Revolutionary wave


Revolutionary wave

A revolutionary wave is a series of revolutions occurring in various locations. In many cases, an initial revolution inspires other "affiliate revolutions" with similar aims. [Mark N. Katz, "Revolution and Revolutionary Waves"]

The concept is important to Marxists, who see revolutionary waves as evidence that a world revolution is possible. For Rosa Luxemburg, "The most precious thing...in the sharp ebb and flow of the revolutionary waves is the proletariat's spiritual growth. The advance by leaps and – bounds of the intellectual stature of the proletariat affords an inviolable guarantee of its further progress in the inevitable economic and political struggles ahead." [Rosa Luxemburg, "Gesammelte Werke", quoted in Tony Cliff, " [https://www.marxists.org/archive/cliff/works/1985/patterns/part1.htm Patterns of mass strike (Part 1)] "]

Examples given of revolutionary waves include:

*The wave of Atlantic Revolutions occurring at the end of the eighteenth century, including the American Revolution (1776), the French Revolution (1789) and the Haitian Revolution (1791).
**The Latin American Wars of Independence, including the South American Wars of Independence of 1810–1825, the Mexican War of Independence of 1810–1821, and the Central American declaration of independence of September 15, 1821. These revolutions are often seen as inspired at least in part by the American and French Revolutions in terms of their liberal Enlightenment ideology and aims, are counted as the second part of the Atlantic Wave.
*The Revolutions of 1830, most notably the neighboring July Revolution in France and the Belgian Revolution.
*The Revolutions of 1848.
*The Revolutions of 1917-23 in the aftermath of World War I, including the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and the emergence of an international communist party alliance in the Soviet-led Comintern, and the collapse of the major territorial empires of continental Europe as well as nationalist, populist and socialist uprisings and protests worldwide.
*A more minor (or at least, more complicated) wave in the early and mid-1930s, in general response to the global effects of the Great Depression, including the rise of the fascist movements and regimes in Europe. Communist parties began debuting the popular front strategy, making coalitions with other leftist and even some center-right groups in an effort to shape politics, particularly after Adolf Hitler's Nazis seized power in Germany in 1933. Despite the alliances of the radical left with moderate socialists and liberals, the divisions over ideology and political parties were rife and the movements did not lead to communist revolution. Rather, they largely ended in either outright military and political defeat, as in the Spanish Civil War and the other collapsing democracies of the interwar era, or electoral cooption and compromise, as exemplified by the ascendancy of social democratic parties over communists in many places, like the Front populaire in France and the Democratic Party (U.S.) through its New Deal coalition.
*A wave (or perhaps a series of waves) occurring at the end of World War II and throughout the Cold War (see below).
**Arguably, especially in the case of communist revolutions, there has been a regional wave following each successful seizure of power in a given area of the world. For example,
***Two major waves swept East Asia and Southeast Asia. The first (1940s-1950s) wave grew after World War II and was epitomized by the 1949 victory of the Maoists in decades-long Chinese Civil War, includes the establishment of a communist state in North Korea and the subsequent Korean War, a similar trajectory of the Viet Minh and the communist North Vietnamese regime through the First Indochina War, as well as failed uprisings by the Huks in the Philippines and by communists in the Malay Emergency, and the popular front-style alliance that led and triumphed in the Indonesian War of Independence. Another 1960s-1970s wave parallels the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976 and the Vietnam War (or Second Indochina War), which extended beyond Vietnam and encompassed the Cambodian Civil War and Laotian Civil War, while the wave would include the efforts of the New People's Army in the Philippines.
***Two major waves of guerrilla warfare in Latin America: one after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959 inspiring legions of emulators pursuing rural-based foco and/or urban guerrilla warfare; another wave following the eventual victory of one such Central American Castroite/Guevarist movement in the Nicaraguan Revolution in 1979 reinvigorated another generation of vanguard party militancy, popular fronts and armed insurrections.
***A substantial wave in Africa, cresting in the 1970s, including the communist revolutions and pro-Soviet military coups in Somalia, Congo-Brazzaville, Dahomey/Benin and Ethiopia; the fight of the communist parties allied under CONCP against the Portuguese Empire in the Portuguese Colonial War; as well as the anti-apartheid struggle, the South African Border War and the Rhodesian Bush War (in what is now known as Zimbabwe).
***The Protests of 1968, including the May 1968 events in France, in a New Left echo of the contemporary waves elsewhere during the Cold War.
*The rise of Islamism, particularly its acceleration since the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War in 1975, of the Afghan Civil War after 1978, and of the Iranian Revolution in 1978-1979.
*The Revolutions of 1989 against the crumbling communist and Soviet sphere of influence.
*The Color Revolutions, starting in 2000 with the Bulldozer Revolution in Serbia.

ee also

*Waves of democracy

References


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