Discussion Document: Review of Northern California Work in Black Liberation 1/8/72. 5 inch sheet mimeographed both sides, corner crinkled with a small edge piece torn off (no text loss). Prepared for the Northern California district convention; lists various shortcomings in the performance of the Party's local Black Liberation Commission.Most evangelicals are unfamiliar with the origins and foundational beliefs of Black Liberation Theology. That is perhaps why many evangelicals today are becoming sympathetic towards its heretical doctrines. Black Liberation Theology may be largely unknown to many evangelicals today, but it's a popular theology inside Black churches in America. Black Liberation Theology developed as a mainstream idea within Black American churches several decades ago. However, most Black Canadians and most Black people around the world are not exposed to it. With the notable exception of South Africa - because of Apartheid history - Black Liberation Theology is a distinctly Black American framework. Black Liberation Theology has infiltrated all types of Black American churches today, and is perceived as orthodox Christianity within all types of Black churches in America. Millions of Black Americans in Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Episcopalian, Presbyterian and other churches today are subjected to sermons from Black Liberation Theology perspectives every Sunday morning.
Approximately 40% of Black American churches identify with Black Liberation Theology.  This includes thousands of churches from major Black American denominations like the Church of God in Christ and the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In fact, most of the biggest proponents of Black Liberation Theology and its predecessor theologies were ordained ministers and theologians from the African Methodist Episcopal Church. This includes a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Reverdy C.
Ranson, major Reconstruction politician Henry McNeal Turner, and the founder of Black Liberation Theology, James Cone. Black Liberation Theology exists inside Black churches within multi-ethnic denominations too.
For instance, social justice activist Al Sharpton embraced Black Liberation Theology as a young member at a United Church of Christ congregation. And Jeremiah Wright was the pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois for almost 40 years. The church is the largest congregation within its denomination.
It holds over 8,000 members. And for 20 years, one of its members was Barack Obama.Black Liberation Theology gained significant attention in the 2008 American presidential election after clips of Jeremiah Wright's sermons were released by media outlets. The clips featured Barack Obama's pastor making conspiracy theories about the American government's role in the September 11 attacks, the Pearl Harbour attack, the HIV crisis, and more. The widely circulated sermons made the world privy to what many adherents of Black Liberation Theology believe about the American government. In one of the clips, Jeremiah Wright said.
When it came to treating her citizens of African descent fairly, America failed. The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing "God Bless America". No, no, no, not God Bless America.
God damn America - that's in the Bible - for killing innocent people. God damn America, for treating our citizens as less than human. Americans were shocked by Wright's sermons.
They never imagined that many people within Black churches echoed that level of resentment against America. At the time, they didn't understand that a significant number of Black Americans didn't want to sing'God Bless America' or honour the American flag. They didn't think Black Liberation Theology permeated inside Black churches.They didn't know the next president of the United States at the time was baptized and discipled under that kind of theology. Barack Obama and his family removed their membership from Trinity United Church of Christ after the clips were released to the media, and Jeremiah Wright retired from pastoring the church soon afterward. The controversy eventually died down. Barack Obama defeated John McCain in the 2008 election and became the 44th person and the 1st Black American to become President of the United States. He maintained his presidency 4 years later when he won the 2012 election over Mitt Romney. And the American public did not experience that kind of hostile rhetoric from Black church leaders again for years - until the Ferguson riots in 2014. The riots in Ferguson, Missouri were the aftermath of a fatal police shooting of a Black teenager, Michael Brown, by a White police officer, Darren Wilson. A grand jury and the United States Department of Justice ruled in favour of Darren Wilson. They declared that forensic evidence and eyewitness testimonies supported Darren Wilson's self-defense claim. But the rulings sparked outrage, riots, and demands for social justice. For many Americans, particularly Black Americans, Michael Brown's fatal shooting was perceived as yet another instance of a racially-motivated murder of a Black teenager. Two years prior to Michael Brown's shooting, a Black teenager in Florida, Trayvon Martin, was shot and killed after an altercation with a member of a community watch, George Zimmerman. A jury subsequently acquitted Zimmerman of second-degree murder and manslaughter in 2013. Therefore, tensions from the Trayvon Martin case carried over to the Michael Brown shooting the following year in 2014. Activists, politicians, and media personalities alike suggested that Michael Brown was a victim of America's systemic racism against Black Americans. Michael Brown's fatal shooting and the Ferguson riots became arguably the biggest story that year. Time Magazine named the Ferguson protestors runners-up for the magazine's Person of the Year in 2014.  The riots propelled Black Lives Matter into a powerful social justice group. They became the most powerful Black American social justice group since the Black Panthers in the 1960s and 1970s. The Ferguson riots became the first of many social justice riots across America following fatal shootings of Black Americans by police officers. The riots pushed America's supposed systemic racism against Black Americans into a major political story. The riots made race relations a major topic in the 2016 American presidential election. And consequently, social justice become the biggest topic in evangelical circles today. STATEMENT ON SOCIAL JUSTICE AND THE GOSPEL. Last September, John MacArthur, Voddie Baucham, and other evangelical leaders released The Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel. The statement presented biblical objections to social justice positions on culture, sexuality, gender, ethnicity and race. Concerning ethnicity and racism, the document states. WE DENY that Christians should segregate themselves into racial groups or regard racial identity above, or even equal to, their identity in Christ. We deny that any divisions between people groups (from an unstated attitude of superiority to an overt spirit of resentment) have any legitimate place in the fellowship of the redeemed. We reject any teaching that encourages racial groups to view themselves as privileged oppressors or entitled victims of oppression. While we are to weep with those who weep, we deny that a person's feelings of offense or oppression necessarily prove that someone else is guilty of sinful behaviors, oppression, or prejudice.
And we emphatically deny that lectures on social issues (or activism aimed at reshaping the wider culture) are as vital to the life and health of the church as the preaching of the gospel and the exposition of Scripture. Historically, such things tend to become distractions that inevitably lead to departures from the gospel.The Statement received over 10,000 signatures and became a valuable resource for Christians in the wake of growing support for social justice from prominent evangelicals. In fact, The Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel was an answer to the social justice movement within evangelical organizations like The Gospel Coalition and the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. Months prior to the release of the statement, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and The Gospel Coalition held a social justice conference named the MLK50 conference - in honour of the fiftieth anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. That event was followed by the Together for the Gospel conference days afterward, and like the MLK50 conference, it featured an emphasis on social justice. The conferences suggested that America was systemically racist against Black Americans.
Many of the evangelical leaders from the conferences claimed that many White Christians were guilty of ignoring justice for Black Americans. They didn't list evidence to support their claims. They couldn't prove that the current American government is systemically racist. They didn't refer to any racist policies to validate their words. Nevertheless, they charged many White American Christians with apathy or support for racism, and they commanded them to repent.
One of the speakers at the Together for the Gospel conference, David Platt, said: May it be said of us that we eagerly anticipated future salvation while acknowledging present sin. May it not be said of us that we indulged in worship while ignoring justice, and may it not be said of us that we carried on religion while we refused to repent. The conferences elicited strong, polarizing reactions from evangelicals.Some Christians were delighted over the conferences' support for social justice. Other Christians, however, were deeply disappointed over prominent evangelicals adopting social justice as a gospel issue.
This culminated into the Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel months later. But in between these events, James Cone - the founder of Black Liberation Theology - died. Many Christians who support social justice offered eulogies on social media expressing their admiration for James Cone. The most candid admiration for James Cone's theology, however, came from the president of The Witness: A Black Christian Collective, Jemar Tisby.
He dedicated an entire article, without restraint, to commend James Cone's theology. In the article, he said. A father of black liberation theology, Cone helped pioneer a field that dealt with the racism at the core of much of American Christianity..He shows that black people could understand Christ's suffering by recalling their own sorrow related to the lynching tree. At the same time, the cross provided comfort because black people could know for certain that in His life and death, Christ identified with the oppressed. Then in his book, The Color of Compromise, from earlier this year, Jemar Tisby wrote. James Cone penned The Cross and the Lynching Tree as a theological reflection on racial terrorism. Both Jesus and blacks were strange fruit', he wrote.
