History of communism
The history of communism encompasses a wide variety of ideologies and political movements sharing the core theoretical values of common ownership of wealth, economic enterprise and property. Most modern forms of communism are grounded at least nominally in Marxism, a theory and method conceived by Karl Marx during the 19th century. Marxism subsequently gained a widespread following across much of Europe and throughout the late 1800s its militant supporters were instrumental in a number of failed revolutions on that continent. During the same era, there was a proliferation of communist parties which rejected armed revolution, but embraced the Marxist ideal of collective property and a classless society. Although Marxist theory suggested that the places ripest for social revolution—either through peaceful transition or by force of arms—were industrial societies, communism was successful in underdeveloped countries with endemic poverty such as the Russian Empire and the Republic of China. In 1917, the Bolshevik Party seized power during the Russian Revolution and created the Soviet Union, the world's first self-declared socialist state.
The Bolsheviks embraced the concept of proletarian internationalism and world revolution, seeing their struggle as an international rather than a purely regional cause. This was to have a phenomenal impact on the spread of communism during the 20th century as the Soviet Union installed new Marxist–Leninist governments in Central and Eastern Europe following World War II and indirectly backed the ascension of others in the Americas and Africa. Pivotal to this policy was the Communist International simply known as the Commintern, formed with the perspective of aiding and assisting communist parties around the world and fostering revolution; this was one major cause of tensions during the Cold War as the United States and its military allies equated the global spread of communism with Soviet expansionism by proxy. By 1985, one-third of the world's population lived under a Marxist–Leninist system of government in one form or another. However, there was significant debate among communist and Marxist ideologues as to whether most of these countries could be meaningfully considered Marxist at all as many of the basic components of the Marxist system were altered and revised by such countries.
The failure of these governments to live up to the ideal of a communist society as well as their general trend towards increasing authoritarianism has been linked to the decline of communism in the late 20th century. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, several Marxist–Leninist states repudiated or abolished the ideology altogether. By the 21st century, only a small number of Marxist–Leninist states remained, namely Cuba and Laos. Despite retaining a nominal commitment to communism, China has ceased to be governed by the principles of Maoism, reverting to an authoritarian regime with a mixed economy. From the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 until 2017, demographers have estimated that self-styled socialist states following Marxism–Leninism or one of its variants have collectively claimed the lives of more than 68 million people through starvation, political purges, extrajudicial killings, forced labour camps and violently implemented social engineering policies; the word communism derives from the French communisme which developed out of the Latin roots communis and the suffix isme and was in use as a word designating various social situations before it came to be associated with more modern conceptions of an economic and political organization.
Semantically, communis can be translated to "of or for the community" while isme is a suffix that indicates the abstraction into a state, action or doctrine, so communism may be interpreted as "the state of being of or for the community". This semantic constitution has led to various usages of the word in its evolution, but it came to be most associated with Marxism, most embodied in The Communist Manifesto which proposed a particular type of communism; the term was first created in its modern definition by the French philosopher Victor d'Hupay. In his 1777 book Projet de communauté philosophe, d'Hupay pushes the legacy of the Enlightenments to principles which he lived up to during most of his life in his bastide of Fuveau, Provence, his book can be seen as a backbone of communist philosophy as d'Hupay attempts a definition of this lifestyle which he calls a "commune" and advises to "share all economic and material products between inhabitants of the commune, so that all may benefit from each other's work".
His friend and contemporary author Restif de la Bretonne describes him as a "communist" in one of his books. Many historical groups have been considered as following forms of communism. Karl Marx and other early communist theorists believed that hunter-gatherer societies as were found in the Paleolithic were egalitarian and he therefore termed their ideology to be primitive communism. Early Christianity supported a form of common ownership based on the teachings in the New Testament which emphasised sharing amongst everyone. Other ancient Jewish sects, like the Essenes supported egalitarianism and communal living. During the early modern period in Europe, various groups supporting communist ideas appeared. Tommaso Campanella's 1601 work The City of the Sun propagated the concept of a society where the products of society should be shared equally. Within a few centuries, various groups on the side of the Roundheads during the English Civil War propagated the redistribution of wealth on an egalitarian basis, namely the Levellers and the Diggers.
