Communism

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Communism (from

socioeconomic order centered around common ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange that allocates products to everyone in the society based on need.[3][4][5] A communist society would entail the absence of private property and social classes,[1] and ultimately money[6] and the state (or nation state).[7][8][9]

Communists often seek a voluntary state of self-governance but disagree on the means to this end. This reflects a distinction between a more

left-wing alongside socialism, and communist parties and movements have been described as radical left or far-left.[11][12][note 1]

Communism in its modern form grew out of the socialist movement in 19th-century Europe, which blamed capitalism for the misery of urban factory workers.[1] In the 20th century, several ostensibly Communist governments espousing Marxism–Leninism and its variants came into power,[27][note 3] first in the Soviet Union with the Russian Revolution of 1917, and then in portions of Eastern Europe, Asia, and a few other regions after World War II.[33] As one of the many types of socialism, communism became the dominant political tendency, along with social democracy, within the international socialist movement by the early 1920s.[34]

During most of the 20th century, around one-third of the world's population lived under Communist governments. These governments, which

one-party rule by a communist party, the rejection of private property and capitalism, state control of economic activity and mass media, restrictions on freedom of religion, and suppression of opposition and dissent. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, several previously Communist governments repudiated or abolished Communist rule altogether.[1][35][36] Afterwards, only a small number of nominally Communist governments remained, which are China,[37] Cuba, Laos, North Korea,[note 4] and Vietnam.[44] With the exception of North Korea, all of these states have started allowing more economic competition while maintaining one-party rule.[1] The decline of communism in the late 20th century has been attributed to the inherent inefficiencies of communist economies and the general trend of communist governments towards authoritarianism and bureaucracy.[1][44][45]

While the emergence of the Soviet Union as the world's first nominally

Soviet economic model, several scholars posit that in practice the model functioned as a form of state capitalism.[46][47] Public memory of 20th-century Communist states has been described as a battleground between anti anti-communism and anti-communism.[48] Many authors have written about mass killings under communist regimes and mortality rates,[note 5] such as excess mortality in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin,[note 6] which remain controversial, polarized, and debated topics in academia, historiography, and politics when discussing communism and the legacy of Communist states.[66][67]

Etymology and terminology

Communism derives from the French word communisme, a combination of the Latin-rooted word communis (which literally means common) and the suffix isme (an act, practice, or process of doing something).[68][69] Semantically, communis can be translated to "of or for the community", while isme is a suffix that indicates the abstraction into a state, condition, action, or doctrine. Communism may be interpreted as "the state of being of or for the community"; this semantic constitution has led to numerous usages of the word in its evolution. Prior to becoming associated with its more modern conception of an economic and political organization, it was initially used to designate various social situations. Communism came to be primarily associated with Marxism, most specifically embodied in The Communist Manifesto, which proposed a particular type of communism.[1][70]

One of the first uses of the word in its modern sense is in a letter sent by Victor d'Hupay to Nicolas Restif de la Bretonne around 1785, in which d'Hupay describes himself as an auteur communiste ("communist author").[71] In 1793, Restif first used communisme to describe a social order based on egalitarianism and the common ownership of property.[72] Restif would go on to use the term frequently in his writing and was the first to describe communism as a form of government.[73] John Goodwyn Barmby is credited with the first use of communism in English, around 1840.[68]

Communism and socialism

The hammer and sickle is a common theme of communist symbolism. This is an example of a hammer and sickle and red star design from the flag of the Soviet Union.

Since the 1840s, communism has usually been distinguished from

co-operative, which had previously been used as synonyms. Meanwhile, the term communism fell out of use during this period.[74]

An early distinction between communism and socialism was that the latter aimed to only socialize

to each according to his needs", in contrast to a socialist principle of "to each according to his contribution".[25] Socialism has been described as a philosophy seeking distributive justice, and communism as a subset of socialism that prefers economic equality as its form of distributive justice.[75]

By 1888, Marxists employed socialism in place of communism, which had come to be considered an old-fashioned synonym for the former. It was not until 1917, with the

Communist parties continued to describe themselves as socialists dedicated to socialism.[74]

Both communism and socialism eventually accorded with the cultural attitude of adherents and opponents towards

liberty, equality, and fraternity, Marxists denounced 1848 as a betrayal of working-class ideals by a bourgeoisie indifferent to the legitimate demands of the proletariat.[80]

According to The Oxford Handbook of Karl Marx, "Marx used many terms to refer to a post-capitalist society—positive humanism, socialism, Communism, realm of free individuality, free association of producers, etc. He used these terms completely interchangeably. The notion that 'socialism' and 'Communism' are distinct historical stages is alien to his work and only entered the lexicon of Marxism after his death."[81] According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, "Exactly how communism differs from socialism has long been a matter of debate, but the distinction rests largely on the communists' adherence to the revolutionary socialism of Karl Marx."[1]

Associated usage and Communist states

In the United States, communism is widely used as a pejorative term as part of a

Soviet industrialism and the Khmer Rouge's anti-urbanism.[85] According to Alexander Dallin, the idea to group together different countries, such as Afghanistan and Hungary, has no adequate explanation.[86]

While the term Communist state is used by Western historians, political scientists, and news media to refer to countries ruled by Communist parties, these

History

Early communism

According to

noble classes and the clergy, criticizing the institution of private property, and striving to create an egalitarian society.[92][93] At one time or another, various small communist communities existed, generally under the inspiration of religious text.[51]

In the medieval

Christian universalist teaching that humankind is one and that there is only one god who does not discriminate among people.[98]

Utopia
portrayed a society based on common ownership of property

Communist thought has also been traced back to the works of the 16th-century English writer

Utopia, More portrayed a society based on common ownership of property, whose rulers administered it through the application of reason and virtue.[100] Marxist communist theoretician Karl Kautsky, who popularized Marxist communism in Western Europe more than any other thinker apart from Engels, published Thomas More and His Utopia, a work about More, whose ideas could be regarded as "the foregleam of Modern Socialism" according to Kautsky. During the October Revolution in Russia, Vladimir Lenin suggested that a monument be dedicated to More, alongside other important Western thinkers.[101]

In the 17th century, communist thought surfaced again in England, where a

agrarianist ideals and that Oliver Cromwell's attitude towards these groups was at best ambivalent and often hostile.[103][104] Criticism of the idea of private property continued into the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century through such thinkers as Gabriel Bonnot de Mably, Jean Meslier, Étienne-Gabriel Morelly, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau in France.[105] During the upheaval of the French Revolution, communism emerged as a political doctrine under the auspices of François-Noël Babeuf, Nicolas Restif de la Bretonne, and Sylvain Maréchal, all of whom can be considered the progenitors of modern communism, according to James H. Billington.[106]

