Proletariat

The proletariat (/ˌproʊlɪˈtɛəriət/ from Latin proletarius "producing offspring") is the class of wage-earners in an economic society whose only possession of significant material value is their labour-power (how much work they can do).[1] A member of such a class is a proletarian.

In Marxist theory, a dictatorship of the proletariat is for the proletariat, of the proletariat, and by the proletariat. On the Marxist view, this will endow the proletarian with the power to abolish the conditions that make a person a proletarian and, thus, build communism.

Proletarii in Ancient Rome

The proletarii constituted a social class of Roman citizens owning little or no property. The origin of the name is presumably linked with the census, which Roman authorities conducted every five years to produce a register of citizens and their property from which their military duties and voting privileges could be determined. For citizens with property valued 11,000 assēs or less, which was below the lowest census for military service, their children—proles (from Latin prōlēs, "offspring")—were listed instead of their property; hence, the name proletarius, "the one who produces offspring". The only contribution of a proletarius to the Roman society was seen in his ability to raise children, the future Roman citizens who can colonize new territories conquered by the Roman Republic and later by the Roman Empire. The citizens who had no property of significance were called capite censi because they were "persons registered not as to their property...but simply as to their existence as living individuals, primarily as heads (caput) of a family."[2][note 1]

Working man-obrero 2
A manual laborer at work in Venezuela. Manual laborers are generally considered to be part of the proletariat.

Although included in one of the five support centuriae of the Comitia Centuriata (English: Centuriate Assembly), proletarii were largely deprived of their voting rights due to their low social status caused by their lack of "even the minimum property required for the lowest class"[3] and a class-based hierarchy of the Comitia Centuriata. The late Roman historians, such as Livy, not without some uncertainty, understood the Comitia Centuriata to be one of three forms of popular assembly of early Rome composed of centuriae, the voting units whose members represented a class of citizens according to the value of their property. This assembly, which usually met on the Campus Martius to discuss public policy issues, was also used as a means of designating military duties demanded of Roman citizens.[4] One of reconstructions of the Comitia Centuriata features 18 centuriae of cavalry, and 170 centuriae of infantry divided into five classes by wealth, plus 5 centuriae of support personnel called adsidui. The top infantry class assembled with full arms and armor; the next two classes brought arms and armor, but less and lesser; the fourth class only spears; the fifth slings. In voting, the cavalry and top infantry class were enough to decide an issue; as voting started at the top, an issue might be decided before the lower classes voted.[5]

Following a series of wars the Roman Republic engaged since the closing of the Second Punic War (218–201 BC), such as the Jugurthine War and conflicts in Macedonia and Asia, the significant reduction in the number of Roman family farmers had resulted in the shortage of people whose property qualified them to perform the citizenry's military duty to Rome.[6] As a result of the Marian reforms initiated in 107 BC by the Roman general Gaius Marius (157–86), expanding the eligibility of military service to the urban poor, the proletarii became the backbone of the Roman army.[7]

Modern era reintroduction of Proletariat and Proletarian terms

In the era of early 19th century, many Western European liberal scholars - who dealt with social sciences and economics - pointed out the socio-economic similarieties of the modern rapidly growing industrial worker class and the classic ancient proletarians. One of the earliest analogies can be found in the 1807 paper of French philosopher and political scientist Hugues Felicité Robert de Lamennais. Later it was translated to English with the title: "Modern Slavery".[8]

Swiss liberal economist and historian Jean Charles Léonard de Sismondi, was the first who applied the proletariat term to the working class created under capitalism, and whose writings were frequently cited by Marx. Marx most likely encountered the Proletariat term while studying the works of Sismondi. [9][10][11][12]

Marxist theory

Karl Marx, who studied Roman law at the Friedrich Wilhelm University of Berlin,[13] used the term proletariat in his socio-political theory of Marxism to describe a working class unadulterated by private property and capable of a revolutionary action to topple capitalism in order to create classless society. In Marxist theory, the proletariat is the social class that does not have ownership of the means of production and whose only means of subsistence is to sell their labor power[14] for a wage or salary. Proletarians are wage-workers, while some refer to those who receive salaries as the salariat. For Marx, however, wage labor may involve getting a salary rather than a wage per se. Marxism sees the proletariat and bourgeoisie (capitalist class) as occupying conflicting positions, since workers automatically wish their wages to be as high as possible, while owners and their proxies wish for wages (costs) to be as low as possible.