In the 18th century, the French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau in his hugely influential The Social Contract outlined the basis for a political order base
In political and social sciences, communism is the philosophical, social and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes and the state. Communism includes a variety of schools of thought, which broadly include Marxism and anarchism, as well as the political ideologies grouped around both. All of these share the analysis that the current order of society stems from its economic system, capitalism; the two classes are the working class—who must work to survive and who make up the majority within society—and the capitalist class—a minority who derives profit from employing the working class through private ownership of the means of production. The revolution will put the working class in power and in turn establish social ownership of the means of production, which according to this analysis is the primary element in the transformation of society towards communism.
Critics of communism can be divided into those concerning themselves with the practical aspects of 20th century communist states and those concerning themselves with communist principles and theory. Marxism-Leninism and democratic socialism were the two dominant forms of socialism in the 20th century; the term "communism" was first coined and defined in its modern definition by the French philosopher and writer Victor d'Hupay. In his 1777 book Projet de communauté philosophe, d'Hupay pushes the philosophy of the Enlightenment to principles which he lived up to during most of his life in his bastide of Fuveau; this book can be seen as the cornerstone of communist philosophy as d'Hupay defines this lifestyle as a "commune" and advises to "share all economic and material products between inhabitants of the commune, so that all may benefit from everybody's work". According to Richard Pipes, the idea of a classless, egalitarian society first emerged in Ancient Greece; the 5th-century Mazdak movement in Persia 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 under the inspiration of Scripture. For example, in the medieval Christian Church some monastic communities and religious orders shared their land and their other property. Communist thought has been traced back to the works of the 16th-century English writer Thomas More. In his 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 espoused clear communistic, agrarian ideals and that Oliver Cromwell's attitude towards these groups was at best ambivalent and 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 emerged as a political doctrine. In the early 19th century, various social reformers founded communities based on common ownership. However, 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 in Indiana, as well as Charles Fourier, whose followers organized other settlements in the United States such as Brook Farm. 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 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, 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 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 illiterate peasantry and a minority of industrial workers. Marx had explicitly stated; the moderate Mensheviks opposed Lenin's Bolshevik plan for socialist revolution before capitalism was more developed. The Bolsheviks' successful rise to power was based upon the slogans such as "Peace and land" which tapp
Class conflict is the political tension and economic antagonism that exists in society consequent to socio-economic competition among the social classes. As a means of effecting radical social and political changes for the social majority, class struggle is a central tenet of the philosophic works of Karl Marx and Mikhail Bakunin. Class conflict can take many different forms: direct violence, such as wars fought for resources and cheap labor. Additionally, political forms of class conflict exist; the conflict can be direct, as with a lockout aimed at destroying a labor union, or indirect, as with an informal slowdown in production protesting low wages by workers or unfair labor practices by capital. In the past the term class conflict was a term used by socialists and Marxists, who define a class by its relationship to the means of production—such as factories and machinery. From this point of view, the social control of production and labor is a contest between classes, the division of these resources involves conflict and inflicts harm.
It can involve ongoing low-level clashes, escalate into massive confrontations, in some cases, lead to the overall defeat of one of the contending classes. However, in more contemporary times this term is striking chords and finding new definition amongst capitalistic societies in the United States and other Westernized countries; the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin argued that the class struggle of the working class and poor had the potential to lead a social revolution involving the overthrow of ruling elites, the creation of libertarian socialism. This was only a potential, class struggle was, he argued, not always the only or decisive factor in society, but it was central. By contrast, Marxists argue that class conflict always plays the decisive and pivotal role in the history of class-based hierarchical systems such as capitalism and feudalism. Marxists refer to its overt manifestations as class war, a struggle whose resolution in favor of the working class is viewed by them as inevitable under plutocratic capitalism.
