A growing list of terms including people, places, organizations, etc. relating to Marxism, history, science, philosophy, and the struggle for socialism in general. Terms specific to a particular country or person have the name in parenthesis. Send us your suggestions!
A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N
O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z
- Bebel, August (Germany)
- Bernstein, Eduard (Germany)
- Von Bismarck, Otto (Germany)
- Black Hundreds (Russia)
- Blanquism (Blanqui)
- Bogdanov, A.A. (Russia)
- Bolsheviks / Bolshevik Party (Russia)
- Bukharin, Nikolai (Russia)
- Capitalist - see Bourgeoisie
- Churchill, Winston (Britain)
- Communist International / Comintern - see Third International
- Communist League - see First International
- Connolly, James (Ireland)
- Cossacks (Russia)
- Criticism (Kant)
- Dawes Plan (Germany)
- Deutsch-Franzosische Jahrbucher (German-French Yearbooks)
- Dialectics/Dialectical Materialism
- Die Neue Rheinische Zeitung (New Rhenish Gazette)
- Dual Power
- Emancipation of Labor Group (Russia)
- Emmanuel III, Victor (Italy)
- Engels, Frederick
- Fabianism / Fabians
- First International
- Freikorps (Germany)
- French Revolution of 1789 (France)
- Ghandi, Mohandas
- Girondists / The Gironde (France)
- Goldman, Emma (USA, Russia)
- Gorky, Maxim (Russia)
- Gosplan (Russia)
- The Gotha Program (Germany)
- Gramsci, Antonio
- Guevara, Ernesto 'Che'
- Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich
- Hegelians - the 'Left Hegelians' or 'Young Hegelians'
- Hill, Joe (Sweden, USA)
Von Hindenberg, Paul (Germany)
- Hitler, Adolph
- IWW / Industrial Workers of the World / The Wobblies (USA)
- Izvestia (Russia)
- Jacobins (France)
- Jogiches, Leo (Poland, Germany)
- Kai-shek, Chiang
- Kapp Putsch (Germany)
- Kautsky, Karl (Germany)
- Kerensky, Alexander (Russia)
- Kornilov, Lavr (Russia)
- KPD (Germany)
- Kun, Bela (Hungary, Russia)
- Kuomintang / People's Party (China)
- LaFollette, Robert (USA)
- Lassalle, Ferdinand (Germany)
- The Left Opposition (Bolshevik- Leninists)
- Left Social Revolutionaries (Russia)
- Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich
- Liebknecht, Karl (Germany)
- Liebknecht, Wilhelm (Germany)
- Logical Positivists
- Louis Bonaparte - see Napoleon III (France)
- Luxemburg, Rosa (Poland, Germany)
- Machiavelli, Niccolo (Italy)
- Malthusian Theory (Thomas Malthus)
- Martov, Julius (Russia)
- Marx, Karl
- Mensheviks (Russia)
- Mezharontsi (Inter-District Organization) (Russia)
- Napoleon III / Louis Bonaparte (France)
- Narodniks / Narodnism (Russia)
- NEP - New Economic Policy (Russia)
- Palace Revolution
- Parvus, A.L. (Russia, Germany)
- Petty or Petit Bourgeoisie
- Plekhanov, Georgi Valentinovich (Russia)
- Politburo (Russia)
- Political Strike
- Proudhonism (Pierre-Joseph Proudhon)
- Rabkrin (Russia)
- Radek, Karl (Poland, Germany, Russia)
- Rasputin, Gregory (Russia)
- Reed, John (USA, Russia)
- Reichswehr (Germany)
- Rheinische Zeitung fur Politik, Handel und Gewerb (Rhenish Gazette on Politics, Trade and Manufacture)
- SA / Sturmabteilung (Germany)
- Second International
- Smith, Adam (Britain)
- Socialism in One Country
- Social Revolutionaries (Russia)
- Soviet (Russia)
- Spartacus League / Spartacists (Germany)
- SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany)
- SS / Schutzstaffel (Germany)
- Stalin, Joseph (Russia)
- Third International (The Communist International / Comintern)
- Trotsky, Leon (Lev Davidovich Bronstein)
- Tse-tung, Mao - see Zedong, Mao (China)
- War Communism (Russia)
- Wei, Wang Chin (China)
- The Wobblies - see the IWW
- Yudenich, N. (Russia)
- Zedong, Mao / Tse-Tung (China)
- Zimmerwaldists / Zimmerwald
- Zinoviev, Grigory (Russia)
Agnosticism - An idealist philosophical theory asserting that the world is unknowable, that the human mind is limited and cannot know anything beyond the realms of sensations. Agnosticism has various forms: some agnostics recognize the objective existence of the material world but deny the possibility of knowing it, others deny the existence of the material world on the plea that man cannot know whether anything exists beyond his sensations.
Anarchosyndicalism - The manifestation of anarchism in the trade-union field, which adds to opposition to parliamentary action and political parties the conception that independent trade unions are sufficient to carry through the emancipation of the working class from capitalism. Anarchosyndicalists envision a new social order managed by the trade or industrial unions.
Bebel, August - (1840-1913) Formerly a worker, he co-founded with Wilhelm Liebknecht the German Social Democratic Party in 1869. A Reichstag deputy from 1867. Opposed Franco-German War in 1872. Sentenced with Wilhelm Liebknect to two years imprisonment from treason. Leader of SPD and the Second International.
Bernstein, Eduard - 1850-1932. Member of the SPD, first theorist of reformism within the German Social Democracy (Second International). He held that Marxism was no longer vaild and had to be "revised". In his view, socialism would come about through the gradual democratization of capitalism. The workers' movement therefore had to abandon the policy of class struggle for one of class collaboration with the "progressive" bourgeoisie. Bernstein's work Evolutionary Socialism was attacked by every noted Marxist of the period. Nevertheless, the theory and practice of revisionism became dominant in the most important Socialist parties throughout the world and led to the collapse of the Second International at the outbreak of World War I.
Von Bismarck, Otto - (1815-1898) was head of the Prussian government from 1862, first Chancellor of the German Empire from 1871 to 1890. He unified Germany under Prussia and the Hohenzollerns, and was a vehement enemy of the labor movement. As Chancellor he introduced the Anti-Socialist Law of 1878, which banned the SPD.
Black Hundreds - Popular name for the Union of the Russian People - a league of the most reactionary monarchists and nationalists who employed methods of criminal terror against the revolutionaries and were the chief instigators of pogroms in Russia.
Blanquism - A theory of insurrection by a select clique of conspirators, usually contrasted to the Marxist concept of mass insurrection. Blanquism is a subspcies of putschism (the German word for a sudden attempt on the seats of power). The name is taken from Louis Auguste Blanqui, French revolutionist, 1805 - 1881. Blanqui himself pariticipated in all the French uprisings from 1830 through the years of the Paris Commune (1871), spending thirty-three of his seventy-six years in prison.
