BOGDANOV, Alexander [Pronounced: bog-DAN-ov]
[Pseudonym of Alexander A. Malinovsky] (1873-1928)
Russian philosopher and economist, writer and Social Democrat. He joined the Bolsheviks in 1903, but was expelled in 1909 because of his anti-Marxist views and activities. (See: OTZOVISM.) Although he started out as a vague sort of materialist, he soon veered into a doctrine known as Energism. Then he supported the extreme empiricist and subjective idealist doctrines of Ernst Mach. Next, his confused attempts to overcome the conceptual difficulties of Machism led him to create a kind of objective idealist theory of knowledge which he called “Empirio-Monism”. (He published a 3 volume work with that title in the years 1904-06.) After that he moved into other areas and tried to formulate a theory he called “tectology”, a supposed universal organization science (somewhat like the later theories by others which are known as “cybernetics” and “systems theory”). But throughout this whole long and strange intellectual odyssey he stood opposed to dialectical materialism, and was strongly criticized by Lenin for this (including in Lenin’s 1908 book, Materialism and Empirio-Criticism).
In 1917 Bogdanov was a founder and the leader of the “Proletkult” organization which sought to promote proletarian culture, but which also proclaimed the necessity for the total replacement of all existing cultural forms with “completely new” proletarian forms of culture. This view too was strongly criticized by Lenin.
Bogdanov’s writings had made a very strong impression on Nikolai Bukharin, who was one of the top theoreticians of the Bolsheviks at the time, and on many others as well. Partly for this reason Bogdanov had quite a reputation himself as a Marxist theoretician by 1917, despite his idealistic theories which had been exposed by Lenin earlier. In 1920 Lenin re-published his book Materialism and Empirio-Criticism in order to combat this renewed idealist trend centered around Bogdanov in the revolutionary movement. At the same time, the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) established more political control over the Bogdanov’s Proletkult organization, which had developed its own line partly opposed to that of the party.
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Officially known as the Bolshevik section of the RUSSIAN SOCIAL-DEMOCRATIC LABOR PARTY (RSDLP) from 1903 to 1918, as the RUSSIAN COMMUNIST PARTY (BOLSHEVIKS) from 1918 to 1925, and then eventually the COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE SOVIET UNION. [More to be added...]
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BOLTZMANN, Ludwig (1844-1906)
Famous Austrian physicist who was a staunch materialist in his outlook (though not a Marxist), and who criticized subjective idealist views such as those of Ernst Mach.
BOND [In capitalist economics]
A security certificate, or “IOU”, for a long-term loan either to a corporation or to a government (or government agency). Bonds usually pay a fixed rate of interest for a fixed period, and at the end of that period the principal must be repaid in full. (However, in a capitalist society—which inherently depends on ever-rising debt—the principal for expiring bonds is most often paid by raising money through the issue and sale of new bonds!) Most of the time bonds are more conservative investments than stocks; they have less risk of a sudden fall in market value, but also less possibility of increased value through any Ponzi-like general rise in prices such as often occurs in the stock market. Nevertheless, the owner of the bond may also sell it at market prices to another investor, who will then receive the interest and also get the returned principal when it comes due. Since there is this market of fluctuating bond prices, there is also gambling by speculators who hope to buy low and sell high and therefore cheat the other investors/speculators.
See also: GOVERNMENT SECURITIES and JUNK BOND
Left wing of the Ukrainian Socialist-Revolutionary Party, a peasant-based nationalist party, which split off and briefly functioned as an independent party starting in May 1918. They published a central journal known as Borotba [“Struggle”]. This was the faction of the SRs in Ukraine that decided to support Soviet power. In March 1919 they adopted the name “Ukrainian Party of Socialist-Revolutionary-Borotbists (Communists)”, which was soon shortened to “Ukrainian Communist Party (Borotbists)”. Its leaders included Vasil Blakitny, Grigory Grinko, Ivan Maistrenko and Aleksander Shumsky.
