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A proletarian revolution is a social revolution in which the working class attempts to overthrow the bourgeoisie. Proletarian revolutions are generally advocated by socialists, communists, and most anarchists.
In Marxism, the need for a proletarian revolution is a cornerstone and the first step towards dismantling the exploitations brought about by capitalism. Marxists believe that the workers of the world must unite and free themselves from capitalist oppression to create a world run by and for the working class. In the Marxist view, proletarian revolutions will inevitably happen in all capitalist countries; see world revolution.
The Leninist branch of Marxism argues that a proletarian revolution must be led by a vanguard of 'professional revolutionaries' - that is, men and women who are fully dedicated to the communist cause and who form the nucleus of the communist revolutionary movement. This vanguard is meant to provide leadership and organization to the rest of the working class before and during the revolution, so as to prevent the all-too-common situation in which the government defeats a revolution thanks to the superior discipline and organization of its police and army.
Other Marxists such as Luxemburgists disagree with the Leninist idea of a vanguard, and insist that the entire working class - or at least a large part of it - must be deeply involved and equally committed to the socialist or communist cause in order for a proletarian revolution to be successful. To this end, they seek to build mass working class movements with a very large membership.
Finally, there are socialist anarchists and libertarian socialists, who oppose Marxism but agree with Marxists on the point that a proletarian revolution is necessary. Their view is that the revolution must be decentralized, and must not have any central leadership whatsoever (though it may have various local and temporary leaders), nor must it ultimately establish a "dictatorship of the proletariat".
- Communist revolution
- Free association of producers, the ultimate goal of communist and anarchist revolutions
- Labour revolts
- October Revolution
- Proletarian Revolutionary Organisation, Nepal
- Social revolution
- World revolution
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