Theologically speaking, Jesus was the first lynchee,' who foreshadowed all the lynched black bodies on American soil. Cone goes on to explain,'The cross helped me to deal with the brutal legacy of the lynching tree, and the lynching tree helped me understand the tragic meaning of the cross.Jemar Tisby is part of a long line of professing Christians today who have embraced a form of Black Liberation Theology in the wake of Black Lives Matter and the social justice movement. This development actually follows a historical trend. Many social justice leaders within evangelicalism today are much like James Cone and his theological predecessors who abandoned biblical theology to adopt worldly philosophies from liberal theologians and activists from their time as a means to fight injustice. The basis for Black Liberation Theology can be traced back to liberal theology within the abolitionist movement. Many abolitionist leaders such as William Lloyd Garrison and Theodore Parker abandoned biblical theology because one of biggest obstacles for abolitionism at the time was that many Christians used the Bible to defend slavery. In his book, The Civil War as a Theological Crisis, historian Mark Noll demonstrates that some of the most influential Christian leaders in the nineteenth century, including Richard Fuller, James Henley Thornwell, J. Tucker, and probably a majority of Christians throughout America justified their pro-slavery stance with Scripture. This prompted many abolitionists like Garrison to become increasingly antagonistic to the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible. There are two dogmas which the priesthood have attempted to enforce, respecting the Bible, from which has resulted great mischief. The first is - its plenary inspiration. The other dogma is - the Bible is the only rule of faith and practise; so that whatever it teaches or allows must be right, and whatever it forbids must be wrong, independent of all other considerations.. Hence, if slavery is or war is allowed in the book, it cannot be wrong. Black abolitionists like Garrison's close friend, Frederick Douglass, also adopted liberal theology. In his book, By These Hands, Black Liberation theologian Anthony B. Pinn explains that Frederick Douglass' colleagues like unitarian preacher Theodore Parker, agnostic writer Robert Ingersoll, and his mentor, William Lloyd Garrison, convinced Douglass to reject biblical Christianity. Consequently, liberal theology became prominent within Black abolitionist circles.
For instance, the Civil War-era Black abolitionist and women's rights activist Sojourner Truth, rejected the deity of Christ. In her speech at the Ohio Women's Convention in 1851, she said: How came Jesus into the world? Through God who created Him and woman who bore Him.  By the beginning of the twentieth century, Black church leaders - particularly leaders within the African Methodist Episcopal Church, such as Henry Mcneal Turner and Reverdy C.
Ransom advocated for a social gospel formed by liberal theology and Marxism. Their theology was much like Walter Rauschenbusch's social gospel. In fact, Rauschenbusch's book, Christianity and the Social Crisis, laid the foundation for liberation theology. Decades after the book's release, Martin Luther King Jr. Wrote, Christianity and the Social Crisis.
Left an indelible imprint on my thinking by giving me a theological basis for the social concern which had already grown up in me. Therefore, Martin Luther King Jr. And many of his peers, including Rosa Parks - a life-long member and deacon of the African Methodist Episcopal Church - embraced the social gospel. In a letter to his wife, Coretta Scott King, in 1952, Martin Luther King Jr.
Wrote, Let us continue to hope, work, and pray that in the future we will live to see a warless world, a better distribution of wealth, and a brotherhood that transcends race or color. This is the gospel that I will preach to the world. The fruits of Martin Luther King Jr.
S gospel blossomed into Black Liberation Theology almost two decades later. In 1969, James Cone - an ordained minister from the African Methodist Episcopal Church - released a book titled Black Theology and Black Power. Just as many evangelicals today adopted social justice theology following Black Lives Matter's emergence during the Ferguson riots, so the Black Power movement in the 1960s, and Martin Luther King Jr. S social gospel shaped James Cone' theology.I did not want [Malcolm X] to disturb the theological certainties that I had learned in graduate school. But with the urban unrest in the cities and the rise of Black Power during the James Meredith March in Mississippi (June 1966). I could no longer ignore Malcolm's devastating criticisms of Christianity, particularly as they were being expressed in the articulate and passionate voices of Stokely Carmichael, Ron Karenga, the Black Panthers, and other young African-American activists.
For me, the burning theological question was, how can I reconcile Christianity and Black Power, Martin Luther King, Jr. S idea of nonviolence and Malcolm X's'by any means necessary' philosophy? The writing of Black Theology and Black Power was the beginning of my search for a resolution of that dilemma. Thus, like Martin Luther King Jr. Malcolm X, and many of his theological predecessors, James Cone rejected biblical theology.Black Liberation Theology is built on the foundation of liberal theology and the social gospel. Naturally, Black Liberation Theology rejects the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture. James Cone wrote, if the basic truth of the gospel is that the Bible is the infallible word of God, then it is inevitable that more emphasis will be placed upon'true' propositions about God than upon God as active in the liberation of the oppressed of the land. Black Liberation Theology was initially a reactionary theology against White, orthodox Christians who were apathetic or sympathetic to anti-Black racism. It's the ramifications of a long history of many White Christians using the Bible to justify racist, pro-slavery, and segregationist beliefs. Therefore, this reactionary theology is prompted by anger and anti-White racism. Black Liberation Theology leaders admit that their theology is built on hatred for White people, but they do not believe that their hatred for White people is racist. It is important to make a further distinction here among black hatred, black racism, and black Power. Black hatred is the black man's strong aversion to white society. No black man living in white America can escape it..
But the charge of black racism cannot be reconciled with the facts. While it is true that blacks do hate whites, black hatred is not racism.James Cone's selective definition for racism can be explained by Black Liberation Theology's relativist positions on sin. In fact, Black Liberation Theology's poor concept of sin is why it cannot offer anything more than a social gospel. Black Liberation Theology leaders major on social issues because they minor on sin. Its entire theological system is made up of man-centered or Black-centered thinking that cannot liberate those whom it purports to liberate. It is conformed to the world. Its proponents are not being transformed by renewing their mind on Scripture. Therefore, they cannot discern the good and perfect will of God. But there is no perfect guide for discerning God's movement in the world, Contrary to what many conservatives say, the Bible is not a blueprint on this matter.
It is a valuable symbol for point to God's revelation in Jesus, but it is not self-interpreting. We are thus place in an existential situation of freedom in which the burden is on us to make decisions without a guaranteed ethical guide. For that reason, Black Liberation Theology doesn't offer a saviour for sin.It doesn't offer a sole saviour for a multitude of sins. It exchanges the power of God for Black power. It substitutes the supremacy of Christ for Black supremacy.
It is a theology designed to repay evil for evil. Black Liberation Theology is simply a kind of liberal, social gospel.
Thus, in the 1997 edition of Black Theology and Black Power, James Cone wrote. As in 1969, I still regard Jesus Christ today as the chief focus of my perspective on God but not to the exclusion of other religious perspectives. God's reality is not bound by one manifestation of the divine in Jesus but can be found wherever people are being empowered to fight for freedom.
Life-giving power for the poor and the oppressed is the primary criterion that we must use to judge the adequacy of our theology, not abstract concepts. In Black Liberation Theology, Jesus isn't the God and saviour of sinners, He isn't the atoning sacrifice who redeems the world. No, according to Black Liberation Theology teachers like James Cone, Jesus is merely the god of the oppressed - who uniquely identifies with Black people to liberate them from oppressive White people or "white devils" and antichrists. And as Cone explains in a 1980 essay, this liberation is a religious revolution with major political implications.Why not think of a completely new society and begin to devise ways to realize it on earth? Perhaps what we need today is to return to that "good old-time religion" of our grandparents and combine with it a Marxist critique of society. Together black religion and Marxist philosophy may show us the way to build a completely new society.
With that combination, we may be able to realize in the society the freedom of which we sing and pray for in the black church. In other words, Black Liberation Theology is Marxist philosophy with heretical theology. It's a theological framework strictly designed to accomplish a Marxist revolution for Black people, and evangelical leaders like Jemar Tisby have become sympathetic to it.
