Social revolution

Social revolution

The term social revolution may have different connotations depending on the speaker.

In the Trotskyist movement, the term "social revolution" refers to an upheaval in which existing property relations are smashed. Examples include the October Revolution in Russia in 1917 and the Cuban Revolution, as both caused capitalist (and in some cases pre-capitalist) property relations to turn into post-capitalist property relations as they operated by plan rather than by market. Social revolutions are contrasted with purely political revolutions in which the government is replaced, or the form of government altered, but in which property relations are predominantly left intact. Social revolutions do not imply necessarily that the working class as a whole has control over the production and distribution of capital and goods - in countries such as Cuba this is done by a caste in the form of the Cuban Communist Party - they just mean that the market is no longer used, and that the capitalist class has been expropriated.

In libertarian socialist and anarchist parlance, a "social revolution" is a bottom-up, as opposed to vanguard-led or purely political, revolution aiming to reorganize all of society. In the words of Peter Kropotkin, "social revolution means the reorganization of the industrial, economic life of the country and consequently also of the entire structure of society."

More generally, the term "social revolution" may be used to refer to a massive change in society, for instance the French Revolution, the American Civil Rights Movement and the 1960 hippie or counterculture reformation on religious belief, personal identity, freedom of speech, music and arts, fashion, alternative technology or environmentalism and decentralised media. [ [ The 1960s Cultural Revolution — ] ]

In Islamic thinking, especially under the Shiite school of thought, a social revolution is needed when any form of government is tyrannic and despotic to its people. The underlying concept of Islamic Revolution maintains that moral freedom is the most important aspect of a human's fundamental needs. This philosophy is challenged by materialists throughout the world.

Theda Skocpol in her article "France, Russia, China: A Structural Analysis of Social Revolutions" states that social revolution is a "combination of thoroughgoing structural transformation and massive class upheavals" (175). She comes to this definition by combining Samual P. Huntington's definition that it "is a rapid, fundamental, and violent domestic change in the dominant values and myths of society, in its political institutions, social structure, leadership, and government activities and policies" and Lenin's that revolutions are "the festivals of the oppressed... [who act] as creators of a new social order" (Skocpol 175). She also states that this definition excludes many revolutions, because they fail to meet either or both of the two parts of this definition.


ee also

* Spanish Revolution
* Paris commune
* Dictatorship of the proletariat
* Hippies
* Counterculture of the 1960s

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