Adolf Hitler: An Austrian-born German leader who lived from 1889 to 1945. He established the Nazi Party as a socialist party to carry out the racist and German nationalist theories he expounded in his book, Mein Kampf. He turned Germany into a Fascist state and launched World War II, which was responsible for some 75 million deaths worldwide. He initiated the Holocaust which was responsible for the deaths of some 6 million Jews.
Anti-Capitalism: Opposition to the economic system of capitalism and advocacy for socialist alternatives.
Anti-Colonialism: Opposition to imperialist colonization of less developed regions of the world, particularly that practiced by European powers. This was also a major argument used by the Soviet Union to justify its support for “wars of national liberation.”
Anti-Family: The Leftist view that the traditional family is anti-revolutionary and an oppressive social structure that perpetuates systemic racism, sexism and gender discrimination.
Anti-Imperialism: Lenin believed that imperialism was the final stage of capitalism, and hence the point at which violent revolution is justified.
Anti-Racism: Postmodern theory that policy must actively seek out and destroy systemic racism.
Anti-Religion: The atheistic Leftist view that religion is a harmful force in history and society and must be suppressed and its influences eliminated from society.
Axial Age: Term coined by the German philosopher Karl Jaspers to describe the worldwide era of religious, philosophical and scientific enlightenment between the 8th and 3rd centuries BC.
Bruderhof: A pacifist Christian community established in Germany in 1920.
Buddha: Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, lived from 563 to 483 BC and is the founder of Buddhism.
Buddhism: The teachings of Siddhartha Gautama.
Caliphate: The Muslim realm under the rule of the Caliph.
Cancel Culture: The practice of denying others the right to speak in public or publish their ideas. “Others” are those you disagree with because you believe their ideas and language are hateful and must be suppressed.
Capitalism: A market economy based on private ownership of property with prices set by the law of supply and demand. A theoretical basis for capitalism was formulated by Adam Smith in his groundbreaking 1776 book, The Wealth of Nations. Capitalism recognizes that private property and the voluntary exchange of goods and services among people create the most wealth for individuals and nations, and that capital is most efficiently managed by private individuals and entities rather than by state bureaucracies. As the basis for economic liberty, capitalism underpins free societies and has greatly diminished poverty around the world.
CCP: Chinese Communist Party, established in 1921 and ruling China since 1949.
Christian Socialism: The marriage of Christianity with socialism in a theory that sees socialism as a practical means for applying Christian principles to socio-economic organization.
Communism: In Marxism, Communism emerges from Socialism as the perfect politico-economic system in which each gives according to their ability and receives according to their need. Citizens are so enlightened that they no longer need a state. They reach this state of enlightenment through their experience of Socialism, the necessary precursor to Communism.
Confucianism: The teachings of Confucius that form the basis for traditional social order in China.
Confucius: A Chinese philosopher who lived from 551 to 479 BC.
CPSU: Communist Party of the Soviet Union, founded by Lenin in 1917 and ruled the USSR until 1990.
CPSUA: Communist Party of the United States, which was founded in 1919.
Critical Race Theory: A Postmodernist concept that race is systemic in America and other Western societies, and that to rid society of racism traditional social institutions have to be deconstructed and replaced with equitable alternatives
Cultural Marxism: Marxist philosophy and its derivatives applied to cultural and social issues. In particular, dialectical materialism is employed (often as Critical Theory) to analyze social ills and conflicts, with the result being a set of cultural norms in line with Marxist and Postmodernist ideology. These norms are characterized by atheism, anti-family thought and sexual liberation, and anti-capitalism. Typically, they exert influence through educational curricula, politically correct language, media bias, corporate activism, political activism and government policies that favor the state over the individual. Typically, too, the Marxist and Critical Theory influence behind these forces is veiled behind the language of broadly accepted societal norms.
Dar Al Harb: Arabic phrase meaning “House of War. It refers to the part of the world that has not been conquered for Islam.
Dar Al Islam: Arabic phrase meaning “House of Islam.” It refers to the part of the world that is under the control of Islam.
Democratic Centralism: A political system for maintaining a one-party state in which only part-selected candidates are permitted to run for election. This system was introduced by Lenin and is typically employed in Socialist and Communist states to sustain totalitarian rule.
Democratic Socialism: In theory, a socialist economic system managed by a democratic government to achieve equitable income distribution. In practice, parties with this name tend either to be truly democratic and advocate for big government in capitalist societies, or truly socialist and advocate for government ownership of property and means of production. The latter are Socialist states established by Marxist regimes.