But Black Liberation Theology is one of the most destructive heresies in Black American churches today. It's shaped the way many Black people think about God and government. It's shaped the way many people in Black American churches perceive themselves and others.But we shouldn't be shaped by a history of racism, we should be shaped and conformed into the image of Christ. The answer to racism isn't Black Liberation Theology. No, the answer to racism is biblical theology that doesn't repay evil for evil. Black Liberation Theology is destroying many Black Americans. Instead of capitulating to its heresies by adopting a form of their social justice theology to win their approval, we need to challenge Black Liberation Theology with the true gospel of Jesus Christ, who lived, died, and was resurrected for White, Black, and all sinners.
ONE OF the most important events in US Black history took place in faraway Moscow in the early 1920s. There, at a conference of revolutionaries from around the world, two Black revolutionaries led the Fourth Congress of the Communist International (Comintern) in adopting a world strategy for Black liberation. This historic encounter helped open the door to the development of an influential current of Black Marxists in the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa. But why did the two Black delegates, Otto Huiswoud and Claude McKay, have to travel halfway around the world to craft a Black liberation strategy?
Why did they not just take the subway to the headquarters of the US Communist movement, right in New York, where they lived? What was the Comintern's decisive contribution to the development of Marxism among US Blacks?The proceedings of the Comintern's Fourth Congress, to be published in 2012 by Haymarket Books, help us answer these questions. By the beginning of the twentieth century, Jim Crow segregation had been imposed across the US South, where most Blacks then lived, depriving them of the vote and other civil rights and subjecting them to racist terror. Within two decades, however, a new impulse toward resistance was felt in sectors of the Black community. This resurgence found expression in a mass Black nationalist and pan-Africanist movement-the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), led by Marcus Garvey, which functioned in the US, Canada, and across the Caribbean region. This radicalization also gave rise to a revolutionary current grouped around the Crusader, a Black newspaper founded in September 1918 by Cyril Briggs.
Its views and trajectory had much in common with the revolutionary Black nationalism later associated with Malcolm X. The outcome of World War I further alienated Blacks from racist US society. As Jacob Zumoff notes, Many Black intellectuals felt betrayed when they realized that [President Woodrow] Wilson's post-war talk of'self-determination' and'democracy' excluded Black people throughout the world. 2 When the victorious powers met at the Versailles Conference in January 1919, it was quickly clear that the peace treaty they were drafting would confirm colonial rule over Black peoples in Africa and the Caribbean.
Meanwhile, the Soviet Republic, excluded from the Versailles conference, was implementing self-determination of oppressed peoples within its borders and championing it worldwide. Domingo, a radical Black writer in New York, noted at the time that the Soviets "are willing to extend the principle of self-determination to even the toiling'masses of Africa, Asia and all the colonies'" while seeking to reach out to all the oppressed peoples of the world.
In March 1919, revolutionary socialists from more than two dozen countries met in Moscow to found the Communist International. At best, Wilson's program aims at no more than changing the label on colonial slavery. Colonial slaves of Africa and Asia: the hour of proletarian dictatorship in Europe will also be the hour of your liberation. According to Claude McKay, a pioneer Black Communist in the United States, this passage in the manifesto awakened interest among many groups of radical Blacks, who distributed the document across the United States. 5 Here was an unequivocal pledge to fight for the liberation of Blacks in the colonies of Africa and the West Indies.
By implication, this pledge applied to Blacks in the United States as well. That conclusion, not stated at the Comintern's 1919 gathering, was made explicit at the International's second congress in Moscow the following year. The 1920 Congress's theses on national and colonial questions, drafted by Lenin, stated, All communist parties must directly support the revolutionary movement among the nations that are dependent and do not have equal rights (for example Ireland, the Negroes in America, and so forth), and in the colonies. 6 The 1920 Congress also specified that active support for colonial liberation was a precondition for membership in the International.
During the Congress's discussion of the colonial question, US delegate John Reed passed a note to Lenin, asking if this would be an appropriate occasion to speak on Blacks in the United States. Lenin's written reply, which has been preserved, was, Yes, absolutely necessary.
Reed then delivered a powerful indictment of racist oppression in the United States. Some months earlier, in October 1919, Briggs's Crusader had announced the formation of the African Blood Brotherhood for African Liberation and Redemption (ABB). This revolutionary association represented, in the words of Mark Solomon, race patriotism, anticapitalism, anticolonialism, and organized defense against racist assault. 8 Its leaders, including Briggs and McKay, sought to unify Black patriotism with revolutionary socialism. They spoke out strongly in support of the Soviet state and the Comintern.
Two years later, the ABB summarized its view of the Comintern in a programmatic statement: The Third International [Comintern] has emphatically ordered its members to help the darker races and all other oppressed peoples in their struggles for complete liberation. The US Communist movement played almost no role in this rapprochement. Until 1921, it was still locked in a sterile dogmatism that cut it off from the Black struggle. The early US Communist leader James P.Cannon described the origin of its stance as follows. The earlier socialist movement, out of which the Communist Party was formed, never recognized any need for a special program on the Negro question.
It was considered purely and simply as an economic problem, part of the struggle between the workers and the capitalists; nothing could be done about the special problems of discrimination and inequality this side of socialism. Cannon quotes Eugene Debs, "the best of the earlier socialists, " as saying, We have nothing special to offer the Negro. Reed's remarks in Moscow in 1920, despite their militancy, did not go much beyond this framework. Nonetheless, the ABB leaders wanted to be part of the Comintern, and that meant joining its US section. In December 1921, Briggs, as an ABB fraternal delegate, attended the convention of US Communists that founded the Workers Party.
The convention reciprocated by recognizing, for the first time, the need to both do educational work among the Black workers and to convince white workers that to win, they must support the oppressed races in their struggle against race persecution and aid them in their fight to secure political, industrial, and social equality. 11 Subsequently, the ABB evolved into close alliance and ultimately fusion with the US Communist movement. The Black question at the Fourth Congress. Two leaders of the ABB attended the Comintern's Fourth Congress, held in Moscow in November-December 1922, and received status as delegates with consultative vote. The first, Huiswoud, had joined the Socialist Party in 1918 and as part of its left wing had participated in founding the US Communist movement the next year.
He attended the Fourth Congress as an official delegate of the US Communist Party (CP) and also as an ABB representative. He appears to have left no account of his Moscow experience.
The second Black delegate, McKay, left a vivid memoir of his visit to Moscow, entitled A Long Way from Home. McKay, a poet widely known both among US Blacks and internationally, made his way to Moscow on his own, without CP credentials. Initially, the majority of the US CP delegation sought to exclude him from the Congress, apparently because he agreed with the minority in the party that called for it to emerge from its underground existence. However, McKay won support from Sen Katayama, a veteran Japanese Marxist and a leader of the Comintern's work among colonial peoples. During his many years of residence in the US, Katayama had acquired a good feel for racism and Black oppression.Another factor in McKay's acceptance was the celebration of his presence by the Russian people. Never in my life did I feel prouder of being an African, a Black, and no mistake about it.. The Moscow streets were filled with eager crowds before the Congress started. As I tried to get through along the Tverskaya I was suddenly surrounded by a crowd, tossed into the air, and caught a number of times and carried a block on their friendly shoulders.. I went triumphantly from surprise to surprise, extravagantly feted on every side. I was carried along on a crest of sweet excitement. The Congress established a commission, chaired by Huiswoud, to draft theses on the Black question. McKay was seated as a guest, invited to commission meetings, and asked, along with Huiswoud, to address a plenary session of the Congress. Referring to the decision of the Comintern's 1920 Congress on the importance of colonial liberation to world revolution, Huiswoud told the Congress that the Black question is another part of the racial and colonial question. "15 Paraphrasing another Congress document, he contrasted the world Social Democratic movement, "an International of white workers, " to the Comintern, which "is an International of the workers of the world.
"Although the Black question is chiefly economic in nature, " Huiswoud added, we should include in our analysis the psychological aspects of the question. " He used the word "psychological" in the same fashion as Clara Zetkin, addressing the Congress two days later on women's condition, to denote what Marxists now term "oppression. Still plays an important role, " Huiswoud said. Blacks still bear the mark of bondage stemming from the time of slavery. " He unsparingly described conditions in the South, where "the lynching of a Black is the occasion for enjoyment, and in the trade unions, many of which excluded Black workers from membership.In retaliation, Blacks often refused to respect the picket lines of such racist unions, he noted, paraphrasing the thoughts of such workers as, By god I have a right to do this. I need to protect my life. " The Garvey organization, despite its flaws, had "moved the Blacks into action against imperialism" and "awakened racial consciousness.
