Introduction: From the National to the Transnational

In the introduction to Transnational Communism across the Americas, the editors of this volume introduce the main themes that the authors engage in their chapters. The introduction begins with a discussion of the meaning of transnationalism and its inherent importance in understanding communist movements. Most examinations of communist movements are constructed around country-based studies, and the result is that they are understood in isolation from one another and from the broader communist movement in the Americas and beyond. This emphasis on the nation-state is ironic given that Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels stressed international aspects of the communist movement. The introduction also provides a brief and broad overview of communism, and summarizes the central contributions of the individual chapters to the theme of transnational communism across the Americas.

Keywords: Transnationalism, Communism, Communist International (Comintern), Latin America, theory