Socialism in One Country

Socialism in one country (Russian: социализм в одной стране, tr. sotsializm v odnoi strane) was a theory put forth by Joseph Stalin and Nikolai Bukharin in 1924 which was eventually adopted by the Soviet Union as state policy.[1] 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.


The defeat of several proletarian revolutions in countries like Germany and Hungary ended Bolsheviks' hopes for an imminent world revolution and began promotion of socialism in one country by Joseph Stalin. In the first edition of the book Osnovy Leninizma (Foundations of Leninism, 1924), Stalin was still a follower of the orthodox Marxist idea that revolution in one country is insufficient. Vladimir Lenin died in January 1924 and by the end of that year in the second edition of the book Stalin's position started to turn around as he claimed that "the proletariat can and must build the socialist society in one country". In April 1925, Nikolai Bukharin elaborated the issue in his brochure Can We Build Socialism in One Country in the Absence of the Victory of the West-European Proletariat?. The Soviet Union adopted socialism in one country as state policy after Stalin's January 1926 article On the Issues of Leninism. 1925–1926 signaled a shift in the immediate activity of the Communist International from world revolution towards a defense of the Soviet state. This period was known up to 1928 as the Second Period, mirroring the shift in the Soviet Union from war communism to the New Economic Policy.[2] In his 1915 article "On the Slogan for a United States of Europe", Lenin had written:

Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism. Hence, the victory of socialism is possible first in several or even in one capitalist country alone. After expropriating the capitalists and organising their own socialist production, the victorious proletariat of that country will arise against the rest of the world.

In 1918, Lenin wrote:

I know that there are, of course, sages who think they are very clever and even call themselves Socialists, who assert that power should not have been seized until the revolution had broken out in all countries. They do not suspect that by speaking in this way they are deserting the revolution and going over to the side of the bourgeoisie. To wait until the toiling classes bring about a revolution on an international scale means that everybody should stand stock-still in expectation. That is nonsense.[3]

After Lenin's death, Stalin used these quotes and others to argue that Lenin shared his view of socialism in one country. Grigory Zinoviev and Leon Trotsky vigorously criticized the theory of socialism in one country. In particular, Trotskyists often claimed and still claim that socialism in one country opposes both the basic tenets of Marxism and Lenin's particular beliefs[4] that the final success of socialism in one country depends upon the revolution's degree of success in proletarian revolutions in the more advanced countries of Western Europe. At the Seventh Congress in March 1918, Lenin explained:

Regarded from the world-historical point of view, there would doubtlessly be no hope of the ultimate victory of our revolution if it were to remain alone, if there were no revolutionary movements in other countries. [...] I repeat, our salvation from all these difficulties is an all Europe revolution. [...] At all events, under all conceivable circumstances, if the German revolution does not come, we are doomed.

However, the exponents of socialism in one country contend that Stalin's theory was firmly in line with the basic tenets of Leninism in that the victory of socialism is possible in one or separate countries while other countries may continue to remain bourgeois for some time. To support this assertion, they quote Lenin, who said:[5]

[S]ocialism cannot achieve victory simultaneously in all countries. It will achieve victory first in one or several countries, while the others will for some time remain bourgeois or pre-bourgeois.

The defeat of all the 1917–1923 revolutions in Europe except Russia ended the Bolsheviks and especially Lenin's hopes for an imminent world revolution. In his 1918 "Letter to American Workers", Lenin wrote:

We are banking on the inevitability of the world revolution, but this does not mean that we are such fools as to bank on the revolution inevitably coming on a definite and early date.

In his report to the Extraordinary Seventh Congress of the R.C.P.(B.) which met on 6 March 1918, Lenin said:[6]

Yes, we shall see the world revolution, but for the time being it is a very good fairy-tale, a very beautiful fairy-tale—I quite understand children liking beautiful fairy-tales. But I ask, is it proper for a serious revolutionary to believe in fairy-tales? There is an element of reality in every fairy-tale. If you told children fairy-tales in which the cock and the cat did not converse in human language they would not be interested. In the same way, if you tell the people that civil war will break out in Germany and also guarantee that instead of a clash with imperialism we shall have a field revolution on a world-wide scale, the people will say you are deceiving them. In doing this you will be overcoming the difficulties with which history has confronted us only in your own minds, by your own wishes. It will be a good thing if the German proletariat is able to take action. But have you measured it, have you discovered an instrument that will show that the German revolution will break out on such-and-such a day? [...] If the revolution breaks out, everything is saved. Of course! But if it does not turn out as we desire, if it does not achieve victory tomorrow—what then? Then the masses will say to you, you acted like gamblers—you staked everything on a fortunate turn of events that did not take place, you proved to be unequal to the situation that actually arose instead of the world revolution, which will inevitably come, but which has not yet reached maturity.