" The African Blood Brotherhood, by contrast, was "a radical Black organization whose program is based on the destruction of capitalism. McKay's address to the Congress described Blacks as a race of workers, of hewers of wood and drawers of water, a race that belongs to the most oppressed, exploited, and subjugated part of the working class of the world. " Capitalists everywhere try to set Blacks and whites against each other, he said, citing US capitalist attempts to "mobilize the entire Black race in the United States against the organized working class. McKay, who favored the US Communists functioning as a legal, above-ground political party, told the Congress that this course was not possible in the US South, where Blacks and whites were legally barred from meeting together.
"When we send white comrades to the South, " he said, they are usually expelled by the white oligarchy, and if they do not leave the area the white mob sets upon them and whips, tars, and feathers them. But, when we send Black comrades, they do not come back again, because they are lynched and burned. Unfortunately, socialists and Communists in the United States conducted the struggle against "racial division and race prejudice.
With great caution, because there are still strong prejudices of this kind among the American socialists and Communists, " McKay said. The greatest hindrance that Communists in the United States must overcome is that they must first of all free themselves from their attitudes toward Blacks before they can succeed in reaching Blacks through any form of radical propaganda.Although the two Black delegates disagreed on the CP's underground character, they were, as McKay wrote at the time, all of a unit on the purely Negro problem. Theses on the Black struggle. The commission on the Black question presented a draft resolution, which was referred back for editing. The final draft, introduced by US delegate Rose Pastor Stokes, was more rounded and developed than the original text. It presented the same recommendations, with one exception: a statement in the first draft that "work among Blacks should be carried out primarily by Blacks" was dropped and replaced by a pledge to struggle for full equality and equal political and social rights for Black people. This change must be considered alongside the commitment of the very same resolution to convene an international conference of Blacks and the public call by Comintern leader Leon Trotsky, four months after the Congress, for US Communists to rally a team of "enlightened, young, self-sacrificing Negroes" who were to carry the message of revolution to the Black masses. The resolution is similar in many ways to the conceptions of the African Black Brotherhood. Its text is available online. 22 It makes the following points. An upsurge of revolt among colonial peoples has awakened racial consciousness among millions of Blacks, who have been oppressed and humiliated for centuries not only in Africa but also, and perhaps even more, in the United States. The history of Blacks in the United States has prepared them to play an important role in the liberation struggle of the entire African race.
The Communist International views with satisfaction the resistance of exploited Blacks to the attacks of their exploiters, since the enemy of their race and of the white worker is identical: capitalism and imperialism. The international Black movement must be organized on this basis in the United States, Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean. The Comintern seeks to show Blacks that the "workers and peasants of Europe, Asia, and America are also victims of the imperialist exploiters" and are fighting for the same goals as Blacks. The assistance of our oppressed Black fellow human beings [is] absolutely necessary for proletarian revolution and the destruction of capitalist power. " Communists should "apply the [Second Congress] Theses on the Colonial Question to the situation of Blacks, " who form "an essential part of the world revolution.(a) Support every Black movement that undermines or weakens capitalism or places barriers in the path of its further expansion. (b) Struggle for the equality of the white and Black races, and for equal wages and equal political and social rights.
(c) Oppose the color bar in trade unions; support union organization of Black workers. (d) Take immediate steps to convene a general conference or congress of Blacks in Moscow. The central idea of the theses-that of an intercontinental Black struggle for freedom-did not come from the Comintern or the Bolshevik Party of Russia. Rather it was a strategy widely held at that time among Black radicals of West Indian origin, who counted among their number Briggs, McKay, Huiswoud, and also Garvey.
It was espoused, in different forms, not only by the African Black Brotherhood but by Garvey's UNIA and W. Du Bois of the NAACP. After the Congress, it proved necessary to postpone the project of a congress of Blacks. In other respects, the resolution set the framework for a reorientation of the US CP and the development of its work among Blacks until the end of the decade, when a different position was adopted at the urging of Moscow.What, then, did the Comintern contribute to the fusion of a Black revolutionary current with the world Communist movement? It is striking what we do not see in the Fourth Congress record and related documents. Absent are any references to or quotations from the past writings of Bolshevik leaders.
Indeed, it was extremely rare for Comintern leaders in those years to buttress their case with quotations. Instead, they based their arguments mostly on current reality. We also do not find any attempts by Bolshevik or Moscow-based Comintern leaders to instruct the Black delegates regarding the correct course for their struggle.
Their most substantial statement, by Trotsky, focuses instead on the importance of educational work by Black Communists among the Black masses. As for Lenin's reference in the Comintern's 1920 theses to US Blacks as a nation, it was not mentioned in the Fourth Congress or discussed by the International in the early 1920s. Instead, the Comintern adopted a term no longer in use today but then current among Black revolutionists: the Black or African race.Significantly, the two references to previous revolutionary documents by the Black delegates in Moscow both deal with the primacy of revolutionary movements among the world's non-white peoples. McKay cited the Comintern's pledge, at its founding, to liberate the colonial slaves of Africa and Europe. " Huiswoud recalled the Second Congress decision that "recognized the importance of the colonial question" and the statutes it adopted, which proclaimed that the Comintern embraced "people of white, yellow, and Black skin-the toilers of the whole earth. The Comintern's contribution consisted of one central insight, which was rooted in the beliefs of those who built the Bolshevik party and established the Soviet state.
Comintern leaders held that the liberation struggle of Black people formed part of the world uprising of oppressed peoples against colonialism and racism. They therefore insisted on the duty of Communists everywhere to actively and vigorously support this struggle. Beyond that, the Comintern's contribution lay in its capacity to listen to and learn from the most farsighted exponents of Black revolution of that time.
 As such, communism is a specific form of socialism. Communism includes a variety of schools of thought which broadly include Marxism and anarcho-communism as well as the political ideologies grouped around both, all of which share the analysis that the current order of society stems from capitalism, its economic system and mode of production, namely that in this system there are two major social classes, the relationship between these two classes is exploitative, and that this situation can only ultimately be resolved through a social revolution.  The two classes are the proletariat (the working class), who make up the majority of the population within society and must work to survive; and the bourgeoisie (the capitalist class), a small minority who derives profit from employing the working class through private ownership of the means of production. According to this analysis, revolution would put the working class in power and in turn establish social ownership of the means of production which is the primary element in the transformation of society towards communism.
After 1917, a number of states were identified as communist: these states espoused Marxism-Leninism or a variation of it.  Along with social democracy, communism became the dominant political tendency within the international socialist movement by the 1920s.
 The emergence of the Soviet Union as the world's first nominally communist state led to communism's widespread association with Marxism-Leninism and the Soviet economic model. [a] While the term "communist state" is used by Western historians, political scientists and media to refer to countries ruled by communist parties, these states themselves did not describe themselves as communist or claim to have achieved communism: they referred to themselves as socialist states that are in the process of constructing socialism.  Terms used by communist states include national-democratic, people's democratic, socialist-oriented and workers and peasants' states. Some economists and intellectuals argue that, in practice, the model under which these nominally communist states operated was in fact a form of state capitalism or a non-planned administrative or command economy and not an actual communist economic model in accordance with most accepted definitions of "communism" as an economic theory. Dissolution of the Soviet Union. Communism derives from the French communisme which developed out of the Latin roots communis and the suffix isme. Semantically, communis can be translated to "of or for the community" while isme is a suffix that indicates the abstraction into a state, condition, action, or doctrine.
Communism may be interpreted as "the state of being of or for the community". This semantic constitution has led to numerous usages of the word in its evolution. Prior to becoming associated with its more modern conception of an economic and political organization, the term was initially used in designating various social situations. The term ultimately came to be primarily associated with Marxism, most specifically embodied in The Communist Manifesto which proposed a particular type of communism.
