Some Aspects of Revisionist Thinking

Part of the The Boston College Studies in Philosophy book series (BCSP, volume 2)


When the members of the Russian Embassy staff left Peking in February, 1967, it was reported that they were surrounded by Red Guards chanting “Down with the Soviet revisionist swine”.1 From the Soviet point of view, the really damaging, hurtful insult was not “swine” since that is merely a part of the stock-in-trade of propaganda abuse, but revisionist which involves an ideological charge of unfaithfulness to true party doctrine. But how precise can this charge of revisionism be? It must be confessed that it too is largely an emotive word expressing strong distaste and disagreement on the part of the speaker. And the Russians would of course hotly reject the accusation of revisionism and turn it against the Chinese. Further, imprecision apart, the Marxist thinkers we shall be concerned with would not all of them welcome the title of revisionist and its use might indeed seriously undermine the dialogue which has already begun with them. However, no one could deny that Marxists are today saying things which could not have been said ten years ago, and it is this new thinking which we are labelling revisionism.


Emotive Word Communist Country Pastoral Constitution Official Statute Pope John XXIII 
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© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1969

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