Dictionary of Revolutionary Marxism

—   Int   —


The branch of
calculus concerned with finding lengths, areas and volumes, and with the solution of differential equations and related matters. Whereas the differential calculus concerns itself with finding the local characterists of a curve at some specific point, the integral calculus is concerned with the characterists of the curve as a whole, such as the area or volume which it encloses.

“Already Archimedes (287-212 B.C.) succeeded in proving that the area of a segment AOB of a parabola is 4/3 times the area of the triangle AOB. (See figure at right.) Since Greek mathematicians calculated areas by using geometrical methods, which aimed at converting the given region into a square of equal area, one spoke of the problem of quadrature, and in the 17th century of the method of exhaustion, to indicate that the region whose area or volume is required can be exhausted by a sequence of regions of known area or volume. By means of suitable decompositions of regions into smaller pieces [Johannes] Kepler (1571-1630) obtained formulae for the volume of barrels, and [Bonaventura] Cavalieri (1598-1647) developed a comparison principle to decide when two bodies lying between parallel planes have the same volume. Further investigations were made by [René] Descartes (1596-1656), [Pierre de] Fermat (1601-1665), and [Blaise] Pascal (1623-1662) in France, [Paul] Guldin (1577-1643) in Switzerland, and [John] Wallis (1616-1703) in England. Building on the foundations of this preliminary work, [Gottfried] Leibniz (1646-1716) and [Isaac] Newton (1643-1727) independently and almost at the same time, created a satisfactory calculus for the computation of areas and volumes. Furthermore, they discovered that despite the different limiting processes involved there is a close connection between the tangent problem [which is central to the differential calculus] and the quadrature problem. If the definite integral is regarded as a function of the upper limit of integration, then its derivative is equal to the integrand [the starting point]. The standard notation for integrals, which is due to Leibniz, corresponds to this important fact, which is known as the fundamental theorem of the calculus.
        “Side by side with the problem of calculating areas then stands the second main problem, namely that of finding a function whose derivative in a certain interval is equal to another given function. The integral calculus develops a general method of treating these apparently very different problems and of investigating properties of integrals. Together the differential and integral calculus form the foundation for the entire branch of higher [mathematical] analysis and are indispensable for modern science and technology.” —W. Gellert, et al., eds., The VNR Concise Encyclopedia of Mathematics (1975), p. 444.

Those individuals in society who are generally better educated and who typically engage in work which requires considerable intellectual training or involves the presentation and discussion of ideas. This social category includes doctors, lawyers, journalists, writers, professors, scientists, and so forth. Most intellectuals in capitalist society are indoctrinated into the standard (or prevailing) points of view in their specific subject areas, but also more generally into accepting and promoting the basic political and social doctrines of bourgeois society. Those small numbers of intellectuals who are not so indoctrinated find it extremely difficult to find employment, with only rare exceptions. This control and supervision of intellectuals is one of the main ways in which the ruling class indoctrinates the young to support capitalism, to
“patriotically” support their capitalist nation and its policies and wars, and to generally refrain from even seriously questioning the right of the rich and their hired politicians to rule society.
        Since intellectuals, on the whole, are indoctrinated with bourgeois points of view and prejudices, in capitalist society they tend to strongly oppose social revolution—though many of them may support one or another variety of limited reformism. Of course there are also a small number of revolutionary intellectuals, and their numbers grow rapidly during a revolutionary situation and uprising. However, many of these last minute additions to the revolutionary ranks have only a shallow understanding of what revolution is and why it must continue even after the initial proletarian seizure of power. Many intellectuals will not at first understand that they themselves still have many bourgeois ideas and biases and that therefore they also constitute a long-term danger to the revolution. This is even true of older and more experienced revolutionary intellectuals and ideologists, to some degree. For this reason (among others), the continuing campaign of ideological struggle leading up to the proletarian seizure of power from the capitalists must be continued and even intensified afterwards, and especially among intellectuals. All intellectuals, including even the more revolutionary ones, should come to understand that much of their own thinking was formed in bourgeois society and therefore that they also are still in need of intellectual remolding as the revolution continues and progresses.
        See also below, and: INTELLIGENTSIA

“The pattern of praise and punishment [for the two categories of intellectuals] is a familiar one throughout history: those who line up in the service of the state are typically praised by the general intellectual community, and those who refuse to line up in service of the state are punished.” —Noam Chomsky, Who Rules the World? (2016), p. 7.