Pyramid of Capitalist System
A 1911 Industrial Worker publication advocating industrial unionism based on a critique of capitalism. The proletariat "work for all" and "feed all".

In Marxist theory, the borders between the proletariat and some layers of the petite bourgeoisie, who rely primarily but not exclusively on self-employment at an income no different from an ordinary wage or below it – and the lumpenproletariat, who are not in legal employment – are not necessarily well defined. Intermediate positions are possible, where some wage-labor for an employer combines with self-employment. Marx makes a clear distinction between proletariat as salaried workers, which he sees as a progressive class, and Lumpenproletariat, "rag-proletariat", the poorest and outcasts of the society, such as beggars, tricksters, entertainers, buskers, criminals and prostitutes, which he considers a retrograde class.[15][16] Socialist parties have often struggled over the question of whether they should seek to organize and represent all the lower classes, or just the wage-earning proletariat.

According to Marxism, capitalism is a system based on the exploitation of the proletariat by the bourgeoisie. This exploitation takes place as follows: the workers, who own no means of production of their own, must use the means of production that are property of others in order to produce, and consequently earn, their living. Instead of hiring those means of production, they themselves get hired by capitalists and work for them, producing goods or services. These goods or services become the property of the capitalist, who sells them at the market.

One part of the wealth produced is used to pay the workers' wages (variable costs), another part to renew the means of production (constant costs) while the third part, surplus value is split between the capitalist's private takings (profit), and the money used to pay rents, taxes, interests, etc. Surplus value is the difference between the wealth that the proletariat produces through its work, and the wealth it consumes to survive and to provide labor to the capitalist companies.[17] A part of the surplus value is used to renew or increase the means of production, either in quantity or quality (i.e., it is turned into capital), and is called capitalized surplus value.[18] What remains is consumed by the capitalist class.

The commodities that proletarians produce and capitalists sell are valued for the amount of labor embodied in them. The same goes for the workers' labor power itself: it is valued, not for the amount of wealth it produces, but for the amount of labor necessary to produce and reproduce it. Thus the capitalists earn wealth from the labor of their employees, not as a function of their personal contribution to the productive process, which may even be null, but as a function of the juridical relation of property to the means of production. Marxists argue that new wealth is created through labor applied to natural resources.[19]

Marx argued that the proletariat would displace the capitalist system with the dictatorship of the proletariat, abolishing the social relationships underpinning the class system and then developing into a communist society in which "the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all".[20]

Prole drift

Prole drift, short for proletarian drift, is the tendency in advanced industrialized societies for everything inexorably to become proletarianized, or to become commonplace and commodified. This trend is attributed to mass production, mass selling, mass communication and mass education. Examples include best-seller lists, films and music that must appeal to the masses, and shopping malls.[21]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Arnold J. Toynbee, especially in his A Study of History, uses the word "proletariat" in this general sense of people without property or a stake in society. Toynbee focuses particularly on the generative spiritual life of the "internal proletariat" (those living within a given civil society). He also describes the "heroic" folk legends of the "external proletariat" (poorer groups living outside the borders of a civilization). Compare Toynbee, A Study of History (Oxford University 1934–1961), 12 volumes, in Volume V Disintegration of Civilizations, part one (1939) at 58–194 (internal proletariat), and at 194–337 (external proletariat).