Bogdanov, A. A. - (1873 - 1938) The most wholehearted of Lenin's supporters at the time of the split with the Mensheviks in 1903. In 1909 became leader of the Vyperod group in the Bolshevik Party, together with Lunacharsky and Gorky, which later broke with Lenin's faction.
Bolsheviks / Bolshevik Party- The word Bolshevik means 'majority' in Russian. Originally part of the Russian Social Democratic Party, split from the Mensheviks (minority) in 1903, forming two wings of the RSDP, until emerging as a separate party in 1912. They believed that the working class should unite with the poor peasants, taking the lead in a struggle against all bourgeois society, not only for the overthrow of czarism, but for the inauguration of a labor republic and a socialist state, and the spread of international revolution. Under the leadership of Lenin and Trotsky, it led the October Revolution of 1917.
Bonapartism - A transitional form of government between the regimes of parliamentary democracy and fascism, based on dictatorship and military force during a period when class rule is not secure. A strong government which appears to stand 'above parties' and 'above classes' due to relative equilibrium between the working class and the bourgeoisie. It is based on the military, police, and state bureaucracy rather than on parliamentary parties or a mass movement. So called after Napoleon Bonaparte, the classic example of Bourgeois Bonapartism. Stalin's totalitarian regime and others like it are classified as Proletarian Bonapartism.
Bourgeoisie - The class of modern capitalists, owners of the means of social production and employers of wage labor.
Bukharin, Nikolai - (1888-1938) Youngest of the Old Bolsheviks, a member of Bolshevik Party in Moscow until escaping abroad in 1911. During First World War, after being arrested in Sweden for anti-militarist activities, participated with Trotsky in editing Russian paper Novy Mir in USA. Returned to Russia after February revolution 1917. Member of Bolshevik Central Committee from July 1917, and later editor of Pravda. During the revolution and civil war was a 'Left Communist'. As such, opposed the peace of Brest-Litovsk and issued a factional paper, Communist. However from 1923 on increasingly adopted right-wing policies.
Centrism - The term used by Trotsky for tendencies in the radical movement which stand or oscilate between reformism, which is the position of the labor bureaucracy and the labor aristocracy, and Marxism, which expresses the historic interests of the working class. Since a centrist tendency has no independent social base, it must be evaluated in terms of its origins, internal dynamic, and the direction it is taing or being pushed towards by events.
Chartism - The first mass revolutionary movement of the British workers in the 1830s and 1840s. The Chartists published their petition to Parliament, the People's Charter (hence their name) and fought for its demands: universal suffrage, abolition of the property qualifications for Parliamentary candidates, etc. Mass meetings and demonstrations involving millions of workers and artisans were held throughout the country for many years.
Churchill, Winston - (1874 - 1965) The most class-conscious representative of the English bourgeoisie, mortal enemy of the world working class. Churchill early displayed the greatest facility and flexibility in politics. From 1900 to 1906 he belonged to the Tory party and ran on the Tory ticket for parliament; from 1906 to 1922 he functioned as a member of the Liberal Party, and then resumed the Tory label. He held many cabinet posts. In 1910-11 he distinguished himself as Minister of Internal Affairs by calling out troops against the strikers in Liverpool and elsewhere. Churchill was Curzon's predecessor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and one of the chief inspirers of imperialist intervention in Russia after the October Revolution. He greatly admired Mussolini and just as thoroughly aborninated Trotsky. His role as premier in the second imperialist world slaughter is a fitting climax to his lifetime career as watchdog of British imperialism.
Compradors - Native agents of foreign business concerns. Rely on and act on behalf of foreign capital.
Connolly, James - (1868-1916) Born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1868. Joined British Army, but deserted while serving in Ireland. He organized the Irish Socialist Republican Party in Dublin before emigrating to the United States. There he became an organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Returned to Ireland in 1910 where he became general secretary of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union during the Dublin lock-out of 1913. Opposed the First World War and led the Irish Citizens Army in the Easter Rising of 1916. Captured by British soldiers while attempting to take the Dublin post office, Connoly was executed by firing squad.
Cossacks - Cavalry soldiers who formed a caste and almost a nationality in czarist Russia, since they enjoyed special privileges (exemption from taxes and land allotments) in return for obligatory military service, and since the land allotments were consigned to special teritories.
Criticism - Kant gave this name to his idealist philosophy, considering the criticism of man's cognitive ability to be the purpose of that philosophy. Kant's criticism led him to the conviction that human reason cannot know the nature of things.
Dawes Plan - One of series of measures that brought German crisis of 1923 to an end, reducing burden of reparations to be paid by Germany to a level the economy could bear in period 1924-28; accompanied by international supervision of German economy and by large flow of US credit to Germany.
Defensism - Term applied to the political support of a bourgeois government's war. After the February Revolution in Russia, a large part of the Bolshevik Party supported the Provisional Government's policy of continuing the war (WWI). Lenin proposed a policy of revolutionary defeatism toward what remained an imperialist war being waged by a bourgeois government. Pravda, with Stalin as editor had adopted a defensist position prior to Lenin's return to Russia in April, 1917.
Determinism - A belief that all processes are predetermined by definite causes and natural laws and can therefore be predicted. Biological determinism and mechanical determinism are two variations of this premise. Indeterminism is the reverse of this-a belief that events are governed not by laws but by pure chance.
Deutsch-Franzosische Jahrbucher (German-French Yearbooks) - Appeared in Paris in the German language, edited by K. Marx and A. Ruge. Only the first issue, a double number, appeared in February 1844.
The magazine ceased publication chiefly because of differences of principle between Marx and Ruge, who was a bourgeois radical.
Dialectics / Dialectical Materialism - From the Greek words for dispute and debate, this is the science of the general laws governing the development of nature, science, society and thought. It considers all phenomena to be in movement and in perpetual change. Marxism linked this concept to materialism and showed the process of development in all things through struggle, contradiction and the replacement on one form by another.
Die Neue Rheinische Zeitung (New Rhenish Gazette) - Published in Cologne from June 1 1848 to May 19 1849. Marx and Engels directed the newspaper, Marx being its editor-in-chief. Lenin characterized Die Neue Rheinische Zeitung as "the finest and unsurpassed organ of the revolutionary proletariat". Despite persecution and the obstacles placed in its way by the police, the newspaper staunchly defended the interests of revolutionary democracy, the interests of the proletariat. Because of Marx's banishment from Prussia in May 1849 and the persecution of the other editors. Die Neue Rheinische Zeitung had to cease publication.
Dogma - A blind belief in things often without a material base.