Where societies are divided based on status, wealth, or control of social production and distribution, class structures arise and are thus coeval with civilization itself. It is well documented since at least European Classical Antiquity and the various popular uprisings in late medieval Europe and elsewhere. One of the earliest analysis of these conflicts is Friedrich Engels' The Peasant War in Germany. One of the earliest analyses of the development of class as the development of conflicts between emergent classes is available in Peter Kropotkin's Mutual Aid. In this work, Kropotkin analyzes the disposal of goods after death in pre-class or hunter-gatherer societies, how inheritance produces early class divisions and conflict. Bill Moyers, for example, gave a speech at Brennan Center for Justice in December 2013, titled "The Great American Class War," referring to the current struggle between democracy and plutocracy in the U. S. Chris Hedges wrote a column for Truthdig called "Let's Get This Class War Started,", a play on Pink's song "Let's Get This Party Started."Historian Steve Fraser, author of The Age of Acquiescence: The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power, asserts that class conflict is an inevitability if current political and economic conditions continue, noting that “people are fed up… their voices are not being heard.
And I think that can only go on for so long without there being more and more outbreaks of what used to be called class struggle, class warfare.” The typical example of class conflict described is class conflict within capitalism. This class conflict is seen to occur between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, takes the form of conflict over hours of work, value of wages, division of profits, cost of consumer goods, the culture at work, control over parliament or bureaucracy, economic inequality; the particular implementation of government programs which may seem purely humanitarian, such as disaster relief, can be a form of class conflict. In the USA class conflict is noted in labor/management disputes; as far back as 1933 representative Edward Hamilton of ALPA, the Airline Pilot's Association, used the term "class warfare" to describe airline management's opposition at the National Labor Board hearings in October of that year. Apart from these day-to-day forms of class conflict, during periods of crisis or revolution class conflict takes on a violent nature and involves repression, restriction of civil liberties, murderous violence such as assassinations or death squads.
Although Thomas Jefferson led the United States as president from 1801–1809 and is considered one of the founding fathers, he died with immense amounts of debt. Regarding the interaction between social classes, he wrote, I am convinced that those societies which live without government enjoy in their general mass an infinitely greater degree of happiness than those who live under the European governments. Among the former, public opinion is in the place of law, & restrains morals as powerfully as laws did anywhere. Among the latter, under pretence of governing they have divided their nations i
Prime Minister of Bulgaria
The Prime Minister of Bulgaria is the head of government of Bulgaria. He or she is the leader of a political coalition in the Bulgarian parliament – known as the National Assembly of Bulgaria – and the leader of the cabinet; the current Prime Minister is Boyko Borisov. Government of Bulgaria History of Bulgaria Politics of Bulgaria List of Bulgarian monarchs List of heads of state of Bulgaria List of Presidents of Bulgaria
Communist symbolism represents a variety of themes, including revolution, the proletariat, agriculture, or international solidarity. Communist states and movements use these symbols to advance and create solidarity within their cause; these symbols appear in yellow and red. The flag of the Soviet Union incorporated a yellow-outlined red star and a yellow hammer and sickle on red; the flags of Vietnam, North Korea and Mozambique would all incorporate similar symbolism under communist rule. The hammer and sickle have become the pan-communist symbol, appearing on the flags of most communist parties around the world. However, the flag of the Workers' Party of Korea includes a hammer representing industrial workers, a hoe representing agricultural workers and a brush representing the intelligentsia. In Hungary, Indonesia, Poland and Lithuania, communist symbols are banned and displays in public for non-educational use are considered a criminal offense. Although there isn't any direct attribution, a contemporaneous large empire within Europe was the Ottoman Empire, which fashioned a flag with a red background, a crescent with a five pointed star, as early as 1793 for Ottoman ships, 1844 for all Ottoman flags, predating Karl Marx Communist associated works publishing by 4 years.
