Uneven and Combined Development

Uneven and combined development (or unequal and combined development) is a Marxist concept to describe the overall dynamics of human history. It was originally used by the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky around the turn of the 20th century, when he was analyzing the developmental possibilities that existed for the economy and civilization in the Russian empire, and the likely future of the Tsarist regime in Russia. It was the basis of his political strategy of permanent revolution, which implied a rejection of the idea that a human society inevitably developed through a uni-linear sequence of necessary "stages". Before Trotsky, Nikolay Chernyshevsky and Vasily Vorontsov proposed a similar idea.

Trotsky's concept was originally inspired by a series of articles by Alexander Helphand (better known as “Parvus”) on “War and Revolution” in the Russian journal Iskra in 1904. At first, Trotsky intended this concept only to describe a characteristic evolutionary pattern in the worldwide expansion of the capitalist mode of production from the 16th century onwards, through the growth of a world economy which connected more and more peoples and territories together through trade, migration and investment. His focus was also initially mainly on the history of the Russian empire, where the most advanced technological and scientific developments co-existed with extremely primitive and superstitious cultures. However, in the 1920s and 1930s, he increasingly generalised the concept of uneven and combined development to the whole of human history, and even to processes of evolutionary biology, as well as the formation of the human personality - as a general dialectical category.

The concept played a certain role in the fierce theoretical debates during the political conflict between the supporters of Joseph Stalin and Trotsky's Left Opposition, a debate which ranged from the historical interpretation of the Russian revolution and economic strategies for the transition to socialism, to the correct understanding of principles of Marxism.

Read more about Uneven And Combined Development:  Explanation of The Concept, Two Quotations From Trotsky Illustrating The Concept, Rudolf Hilferding's Theory, Contemporary Applications

Other articles related to "uneven and combined development, development, uneven":

Uneven And Combined Development - Contemporary Applications
... relations, Archaeology, Anthropology and Development economics, as well as in discussions of the Trotskyist movement ... Over the last decade or so, the idea of uneven and combined development has emerged as a thriving new research program within the discipline of International Relations ... also produced influential scholarship on the idea of uneven development ...

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