Dual Power - Occurs in the course of a revolutionary or pre-revolutionary situation when there arises, alongside the ruling class state institutions, a parallel "government" regarded by the insurgent masses as the real government, while the government of the ruling class loses its authority in their eyes. Such a situation is unstable and short-lived, and is either resolved by the recovery of the ruling class and the crushing of the insurrection, or by the victorious seizure of power by the workers.
Eclecticism - A mechanical and/or arbitrary collecting of concepts or facts without any preestablished principles or structures. Eclecticism is often used to attempt to reconcile the irreconcilable such as idealism and materialism.
Economism - A Russian variant of anarcho-syndicalism. It held that the economic struggle of the workers was sufficient to develop a mass movement, political consciousness, and an active leadership. Lenin devoted much of his pamphlet What is to be Done? to attacking Economism as a dangerous tendency that glorified the backwardness of the working class, evaded political issues, and downplayed the revolutionary party.
Emancipation of Labor Group - Founded by G.V. Plekhanov together with other Russian emigres in Switzerland after their break with populism (see Narodnism) in 1883. Its founding marks the beginning of a Russian Marxist movemenr. It was dissolved when the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party was formed in 1898.
Emmanuel III, Victor - (1869-1947) King of Italy from 1900, through First World War and fascist rule of Mussolini; abdicated in 1946.
Empiricism - A teaching on the theory of knowledge which holds that sensory experience is the only source of knowledge and affirms that all knowledge is founded on experience and is obtained through experience. The opposite to rationalism. The main failing of this is a tendency to reject reason as a means of deduction in favour of a metaphysical exaggeration of the role of experience alone.
Engels, Frederick - (1820 - 1895) Lifelong friend and collaborator of Karl Marx .
Principal works: The Condition of the Working Classes in England, The Manifesto of The Communist Party (with Karl Marx), The German Ideology (with Karl Marx) Anti-Dühring, The Origin of the Family, Private Property and The State.
See also the Marxism FAQ entry.
Epigones - Disciples who corrupt the doctrines of their teachers. Used to descibe the Stalinists who corrupted the teaching of Marx and Lenin.
Eugenics - A doctrine which holds that the human race can be "improved" by selective control of breeding to eradicate less "desirable" traits in society. The supporters of eugenics argue that social problems are caused by inherited genetic traits in people which can be bred out to resolve the problem for future generations. The logical conclusion of this theory is deeply racist and reactionary based on dubious research and prejudice.
Fabianism / Fabians - Members of the reformist and opportunist Fabian Society, formed by a group of British bourgeois intellectuals in 1884. The society took its name from the Roman General Fabius Cunctator (the "Delayer"), famous for his procrastinating tactics and avoidance of decisive battles. The Fabian Society represented, as Lenin put it, "the most finished expression of opportunism and liberal-labour politics." The Fabians sought to deflect the proletariat from the class struggle and advocated the possibility of a peaceful, gradual transition from capitalism to socialism by means of reforms. During the imperialist world war (1914-18) the Fabians took a social-chauvinist stand.
First International - The Communist League was the first international communist organization of the proletariat founded under the guidance of Marx and Engels in London early in June 1847.
Preparatory to the foundation of the League, Marx and Engels did much to weld together the socialists and the workers of all lands both ideologically and organizationally. In the early part of 1847, Marx and Engels joined the secret German society The League of the Just. At the beginning of June 1847, a League of the Just congress took place in London at which it was renamed The Communist League while its former hazy slogan "All Men Are Brothers" was replaced by the militant internationalist slogan of "Working Men of All Countries, Unite!"
The aims of The Communist League were the overthrow of the bourgeoisie, the abolition of the old bourgeois society based on class antagonisms, and the establishment of a new society in which there would be neither classes nor private property.
Marx and Engels helped to work out the programmatic and organizational principles of the League; they wrote its programme -- the Manifesto of the Communist Party, published in February 1848.
The Communist League played a great historical role as a school of proletarian revolutionaries, as the embryo of the proletarian party, and was the predecessor of the International Working Men's Association (The First International). It existed until November 1852, its prominent members later playing a leading role in the First International. The First International Workingmen's Association was the first international tendency that grouped together all the worlds workers parties in one unified international party.
The First International was the first international organization of the proletariat, founded by Karl Marx in 1864 at an international workers' meeting convened in London by English and French workers. The foundation of the First International was the result of many years of persistent struggle waged by Marx and Engels to establish a revolutionary party of the working class. Lenin said that the First International "laid the foundation of an international organization of the workers for the preparation of their revolutionary onslaught on capital," "laid the foundation for the proletarian, international struggle for socialism" (V. I. Lenin, The Third International and Its Place in History. See present edition, Vol. 29).
The central, leading body of the First International was the General Council, of which Marx was a permanent member. In the course of the struggle against the petty-bourgeois influences and sectarian tendencies then prevalent in the working-classmovement (narrow trade unionism in England, Proudhonism and anarchism in the Romance countries), Marx rallied around himself the most class conscious of the General Council members (F. Lessner, E. Dupont, G. Jung, and others). The First International directed the economic and political struggle of the workers of different countries, and strengthened their international solidarity. A tremendous part was played by the First International in disseminating Marxism, in linking-up socialism with the working-class movement.
When the Paris Commune was defeated the working class was faced with the problem of creating, in the different countries, mass parties based on the principles advanced by the First International. "As I view European conditions," wrote Marx in 1873, "it is quite useful to let the formal organization of the International recede into the background for the time being" (Marx to F. A. Sorge. September 27, 1873). In 1876 the First International was officially disbanded at a conference in Philadelphia.
Freikorps - Set up in Germany by the old Army Command and paid by the government War Ministry, they were used by the Social Democrat Noske in 1919 to crush the revolution; they were right-wing mercenaries, led by Imperial officers. The Freikorps murdered Luxemburg and Liebknecht. Hitler took the Swastika from their insignia, and the SS the Death's Head.
French Revolution of 1789 - Revolutionary movement that shook France between 1787 and 1799 and reached its first climax there in 1789. Marked the end of the ancien régime in France with the end of the absolute monarchy under Louis XVI. This was the classic example of the Bourgeois Revolution.
Ghandi, Mohandas - (1869-1948) was the leader of the resistance movement that later became the Congress Party of India. He organized massive opposition to British rule, but insisted on peaceful, nonviolent, passive resistance methods.
Girondists - Members of the Gironde, a party in the French Revolution of 1789, which expressed the interests of the big bourgeoisie of southern and western France (most of its leaders coming from the Gironde province). They wanted to overthrow the old monarchist regime of Louis XVI which stood in the way of economic development, but feared the city poor and the peasant masses who could alone overthrow it, and therefore perpetually wavered between the revolution and the counter-revolution until finally going over to the latter.
Goldman, Emma - (1869-1940) An anarchist who at first sympathized with the Russian Revolution of 1917 but soon became an opponent of the Soviet government and the Communist International.