References

  1. ^ proletariat. Accessed: 6 June 2013.
  2. ^ Adolf Berger, Encyclopedic Dictionary of Roman Law (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society 1953) at 380; 657.
  3. ^ Berger, Encyclopedic Dictionary of Roman Law (1953) at 351; 657 (quote).
  4. ^ Titus Livius (c. 59 BC – AD 17), Ab urbe condita, 1, 43; the first five books translated by Aubrey de Sélincourt as Livy, The Early History of Rome (Penguin 1960, 1971) at 81–82.
  5. ^ Andrew Lintott, The Constitution of the Roman Republic (Oxford University 1999) at 55–61, re the Comitia Centuriata.
  6. ^ Cf., Theodor Mommsen, Römisches Geschichte (1854–1856), 3 volumes; translated as History of Rome (1862–1866), 4 volumes; reprint (The Free Press 1957) at vol. III: 48–55 (Mommsen's Bk. III, ch. XI toward end).
  7. ^ H. H. Scullard, Gracchi to Nero. A History of Rome from 133 BC to AD 68 (London: Methuen 1959, 4th ed. 1976) at 51–52.
  8. ^ Félicité Robert de Lamennais: Modern Slavery (1840) [1]
  9. ^ Ekins, Paul; Max-Neef, Manfred (2006). Real Life Economics. Routledge. pp. 91–93.
  10. ^ Ekelund Jr, Robert B.; Hébert, Robert F. (2006). A History of Economic Theory and Method: Fifth Edition. Waveland Press. p. 226.
  11. ^ Lutz, Mark A. (2002). Economics for the Common Good: Two Centuries of Economic Thought in the Humanist Tradition. Routledge. pp. 55–57.
  12. ^ Stedman Jones, Gareth (2006). "Saint-Simon and the Liberal origins of the Socialist critique of Political Economy". In Aprile, Sylvie; Bensimon, Fabrice (eds.). La France et l'Angleterre au XIXe siècle. Échanges, représentations, comparaisons. Créaphis. pp. 21–47.
  13. ^ Cf., Sidney Hook, Marx and the Marxists (Princeton: Van Nostrand 1955) at 13.
  14. ^ Marx, Karl (1887). "Chapter Six: The Buying and Selling of Labour-Power". In Frederick Engels (ed.). Das Kapital, Kritik der politischen Ökonomie [Capital: Critique of Political Economy]. Moscow: Progress Publishers. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  15. ^ Lumpen proletariat – Britannica Online Encyclopedia
  16. ^ Marx, Karl (February 1848). "Bourgeois and Proletarians". Manifesto of the Communist Party. Progress Publishers. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  17. ^ Marx, Karl. The Capital, volume 1, chapter 6. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch06.htm
  18. ^ Luxemburg, Rosa. The Accumulation of Capital. Chapter 6, Enlarged Reproduction, http://www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1913/accumulation-capital/ch06.htm
  19. ^ Marx, Karl. Critique of the Gotha Programme, I. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1875/gotha/ch01.htm
  20. ^ Marx, Karl. The Communist Manifesto, part II, Proletarians and Communists http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch02.htm
  21. ^ Fussell, Paul (October 1992). Class, A Guide Through the American Status System. New York: Ballantine. ISBN 978-0-345-31816-9.

Further reading

Air charter

Air charter is the business of renting an entire aircraft (i.e., chartering) as opposed to individual aircraft seats (i.e., purchasing a ticket through a traditional airline).

Class consciousness

In political theory and particularly Marxism, class consciousness is the set of beliefs that a person holds regarding their social class or economic rank in society, the structure of their class, and their class interests. According to Karl Marx, it is an awareness that is key to sparking a revolution that would "create a dictatorship of the proletariat, transforming it from a wage-earning, property-less mass into the ruling class".

Communism

In political and social sciences, communism (from Latin communis, "common, universal") is the philosophical, social, political, and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, which is a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money, and the state.Communism includes a variety of schools of thought, which broadly include Marxism and anarchism (anarcho-communism), as well as the political ideologies grouped around both. All of these share the analysis that the current order of society stems from its economic system, capitalism; that in this system there are two major social classes; that conflict between these two classes is the root of all problems in society; and that this situation will ultimately be resolved through a social revolution.

