Transitional demand


Transitional demand

In Marxist theory, a transitional demand is a demand made by a socialist organisation with the aim of linking the current situation to progress towards their goal of a socialist society.

The theory was developed by the early Communist International and championed by Leon Trotsky. The most famous example of a transitional programme constructed from transitional demands is the The Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the Fourth International, adopted by the Fourth International.

Transitional demands differ from calls for reform (a minimum programme) in that they call for things that governments and corporations are unwilling or unable to offer, and therefore, any progress towards obtaining a transitional demand is likely to weaken capitalism and strengthen the hand of the working class.

Transitional demands differ from calls for revolution (a maximum programme) in that they call for things that could be achieved under capitalism. So "Rule by workers' councils" would not be a transitional demand, as it would imply the overthrow of capitalism. Examples of transitional demands would be "Employment for all" or "Housing for all," demands that sound reasonable to the average citizen, but are practically impossible for capitalism to deliver on. Trotsky held that, while socialists should not hide their programme, it was essential to plan a possible route to it.

The BBC Documentary "Lefties", which aired in several parts in April 2006 featured interviews with English citizens who were radicals in the 1960s, in which the concept of transitional demands is described clearly.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Transitional Program — The Transitional Program, the full name of which is The Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the Fourth International , is a political platform adopted by the 1938 founding congress of the Fourth International, the international Leninist… …   Wikipedia

  • Demand Note — This article is about the Demand Notes issued by the U.S. government. For demand note referring to any promissory note that is payable on demand, see promissory note. Top row: The distinctive green ink used on the backs of Demand Notes gave rise… …   Wikipedia

  • Socialist Party (England and Wales) — Infobox British Political Party party name = Socialist Party party articletitle = Socialist Party (England and Wales) party leader = General Secretary: Peter Taaffe; Assistant General Secretary: Hannah Sell; Collective Leadership foundation =… …   Wikipedia

  • Fourth International — For other uses, see Fourth International (disambiguation). This article focusses on the Fourth International prior to 1963. See Fourth International (Post Reunification) for later developments …   Wikipedia

  • Max Shachtman — (pronounced /ˈʃɑːktmən/; September 10, 1904 – November 4, 1972) was an American Marxist theorist. He evolved from being an associate of Leon Trotsky to a social democrat and mentor of senior assistants to AFL CIO President George Meany.… …   Wikipedia

  • Degenerated workers' state — Part of a series on Trotskyism …   Wikipedia

  • Orthodox Trotskyism — Part of a series on Trotskyism …   Wikipedia

  • Permanent revolution — This article is about the theory. See Permanent Revolution (group) for the group of the same name and Permanent Revolution (album) for the Catch 22 album. Part of a series on …   Wikipedia

  • International Marxist Tendency — Founded Split from the CWI in 1992. Headquarters London, United Kingdom Newspaper Marxist International …   Wikipedia

  • Revolutionary integrationism — is an analysis, philosophy, and program for resolving the black question the problem of the superoppression of blacks, and their liberation in the United States. It has its origins in the fight against slavery by Frederick Douglass and other… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.