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Communist revolution: Wikis

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A communist revolution is a proletarian revolution inspired by the ideas of Marxism that aims to replace capitalism with communism, typically with socialism (state-run means of production) as an intermediate stage. The idea that a proletarian revolution is needed is a cornerstone of Marxism; Marxists believe that the workers of the world must unite and free themselves from capitalist oppression to create a world run by and for the working class. Thus, in the Marxist view, proletarian revolutions need to happen in countries all over the world; see world revolution.

Leninism argues that a communist revolution must be led by a vanguard of 'professional revolutionaries' - that is, men and women who are fully dedicated to the communist cause and who can then form the nucleus of the revolutionary movement. Some Marxists disagree with the idea of a vanguard as put forth by Lenin, especially left communists but also including some who continue to consider themselves Marxist-Leninists despite such a disagreement. These critics insist that the entire working class - or at least a large part of it - must be deeply involved and equally committed to the socialist or communist cause in order for a proletarian revolution to be successful. To this end, they seek to build massive communist parties with very large memberships.

See the articles on communism and communist states for further discussion regarding the goals and results of some of these revolutions.

Communist revolutions throughout history

The following is a list of communist revolutions throughout history. The most significant ones are marked in bold. Among the lesser known revolutions, a number of borderline cases have been included which may or may not have been communist revolutions. The nature of unsuccessful revolutions is particularly contentious since one can only speculate as to the kinds of policies that would have been implemented by the revolutionaries had they achieved victory.

  • Internal Conflict in Peru (1980–present) Comprised two rebellions by two different Marxist organizations. The Communist Party of Peru, also known as the "Shining Path" fought a bloody war beginning in 1980 with successive Peruvian governments both democratic and authoritarian in nature and independent paramilitaries organized by the government known as Ronda Campesina. The Shining Path attempted to enforce a very extreme brand of communism inspired by the beliefs of Mao Zedong the leader of the People's Republic of China from 1949-1976. The Shining Path opposed any form of democracy and committed numerous human rights violations. Another organization, known as the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA), named after an Incan warrior Tupac Amaru began their own rebellion in 1982. The MRTA did not adhere to Maoism like the Shining Path, claimed to be fighting for democracy, believed in a more mainstream version of communism and modelled their movement on other leftwing guerrilla groups in Latin America. The MRTA and Shining Path quickly became bitter enemies and fought one another as well as the government of Peru. During the war atrocities were committed on all sides, but mostly by the Shining Path and the Peruvian military. Fighting goes on today with a small number of Shining Path cadres, however the movement has mostly been crushed and only operates in a very remote jungle region. Since the capture of Shining Path leader Abimael Guzman the organization has lost most of its earlier support. the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement was largely destroyed in 1997 after the Japanese embassy hostage crisis.
  • From 1996-2006, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) fought a fairly successful revolutionary war against the autocratic King of Nepal. In 2006 peace was declared, and an agreement was reached that the Maoist would join an interim government.

References

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