Gorky, Maxim - (1868-1936) A Russian novelist, playwright and writer of short stories who was opposed, as a pacifist to the Russian Revolution, but later reconciled himself with it, becoming a member of the Petrograd Soviet in 1919. He lent his name and support to Stalinist peace congresses and similar activities.
Gosplan - State Planning Commission of the USSR, created in 1921.
The Gotha Program - Program of the Socialist Workers' Party of Germany adopted in 1875 at the Gotha Congress, where the two previously separate German socialist parties, the Eisenachers and the Lassalleans, united. This program was thoroughly opportunist since the Eisenachers had made concessions to the Lassalleans on all important
Gradualism - The theory that all evolutionary change is gradual rather than occurring in leaps and jumps.
Gramsci, Antonio (1891-1937): Founder-member of Italian Communist Party; imprisoned by the fascists in 1926, he is know for prison notebooks and letters which made important contributions to Marxist theory - though his criticism of Stalin's Communist Party was suppressed by its leadership. Died in prison
Guevara, Ernesto 'Che' - (1928-1967) Born in Argentina. Lead the Cuban Revolution with Fidel Castro in 1958. Became minister in Cuban government. Resigned government post to fight with the guerrillas in Bolivia. Was captured and executed by the CIA.
Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich - (1770 - 1831) The Greatest German Philosopher of the first part of the 19th century. Even though he was an idealist, his outstanding achievement was the systematization of the dialectic character of development in nature and in society. The core of Hegel's doctrine consists in recognizing that inorganic, organic, and social formations arise, develop, and are destroyed.
Hegelians - the 'Left Hegelians' or 'Young Hegelians' -- An idealist trend in German philosophy in the 1830s and 1840s. The Young Hegelians tried to draw radical conclucsions from Hegel's philosophy to prove the necessity for a bourgeois reform of Germany. The leaders were David Strauss, the Bauer brothers, Max Stirner and some others. For a time, Feuerbach and also Marx and Engels in their youth adhered to the Young Hegelians. Then Marx and Engels broke with them and criticized the idealist and petty-bourgeois essence of the trend in The Holy Family (1844) and The German Ideology (1845-46).
Hill, Joe - See his brief biography here and check out some of his songs!
Von Hindenberg, Paul - (1847-1934) Head of German army in First World War. Elected president of Germany in 1925 by right-wing bloc, and re-elected in 1932 by bloc containing both Social Democrats and big business interests. At first resented Hitler as an upstart, but made him Chancellor in 1933 under influence of big landowners, industrialists and army.
IWW / Industrial Workers of the World / The Wobblies - The singingest union America ever had was the old Wobblies. Their official name was the Industrial Workers of the World, started in Chicago in June of 1905 by Big Bill Haywood of the Western Federation of Miners, and others who were dissatisfied with the lack of progress of the little old craft unions under Sam Gompers' American Federation of Labor....
They were a defiantly radical group, mostly anarchist-syndicalists of a sort, and they argued bitterly with socialists as to the value of trying to elect working-class congressmen. Their idea was to ultimately sign up all the workers in One Big Union, improve their conditions, and eventually call a general strike to decide who was going to run the world -- the workers or the bosses.
With every union card, they also handed out a little red songbook. The cover carried a motto: "To Fan the Flames of Discontent." Inside were the words to about fifty songs, usually parodies of well-known melodies -- pop songs of the day, hymns, or older tunes commonly sung....
The songs were roared out by Wobblies at meetings, on picket lines, in jails (where IWW men were often put by the dozens and hundreds), on freight trains through South Dakota (filled with migrant harvest hands for the wheat fields), or wherever Wobblies happened to meet. If the Salvation Army was preaching against them from one street corner, they might set up a soapbox on the opposite corner. When the Salvation Army band started up "In the Sweet Bye and Bye," Wobblies would use it to accompany their own singing of Joe Hill's parody, "Pie in the Sky"....
Izvestia - "The News," official paper of the Soviet. its full title was "The News of the Soviet."
Jacobins - Members of the Jacobin Club, the most radical political faction in the French Revolution, which ruled from the overthrow of the Gironde until Thermidor. They over threw the Girondists in 1792-93 and ruled supreme until the execution of the Jacobin leader Robespierre, in July, 1794.
ogiches, Leo - 1867-1919. Active in revolutionary movement from early youth; close collaborator of Rosa Luxemburg; founder of Polish revolutionary Social Democracy, and active in 1905 Polish revolution; escaped to Germany 1907; organizer of SpartacusKPD central committee, he opposed the January 1919 uprising, and was arrested and murdered by the Freikorps in March 1919. group during war. A member of the
Kai-shek, Chiang - Military leader of the Chinese bourgeois nationalist Kuomintang during the Chinese revolution of 1925-27. On policy of Stalin and Bukharin, the Chinese Communist Party gave uncritical support to Kuomintang and Chiang Kai-shek was hailed as a great revolutionary. Once his power was secure he turned on the Communists, massacring party members and trade unionists in Shanghai in 1927.
Kapp-Luettwitz Putsch - Occurred in 1920 and was the first attempt of the German counter-revolution to liquidate the Weimar Republic and its "democracy" by armed force. Despite the passivity of the Ebert Scheidemann government, this putsch was crushed by the elemental resistance of the workers. This putsch served to discredit both Scheidemann and Noske.
Kautsky, Karl - (1854-1938) The foremost leader of the German Social Democracy and the Second International prior to the war. He opposed the revisionist theories of Bernstein until the war. In 1917 he participated in the founding of the Independent Social Democratic Party (USPD), supporting of the right wing. In 1920 the USPD split, more than half of it joining the KPD. The remainder, still called the USPD, became the German section of the Two-and-a-half International, so called because it stood midway between the Second and the Third. This collapsed in 1923, not long after most of the USPD, with Kautsky, rejoined the SPD and the Second International (1922). Throughout this period, Kautsky was an ardent revisionist and an opponent of the October Revolution, opposed to socialist revolution in Germany as well.
Kerensky, Alexander - (1882 - 1970) An attorney and member of the Social Revolutionary Party. He became vice-chairman ofthe Petrograd Soviet, then bolted from its discipline to assume the minisrty of justice in the provisional government under Prince Lvov in March 1917. In May he took the post of minister of war and navy, which he continued to hold when he became premier in July. After the Kornilov putsch attemt he appointed himself commander-in-chief as well. He was thre outstanding representative of petty-bourgeois concilliationists. Fled Petrograd when the Bolsheviks took power.
Kornilov, Lavr - (1870 - 1918) Czarist General. A Siberian Cossack who was in charge of the southwestern front in 1917, became Kerensky's commander-in-chief in September 1917, and led a counter-revolutionary putsch against Kerensky in September 1917. Arrested, he escaped to lead the counter-revolutionary forces until April 1918 when he was killed.