One of the first uses of the word in its modern sense is in a letter sent by Victor d'Hupay to Restif de la Bretonne around 1785, in which d'Hupay describes himself as an auteur communiste ("communist author").  Years later, Restif would go on to use the term frequently in his writing and was the first to describe communism as a form of government.  John Goodwyn Barmby is credited with the first use of the term in English, around 1840. Since the 1840s, communism has usually been distinguished from socialism.
The modern definition and usage of the latter would be settled by the 1860s, becoming the predominant term over the words associationist, co-operative and mutualist which had previously been used as synonyms. Instead, communism fell out of use during this period. An early distinction between communism and socialism was that the latter aimed to only socialise production, whereas the former aimed to socialise both production and consumption (in the form of free access to final goods).  By 1888, Marxists employed socialism in place of communism which had come to be considered an old-fashioned synonym for the former.
It was not until 1917, with the Bolshevik Revolution, that socialism came to refer to a distinct stage between capitalism and communism, introduced by Vladimir Lenin as a means to defend the Bolshevik seizure of power against traditional Marxist criticism that Russia's productive forces were not sufficiently developed for socialist revolution.  A distinction between communist and socialist as descriptors of political ideologies arose in 1918 after the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party renamed itself to the All-Russian Communist Party, where communist came to specifically refer to socialists who supported the politics and theories of Bolshevism, Leninism and later in the 1920s of Marxism-Leninism,  although communist parties continued to describe themselves as socialists dedicated to socialism. Both communism and socialism eventually accorded with the cultural attitude of adherents and opponents towards religion.In Christian Europe, communism was believed to be the atheist way of life. In Protestant England, the word communism was too phonetically similar to the Roman Catholic communion rite, hence English atheists denoted themselves socialists.  Friedrich Engels argued that in 1848, at the time when The Communist Manifesto was first published, "socialism was respectable on the continent, while communism was not".
The Owenites in England and the Fourierists in France were considered respectable socialists while working-class movements that "proclaimed the necessity of total social change" denoted themselves communists. This latter branch of socialism produced the communist work of Étienne Cabet in France and Wilhelm Weitling in Germany.  While democrats looked to the Revolutions of 1848 as a democratic revolution which in the long run ensured liberty, equality and fraternity, Marxists denounced 1848 as a betrayal of working-class ideals by a bourgeoisie indifferent to the legitimate demands of the proletariat. According to The Oxford Handbook of Karl Marx, Marx used many terms to refer to a post-capitalist society-positive humanism, socialism, Communism, realm of free individuality, free association of producers, etc.He used these terms completely interchangeably. The notion that'socialism' and'Communism' are distinct historical stages is alien to his work and only entered the lexicon of Marxism after his death. Main article: History of communism. See also: Religious communism, Scientific socialism, and Utopian socialism. According to Richard Pipes, the idea of a classless, egalitarian society first emerged in Ancient Greece.
 The 5th-century Mazdak movement in Persia (modern-day Iran) has been described as "communistic" for challenging the enormous privileges of the noble classes and the clergy; for criticizing the institution of private property; and for striving to create an egalitarian society.  At one time or another, various small communist communities existed, generally under the inspiration of Scripture.  In the medieval Christian Church, some monastic communities and religious orders shared their land and their other property. Thomas More, whose Utopia portrayed a society based on common ownership of property.
Communist thought has also been traced back to the works of the 16th-century English writer Thomas More. In his 1516 treatise Utopia, More portrayed a society based on common ownership of property, whose rulers administered it through the application of reason. In the 17th century, communist thought surfaced again in England, where a Puritan religious group known as the Diggers advocated the abolition of private ownership of land. In his 1895 Cromwell and Communism,  Eduard Bernstein argued that several groups during the English Civil War (especially the Diggers) espoused clear communistic, agrarian ideals and that Oliver Cromwell's attitude towards these groups was at best ambivalent and often hostile.  Criticism of the idea of private property continued into the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century through such thinkers as Jean-Jacques Rousseau in France. Following the upheaval of the French Revolution, communism later emerged as a political doctrine. In the early 19th century, various social reformers founded communities based on common ownership. Unlike many previous communist communities, they replaced the religious emphasis with a rational and philanthropic basis.  Notable among them were Robert Owen, who founded New Harmony, Indiana, in 1825; and Charles Fourier, whose followers organized other settlements in the United States such as Brook Farm in 1841. In its modern form, communism grew out of the socialist movement in 19th-century Europe. As the Industrial Revolution advanced, socialist critics blamed capitalism for the misery of the proletariat-a new class of urban factory workers who labored under often-hazardous conditions. Foremost among these critics were Karl Marx and his associate Friedrich Engels.
In 1848, Marx and Engels offered a new definition of communism and popularized the term in their famous pamphlet The Communist Manifesto. The 1917 October Revolution in Russia set the conditions for the rise to state power of Vladimir Lenin's Bolsheviks which was the first time any avowedly communist party reached that position. The revolution transferred power to the All-Russian Congress of Soviets in which the Bolsheviks had a majority.  The event generated a great deal of practical and theoretical debate within the Marxist movement. Marx predicted that socialism and communism would be built upon foundations laid by the most advanced capitalist development.However, Russia was one of the poorest countries in Europe with an enormous, largely illiterate peasantry and a minority of industrial workers. Marx had explicitly stated that Russia might be able to skip the stage of bourgeois rule. The moderate Mensheviks (minority) opposed Lenin's Bolsheviks (majority) plan for socialist revolution before capitalism was more fully developed.
The Bolsheviks' successful rise to power was based upon the slogans such as "Peace, bread and land" which tapped into the massive public desire for an end to Russian involvement in World War I, the peasants' demand for land reform and popular support for the soviets.  The Soviet Union was established in 1922. Following Lenin's democratic centralism, the Leninist parties were organized on a hierarchical basis, with active cells of members as the broad base. They were made up only of elite cadres approved by higher members of the party as being reliable and completely subject to party discipline.
 In the Moscow Trials, many old Bolsheviks who had played prominent roles during the Russian Revolution of 1917 or in Lenin's Soviet government afterwards, including Lev Kamenev, Grigory Zinoviev, Alexei Rykov and Nikolai Bukharin, were accused, pleaded guilty of conspiracy against the Soviet Union, and were executed. Countries of the world now (red) or previously (orange) having nominally Marxist-Leninist communist governments. Its leading role in World War II saw the emergence of the Soviet Union as an industrialized superpower, with strong influence over Eastern Europe and parts of Asia. The European and Japanese empires were shattered and communist parties played a leading role in many independence movements. Marxist-Leninist governments modeled on the Soviet Union took power with Soviet assistance in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Poland, Hungary and Romania.
A Marxist-Leninist government was also created under Josip Broz Tito in Yugoslavia, but Tito's independent policies led to the expulsion of Yugoslavia from the Cominform which had replaced the Comintern and Titoism was branded "deviationist". Albania also became an independent Marxist-Leninist state after World War II.  Communism was seen as a rival of and a threat to western capitalism for most of the 20th century.Main article: Dissolution of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was dissolved on December 26, 1991.
It was a result of the declaration number 142-? Of the Soviet of the Republics of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. The declaration acknowledged the independence of the former Soviet republics and created the Commonwealth of Independent States, although five of the signatories ratified it much later or did not do it at all. On the previous day, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev (the eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union) resigned, declared his office extinct and handed over its powers, including control of the Soviet nuclear missile launching codes, to Russian President Boris Yeltsin. That evening at 7:32, the Soviet flag was lowered from the Kremlin for the last time and replaced with the pre-revolutionary Russian flag.
Previously from August to December 1991, all the individual republics, including Russia itself, had seceded from the union. The week before the union's formal dissolution, eleven republics signed the Alma-Ata Protocol, formally establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States and declaring that the Soviet Union had ceased to exist. See also: List of anti-capitalist and communist parties with national parliamentary representation.
The Vietnamese Communist Party's poster in Hanoi. At present, states controlled by Marxist-Leninist parties under a single-party system include the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Cuba, the Lao People's Democratic Republic and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea currently refers to its leading ideology as Juche which is portrayed as a development of Marxism-Leninism.
Communist parties, or their descendant parties, remain politically important in several other countries. The South African Communist Party is a partner in the African National Congress-led government. In India as of March 2018, communists lead the government of Kerala. In Nepal, communists hold a majority in the parliament.