Détente: A policy intended to reduce Cold War tensions between the Communist bloc countries, on one hand, and the NATO allies on the other. This was exploited by the Soviets to project a peace-loving image while pursuing the expansion of their power.
Dhimmi: Arabic word meaning a non-Muslim living in a Muslim state. Dialectical Materialism: This is Stalin’s term for the Marxist theory that all existence is material and that it originates and develops through a process of conflict between opposites within all natural and historical entities. The process consists of two stages of conflict: 1. The thesis is contradicted, or negated, by the antithesis; 2. The antithesis is itself contradicted, or negated, by the synthesis. The synthesis represents a higher form of being, but it too contains contractions which must be resolved through the dialectic process.
Divine Providence: The purpose and plan of the Creator to establish a world of love in which men and women live in harmony with God, with one another, and with nature. This is the guiding force of human history.
DPRK: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or North Korea. It was established in 1948.
Fascism: A socialist system that embraces central planning but eschews secularism or atheism in favor of a state religion. Fascist states are dominated by one party and are totalitarian in practice. The state owns or controls (through favored individuals and companies) most of the capital. This crony capitalism undermines authentic capitalism and strengthens authoritarian rule. In general, fascism is intolerance for the ideas of others. As such, it is displayed by Socialist and Communist regimes and movements.
Feminism: The movement to secure equal rights for women, including the right to vote and hold public office.
Fidel Castro: A Cuban revolutionary who lived from 1926 to 2016. He led the Marxist revolution that took power in 1959 and established the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Cuba in 1965. He ruled Cuba from 1959 to 2008, when he turned over power to his brother, Raúl. His regime exercised totalitarian control over Cuba, suppressing all opposition.
Frankfurt School: A group of Leftist thinkers who first worked together in Germany in the 1920s. In the 1930s, the Institute for Social Research at the Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, became their institutional home. They developed Critical Theory, which, with input from Freud and Nietzsche, adapted the Marxist dialectic to various aspects of society beyond economics and politics. Several escaped Nazism to go to America. Notable among these was Herbert Marcuse, the “Father of the New Left” who rose to prominence in the early 1960s. Their Critical Theory was picked up by the French Postmodernists, especially Michel Foucault, whose Critical Theories are currently favored in Western social science. Friedrich Engels: A German philosopher, who lived from 1820 to 1895 and worked closely with Karl Marx on the development of Marxism. His family owned industries and he supported Marx financially for most of the latter’s later years.
Gender Studies: Postmodernist field of study based on the assumption that there is a difference between biological sex and gender identity. Advocates seek to normalize people’s gender self-identification and the language used in this self-identification.
Hafez, Khawje Shams Ad Din: A renowned 14th century AD Sufi and Persian poet.
Hate Crimes: Criminal behavior based on hateful prejudices towards others. It is the inevitable outcome of hate speech, which itself is a form of violence, according to Postmodernist theory.
Hate Speech: Language that is deemed harmful to society. Postmodernism teaches that language itself can be violence, thus hate speech spawns hate crimes.
Helsinki Accords: A 1975 agreement between the Soviet Union, the United States and several other countries that recognized Soviet dominion over Eastern Europe. Signatories committed to a number of principles supposed to govern international relations, including respect for human rights.
Herbert Marcuse: A German philosopher who lived from 1898 to 1979. He was a leading figure of the Frankfurt School who moved to the United States after Hitler came to power in Germany. He has been dubbed the “Father of the New Left” because of the influence of his writings during the 1960s.
Historical Materialism: The Marxist theory that applies Dialectical Materialism to history. Marx believed that all history was a history of class struggle. Thus hunters and gatherers came into conflict with those seeking ownership of land to grow crops. Feudalism resulted, but it was countered by underclasses wanting to own property themselves. The resulting conflict produced capitalist societies pitting proletarians against the bourgeoisie. The proletarians inevitably revolt and create a Socialist state. Under their wise guidance, the state withers away and true Communism appears. (The dialectic ceases to
operate as a perfect Socialist state becomes Communist.)
HUAC: House Un-American Activities Committee, which was established in 1938 to investigate individuals and organizations suspected of working for Communist causes.
Identity Politics: Building constituencies based on group identity rather than on individual character and interests.
Imperialism: In Marxist and Neo-Marxist theories, imperialism is the final stage of capitalism. This idea came from Lenin, who said it explained the lack of spontaneous proletarian revolutions in capitalist countries that Marx had predicted. In other words, capitalism has to mature into imperialism before it is ripe for revolution. Attaching the “imperialist” label to countries identifies them as ready for a Marxist revolution.
