Revolutionary democracy

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Term introduced into international political language in the 1960s when, in several emerging states of Asia and Africa that rose from the ruins of the colonial system, the leaders of the most radical wings of national liberation movements came to power through armed struggle. Generally, they proclaimed a non-capitalist path of development for their countries, used the Cold War between the Eastern and Western blocs to negotiate with both for their own advantage. Some moved openly into the Soviet orbit, others preferred to join Maoism; still others formed part of the nonaligned movement. In general, these leaders rejected democratic principles and human rights, establishing cruel autocratic regimes (as demonstrated by the examples of Somalia, Ethiopia, Burma, South Yemen, etc.). Taking revolution as an absolute and violence as the method of government, they emptied the term “democracy” of meaning, filling it with the adjective “revolutionary”, and understanding by “revolution,” armed struggle. With the end of the Cold War, the term r.d. lost its reason for being and is no longer used.