In the early 19th century, various social reformers founded communities based on common ownership. Unlike many previous communist communities, they replaced the religious emphasis with a rational and philanthropic basis.[107] Notable among them were Robert Owen, who founded New Harmony, Indiana, in 1825, and Charles Fourier, whose followers organized other settlements in the United States, such as Brook Farm in 1841.[1] In its modern form, communism grew out of the socialist movement in 19th-century Europe. As the Industrial Revolution advanced, socialist critics blamed capitalism for the misery of the proletariat—a new class of urban factory workers who labored under often-hazardous conditions. Foremost among these critics were Marx and his associate Engels. In 1848, Marx and Engels offered a new definition of communism and popularized the term in their famous pamphlet The Communist Manifesto.[1]

Revolutionary wave of 1917–1923

Bolshevik party
Leon Trotsky, founder of the Red Army and a key figure in the October Revolution

In 1917, the

By November 1917, the

coup. In the 1917 Russian Constituent Assembly election, socialist parties totaled well over 70% of the vote. The Bolsheviks were clear winners in the urban centres, and took around two-thirds of the votes of soldiers on the Western Front, obtaining 23.3% of the vote; the Socialist Revolutionaries finished first on the strength of support from the country's rural peasantry, who were for the most part single issue voters, that issue being land reform, obtaining 37.6%, while the Ukrainian Socialist Bloc finished a distant third at 12.7%, and the Mensheviks obtained a disappointing fourth place at 3.0%.[122]

Most of the Socialist Revolutionary Party's seats went to the right-wing faction. Citing outdated voter-rolls, which did not acknowledge the party split, and the assembly's conflicts with the Congress of Soviets, the Bolshevik–Left Socialist-Revolutionaries government moved to dissolve the Constituent Assembly in January 1918. The Draft Decree on the Dissolution of the Constituent Assembly was issued by the

Leninist communism assuming the dominant position for most of the 20th century, excluding rival socialist currents.[124]

Other communists and Marxists, especially

command economy.[125][126][127] Before the Soviet path of development became known as socialism, in reference to the two-stage theory, communists made no major distinction between the socialist mode of production and communism;[81] it is consistent with, and helped to inform, early concepts of socialism in which the law of value no longer directs economic activity. Monetary relations in the form of exchange-value, profit, interest, and wage labor would not operate and apply to Marxist socialism.[26]

While

Mao era, and then became capitalist states ruled by revisionists; others state that Maoist China was always state capitalist, and uphold People's Socialist Republic of Albania as the only socialist state after the Soviet Union under Stalin,[128][129] who first stated to have achieved socialism with the 1936 Constitution of the Soviet Union.[130]

Communist states

Soviet Union

libertarian Marxist current of council communism, remained important dissident communisms outside the Soviet Union. Following Lenin's democratic centralism, the Leninist parties were organized on a hierarchical basis, with active cells of members as the broad base. They were made up only of elite cadres approved by higher members of the party as being reliable and completely subject to party discipline. The Great Purge of 1936–1938 was Joseph Stalin's attempt to destroy any possible opposition within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. In the Moscow trials, many old Bolsheviks who had played prominent roles during the Russian Revolution or in Lenin's Soviet government afterwards, including Lev Kamenev, Grigory Zinoviev, Alexei Rykov, and Nikolai Bukharin, were accused, pleaded guilty of conspiracy against the Soviet Union, and were executed.[134][133]

The devastation of

hydrogen bomb, and strengthened the NATO alliance that covered Western Europe.[136]

According to Gorlizki and Khlevniuk, Stalin's consistent and overriding goal after 1945 was to consolidate the nation's superpower status and in the face of his growing physical decrepitude, to maintain his own hold on total power. Stalin created a leadership system that reflected historic czarist styles of paternalism and repression yet was also quite modern. At the top, personal loyalty to Stalin counted for everything. Stalin also created powerful committees, elevated younger specialists, and began major institutional innovations. In the teeth of persecution, Stalin's deputies cultivated informal norms and mutual understandings which provided the foundations for collective rule after his death.[135]

For most Westerners and

anti-communist Russians, Stalin is viewed overwhelmingly negatively as a mass murderer; for significant numbers of Russians and Georgians, he is regarded as a great statesman and state-builder.[137]

China

After the Chinese Civil War, Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party came to power in 1949 as the Nationalist government headed by the Kuomintang fled to the island of Taiwan. In 1950–1953, China engaged in a large-scale, undeclared war with the United States, South Korea, and United Nations forces in the Korean War. While the war ended in a military stalemate, it gave Mao the opportunity to identify and purge elements in China that seemed supportive of capitalism. At first, there was close cooperation with Stalin, who sent in technical experts to aid the industrialization process along the line of the Soviet model of the 1930s.[138] After Stalin's death in 1953, relations with Moscow soured—Mao thought Stalin's successors had betrayed the Communist ideal. Mao charged that Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was the leader of a "revisionist clique" which had turned against Marxism and Leninism and was now setting the stage for the restoration of capitalism.[139] The two nations were at sword's point by 1960. Both began forging alliances with communist supporters around the globe, thereby splitting the worldwide movement into two hostile camps.[140]

Rejecting the Soviet model of rapid urbanization, Mao Zedong and his top aide Deng Xiaoping launched the Great Leap Forward in 1957–1961 with the goal of industrializing China overnight, using the peasant villages as the base rather than large cities.[141] Private ownership of land ended and the peasants worked in large collective farms that were now ordered to start up heavy industry operations, such as steel mills. Plants were built in remote locations, due to the lack of technical experts, managers, transportation, or needed facilities. Industrialization failed, and the main result was a sharp unexpected decline in agricultural output, which led to mass famine and millions of deaths. The years of the Great Leap Forward in fact saw economic regression, with 1958 through 1961 being the only years between 1953 and 1983 in which China's economy saw negative growth. Political economist Dwight Perkins argues: "Enormous amounts of investment produced only modest increases in production or none at all. ... In short, the Great Leap was a very expensive disaster."[142] Put in charge of rescuing the economy, Deng adopted pragmatic policies that the idealistic Mao disliked. For a while, Mao was in the shadows but returned to center stage and purged Deng and his allies in the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976).[143]

The

personality cult grew to immense proportions. After Mao's death in 1976, the survivors were rehabilitated and many returned to power.[144][page needed
]

Mao's government was responsible for vast numbers of deaths with estimates ranging from 40 to 80 million victims through starvation, persecution, prison labour, and mass executions.[145][146][147][148] Mao has also been praised for transforming China from a semi-colony to a leading world power, with greatly advanced literacy, women's rights, basic healthcare, primary education, and life expectancy.[149][150][151][152]

Cold War

moving toward socialism in orange, and states with constitutional references to socialism
in yellow