The two classes are the working class—who must work to survive and who make up the majority within society—and the capitalist class—a minority who derives profit from employing the working class through private ownership of the means of production.

The revolution will put the working class in power and in turn establish social ownership of the means of production, which according to this analysis is the primary element in the transformation of society towards communism.

Critics of communism can be roughly divided into those concerning themselves with the practical aspects of 20th century communist states and those concerning themselves with communist principles and theory.Marxism-Leninism and democratic socialism were the two dominant forms of socialism in the 20th century; democratic socialism advocates economic reform through gradual democratic legislative action rather than through revolution.

Dictatorship of the proletariat

In Marxist philosophy, the dictatorship of the proletariat is a state of affairs in which the working class hold political power. Proletarian dictatorship is the intermediate stage between a capitalist economy and a communist economy, whereby the government nationalises ownership of the means of production from private to collective ownership. The socialist revolutionary Joseph Weydemeyer coined the term "dictatorship of the proletariat", which Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels adopted to their philosophy and economics. The Paris Commune (1871), which controlled the capital city for two months, before being suppressed, was an example of the dictatorship of the proletariat. In Marxist philosophy, the term "Dictatorship of the bourgeoisie" is the antonym to "dictatorship of the proletariat".The term "dictatorship" indicates the retention of the state apparatus, but differs from individual dictatorship, the rule of one man. The term 'dictatorship of the proletariat implies the complete "socialization of the major means of production", the planning of material production in service to the social and economic needs of the population, such as the right to work, education, health and welfare services, public housing.

There are multiple popular trends for this political thought, all of which believe the state will be retained post-revolution for its enforcement capabilities:

Marxism–Leninism follows the ideas of Marxism and Leninism as interpreted by Vladimir Lenin's successor Joseph Stalin. It seeks to organise a vanguard party, as advocated by Marx, and to lead a proletarian uprising, to assume state power on behalf of the proletariat and to construct a single-party "socialist state" representing a dictatorship of the proletariat, governed through the process of democratic centralism, which Lenin described as "diversity in discussion, unity in action". Marxism–Leninism forms the official ideology of the ruling parties of China, Cuba, Laos and Vietnam, and was the official ideology of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from the late 1920's, and later of the other ruling parties making up the Eastern Bloc.

Libertarian Marxists criticize Marxism–Leninism for perceived differences from orthodox Marxism, opposing the Leninist principle of democratic centralism and the Marxist-Leninist interpretation of vanguardism. Along with Trotskyists, they also oppose the use of a one-party state which they view as inherently undemocratic, although Trotskyists are still Bolsheviks, subscribing to democratic centralism and soviet democracy, seeing their ideology as a more accurate interpretation of Leninism. Rosa Luxemburg, a Marxist theorist, emphasized the role of the vanguard party as representative of the whole class, and the dictatorship of the proletariat as the entire proletariat's rule, characterizing the dictatorship of the proletariat as a concept meant to expand democracy rather than reduce it - as opposed to minority rule in the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.In The Road to Serfdom (1944), the neoliberal economist Friedrich Hayek wrote that the dictatorship of the proletariat likely would destroy personal freedom as completely as does an autocracy. The European Commission of Human Rights found pursuing the dictatorship of the proletariat incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights in Communist Party of Germany v. the Federal Republic of Germany (1957).

Galician Party of the Proletariat

The Galician Party of the Proletariat (PGP) was a party galician independentist and Marxist-Leninist party formed in March 1978, as a continuation of Galician People's Union-Proletarian Line, a split of the original Galician People's Union. The Central Committee was clandestine, and even the party militants didn't know the members of it. Tha party supported armed struggle, which considered as anti-imperialist and anti-oligarchic. Its official magazine was called Sempre en Galiza.