 The Communist Party of Brazil was a part of the parliamentary coalition led by the ruling democratic socialist Workers' Party until August 2016. The People's Republic of China has reassessed many aspects of the Maoist legacy, and along with Laos, Vietnam and to a lesser degree Cuba, has decentralized state control of the economy in order to stimulate growth.Chinese economic reforms were started in 1978 under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, and since then China has managed to bring down the poverty rate from 53% in the Mao era to just 6% in 2001.  These reforms are sometimes described by outside commentators as a regression to capitalism, but the communist parties describe it as a necessary adjustment to existing realities in the post-Soviet world in order to maximize industrial productive capacity. In these countries, the land is a universal public monopoly administered by the state and so are natural resources and vital industries and services. The public sector is the dominant sector in these economies and the state plays a central role in coordinating economic development.
See also: List of communist ideologies and Marxist schools of thought. A monument dedicated to Karl Marx (left) and Friedrich Engels (right) in Shanghai.
Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that frames capitalism through a paradigm of exploitation, analyzes class relations and social conflict using a materialist interpretation of historical development and takes a dialectical view of social transformation. Marxism uses a materialist methodology, referred to by Marx and Engels as the materialist conception of history and now better known as historical materialism, to analyze and critique the development of class society and especially of capitalism as well as the role of class struggles in systemic economic, social and political change. First developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the mid-19th century, it has been the foremost ideology of the communist movement.
Marxism does not lay out a blueprint of a communist society per se and it merely presents an analysis that concludes the means by which its implementation will be triggered, distinguishing its fundamental characteristics as based on the derivation of real-life conditions. Marxism considers itself to be the embodiment of scientific socialism, but it does not model an ideal society based on the design of intellectuals, whereby communism is seen as a state of affairs to be established based on any intelligent design. Rather, it is a non-idealist attempt at the understanding of material history and society, whereby communism is the expression of a real movement, with parameters that are derived from actual life. According to Marxist theory, class conflict arises in capitalist societies due to contradictions between the material interests of the oppressed and exploited proletariat-a class of wage laborers employed to produce goods and services-and the bourgeoisie-the ruling class that owns the means of production and extracts its wealth through appropriation of the surplus product produced by the proletariat in the form of profit.
This class struggle that is commonly expressed as the revolt of a society's productive forces against its relations of production, results in a period of short-term crises as the bourgeoisie struggle to manage the intensifying alienation of labor experienced by the proletariat, albeit with varying degrees of class consciousness. In periods of deep crisis, the resistance of the oppressed can culminate in a proletarian revolution which, if victorious, leads to the establishment of socialism-a socioeconomic system based on social ownership of the means of production, distribution based on one's contribution and production organized directly for use.
As the productive forces continued to advance, socialism would be transformed into a communist society, i. A classless, stateless, humane society based on common ownership and distribution based on one's needs. While it originates from the works of Marx and Engels, Marxism has developed into many different branches and schools of thought, with the result that there is now no single definitive Marxist theory.  Different Marxian schools place a greater emphasis on certain aspects of classical Marxism while rejecting or modifying other aspects.
Many schools of thought have sought to combine Marxian concepts and non-Marxian concepts which has then led to contradictory conclusions.  However, there is a movement toward the recognition that historical materialism and dialectical materialism remains the fundamental aspect of all Marxist schools of thought.
 Marxism-Leninism and its offshoots are the most well-known of these and have been a driving force in international relations during most of the 20th century. Classical Marxism is the economic, philosophical and sociological theories expounded by Marx and Engels as contrasted with later developments in Marxism, especially Leninism and Marxism-Leninism.  Orthodox Marxism is the body of Marxism thought that emerged after the death of Marx and which became the official philosophy of the socialist movement as represented in the Second International until World War I in 1914.
Orthodox Marxism aims to simplify, codify and systematize Marxist method and theory by clarifying the perceived ambiguities and contradictions of classical Marxism. The philosophy of orthodox Marxism includes the understanding that material development (advances in technology in the productive forces) is the primary agent of change in the structure of society and of human social relations and that social systems and their relations e. Feudalism, capitalism and so on become contradictory and inefficient as the productive forces develop, which results in some form of social revolution arising in response to the mounting contradictions. This revolutionary change is the vehicle for fundamental society-wide changes and ultimately leads to the emergence of new economic systems.
 As a term, orthodox Marxism represents the methods of historical materialism and of dialectical materialism and not the normative aspects inherent to classical Marxism, without implying dogmatic adherence to the results of Marx's investigations. Class conflict and historical materialism. Main articles: Class conflict and Historical materialism. At the root of Marxism is historical materialism, the materialist conception of history which holds that the key characteristic of economic systems through history has been the mode of production and that the change between modes of production has been triggered by class struggle. According to this analysis, the Industrial Revolution ushered the world into capitalism as a new mode of production.
Before capitalism, certain working classes had ownership of instruments utilized in production. Accordingly, capitalism divided the world between two major classes, namely that of the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.  These classes are directly antagonistic as the latter possesses private ownership of the means of production, earning profit via the surplus value generated by the proletariat, who have no ownership of the means of production and therefore no option but to sell its labor to the bourgeoisie.According to the materialist conception of history, it is through the furtherance of its own material interests that the rising bourgeoisie within feudalism captured power and abolished, of all relations of private property, only the feudal privilege, thereby taking the feudal ruling class out of existence. This was another key element behind the consolidation of capitalism as the new mode of production, the final expression of class and property relations that has led to a massive expansion of production. It is only in capitalism that private property in itself can be abolished.  Similarly, the proletariat would capture political power, abolish bourgeois property through the common ownership of the means of production, therefore abolishing the bourgeoisie, ultimately abolishing the proletariat itself and ushering the world into communism as a new mode of production.
In between capitalism and communism, there is the dictatorship of the proletariat, a democratic state where the whole of the public authority is elected and recallable under the basis of universal suffrage.  It is the defeat of the bourgeois state, but not yet of the capitalist mode of production and at the same time the only element which places into the realm of possibility moving on from this mode of production. Marxian economics and its proponents view capitalism as economically unsustainable and incapable of improving the living standards of the population due to its need to compensate for falling rates of profit by cutting employee's wages, social benefits and pursuing military aggression. The communist system would succeed capitalism as humanity's mode of production through workers' revolution. According to Marxian crisis theory, communism is not an inevitability, but an economic necessity.Main articles: Socialization (economics) and Socialization (Marxism). An important concept in Marxism is socialization versus nationalization. Nationalization is state ownership of property whereas socialization is control and management of property by society. Marxism considers the latter as its goal and considers nationalization a tactical issue, as state ownership is still in the realm of the capitalist mode of production. In the words of Friedrich Engels, the transformation... Into State-ownership does not do away with the capitalistic nature of the productive forces. State-ownership of the productive forces is not the solution of the conflict, but concealed within it are the technical conditions that form the elements of that solution.
[b] This has led some Marxist groups and tendencies to label states based on nationalization such as the Soviet Union as state capitalist. . Vladimir Lenin statue in Kolkata, West Bengal. We want to achieve a new and better order of society: in this new and better society there must be neither rich nor poor; all will have to work.