The superficial resemblance of Ottoman flags to Communist state flags in color and symbolism are rather striking given the lack of relation of doctrine. The hammer stands for the industrial working class and the sickle represents the agricultural workers, therefore together they represent the unity of the two groups; the hammer and sickle were first used during the 1917 Russian Revolution, but it did not become the official symbol of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic until 1924. Since the Russian Revolution, the hammer and sickle have come to represent various communist parties and communist states; the five-pointed red star is a symbol of communism as well as broader socialism in general. The red star was a revolutionary symbol after the October Revolution and following civil war in Russia, it was used by anti-fascist resistance parties and underground organizations in Europe leading up to and during World War II. During the war, the red star was prominently used as a symbol of the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army from the Soviet Union, which liberated its country from the invading forces of Nazi Germany and went on to rid the rest of Eastern Europe from the fascist occupation forces, achieving absolute victory and ending the war at the Battle of Berlin.
Most states in the Eastern Bloc incorporated the red star into state symbols to signify their socialist nature. While there is no known original allegory behind the red star beyond being a universal political symbol, in the Soviet Union the red star gained a more precise symbolism as representing the Communist Party and its position on the flag over the united hammer and sickle symbolised the party leading the Soviet working class in the building of communism. Today, the red star is used by many socialist and communist parties and organizations across the world; the red flag is seen in combination with other communist symbols and party names. The flag is used at various socialist rallies like May Day; the flag, being a symbol of socialism itself, is commonly associated with non-communist variants of socialism. The red flag has had multiple meanings in history; the red flag gained its modern association with communism in the 1871 French Revolution. After the October Revolution, the Soviet government adopted the red flag with a superimposed hammer and sickle as its national flag.
Since the October Revolution, various socialist states and movements have used the red flag. The red and black flag has been a symbol of general communist movements anarchist; the flag was used as the symbol of the anarcho-syndicalists during the Spanish Civil War. The black represents anarchism and the red represents socialist ideals. Over time, the flag spilled into statist leftist movements, these movements include the Sandinistas and the 26th of July Movement, where the flags colors are not divided diagonally, but horizontally; as in the case of the Sandinistas, they adopted the flag due to the movement's anarchist roots. The Internationale is an anthem of the Communist movement, it is one of the most universally recognized songs in the world and has been translated into nearly every spoken language. Its original French refrain is C'est la lutte finale/Groupons-nous et demain/L'Internationale/Sera le genre humain, it is sung with a raised fist salute. The song has been used by communists all over the world since it was composed in the 19th century and adopted as the official anthem of the Second International.
It became the anthem of Soviet Russia in 1918 and of the Soviet Union in 1922. It was superseded as the Soviet Union anthem in 1944 with the adoption of the State Anthem of the Soviet Union, which placed more emphasis on patriotism; the song was sung in defiance to Communist governments, such as in the German Democratic Republic in 1989 prior to reunification as well as in the People's Republic of China during the Tienanmen Square protests of the same year. Although not an communist symbol, the Plough, or Starry Plough, is a symbol of Irish socialism, it may have the same roots as the original hammer and Plough, replaced by the hammer and sickle in Soviet Russia. The significance of the banner was that a free Workers Republic of Ireland would control its own destiny from the plough to the stars and the sword forge
Simeon II of Bulgaria is the last reigning Bulgarian monarch and served as Prime Minister of Bulgaria from 2001 to 2005. During his reign from 1943 to 1946 as Simeon II, Tsar of Bulgaria, he was a minor, with the royal authority being exercised over the kingdom on his behalf by a regency led by Simeon's uncle Prince Kiril, General Nikola Mihov and the prime minister, Bogdan Filov. In 1946 the monarchy was abolished as a consequence of a referendum, Simeon was forced into exile in Spain, he returned to his home country in 1996 and formed the political party National Movement for Stability and Progress and became Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria from July 2001 until August 2005. In the next elections he, as a leader of NMSP, took part in a coalition government with the ex-communist party BSP, in 2009 after NMSP failed to win any seats in the Parliament, he left politics. Simeon is one of the two last living heads of state from the time of World War II, the only living person who has borne the title "Tsar", one of only two former monarchs in history to have become the head of government through democratic elections.