“The question of the intellectuals is above all one of ideology, and it is not helpful but harmful to resort to crude and heavy-handed measures for solving ideological questions. The remoulding of the intellectuals, and especially the changing of their world outlook, is a process that requires a long period of time. Our comrades must understand that ideological remoulding involves long-term, patient and painstaking work, and they must not attempt to change people’s ideology, which has been shaped over decades of life by giving a few lectures or by holding a few meetings. Persuasion, not coercion, is the only way to convince people. Coercion will never result in convincing people. To try to make them submit by force simply won’t do. This kind of method is permissible in dealing with the enemy, but absolutely impermissible in dealing with comrades or friends. What if we don’t know how to convince others? Then we have to learn. We must learn to conquer erroneous ideas through debate and reasoning.” —Mao, “Speech at the Chinese Communist Party’s National Conference on Propaganda Work”, March 12, 1957, SW5:432-3; online at: https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-5/mswv5_59.htm

Intellectuals who form an influential social or political elite. In Russia, in the Tsarist and early Soviet eras, this meant those people in the “liberal professions”, such as lawyers, doctors, university professors, etc. Thus in the Russian context the term ‘intelligentsia’ is nearly equivalent to what we mean by “petty bourgeois professionals” in the U.S. The ‘major intelligentsia’ meant the same as the ‘intelligentsia’ in Russia. The ‘minor intelligentsia’ meant salaried employees (as opposed to wage workers) and moderately educated people who did not have professional occupations.

[To be added...]
        See also:
LABOR—Simple vs. Complex,   SPEED-UP


[To be added...]

INTEREST (Monetary)
[Intro material to be added...]
        See also:

Interest is therefore nothing but a part of the profit (which, in its turn, is itself nothing but surplus-value, unpaid labor), which the industrial capitalist pays to the owner of the borrowed capital with which he ‘works’, either exclusively or partially. Interest is a part of profit—of surplus-value—which, established as a special category, is separated from the total profit under its own name, a separation which is by no means based on its origin, but only on the manner in which it is paid out or appropriated. Instead of being appropriated by the industrial capitalist himself—although he is the person who at first holds the whole surplus-value in his hands no matter how it may be distributed between himself and other people under the names of rent, industrial profit and interest—this part of the profit is deducted by the industrial capitalist from his own revenue and paid to the owner of capital.” —Marx, TSV 3:470-1 [Addenda].

INTERESTS (Politics and Ethics)
Of course there are the familiar concepts of money interest and of being interested in (curious about) something. But in philosophy there is a different concept (objective or beneficial interest), namely, something which objectively benefits or is to the advantage of someone or a group. This meaning of ‘interests’ is the most fundamental concept in all of social science. A focus on beneficial interests is the key to understanding both politics and ethics.
        For an extensive discussion of the word ‘interests’ in this sense, and its fundamental importance in ethics, see my work in progress, An Introduction to the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Class Interest Theory of Ethics, online at:
http://www.massline.org/Philosophy/ScottH/MLM-Ethics-Ch1-2.pdf, especially Chapter 2. —S.H.
        See also below and: CLASS INTERESTS,   MATERIAL INTERESTS

The things which objectively benefit the people, especially considered overall and in the long run. In MLM usage, this phrase assumes we are talking about the people in the Maoist sense, that is, the proletariat and its allies, as opposed to the enemy (the bourgeoisie and its agents and allies). The most central interest of the people in the long run is the revolutionary transformation of capitalism into communism.

“Our point of departure is to serve the people whole-heartedly and never for a moment divorce ourselves from the masses, to proceed in all cases from the interests of the people and not from the interests of individuals or groups.... Communists must be ready at all times to stand up for the truth, because truth is in the interests of the people; Communists must be ready at all times to correct their mistakes, because mistakes are against the interests of the people.” —Mao, “On Coalition Government” (April 24, 1945), SW 3:315.

“In a word, every comrade must be brought to understand that the supreme test of the words and deeds of a Communist is whether they conform with the highest interests and enjoy the support of the overwhelming majority of the people.” —Mao, ibid, SW 3:316.

This is a phrase which is generally used to talk about the population as a whole, without reference (even by implication) to specific social classes. As such, there are more often appropriate opportunities for revisionists to use the phrase than for revolutionary Marxists!
        See also:

INTERESTS — Short-term versus Long-term
The things which benefit the people, their beneficial interests, may be either short-term or long-term. Of course both are important. It is in the short-term interests of a worker that he or she have a good dinner tonight. It is in the long-term interests of the worker that his or her class makes social revolution, overthrows capitalism, and seizes political power for the proletariat and its allies. Which is more important? Well, we all recognize that long-term interests are in some sense more important, even though if too many short-term interests are disregarded we might all die of starvation! Both short-term and long-term interests must be addressed to some degree, even though addressing long-term interests very often involves purposely ignoring some short-term interests. That is just the way the world is. Satisfying our long-term needs and interests typically involves sacrificing some of our short-term needs and interests.

