Bill Bland on Revisionism

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Lenin’s definition of revisionism is that it is

” … a trend hostile to Marxism within Marxism” (Vladimir I. Lenin: ‘Marxism and Revisionism’, in: ‘Selected Works’, Volume 11; London; 1943; p. 704).

Perhaps a more comprehensive definition of revisionism would be that it is an ideology which claims to be a development of Marxism but is in reality a deviation from Marxism which assists the anti-socialist aims of a capitalist class.

Clearly, revisionism has direct relevance only to people who believe they are Marxists. To the extent that it can persuade such people of its validity, it separates them from genuine Marxists and diverts them into anti-Marxist political activity. The struggle against revisionism is thus of particular importance in the period of building a Marxist-Leninist Party in countries where such a party does not yet exist.

Some comrades have no difficulty in recognising the revisionist character of Khrushchevite revisionism of the type of “The British Road to Socialism,” which is clearly anti-revolutionary, but cannot understand how other types of revisionism may support revolution.

But when we say that “revisionism assists the anti-socialist aims of a capitalist class,” one must understand that the anti-socialist aims of all capitalist classes do not follow an identical pattern, and we can identify different brands of revisionism corresponding to these different aims.

In particular, the aims of revisionists in developed capitalist countries differ from those of revisionists in colonial-type countries. Thus, the former is anti-revolutionary typified by Khrushchevite revisionism of the type of “The British Road to Socialism.” However, revisionism in colonial-type countries is to a certain extent revolutionary, reflecting the desire of national bourgeoisies of colonial-type countries to carry through the national-democratic stage of the revolutionary process in such countries, but to halt the revolutionary process before it proceeds to the socialist stage; this second form of revisionism is typified by “Mao Tse-tung Thought” and, as we shall see, by “Kimilsungism.”

– Bill Bland, “The Workers’ Party of Korea and Revisionism”

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