory of permanent revolution is the product of the theory of permanent crisis. In the 1847–1850 phase, Marx and Engels thought that the proletarian revolution in France and in Europe were going to be in the immediate future, therefore they were standing for the leadership of the proletariat to undertake the overdue bourgeois revolution in Germany. In this period, Marx and Engels focused most of their practical and theoretical works on Germany, writing the following in The Communist Manifesto :

The Communists turn their attention chiefly to Germany, because that country is on the eve of a bourgeois revolution that is bound to be carried out under more advanced conditions of European civilisation and with a much more developed proletariat than that of England was in the seventeenth, and France in the eighteenth century, and because the bourgeois revolution in Germany will be but the prelude to an immediately following proletarian revolution. [14]

Çayan argues that the permanent revolution was the revolution considered for Germany by Marx and Engels and this permanent revolution was not a stageless, but a stagewise revolution theory. This is the fundamental property of this theory which was applied to life in the imperialist epoch by Lenin that distinguishes itself from the theory of Trotskyist permanent revolution. Not only Marx and Engels, but also Gottschalk and his supporters have considered the permanent revolution for Germany in 1849. However, the permanent revolution of Gottschalk and his supporters is a stageless or a one-stage revolution. According to Çayan, underestimating of the revolutionary potential of the peasants and refusal to make an alliance with the proletariat are the essences of this theory.

Finally, Çayan stated: "The essence of Trotsky's Permanent Revolution Theory, that he tried to base on Marx, belongs to the vulgar communists Gottschalk and Weitling, meaning that the Trotskyist Permanent Revolution Theory is NOT a Marxist Theory". [15]

According to Saumyendranath Tagore

Saumyendranath Tagore, the founder of the Revolutionary Communist Party of India and an international communist leader, argued that "the theory of Permanent Revolution has two aspects, one relating to the revolution of a particular country, the immediate passing over from the bourgeois democratic phase of the revolution to the socialist revolution. The second aspect [...] is related to the international tasks of the revolution [...] which makes it imperative for the first victorious revolution to operate as the yeast of revolution in the world arena. [...] Trotsky became the target of Stalin's vengeance only so far as he drew the attention of the communists throughout the world to the betrayal of world revolution (Permanent Revolution) by Stalin". Tagore also argued that the theory of permanent revolution has nothing to do with Trotskyism, but it is pure Marxism and Leninism. As an example, he points out that the term permanent revolution itself was coined by Marx and Engels back in 1850 in their Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League. [16]

According to Tagore, Lenin was just as much a champion of the permanent revolution as Trotsky was and with a "much more sure grasp of revolutionary reality". However, he argues that Trotsky "certainly had done a great service to revolutionary communism by drawing out attention over and over again to the theory of permanent revolution since Lenin died in 1924 and the sinister anti-revolutionary reign of Stalin started". In the face of what Tagore termed "the next diabolical machineries of vilification and terror of Stalinocracy", Trotsky kept "the banner of revolutionary communism flying in the best traditions of Marx and Lenin. Therein lies Trotsky's invaluable service in the theory of Permanent Revolution. So far as the Theory itself is concerned, it is pure and simple revolutionary Marxism". [17] [18]

See also

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In the context of the theory of Leninist revolutionary struggle, vanguardism is a strategy whereby the most class-conscious and politically advanced sections of the proletariat or working class, described as the revolutionary vanguard, form organisations in order to draw larger sections of the working class towards revolutionary politics and serve as manifestations of proletarian political power against its class enemies.

Anti-revisionism position within Marxism–Leninism which emerged in the 1950s in opposition to the reforms of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev

Anti-revisionism is a position within Marxism–Leninism which emerged in the 1950s in opposition to the reforms of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Where Khrushchev pursued an interpretation of Leninism that differed from his predecessor Joseph Stalin, the anti-revisionists within the international communist movement remained dedicated to Stalin's ideological legacy and criticized the Soviet Union under Khrushchev and his successors as state capitalist and social imperialist due largely to its hopes of achieving peace with the United States. The term Stalinism is also used to describe these positions, but it is often not used by its supporters who opine that Stalin simply synthesized and practiced Leninism. Because different political trends trace the historical roots of revisionism to different eras and leaders, there is significant disagreement today as to what constitutes anti-revisionism. As a result, modern groups which describe themselves as anti-revisionist fall into several categories. Some uphold the works of Stalin and Mao Zedong and some the works of Stalin while rejecting Mao and universally tend to oppose Trotskyism. Others reject both Stalin and Mao, tracing their ideological roots back to Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. In addition, other groups uphold various less-well-known historical leaders such as Enver Hoxha.

Socialism in One Country political theory by Joseph Stalin

Socialism in one country was a theory put forth by Joseph Stalin and Nikolai Bukharin in 1924 which was eventually adopted by the Soviet Union as state policy. The theory held that given the defeat of all the communist revolutions in Europe in 1917–1923 except Russia, the Soviet Union should begin to strengthen itself internally. This turn toward national communism was a shift from the previously held position by classical Marxism that socialism must be established globally. However, proponents of the theory argue that it contradicts neither world revolution nor world communism. The theory was in opposition to Leon Trotsky's theory of permanent revolution.

A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country is a sovereign state constitutionally dedicated to the establishment of socialism. The term "communist state" is often used interchangeably in the West specifically when referring to single-party socialist states governed by Marxist–Leninist, or Titoist in case of Yugoslavia political parties, despite these countries being officially socialist states in the process of building socialism. These countries never describe themselves as communist nor as having implemented a communist society. Additionally, a number of countries which are not single-party states based on Marxism–Leninism make reference to socialism in their constitutions; in most cases these are constitutional references alluding to the building of a socialist society that have little to no bearing on the structure and development paths of these countries' political and economic systems.

Proletarian internationalism Marxist social class concept

Proletarian internationalism, sometimes referred to as international socialism, is the perception of all communist revolutions as being part of a single global class struggle rather than separate localized events. It is based on the theory that capitalism is a world-system and therefore the working classes of all nations must act in concert if they are to replace it with communism. Proponents of proletarian internationalism often argued that the objectives of a given revolution should be global rather than local in scope—for example, triggering or perpetuating revolutions elsewhere.

<i>Terrorism and Communism</i> 1920 book by Leon Trotsky

Terrorism and Communism: A Reply to Karl Kautsky is a book by Soviet Communist Party leader Leon Trotsky. First published in German in August 1920, the short book was written against a criticism of the Russian Revolution by the same title published the previous year in Vienna, Austria by prominent Marxist Karl Kautsky.


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