With the world revolution having altogether failed to materialize, the nascent Soviet Union found itself in a state of capitalist encirclement. Lenin emphasized that the young Soviet state needs to first start strengthening itself internally to survive, with that in mind Lenin laid down a long-term future course of action for the nascent soviet state and it's vanguard the R.C.P.(B.) that was firstly based on building a close class alliance between the proletariat and the vast masses of the small peasantry (with assured proletarian leadership of the peasantry) and secondly constructing a complete socialist society in Russia whilst patiently awaiting and aiding the worldwide class struggle to first mature around the world before a mass based proletarian revolution on a worldwide scale is made possible. In his 1923 article titled "Our Revolution", Lenin wrote:

You say that civilization is necessary for the building of socialism. Very good. But why could we not first create such prerequisites of civilization in our country by the expulsion of the landowners and the Russian capitalists, and then start moving toward socialism? Where, in what books, have you read that such [...] sequence of events are impermissible or impossible?

Lenin further expounded on his ideas in his article titled "On Cooperation", where he wrote:

Indeed, the power of the state over all large-scale means of production, political power in the hands of the proletariat, the alliance of this proletariat with the many millions of small and very small peasants, the assured proletarian leadership of the peasantry, etc. — is this not all that is necessary to build a complete socialist society out of cooperatives, out of cooperatives alone, which we formerly ridiculed as huckstering and which from a certain aspect we have the right to treat as such now, under NEP? Is this not all that is necessary to build a complete socialist society? It is still not the building of socialist society, but it is all that is necessary and sufficient for it.

Joseph Stalin

Stalin presented the theory of socialism in one country as a further development of Leninism based on Lenin aforementioned quotations.

In his 14 February 1938 "Response to Comrade Ivanov", formulated as an answer to a question of a "comrade Ivanov" mailed to Pravda newspaper, Stalin splits the question in two parts.[7] The first side of the question is in terms of the internal relations within the Soviet Union, whether it is possible to construct the socialist society by defeating the local bourgeoisie and fostering the union of workers and peasants.

Stalin quotes Lenin that "we have all that is necessary for the building of a complete socialist society" and claims that the socialist society has for the most part been indeed constructed. The second side of the question is in terms of external relations and whether the victory of the socialism is "final", i.e. whether capitalism cannot possibly be restored. Here, Stalin cites Lenin that the final victory is possible only on the international scale and only with the help of the workers of other countries.

Marxist writer Isaac Deutscher traces Stalin's Socialism in One Country policy to the publication of the 1924 The Foundations of Leninism which emphasized the policy of isolationism and economic development in opposition to Leon Trotsky's policy of Permanent revolution.[8]

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

On the question of socialist construction in a single country, Friedrich Engels wrote:

Will it be possible for this revolution to take place in one country alone?

No. By creating the world market, big industry has already brought all the peoples of the Earth, and especially the civilized peoples, into such close relation with one another that none is independent of what happens to the others. Further, it has co-ordinated the social development of the civilized countries to such an extent that, in all of them, bourgeoisie and proletariat have become the decisive classes, and the struggle between them the great struggle of the day. It follows that the communist revolution will not merely be a national phenomenon but must take place simultaneously in all civilized countries—that is to say, at least in England, America, France, and Germany. It will develop in each of these countries more or less rapidly, according as one country or the other has a more developed industry, greater wealth, a more significant mass of productive forces. Hence, it will go slowest and will meet most obstacles in Germany, most rapidly and with the fewest difficulties in England. It will have a powerful impact on the other countries of the world, and will radically alter the course of development which they have followed up to now, while greatly stepping up its pace. It is a universal revolution and will, accordingly, have a universal range.

—Friedrich Engels, Principles of Communism, 1847

However, a year later Karl Marx and Engels claimed:

The Communists are further reproached with desiring to abolish countries and nationalities. The working men have no country. We cannot take from them what they have not got. Since the proletariat must first of all acquire political supremacy, must rise to be the leading class of the nation, must constitute itself the nation, it is, so far, itself national, though not in the bourgeois sense of the word.

—Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto, 1848

In 1882, Marx and Engels wrote:

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.

—Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto, preface to the Russian edition, 1882

In popular culture

The slogan was parodied in the novel Moscow 2042, where "Communism in one city" was built.

See also


  1. ^ Stalin, Joseph (17 December 1925). "October Revolution and the Tactics of the Russian Communists". Seventeen Moments in Soviet History. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  2. ^ Hallas, Dunacan (1985). The Comintern. "Chapter 5".
  3. ^ Lenin, Vladimir (14 May 1918). Speech delivered at a joint meeting of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Moscow Soviet. Lenin Collected Works. Vol. 23. p. 9.
  4. ^ Lenin, Vladimir (1918). The Immediate Tasks of the Soviet Government. Lenin' Collected Works. 4th English ed. Progress Publishers: Moscow. Vol. 27. pp. 235–277.
  5. ^ Lenin, Vladimir (1916). "The Military Programme of the Proletarian Revolution". Marxists Internet Archive. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  6. ^ Lenin, Vladimir (6 March 1918). Lenin, Collected Works Vol. 27. pp. 101–109.
  7. ^ Stalin, Joseph (1938). "On the Final Victory of Socialism in the U.S.S.R." Marxist Internet Archive. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  8. ^ Deutscher, Isaac (1984). The Stalinist Legacy. London, England: Penguin Books. pp. 95–105.

Further reading

  • Carr, Edward Hallett. "Socialism in One Country, 1924-1926" Science and Society 25 (3):275-278 (1961)
  • Fischer, Rush; Leggett, John C. (2006). "Socialism in one country". Stalin and German Communism: A Study in the Origins of the State Party. Social Science Classics (2nd reprint ed.). Transaction Publishers. pp. 471–496. ISBN 0-87855-822-5.
  • Mandel, Ernest. From Stalinism to Eurocommunism: the bitter fruits of'socialism in one country'. (Verso Books, 2016.)
  • Shachtman, Max (1932). The Reactionary Theory of Socialism in One Country.
  • Van Ree, Erik. "Socialism in one country: a reassessment." Studies in East European Thought 50.2 (1998): 77-117. online
  • Van Ree, Erik. "Lenin’S Conception of Socialism in One Country, 1915–17" Revolutionary Russia 23#2 (2010), pp. 159–181 online

Primary sources

  • Corin, Chris. "Stalin’s Defeat of Trotsky and His Allies: Key Sources." History Review 71 (2011): 24.
  • Stalin, Joseph (1936). Concerning Questions of Leninism.

External links

1924 Soviet Union legislative election

Legislative elections were held in the Soviet Union in 1924 to elect members of the Congress of Soviets. Some of the citizenry were not enthusiastic about elections in rural areas held the same year, for a number of varied reasons, possibly including reduced faith in the Soviets, which would increase in later years. However, voter turnout amongst women was very high.The elections were noteworthy for a number of reasons: Joseph Stalin rose to more prominence this year after Vladimir Lenin died, revealing his idea of "socialism in one country" and increasing criticism of Trotskyists within the Soviet Union as its relations with Western countries, like the United Kingdom varied.

A History of Soviet Russia

A History of Soviet Russia is a 14-volume work by Edward Hallett Carr, covering the first twelve years of the history of the Soviet Union. It was first published from 1950 onward, and re-issued from 1978 onward.

The Bolshevik Revolution, 1917-1923, Volume 1. (1950)

The Bolshevik Revolution, 1917-1923, Volume 2. (1952)

The Bolshevik Revolution, 1917-1923. Volume 3. (1953)

The Interregnum, 1923-1924. (1954)

Socialism in One Country, 1924-1926, Volume 1. (1958)

Socialism in One Country, 1924-1926, Volume 2. (1959)

Socialism in One Country, 1924-1926, Volume 3, Part 1. (1963)

Socialism in One Country, 1924-1926, Volume 3, Part 2. (1963)

Foundations of a Planned Economy, 1926-1929, Volume 1, Part 1. (1969)

Foundations of a Planned Economy, 1926-1929, Volume 1, Part 2. (1969)

Foundations of a Planned Economy, 1926-1929, Volume 2. (1971)

Foundations of a Planned Economy, 1926-1929, Volume 3, Part 1. (1978)

Foundations of a Planned Economy, 1926-1929, Volume 3, Part 2. (1978)

Foundations of a Planned Economy, 1926-1929, Volume 3, Part 3. (1978)Carr subsequently distilled the research contained in these fourteen volumes into a short book, entitled The Russian Revolution: from Lenin to Stalin, 1917-1929, which covers the same period as the large history.