KPD - Founded in Germany in 1918 by Spartacus League (see below) and the International Communists. Merged, with membership of 78,000, with the majority of USPD in 1920 to form United Communist Party (VKPD - later just KPD).
Kun, Bela - 1886-1939. Joined Hungarian Social Democrats aged 16; joined Bolsheviks while prisoner of war in Russia; founded Hungarian CP 1918; head of Hungarian Soviet government March-June 1919. In exile in Russia, became Red Army commissar; supporter of ultra-left group, he was sent to Germany 1921 and inspired March Action. Worked in Comintern apparatus until 1937; arrested and killed without trial during Moscow frame-ups.
Kuomintang (People's Party) - Chinese bourgeois nationalist party, founded by Sun Yat Sen in 1891, and led after 1926 by Chiang Kai-shek, who crushed the Chinese Revolution of 1925-27.
LaFollette, Robert - Wisconsin Republican who ran for US presidency on Progressive Party ticket in 1924.
Lassalle, Ferdinand - (1825-1864) One of the founders of German working- class movement. Marx denounced his characterization of all other classes in German society as 'one reactionary mass' - as leading him to support absolutist Prussian regime against its half-hearted bourgeois opponents. His followers formed one of the wings of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) when it was formed, in opposition to the Marxist wing lead by Liebknecht.
The Left Opposition (Bolshevik- Leninists) - Formed in 1923 as a faction of the Russian Communist Party, and the International Left Opposition (ILO) was formed in 1930 as a faction of the Comintern. A group of ILO leaders met with Trotsky when he was in Copenhagen in November 1932, and an international preconference of the ILO was held in Paris in February 1933. When the ILO decided to work for the creation of a new International in 1933, it also changed its name to the International Communist League. Trotsky proposed that the Fourth International be founded at an ICL conference held in Geneva in 1936, but the conference disagreed and instead established the Movement for the Fourth International. The founding conference of the Fourth International was held in Paris in September 1938. It held one more conference during Trotsky's lifetime - an emergency conference in the Western Hemisphere in May 1940, which adopted a manifesto on World War II written by Trotsky.
Left Social Revolutionaries - Left wing of the Russian Social Revolutionary Party. As a separate party they participated for a brief time in the government set up by the Bolsheviks, but a few months after the October Revolution were organizing anti-Bolshevik uprisings.
Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich - (1870-1924) Restored Marxism as the theory and practice of revolution in the imperialist epoch after it had been debased by the opportunists, revisionists, and fatalists of the Second International. He initiated the tendency that became known as Bolshevism, which was the first to point the way on how to build the kind of party needed to lead a working-class revolution. He was the first Marxist to fully understand and explain the central importance of the colonial and national struggles. He led the first victorious workers' revolution in 1917, and served as the first head of state of the Soviet government. He founded the Communist International and helped to elaborate its principles, strategy, and tactics. He prepared a fight against the bureaucratization of the Russian Communist Party and the Soviet state, but died before he could carry it out.
Liebknecht, Karl - (1871-1919) Son of SPD founder Wilheim Liebknecht, joined party 1900. Set up Socialist Youth International 1907, and jailed in the same year for writing Militarism and Anti-Militarism. Reichstag deputy from 1912, first member to vote against war credits in December 1914. Founded Spartacists (Spartacus League); jailed 1916 for anti-war agitation. Amnestied in 1918, he took part in preparations for November actions and led the Revolutionary Committee during Berlin January uprising. A leader of the KPD, he was murdered by the Freikorps in 1919.
Liebknecht, Wilhelm - (1826-1900) Friend of Marx. Founder and leader of German Social Democracy (SPD). Became a Reichstag Deputy. Jailed for opposition to Franco-Prussian War.
Logical Positivists - A variation on positivism which attempts to combine subjective-idealist empiricism with a method of logical analysis.
Lumpenproletariat - Roughly translatable as "slum proletariat," covers the outcast, degenerated, and submerged elements such as beggars, prostitutes, gangsters, petty criminals, the chronically unemployed, the old and broken, to be found in all modem industrial cities. The ranks of these poor non-producers are swelled by the addition of the unemployed in times of social crisis. Reactionary and fascist demagogues have found some of their mass base in the lumpenproletariat - whose atomized condition militates against their adopting class-conscious, proletarian attitudes.
Luxemburg, Rosa - 1871-1919. Joined movement in Poland in 1887; exiled in 1889; leader of SDKP (Polish Social Democrats); joined SDP in Germany 1898; on Second International bureau from 1903; leader of left wing against revisionist right and, after 1910, against Kautskyist group; leading revolutionary opponent of war; founder of Spartacus group. In prison for most of the war, she became the chief writer for Die Rote Fahne November 1918-January 1919. Founder and leader of the KPD; she opposed the call for the January rising, although this was not reflected in her articles. Her arrest was ordered by the Social Democratic government for her participation in the uprising, and she was brutally murdered by the SDP-instigated Freikorps at the same time as Liebknecht.
Machiavelli, Niccolo - (1496 - 1527) Famous politician, diplomat, historian, and writer of the early sixteenth century. He is recognized as the founder of political science. Marx considered his History of Florence a masterpiece. Machiavelli was a progressive and original thinker in his time. Organizer of the first popular militia and author of a treatise on war, he is credited with being the "first military thinker of modem Europe." He advocated the unification of Italy. Machiavelli favored a republic, but the "ideal" regime in his days was the centralized absolute monarchy. In his books, The Prince and The Discourses, Machiavelli demonstrated that for the preservation of class rule, any and all means are employed and justified by the spokesmen of the ruling class. Ironically enough, his name has become associated with the use of demagogy, deceit and ruthlessness in politics and the methods he probed into - the methods now utilized by the imperialist politicians to preserve dying capitalism - are termed "Machiavellian."
Malthusian Theory - The theory developed by Thomas Malthus which claimed that population levels were responsible for social problems and should be checked to resolve them since uncontrolled population increases occur on a geometrical ratio whereas the increase in resources occurs on an arithmetical basis. This is not so but laid the basis for the belief that nothing could be done about the problems of the world. In its most extreme form it was the basis for an acceptance of famines etc. as unavoidable and socially necessary.
Martov, Julius - (1873 - 1923) Founder of the Russian Scial Democratic Party, and a close associate of Lenin on the editorial board of Iskra until he joined the Menshevik faction. An internationalist during World War I, he tried to play the role of loyal opposition after the October Revolution.
Marx, Karl - (1818 -1883) Philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, revolutionary. Born in the city of Trier, Rhenish Prussia, gained law doctorate from Berlin University in 1841. Marx lived most of his life in exile in London. Along with Frederick Engels, he was the founder of Scientific Socialism and leader of the First International.
