Dictionary of Revolutionary Marxism
An encyclopedic dictionary of philosophy, politics and political
economy, all from the point of view of Revolutionary Marxism
Select the first letter (or letters) of the word or phrase you are interested in:A-Ab Ac-Af Ag-Ak Al-Am An-Ao Ap-Aq Ar As At-Au Av-Az Ba-Bd Be-Bh Bi-Bk Bl-Bn Bo-Bq Br-Bt Bu-Bz Ca-Cd Ce-Cg Ch Ci-Ck Cl-Cn Coa-Col Com Con Coo-Cq Cr-Ct Cu-Cz Da-Dd De-Dh Di-Dn Do-Dq Dr-Dt Du-Dz Ea-Eb Ec Ed-Ek El Em En-Eo Ep-Eq Er-Et Eu-Ew Ex-Ez Fa-Fd Fe-Fh Fi-Fk Fl-Fn Fo-Fq Fr-Ft Fu-Fz Ga-Gd Ge-Gh Gi-Gk Gl-Gn Go-Gp Gr-Gt Gu-Gz Ha-Hd He-Hh Hi-Hn Ho-Ht Hu-Hx Hy-Hz Ia-Il Im Ina-Ine Inf-Ins Int Inu-Inz Io-Iz J K La-Ld Le-Lh Li-Ln Lo-Lt Lu-Lz Ma-Md Me-Mh Mi-Mn Mo-Mt Mu-Mz Na-Nd Ne-Nh Ni-Nn No-Nt Nu-Nz O Pa-Pd Pe-Pg Ph Pi-Pk Pl-Pn Po-Pq Pr-Pt Pu-Pz Q Ra-Rd Re-Rh Ri-Rn Ro-Rt Ru-Rz Sa-Sb Sc-Sd Se-Sg Sh Si-Sk Sl Sm-Sn So Sp-Ss St Su-Sv Sw-Sz Ta-Td Te-Tg Th Ti-Tn To-Tq Tr-Tt Tu-Tz U V Wa-Wd We-Wg Wh Wi-Wn Wo-Wq Wr-Wt Wu-Wz X Y Z
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This is an encyclopedic dictionary of terms, phrases and concepts which are used in the discussion of topics in philosophy, politics and political economy (economics). Many of these terms and phrases are commonly used by revolutionary Marxists, though others are mostly used only by bourgeois ideologists. However, unless otherwise stated, all the definitions given in this dictionary are from the point of view of revolutionary Marxism (or Marxism-Leninism-Maoism). Also included are many definitions of terms and phrases used in the discussions of the Russian, Chinese and other revolutions. There are also a number of terms used in the physical sciences, especially where these sciences relate in some way to Marxist philosophy or politics. And, finally, there are numerous capsule biographies of people, revolutionaries or otherwise.
The purpose of this dictionary is to help people read and understand serious writing on philosophy, politics and political economy, regardless of its source. The primary intended audience of this dictionary (unlike some academic dictionaries of Marxism) consists of workers, students, active revolutionaries and ordinary people.
There are far more extensive dictionaries of politics, economics or philosophy available, usually separate ones for each major sphere. But the differences here are that these definitions are generally:
- Fairly brief.
- Expressed in simple, everyday language.
- From the perspective of revolutionary Marxism (or “Marxism-Leninism-Maoism”).
- And often include quotations explaining key concepts directly from Marx and the other creators of revolutionary Marxism themselves, or from other relevant sources.
While we have tried to be careful in preparing these definitions, they should not be considered as all-sided and completely authoritative as one would expect to find in formal academic dictionaries. We have, however, consulted various philosophical, economic and political dictionaries (Marxist and non-Marxist) in preparing this Dictionary, as well as many works by Marx, Engels, Lenin, Mao and other Marxists. Many of the definitions given here are very brief and are simply an introduction to the concept for the general reader. Many definitions are—in full or in part—taken directly from Marx or other Marxists, and the source for these quotations is provided. Where two sources are given for the same quotation, as with different editions of Marx’s Capital where the translations may differ slightly, the precise form of the quotation given comes from the first source. The longer quotations included have been put in a smaller font, but all the emphasis (italics, bold, etc.) is as in the original source. To expedite the initial construction of this dictionary, many of the quoted commentaries are also taken from the explanatory footnotes from editions of the works of Marx, Lenin, Mao and other prominent Marxists.