Its leading role in World War II saw the emergence of the

People's Republic of China, which would follow its own ideological path of development following the Sino-Soviet split.[156] Communism was seen as a rival of and a threat to Western capitalism for most of the 20th century.[157]

In Western Europe, communist parties were part of several post-war governments, and even when the Cold War forced many of those countries to remove them from government, such as in Italy, they remained part of the

liberal-democratic process.[158][159] There were also many developments in libertarian Marxism, especially during the 1960s with the New Left.[160] By the 1960s and 1970s, many Western communist parties had criticized many of the actions of communist states, distanced from them, and developed a democratic road to socialism, which became known as Eurocommunism.[158] This development was criticized by more orthodox supporters of the Soviet Union as amounting to social democracy.[161]

Since 1957, communists have been frequently voted into power in the Indian state of Kerala.[162]

In 1959, Cuban communist revolutionaries overthrew Cuba's previous government under the dictator Fulgencio Batista. The leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, ruled Cuba from 1959 until 2008.[163]

Dissolution of the Soviet Union

With the fall of the

Russian flag. Previously, from August to December 1991, all the individual republics, including Russia itself, had seceded from the union. The week before the union's formal dissolution, eleven republics signed the Alma-Ata Protocol, formally establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States, and declared that the Soviet Union had ceased to exist.[165][166]

Post-Soviet communism

Communist flag at night at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, year 2024
A poster of the Communist Party of Vietnam in Hanoi

As of 2023, states controlled by Marxist–Leninist parties under a single-party system include the People's Republic of China, the

CPN Maoist), social democrats (Nepali Congress), and others as part of their People's Multiparty Democracy.[169][170] The Communist Party of the Russian Federation has some supporters, but is reformist rather than revolutionary, aiming to lessen the inequalities of Russia's market economy.[1]

Chinese economic reforms were started in 1978 under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, and since then China has managed to bring down the poverty rate from 53% in the Mao era to just 8% in 2001.[171] After losing Soviet subsidies and support, Vietnam and Cuba have attracted more foreign investment to their countries, with their economies becoming more market-oriented.[1] North Korea, the last Communist country that still practices Soviet-style Communism, is both repressive and isolationist.[1]

Theory

Communist political thought and theory are diverse but share several core elements.

humanist Marxism in particular. Common elements include being theoretical rather than ideological, identifying political parties not by ideology but by class and economic interest, and identifying with the proletariat. According to communists, the proletariat can avoid mass unemployment only if capitalism is overthrown; in the short run, state-oriented communists favor state ownership of the commanding heights of the economy as a means to defend the proletariat from capitalist pressure. Some communists are distinguished by other Marxists in seeing peasants and smallholders of property as possible allies in their goal of shortening the abolition of capitalism.[173]

For Leninist communism, such goals, including short-term proletarian interests to improve their political and material conditions, can only be achieved through

libertarian communists.[10] When they engage in elections, Leninist communists' main task is that of educating voters in what are deemed their true interests rather than in response to the expression of interest by voters themselves. When they have gained control of the state, Leninist communists' main task was preventing other political parties from deceiving the proletariat, such as by running their own independent candidates. This vanguardist approach comes from their commitments to democratic centralism in which communists can only be cadres, i.e. members of the party who are full-time professional revolutionaries, as was conceived by Vladimir Lenin.[173]

Marxist communism

A monument dedicated to Karl Marx (left) and Friedrich Engels (right) in Shanghai

Marxism is a method of

idealist attempt at the understanding of material history and society, whereby communism is the expression of a real movement, with parameters that are derived from actual life.[175]

According to Marxist theory, class conflict arises in capitalist societies due to contradictions between the material interests of the oppressed and exploited

alienation of labor experienced by the proletariat, albeit with varying degrees of class consciousness. In periods of deep crisis, the resistance of the oppressed can culminate in a proletarian revolution which, if victorious, leads to the establishment of the socialist mode of production based on social ownership of the means of production, "To each according to his contribution", and production for use. As the productive forces continued to advance, the communist society, i.e. a classless, stateless, humane society based on common ownership, follows the maxim "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."[81]

While it originates from the works of Marx and Engels, Marxism has developed into many different branches and schools of thought, with the result that there is now no single definitive Marxist theory.[174] Different Marxian schools place a greater emphasis on certain aspects of classical Marxism while rejecting or modifying other aspects. Many schools of thought have sought to combine Marxian concepts and non-Marxian concepts, which has then led to contradictory conclusions.[176] There is a movement toward the recognition that historical materialism and dialectical materialism remain the fundamental aspects of all Marxist schools of thought.[93] Marxism–Leninism and its offshoots are the most well-known of these and have been a driving force in international relations during most of the 20th century.[177]

Classical Marxism is the economic, philosophical, and sociological theories expounded by Marx and Engels as contrasted with later developments in Marxism, especially Leninism and Marxism–Leninism.[178] Orthodox Marxism is the body of Marxist thought that emerged after the death of Marx and which became the official philosophy of the socialist movement as represented in the Second International until World War I in 1914. Orthodox Marxism aims to simplify, codify, and systematize Marxist method and theory by clarifying the perceived ambiguities and contradictions of classical Marxism. The philosophy of orthodox Marxism includes the understanding that material development (advances in technology in the productive forces) is the primary agent of change in the structure of society and of human social relations and that social systems and their relations (e.g. feudalism, capitalism, and so on) become contradictory and inefficient as the productive forces develop, which results in some form of social revolution arising in response to the mounting contradictions. This revolutionary change is the vehicle for fundamental society-wide changes and ultimately leads to the emergence of new economic systems.[179] As a term, orthodox Marxism represents the methods of historical materialism and of dialectical materialism, and not the normative aspects inherent to classical Marxism, without implying dogmatic adherence to the results of Marx's investigations.[180]

Marxist concepts

Class conflict and historical materialism

At the root of Marxism is historical materialism, the

private ownership of the means of production, earning profit via the surplus value generated by the proletariat, who have no ownership of the means of production and therefore no option but to sell its labor to the bourgeoisie.[181]

According to the materialist conception of history, it is through the furtherance of its own material interests that the rising bourgeoisie within

bourgeois state but not yet of the capitalist mode of production, and at the same time the only element which places into the realm of possibility moving on from this mode of production. This dictatorship, based on the Paris Commune's model,[183] is to be the most democratic state where the whole of the public authority is elected and recallable under the basis of universal suffrage.[184]

Critique of political economy

Critique of

transhistorical.[190][191] It is seen as merely one of many types of historically specific ways to distribute resources. They argue that it is a relatively new mode of resource distribution, which emerged along with modernity.[192][193][194]