“Policies of benevolence are of two kinds. One is concerned with the people’s immediate interests. The other is concerned with their long-term interests, such as resisting U.S. aggression and aiding Korea and building heavy industry. The first is a policy of lesser benevolence and the second a policy of greater benevolence. Both must be taken into consideration and it is wrong not to do so. Where then is the emphasis to be placed? On the policy of greater benevolence. At present the emphasis in our policy of benevolence should be on the construction of heavy industry. Construction takes money. Therefore much as the livelihood of the people needs to be improved, this cannot be done to any great extent for the time being. In other words, while we do have to improve the people’s livelihood, we must not make too much. To make allowance for the policy of lesser benevolence is to go off the right track.
        “Now some friends put lop-sided stress on the policy of lesser benevolence; in effect, they wanted us to give up the war to resist U.S. aggresssion and aid Korea, and now they want us to give up the building of heavy industry. We must criticize this erroneous view.” —Mao, “Our Great Victory in the War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea and Our Future Tasks” (Sept. 12, 1953), SW 5:119.



[As used by the U.S. State Department and other representatives or defenders of U.S. imperialism:] “A technical term referring to the United States and whoever happens to agree with it.” [Noam Chomsky, Who Rules the World? (2016), p. 51.]

[Not to be confused with the “ICMLPO (Unity & Struggle)”, see below.] Sometimes informally called the ICMLPO (Maoist). This is a very loose federation of parties and organizations which support Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tsetung Thought, or perhaps in some cases a version of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. This conference meets every 2 or 3 years. However, a number of the most important Maoist parties in the world, such as the Communist Party of India (Maoist), do not belong to this grouping and have not participated in these conferences. The ICMLPO (International Newsletter) has a website at:

[Not to be confused with the the “ICMLPO (International Newsletter)”, see above.] This loose federation is also known as the ICMLPO (Hoxhaist). This is an association of parties and groups which condemn modern revisionism, but also oppose Maoism. They follow instead the ideas of
Enver Hoxha of Albania, and tend to be extremely doctrinaire. Most of the groups are also extremely small. The official homepage of the ICMLPO (Hoxhaists) is at: http://www.cipoml.org/

“INTERNATIONAL DIVISION OF LABOR”   [Soviet Imperialist Doctrine]
A doctrine that was used by the social-imperialist Soviet Union to “justify” the restrictions it placed on what other countries in its sphere of control could or had to produce, based in reality mostly on what was of the greatest benefit to the Soviet economy itself.

“‘International division of labor’ is a device by which the Soviet Union squeezes and bleeds the ‘fraternal countries’ in what it calls the ‘socialist community.’ In the words of the renegade clique in the Kremlin, what the ‘community’ members should or should not produce in the ‘international division of labor’ is determined by their ‘most favorable natural and economic conditions.’ Actually the ultimate decision hinges on the needs of the Soviet state monopoly capital. The Soviet Union uses ‘international division of labor’ to force some C.M.E.A. states to provide it with primary agricultural and mining products and reduce some others to virtual processing plants for the Soviet economy. According to the principles guiding ‘international division of labor,’ products which are needed by a member country and conditions for whose manufacture are available cannot be produced if they are not included in the ‘division of labor.’ On the other hand, products listed in the ‘division of labor’ must be produced even if they are not wanted in large quantities by a member country. The Soviet Union, however, is not subject to these restrictions.” —Note in Peking Review, #46, Nov. 11, 1977, pp. 25-26.