Not a handful of rich people, but all the working people must enjoy the fruits of their common labour. Machines and other improvements must serve to ease the work of all and not to enable a few to grow rich at the expense of millions and tens of millions of people. This new and better society is called socialist society.The teachings about this society are called'socialism'. Vladimir Lenin, To the Rural Poor (1903). Leninism is the body of political theory, developed by and named after the Russian revolutionary and later-Soviet premier Vladimir Lenin, for the democratic organisation of a revolutionary vanguard party and the achievement of a dictatorship of the proletariat as political prelude to the establishment of socialism. Leninism comprises socialist political and economic theories developed from orthodox Marxism as well as Lenin's interpretations of Marxist theory for practical application to the socio-political conditions of the agrarian, early-20th-century Russian Empire. Leninism was composed for revolutionary praxis and originally was neither a rigorously proper philosophy nor a discrete political theory. After the Russian Revolution and in History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics (1923), György Lukács developed and organised Lenin's pragmatic revolutionary practices and ideology into the formal philosophy of vanguard-party revolution. As a political-science term, Leninism entered common usage in 1922 after infirmity ended Lenin's participation in governing the Russian Communist Party. At the Fifth Congress of the Communist International in July 1924, Grigory Zinoviev popularized the term Leninism to denote "vanguard-party revolution". Within Leninism, democratic centralism is a practice in which political decisions reached by voting processes are binding upon all members of the communist party. The party's political vanguard is composed of professional revolutionaries that elect leaders and officers as well as to determine policy through free discussion, then this is decisively realized through united action. In the context of the theory of Leninist revolutionary struggle, vanguardism is a strategy whereby the most class-conscious and politically advanced sections of the proletariat or working class, described as the revolutionary vanguard, form organizations in order to draw larger sections of the working class towards revolutionary politics and serve as manifestations of proletarian political power against its class enemies. From 1917 to 1922, Leninism was the Russian application of Marxian economics and political philosophy, effected and realised by the Bolsheviks, the vanguard party who led the fight for the political independence of the working class. Marxism-Leninism is a political ideology developed by Joseph Stalin.
 According to its proponents, it is based in Marxism and Leninism. It describes the specific political ideology which Stalin implemented in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and in a global scale in the Comintern. There is no definite agreement between historians of about whether Stalin actually followed the principles of Marx and Lenin.  It also contains aspects which according to some are deviations from Marxism such as socialism in one country. Social fascism was a theory supported by the Comintern and affiliated communist parties during the early 1930s which held that social democracy was a variant of fascism because it stood in the way of a dictatorship of the proletariat, in addition to a shared corporatist economic model. At the time, leaders of the Comintern such as Stalin and Rajani Palme Dutt argued that capitalist society had entered the Third Period in which a working-class revolution was imminent, but it could be prevented by social democrats and other fascist forces.  The term social fascist was used pejoratively to describe social-democratic parties, anti-Comintern and progressive socialist parties and dissenters within Comintern affiliates throughout the interwar period. The social fascism theory was advocated vociferously by the Communist Party of Germany which was largely controlled and funded by the Soviet leadership from 1928. During the Cold War, Marxism-Leninism was the ideology of the most clearly visible communist movement and is the most prominent ideology associated with communism.  According to their proponents, Marxist-Leninist ideologies have been adapted to the material conditions of their respective countries and include Castroism (Cuba), Ceau? Ism (Romania), Gonzalo Thought (Peru), Guevarism (Cuba), Ho Chi Minh Thought (Vietnam), Hoxhaism (anti-revisionist Albania), Husakism (Czechoslovakia), Juche (North Korea), Kadarism (Hungary), Khmer Rouge (Cambodia), Khrushchevism (Soviet Union), Prachanda Path (Nepal), Shining Path (Peru) and Titoism (anti-Stalinist Yugoslavia). Within Marxism-Leninism, anti-revisionism is a position which emerged in the 1950s in opposition to the reforms of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Where Khrushchev pursued an interpretation that differed from Stalin, the anti-revisionists within the international communist movement remained dedicated to Stalin's ideological legacy and criticized the Soviet Union under Khrushchev and his successors as state capitalist and social imperialist due to its hopes of achieving peace with the United States. The term Stalinism is also used to describe these positions, but it is often not used by its supporters who opine that Stalin simply synthesized and practiced orthodox Marxism and Leninism. Because different political trends trace the historical roots of revisionism to different eras and leaders, there is significant disagreement today as to what constitutes anti-revisionism. Modern groups which describe themselves as anti-revisionist fall into several categories. Some uphold the works of Stalin and Mao Zedong and some the works of Stalin while rejecting Mao and universally tend to oppose Trotskyism. Others reject both Stalin and Mao, tracing their ideological roots back to Marx and Lenin. In addition, other groups uphold various less-well-known historical leaders such as Enver Hoxha, who also broke with Mao during the Sino-Albanian split. Within Marxism-Leninism, social imperialism was a term used by Mao to criticize the Soviet Union post-Stalin. Mao argued that the Soviet Union had itself become an imperialist power while maintaining a socialist façade.  Hoxha agreed with Mao in this analysis, before later using the expression to also condemn Mao's Three Worlds Theory. 1942 portrait of Joseph Stalin, the longest-serving leader of the Soviet Union.
Stalinism represents Stalin's style of governance as opposed to Marxism-Leninism, the socioeconomic system and political ideology implemented by Stalin in the Soviet Union and later copied by other states based on the Soviet model such as central planning, nationalization and one-party state, along with public ownership of the means of production, accelerated industrialization, pro-active development of society's productive forces (research and development) and nationalised natural resources. Marxism-Leninism remained after de-Stalinization whereas Stalinism did not.
In the last letters before his death, Lenin warned against the danger of Stalin's personality and urged the Soviet government to replace him. Marxism-Leninism has been criticized by other communist and Marxist tendencies.They argue that Marxist-Leninist states did not establish socialism, but rather state capitalism.  According to Marxism, the dictatorship of the proletariat represents the rule of the majority (democracy) rather than of one party, to the extent that co-founder of Marxism Friedrich Engels described its "specific form" as the democratic republic.  Additionally, according to Engels state property by itself is private property of capitalist nature[b] unless the proletariat has control of political power, in which case it forms public property. [c] Whether the proletariat was actually in control of the Marxist-Leninist states is a matter of debate between Marxism-Leninism and other communist tendencies.
To these tendencies, Marxism-Leninism is neither Marxism nor Leninism nor the union of both, but rather an artificial term created to justify Stalin's ideological distortion,  forced into the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Comintern. In the Soviet Union, this struggle against Marxism-Leninism was represented by Trotskyism which describes itself as a Marxist and Leninist tendency. Main articles: Maoism and Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. Long Live the Victory of Mao Zedong Thought monument in Shenyang.Maoism is the theory derived from the teachings of the Chinese political leader Mao Zedong. Developed from the 1950s until the Deng Xiaoping Chinese economic reform in the 1970s, it was widely applied as the guiding political and military ideology of the Communist Party of China and as the theory guiding revolutionary movements around the world. A key difference between Maoism and other forms of Marxism-Leninism is that peasants should be the bulwark of the revolutionary energy which is led by the working class. The synthesis of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism which builds upon the two individual theories as the Chinese adaption of Marxism-Leninism did not occur during the life of Mao.
After de-Stalinization, Marxism-Leninism was kept in the Soviet Union while certain anti-revisionist tendencies such as Hoxhaism and Maoism argued that such had deviated from its original concept. Different policies were applied in Albania and China which became more distanced from the Soviet Union. From the 1960s, groups who called themselves Maoists, or those who upheld Maoism, were not unified around a common understanding of Maoism, instead having their own particular interpretations of the political, philosophical, economical and military works of Mao. Its adherents claim that as a unified, coherent higher stage of Marxism, it was not consolidated until the 1980s, first being formalized by the Peruvian communist party Shining Path in 1982. Through the experience of the people's war waged by the party, the Shining Path were able to posit Maoism as the newest development of Marxism. Proponents of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism refer to the theory as Maoism itself whereas Maoism is referred to as either Mao Zedong Thought or Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought. Maoism-Third Worldism is concerned with the infusion and synthesis of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism with concepts of non-Marxist Third-Worldism such dependency theory and world-systems theory. Detail of Man, Controller of the Universe, fresco at Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City showing Leon Trotsky, Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx. Trotskyism, developed by Leon Trotsky in opposition to Stalinism, is a Marxist and Leninist tendency that supports the theory of permanent revolution and world revolution rather than the two-stage theory and Joseph Stalin's socialism in one country.
It supported proletarian internationalism and another communist revolution in the Soviet Union. Rather than representing the dictatorship of the proletariat, Trotsky claimed that the Soviet Union had become a degenerated workers' state under the leadership of Stalin in which class relations had re-emerged in a new form. Trotsky's politics differed sharply from those of Stalin and Mao Zedong, most importantly in declaring the need for an international proletarian revolution-rather than socialism in one country-and support for a true dictatorship of the proletariat based on democratic principles.
