- This article is about the theory. See Permanent Revolution (group) for the group of the same name
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Permanent revolution is a term within Marxist theory, which was first used by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels between 1845 and 1850, but has since become most closely associated with Leon Trotsky. The use of the term by different theorists is not identical. Marx used it to describe the strategy of a revolutionary class to continue to pursue its class interests independently and without compromise, despite overtures for political alliances, and despite the political dominance of opposing sections of society.
Trotsky put forward his conception of 'permanent revolution' as an explanation of how socialist revolutions could occur in societies that had not achieved advanced capitalism. Part of his theory is the impossibility of 'socialism in one country' - a view also held by Marx, but not integrated into his conception of permanent revolution. Trotsky's theory also argues, first, that the bourgeoisie in late-developing capitalist countries are incapable of developing the productive forces in such a manner as to achieve the sort of advanced capitalism which will fully develop an industrial proletariat. Second, that the proletariat can and must, therefore, seize social, economic and political power, leading an alliance with the peasantry.
- Marxists Internet Archive Encyclopaedia entry on permanent revolution
- What is the theory of the Permanent Revolution? Unsigned article on Trotsky.net website
- Trotsky's In Defence of October explains The Permanent Revolution
- The Permanent Revolution and Results and Prospects by Leon Trotsky (1931) online book
- The Fading Relevance of Permanent Revolution International Socialist Review