Principal works: The Poverty of Philosophy (1847), The Manifesto of The Communist Party (1848, with Engels), The Civil War in France (1871), The German Ideology (with Engels), Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy (1859), Capital vols 1 (1867), 2, 3 and Theories of Surplus Value.
See also the Marxism FAQ entry.
Marxism - Marxism is the system of Marx's views and teachings. Marx was the genius who continued and consummated the three main ideological currents of the 19th century, as represented by the three most advanced countries of mankind: classical German philosophy, classical English political economy, and French socialism combined with French revolutionary doctrines in general. Acknowledged even by his opponents, the remarkable consistency and integrity of Marx's views, whose totality constitutes modern materialism and modern scientific socialism, as the theory and program of the working-class movement in all the civilized countries of the world.
Mensheviks - The word menshevik means 'mminority'. Originally part of the Russian Social Democratic Party, split from the Bolsheviks (majority) in 1903, forming two wings of the RSDP, until the Bolsheviks formed a separate party in 1912. They were a moderate socialist party claiming allegiance to Karl Marx, but believed that the working class must collaborate with the liberal bourgeoisie to over throw czarism and estalish a bourgeois democratic republic.
Metaphysics - There are two definitions of this word: the one used by Marx and Engels, and the other more traditional conception. In Marxist terminology, metaphysics is a method which holds that things are final and immutable, independent of one another and denies that inherent contradictions are the source of the development of nature and society but rather that nature is at rest, unchanging and static. All things can be investigated as separate from each other. Nowadays, the word reductionism would often be used instead.
The more traditional philosophical definition derives from Aristotle who used the word metaphysics to describe the branch of philosophy dealing with universal concepts as opposed to the observation of nature (in Greek, "meta ta physika" means "that which comes after physics"). Later on it became a synonym for abstract idealist speculation.
Mezharontsi (Inter-District Organization) - Consistently mainitained an internationalist opposition to the imperialist war (World War I) and opposed the Provisional Government. Through negotiations with Trotsky, it merged with the Bolsheviks in August 1917. The name of its journal in 1917 was Vperyod (Forward).
Napoleon III (Louis Bonaparte) - Nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, gained the imperial throne on the crest of the French reaction after the Revolution of 1848. Basing himself on the financial and industrial bourgeoisie, Napoleon III supported reaction in other countries. In the epoch of Napoleon III the corruption of Bourgeois democracy was quite graphically revealed. See Karl Marx's The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte.
Narodniks / Narodnism - The Narodniks (populists) were an organized movement of Russian intellectuals who conducted activities among the peasantry from 1876 to 1879, when they split into two parties: one was extremely anarchistic, and was smashed after the assassination of Czar Alexander II in 1881; the other party was led by Plekhanov, and split again, the Plekhanov group becoming Marxist while the right wing evolved into the Social Revolutionary Party. A general name for those revolutionists with socialist ideals who, not knowing or accepting Marxist theory, looked to the peasants rather than the working class tp take the lead in overthrowing czarism and transforming Russia.
New Economic Policy (NEP) - Adopted in 1921 to ease the tension between the peasantry and the cities, built up during the war by the requisition and confiscation of grain and foodstuffs. The NEP allowed for a measure of free trade to encourage industrialization and rebuilding. The policy was so conducted as to guard against the inherent danger of capitalist restoration; nevertheless, the NEPmen - beneficiaries of the policy - were often involved in speculations and shady dealings beyond the bounds of the policy, and were to become a conservative layer within Russian society.
Palace Revolution - Deposition and, if necessary, assasination of a reigning monarch by members and associates of the court.
Parvus, A.L. - (1869-1924) A prominent Marxist propagandist and theoretician in the period before World War I. With Trotsky, helped develop the theory of the Permanent Revolution. Trotsky broke with him in 1914 when he became one of the leaders in the pro-war wing of the German social democracy.
Petty or Petit Bourgeoisie - Small proprietors, peasants, artisans, and tradesmen - people broadly speaking who employ labor but also labor themselves.
Plekhanov, Georgi Valentinovich - (1856-1918) Known as "The Founder of Russian Marxism". Formed the first Russian Marxist group, the Emancipation of Labour Group in Geneva, 1883. The group translated Marxist works into Russian and distributed them illegally inside Russia. It was absorbed into the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1903. He lived in exile in London where he collaborated with Lenin in the Iskra group, but later went over to the Mensheviks.
Pogrom - Raid on and massacre of the Jewish population, or of other minorities.
Politburo - Short for political bureau, the directing body of the Communist Party empowered to act between meetings of the full Central Committee.
Political Strike - A strike in which workers have a political objective - frequently a protest against some government policy.
Positivism - A widespread trend in bourgeois philosophy and sociology, founded by Comte (1798-1857), a French philosopher and sociologist. The positivists deny the possibility of knowing inner regularities and relations and deny the significance of philosophy as a method of knowing and changing the objective world. They reduce philosophy to a summary of the data provided by the various branches of science and to a superficial description of the results of direct observation -- i.e., to "positive" facts. Positivism considers itself to be "above" both materialism and idealism but it is actually nothing more than a variety of subjective idealism. Positivism claims to be neutral and above philosophical outlooks, interested in processes but not willing to go beyond the boundaries of the status quo. In effect they confirm the maintenance of existing social structures.
Proletariat - The class of modern wage laborers who, having no means of production of their own, are reduced to selling their labor power in order to live. The working class. See also the Marxism FAQ - excerpts from Engels' Principles of Communism.
Proudhonism - An unscientific trend in petty-bourgeois socialism, hostile to Marxism, so called after its ideologist, the French anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865). Proudhon criticized big capitalist property from the petty-bourgeois position and dreamed of perpetuating small private ownership. He proposed the foundation of "people's" and "exchange" banks, with the aid of which the workers would be able to acquire the means of production, become handicraftsmen and ensure the just marketing of their produce. Proudhon did not understand the historic role of the proletariat and displayed a negative attitude to the class struggle, the proletarian revolution, and the dictatorship of the proletariat; as an anarchist, he denied the need for the state. Marx subjected Proudhonism to ruthless criticism in his work The Poverty of Philosophy.
Rabkrin - The Workers and Peasants Inspection, a commissariat designed to oversee the functioning of the other government departments. It was headed (and abused) by Stalin from its beginning to 1922.
Radek, Karl - (1885-1939) Active in Polish revolutionary movement from the age of 18; involved in 1905 Polish revolution; in Germany 1908, supported the SPD left. A member of the Zimmerwald Left bureau with Lenin in 1915, he joined the Bolsheviks in 1917, who sent him secretly to Germany in 1918; arrested February 1919 and freed January 1920; supported March Action, and supported calling off of October 1923 insurrection. He played a leading role on the Executive Committee of the Communist International. He became part of Trotsky's opposition to Stalin 1923-29, being expelled from the CP in 1927 and deported to Siberia. He capitulated in 1929 and became a major apologist for Stalin, but was arrested in 1937 during the Moscow frame-up trials and died in prison.