Ideology of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

The ideology of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) was Marxism–Leninism, an ideology of a centralised, planned economy and a vanguardist one-party state, which was the dictatorship of the proletariat. The Soviet Union's ideological commitment to achieving communism included the development socialism in one country and peaceful coexistence with capitalist countries while engaging in anti-imperialism to defend the international proletariat, combat capitalism and promote the goals of communism. The state ideology of the Soviet Union—and thus Marxism–Leninism—derived and developed from the theories, policies and political praxis of Lenin and Stalin.

Leninism

Leninism is the political theory for the organisation of a revolutionary vanguard party and the achievement of a dictatorship of the proletariat as political prelude to the establishment of socialism. Developed by and named for the Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, Leninism comprises socialist political and economic theories, developed from Marxism and Lenin's interpretations of Marxist theories, for practical application to the socio-political conditions of the Russian Empire of the early 20th century.

Functionally, the Leninist vanguard party was to provide the working class with the political consciousness (education and organisation) and revolutionary leadership necessary to depose capitalism in Imperial Russia. After the October Revolution of 1917, Leninism became the dominant hegemonic force within the Russian revolutionary current, and in establishing further Bolshevik supremacy, the Bolsheviks had defeated the socialist opposition such as the Mensheviks and factions of the Socialist Revolutionary Party and also suppressed soviet democracy. The Russian Civil War (1917–1922) thus included left-wing uprisings against the Bolsheviks (1918–1924) that were suppressed in the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (RSFSR) before incorporation to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1922.

At the Fifth Congress of the Communist International in July 1924, Grigory Zinoviev popularized the term "Leninism" to denote "vanguard-party revolution". From 1917 to 1922, Leninism was the Russian application of Marxist economics and political philosophy, effected and realised by the Bolsheviks, the vanguard party who led the fight for the political independence of the working class. In the 1925–1929 period, Joseph Stalin established his interpretation of Leninism as the official and only legitimate form of Marxism in Russia by amalgamating the political philosophies as Marxism–Leninism, which then became the state ideology of the Soviet Union.

Lumpenproletariat

Lumpenproletariat () is a term used primarily by Marxist theorists to describe the underclass devoid of class consciousness. Coined by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the 1840s, they used it to refer to the "unthinking" lower strata of society exploited by reactionary and counter-revolutionary forces, particularly in the context of the revolutions of 1848. They dismissed its revolutionary potential and contrasted it with the proletariat. Among other groups criminals, vagabonds, and prostitutes are usually included in this category.

The Social Democratic Party of Germany made wide use of the term by the turn of the century. Lenin and Trotsky followed Marx's arguments and dismissed its revolutionary potential, while Mao argued it can be utilized by a proper leadership. The term was popularized in the West by Frantz Fanon in the 1960s and has been adopted as a sociological term. However, its vagueness and its history as a term of abuse has led to some criticism. Some radical groups, most notably the Black Panthers and the Young Lords, have sought to mobilize the lumpenproletariat.

Maoism (Third Worldism)

Maoism (Third Worldism), often stylized as Maoism–Third Worldism or simply MTW and not to be confused with Third Worldism generally, is a broad tendency which is mainly concerned with the infusion and synthesis of Marxism—particularly of the Marxist–Leninist–Maoist persuasion—with concepts of non-Marxist Third Worldism, namely dependency theory and world-systems theory.

There is no general consensus on part of Maoist–Third Worldists as a whole. However, the majority of proponents typically argue for the centrality of anti-imperialism to the victory of global communist revolution as well as against the idea that the working class in the First World is majority-exploited (sometimes arguing that it experiences no exploitation at all) and therefore it is not a part of the international proletariat.

In academic discourse, Maoism–Third Worldism is sometimes synonymous with dependency theory or dependencism.

Marxian class theory

Marxian class theory asserts that an individual’s position within a class hierarchy is determined by their role in the production process, and argues that political and ideological consciousness is determined by class position. A class is those who share common economic interests, are conscious of those interests, and engage in collective action which advances those interests. Within Marxian class theory, the structure of the production process forms the basis of class construction.