Intersectionality: The theory that individuals occupy social groups that face disadvantages in society based on the intersection of victim or minority categories, such as race and gender.
ISIS: Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or Islamic State for short. This Islamic terror organization claims to be recreating the Caliphate.
Jacques Derrida: An Algerian-born French philosopher who lived from 1930 to 2004. After Foucault, he is the most prominent Postmodernist. His contribution was focused on analyzing the relationship between language and power, and the deconstruction of language to that end.
Jainism: The religion based on the teachings of Mahavira.
Jihad: Arabic word meaning “struggle for righteousness” or more commonly, “holy war.” The Dar Al Islam is expanded through Jihad.
Joseph Stalin: A native of the country Georgia, Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (born Joseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili) lived from 1878 to 1953. He followed Lenin as leader of the Soviet Union and would become synonymous with totalitarianism and mass murder. He was responsible for the show trials that doomed many of his former colleagues to prison, camps or death, and for the creation of the Gulag Archipelago prison camp system in Siberia. He was likely responsible for the death of some 20 million Soviet citizens and many more in countries where he imposed Soviet hegemony. His Reign of Terror was finally exposed by Nikita Khrushchev in 1956.
Juche: The Marxist-Leninist theory of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, introduced by the country’s first leader, Kim Il Sung. It’s basic thesis is self-reliance, although North Korea was established under the protection of the Soviet Union and is today dependent for its survival on Communist China.
Karl Marx: A German philosopher who lived from 1818 to 1883 and is the primary author of Marxism, which he developed in close collaboration with Friedrich Engels.
KGB: The Committee for State Security of the Soviet Union from 1954 to 1991. It was responsible for domestic and international espionage and influence operations as well as suppression of dissidents and similar “secret police” activities.
Kim Il Sung: The founding leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and the founder of Juche theory. His family has ruled North Korea since 1945.
KPD: Communist Party of Germany, which was established in 1918 by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. It was dissolved in 1946 upon the creation of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) under the East German Communist Party.
Lao Tzu: A Chinese philosopher born between the 4th and 6th centuries BC and the founder of Taoism.
Left: A catchall term to describe ideas, individuals, organizations and governments that espouse or favor Marxism, Socialism, Communism and Critical Theories of the Frankfurt School or Postmodernism.
Leftists: Those who espouse and/or practice the ideologies of the Left.
Liberalism: A 19th century theory that advocates for democracies built by free people enjoying private property rights and participating in free markets under the rule of law. This classical definition has been largely supplanted by a more recent use of liberalism to mean the ideology of the Left. In this new meaning liberals can be defined as people of the Left, or Leftists.
Mahavira: Indian religious leader from the 6th century BC. Founder of Jainism.
Mao Zedong: He was a Chinese native who lived from 1893 to 1976. In the 1920s he became the leader of the Chinese Communist Party, which took power in 1949. He is the author of the Chinese variant of Marxism-Leninism, which is called Marxism-Maoism. His principal ideas are contained in The Little Red Book. He was responsible for some 80 million deaths of Chinese people, notably in the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.
Marxism: A 19th century materialist and revolutionary ideology propounded by Karl Marx and Frederich Engels. Its basic tenets are explained in The Communist Manifesto, published in 1848. These are anti-religion, anti-family andanti-capitalism. Marxism holds that private property is the root of injustice and inequality, and that Communism is the solution. The core theories are dialectical and historical materialism. Marxism advocates for violent revolution to overthrow the existing order (a classist society in which the bourgeoisie dominated the proletariat) and the creation of Socialist (and ultimately Communist) states that control all capital, property, and means of production.
Marxism-Leninism: The revolutionary and ruling ideology responsible for the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 and the seventy-year rule of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Marxism itself is a theory that prescribes violent revolution as necessary for the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of Socialism, followed by Communism. However, Lenin recognized that Marxist theory lacked practical elements that would enable it to produce actual revolutions. He added the theory of imperialism as the final stage of capitalism, the need for a revolutionary party, the need for a revolutionary putsch, and the need for a dictatorship of the proletariat to guide the Socialist state to full Communism. After the October Revolution in Russia, Marxism-Leninism became the revolutionary ideology of the worldwide Communist movement, although some other Communists would add their own flavors to the theory, such as Maoism in China and Juche ideology in
Marxism-Maoism: Mao came to believe that Marxism-Leninism could not work in its pure form in China because China’s industrial sector, and hence the proletariat, was so small. He simply substituted the peasantry for the proletariat and built the Chinese Communist Party on support from its tens of millions of peasants.
