HOME

TheInfoList




Within the
Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern society, societies soci ...
movement, revisionism represents various ideas, principles and theories that are based on a significant revision of fundamental Marxist premises that usually involve making an alliance with the
bourgeois class Bourgeoisie (; ) is a Polysemy, polysemous French term that can mean: * a sociologically defined social class, especially in contemporary times, referring to people with a certain Cultural capital, cultural and financial capital belonging to ...
. The term ''revisionism'' is most often used by those Marxists who believe that such revisions are unwarranted and represent a "watering down" or abandonment of Marxism—one such common example is the negation of
class struggle Class conflict, also referred to as class struggle and class warfare, is the political tension and economic antagonism that exists in society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, socia ...
. As such, revisionism often carries
pejorative A pejorative or slur is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguistics), meaning ...
connotations and the term has been used by many different factions. It is typically applied to others and rarely as a self-description. By extension, people who view themselves as fighting against revisionism have often self-identified as
anti-revisionists Anti-revisionism is a position within Marxism–Leninism which emerged in the 1950s in opposition to the Khrushchev Thaw, reforms of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Where Khrushchev pursued an interpretation that differed from his predecessor ...
.


History

The term ''revisionism'' has been used in a number of contexts to refer to different revisions (or claimed revisions) of
Marxist theory Marxist philosophy or Marxist theory are works in philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of ...
. Those who opposed Karl Marx's revolution through his lens of a violent uprising and sought out more peaceful, electoral means for a socialist revolution are known as revisionists.
Eduard Bernstein Eduard Bernstein (; 6 January 1850 – 18 December 1932) was a German social democratic Social democracy is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social ...

Eduard Bernstein
, a close acquaintance of Marx and Engels, was one of the first major revisionists, and was prominent in the
Social Democratic Party of Germany The Social Democratic Party of Germany (german: Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, ; SPD, ) is a social democratic Social democracy is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-makin ...
(SPD).


19th century

In the late 19th century, the term ''revisionism'' was used to describe
democratic socialist Democratic socialism is a political philosophy Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about the nature, scope, and legitimacy of public agents and institutions and the relationships between them. ...
writers such as
Eduard Bernstein Eduard Bernstein (; 6 January 1850 – 18 December 1932) was a German social democratic Social democracy is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social ...

Eduard Bernstein
, who sought to revise
Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, M ...

Karl Marx
's ideas about the transition to socialism and claimed that a revolution through force was not necessary to achieve a socialist society. The views of Bernstein gave rise to
reformist Reformism is a political doctrine advocating the reform Reform ( lat, reformo) means the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc. The use of the word in this way emerges in the late 18th century and is believed to ...
theory, which asserts that socialism can be achieved through gradual peaceful reforms from within a capitalist system.


1920s and 1930s

In the 1920s and 1930s, the International
Left Opposition The Left Opposition was a faction within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Russian Communist Party (b) from 1923 to 1927 headed ''de facto'' by Leon Trotsky. The Left Opposition formed as part of the power struggle within the party leade ...
led by
Leon Trotsky Lev Davidovich Bronstein. ( – 21 August 1940), better known as Leon Trotsky; uk, link= no, Лев Давидович Троцький; also transliterated ''Lyev'', ''Trotski'', ''Trotskij'', ''Trockij'' and ''Trotzky''. (), was a Ukrainian ...

Leon Trotsky
, which had been expelled from the
Communist International The Communist International (Comintern), also known as the Third International, was an international organization An international organization (also known as an international institution or intergovernmental organization) is a stable se ...
, accused the leadership of the Comintern and
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
of revising the internationalist principles of Marxism and
Leninism Leninism is a political ideology An ideology () is a set of beliefs or philosophies attributed to a person or group of persons, especially as held for reasons that are not purely epistemic, in which "practical elements are as prominent as the ...
in favor of the aspirations of an
elite bureaucratic caste
elite bureaucratic caste
which had come to power in the Soviet Union.Leon Trotsky
The Third International After Lenin
The Militant, 1929. Accessed 14 March 2010
The
Trotskyists Trotskyism is the political ideology and branch of Marxism developed by Ukrainian-Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky and by some other members of the Left Opposition and Fourth International. Trotsky self-identified as an Orthodox Marxism, orth ...
saw the nascent
Stalinist Stalinism is the means of governing and policies which were implemented in the Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. ...
bureaucracy The term bureaucracy () may refer both to a body of non-elected governing officials (bureaucrats A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can compose the administration of any organization of any size, although the term usually connotes ...

bureaucracy
as a roadblock on the
proletariat The proletariat (; ) is the social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social sciences and political theory Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government A government is the system or group of p ...