Critics of economy critique the given status of the economy itself, and do not aim to create theories regarding how to administer economies.

metaphysical concepts, as well as societal and normative practices, rather than being the result of any self-evident or proclaimed economic laws.[189] They also tend to consider the views which are commonplace within the field of economics as faulty, or simply as pseudoscience.[197][198] Into the 21st century, there are multiple critiques of political economy; what they have in common is the critique of what critics of political economy tend to view as dogma, i.e. claims of the economy as a necessary and transhistorical societal category.[199]

Marxian economics

Marxian economics and its proponents view capitalism as economically unsustainable and incapable of improving the living standards of the population due to its need to compensate for

communist mode of production would succeed capitalism as humanity's new mode of production through workers' revolution. According to Marxian crisis theory, communism is not an inevitability but an economic necessity.[200]

Socialization versus nationalization

An important concept in Marxism is socialization, i.e.

state capitalist, a view that is also shared by several scholars.[46][125][127]

Democracy in Marxism
In
Principles of Communism

While Marxists propose replacing the bourgeois state with a proletarian semi-state through revolution (

communal society, are the same.[209]

Karl Marx criticized liberalism as not democratic enough and found the unequal social situation of the workers during the Industrial Revolution undermined the democratic agency of citizens.[210] Marxists differ in their positions towards democracy.[211][212]

controversy over Marx's legacy today turns largely on its ambiguous relation to democracy

— Robert Meister[213]
Some argue democratic decision-making consistent with Marxism should include voting on how
surplus labor is to be organized.[214]

Leninist communism

We want to achieve a new and better order of society: in this new and better society there must be neither rich nor poor; all will have to work. Not a handful of rich people, but all the working people must enjoy the fruits of their common labour. Machines and other improvements must serve to ease the work of all and not to enable a few to grow rich at the expense of millions and tens of millions of people. This new and better society is called socialist society. The teachings about this society are called "socialism".

Vladimir Lenin, To the Rural Poor (1903)[215]

Leninism is a political ideology developed by Russian

vanguard party, as the political prelude to the establishment of communism. The function of the Leninist vanguard party is to provide the working classes with the political consciousness (education and organisation) and revolutionary leadership necessary to depose capitalism in the Russian Empire (1721–1917).[216]

Leninist revolutionary leadership is based upon The Communist Manifesto (1848), identifying the Communist party as "the most advanced and resolute section of the working class parties of every country; that section which pushes forward all others." As the vanguard party, the Bolsheviks viewed history through the theoretical framework of dialectical materialism, which sanctioned political commitment to the successful overthrow of capitalism, and then to instituting socialism; and as the revolutionary national government, to realize the socio-economic transition by all means.[217][full citation needed]

Marxism–Leninism

Vladimir Lenin statue in Kolkata, West Bengal

Marxism–Leninism is a political ideology developed by

Communist bloc as a dynamic ideological order.[222][c]

During the Cold War, Marxism–Leninism was the ideology of the most clearly visible communist movement and is the most prominent ideology associated with communism.

proletariat revolution was imminent but could be prevented by social democrats and other fascist forces.[224][225] The term social fascist was used pejoratively to describe social-democratic parties, anti-Comintern and progressive socialist parties and dissenters within Comintern affiliates throughout the interwar period. The social fascism theory was advocated vociferously by the Communist Party of Germany, which was largely controlled and funded by the Soviet leadership from 1928.[225]

Within Marxism–Leninism,

imperialist power while maintaining a socialist façade.[226] Hoxha agreed with Mao in this analysis, before later using the expression to also condemn Mao's Three Worlds Theory.[227]

Stalinism
leader of the Soviet Union

Stalinism represents Stalin's style of governance as opposed to Marxism–Leninism, the

death of Joseph Stalin in 1953, the Soviet Communist party referred to its own ideology as Marxism–Leninism–Stalinism.[173]

Marxism–Leninism has been criticized by other communist and Marxist tendencies, which state that Marxist–Leninist states did not establish socialism but rather state capitalism.[46][125][127] According to Marxism, the dictatorship of the proletariat represents the rule of the majority (democracy) rather than of one party, to the extent that the co-founder of Marxism, Friedrich Engels, described its "specific form" as the democratic republic.[228] According to Engels, state property by itself is private property of capitalist nature,[b] unless the proletariat has control of political power, in which case it forms public property.[e] Whether the proletariat was actually in control of the Marxist–Leninist states is a matter of debate between Marxism–Leninism and other communist tendencies. To these tendencies, Marxism–Leninism is neither Marxism nor Leninism nor the union of both but rather an artificial term created to justify Stalin's ideological distortion,[229] forced into the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Comintern. In the Soviet Union, this struggle against Marxism–Leninism was represented by Trotskyism, which describes itself as a Marxist and Leninist tendency.[230]

Trotskyism
Detail of Man, Controller of the Universe, fresco at Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City showing Leon Trotsky, Friedrich Engels, and Karl Marx

Trotskyism, developed by Leon Trotsky in opposition to Stalinism,[231] is a Marxist and Leninist tendency that supports the theory of permanent revolution and world revolution rather than the two-stage theory and Stalin's socialism in one country. It supported another communist revolution in the Soviet Union and proletarian internationalism.[232]

Rather than representing the dictatorship of the proletariat, Trotsky claimed that the Soviet Union had become a degenerated workers' state under the leadership of Stalin in which class relations had re-emerged in a new form. Trotsky's politics differed sharply from those of Stalin and Mao, most importantly in declaring the need for an international proletarian revolution—rather than socialism in one country—and support for a true dictatorship of the proletariat based on democratic principles. Struggling against Stalin for power in the Soviet Union, Trotsky and his supporters organized into the Left Opposition,[233] the platform of which became known as Trotskyism.[231]

Stalin eventually succeeded in gaining control of the Soviet regime and Trotskyist attempts to remove Stalin from power resulted in Trotsky's exile from the Soviet Union in 1929. While in exile, Trotsky continued his campaign against Stalin, founding in 1938 the

Pabloism.[237][238]

Maoism
Long Live the Victory of Mao Zedong Thought monument in Shenyang

Maoism is the theory derived from the teachings of the Chinese political leader Mao Zedong. Developed from the 1950s until the Deng Xiaoping Chinese economic reform in the 1970s, it was widely applied as the guiding political and military ideology of the Communist Party of China and as the theory guiding revolutionary movements around the world. A key difference between Maoism and other forms of Marxism–Leninism is that peasants should be the bulwark of the revolutionary energy which is led by the working class.[239] Three common Maoist values are revolutionary populism, being practical, and dialectics.[240]