Rasputin, Gregory - (1872-1916) was an illiterate Siberian monk and mystic who gained great influence in the last Czarist court of Nicholas II; he was assassinated by members of the nobility.
Rationalism - The theory which holds that reason is the unique source of knowledge as against empiricism which holds that perception is the source of knowledge.
Reed, John - American Journalist, Author of Ten Days That Shook the World and a founder of the American Communist Party. At the end of 1920 he contracted typhus and died in Moscow.
Reichswehr - The regular army of Weimar Germany, made up of old units and the Freikorps, later to become the Wehrmacht. Under the Treaty of Versailles, supposed to be limited to 100,000 men, but n fact supplemented by secret contingents - the Black Reichswehr. Exclusion of Communists ensured its political reliability for the right.
Rheinische Zeitung fur Politik, Handel und Gewerb (Rhenish Gazette on Politics, Trade and Manufacture) - A daily newspaper that appeared in Cologne from January 1 1842 to March 31 1843. It was founded by representatives of the Rhenish bourgeoisie who were opposed to Prussian absolutism. Some Left Hegelians were invited to contribue to the newspaper. Marx became a collaborator in April 1842 and was one of the paper's editors from October of that year. Under Marx, the Rheinische Zeitung began to take on a more definite revolutionary-democratic character. In January 1843, the Prussian government issued an order to close down the newspaper from April 1 1843 and to establish a particularly strict censorship in the meantime. In connection with the plans of the newspaper shareholders to make it more moderate, Marx resigned on March 17, 1843.
SA (Sturmabteilung) - the Stormtroopers, or Brownshirts. Set up in 1921 by Hitler as a paramilitary force, involved in street fighting and 'protecting' meetings. A force many thousands strong, they came to represent a threat to Hitler; many members wanted the 'second revolution' (the 'social' revolution after the 'national' one), and a journal known as Red SA circulated. The SA's own leadership and independence were finally liquidated by, Hitler and the SS on 30 June 1934, the 'Night of the Long Knives'.
Second International - Also known as the Socialist International, was set up in Paris in 1889 following the collapse of the First International - the International Workingmen's Association - in 1876. It came to include parties that claimed to he 'Marxist', such as the SPD, and others such as the British Labour Party.
Smith, Adam - (1723-1790) Scottish economist. Exponent of classical political economy. Investigated supply and demand. Principal work was The Wealth of Nations.
Socialism in One Country - Reactionary theory proclaimed in 1924 and later incorporated into the program and tactics of the Comintern under Stalin. Nowhere in the writings of any Marxist, including Stalin himself can such an idea be found before 1924. It became the ideological cover for the abandonment of revolutionary internationalism in favor of narrow nationalism and was used to justify the conversion of the Communist parties throughout the world into the docile pawns of Moscow's foreign policy. See also the entry in the Marxist FAQ.
Social Revolutionaries - Russian peasant socialist party formed at the beginning of the century from a fusion of several tendencies of the Narodniks. Representing the wavering interests of the small peasant proprietor in the revolution, this party soon split into a group of Left Social Revolutionaries, anarchist in their leanings but participating for a time in the Bolshevik government, and the Right Social Revolutionaries who supported Kerensky.
Soviet - The Russian word for "council". During the Russian Revolution this word was used to designate the councils of workers', soldiers', and peasants' deputies. Soviets represent extremely flexible, highly democratic bodies which both pass and enforce laws. It is the form of organization discovered during the Russian Revolution of 1905 through which the masses can express themselves through their democratically elected and immediately recallable representatives.
Spartacus League / Spartacists - Grew from a revolutionary tendency in the SPD in 1914 opposed to the war. Known as the Internationale Group from 1916; then as the Spartacus group (from the name of the leader of the most famous slave rebellion against Rome). With members that included Rosa Luxemburg, Clara Zetkin, Franz Mehring, and Leo Jogisches, they left the SPD, joining the USPD in 1917, and forming the Spartacus League as a public faction of the USPD in November 1918; they split from the USPD and formed the KPD in December 1918.
SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany) - Founded in 1875 following merger of Marxist and Lassallean parties - adopted this name in 1891. Was seen as leading Marxist party in Second International, with over one million members in 1914. Became Marxist in words, but reformist in deeds; support fell to 250,000 in 1918, but rose again to one million in 1919.
SS (Schutzstaffel) - The Blackshirts. Originally set up as a personal bodyguard for Hitler, was reorganised in 1929, later controlling the Gestapo (the Secret Police) and the concentration camps through its Death's Head units.
Stalin, Joseph - (1879 - 1953) Born Josif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, he was the leader of the Soviet Union until 1953. Adopted psydonym Stalin in 1910, meaning "a man of steel". Gave up studying for the priesthood after becoming converted to Marxism. Joined Bolshevik Central Committee in 1912. Edited the magazine Pravda in 1913 and after the Revolution of February 1917. Became General Secretary of the Communist Party in 1922. Formed Troika with Zinoviev and Kamenev after Lenin's death which opposed Trotsky. In Lenin's Testament written shortly before his death he describes Stalin as being "too rude" and called for his removal. He began major forced industrialization in 1929, and launched the "Great Terror" in the mid-1930s where he wiped out a generation of Bolsheviks. The term Stalinism, which is another word for proletarian bonapartism comes from Joseph Stalin.
Became a Social Democrat in 1898, joined the Bolshevik faction in 1904, was coopted to its Central Comittee in 1912, and elected to it for the first time in 1917. In 1917 he favored a concilliatory attitude to the Provisional Government before Lenin returned areoriented the Bolsheviks toward winning power. he was elected commissar of naitonalities in the first Soviet government, and general secretary of the Communist Party (Bolshevik) in 1922. In Lenin's Testament written shortly before his death he describes Stalin as being "too rude", and called for his removal from the post of general secretary because he was using it to bureaucratize the party and state apparatuses. After Lenin's death in 1924, Stalin formed a Troika with Zinoviev and Kamenev and gradually eliminated his major opponents, starting with Trotsky. He began major forced industrialization in 1929, and launched the "Great Terror" in the mid-1930s where he wiped out a generation of Bolsheviks, becoming the virtual dictator of the party and the Soviet Union in the 1930s. The chief concepts associated with his name are "socialism in one country," "social fascism," and "peaceful coexistence." The term Stalinism, which is another word for proletarian bonapartism comes from Joseph Stalin. His biography by Trotsky, uncompleted when the latter was assassinated by Stalin's henchmen in 1940, is entitled Stalin, An Appraisal of the Man and His Influence.