Simeon was born to Boris Giovanna of Italy. Following his birth, Boris III sent an air force officer to the Jordan River to obtain water for Simeon's baptism in the Orthodox faith, he acceded to the throne on 28 August 1943 upon the death of his father, who had just returned to Bulgaria from a meeting with Adolf Hitler. Since Tsar Simeon was only six years old when he ascended the throne, his uncle Prince Kyril, Prime Minister Bogdan Filov, Lt. General Nikola Mikhov of the Bulgarian Army were appointed regents. Under his father, Bulgaria had reluctantly joined the Axis powers in World War II but had managed to preserve diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. Still, on 5 September 1944 Stalin declared war on Bulgaria and three days the Red Army entered the country without encountering resistance. On the next day, 9 September 1944, Prince Kyril and the other regents were deposed by a Soviet-backed coup and arrested; the three regents, all members of the last three governments, Parliament deputies, heads of the army and eminent journalists were executed by the Communists in February 1945.
The royal family—Queen Giovanna, Simeon II, his sister Maria-Louisa—remained at Vrana Palace near Sofia, while three new regents were appointed. On 15 September 1946, a referendum was held in the presence of the Soviet army, it resulted in a 97% approval for republic and abolition of the monarchy, the boy-king Simeon was deposed. On 16 September 1946, the royal family was exiled from Bulgaria. Simeon II has never signed any abdication papers—neither at that moment when he was nine years old and his legal capacity to sign such an instrument would be questionable in any event, nor at any time later; the royal family first went to Alexandria, where Queen Giovanna's father Vittorio Emanuele III, the former king of Italy, lived in exile. There, Simeon II finished Victoria College. In July 1951, General Franco's dictatorship in Spain granted asylum to the family. In Madrid, Simeon did not graduate. On 16 June 1955, upon turning 18, in accordance with the Tarnovo Constitution Simeon II read his proclamation to the Bulgarian people as the Tsar of Bulgaria, confirming his will to be king of all Bulgarians and follow the principles of the Tarnovo Constitution and free Bulgaria.
In 1958, he enrolled at Valley Forge Military Academy and College in the United States, where he was known as "Cadet Rylski No. 6883", graduated as a second lieutenant. Once again in Spain, Simeon studied business administration, he became a businessman. For thirteen years, he was chairman of the Spanish subsidiary of Thomson, a French defence and electronics group, he was an adviser in the banking, hotel and catering sectors. Simeon issued several political declarations during his exile through his "chancellery" in Madrid directed at the Communist regime in Bulgaria and his exiled compatriots, his early attempts at forming an official government in exile did not come to fruition, however. On 21 January 1962, Simeon married Doña Margarita Gómez-Acebo y Cejuela; the couple have had five children – four sons and a daughter, all of whom subsequently married Spaniards. All of his sons received names of Bulgarian kings, his daughter has a Bulgarian name, although only two of his eleven grandchildren have Bulgarian names.
Kardam married Miriam de Ungría y López. They had two sons and Beltran. Kiril married María del Rosario Nadal y Fuster-Puigdórfila, they have two daughters and Olimpia, one son, Tassilo. Kubrat married Carla María de la Soledad Royo-Villanova y Urrestarazu, they have three sons: Lukás and Tirso. Konstantin-Assen married María García de la Rasilla y Gortázar, they have twins and Sofia. Kalina married, they have Simeon Hassan Muñoz. In 1990, just months after the fall of communism, Simeon was issued a new Bulgarian passport. In 1996, fifty years after the abolition of the monarchy, Simeon returned to Bulgaria and was met in many places by crowds cheering: "We want our
The Fourth International is a revolutionary socialist international organisation consisting of followers of Leon Trotsky, or Trotskyists, with the declared goal of helping the working class overthrow capitalism and work toward international communism. The Fourth International was established in France in 1938 as Trotsky and his supporters, having been expelled from the Soviet Union, considered the Third International or Comintern to have become lost to Stalinism and incapable of leading the international working class to political power. Thus, Trotskyists founded their own competing Fourth International. Today, there is no longer a single cohesive Fourth International. Throughout the better part of its existence, the Fourth International was hounded by agents of the Soviet secret police, repressed by capitalist countries such as France and the United States and rejected by followers of the Soviet Union and Maoism as illegitimate, it struggled to maintain contact under these conditions of illegality and repression around much of the world during World War II because when workers' uprisings did occur they were under the influence of Soviet-inspired, social democratic, Maoist, or militant nationalist groups, leading to defeats for the FI and its Trotskyists, who gathered similar support.