The synthesis of Marxism–Leninism–Maoism,

anti-revisionist tendencies like Hoxhaism and Maoism stated that such had deviated from its original concept. Different policies were applied in Albania and China, which became more distanced from the Soviet Union. From the 1960s, groups who called themselves Maoists, or those who upheld Maoism, were not unified around a common understanding of Maoism, instead having their own particular interpretations of the political, philosophical, economical, and military works of Mao. Its adherents claim that as a unified, coherent higher stage of Marxism, it was not consolidated until the 1980s, first being formalized by the Shining Path in 1982.[241] Through the experience of the people's war waged by the party, the Shining Path were able to posit Maoism as the newest development of Marxism.[241]

Eurocommunism

All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) during the Cold War.[158] Eurocommunists tended to have a larger attachment to liberty and democracy than their Marxist–Leninist counterparts.[242] Enrico Berlinguer, general secretary of Italy's major Communist party, was widely considered the father of Eurocommunism.[243]

Libertarian Marxist communism

Libertarian Marxism is a broad range of economic and political philosophies that emphasize the

social democrats.[247] Libertarian Marxist currents often draw from Marx and Engels' later works, specifically the Grundrisse and The Civil War in France,[248] emphasizing the Marxist belief in the ability of the working class to forge its own destiny without the need for a revolutionary party or state to mediate or aid its liberation.[249] Along with anarchism, libertarian Marxism is one of the main derivatives of libertarian socialism.[250]

Aside from left communism, libertarian Marxism includes such currents as

Maurice Brinton, Daniel Guérin, and Yanis Varoufakis,[252] the latter of whom claims that Marx himself was a libertarian Marxist.[253]

Council communism

Rosa Luxemburg

Council communism is a movement that originated from Germany and the Netherlands in the 1920s,

party dictatorship
. Council communists support a workers' democracy, produced through a federation of workers' councils.

In contrast to those of

vanguard parties and participative democratic centralism on the other.[260][256]

Left communism

Left communism is the range of communist viewpoints held by the communist left, which criticizes the political ideas and practices espoused, particularly following the series of revolutions that brought

second congress (July–August 1920).[245][262][263]

Left communists represent a range of political movements distinct from

Bordigism is a Leninist left-communist current named after Amadeo Bordiga, who has been described as being "more Leninist than Lenin", and considered himself to be a Leninist.[265]

Other types of communism

Anarcho-communism

anarcho-communism

Anarcho-communism is a

libertarian theory of anarchism and communism which advocates the abolition of the state, private property, and capitalism in favor of common ownership of the means of production;[266][267] direct democracy; and a horizontal network of voluntary associations and workers' councils with production and consumption based on the guiding principle, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need".[268][269] Anarcho-communism differs from Marxism in that it rejects its view about the need for a state socialism phase prior to establishing communism. Peter Kropotkin, the main theorist of anarcho-communism, stated that a revolutionary society should "transform itself immediately into a communist society", that it should go immediately into what Marx had regarded as the "more advanced, completed, phase of communism".[270] In this way, it tries to avoid the reappearance of class divisions and the need for a state to be in control.[270]

Some forms of anarcho-communism, such as

communitarian nature at all. Most anarcho-communists view anarchist communism as a way of reconciling the opposition between the individual and society.[g][274][275]

Christian communism

Christian communism is a theological and political theory based upon the view that the teachings of Jesus Christ compel Christians to support religious communism as the ideal social system.[51] Although there is no universal agreement on the exact dates when communistic ideas and practices in Christianity began, many Christian communists state that evidence from the Bible suggests that the first Christians, including the Apostles in the New Testament, established their own small communist society in the years following Jesus' death and resurrection.[276]

Many advocates of Christian communism state that it was taught by Jesus and practiced by the apostles themselves,

Kingdom of God on Earth."[284]

Analysis

Reception

Emily Morris from

Russian Revolution of 1917, communism is "commonly confused with the political and economic system that developed in the Soviet Union" after the revolution.[70][h] Morris also wrote that Soviet-style communism "did not 'work'." due to "an over-centralised, oppressive, bureaucratic and rigid economic and political system."[70] Historian Andrzej Paczkowski summarized communism as "an ideology that seemed clearly the opposite, that was based on the secular desire of humanity to achieve equality and social justice, and that promised a great leap forward into freedom."[58] In contrast, Austrian-American economist Ludwig von Mises argued that by abolishing free markets, communist officials would not have the price system necessary to guide their planned production.[285]

Anti-communism developed as soon as communism became a conscious political movement in the 19th century, and anti-communist mass killings have been reported against alleged communists, or their alleged supporters, which were committed by anti-communists and political organizations or governments opposed to communism. The communist movement has faced opposition since it was founded and the opposition to it has often been organized and violent. Many of these anti-communist mass killing campaigns, primarily during the Cold War,[286][287] were supported by the United States and its Western Bloc allies,[288][289] including those who were formally part of the Non-Aligned Movement, such as the Indonesian mass killings of 1965–66 and Operation Condor in South America.[290][291]

Excess mortality in Communist states

Many authors have written about excess deaths under Communist states and mortality rates,[note 5] such as excess mortality in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin.[note 6] Some authors posit that there is a Communist death toll, whose death estimates vary widely, depending on the definitions of the deaths that are included in them, ranging from lows of 10–20 million to highs over 100 million. The higher estimates have been criticized by several scholars as ideologically motivated and inflated; they are also criticized for being inaccurate due to incomplete data, inflated by counting any excess death, making an unwarranted link to communism, and the grouping and body-counting itself. Higher estimates account for actions that Communist governments committed against civilians, including executions, human-made famines, and deaths that occurred during, or resulted from, imprisonment, and forced deportations and labor. Higher estimates are criticized for being based on sparse and incomplete data when significant errors are inevitable, and for being skewed to higher possible values.[57] Others have argued that, while certain estimates may not be accurate, "quibbling about numbers is unseemly. What matters is that many, many people were killed by communist regimes."[48] Historian Mark Bradley wrote that while the exact numbers have been in dispute, the order of magnitude is not.[292]

There is no consensus among

Communist mass killing, alongside colonial, counter-guerrilla, and ethnic mass killing, as a subtype of dispossessive mass killing to distinguish it from coercive mass killing.[310] Genocide scholars do not consider ideology,[302] or regime-type, as an important factor that explains mass killings.[311] Some authors, such as John Gray,[312] Daniel Goldhagen,[313] and Richard Pipes,[314] consider the ideology of communism to be a significant causative factor in mass killings. Some connect killings in Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union, Mao Zedong's China, and Pol Pot's Cambodia on the basis that Stalin influenced Mao, who influenced Pol Pot; in all cases, scholars say killings were carried out as part of a policy of an unbalanced modernization process of rapid industrialization.[56][note 12] Daniel Goldhagen argues that 20th century communist regimes "have killed more people than any other regime type."[316]

