A member of the non-Leninist wing of the Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party.
The Mensheviks and Bolsheviks were both Communists, but they disagreed on how the revolution could be achieved. The Mensheviks believed in mobilizing the Russian masses (workers and peasants) against the existing establishment and in using the parliamentry system to achieve it, whereas the more radical Bolsheviks believed that the revolution should come about through the works of a small group of intellectual elites such as Lenin. The reason this confuses a lot of people is because Menshevik means "minority", and Bolshevik means "majority", when actually it was the Mensheviks who believed in a revolution of the majority, and the Bolsheviks in one of the minority. The reason for these paradoxies is that the names actually represent the size of their respective parties rather than their viewpoints-- the 1905 split between the two factions revealed that the MAJORITY of Communists were Bolsheviks, and the minority were Mensheviks. The Bolsheviks went on to carry out the revolution successfully.