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Anti-Revisionism: Wikis


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In the Marxist-Leninist movement, anti-revisionism refers to a doctrine which upholds the line of theory and practice associated with Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin, and usually either Mao or Hoxha as well. It is stated in such a way as to show direct opposition to the Marx-Engels-Lenin-Trotsky line of Trotskyism. Anti-revisionists claim that the Soviet Union under Stalin's leadership represented the final correct and successful practical implementation of the scientific socialist ideas of Marx, Engels and Lenin in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). However, the anti-revisionist movement is effectively split into two camps which are divided in their attitudes toward the People's Republic of China (PRC) under Mao: the Maoist faction advocates his ideas and policies, while the Hoxhaist faction does not.

Anti-revisionism (known to its detractors as "Stalinism") is seen by its followers as a healthy, solid, scientific ideological road, devoid of both the alleged corruption and elitism of Trotskyism, and the perceived idealism of Left Communism. Nevertheless, "anti-revisionism" can also be a vague and controversial label, particularly in those cases where groups will argue over which of them is really the "true" anti-revisionist.

Anti-revisionism is based on the view that the Soviet Union successfully implemented Socialism during approximately the first thirty years of its existence – from the time of the October Revolution until the Secret Speech and peaceful coexistence of 1956. Anti-revisionists point out that Stalin's policies not only achieved impressive rates of economic growth and argue that such growth could have been sustained and a prosperous communism could have been achieved if the Soviet Union had remained on this same course (see also the article Theory of Productive Forces); they also typically further allege that the worldwide ideological impact and leadership of the Soviet Union in the 1930s and 1940s world labour movement represent a superior ideological and social model of real "workers' power" that was first ruined by the Secret Speech and was later to re-emerge with China's Cultural Revolution, only to be ruined again by the capture and deposition of the Gang of Four by China's "state capitalists" (or according to others, the denunciation of the Cultural Revolution at the third session of the Eleventh National Congress of the Communist Party of China, by Deng Xiao Ping).

According to anti-revisionists, these later attempts to 'fix' or revise the socialist system represented a shift onto the road to capitalism and ultimately led to the downfall of the Soviet Union and the betrayal of communist principles in all self-proclaimed communist countries. Thus, revisionism is seen as the cause of the fall of the Soviet Union and the East European socialist republics.

After years of direct experience with China that led him first to write the book Fanshen, author William Hinton then experienced Chinese economic reform and, with this experience, wrote an angry anti-revisionist book entitled The Great Reversal: The Privatization of China. Both books, as well as Hinton's work generally, still tend to have much resonance among many anti-revisionists in the communist movement today.



Self-proclaimed anti-revisionists firmly oppose the reforms initiated in Communist countries by leaders like Nikita Khrushchev in the Soviet Union and Deng Xiaoping in China. They generally refer to such reforms and states as state capitalist and social-imperialist. They also reject Trotskyism and its "Permanent Revolution" as hypocritical by arguing that Trotsky himself had at one time thought it acceptable that socialism could work in a single country as long as that country was industrialized, but that Trotsky had considered Russia too backward to achieve such industrialization – what it later in fact did achieve, mostly through his archenemy Stalin's Five Year Plans. In their own right, anti-revisionists also acknowledge that the Soviet Union contained a "new class" or "'red' bourgeoisie," but they generally place the blame for the formation of that class on Nikita Khruschev and his successors. Therefore, in anti-revisionist circles, there is very little talk of class conflict in the Soviet Union before 1956, except when talking about specific contexts such as the Russian Civil War (when some agents of the former feudal ruling class tried to retake state power from the Bolsheviks) and World War II (fought principally between communists and fascists, representing the interests of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie respectively).

During the Sino-Soviet split, the governments of the People's Republic of China under Mao Zedong and Albania under Hoxha proclaimed themselves to be taking an anti-revisionist line and denounced Khrushchev's policies in the Soviet Union. In the United States, those who supported China or Albania at the time were expelled from the United States Communist Party under orders from Moscow, and in 1961 they formed the Progressive Labor Movement. Anti-revisionist groups were further divided by the Sino-Albanian split, with those following Albania being loosely described as Hoxhaist.

Several communist parties in the United States still see themselves as explicitly anti-revisionist. Not every contemporary communist party around the world adhering to elements of anti-revisionism necessarily adopts the label "anti-revisionist"; many such organizations may call themselves Maoist, Marxist-Leninist or even just simply "revolutionary communist". The Workers Party of Korea still claims an anti-revisionist political line; however, this may not be an accurate label either in self-description or description by others, because of the official 'supersedence' of Marxist-Leninist thought in North Korea by the ideology of Juche.

Anti-Revisionist leaders

Those at a state level claiming an anti-revisionist orientation actually vary widely in their ideological perspectives from within communism. An amalgamated list of the more famous self-proclaimed anti-revisionist leaders:

Anti-revisionist groups

Historical anti-revisionist groups

External links

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