Some authors and politicians, such as

OSCE in Europe in July 2009. Among many scholars in Western Europe, the comparison of the two regimes and equivalence of their crimes has been, and still is, widely rejected.[326]

Memory and legacy

Criticism of communism can be divided into two broad categories, namely that

excess deaths under Communist states as an indictment of communism as an ideology.[319][320][321] Defenders of communism on the political left say that the deaths were caused by specific authoritarian regimes and not communism as an ideology, while also pointing to anti-communist mass killings and deaths in wars that they argue were caused by capitalism and anti-communism as a counterpoint to the deaths under Communist states.[287][48][320]

According to Hungarian sociologist and politician András Bozóki, positive aspects of communist countries included support for social mobility and equality, the elimination of illiteracy, urbanization, more accessible healthcare and housing, regional mobility with public transportation, the elimination of semi-feudal hierarchies, more women entering the labor market, and free access to higher education. Negative aspects of communist countries, on the other hand according to Bozóki included the suppression of freedom, the loss of trust in civil society; a culture of fear and corruption; reduced international travel; dependency on the party and state; Central Europe becoming a satellite of the Soviet Union; the creation of closed societies, leading to xenophobia, racism, prejudice, cynicism and pessimism; women only being emancipated in the workforce; the oppression of national identity; and relativist ethical societal standards.[329]

victims of Communism" concept,[331] has become accepted scholarship, as part of the double genocide theory, in Eastern Europe and among anti-communists in general;[332] it is rejected by some Western European[326] and other scholars, especially when it is used to equate Communism and Nazism, which is seen by scholars as a long-discredited perspective.[333] The narrative posits that famines and mass deaths by Communist states can be attributed to a single cause and that communism, as "the deadliest ideology in history", or in the words of Jonathan Rauch as "the deadliest fantasy in human history",[334] represents the greatest threat to humanity.[320] Proponents posit an alleged link between communism, left-wing politics, and socialism with genocide, mass killing, and totalitarianism,[335] with some authors, such as George Watson, advocating a common history stretching from Marx to Adolf Hitler.[317] Some right-wing authors allege that Marx was responsible for Nazism and the Holocaust.[336]

Some authors, as Stéphane Courtois, propose a theory of equivalence between class and racial genocide.[337] It is supported by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, with 100 million being the most common estimate used from The Black Book of Communism despite some of the authors of the book distancing themselves from the estimates made by Stephen Courtois.[48] Various museums and monuments have been constructed in remembrance of the victims of Communism, with support of the European Union and various governments in Canada, Eastern Europe, and the United States.[66][67] Works such as The Black Book of Communism and Bloodlands legitimized debates on the comparison of Nazism and Stalinism,[337][338] and by extension communism, and the former work in particular was important in the criminalization of communism.[66][67] According to Freedom House, Communism is "considered one of the two great totalitarian movements of the 20th century", the other being Nazism, but added that "there is an important difference in how the world has treated these two execrable phenomena.":[339]

The failure of Communist governments to live up to the ideal of a communist society, their general trend towards increasing authoritarianism, their bureaucracy, and the inherent inefficiencies in their economies have been linked to the decline of communism in the late 20th century.[1][44][45] Walter Scheidel stated that despite wide-reaching government actions, Communist states failed to achieve long-term economic, social, and political success.[340] The experience of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the North Korean famine, and alleged economic underperformance when compared to developed free market systems are cited as examples of Communist states failing to build a successful state while relying entirely on what they view as orthodox Marxism.[341][342][page needed] Despite those shortcomings, Philipp Ther stated that there was a general increase in the standard of living throughout Eastern Bloc countries as the result of modernization programs under Communist governments.[343]

Most experts agree there was a significant increase in mortality rates following the years 1989 and 1991, including a 2014

United Nations Human Development Index and political freedom, in addition to developing better institutions. The institute also stated that the process of privatization in Russia was "deeply flawed" due to Russia's reforms being "far less rapid" than those of Central Europe and the Baltic states.[351]

The average post-Communist country had returned to 1989 levels of per-capita GDP by 2005.

nostalgia for the Communist era.[48][354][355] In 2011, The Guardian published an analysis of the former Soviet countries twenty years after the fall of the USSR. They found that "GDP fell as much as 50 percent in the 1990s in some republics... as capital flight, industrial collapse, hyperinflation and tax avoidance took their toll", but that there was a rebound in the 2000s, and by 2010 "some economies were five times as big as they were in 1991." Life expectancy has grown since 1991 in some of the countries, but fallen in others; likewise, some held free and fair elections, while others remained authoritarian.[356] By 2019, the majority of people in most Eastern European countries approved of the shift to multiparty democracy and a market economy, with approval being highest among residents of Poland and residents in the territory of what was once East Germany, and disapproval being the highest among residents of Russia and Ukraine. In addition, 61 percent said that standards of living were now higher than they had been under Communism, while only 31 percent said that they were worse, with the remaining 8 percent saying that they did not know or that standards of living had not changed.[357]

According to Grigore Pop-Eleches and Joshua Tucker in their book Communism's Shadow: Historical Legacies and Contemporary Political Attitudes, citizens of post-Communist countries are less supportive of democracy and more supportive of government-provided social welfare. They also found that those who lived under Communist rule were more likely to be left-authoritarian (referencing the

labor movements and social welfare states in the United States and other Western societies. Gerstle argues that organized labor in the United States was strongest when the threat of communism reached its peak, and the decline of both organized labor and the welfare state coincided with the collapse of communism. Both Gerstle and Scheidel posit that as economic elites in the West became more fearful of possible communist revolutions in their own societies, especially as the tyranny and violence associated with communist governments became more apparent, the more willing they were to compromise with the working class, and much less so once the threat waned.[361][362]

