Actually existing socialism (AES) is a term for currently existing socialist states which are specifically under a dictatorship of the proletariat. The five current AES states are China, Cuba, Laos, Vietnam, and the DPRK. Examples of former AES states were the Soviet Union, Mongolian People’s Republic, and the Warsaw Pact countries of Eastern Europe. This is the most common consensus amongst Marxist–Leninists.
Ultra-Leftists denying the Existence of AES
Ultra-Leftists (Particularly Maoists and Hoxhaists), deny the existence of currently existing socialist states on the basis of revisionism and due to socialist nations such as China and Soviet Union enacting 'social-imperialism'. They also argue that 'AES' was coined by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and thus it is just revisionist terminology. However the modern usage of the word does not necessarily correlate the original term, and it had been changed overtime.
Some Marxists (or other socialists) argue that there exists a sixth socialist state which is the State of Eritrea. However, due to Eritrea not including the word 'socialism' in their constitution, and the existence of a dictatorship of the proletariat is hard to justify, makes it a somewhat contentious issues among Marxist–Leninists.
- Leonid Brezhnev (1977). Brezhnev on the Theory of Developed Socialism.
- Thomas C Mountain (2016-05-11). "Eritrea: 25 Years Of Struggle Building Socialism" TesfaNews. Retrieved 2023-09-06.
- 1997 Constitution of the State of Eritrea