Materialism: Also now called physicalism, is the theory that nothing exists beyond the physical world, and that any phenomena that are considered spiritual are nothing more than the result of physical processes in the brain. This view assumes that there is no invisible creator or invisible spirit world where human spirits dwell after their physical bodies die.
Michel Foucault: A Frenchman who lived from 1924 to 1984, he is the best-known theorist of Postmodernism. He rose to prominence in the late 1960s, and is the most referenced author in social sciences today. He believed there are no moral or other absolutes and that science itself is the product of language and social constructs.
Mohammed: The prophet and founder of Islam. Born in Mecca in 570 AD, died in Medina in 632 AD.
Nazism: The ideology of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, established in 1920 and led by Adolf Hitler. It held that rebuilding Germany after World War I, and preparing it for what would become World War II, could best be achieved by authoritarian government and central planning. Based on the theories in Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf (My Struggle), the Nazis were fascists and racists who believed that the Aryan race was superior to all others and that racial purification was a mandate for the German people.
Neo-Marxism: Materialist theories that are derived from, or influenced by, Marxism. These include the Critical Theories of the Frankfurt School and of Postmodernists.
NKVD: The Soviet Union’s Ministry of the Interior responsible for secret police and other security activities, from 1934 to 1946, before the KGB was established.
PLA: People’s Liberation Army of China, which is the military arm of the CCP.
Pol Pot: He was a Cambodian native who lived from 1925 to 1998. Educated by Communists in France, he established the Khmer Rouge, the name given to the Communist Party of Kampuchea (Cambodia) in 1968. After five years of civil war, they took power and ruled Cambodia from 1975 to 1978. They were responsible for the dislocation of the whole population and the death of at least 2 million Cambodians.
Political Correctness: Language that is acceptable to the Left because it conforms to the Left’s theories.
Postcolonialism: This was the first target of Postmodernist Critical Theory. It assumed that imperialist powers and their people and institutions had inherited racial and elitist prejudices that influenced their relationships with less fortunate peoples, leading to human and resource exploitation. It advocates for the evils of colonialism to be compensated for through various forms of reparations paid by former colonial powers as well as the industrialized world in general.
Postmodernism: The French school of Critical Theories that rejects absolute truth and traditional science in favor of the view that knowledge is cultural and shaped by language, which enables powerful groups to dominate cultural discourse and social behavior. Michel Foucault is its best-known theorist. He rose to prominence in the late 1960s and is the most referenced author in social sciences today. The theories that have evolved within and from Postmodernism form a matrix of Leftist ideas, including Critical Postcolonialism, Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality, Anti-Racism, White Privilege, White Fragility, social justice, identity politics, political correctness, Cancel Culture, Queer Theory, Transgenderism, radical feminism, gender studies, disability studies and fat studies. All criticize traditional social norms and institutions.
POUM: The Worker’s Party of Marxist Unification was established in Barcelona in 1935 and dissolved in 1980. It was the target of attacks by Stalinists because of its Trotskyist ideas. George Orwell joined its ranks to fight Franco.
PRC: People’s Republic of China, established by 1949 by the CCP. It is ruled to this day by the CCP.
Queer Theory: A Postmodernist theory that seeks to identify and reverse historical and present-day prejudices against people who identify as belonging to a gender different from their biological nature. In other words, its agenda is to normalize gay, lesbian, transgender and other previously marginalized sexual behaviors.
Quran: The scriptures revealed to the prophet Mohammed in the 7th century AD. Divided into 114 suras or chapters.
Radical Environmentalism: Use of environmental concerns to justify policy and activism that relies on governmental programs to address environmental issues such as global warming. It generally advocates for the elimination of fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind and hydro. These policy prescriptions it wants written into domestic government laws and regulations, and to guide foreign policy towards developing countries.
Radical Feminism: Second wave feminism that seeks to rectify historic injustices suffered by women because of male chauvinism and patriarchy, by demanding equity with men for women in all areas of life.
Restoration: The process of salvation through which men and women regain the purity of character of Adam and Eve before the Fall.
Restoration Providence: God’s plan for the restoration/salvation of fallen humanity.
Rumi, Jalal Ad Din: A renowned 13th century AD Sufi and poet. Author of the Methnavi. Born in Afghanistan and died in Turkey.
Social Justice: The Postmodernist theory of social equity for all people, irrespective of race, religion, ethnicity and gender identity, countering systemic manifestations of these social divisions. In action this means demonstrating for causes, and sometimes mounting violent action in the name of social justice.