See also

Works

References

Citations

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  167. . Because many communists now call themselves democratic socialists, it is sometimes difficult to know what a political label really means. As a result, social democratic has become a common new label for democratic socialist political parties.
  168. . In the 1990s, following the collapse of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe and the breakup of the Soviet Union, social democracy was adopted by some of the old communist parties. Hence, parties such as the Czech Social Democratic Party, the Bulgarian Social Democrats, the Estonian Social Democratic Party, and the Romanian Social Democratic Party, among others, achieved varying degrees of electoral success. Similar processes took place in Africa as the old communist parties were transformed into social democratic ones, even though they retained their traditional titles ... .
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  174. ^ . The German Marxists extended the theory to groups and issues Marx had barely touched. Marxian analyses of the legal system, of the social role of women, of foreign trade, of international rivalries among capitalist nations, and the role of parliamentary democracy in the transition to socialism drew animated debates ... Marxian theory (singular) gave way to Marxian theories (plural).
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  176. . Marxist political economists differ over their definitions of capitalism, socialism and communism. These differences are so fundamental, the arguments among differently persuaded Marxist political economists have sometimes been as intense as their oppositions to political economies that celebrate capitalism.
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  187. .
  188. . ... Ruskin attempted a methodological/scientific critique of political economy. He fixed on ideas of 'natural laws', 'economic man' and the prevailing notion of 'value' to point out gaps and inconsistencies in the system of classical economics.
  189. ^ . 'To criticize Political Economy' means to confront it with a new problematic and a new object: i.e., to question the very object of Political Economy
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  334. ^ Mrozick, Agnieszka (2019). Kuligowski, Piotr; Moll, Łukasz; Szadkowski, Krystian (eds.). "Anti-Communism: It's High Time to Diagnose and Counteract". Praktyka Teoretyczna [pl]. Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. 1 (31, Anti-Communisms: Discourses of Exclusion): 178–184. Retrieved 26 December 2020 – via Central and Eastern European Online Library. First is the prevalence of a totalitarian paradigm, in which Nazism and Communism are equated as the most atrocious ideas and systems in human history (because communism, defined by Marx as a classless society with common means of production, has never been realised anywhere in the world, in further parts I will be putting this concept into inverted commas as an example of discursive practice). Significantly, while in the Western debate the more precise term 'Stalinism' is used – in 2008, on the 70th anniversary of the Ribbentrop–Molotov Pact, the European Parliament established 23 August as the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism – hardly anyone in Poland is paying attention to niceties: 'communism' or the left, is perceived as totalitarian here. A homogenizing sequence of associations (the left is communism, communism is totalitarianism, ergo the left is totalitarian) and the ahistorical character of the concepts used (no matter if we talk about the USSR in the 1930s under Stalin, Maoist China from the period of the Cultural Revolution, or Poland under Gierek, 'communism' is murderous all the same) not only serves the denigration of the Polish People's Republic, expelling this period from Polish history, but also – or perhaps primarily – the deprecation of Marxism, leftist programs, and any hopes and beliefs in Marxism and leftist activity as a remedy for capitalist exploitation, social inequality, fascist violence on a racist and anti-Semitic basis, as well as homophobic and misogynist violence. The totalitarian paradigm not only equates fascism and socialism (in Poland and the countries of the former Eastern bloc stubbornly called 'communism' and pressed into the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union, which should additionally emphasize its foreignness), but in fact recognizes the latter as worse, more sinister (the Black Book of Communism (1997) is of help here as it estimates the number of victims of 'communism' at around 100 million; however, it is critically commented on by researchers on the subject, including historian Enzo Traverso in the book L'histoire comme champ de bataille (2011)). Thus, anti-communism not only delegitimises the left, including communists, and depreciates the contribution of the left to the breakdown of fascism in 1945, but also contributes to the rehabilitation of the latter, as we can see in recent cases in Europe and other places. (Quote at pp. 178–179)
  335. ^ Moll, Łukasz (2019). Kuligowski, Piotr; Moll, Łukasz; Szadkowski, Krystian (eds.). "Erasure of the Common: From Polish Anti-Communism to Universal Anti-Capitalism". Praktyka Teoretyczna [pl]. Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. 1 (31, Anti-Communisms: Discourses of Exclusion): 178–184. Retrieved 26 December 2020 – via Central and Eastern European Online Library. As we have learned lately from public television, when the two hundredth anniversary of Karl Marx's birthday was celebrated abroad, according to right-wing journalists Marx was responsible even for Nazism and the Holocaust (Leszczyński 2018). As former Foreign Minister in Law and Justice's government Witold Waszczykowski elaborated in an interview with German daily newspaper Bild:

    We just want to heal our country of certain diseases. The previous government applied a left-wing concept. As if the world, according to the Marxist model, must move in only one direction, towards a mixture of cultures and a world of cyclists and vegetarians, which stands only for renewable energy and combating all forms of religion. This has nothing in common with traditional Polish values (Cienski 2017).

    It is hard to find a better manifestation of right-wing all-encompassing anti-communism, which mixes together nearly all possible progressive discourses. (Quote at pp. 126–127)
  336. ^ .
  337. .
  338. ^ Puddington, Arch (23 March 2017). "In Modern Dictatorships, Communism's Legacy Lingers On". Freedom House. Retrieved 5 August 2023.
  339. .
  340. .
  341. .
  342. . Stalinist regimes aimed to catapult the predominantly agrarian societies into the modern age by swift industrialization. At the same time, they hoped to produce politically loyal working classes by mass employment in large state industries. Steelworks were built in Eisenhüttenstadt (GDR), Nowa Huta (Poland), Košice (Slovakia), and Miskolc (Hungary), as were various mechanical engineering and chemical combines and other industrial sites. As a result of communist modernization, living standards in Eastern Europe rose. Planned economies, moreover, meant that wages, salaries, and the prices of consumer goods were fixed. Although the communists were not able to cancel out all regional differences, they succeeded in creating largely egalitarian societies.
  343. ^ .
  344. . Following the dissolution of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and then of the Soviet Union itself in late 1991, exploding poverty drove the surge in income inequality.
  345. . "If, in 1987–1988, 2 percent of the Russian people lived in poverty (i.e., survived on less than $4 a day), by 1993–1995 the number reached 50 percent: in just seven years half the Russian population became destitute.
  346. ^ Hauck (2016); Gerr, Raskina & Tsyplakova (2017); Safaei (2011); Mackenbach (2012); Leon (2013)
  347. PMID 12011202
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  348. ^ Chavez, Lesly Allyn (June 2014). "The Effects of Communism on Romania's Population". Retrieved 4 January 2021.
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  350. ^ Havrylyshyn, Oleh; Meng, Xiaofan; Tupy, Marian L. (12 July 2016). "25 Years of Reforms in Ex-Communist Countries". Cato Institute. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  351. .
  352. . So, what is the balance sheet of transition? Only three or at most five or six countries could be said to be on the road to becoming a part of the rich and (relatively) stable capitalist world. Many of the other countries are falling behind, and some are so far behind that they cannot aspire to go back to the point where they were when the Wall fell for several decades.
  353. .
  354. ^ "Confidence in Democracy and Capitalism Wanes in Former Soviet Union". Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  355. ^ Rice-Oxley, Mark; Sedghi, Ami; Ridley, Jenny; Magill, Sasha (17 August 2011). "End of the USSR: visualising how the former Soviet countries are doing, 20 years on | Russia". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  356. ^ Wike, Richard; Poushter, Jacob; Silver, Laura; Devlin, Kat; Fetterolf, Janell; Castillo, Alexandra; Huang, Christine (15 October 2019). "European Public Opinion Three Decades After the Fall of Communism". Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project. Retrieved 15 June 2023.
  357. ^ Pop-Eleches, Grigore; Tucker, Joshua (12 November 2019). "Europe's communist regimes began to collapse 30 years ago, but still shape political views". The Washington Post. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  358. ^ Ehms, Jule (9 March 2014). "The Communist Horizon". Marx & Philosophy Society. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  359. .
  360. .
  361. ^ Taylor, Matt (22 February 2017). "One Recipe for a More Equal World: Mass Death". Vice. Retrieved 27 June 2022.