Agrarian socialism

Agrarian socialism is a political ideology which combines an agrarian way of life with a socialist economic system.


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 is is placed on the far-left within the traditional left–right spectrum.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 social democracy were the two dominant forms of socialism in the 20th century; social democracy advocates economic reform through gradual democratic legislative action rather than through revolution.

Communist Party of the Soviet Union

The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) was the founding and ruling political party of the Soviet Union. The CPSU was the sole governing party of the Soviet Union until 1990, when the Congress of People's Deputies modified Article 6 of the most recent 1977 Soviet constitution, which had granted the CPSU a monopoly over the political system.

The party was founded in 1912 by the Bolsheviks, a majority faction detached from the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, led by Vladimir Lenin, who seized power in the October Revolution of 1917. After 74 years, it was dissolved on 29 August 1991 on Soviet territory, soon after a failed coup d'état by hard-line CPSU leaders against Soviet president and party general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev and was completely outlawed three months later on 6 November 1991 in Russian territory.

The CPSU was a Communist party, organized on the basis of democratic centralism. This principle, conceived by Lenin, entails democratic and open discussion of policy issues within the party followed by the requirement of total unity in upholding the agreed policies. The highest body within the CPSU was the Party Congress, which convened every five years. When the Congress was not in session, the Central Committee was the highest body. Because the Central Committee met twice a year, most day-to-day duties and responsibilities were vested in the Politburo, (previously the Presidium), the Secretariat and the Orgburo (until 1952). The party leader was the head of government and held the office of either General Secretary, Premier or head of state, or some of the three offices concurrently—but never all three at the same time. The party leader was the de facto chairman of the CPSU Politburo and chief executive of the Soviet Union. The tension between the party and the state (Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union) for the shifting focus of power was never formally resolved, but in reality the party dominated and a paramount leader always existed (first Lenin and thereafter the General Secretary).

After the founding of the Soviet Union in 1922, Lenin had introduced a mixed economy, commonly referred to as the New Economic Policy, which allowed for capitalist practices to resume under the Communist Party dictation in order to develop the necessary conditions for socialism to become a practical pursuit in the economically undeveloped country. In 1929, as Joseph Stalin became the leader of the party, Marxism–Leninism, a fusion of the original ideas of German philosopher and economic theorist Karl Marx, and Lenin, became formalized as the party's guiding ideology and would remain so throughout the rest of its existence. The party pursued state socialism, under which all industries were nationalized and a planned economy was implemented. After recovering from the Second World War, reforms were implemented which decentralized economic planning and liberalized Soviet society in general under Nikita Khrushchev. By 1980, various factors, including the continuing Cold War, and ongoing nuclear arms race with the United States and other Western European powers and unaddressed inefficiencies in the economy, led to stagnant economic growth under Alexei Kosygin, and further with Leonid Brezhnev and a growing disillusionment. After a younger vigorous Mikhail Gorbachev (b.1931), assumed leadership in 1985, (following two short-term elderly leaders who quickly died in succession), rapid steps were taken to transform the tottering Soviet economic system in the direction of a market economy once again. Gorbachev and his allies envisioned the introduction of an economy similar to Lenin's earlier New Economic Policy through a program of "perestroika", or restructuring, but their reforms along with the institution of free multiparty elections led to a decline in the party's power, and after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the banning of the party by later last RSFSR President Boris Yeltsin and subsequent first President of an evolving democratic and free market economy of the successor Russian Federation.

A number of causes contributed to CPSU's loss of control and the dissolution of the Soviet Union during the early 1990s. Some historians have written that Gorbachev's policy of "glasnost" (political openness) was the root cause, noting that it weakened the party's control over society. Gorbachev maintained that perestroika without glasnost was doomed to failure anyway. Others have blamed the economic stagnation and subsequent loss of faith by the general populace in communist ideology. In the final years of the CPSU's existence, the Communist Parties of the federal subjects of Russia were united into the Communist Party of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR). After the CPSU's demise, the Communist Parties of the Union Republics became independent and underwent various separate paths of reform. In Russia, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation emerged and has been regarded as the inheritor of the CPSU's old Bolshevik legacy into the present day.

