(redirected from peoples)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Acronyms, Idioms, Wikipedia.
Related to peoples: Peoples Temple



(1) In the broad sense of the word, the population of a particular country.

(2) In historical materialism, the people, or popular masses, are a social community comprising, at various historical stages, those strata and classes that, owing to their position in society, are capable of actively participating in the progressive development of society; they are the makers of history, the determining force in fundamental social transformations.

The people are the real subject of history. Their activity ensures continuity in the development of society. The place and role of the people was first revealed by Marxism-Leninism. In so doing, it eliminated a major flaw of idealist sociology, which ignored the decisive role of the people in social development and ascribed this role to outstanding individuals (see V. I. Lenin, Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 26, p. 58).

Marxism-Leninism also delineated the social content of the concept of the people and established that the composition of the people varies at different stages of history. No distinction is made between the terms “population” and “the people” for primitive-communal society, in which class divisions were nonexistent. In social formations based on class antagonism, the people do not include the dominant exploitative groups with their antipopular and reactionary policies. Only under socialism, when the exploitative classes are eliminated, does the concept of the people embrace all social groups.

Marxism-Leninism elucidates the differences in position of the various classes, strata, and groups of the population and then, taking into account their class interests, determines the composition of the people. At all stages of social development, the majority of the people consists of the working masses, the principal productive force of society. In class society, the people may include strata of the population that have very different and even opposing interests. For example, it included the bourgeoisie that led the struggle against feudalism during the bourgeois revolutions and the bourgeosie participating in national liberation struggles against imperialism and colonialism. V. I. Lenin wrote that “in using the word ’people’ Marx did not thereby gloss over class distinctions, but united definite elements capable of bringing the revolution to completion” (ibid., vol. 11, p. 124).

Marxism-Leninism draws a distinction between the revolutionary people, who are ideologically and organizationally united and capable of leading the struggle to resolve actual problems of social progress, on the one hand, and those masses that, because of their position in society, have an interest in social transformations yet do not take part in the active political struggle, on the other. The major role in the political awakening and organization of the people is played by the people’s vanguard—the most advanced class—led by the party. “Serious politics can only be promoted by the masses; nonparty masses that do not follow the lead of a strong party are, however, disunited, ignorant masses, without staying power, prone to become a plaything in the hands of adroit politicians” (ibid., vol. 24, p. 66).

A concrete-historical approach to the people permits communist parties to pursue a flexible policy that takes into account changes in the position of various classes. It also allows them to attract along with the proletariat and peasantry other groups into the ranks of the popular movement—the petite bourgeoisie, intelligentsia, and, under certain conditions, various strata of other classes as well. Such an approach permits communist parties to form blocs with various social organizations, unions, and associations, including bourgeois parties. Communist parties thus can forge a broad popular front that unites all the advanced elements of the population capable of leading the struggle for peace, national independence, democracy, and socialism.

Reliance on the people and the study of its experience, needs, and aspirations are distinguishing features of Communist Party practice. As Lenin wrote, “We can administer only when we express correctly what the people are conscious of” (ibid., vol. 45, p. 112). The Communist Party is the collective leader of the people. It is a guiding force that by its organizational and educational work ensures the growing consciousness of the working masses and the concentration of their efforts upon the resolution of problems that have arisen in the course of history. The policies and activity of the Communist Party actively promote maximum involvement of the people in the making of history. The development of society readies the material and spiritual prerequisites for ever-increasing active participation of the people in both the destruction of the old order and the creation of a new social order. The creative activity of the people is the decisive factor in the building of socialism and communism.

In the realm of theory, a sound grasp of the concept of the people allows one to understand the laws governing the activity of the people in various socioeconomic formations and at various levels of each formation’s development. It also allows one to see the specific character of popular movements in these formations at different stages and in different countries. A correct understanding of the concept of people demonstrates the qualitatively new content of the concept in the period of proletarian revolution and socialist construction, as well as the role of the popular masses in the period of the building of communism.

(3) The term “the people” is also used to designate various ethnic communities, such as the tribe, nationality, or nation. Under conditions of developed socialist society in the USSR, a new historical community has evolved—the Soviet people.



Usually our dreams are filled with people. We dream about our families, our friends, our neighbors, and our classmates. We dream about strangers, colleges, famous people, teachers, and, at times, our supposed enemies. Each dream is very special and carries its own unique message. When interpreting a dream with people in it, consider all of the details and the feelings in the dream. If the person is known to you, think about your relationship with him or her and the issues that the dream has brought up. We learn about ourselves through others, and probably our most valuable possessions are our relationships. Some believe that the strangers in your dreams represent different parts of yourself and are extensions and projections of your own personality. Many people believe that their dreams can predict the future. When they have negative or frightening dreams, they become anxious about the future. Alternatively, when their dreams are a form of wish-fulfillment, the dreamers become very excited and are hopeful that the dream will come true. Most dreams are not prophetic but are psychological or spiritual in nature. Their primary function may be to help us live better in the present, rather than the future.
References in classic literature ?
The words of some people might generally be written with a minus sign after them, the minus meaning that the personality of the speaker subtracted from, rather than added to, their weight; but Rebecca's words might always have borne the plus sign.
Now, after Chaka had come to the Duguza kraal, for a while he sat quiet, then the old thirst of blood came on him, and he sent his impis against the people of the Pondos, and they destroyed that people, and brought back their cattle.
I have just had the pleasure of meeting Sir Charles for the first time, and we shall be the best friends possible when I have convinced him that it is hardly fair to seize on a path belonging to the people and compel them to walk a mile and a half round his estate instead of four hundred yards between two portions of it.
Mowgli," said Baloo, "thou hast been talking with the Bandar-log--the Monkey People.
She then went quickly on, and Telemachus followed in her steps till they reached the place where the guilds of the Pylian people were assembled.
Now the other gods and the armed warriors on the plain slept soundly, but Jove was wakeful, for he was thinking how to do honour to Achilles, and destroyed much people at the ships of the Achaeans.
We sit, for example, side by side with all castes and peoples.
It is only when he insists upon being treated as the most easterly of western peoples instead of the most westerly of easterns that he becomes a racial anomaly extremely difficult to handle.
And the First of the Tigers ran to and fro, calling aloud to the deer and the pig and the sambhur and the porcupine and all the Jungle Peoples, and they all ran away from him who had been their judge, because they were afraid.
He was a model character for such a purpose--serious civil ceremonious curious stiff, stuffed with knowledge and convinced that, as lately rearranged, the German Empire places in the most striking light the highest of all the possibilities of the greatest of all the peoples.
Look when the world hath fewest barbarous peoples, but such as commonly will not marry or generate, except they know means to live
set by certain forgotten peoples in the days of old.