Despite this, many parts of the world, including Latin America and Asia, continue to have large Trotskyist groupings who are attracted to its anti-Stalinist positions and its defense of workers' internationalism. Quite a few of these groups carry the label Fourth Internationalist either in their organisation's name, major political position documents, or both. In line with its Trotskyist underpinnings, the Fourth International tended to view the Comintern as worthy of conditional support considering its corruption and although it regarded its own ideas as more advanced and thus superior to those of the Third International, it did not seek the Comintern's destruction, it does not operate as a cohesive entity in the manner of the prior internationals. The FI suffered a major split in 1940 and an more significant split in 1953. A partial reunification occurred in 1963, but the international never recovered enough to re-emerge as a single transnational grouping. Trotskyists' response to that situation has been in the form of its many Internationals, with some divided over ideas of which organisation represents the true political continuity of the Fourth International.
Trotskyists regard themselves as working in opposition to Stalinism. Trotsky advocated proletarian revolution as set out in his theory of "permanent revolution", believed that a workers' state would not be able to hold out against the pressures of a hostile capitalist world unless socialist revolutions took hold in other countries as well; this theory was advanced in opposition to the view held by the Stalinists that "socialism in one country" could be built in the Soviet Union alone. Furthermore and his supporters harshly criticized the totalitarian nature of Joseph Stalin's rule, they argued. Thus, faced with the increasing lack of democracy in the Soviet Union, they concluded that it was no longer a socialist workers' state, but a degenerated workers' state. Trotsky and his supporters had been organised since 1923 as the Left Opposition, they opposed the bureaucratization of the Soviet Union, which they analysed as being caused by the poverty and isolation of the Soviet economy. Stalin's theory of socialism in one country was developed in 1924 as an opposition to Trotsky's Theory of Permanent Revolution, which argued that capitalism was a world system and required a world revolution in order to replace it with socialism.
Prior to 1924, the Bolsheviks' international perspective had been guided by Trotsky's position. Trotsky argued that Stalin's theory represented the interests of bureaucratic elements in direct opposition to the working class. Trotsky was sent into internal exile and his supporters were jailed. However, the Left Opposition continued to work in secret within the Soviet Union. Trotsky was exiled to Turkey in 1928, he moved from there to France, Norway and to Mexico. He was assassinated on Stalin's orders in Mexico in August 1940. A political international is an organisation of political parties or activists with the aim of co-ordinating their activity for a common purpose. There had been a long tradition of socialists organising on an international basis, Karl Marx had led the International Workingmen's Association, which became known as the "first international". After the International Workingmen's Association disbanded in 1876, several attempts were made to revive the organisation, culminating in the formation of the Socialist International in 1889.
This was disbanded in 1916 following disagreements over World War I. Although the organisation reformed in 1923 as the Labour and Socialist International, supporters of the October Revolution and the Bolsheviks had set up the Communist International, which they regarded as the Third International; this was organised on a democratic centralist basis, with component parties required to fight for policies adopted by the body as a whole. By declaring themselves the Fourth International, the "World Party of Socialist Revolution", the Trotskyists were publicly asserting their continuity with the Comintern, with its predecessors, their recognition of the importance of these earlier Internationals was coupled with a belief that they degenerated. Although the Socialist International and Comintern were still in existence, the Trotskyists did not believe those organisations were capable of supporting revolutionary socialism and international