- World revolution
:"This is about the concept of world revolution in
Marxisttheory. For other uses of the term, see world revolution (disambiguation)."World revolution is a Marxist concept of the overthrow of capitalismthat would take place in all countries, although not necessarily simultaneously.
Arguably, the international situation in the years immediately following
World War Iwas the closest the world ever came to such a revolution. The October Revolutionof 1917 in Russia sparked a revolutionary waveof socialistand communistuprisings across Europe, most notably the German Revolution, the Hungarian Revolution and the revolutionary war in Finland with the short lived Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic, which made large gains and met with considerable success in the early stages; see also Revolutions of 1917-23. Particularly in the years 1918-1919, it seemed plausible that capitalism would soon be swept from the European continent forever. Given the fact that European powers controlled the majority of Earth's land surface at the time, such an event could have meant the end of capitalism not just in Europe, but everywhere. Additionally, the Comintern, founded in March 1919, began as an independent international organization of communists from various countries around the world that evolved after the Russian Civil Warinto an essentially Soviet-sponsored agency responsible for coordinating the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism worldwide.
With the prospect of world revolution so close at hand, Marxists were dominated by a feeling of overwhelming optimism, which in the end proved to be quite premature. The European revolutions were crushed one by one, until eventually the Russian revolutionaries found themselves to be the only survivors. Since they had been relying on the idea that an underdeveloped and agrarian country like Russia would be able to build socialism with help from successful revolutionary governments in the more industrialized parts of Europe, they found themselves in a crisis once it became clear that no such help would arrive; see "
Socialism in one country".
After those events and up until the present day, the international situation never came quite so close to a world revolution again.As
fascismgrew in Europein the 1930s, instead of immediate revolution, the Comintern opted for a Popular Frontagainst fascism; then, at the height of World War IIin 1943 , the Comintern was disbanded on the request of the Soviet Union's Western allies.
A new upsurge of revolutionary feeling swept across Europe in the
aftermath of World War II, though it was not as strong as the one that followed World War I and it did not lead to any violent revolutions. Communist parties in countries such as Franceand Italyhad acquired significant prestige and public support due to their activity as leaders of anti-fascistresistance movements during the war; as such, they also enjoyed considerable success at the polls and regularly finished second in elections in the late 1940s. However, none managed to finish in first and form a government. Communist parties in Eastern Europe, meanwhile, though they did win elections at around the same time, did so under circumstances regarded by some as mere show elections.
Revolts across the world in the 1960s and 1970s, coupled with the
Chinese Cultural Revolution, the establishment of the New Lefttogether with the Civil Rights Movement, the militancy of the Black Panther Partyand similar armed/insurrectionary "Liberation Front" groups around the globe, and even a bit of a resurgence in the labor movementfor a time once again made it seem as though world revolution was not only possible, but actually imminent; thus, there was a common expression, " The East is Red, and the West is Ready". However, this radical spirit soon ebbed in the 1980s and 1990s by a conservative backlash and free-market reforms in China.
Marxist theory, Lenin's concept of the labor aristocracyand his description of imperialism, andndash separately, but not necessarily unrelatedlyndash Trotsky's theories regarding the deformed workers' state, offer several explanations as to why the world revolution has not occurred to the present day.
* [http://en.internationalism.org World Revolution] section in Britain of the
International Communist Current
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