Critique (journal)

Critique: Journal of Socialist Theory is a Marxist academic journal published by the Centre for the Study of Socialist Theory and Movements (University of Glasgow). The journal was established in May 1973 by founding editor Hillel H. Ticktin as Critique: Journal of Marxist Theory and Soviet Studies.

The acting Editor is Yassamine Mather.

Originating as an anti-Stalinist Soviet Studies journal, with the editor accepting the analysis of Leon Trotsky as a corrective to the Stalinist distortion of Marxism, the initial aim of Critique was to analyze the empirical reality of Stalinism, while rejecting the empiricist method, in order to discover the objective laws of motion of Stalinism. The journal accepted Trotsky’s 1936 prognosis that the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin’s program of Socialism in One Country would fail and that the capitalist market system would be restored.

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Critique has become a more general journal of socialist theory covering political economy, philosophy, history and art, examining capitalist and non-capitalist societies and the instability of world capitalism after the Cold War. Critique is issued four times per year and has been published by Routledge since April 2006. Notable contributors have included Hillel Ticktin, István Mészáros, Bertell Ollman, Ernest Mandel, James Petras, Roman Rosdolsky and Chris Arthur.

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.


The Peasant International (Russian: Крестьянский Интернационал), known most commonly by its Russian abbreviation Krestintern (Крестинтерн), was an international peasants' organization formed by the Communist International in October 1923. The organization attempted to achieve united front relations with radical peasant parties in Eastern Europe and Asia, without lasting success. After failing to make headway with important initiatives in Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and China in the 1920s, the organization was placed on hiatus at the end of the decade. The so-called Red Peasant International was formally dissolved in 1939.

Left Opposition

The Left Opposition was a faction within the Bolshevik Party from 1923 to 1927 headed de facto by Leon Trotsky. The Left Opposition formed as part of the power struggle within the party leadership that began with the Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin's illness and intensified with his death in January 1924. Originally, the battle lines were drawn between Trotsky and his supporters who signed The Declaration of 46 in October 1923 on the one hand and a triumvirate (also known by its Russian name troika) of Comintern chairman Grigory Zinoviev, Communist Party General Secretary Joseph Stalin and Politburo chairman Lev Kamenev on the other hand.

The Left Opposition argued that the New Economic Policy had weakened the Soviet Union by allowing the private sector to achieve an increasingly important position in the Soviet economy while in their opinion, the centrally planned, socialised sector of the economy languished (including the mostly state-run heavy industries which were seen as essential not only for continued industrialisation but also defense). The platform called for the state to adopt a programme for mass industrialisation and to encourage the mechanization and collectivisation of agriculture, thereby developing the means of production and helping the Soviet Union move towards parity with Western capitalist countries, which would also increase the proportion of the economy which was part of the socialised sector of the economy and definitively shift the Soviet Union towards a socialist mode of production.There was also the Right Opposition, which was led by the leading party theoretician and Pravda editor Nikolai Bukharin and supported by Sovnarkom Chairman (prime minister) Alexei Rykov. In late 1924, as Stalin proposed his new socialism in one country theory, Stalin drew closer to the Right Opposition and his triumvirate with Zinoviev and Kamenev slowly broke up over the next year (Zinoviev and Kamenev were both executed in 1936). The Right Opposition were allied to Stalin's Centre from late 1924 until their alliance broke up in the years from 1928–1930 over strategy towards the kulaks and NEPmen. Trotsky and his supporters in the Left Opposition were joined by the Group of Democratic Centralism to form the United (or Joint) Opposition.


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.


Marhaenism (Indonesian: Marhaenisme) is a socialistic political ideology originating in Indonesia. An adherent of Marhaenism is known as a Marhaenist. It was developed by the first President of Indonesia, Sukarno.Some scholars argue that Marhaenism is a variant of Marxism. It emphasizes national unity, culture, and collectivist economics. It was established as an anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist ideology. It promotes democratic rights in opposition to authoritarianism, while condemning liberalism and individualism. It combines both western and eastern principles. Marhaenism is the guiding ideology of the Indonesian National Party Marhaenism and the now defunct Parti Marhaen Malaysia.


