The Differing Revolutionary Positions of Gramsci and Trotsky in Relation to Classical Marxism, the Peasantry, and the Majority World


  • James Brittain Acadia University



While differing arguments are found within the discipline, the principal denominator uniting theories of Marxist revolution is that organized class-based struggle can consequentially result in a more equitable society, one which surpasses a capitalist mode of production. Augmenting Marx's work on the growing realities of the competitive capitalist system, Lenin highlighted that as capitalism expands it increasingly becomes a model not of competing capitalist producers but one of centralized economic monopolies within global society. With this political economic shift in global capitalism, Gramsci and Trotsky penned differing theoretical responses toward the importance of revolutionary tactics in an age of imperialism. It is in this vein that this article delves into the varied responses of permanent revolution and war of position/manoeuvre, while illustrating which theory most effectively demonstrates the capacity and emancipatory efforts of peoples located in countries outside of the imperial nations (i.e. the majority world).

Author Biography

James Brittain, Acadia University

James J. Brittain is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Acadia University. His primary research interests include the examination of social change and revolution throughout Latin America, the relevance of classical Marxism within contemporary society, and alternative forms of international development. James is also the co-founder and a research associate with the Canada-Colombia Research Group (CCRG). The CCRG is a multi-university-based interdisciplinary collective of critical academics from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Acadia University (and Centre for the Study of Ethnocultural Diversity), Cape Breton University (and Centre for International Studies), Mount Allison University, the University of New Brunswick, and York University. A few of James' recent peer-refereed articles have been published by Development, Development in Practice, Dollars & Sense, Journal for Peasant Studies, Monthly Review, New Politics, Peace Review, Rethinking Marxism, The Saskatchewan Institute for Public Policy, The Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and Zed Books.