proletariat
's path to world socialist revolution and to the shifting policies of the Comintern, they counterposed the Marxist theory of
permanent revolution Permanent revolution is the strategy of a ary pursuing its own interests independently and without compromise or alliance with opposing sections of society. As a term within , it was first coined by and as early as 1850, but since then it has ...
. Meanwhile, the Soviet authorities labeled the Trotskyists as "revisionists" and eventually expelled them from the
Communist Party of the Soviet Union The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). Abbreviated in Russian as КПСС or ''KPSS''. was the founding and ruling political party of the Soviet Union. The CPSU was the One-party state, sole governing party of the Soviet Union until 19 ...
, whereupon the Trotskyists founded their
Fourth International The Fourth International (FI) is a revolutionary socialist international organization ''International Organization'' is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal that covers the entire field of international relations, international affairs. ...
.


1940s and 1950s

In the 1940s and 1950s within the international
communist Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...

communist
movement, ''revisionism'' was a term used by Marxist-Leninists to describe communists who focused on
consumer goods A final good or consumer good is a final product In Production (economics), production, a final product, or finished product is a product (business), product that is ready for sale.Wouters, Mark; Selto, Frank H.; Hilton, Ronald W.; Maher, Michae ...
production instead of
heavy industry Heavy industry is an industry Industry may refer to: Economics * Industry (economics) In macroeconomics, an industry is a branch of an economy that produces a closely related set of raw materials, goods, or services. For example, one ...
; accepted national differences instead of promoting
proletarian internationalism Proletarian internationalism, sometimes referred to as international socialism, is the perception of all communist revolution A communist revolution is a proletarian revolution A proletarian revolution is a social revolution in which the ...
; and encouraged
liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an adherent of a Liberal Party Arts, entertainment and media *''El Liberal'', a Spanish newspaper published betw ...
reforms instead of remaining faithful to established doctrine. Revisionism was also one of the charges leveled at Titoists as punishment for their pursuit of a relatively independent communist ideology, amidst a series of post-
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
purges beginning in 1949 in
Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical reg ...

Eastern Europe
by the Soviet administration under Stalin. After Stalin's death, a more democratic form of
socialism Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, ...
briefly became acceptable in
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...

Hungary
during
Imre Nagy Imre Nagy (; 7 June 1896 – 16 June 1958) was a Hungarian communist Communism (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally ...
's government (1953–1955) and in
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
during
Władysław Gomułka Władysław Gomułka (; 6 February 1905 – 1 September 1982) was a Polish communist politician. He was the ''de facto In law and government, ''de facto'' ( ; , "in fact") describes practices that exist in reality, even though they are not o ...
's government, containing ideas that the rest of the
Soviet bloc The Eastern Bloc, also known as the Communist Bloc, the Socialist Bloc and the Soviet Bloc, was the group of socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' ...
and the Soviet Union itself variously considered revisionist, although neither Nagy nor Gomułka described themselves as revisionists, since to do so would have been self-deprecating. After the 1956
Secret Speech "On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences" (russian: «О культе личности и его последствиях», «''O kul'te lichnosti i yego posledstviyakh''»), popularly known as the "Secret Speech" (russian: секре ...
that denounced Stalin, many communist activists, astounded and disheartened by what they saw as the betrayal of Marxist–Leninist principles by the very people who had founded them, resigned from Western communist parties in protest. These quitters were sometimes accused of revisionism by those communists who remained in these parties, although some of these same loyalists also shortly thereafter split from the same communist parties in the 1960s to become the
New Left The New Left was a broad political movement mainly in the 1960s and 1970s consisting of activists in the Western world The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various s, s and , depending on the context, most often consisti ...
, indicating that they too were disillusioned by the actions of the Soviet Union by that point in time. Most of those who left in the 1960s started aligning themselves with
Mao Zedong Mao Zedong pronounced ; also Romanization of Chinese, romanised traditionally as Mao Tse-tung. (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who was the Proclamation of the ...

Mao Zedong
as opposed to the Soviet Union. An example was E. P. Thompson's ''
New Reasoner ''The New Reasoner'' was a British journal of dissident Communism Communism (from Latin la, communis, lit=common, universal, label=none)Ball, Terence, and Richard Dagger. 9992019.Communism (revised ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrie ...
''.


1960s

In the early 1960s, Mao Zedong and the
Communist Party of China The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), officially the Communist Party of China (CPC), is the founding and One-party state, sole ruling party of the China, People's Republic of China (PRC). The CCP leads List of political parties in China, eight other ...