In political science, Marxism–Leninism was the official state ideology of the Soviet Union (USSR), of the parties of the Communist International, after their Bolshevisation, and is the ideology of Stalinist political parties. As Joseph Stalin's synthesis of Leninism, the political praxis of Lenin, and of Marxism, the politico-economic theories of Karl Marx, the purpose of Marxism–Leninism is the transformation of a capitalist state into a socialist state, by way of two-stage revolution, guided and led by a vanguard party of professional revolutionaries, drawn from the proletariat. To realise the two-stage transformation of the state, the vanguard party establishes the dictatorship of the proletariat, which determines policy with democratic centralism.Politically, the Marxist–Leninist communist party is the vanguard for the organisation of a capitalist society into a socialist society, which is the lower stage of socio-economic development and progress towards the upper-stage communist society, which is stateless and classless; yet features organised public-ownership of the means of production, accelerated industrialisation, pro-active development of the productive forces of society, and nationalised natural resources.In the late 1920s, after the death of Lenin, Stalin established universal ideologic orthodoxy in the Communist Party, the USSR, and the Communist International, with his coinage Marxism–Leninism, a term which redefined theories of Lenin and Marx to establish universal Marxist–Leninist praxis for the exclusive, geopolitical benefit of the USSR. In the late 1930s, Stalin's official textbook The History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks) (1938), made the term Marxism–Leninism common, political-science usage among communists and non-communists.Critical of the Soviet Union's political economy, the Italian Left-communist Amadeo Bordiga said that Marxism–Leninism was a form of political opportunism that preserved rather than destroyed capitalism, because of the claim that commodities would be exchanged under socialism, and because of the use of popular front organisations by the Communist International; he advocated a vanguard party organised by organic centralism, rather than by democratic centralism. The American Marxist Raya Dunayevskaya dismissed Marxism–Leninism as a type of state capitalism because: (i) state ownership of the means of production is a form of state capitalism; (ii) the dictatorship of the proletariat is a form of democracy, and single-party rule is undemocratic, and (iii) Marxism–Leninism is neither Marxism nor Leninism, but an ideology that Stalin used to determine what is communism and what is not communism among the Eastern bloc.

National communism

National communism refers to the various forms in which communism has been adopted and/or implemented by leaders in different countries. In each independent state, empire, or dependency, the relationship between class and nation had its own particularities. The Ukrainian communists Shakhrai and Mazlakh and then Muslim Sultan Galiyev considered the interests of the Bolshevik Russian state at odds with those of their countries. This was followed after 1945 by the Yugoslav communist leader Josip Broz Tito when he attempted to pursue an independent foreign policy.

Communism as Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels envisioned it was meant to be very internationalist as proletarian internationalism was expected to place class conflict well ahead of nationalism as a priority for the working class. Nationalism was seen as a tool that the bourgeoisie used to divide and rule the proletariat (bourgeois nationalism). Whereas the influence of international communism was very strong from the late 19th century through the 1920s, the decades after that—beginning with socialism in one country and progressing into the Cold War and the Non-Aligned Movement—made national communism a larger political reality.


The Red International of Labor Unions (RILU) (Russian: Красный интернационал профсоюзов—Krasnyi internatsional profsoyuzov), commonly known as the Profintern, was an international body established by the Communist International with the aim of coordinating Communist activities within trade unions. Formally established in 1921, the Profintern was intended to act as a counterweight to the influence of the so-called "Amsterdam International", the Social Democratic International Federation of Trade Unions, an organization branded as class collaborationist and an impediment to revolution by the Comintern. After entering a period of decline in the middle 1930s, the organization was finally terminated in 1937 with the advent of the Popular Front.

Red Sport International

The International Association of Red Sports and Gymnastics Associations, commonly known as Red Sport International (RSI) or Sportintern was a Comintern-supported international sports organization established in July 1921. The RSI was established in an effort to form a rival organization to already existing "bourgeois" and social democratic international sporting groups. The RSI was part of a physical culture movement in Soviet Russia linked to the physical training of young people prior to their enlistment in the military. The RSI held 3 summer games and 1 winter games called "Spartakiad" in competition with the Olympic games of the International Olympic Committee before being dissolved in 1937.


