Politics in Minutes (2016)

Revisionism

There are perhaps more divisions and different ideological interpretations in socialism and communism than any other political philosophy. Many of the older-established communist groups believe that only they are true to the fundamental principles of socialism and communism, and often reject any watering down of what they see as orthodoxy. New ideas are often dismissed as ‘revisionist’, a pejorative term that is used to refer to any of the many reinterpretations of Marx’s original communist theory.

The first major split in the movement came with reformist evolutionary socialism, which was seen as revisionist by revolutionaries, such as Rosa Luxemburg, and later was at the core of the split between Lenin (revisionist) and Trotsky (old guard, pictured). Later, the argument between fundamentalists and revisionists was not over the means of achieving socialism, but the ends: orthodox Marxism views as revisionist any idea that does not see as its goal the overthrow of capitalism.

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