To Marx, a class is a group with intrinsic tendencies and interests that differ from those of other groups within society, the basis of a fundamental antagonism between such groups. For example, it is in the laborer's best interest to maximize wages and benefits and in the capitalist's best interest to maximize profit at the expense of such, leading to a contradiction within the capitalist system, even if the laborers and capitalists themselves are unaware of the clash of interests.

Marxian class theory has been open to a range of alternate positions, most notably from scholars such as E. P. Thompson and Mario Tronti. Both Thompson and Tronti suggest class consciousness within the production process precedes the formation of productive relationships. In this sense, Marxian class theory often relates to discussion over pre-existing class struggles.

Marxism

Marxism is a theory and method of working-class self-emancipation. As a theory, it relies on a method of socioeconomic analysis that views class relations and social conflict using a materialist interpretation of historical development and takes a dialectical view of social transformation. It originates from the works of 19th-century German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

Marxism uses a methodology, now known as historical materialism, to analyze and critique the development of class society and especially of capitalism as well as the role of class struggles in systemic economic, social, and political change. According to Marxist theory, in capitalist societies, class conflict arises due to contradictions between the material interests of the oppressed and exploited proletariat—a class of wage labourers employed to produce goods and services—and the bourgeoisie—the ruling class that owns the means of production and extracts its wealth through appropriation of the surplus product produced by the proletariat in the form of profit.

This class struggle that is commonly expressed as the revolt of a society's productive forces against its relations of production, results in a period of short-term crises as the bourgeoisie struggle to manage the intensifying alienation of labor experienced by the proletariat, albeit with varying degrees of class consciousness. In periods of deep crisis, the resistance of the oppressed can culminate in a proletarian revolution which, if victorious, leads to the establishment of socialism—a socioeconomic system based on social ownership of the means of production, distribution based on one's contribution and production organized directly for use. As the productive forces continued to advance, Marx hypothesized that socialism would ultimately be transformed into a communist society: a classless, stateless, humane society based on common ownership and the underlying principle: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs".

Marxism has developed into many different branches and schools of thought, with the result that there is now no single definitive Marxist theory. Different Marxian schools place a greater emphasis on certain aspects of classical Marxism while rejecting or modifying other aspects. Many schools of thought have sought to combine Marxian concepts and non-Marxian concepts, which has then led to contradicting conclusions. However, lately there is movement toward the recognition that historical materialism and dialectical materialism remains the fundamental aspect of all Marxist schools of thought. Marxism has had a profound impact on global academia and has influenced many fields such as archaeology, anthropology, media studies, political science, theater, history, sociology, art history and theory, cultural studies, education, economics, ethics, criminology, geography, literary criticism, aesthetics, film theory, critical psychology and philosophy.

Party of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat

The Party of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat (Partiya Diktaturi Proletariata) is a communist political party in Russia.

PDP was founded in 1990.

The party is based in the city of Samara and it is led by Grigory Isayev.

PDP publishes Zabastovka.

Permanent revolution

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.

Portuguese Workers' Communist Party

The Portuguese Workers' Communist Party/Re-Organized Movement of the Party of the Proletariat (Portuguese: Partido Comunista dos Trabalhadores Portugueses/Movimento Reorganizativo do Partido do Proletariado, PCTP/MRPP) is a Maoist political party in Portugal.

Proletarian revolution

A proletarian revolution is a social revolution in which the working class attempts to overthrow the bourgeoisie. Proletarian revolutions are generally advocated by socialists, communists and most anarchists.

Marxists believe proletarian revolutions can and will likely happen in all capitalist countries, related to the concept of world revolution.

The Leninist branch of Marxism argues that a proletarian revolution must be led by a vanguard of "professional revolutionaries", men and women who are fully dedicated to the communist cause and who form the nucleus of the communist revolutionary movement. This vanguard is meant to provide leadership and organization to the rest of the working class before and during the revolution, which aims to prevent the government from successfully ending it.Other Marxists such as Luxemburgists disagree with the Leninist idea of a vanguard and insist that the entire working class—or at least a large part of it—must be deeply involved and equally committed to the socialist or communist cause in order for a proletarian revolution to be successful. To this end, they seek to build mass working class movements with a very large membership.

