Communist revolution

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A communist revolution is a proletarian revolution often, but not necessarily, inspired by the ideas of Marxism that aims to replace capitalism with communism. Depending on the type of government, the term socialism can be used to indicate an intermediate stage between Capitalism and Communism (especially in Marxist-Leninist views). The idea that a proletarian revolution is needed is a cornerstone of Marxism; 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. Thus, in the Marxist view, proletarian revolutions need to happen in countries all over the world.

Leninism argues[1] that a communist revolution must be led by a vanguard of "professional revolutionaries", men and women who are fully dedicated to the communist cause and who can then form the nucleus of the revolutionary movement. Some Marxists[who?] disagree with the idea of a vanguard as put forth by Lenin, especially left communists.[citation needed] Some who continue to consider themselves Marxist–Leninists[who?] also oppose the vanguard despite disagreeing with the majority of left communism.[2] These critics 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 massive communist parties with very large memberships.

Communist revolutions throughout history[edit]

The following is a list of successful and unsuccessful communist revolutions throughout history. Among the lesser known revolutions, a number of borderline cases have been included which may or may not have been communist revolutions. The nature of unsuccessful revolutions is particularly contentious since one can only speculate as to the kinds of policies that would have been implemented by the revolutionaries had they achieved victory.

Start date End date Duration Event(s) State Rebel group Revolutionary base area Deaths Result Notes
18 March 1871 28 May 1871 (72 days) Paris Commune  France Paris 7,544 killed overall[9][10] Revolt suppressed[11]
  • Disbanding the Second National Guard by the French government
24 April 1916 29 April 1916 (6 days) Easter Rising  United Kingdom
Dublin 485 killed[12][13][14] Unconditional surrender of rebel forces, execution of most leaders While not explicitly Communist in Nature, the Easter Rising of 1916 was supported by Marxist groups such as the Irish Citizen Army.
1 August 1927 7 August 1950 (23 years, 7 days)  Republic of China Chinese Communist Party Communist-controlled China cca. 8 million Communist victory
1 November 1955 30 April 1975 (19 years, 181 days) Vietnam War  South Vietnam Viet Cong Memot District (1966–72)
Lộc Ninh (1972–75)
1,326,494–4,249,494 Communist victory
23 May 1959 2 December 1975 (16 years, 194 days) Laotian Civil War  Laos Lao People's Party Xam Neua 20,000–62,000 killed Communist victory
17 January 1968 17 April 1975 (7 years, 91 days) Cambodian Civil War  Cambodia Communist Party of Kampuchea Ratanakiri Province 275,000–310,000 killed Communist victory
18 May 1967 Present (55 years, 311 days)  India Communist Party of India (Maoist) Red corridor cca. 14,000 Ongoing
29 March 1969 Present (53 years, 361 days) Communist rebellion in the Philippines  Philippines Communist Party of the Philippines Samar more than 40,000 Ongoing
12 September 1972 Present (50 years, 194 days) Maoist insurgency in Turkey  Turkey Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist–Leninist
  • Liberation Army of the Workers and Peasants of Turkey
Tunceli Province 500+ Maoists killed Ongoing
19 July 1961 17 July 1979 (17 years, 364 days) Nicaraguan Revolution  Nicaragua Sandinistas
  • Sandinista Popular Army
North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region 30,000+ killed Communist victory
17 May 1980 Present (42 years, 312 days) Internal conflict in Peru  Peru Communist Party of Peru–Shining Path
  • People's Guerilla Army
Ayacucho Region 70,000+ killed Ongoing
  • The internal conflict in Peru comprised two rebellions by two different Marxist organizations. One, the Shining Path, fought a bloody war beginning in 1980 with successive Peruvian governments, both democratic and authoritarian in nature. Another organization, known as the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA), named after an Incan warrior Túpac Amaru began their own rebellion in 1982. The MRTA and Shining Path quickly became bitter enemies and fought one another as well as the government of Peru. Fighting goes on today with a small number of Shining Path cadres, however the movement has mostly been crushed and only operates in a very remote jungle region. The Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement was largely destroyed in 1997 after the Japanese embassy hostage crisis.
13 February 1996 21 November 2006 (10 years, 282 days) Nepalese Civil War  Nepal Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Rapti Zone 17,800 killed overall Comprehensive Peace Accord
1965 1983 18 years Communist insurgency in Thailand  Thailand Communist Party of Thailand
  • People's Liberation Army of Thailand
Nakhon Phanom Province 1,450+ soldiers, police, and officials killed Government victory
2 April 1948,
August 2021
21 September 1988,
(40 years, 173 days)
(1 year, 236 days)
Communist insurgency in Myanmar  Myanmar Communist Party of Burma
  • People's Army of Burma
Shan State 3,000+ killed Ongoing
c. December 1962 3 November 1990 (27 years, 338 days) Communist insurgency in Sarawak  Malaysia North Kalimantan Communist Party
  • North Kalimantan People's Army
Sarawak 400–500 killed Government victory

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lenin, V.I. (1972) [18–23 March 1919]. "Eighth Congress of the R.C.P.(B.)". Lenin’s Collected Works. Vol. 29 (4th English ed.). Moscow: Progress Publishers. pp. 141–225.
  2. ^ Chomsky, Noam (March 12, 2013). "Noam Chomsky on Revolutionary Violence, Communism and the American Left". Pax Marxista (Interview). Interviewed by Christopher Helali. Archived from the original on July 29, 2015 – via
  3. ^ Perry, Juliet (July 21, 2016). "Tribunal finds Indonesia guilty of 1965 genocide; US, UK complicit". CNN. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  4. ^ "Afghanistan's Saur Revolution of 1978, and the U.S.-backed counterrevolution". Rebel Yell!. Spring 2007. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved October 7, 2008.
  5. ^ "Enemies of War - Justice Denied". February 25, 2004. Archived from the original on February 25, 2004. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  6. ^ Maura Clarke
  7. ^ Jean Donovan
  8. ^ "Facts about Thomas Sankara in Burkina Faso". Archived from the original on November 5, 2020.
  9. ^ Milza, Pierre (2009a). L'année terrible: La Commune (mars–juin 1871) [The terrible year: La Commune (March–June 1871)] (in French). Paris: Perrin. ISBN 978-2-262-03073-5.
  10. ^ "annexe au procès verbal de la session du 20 juillet 1875" [appendix to the minutes of the session of July 20, 1875], Rapport d'ensemble de M. le Général Appert sur les opérations de la justice militaire relatives à l'insurrection de 1871 [Overall report by General Appert on the operations of military justice relating to the 1871 insurrection] (in French), Versailles: Assemblée nationale, 1875
  11. ^ "Third Party Address [The Paris Commune]". Marxists Internet Archive. May 1871.
  12. ^ "1916 Necrology" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 14, 2017.
  13. ^ "1916 list". Glasnevin Trust. Archived from the original on April 5, 2017.
  14. ^ Sinn Fein Rebellion handbook, Easter, 1916. Irish Times. 1916. p. 52.