Democratic Centralism

Discipline: Political Science

Theory of Communist Party organization.

Power in Communist Parties was derived from the rank and file, but it could and should then be used to preserve disciplined orthodoxy.

In practice this meant that central despotism over the membership could be justified by reference to the consent of those thus subjected.

It is now of largely historical interest, though survives as a term of political abuse.

Also see: bolshevism

Tom Bottomore, A Dictionary of Marxist Thought, 2nd edn (Oxford, 1991)


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