There are a great many cross links in this dictionary; so many, in fact, that (except on this index page) we have changed the color of such links to the same as the rest of the text (black) so that they are not too distracting. But links can always still be identified because they are underlined.
The short answer is that while the DRM now has hundreds of entries it is not yet anything remotely approaching comprehensive. Over time we hope to make it much more inclusive. The dictionary is continually being revised and added to, though presently not at a very fast pace. (More people need to be involved in the project!)
The DRM had its earliest beginnings a number of years ago as a glossary for a manuscript on MLM ethics. Then entries were gradually added for other areas of Marxist and non-Marxist philosophy. Next came many entries on Marxist political economy and for terms which were being bandied about by bourgeois economists and journalists during the Great Recession. After that, more general terms used in both Marxist and non-Marxist politics began to be added. And now we are adding entries on the revolutions in Russia and China as well as items relating to revolutionary struggles in other countries.
So far the DRM is strongest with regard to definitions of theoretical terms in philosophy, political economy and revolutionary politics (though there are a great many gaps even in these areas). It is much weaker on the history and current state of particular mass struggles, on such topics as labor struggles, the national question, racial discrimination and oppression, immigrant rights, male chauvinism and the oppression of women, on other forms of discrimination and oppression, on the capitalist climate and environmental crisis, and even on the history and present status of the revolutionary movement in the United States and other countries. In short, it has a long way to go in order to become the sort of comprehensive dictionary that the revolutionary movement needs.
From time to time people have suggested many additional entries which we should add to this dictionary, and we have thought of many more ourselves. The current long list of these pending suggestions is available in PDF format at: TopicsToAdd.pdf We strongly encourage other revolutionary Marxists, from anywhere in the world, to prepare and submit to us definitions for new entries in the DRM, whether from this list or not. Although we cannot promise to include all such entries, we do promise to give them very serious consideration. This dictionary will become much more useful to our world revolutionary movement if many more people come forward to take part in its expansion!
We originally tried to incorporate the entries in this dictionary into the Wikipedia, but that proved impossible due to the corruption of those entries by reactionaries. For this reason we have been forced to recognize the need to maintain our own editorial control from an MLM perspective. However, this does not mean that all of our definitions are completely correct or that no improvements can be made even to our existing entries. Quite the contrary! If you disagree with any definition given here, or think it should be changed or expanded, or have any other criticisms of this dictionary, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some abbreviations, conventions, and editions referred to:
- BCE (“Before Current Era”) and CE (“Current Era”) as used by the United Nations, rather than the Christian “B.C.” and “A.D.”
- MLM — Stands for “Marxism-Leninism-Maoism” or “Marxist-Leninist-Maoist”.
- Capital: Editions used:
“International” — International Publishers edition, (New York: 1967.)
“Penguin” — Penguin Books (New York: 1990-92), translated by Ben Fowkes.
- CCPE — Karl Marx, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1970 [Orig. published in German in 1859]).
- Grundrisse — by Karl Marx, translated by Martin Nicolaus, (Penguin/Pelican, 1973).
- LCW 7:244 — Stands for Lenin: Collected Works, vol. 7, p. 244. (Moscow: 4th English ed., 1960-1970, 45 volumes.)
- Lenin SW — The 3-volume edition of Lenin’s Selected Works (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1967.)
- MECW 4:130 — Stands for Marx-Engels Collected Works, vol. 4, p. 130. (NY: International Publishers, 1975-2004, 50 volumes.)
- TSV 1:46 — Stands for Karl Marx, Theories of Surplus Value, vol. 1, p. 46. (Moscow: Progress, 1963-1971, 3 volumes.)
Anyone can add their own links to definitions in this dictionary from their own web pages or emails. Here is how to go about doing so. Suppose in your document you mention the Paris Commune and want to have that term link to the definition in this dictionary as it does in this sentence. The code used here is:... mention the <a href="http://www.massline.org/Dictionary/PA.htm#Paris_Commune">Paris Commune</a> and ...The “PA.htm” part says which dictionary page to go to (in this case for terms starting with the letters “PA”). You can determine the name to use after the # sign (“Paris_Commune” in this case) by going to the appropriate dictionary page, right clicking on it, and selecting “View Source”. Then scroll down to the name tag just before the entry you want to link to. The tag that specifices the name of the entry for “Paris Commune” looks like this:<a name="Paris_Commune">
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