Throughout political history, society has been shaped by winds of revolutionary fervour against desperate attempts to conserve the evolutionary nature of society, quashing radical change in favour of gradualism and mostly maintaining the sociopolitical, economic and cultural status quo of society, complete with its preexisting structures, hierarchies and norms that develop naturally and at a relatively slow pace. Political and scholarly discourse has been dominated by this debate over the validity of schools of extreme ideological thought against the more prevalent evolutionary society, which entails the preservation of tradition and allowing piecemeal changes. Exploring the debate over evolution and revolution from a political perspective and conditioned by the current sociopolitical context characterised by populism, ideological convergence and division, with the re-emergence of extreme, regressive New Right elements within Western politics due to figures such as Trump and Boris, naturally I believe that the status quo of evolutionary society ultimately leads to regression rather than progressive development and rather ironically is ultimately unsustainable, due to the massive corruption, gross inequality, destruction of the environment, brutal exploitation of human and natural resources, wars of aggression, theft of the public interests, starvation of millions, waste & repression that occurs within a supposedly evolutionary capitalist society, and thus a revolutionary socialist or communist society ultimately would better act in the interests of all those within it.


In that vein, it is important to delineate between conservatism and communism, the two evolutionary and revolutionary political doctrines that shall underpin this article. Conservatism is a right-wing evolutionary capitalist ideology, which  stresses the need for gradualism, pragmatism and traditionalism and which advocates a capitalist free-market economy whereby wealth and the means of production and distribution are concentrated in the hands of private individuals and businesses, and goods are produced for exchange, according to the dictates of the market. Traditional conservative thinkers such as Oakeshott and Chesterton reject reformist and revolutionary ideology in favour of an evolutionary society that mostly adheres to the revered traditions of the past, pragmatism and a flexible social, political and economic approach that accounts for what is acceptable to, and in the best interests of the people, without endangering social stability and cohesion, with Edmund Burke stating that ‘Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other’ of course attesting to this idea of a traditional society that changes at a natural rate. Conversely, communism is a left-wing revolutionary ideology based on Marxist teachings, which seeks to overthrow ‘bourgeois state’ and establish a classless society that acts in the interests of the proletariat, and which is based around the ideas of common ownership of wealth and resources, a planned economy and lastly, that proletarian workers create the means of production so should be entitled to the wealth they create. Naturally, more radical thinkers such as Marx and Engels reject evolutionary capitalism, arguing it invariably creates exploitation and rampant inequality by a ruling class elite and believing in the revolutionary theory of dialectical materialism whereby a revolution, in which a radicalised and class conscious proletariat rise up in revolt against an exploitative bourgeoisie, is inevitable and will initiate transformative sociopolitical change. 


Within Western democracy, whilst the pan-European trend of revolutionary socialism and communism gained traction in the 18th and 19th century, evolutionary capitalism has been the dominant political doctrine, particularly in Britain, where we have a constitution that has evolved over time and mostly neoliberal governments stressing the evolution of capitalism, and thus it is important when debating whether evolution is better than revolution, that we examine the effects of evolutionary capitalism within the microcosm of Britain. In addition to plunging so many into poverty and exacerbating inequality, the prevailing system of evolutionary capitalism within Britain has failed in fundamental basics such as providing a decent standard of living, reliable healthcare and accessible, good-quality housing for all, things which should be taken for granted universally, but particularly within one of the richest countries in the world. The fact that within Britain, there is a backlog of 3.91 million homes, 1 in 200 people (320,000) are homeless and there are record numbers of rough sleepers (up 165%) is inexcusable; when this is coupled with the alarming poverty statistics within a country where the status quo is of evolutionary capitalism (Over 14 million in poverty, 4.2 million children in poverty and 350,000 in destitution, 1.9m pensioners in poverty, unprecedented rates of Foodbank use and 1.6m Foodbank parcels) and this all attests to the idea that evolutionary capitalism has failed to fulfil the fundamental needs within society, and perhaps a revolutionary socialist society, with transformative changes to ensure fair distribution of wealth would be a more productive means of tackling the endemic inequality bred by the status quo of our evolutionary capitalist system.