Struggling against Stalin for power in the Soviet Union, Trotsky and his supporters organized into the Left Opposition, the platform of which became known as Trotskyism. Stalin eventually succeeded in gaining control of the Soviet regime and Trotskyist attempts to remove Stalin from power resulted in Trotsky's exile from the Soviet Union in 1929. While in exile, Trotsky continued his campaign against Stalin, founding in 1938 the Fourth International, a Trotskyist rival to the Comintern. In August 1940, Trotsky was assassinated in Mexico City upon Stalin's orders. Trotskyist currents include orthodox Trotskyism, third camp, Posadism, Pabloism and neo-Trotskyism.
In Trotskyist political theory, a degenerated workers' state is a dictatorship of the proletariat in which the working class's democratic control over the state has given way to control by a bureaucratic clique. The term was developed by Trotsky in The Revolution Betrayed and in other works. Deformed workers' states are states where the capitalist class has been overthrown, the economy is largely state-owned and planned, but there is no internal democracy or workers' control of industry. In a deformed workers' state, the working class has never held political power like it did in Russia shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution. These states are considered deformed because their political and economic structures have been imposed from the top (or from outside) and because revolutionary working class organizations are crushed.
Like a degenerated workers' state, a deformed workers' state cannot be said to be a state that is transitioning to socialism. Most Trotskyists cite examples of deformed workers' states today as including Cuba, the People's Republic of China, North Korea and Vietnam. The Committee for a Workers' International has also included states such as Burma and Syria at times when they have had a nationalized economy.Enrico Berlinguer, the secretary of the Italian Communist Party and main proponent of Eurocommunism. Eurocommunism was a revisionist trend in the 1970s and 1980s within various Western European communist parties, claiming to develop a theory and practice of social transformation more relevant to their region. Especially prominent in Italy, France and Spain, communists of this nature sought to undermine the influence of the Soviet Union and its communist party during the Cold War.  Enrico Berlinguer, secretary of the Italian Communist Party, was widely considered the father of Eurocommunism. Libertarian Marxism is a broad range of economic and political philosophies that emphasize the anti-authoritarian aspects of Marxism. Early currents of libertarian Marxism, known as left communism,  emerged in opposition to Marxism-Leninism and its derivatives such as Stalinism, Trotskyism and Maoism. Libertarian Marxism is also critical of reformist positions such as those held by social democrats.  Libertarian Marxist currents often draw from Marx and Engels' later works, specifically the Grundrisse and The Civil War in France,  emphasizing the Marxist belief in the ability of the working class to forge its own destiny without the need for a revolutionary party or state to mediate or aid its liberation.
 Along with anarchism, libertarian Marxism is one of the main derivatives of libertarian socialism. Aside from left communism, libertarian Marxism includes such currents as autonomism, communization, council communism, De Leonism, the Johnson-Forest Tendency, Lettrism, Luxemburgism Situationism, Socialisme ou Barbarie, Solidarity, the World Socialist Movement, workerism as well as parts of Freudo-Marxism and the New Left.  Moreover, libertarian Marxism has often had a strong influence on both post-left and social anarchists.Notable theorists of libertarian Marxism have included Antonie Pannekoek, Raya Dunayevskaya, C. James, Antonio Negri, Cornelius Castoriadis, Maurice Brinton, Guy Debord, Daniel Guérin, Ernesto Screpanti, Raoul Vaneigem and Yanis Varoufakis,  who claims that Marx himself was a libertarian Marxist. Council communism is a movement originating in Germany and the Netherlands in the 1920s, whose primary organization was the Communist Workers Party of Germany. Council communism continues today as a theoretical and activist position within both libertarian Marxism and libertarian socialism. The core principle of council communism is that the government and the economy should be managed by Workers' councils which are composed of delegates elected at workplaces and recallable at any moment.
As such, council communists oppose state-run authoritarian state socialism and state capitalism. They also oppose the idea of a revolutionary party since council communists believe that a revolution led by a party will necessarily produce a party dictatorship. Council communists support a workers' democracy, produced through a federation of workers' councils.
Accordingly, the central argument of council communism in contrast to those of social democracy and Leninist communism is that democratic workers' councils arising in the factories and municipalities are the natural form of working-class organization and governmental power. This view is opposed to both the reformist and the Leninism ideologies which respectively stress parliamentary and institutional government by applying social reforms on the one hand and vanguard parties and participative democratic centralism on the other.
Left communism is the range of communist viewpoints held by the communist left which criticizes the political ideas and practices espoused, particularly following the series of revolutions that brought World War to an end by Bolsheviks and social democrats. Left communists assert positions which they regard as more authentically Marxist and proletarian than the views of Marxism-Leninism espoused by the Communist International after its first congress (March 1919) and during its second congress (July-August 1920). Left communists represent a range of political movements distinct from Marxist-Leninists, whom they largely view as merely the left-wing of capital; from anarcho-communists, some of whom they consider to be internationalist socialists; and from various other revolutionary socialist tendencies such as De Leonists, whom they tend to see as being internationalist socialists only in limited instances.
Bordigism is a Leninist left-communist current named after Amadeo Bordiga, who did consider himself a Leninist and has been described as being "more Leninist than Lenin". The dominant forms of communism are based on Marxism, but non-Marxist versions of communism such as Christian communism and anarcho-communism also exist.Peter Kropotkin, main theorist of anarcho-communism. Anarcho-communism is a libertarian theory of anarchism and communism which advocates the abolition of the state, private property and capitalism in favor of common ownership of the means of production; direct democracy; and a horizontal network of voluntary associations and workers' councils with production and consumption based on the guiding principle "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need". Anarcho-communism differs from Marxism in that it rejects its view about the need for a state socialism phase prior to establishing communism. Peter Kropotkin, the main theorist of anarcho-communism, argued that a revolutionary society should "transform itself immediately into a communist society", that it should go immediately into what Marx had regarded as the "more advanced, completed, phase of communism".  In this way, it tries to avoid the reappearance of "class divisions and the need for a state to oversee everything". Some forms of anarcho-communism such as insurrectionary anarchism are egoist and strongly influenced by radical individualism,  believing that anarchist communism does not require a communitarian nature at all. Most anarcho-communists view anarchist communism as a way of reconciling the opposition between the individual and society.
[d] In human history to date, the best-known examples of an anarcho-communist society, i. Established around the ideas as they exist today and that received worldwide attention and knowledge in the historical canon, are the anarchist territories during the Free Territory during the Russian Revolution, the Korean People's Association in Manchuria and the Spanish Revolution of 1936.
During the Russian Civil War, anarchists such as Nestor Makhno worked through the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine to create and defend anarcho-communism in the Free Territory of the Ukraine from 1919 before being conquered by the Bolsheviks in 1921. In 1929, anarcho-communism was achieved in Korea by the Korean Anarchist Federation in Manchuria (KAFM) and the Korean Anarcho-Communist Federation (KACF), with help from anarchist general and independence activist Kim Chwa-chin, lasting until 1931, when Imperial Japan assassinated Kim and invaded from the south while the Chinese Nationalists invaded from the north, resulting in the creation of Manchukuo, a puppet state of the Empire of Japan. Through the efforts and influence of the Spanish anarchists during the Spanish Revolution within the Spanish Civil War, starting in 1936 anarcho-communism existed in most of Aragon; parts of the Levante and Andalusia; and in the stronghold of Revolutionary Catalonia, before being brutally crushed.
Christian communism is a theological and political theory based upon the view that the teachings of Jesus Christ compel Christians to support religious communism as the ideal social system.  As such, many advocates of Christian communism argue that it was taught by Jesus and practiced by the apostles themselves.  Some historians confirm it.
Christian communism enjoys some support in Russia. For instance, Russian musician Yegor Letov was an outspoken Christian communist. "Communism is the Kingdom of God on Earth, " he said in an interview in 1995. Main articles: Criticism of communist party rule and Criticism of Marxism.Criticism of communism can be divided into two broad categories, namely that which concerns itself with the practical aspects of 20th century communist states and that which concerns itself with communist principles and theory. Marxism is also subject to general criticism such as that it requires necessary suppression of liberal democratic rights, that there are issues with the implementation of communism, and that there are economic issues such as the distortion or absence of price signals. In addition, empirical and epistemological problems are frequently cited.