MIA: Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of Terms




Russain idiom for "pet" or "favorite", was Lenin's nick-name for Bukharin, whom he called the ‘favorite of the party’.


Baku Commissars

In 1918, with the Soviet area of the Caucasus threatened by Turkish troops, the Mensheviks and nationalists used their majority in the Baku Soviet to invite the intervention of British imperialism against the Turkish advance. The Bolshevik Commissars, led by Stepan Shaumyan and supported by some Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, resigned in protest. When shortly afterwards the British abandoned the city to the Turks, 26 Communist Commissars sought refuge but fell into the hands of the British. With the connivance of the White and Socialist-Revolutionary government of Ashkhabad, the 26 Commissars were transported to a remote spot in the desert where at about 6.30 a.m. on September 20, they were marched out in three groups and shot. See Heroes of the Russian Revolution, New Park Publications 1974, pp. 29-34.


Barter is the exchange of commodities directly for one another, without the use of Money.

In barter, the Commodity relation and the Form of value is as yet undeveloped, and exchange of labour is necessarily marginal to the life of people. In societies where barter is practised, there is invariably some “universal equivalent” in which the value of each commodity offered for exchange is measured, so as to determine the appropriate ratio of exchange between any two given commodities. This universal equivalent will in the first place be a commodity that is widely used in the given society as well as being of a more or less uniform quality.

However, such a measurement of value is not enough to allow exchange of commodities to fully develop, and for the practice of exchange to freely develop, a commodity which is infinitely divisible, of absolutely uniform purity and quality, infinitely durable, able to store a large quantity of human labour in a small quantity of itself, is needed.

Historically gold and silver have taken on this role, and along this road, paper money and Credit, and inevitably the whole of bourgeois society arises.




A soldier belonging to irregular Turkish units in the 18th and 19th centuries, notoriously turbulent and cruel. They first appeared in the Russo-Turkish War of 1853.


Basle Manifesto of 1912

A manifesto on the war, adopted by the Extraordinary International Socialist Congress which sat in Basle on November 24 and 25, 1912. It warned the nations against the imminent threat of a world imperialist war, revealed the aggressive aims of the war and called on the workers of the world to fight for peace and "to pit against the might of capitalist imperialism the international solidarity of the working class". The Manifesto included a clause, formulated by Lenin, from a resolution of the Stuttgart Congress (1907), to the effect that in the event of an imperialist war the socialists should take advantage of the economic and political crisis that would result from the war to hasten the downfall of capitalist class rule and fight for socialist revolution.