The flaws underpinning the system of evolutionary capitalism that has governed worldwide is illustrated through the regression and exploitation third-world countries endure so the Western world can enjoy comparative privilege. Worldwide, 8,000,000 people die every year due to lacking clean water, 7,665,000 people die every year due to hunger, 3,000,000 people die every year due to vaccine-preventable diseases and 500,000 people die every year due to malaria, but even this statistic, as horrifying and indicative of the failings of our status quo of evolving capitalism as it is, fails to account for the rampant suffering and exploitation third-world countries endure to sustain our standard of living. From the colonial regimes of the past to the gross neocolonial third-world exploitation of the present, with sweat-shops, child labour, virtual slavery, maldevelopment, low wages, poverty, pollution, some of the worst working conditions known to man and starvation, it is clear that the evolutionary system of capitalism that prevails works on systemic oppression and stifling the development of third-world countries to preserve the relative luxury and privilege of Western countries enjoy, further reinforcing the need for radical change and why revolution is a superior poltiical response to evolution and evolutionary capitalism that dominates global politics.


When dispelling revolutionary communist politics, people often draw upon incorrect preconceptions of communism killing 100 million, perpetuating the narrative of revolutionary communism being an extreme, dangerous ideology that is too radical for society. But this neglects to account for the fact that this figure originally comes from ‘The Black Book of Communism’, a book with figures proven to be fabricated and factually incorrect, in order to sensationalise the flaws of revolutionary communist ideology whilst glorifying the oppressive shackles of our evolutionary capitalist system which has produced far more long-term suffering and failed to achieve its objectives of economic prosperity and relative liberty. Secondly, 20 million preventable deaths occur every year at the hands of the evolutionary capitalism that prevails within global politics, so even if this incorrect, scare-mongering figure of 100 million communist deaths was correct, it would take capitalism just 5 years to hit the same body count. The international slave trade, the enslavement of millions of Africans, the genocidal eradication of the Native Americans, colonialism, imperialist famines, fascism, the brutal military actions taken to support pro-Western dictatorships and two world wars have brought about millions of deaths and have ultimately been a direct consequence of evolutionary capitalism, which cements the idea of evolution being regressive and ultimately unsustainable due to it perpetuating this bloody status quo. Millions starved to death in India under free market British colonial rule in the late 18th century, and these effects of colonialism for the Western world to evolve into relative prosperity bled through into the 1950s and 1960s, where there were 1.5 million deaths due to poverty, starvation and hunger, more deaths than even Maoist China, which illustrates the death that has been inflicted as the by-product of capitalism. Much of the capital of London, Bristol and Liverpool – once the largest slave trading port in Europe – was made from the enslaved labour of Africans and accumulating resources from continents such as Africa & Asia. When you account for atrocities such as the Bengal famine, Irish famine, American imperialism, other famines in India, genocide in the Congo, Boer War, imperialism, the number of atrocities needed to achieve the West’s evolution into a position of comparative economic privilege vastly 

outweighs the number of deaths under revolutionary Communist regimes and is ultimately rampantly unjustifiable.


People have also argued that under revolutionary state communist regimes, there was discontent so a move to communism could never work, but this line of argument also is incredibly fallacious, for it fails to account for how 72% of Hungarians and 62% of both Ukrainians & Bulgarians believed that most people were worse off after communist regimes fell. Similarly, a majority of Russians in all age groups feel that life was better under the USSR and 66% of Russians regret the fall of the USSR and are nostalgic for communism in Russia. Conversely, evolutionary capitalism still hasn’t achieved its premise of creating an evolving system whereby most citizens are in a position of economic and social content, which further illustrates the merit of revolution, rather than perpetuating the status quo of an evolutionary system that inevitably leads to regression and discontent for many.


There’s also this false misconception about revolutionary communist and socialist ideologies not rewarding hard work, innovation and development’, but this is not only a rather cynical and reductive view, but also one that can be refuted. Major technological breakthroughs were made in countries which have had revolutionary socialist and communist regimes. Using the microcosm of the communist Soviet Union as an example, The first mobile phone was invented by USSR in 1957, 16 years before the US and Tetris, one of the best selling games in the world, was invented in the USSR. Additionally, despite huge economic disadvantage, the USSR had an early lead over the US in the space race. Individuals living under revolutionary communist systems would be able to choose the career path that they found most fulfilling, meaning they are more likely to be productive. Furthermore, since the motivation for working under communism isn’t money, but rather human need, it can be guaranteed that your work is having a positive impact on society. This means somebody researching say, a cure for cancer, both enjoys their job and is unimpeded by marketisation and the factor of providing profits for their boss they have free reign to look for the most effective cure, and are more likely to be innovative. As such, revolutionary communism doesn’t disincentivise hard work or innovation, but it rather entitles the individual with more freedom to innovate and develop, and work hard in an area that aligns with their interests, and benefits society as a whole. Evolutionary Capitalism, on the other hand, not only imposes a value on innovation, but it also limits hard work and innovation, to what acts in the interests of the elite few. It also exploits the hard work of the proletariat, not entitling them to the reward they deserve. Under a revolutionary communist society, there would be common ownership of wealth and resources, a planned economy and proletarian workers being entitled to the capital their labour creates, meaning there is still a value to hard work and innovation, but it’s not marketised, and thus it is clear there is a need for radical societal change.