An international agency set up at the end of World War II by the victorious capitalist-imperialist powers led by the United States whose purpose is to try to institutionalize the exploitation of rest of the world by the imperialist powers controlling it, and at the same time to stabilize the international financial system and deal with the serious financial problems that continually arise within it. Although the fund officially became a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1947, it continues to be dominated and controlled by the U.S. with the support of the other traditional imperialist powers (especially Britain, France, Germany and Japan). In essence it is the international bank which enforces the monetary dictates of these imperialist powers on the other capitalist countries of the world. It is the central bank of the current
World Imperialist System.
        Over the 70 years of its existence so far, the IMF has focused on such things as resolving balance of payments deficits—especially on the part of “Third World” countries—by forcing these countries to devalue their currencies (thus making their products available more cheaply to the imperialist exploiters). The IMF, therefore, is a major tool of the imperialists in continually intensifying their exploitation of the workers of other countries. The IMF also puts heavy pressure on its member countries to allow the full convertibility of their currencies into U.S. dollars and other currencies—which again facilitates the transfer of profits to the imperialist ruling classes in the dominant countries.
        The IMF operates with the “carrot and the stick” approach. It will issue loans to countries suffering major trade deficits which will allow them to continue exporting their products—that’s the “carrot” part. But it then demands the devaluations and/or other changes beneficial to foreign imperialism in exchange—that’s the “stick” part. However, this whole technique is showing ever-increasing difficulties and strain. Although according to bourgeois economic theory the forced devaluations should allow the indebted countries to eventually run trade surpluses and pay off their debts, things are not actually working out this way. (One basic fact that is ignored here is that all capitalist countries need to almost constantly expand their debt levels in order to keep their economies going in the first place.)
        On an international scale the IMF is currently the primary “lender of last resort”. Thus the IMF has recently been the leading bank trying to cope with the chronic and totally unsustainable debt growth in the world by itself becoming a major source of “serial lending” (with new larger loans necessary in order to pay off older, smaller loans), in a desperate attempt to keep the world economy functioning. Near the end of 2015 the U.S. ratified an agreement to expand the capital of the IMF to improve its short-term prospects of keeping the world financial system fairly stable. But at the same time it is forcing some rules changes on the IMF that will make serial lending more difficult (at least with countries such as Greece). Mixed signals such as this raise serious questions about how successful the IMF can be in coming years, and it is certainly the case that the ever-greater expansion of world debt must come to a crashing end at some point.

Another doctrine that was used by the social-imperialist Soviet Union to “justify” Soviet domination of the economies of other nominally “socialist” countries in its sphere of control. This was actually an excuse to set up Soviet-controlled
multinational (or transnational) corporations which could freely operate in (and exploit) their “fraternal countries”.
        Now that China has become a capitalist imperialist country it is of course doing the very same thing, though without bothering with most of the phony “socialist” ideological trappings.

“Since the beginning of the 1970s, the Soviet social-imperialists have been loudly preaching about establishing a ‘common ownership,’ or ‘international socialist ownership’ in the ‘socialist community.’ The Soviet ruling clique asserted that ‘contradictions have arisen between one-nation ownership and the productive forces of an increasing international nature.’ Therefore, to solve these contradictions, so their argument goes, it is necessary to set up a ‘common ownership’ in the ‘community.’ The Soviet-controlled C.M.E.A. has set up a number of ‘international economic joint companies,’ among them the international atomic instrument joint company and the international textile-machinery joint company. The Soviet Union has gathered into its hands the power on all important issues and is monopolizing everthing in these ‘joint companies’ for the purpose of directly controlling the key industrial departments of the member states.” —Note in Peking Review, #46, Nov. 11, 1977, pp. 27.

An international holiday promoting women’s equality and celebrating the contributions of women to the people’s struggles. It is now celebrated on March 8, each year.
        International Women’s Day was first organized by
Clara Zetkin and the international revolutionary socialist movement in March of 1911. [More to be added...]

[Afterwards often called the “First International”.] This was the first major organization of the militant international proletariat. Marx played an important role in it. It was founded in London in 1864, and held congresses in Geneva (1866), Lausanne (1867), Brussels (1868), Basle (1869), and the Hague (1872). At its peak, the official journal of the IWA said that it had 8 million members, though police reports claimed only 5 million.
        The disruptions of the anarchists led by
Bakunin, especially after 1871, were a major factor leading to the demise of the IWA. It formally disbanded in Philadelphia in 1876.

The Internationale is the anthem and fighting song of the international working class. It is often sung by militant groups of workers and students while raising their right clenched fists. The original French poem was written in June 1871, just after the fall of the
Paris Commune, by the French revolutionary Eugène Pottier (1816–1887). The words were set to original music by the worker/composer Pierre De Geyter (1848–1932) in 1888. The lyrics have been translated into about 100 languages, and the song is widely sung around the world. Here is the 2-stanza version of the translation (by Charles Kerr) which is most often sung in the United States:

Arise, you prisoners of starvation!
        Arise, you wretched of the earth!
        For justice thunders condemnation:
        A better world’s in birth!
        No more tradition’s chains shall bind us,
        Arise you slaves, no more in thrall!
        The earth shall rise on new foundations:
        We have been nought, we shall be all!
              ’Tis the final conflict,
              Let each stand in his place.
              The international working class
              Shall be the human race

        We want no condescending saviors
        To rule us from their judgment hall,
        We workers ask not for their favors
        Let us consult for all:
        To make the thief disgorge his booty
        To free the spirit from its cell,
        We must ourselves decide our duty,
        We must decide, and do it well.
              ’Tis the final conflict,
              Let each stand in his place.
              The international working class
              Shall be the human race

For further information about the Internationale see the Wikipedia entry.

