Diffusion of Power Theory

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

“Diffusion of Power” Theory


one of the contemporary bourgeois reformist conceptions according to which the existence of a substantial number of political organizations of various classes (parties, trade unions, associations of entrepreneurs, etc.) in contemporary capitalist society leads to the diffusion of political power in this society. The political organization of capitalist society is portrayed as the collective rule of these organizations, which counterbalance each other and influence in equal measure the state, which consequently loses its class character.

In its reformist version, the “diffusion of power” theory, which has found particularly extensive use among the members of the British Labour Party—J. Strachey and others— reflects the process by which right-wing social democracy grows into capitalist statehood. In reality, no such “diffusion of power” takes place in modern capitalist society: political power belongs to monopoly capital, which holds the dominant position in the economy, and it is exercised through the system of political organizations, primary among which is the state mechanism, which is closely intertwined with the monopolies. Communist and workers’ parties and other progressive organizations of the toiling people of capitalist countries consistently struggle against the power structure of the monopolistic bourgeoisie.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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