Communist Party of China
revived the term ''revisionism'' ( zh, s=修正主义, p=xiūzhèng zhǔyì) to attack
Nikita Khrushchev Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev (– 11 September 1971) served as the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964 and as Premier of the Soviet Unio ...
and the Soviet Union over various ideological and political issues, as part of the
Sino-Soviet split The Sino-Soviet split was the breaking of political relations between the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), caused by Doctrine, doctrinal divergences that arose from their different interpretati ...
. The Chinese routinely described the Soviets as "modern revisionists" through the 1960s. This usage was copied by the various
Maoist Maoism, officially called Mao Zedong Thought () by the Chinese Communist Party The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), officially the Communist Party of China (CPC), is the founding and One-party state, sole ruling party of the China, People's R ...
groups that split off from communist parties around the world. In 1978, the
Sino-Albanian split The Sino-Albanian split was the gradual worsening of relations between the People's Socialist Republic of Albania and the People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the ...

Sino-Albanian split
occurred, which caused
Enver Hoxha Enver Halil Hoxha ( , ; 16 October 190811 April 1985) was an Albanian communist politician. He was Secretary (title)#First secretary, First Secretary of the Party of Labour of Albania from 1941 until his death in 1985. He was also a member of ...
, the
General Secretary Secretary is a title often used in organizations to indicate a person having a certain amount of authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social inter ...
of
Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or Shqipëria), officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a par ...
, to also condemn Maoism as revisionist. This caused a split in the Maoist movement, with some following the
Albanian Party of Labour The Party of Labour of Albania (PLA) ( sq, Partia e Punës e Shqipërisë, PPSH), sometimes referred to as the Albanian Workers' Party (AWP), was the vanguard party of Albania during the People's Socialist Republic of Albania, communist period (194 ...
's line, most notably the
Communist Party of New Zealand The Communist Party of New Zealand (CPNZ) was a Communist political party in New Zealand which existed from March 1921 until the early 1990s. Although spurred to life by events in Soviet Russia in the aftermath of World War I World War I ...
and the
Communist Party of Canada (Marxist–Leninist) The Communist Party of Canada (french: Parti communiste du Canada) is a communist party in Canada founded in 1921 under conditions of illegality. Although it is now a federal political party without any parliamentary representation, the party's ...
.


See also

* Brezhnevism * Castroism * Ceaușescuism *
Democratic socialism Democratic socialism is a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ab ...
*
Deng Xiaoping Theory Deng Xiaoping Theory () is the series of political and economic ideologies first developed by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping Deng Xiaoping (, ; ; Wade–Giles: Teng Hsiao-ping; born Xiansheng (); courtesy name Xixian (); 22 August 1904 – 19 Fe ...
*
Eurocommunism Eurocommunism, also referred to as democratic communism or neocommunism, was a revisionist trend in the 1970s and 1980s within various Western European communist parties which said they had developed a theory and practice of social transformati ...
* ''
Juche ''Juche'' ( ), officially the ''Juche'' idea and also translated as ''Juche'' thought and Jucheism, is the state ideology of North Korea, described by the country's government as "Kim Il-sung's original, brilliant and revolutionary contribution ...

Juche
'' * Kadarism *
Khrushchevism Khrushchevism was a form of Marxism–Leninism Marxism–Leninism is a communist ideology and the main communist movement throughout the 20th century.Lansford, Thomas (2007). ''Communism''. New York: Cavendish Square Publishing. pp. 9–24, ...
*
Market socialism Market socialism is a type of economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. ...
*
Nasserism Nasserism ( ''at-Tayyār an-Nāṣerī'') is a Arab socialism, socialist Arab nationalism, Arab nationalist List of political ideologies, political ideology based on the thinking of Gamal Abdel Nasser, one of the two principal leaders of the 1952 ...
*
Opportunism Opportunism is the practice of taking advantage of circumstances – with little regard for principles or with what the consequences are for others. Opportunist actions are expedient actions guided primarily by self-interested motives. The term ...
*
Reformism Reformism is a political doctrine Doctrine (from la, doctrina, meaning "teaching, instruction") is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for ...
*
Sankarism Sankarism (also written Sankaraism) is a term sometimes applied to denote a left-wing ideological trend within the politics of Burkina Faso, a landlocked country in West Africa, as well as the policies of the military government led by Captain Thoma ...
*
Syndicalism Syndicalism is a current in the labor movement The labour movement or labor movement consists of two main wings: the trade union movement ( British English) or labor union movement (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USE ...

Syndicalism
* Third International Theory *
Titoism Titoism is a political philosophy most closely associated with Josip Broz Tito during the Cold War. It is characterized by a broad Yugoslav identity, workers' self-management, a Tito–Stalin split, political separation from the Soviet Union, an ...
*
Xi Jinping Thought Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, commonly abbreviated as Xi Jinping Thought, is a set of policies and ideas derived from the writings and speeches of Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jin ...


References

{{authority control Democratic socialism Ideology of the Chinese Communist Party Ideology of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Market socialism Marxism Marxist terminology Social democracy Syndicalism Theories of history