INTERSECTIONALITY   [Contemporary Liberal/Radical Sociology]
A concept which attempts to overcome the narrowness and isolating aspects of
identity politics by emphasizing that most people are not characterized by any single “identity”, but rather by multiple identities which “intersect” and interact with each other. Although the intentions of those upholding this theory of intersectionality are positive, they generally still fail to understand that there is one “identity” in the world today which is overall far more central than the others—namely, one’s class identity. Treating all identities as being on a par, even if we recognize that they “intersect”, is still a grossly insufficient outlook on which to base a program of struggle to end all the many forms of discrimination that exist within capitalist society. If the struggle does not have as its main focus the elimination of capitalism, then it can never be completely successful in eliminating discrimination—no matter to what extent those involved have an outlook of “intersectionality” and recognize and oppose other forms of discrimination and oppression in addition to those directed at themselves.

Intersectionality is a term coined by American civil rights advocate Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw to describe overlapping or intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination, or discrimination. Intersectionality is the idea that multiple identities intersect to create a whole that is different from the component identities. These identities that can intersect include gender, race, social class, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, age, mental disability, physical disability, mental illness, and physical illness as well as other forms of identity. These aspects of identity are not “unitary, mutually exclusive entities, but rather...reciprocally constructing phenomena.” The theory proposes that individuals think of each element or trait of a person as inextricably linked with all of the other elements in order to fully understand one’s identity.
        This framework, it is argued, can be used to understand how systemic injustice and social inequality occur on a multidimensional basis. Intersectionality holds that the classical conceptualizations of oppression within society—such as racism, sexism, classism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia and belief-based bigotry—do not act independently of each other. Instead, these forms of oppression interrelate, creating a system of oppression that reflects the “intersection” of multiple forms of discrimination. —From the Wikipedia entry on Intersectionality at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersectionality (accessed on June 21, 2017).

[Ethics:] An intrinsic good or intrinsic value is something that is good or valuable in itself, and without considering further goals, needs or interests. Thus for most of us, love and friendship are intrinsic goods, as are most other things which result in joy or pleasure. It would seem that the opposite of an intrinsic good might be an “extrinsic good”, but most often the term used is instrumental good, which better brings out that the thing is useful as an instrument toward achieving some further goal or interest. Of course, many things are both intrinsically and instrumentally good, such as a good meal which is enjoyable in itself and also useful in continuing our lives and giving us the energy to pursue our other goals and interests.

[To be added... ]

A term coined by the bourgeois philosopher Daniel Dennett to refer to little stories or considerations which are “designed to provoke a heartfelt, table-thumping intuition—‘Yes, of course, it has to be so!’—about whatever thesis is being defended.” [Dennett, Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking (2013), pp. 5-6.] In other words, something which promotes a specific viewpoint or theory in a particularly convincing sort of way. A
thought experiment is one sort of intuition pump. The viewpoint or theory promoted may actually be correct or incorrect, good or bad, and the specific intuition pump may therefore be something which serves a positive or negative role in social discourse.
        An example of an intuition pump with a negative influence was the supposed “proof” of the existence of God before the scientific theory of evolution was elaborated by Darwin: “How else to explain the existence of human beings and the other animals and plants?” However, once evolutionary theory had been elaborated, it itself became a powerful and positive intuition pump supporting the view that there is no good reason to believe in God after all! (Note that even this specific positive intuition pump is by itself not conclusive; it is conceivable that some “god” created life and human beings through the means of evolution. A scientific proof that God definitely does not exist is possible only by coming to understand that mind and mental phenomena are of necessity high level ways of looking at (i.e., functions of) the activity of brains or their physical equivalent, and therefore no “disembodied mind” (as God is supposed to be) can possibly exist. Nevertheless, even just an understanding of the basic scientific principle of evolution already goes a long way towards undercutting the ancient crude, semi-plausible rationale for believing in God.)

        1. The view that intuition is the primary source of knowledge, or important parts of it.
Henri Bergson was one prominent idealist philosopher who championed this view.
        2. [In ethics:] The view that moral terms such as ‘good’ or ‘right’ are indefinable in other terms, that the meanings of these moral terms are “self-evident” and can only be understood through one’s “intuition”. G.E. Moore was one of its leading advocates.

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