MIA: Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of Terms




Pacifism is the absolute rejection of the use of violence on moral grounds. It is generally “pre-political,” rather than adopted as an outcome of political education, but may be founded on religious grounds. Some pacifists will sanction the use of personal violence in some circumstances, but in general it is absolute.

The term was coined by Emile Arnaud at the 10th Universal Peace Conference in 1902.

See Pacifism and Violence. A Study in Bourgeois Ethics, Christopher Caudwell 1935
and Bourgeois Pacifism and Socialist Pacifism, Lenin 1917
and Lenin and Trotsky on Pacifism and Defeatism, Brian Pearce 1961

See Civil Disobedience, Non-violence and Peace Movement (1950s/60s).



A derrogitory term denoting corruption and manipulation. The word began use toward the end of the nineteenth century with a French company, the Society for the Building of the Panama Canal. Its financial dealings included the swindling of small investors and the bribing of cabinet ministers, deputies, and judges. After its bankruptcy, American speculators bought up most of the stock. In 1903 the United States, failing to reach an agreement with Colombia, pushed a staged-revolution in Panama. With the new government in power, construction of the Panama Canal started in 1904 and was completed ten years later.



Pantheism is the philosophical outlook which identifies God with Nature, rather than seeing Nature as having been created or controlled by God. For Spinoza for example, Free Will was possible even in a world in which each and every event was an act of God because the human will was itself also an expression of God's Will.

See also: Deism and Theism.


Parliamentary Cretinism

Engels wrote, "'parliamentary cretinism' is an incurable disease, an ailment whose unfortunate victims are permeated by the lofty conviction that the whole world, its history and its future are directed and determined by a majority of votes of just that very representative institution that has the honour of having them in the capacity of its members".

This expression was applied by Lenin to those who considered the parliamentarian system all-powerful, and parliamentarian activities the sole form of political struggle.



The mediator between Universal and Individual, referring to the collective of individuals which manifest a universal in contradistinction to those which manifest its negation. Particular is the ‘some’ for which the Universal is ‘all’ and the Inidividual is ‘this’. The Particular is a group (or Genus) to which an individual belongs and by virtue of which it is part of the Universal (or Absolute). The Universal can exert itself only through Individual and Individual relations and the Particular is these Individual relations through which the Universal exerts itself.



The conversion of intellectual, creative, and all other non-material labour into a commodity.

See Also: Intellectual Property, which deals with the issues of copyright and patents at lenght.

Futher Reading: Copyleft.