Finally, there are socialist anarchists and libertarian socialists. Their view is that the revolution must be a bottom-up social revolution which seeks to transform all aspects of society and the individuals which make up the society (see Revolutionary Catalonia). In the words of Alexander Berkman, "there are revolutions and revolutions. Some revolutions change only the governmental form by putting a new set of rulers in place of the old. These are political revolutions, and as such they often meet with little resistance. But a revolution that aims to abolish the entire system of wage slavery must also do away with the power of one class to oppress another. That is, it is not any more a mere change of rulers, of government, not a political revolution, but one that seeks to alter the whole character of society. That would be a social revolution".

The State and Revolution

The State and Revolution (1917), by Vladimir Lenin, describes the role of the State in society, the necessity of proletarian revolution, and the theoretic inadequacies of social democracy in achieving revolution to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Trotskyism

Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky. Trotsky identified as an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik–Leninist. He supported founding a vanguard party of the proletariat, proletarian internationalism and a dictatorship of the proletariat based on working class self-emancipation and mass democracy. Trotskyists are critical of Stalinism as they oppose Joseph Stalin's theory of socialism in one country in favor of Trotsky's theory of permanent revolution. Trotskyists also criticize the bureaucracy that developed in the Soviet Union under Stalin.

Vladimir Lenin and Trotsky were close both ideologically and personally during the Russian Revolution and its aftermath, and some call Trotsky its "co-leader". Trotsky was the paramount leader of the Red Army in the direct aftermath of the Revolutionary period. Trotsky initially opposed some aspects of Leninism, but he concluded that unity between the Mensheviks and Bolsheviks was impossible and joined the Bolsheviks. Trotsky played a leading role with Lenin in the revolution. Assessing Trotsky, Lenin wrote: "Trotsky long ago said that unification is impossible. Trotsky understood this and from that time on there has been no better Bolshevik".Under Stalin's orders, Trotsky was removed from power (October 1927), expelled from the Communist Party (November 1927), exiled first to Alma-Ata (January 1928), and then from the Soviet Union (February 1929). As the head of the Fourth International, Trotsky continued from exile to oppose the Stalinist bureaucracy in the Soviet Union. On 20 August 1940, Trotsky was attacked by Ramón Mercader, a Spanish-born NKVD agent, and died the next day in a hospital. His murder is considered a political assassination. Almost all of the Trotskyists within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union were executed in the Great Purges of 1937–1938, effectively removing all of Trotsky's internal influence in the Soviet Union.

Trotsky's Fourth International was established in France in 1938, when Trotskyists argued that the Comintern or Third International had become irretrievably "lost to Stalinism" and thus incapable of leading the international working class to political power. In contemporary English language usage, an advocate of Trotsky's ideas is often called a "Trotskyist". A Trotskyist can be called a "Trotskyite" or "Trot", especially by a critic of Trotskyism.

Vanguardism

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.

Working class

The working class (or labouring class) comprises those engaged in waged or salaried labour, especially in manual-labour occupations and industrial work. Working-class occupations (see also "Designation of workers by collar color") include blue-collar jobs, some white-collar jobs, and most pink-collar jobs. Members of the working class rely for their income exclusively upon their earnings from wage labour; thus, according to the more inclusive definitions, the category can include almost all of the working population of industrialized economies, as well as those employed in the urban areas (cities, towns, villages) of non-industrialized economies or in the rural workforce.

In Marxist theory and socialist literature, the term working class is often used interchangeably with the term proletariat and includes all workers who expend both physical and mental labour (salaried knowledge workers and white-collar workers) to produce economic value for the owners of the means of production (the bourgeoisie in Marxist literature).

Marxist phraseology and terminology
Philosophy and politics
(Marxist)
Economics and sociology
(Marxian)
Marxist–Leninist
Trotskyist
Maoist

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.