The term revolutionary socialism refers to socialist tendencies that subscribe to the doctrine that social revolution is necessary in order to effect structural changes to society. More specifically, it is the view that revolution is necessary to achieve a transition from capitalism to socialism. Revolution is not necessarily defined as a violent insurrection; it is defined as seizure of political power by mass movements of the working class so that the state is directly controlled by the working class as opposed to the capitalist class and its interests as a precondition for establishing socialism.
Revolutionary socialism encompasses multiple social and political movements that in some cases define "revolution" differently from one another. These include movements based on Orthodox Marxist theory, such as Luxemburgism, Impossibilism and DeLeonism; as well as movements based on Leninism and the theory of Vanguardist-led revolution, such as Marxism-Leninism, Trotskyism and Maoism. Revolutionary socialism also includes non-Marxist movements like anarchism, revolutionary syndicalism and some forms of democratic socialism.
It is used in contrast to the reformism of social democracy, which is not anti-capitalist in form. Revolutionary socialism is opposed to social movements that seek to gradually ameliorate the economic and social problems of capitalism through political reform.
Revolutionary socialism also exists in contrast to the concept of small revolutionary groups seizing power without first achieving mass support, termed Blanquism.
Famous quotes containing the word socialism:
“This socialism will develop in all its phases until it reaches its own extremes and absurdities. Then once again a cry of denial will break from the titanic chest of the revolutionary minority and again a mortal struggle will begin, in which socialism will play the role of contemporary conservatism and will be overwhelmed in the subsequent revolution, as yet unknown to us.”
—Alexander Herzen (18121870)