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Palace Revolution - Deposition and, if necessary, assasination of a reigning monarch by members and associates of the court.

Parvus, A.L. - (1869-1924)  A prominent Marxist propagandist and theoretician in the period before World War I.   With Trotsky, helped develop the theory of the Permanent Revolution.  Trotsky broke with him in 1914 when he became one of the leaders in the pro-war wing of the German social democracy.

Petty or Petit Bourgeoisie - Small proprietors, peasants, artisans, and tradesmen - people broadly speaking who employ labor but also labor themselves.

Plekhanov, Georgi Valentinovich - (1856-1918) Known as "The Founder of Russian Marxism". Formed the first Russian Marxist group, the Emancipation of Labour Group in Geneva, 1883. The group translated Marxist works into Russian and distributed them illegally inside Russia. It was absorbed into the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1903. He lived in exile in London where he collaborated with Lenin in the Iskra group, but later went over to the Mensheviks.

Pogrom - Raid on and massacre of the Jewish population, or of other minorities.

Politburo - Short for political bureau, the directing body of the Communist Party empowered to act between meetings of the full Central Committee.

Political Strike - A strike in which workers have a political objective - frequently a protest against some government policy.

Positivism - A widespread trend in bourgeois philosophy and sociology, founded by Comte (1798-1857), a French philosopher and sociologist. The positivists deny the possibility of knowing inner regularities and relations and deny the significance of philosophy as a method of knowing and changing the objective world. They reduce philosophy to a summary of the data provided by the various branches of science and to a superficial description of the results of direct observation -- i.e., to "positive" facts. Positivism considers itself to be "above" both materialism and idealism but it is actually nothing more than a variety of subjective idealism. Positivism claims to be neutral and above philosophical outlooks, interested in processes but not willing to go beyond the boundaries of the status quo. In effect they confirm the maintenance of existing social structures.

Proletariat - The class of modern wage laborers who, having no means of production of their own, are reduced to selling their labor power in order to live. The working class.  See also the Marxism FAQ Part 7 - excerpts from Engels' Principles of Communism.

Proudhonism - An unscientific trend in petty-bourgeois socialism, hostile to Marxism, so called after its ideologist, the French anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865). Proudhon criticized big capitalist property from the petty-bourgeois position and dreamed of perpetuating small private ownership. He proposed the foundation of "people's" and "exchange" banks, with the aid of which the workers would be able to acquire the means of production, become handicraftsmen and ensure the just marketing of their produce. Proudhon did not understand the historic role of the proletariat and displayed a negative attitude to the class struggle, the proletarian revolution, and the dictatorship of the proletariat; as an anarchist, he denied the need for the state. Marx subjected Proudhonism to ruthless criticism in his work The Poverty of Philosophy.

Back to the Glossary of Marxist Terms


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