Stalinism is the means of governing and related policies implemented from around 1927 to 1953 by Joseph Stalin (1878–1953). Stalinist policies and ideas as developed in the Soviet Union included rapid industrialization, the theory of socialism in one country, a totalitarian state, collectivization of agriculture, a cult of personality and subordination of the interests of foreign communist parties to those of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, deemed by Stalinism to be the leading vanguard party of communist revolution at the time.Stalinism promoted the escalation of class conflict, utilizing state violence to forcibly purge society of the bourgeoisie, whom Stalinist doctrine regarded as threats to the pursuit of the communist revolution. This policy resulted in substantial political violence and persecution of such people. "Enemies" included not only bourgeois people, but also working-class people with counter-revolutionary sympathies.Stalinist industrialization was officially designed to accelerate the development towards communism, stressing the need for such rapid industrialization on the grounds that the Soviet Union was previously economically backward in comparison with other countries and asserting that socialist society needed industry in order to face the challenges posed by internal and external enemies of communism. Rapid industrialization was accompanied by mass collectivization of agriculture and by rapid urbanization. Rapid urbanization converted many small villages into industrial cities. To accelerate the development of industrialization, Stalin imported materials, ideas, expertise and workers from Western Europe and from the United States and pragmatically set up joint-venture contracts with major American private enterprises, such as the Ford Motor Company, which under state supervision assisted in developing the basis of the industry of the Soviet economy from the late 1920s to the 1930s. After the American private enterprises had completed their tasks, Soviet state enterprises took over.

State socialism

State socialism is a classification for any socialist political and economic perspective advocating state ownership of the means of production either as a temporary measure in the transition from capitalism to socialism, or as characteristic of socialism itself. It is often used interchangeably with state capitalism in reference to the economic systems of Marxist–Leninist states such as the Soviet Union to highlight the role of state planning in these economies, with the critics of said system referring to it more commonly as "state capitalism". Libertarian and democratic socialists claim that these states had only a limited number of socialist characteristics. However, Marxist–Leninists maintain that workers in the Soviet Union and other Marxist–Leninist states had genuine control over the means of production through institutions such as trade unions.State socialism is held in contrast with libertarian socialism, which rejects the view that socialism can be constructed by using existing state institutions or by governmental policies. By contrast, proponents of state socialism claim that the state—through practical considerations of governing—must play at least a temporary part in building socialism. It is possible to conceive of a democratic state that owns the means of production, but it is internally organized in a participatory, cooperative fashion, thereby achieving both social ownership of productive property and workplace democracy in day-to-day operations.

World communism

World communism (also known as global communism) is a form of communism which has an international scope. The long-term goal of world communism is a worldwide communist society that is stateless (lacking any state), which may be achieved through an intermediate-term goal of either a voluntary association of sovereign states (a global alliance) or a world government (a single worldwide state). A series of internationals have worked toward world communism and they have included the First International, the Second International, the Third International (the Communist International or Comintern), the Fourth International, the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, the World Socialist Movement and variant offshoots. These are a quite heterogeneous group despite their common ultimate goal of a stateless and global communist society.

During the Stalinist era, the idea of socialism in one country, which many international communists considered unworkable, became part of the ideology of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union as Joseph Stalin and his supporters concluded that it was naive to think that world revolution was imminent. This caused great disillusionment among many communists worldwide, who agreed with Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin that international scope was vital to communist success. Other currents of national communism, especially after World War II, tempered the prewar popularity of international communism.

The end of the Cold War, with the revolutions of 1989 and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, is often called the fall of communism and a broad consensus since then is that any advent of international communism is not likely. Nevertheless, some international communists remain among some factions of Maoists, left communists, some present-day Russian communists and others.

World revolution

World revolution is the Marxist concept of overthrowing capitalism in all countries through the conscious revolutionary action of the organized working class. These revolutions would not necessarily occur simultaneously, but where and when local conditions allowed a revolutionary party to successfully replace bourgeois ownership and rule, and install a workers' state based on social ownership of the means of production. In most Marxist schools, such as Trotskyism, the essentially international character of the class struggle and the necessity of global scope are critical elements and a chief explanation of the failure of socialism in one country.

The end goal of such internationally oriented revolutionary socialism is to achieve world socialism, and later, stateless communism.

By country
Regional variants
and politics
Crimes, repressions,
and controversies
Criticism and
Stalin's residences

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