Socialism (Marxist): As a Marxist concept, Socialism (we distinguish the Marxist version by using a capital “S”) is a politico-economic system of authoritarian rule and centralized planning in which capital and property are concentrated in the hands of the state. According to Marxism, Socialism is the bridge between capitalism and Communism, a system that takes property ownership from individuals and gives it to the state. Marxist Socialism took on concrete form through the addition of certain features by Lenin, who believed that the Socialist state could only be established by a revolutionary party which would initiate a revolutionary putsch to destroy the capitalist state it was to replace. Lenin also believed that, post-revolution, the Socialist state had to be governed by the revolutionary party, a dictatorship of the proletariat which he called the Vanguard of the Proletariat. This elite would manage the affairs of the Socialist state so well that eventually there would be a “withering away of the state.” In its place would emerge a Communist state of perfect equality and justice in which no state was needed at all.
Socialism (Non-Marxist): According to Merrium-Webster, socialism is: “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.” This definition is close to the Marxist definition, above. However, the term is often used more broadly to describe a socio-economic system of high taxes to support extensive government benefits. This is often referred to as “Scandinavian socialism”, which is based on capitalist economies and should
not be confused with the Marxist variant. In this book, we use a lower case “s” when we use socialism with this broad, non-Marxist meaning.
SPD: Social Democratic Party of Germany, which was founded in 1863. In 1875, it was officially organized as a Marxist party. After World War II, a faction would split off to form the Communist Party of Germany, and in the late 1950s, the SPD would officially become a social democrat party.
Spiritual Ideology: An ideology based on spiritual principles, in particular those addressing the issues of good and evil.
Structural Violence: The Postmodernist theory that certain social structures are inherently unjust and inflict harm on the less fortunate. Thus, by their very nature, these societies are violent.
Sufi: Muslim mystic. Typically a member of a Sufi order.
Sufism: Muslim mysticism. (Also called Tasawwuf.)
Sura: A chapter of the Quran.
Taoism: The teachings of Lao Tzu that form a basis for traditional Chinese beliefs and traditions.
Theocracy: A government established with a particular religion as the basis for its laws. Its leaders are drawn from that religion’s clergy.
Transgenderism: Activism based on normalizing gender dysphoria (in which a biological male identifies as a female, and vice versa) and getting social and political institutions to impose sanctions on those who do not accept transgender ideology and language. Transgenderism typically encourages hormone treatment and sex-change procedures, even for minors; permission for transgender people to have full access to all facilities normally reserved for members of one biological sex only; and permission for transgender people to play in sports that are normally reserved for members of the other biological sex.
USSR: Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or Soviet Union.
Vladimir Lenin: A Russian native who lived from 1870 to 1924. He led the Bolshevik Party which overthrew the Kerensky government in 1917 in the Russian Revolution and became the first leader of Communist Russia. He is responsible for several additions to Marxism which transformed it from political philosophy to revolutionary ideology. Thus his theory is called Marxism-Leninism, which was the basis for many Socialist and Communist regimes in the 20th century and continues to be the ruling ideology of several nations and Communist parties to this day.
White Fragility: The theory that because racism is systemic, white people are unable to recognize it and deal with it, and therefore have to be shown their racism so that it can be corrected.
White Patriarchy: The Postmodernist theory that racism is closely tied to the historical dominance of white males in Western societies. This legacy must be reversed, and policy should make sure that white males no longer hold undue power in society. This can be achieved by replacing them in positions of power.
White Supremacy: The theory that some white people translate their racism into activism to deny other races their rights. For critical race theorists, white supremacy represents the greatest evil in America and other predominantly white population countries.
Wilhelm Reich: An Austrian psychoanalyst who lived from 1897 to 1957. As a Freudian and Marxist he was associated with the Frankfurt School. He is best known for his book, The Sexual Revolution, which helped launch the free sex movement.
Withering Away of the State: The Marxist theory that Socialism will naturally give way to an ideal Communist state in which no state structures will be necessary.
WCC: World Council of Churches, an ecumenical organization that was long influenced by the Soviet Union.
Wokism: Social awareness in line with the ideologies of the Left. This derives from the adjective “woke,” itself derived from awake: the need for people to wake up to the need for social justice.
Zarathustra: Also known as Zoroaster, the founder of Zoroastrianism that began to be influential in Persia from the 6th century BC.
Zoroastrianism: The religious teaching of Zarathustra, now practiced by Parsis.