Syllogism - A doctrine of inference, historically the first logical system of deduction, formulated by Aristotle. Every syllogism consists of a triad of propositions: two premises and a conclusion.
Thermidor - The name of the eleventh month in the calendar adopted by the French Revolution. On the ninth of Thermidor (July 27) in 1794, Robespierre, a Jacobin, was overthrown - starting shifts to the right in the government that opened the way for Bonaparte and the destruction of the First Republic. Trotsky often compared the policies of Stalinism with the Thermidorian reaction.
Trotsky, Leon - (1879-1940) Born Lev Davidovich Bronstein, Leon Trotsky became a revolutionary in 1896 and a collaborator with Lenin on Iskra in 1902. He broke with Lenin the next year over the nature of the revolutionary party and aligned himself with the Mensheviks. He broke with the Mensheviks in 1904 and tried during the next decade to reunite the party. In the 1905 revolution, he was the leader of the St. Petersburg Soviet and developed the theory of permanent revolution. In 1915 he wrote the Zimmerwald manifesto against the war. He joined the Bolshevik Party in 1917, was elected to its Central Committee, and organized the Bolshevik insurrection that made the new Soviet state possible.
His first government post was as commissar of foreign affairs. Then as commissar of war he organized the Red Army and led it to victory through three years of civil war and imperialist intervention. He formed the Left Opposition in 1923 and fought for the next decade to return the Soviet Union and the Communist International to Leninist internationalism and proletarian democracy. Defeated by the Stalin faction, he was expelled from the Communist Party and the Comintern, and exiled to Turkey in 1929. In 1933 he gave up his efforts to reform the Comintern and called for the creation of a new International. He viewed his work on behalf of the Fourth International as the most important of his career. In 1940, murdered by a Stalinist assassin at his home in exile, in Mexico.
Third International (The Communist International / Comintern) - The First World War put to the test the statements of the Second International about the international solidarity of the working class and their anti-war resolutions. Virtually every section - the most notable exception being the Russian - turned to support their own ruling class in the war effort. This split the International in nearly every country; the Russian Revolution gave impetus to the creation of a new International based on those groups who had stood out against the tide of chauvinism. Organized under Lenin's leadership as the revolutionary successor to the Second International the Third (Communist) International was set up in 1919.
In Lenin's time its world congresses were held once a year-the First in 1919, the Second in 1920, the Third in 1921, the Fourth in 1922-despite the civil war and the insecurity of the Soviet Union. Trotsky regarded the theses of the Comintern's first four congresses as the programmatic cornerstone of the Left Opposition and the Fourth International. The Fifth Congress, where Stalin's machine was in control, was held in 1924, the Sixth not until 1928, and the Seventh not until 1935. Trotsky called the Seventh the "liquidation congress" of the Comintern (see Writings 1935-1936). At first the leading body of world socialism, it degenerated under Stalin, becoming a tool of the Russian bureaucracy, and the Seventh Congress was in fact the last before Stalin announced its dissolution in 1943 as a gesture to his imperialist allies.
USPD - Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (or Independents). Formed in April 1917 by opposition expelled from SPD. Participated in provisional government November-December 1918. 120,000 members in 1917; 750,000 in 1919. Majority joined KPD (see below) in 1920; minority rejoined SPD in 1922.
War Communism - The name given to very stern economic policies adopted by the Bolsheviks during the civil war and wars of intervention after the October Revolution. It subordinated economic life to the needs of the front, replaced by the NEP in 1921.
Wei, Wang Chin - Kuomintang leader in China. During 1926-27 the policy of Stalin and Bukharin was to give uncritical support to leaders of Chinese national bourgeois revolution, at first Chiang Kai-shek, who was made honorary member of Comintern executive. Chinese Communists worked to build Kuomintang without criticising its leaders, even though Chiang had made strikes illegal and was disbanding unions and peasant leagues. Workers who had captured Shanghai from the warlords and imperialists in March 1927 were told to receive Chiang as a revolutionary leader; he then proceeded to murder Communists and trade unionists. Despite this, Stalin and Bukharin tried to continue the same policy, transferring support to the group of Kuomintang leaders around Wang Chin Wei in Wuhar - iwhich Stalin characterized as the "revolutionary centre". Almost as Stalin spoke, the Wuhan leaders came to terms with Chiang Kai-shek and started murdering worker-militants.
Yudenich, N. - Czarist general who in 1920 organized with Allied aid an offensive against Petrograd. There was some doubt in the Bolshevik Central Committee at the time as to whether Petrograd could be defended. At the beginning Lenin and the majority of the Central Committee favored evacuating the city, but on the intervention of Trotsky, supported by Zinoviev, the decision was finally made to defend Petrograd at all costs. Trotsky personally directed the counterblow by which Yudenich's offensive was crushed. This defeat removed Yudenich from the political arena.-
Zedong, Mao / Tse-Tung - (1893-1976) Chinese Communist leader who was chairman of the Communist Party of China and the principal founder of the People's Republic of China. Born in the village of Shaoshan, Huan Province, 1893. Initially interested in mass education, he subsequently turned to politics and helped found the Chinese Communist Party in Shanghai, 1921. Became a full-time party worker in 1923, when the Communists were in alliance with the nationalist Kuomintang, under Chiang Kai Shek. Leader of the Communist Party since the 6000-mile Long March northwest to Shaanxi (Shensi) where they set up bases. China under Mao experienced a rapid increase in productivity, but also suffered from a Stalinist, oppressive, bureacratic distortion of the workers' state and a lack of proletarian democracy. Presided over the Great Cultural Revolution.
Zimmerwaldists / Zimmerwald - Socialists loyal to the principle of internationalism during the war - so named for their adherence to the program of the International Socialist Congress held in Zimmerwald, Switzerland in 1915. When World War I broke out, most so-called socialists betrayed the principles of Zimmerwald and supported their own bourgeoisies in the inter-imperialist war under the pretext of "defense of the fatherland".
Zinoviev, Grigory - Old Bolshevik, Lenin's closest collaborator during First World War. In hiding with Lenin in summer 1917, but with Kamenev opposed October insurrection. First president of Comintern and responsible for major policy errors in Germany, Bulgaria and other places. Nominal leader 1923-25 of bloc with Kamenev and Stalin, and most virulent opponent of 'Trotskyism'. Stalin broke with him in 1925 and deprived him of post in Comintern and control of Leningrad party apparatus. Formed joint opposition with Trotsky 1926-27, expelled from party with Trotsky in 1927 but immediately recanted. Expelled again and deported to Siberia 1932, but again recanted and re-admitted to party. Imprisoned after Kirov assassination in 1935, he was ,star victim' in Moscow Trials a year later. Executed after yet again recanting to Stalin, this time admitting to being a 'traitor' and a 'fascist'.