Dictionary of Revolutionary Marxism

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WRANGEL, Count Ernst   (1784-1877)
Prussian general, who was the real power behind the throne in the Prussian government in 1848.

Reducing the value of an asset as it is carried on a firm’s balance sheet because its market value has fallen.

The primary principle in writing for the masses is to write in such a way that you can be easily and correctly understood. This means writing in plain and straight-forward language and avoiding technical terms and jargon as much as possible. Lenin put it quite strongly: “You must write for the masses without using terms that require a glossary.” [“Once Again on the Trade Unions, the Current Situation and the Mistakes of Trotsky and Bukharin” (Jan. 25, 1921), LCW 32:81.]
        On the other hand, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is a revolutionary science which itself does employ quite a large number of technical terms. To mention just a very few: social
class, democratic centralism, dictatorship of the proletariat, and even such commonplace but still socially disputed terms as revolution, socialism and communism. To master this science it is indeed necessary to come to understand the terminology in which it is most generally and concisely expressed. And for this educational purpose glossaries and dictionaries are highly useful and perhaps even necessary.
        But though the tasks of education and political leadership do overlap, they are not the same. In our work of political leadership of the broad masses we simply cannot assume that the masses already understand our technical Marxist terminology. Instead of talking about the “dictatorship of the proletariat” we should talk in everyday terms such as “the rule of the people” or “the rule of the working class”. And it is in fact frequently necessary to spell out what we really mean when we use such “ordinary” but still very contentious words as ‘democracy’, ‘revolution’ and ‘socialism’.

        1. False; in error.
        2. [In morality:] Failing to meet the expected standards for answering to the common, collective interests of the people, for the sort of activity in question. In class society, these are of course the class interests of one or another social class.

“When people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. [It is an irregular oblate spheroid, which only approximates a sphere.] But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.” —Isaac Asimov, The Relativity of Wrong (1989). [The point being that there different degrees of error. —Ed.]

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