It is also essential that this myth about revolutionary systems of government not working and the only option being evolutionary capitalist systems which have consistently proven themselves to fail the many is refuted. Looking into the microcosm of Cuba, which has frequently seen revolutionary communist systems of government since the days of Castro, Cuba has a higher life expectancy rate than the US, higher literacy rates, minimal inequality in comparison to countries with evolutionary capitalist governments, an education system that is 100% subsidised by the government. Furthermore, Cuba has the highest physicians per 1000 in the whole of Latin America, the highest doctor to patient ratio and it is in a position to send the highest rate of doctors to third world countries, actually benefiting them rather than threatening their development, like Western capitalism has done. Rather ironically, revolutionary socialist Cuba has managed to evolve into a strong state socialist country, in the sense that despite the capitalist West trying heavily to restrict its success through trade embargoes, anti-communist assassination coups, military attacks and excessive sanctions and embargoes that would cripple most countries, revolutionary Cuban government still has thrived and enjoys many advantages over evolutionary capitalist systems in the West.


Furthermore, whilst people reference the inexcusable death toll under the USSR and Stalinism (even if this is miniscule, compared to the huge depletion of life and resources under evolutionaty capitalism), but to say the USSR’s revolutionary communisty governments didn’t have their successes would an outright lie. There was a rapid increase in living conditions; increased literacy rates, reduced rates of unemployment, vastly reduced unemployment and homeliness, vast economic growth and of course, the aforementioned technological advancements. The economy thrived mostly under the USSR due to a centralised state planned economy and a strong focus on industrialisation, which revolutionised Russia. That’s not to say there weren’t flaws with the USSR and Stalinism, but revolutionary communism greatly increased living standards and the economic success of Russia, as illustrated by 66% of Russians still being nostalgic for revolutionary Soviet Communism.

Furthermore, during the revolutionary Communist era, Nicaragua improved in terms of health, education, overall living standards, life expectancy and literacy rates, and it was only when the Communsit Sandinistas lost power that they regressed. Under Sankhara’s revolutionary form of government, Burkina Faso’s literacy rate increased from 13% in 1983 to 73% in 1987, 2.5 million children were vaccinated and he drastically increased women’s rights, through outlawing FGM, polygamy, forced marriages and reducing workplace discrepancies between men and women. Sankhara also redistributed arable land straight from the elite and directly to the peasants, resulting in increased production to the extent where Burkina Faso was almost self-sufficient. And yet, still this myth of revolutionary politics not working, and the horrors of evolutionary capitalism being the only option remains, with its deliberately slow pace of meaningful change.


Whilst conservative thinkers frequently look to the supposed stability, order, social cohesion and economic success of an evolutionary capitalist form of government, it is abundantly clear that evolutionary politics does little to address preexisting socioeconomic problems within society and in fact, creates and exacerbates inequalities, promotes a lack of social cohesion and only ensures economic success for a privileged elite bourgeoisie few. Decisive and radical political change is needed if global politics wants to achieve meaningful equality and good living and economic standards for all, and thus, we should look to progressing the interests of the many through revolutionary forms of government, in the vein of countries such as Cuba & Burkina Faso, and to a lesser extent, Russia. After all, there is a general consensus that change and a fairer form of politics is vital.  This fairer form of politics can only be achieved through revolutionary socialist and communist ideas being implemented; a 2019 study by the New Polling Report indicates that the centre ground of public opinion includes demand for policies such as nationalisation of key industries, more progressive forms of taxation to finance our economy without austerity, a genuine living wage, a non-privatised NHS and the scrapping of tuition fees, which are all revolutionary socialist and communist policies, which just goes to show that there is a need to pursue revolution over failed attempts at evolution within global politics.