The Borotbists applied twice for affiliation with the Communist International as the main communist party of Ukraine, but the Comintern viewed this as an attempt to split the Ukrainian people and called on them to dissolve their party and merge into the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Ukraine. Some of the Borotbists did so. Because of the growing stature of the Bolsheviks among the Ukrainian peasantry, the rest of the Borotbists voluntarily dissolved their own organization. But some of their former members joined the Ukrainian Communist Party [Ukapists] and participated in further nationalist agitation against the USSR.
The form of capitalist society in which the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie is camouflaged by superficial (i.e., fundamentally false) democratic forms. One favorite technique is to alternate rule between two different bourgeois political parties, both of which represent the fundamental interests of the capitalists and which differ only on secondary questions on which the capitalists themselves are not in agreement. The masses are accorded a minor role in deciding which of these two basically indistinguishable parties (from the proletarian point of view) shall administer capitalist power in any given period, in order to give them the illusion that they are controlling society. Whenever bourgeois rule is seriously threatened the capitalists dispense with the camouflage and resort to fascism.
See also: DIRECT DEMOCRACY, POLYARCHY
“Bourgeois democracy, although a great historical advance in comparison with medievalism, always remains, and under capitalism is bound to remain, restricted, truncated, false and hypocritical, a paradise for the rich and a snare and deception for the exploited, for the poor.” —Lenin, “The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky” (Oct.-Nov. 1918), LCW 28:243.
“There is not a single state, however democratic, which has no loopholes or reservations in its constitution guaranteeing the bourgeoisie the possibility of dispatching troops against the workers, of proclaiming martial law, and so forth, in case of a ‘violation of public order’, and actually in case the exploited class ‘violates’ its position of slavery and tries to behave in a non-slavish manner.” —Lenin, ibid., LCW 28:244.
“Proletarian revolution in education is still going on and class struggle has not yet come to an end. As to bourgeois ideology, if you do not transform it, then you will be transformed by it.” —Kuei Yu-peng, a student in the department of mechanical engineering, Tsinghua University, “Revolution in Education: Our Experience”, Peking Review, vol. 14, #34, Aug. 20, 1971.
“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” —Malcolm X, in a comment on the capitalist media.
Any of numerous variations of moral attitudes and views which express the basic interests of the bourgeoisie. For example all forms of bourgeois morality defend—either explicitly or implicitly—the right of the capitalists to exploit workers.
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The capitalist class; the ruling class in capitalist society, which owns the means of production (factories, etc.) and exploits hired labor.
“By bourgeoisie is meant the class of modern Capitalists, owners of the means of social production and employers of wage-labor.” —Engels, footnote added to the 1888 English edition of the Manifesto of the Communist Party, MECW 6:482.
BOURGEOISIE—Past Revolutionary Role Of
While the bourgeoisie, or capitalist class, is today the most reactionary and anti-revolutionary class, and the class that stands in the way of social progress, this was not always so. In its youth the bourgeoisie led in the struggle against feudalism in Europe, and in that long past age actually played a most revolutionary role in society.
“Modern industry has established the world market, for which the
discovery of America paved the way. This market has given an immense development to
commerce, to navigation, to communications by land. This development has, in its turn,
reacted on the extension of industry; and in proportion as industry, commerce, navigation,
railways extended, in the same proportion the bourgeoisie developed, increased its
capital, and pushed into the background every class handed down from the Middle Ages.
“We see, therefore, how the modern bourgeoisie is itself the product of a long course of development, of a series of revolutions in the modes of production and of exchange.
“Each step in the development of the bourgeoisie was accompanied by a corresponding political advance of that class.” —Marx & Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848), MECW 6:486.
“The bourgeoisie, historically, has played a most revolutionary part.
“The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his ‘natural superiors’, and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous ‘cash payment’. It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervor, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom—Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.” —Marx & Engels, ibid., MECW 6:486-7.
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