Explanatory footnotes

  1. political left.[13][14] Unlike far-right politics, for which there is general consensus among scholars on what it entails and its grouping (e.g. various academic handbooks studies), far-left politics have been difficult to characterize, particularly where they begin on the political spectrum, other than the general consensus of being to the left of a standard political left, and because many of their positions are not extreme,[15] or because far-left and hard left are considered to be pejoratives that imply they are marginal.[16] In regards to communism and communist parties and movements, some scholars narrow the far left to their left, while others include them by broadening it to be the left of mainstream socialist, social-democratic, and labourist parties.[17] In general, they agree that there are various subgroupings within far-left politics, such as the radical left and the extreme left.[18][19]
  2. revolutionary politics or engage in scientific analysis; that was done by Marxist communism, which has defined mainstream, modern communism, and has influenced all modern forms of communism. Such communisms, especially new religious or utopian forms of communism, may share the Marxist analysis, while favoring evolutionary politics, localism, or reformism. By the 20th century, communism has been associated with revolutionary socialism.[21]
  3. Marxist–Leninist communism as applied by Communist states in the 20th century) only began in 1917.[30] Alan M. Wald wrote: "In order to tackle complex and often misunderstood political-literary relationships, I have adopted methods of capitalization in this book that may deviate from editorial norms practiced at certain journals and publishing houses. In particular, I capitalize 'Communist' and 'Communism' when referring to official parties of the Third International, but not when pertaining to other adherents of Bolshevism or revolutionary Marxism (which encompasses small-'c' communists such as Trotskyists, Bukharinists, council communists, and so forth)."[31] In 1994, Communist Party USA activist Irwin Silber wrote: "When capitalized, the International Communist Movement refers to the formal organizational structure of the pro-Soviet Communist Parties. In lower case, the international communist movement is a more generic term referring to the general movement for communism."[32]
  4. ^
    Korean ultranationalism,[40] which eventually developed after losing its original Marxist–Leninist elements.[41] According to North Korea: A Country Study by Robert L. Worden, Marxism–Leninism was abandoned immediately after the start of de-Stalinization in the Soviet Union and has been totally replaced by Juche since at least 1974.[42] Daniel Schwekendiek wrote that what made North Korean Marxism–Leninism distinct from that of China and the Soviet Union was that it incorporated national feelings and macro-historical elements in the socialist ideology, opting for its "own style of socialism". The major Korean elements are the emphasis on traditional Confucianism and the memory of the traumatic experience of Korea under Japanese rule, as well as a focus on autobiographical features of Kim Il Sung as a guerrilla hero.[43]
  5. ^
    Khmer Rouge rule of Cambodia), plus Kim Il Sung's North Korea and Ho Chi Minh's Vietnam. Rosefielde's main point is that Communism in general, although he focuses mostly on Stalinism, is less genocidal and that is a key distinction from Nazism, and did not make a connection between all Communist states or communism as an ideology. Rosefielde wrote that "the conditions for the Red Holocaust were rooted in Stalin's, Kim's, Mao's, Ho's and Pol Pot's siege-mobilized terror-command economic systems, not in Marx's utopian vision or other pragmatic communist transition mechanisms. Terror-command was chosen among other reasons because of legitimate fears about the long-term viability of terror-free command, and the ideological risks of market communism."[61]
  6. ^
    Timothy D. Snyder stated it is taken for granted that Stalin killed more civilians than Hitler; for most scholars, excess mortality under Stalin was about 6 million, which rise to 9 million if foreseeable deaths arising from policies are taken into account. This estimate is less than those killed by Nazis, who killed more noncombatants than the Soviets did.[65]
  7. ^ While the Bolsheviks rested on hope of success of the 1917–1923 wave of proletarian revolutions in Western Europe before resulting in the socialism in one country policy after their failure, Marx's view on the mir was shared not by self-professed Russian Marxists, who were mechanistic determinists, but by the Narodniks[113] and the Socialist Revolutionary Party,[114] one of the successors to the Narodniks, alongside the Popular Socialists and the Trudoviks.[115]
  8. Prachanda Path (Nepal), Shining Path (Peru), and Titoism (anti-Stalinist Yugoslavia).[223][d]
  9. xenophobic ideology bearing a stronger resemblance to "an almost forgotten phenomenon of national socialism", or fascism, rather than communism,[298] while historian Ben Kiernan described it as "more racist and generically totalitarian than Marxist or specifically Communist",[299] or do not discuss Communist states, other than passing mentions. Such work is mainly done in an attempt to prevent genocides but has been described by scholars as a failure.[300]
  10. Indonesian mass killings of 1965–1966 (genocide and politicide), and some events which happened under Communist states, such as the 1959 Tibetan uprising (genocide and politicide), the Cambodian genocide (genocide and politicide), and the Cultural Revolution (politicide), but no comparative analysis or communist link is drawn, other than the events just happened to take place in some Communist states in Eastern Asia. The Harff database is the most frequently used by genocide scholars.[302] Rudolph Rummel operated a similar database, but it was not limited to Communist states, it is mainly for statistical analysis, and in a comparative analysis has been criticized by other scholars,[303] over that of Harff,[301] for his estimates and statistical methodology, which showed some flaws.[304]
  11. ^ In their criticism of The Black Book of Communism, which popularized the topic, several scholars have questioned, in the words of Alexander Dallin, "[w]hether all these cases, from Hungary to Afghanistan, have a single essence and thus deserve to be lumped together—just because they are labeled Marxist or communist—is a question the authors scarcely discuss."[86] In particular, historians Jens Mecklenburg and Wolfgang Wippermann stated that a connection between the events in Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union and Pol Pot's Cambodia are far from evident and that Pol Pot's study of Marxism in Paris is insufficient for connecting radical Soviet industrialism and the Khmer Rouge's murderous anti-urbanism under the same category.[306] Historian Michael David-Fox criticized the figures as well as the idea to combine loosely connected events under a single category of Communist death toll, blaming Stéphane Courtois for their manipulation and deliberate inflation which are presented to advocate the idea that communism was a greater evil than Nazism. David-Fox criticized the idea to connect the deaths with some "generic Communism" concept, defined down to the common denominator of party movements founded by intellectuals.[85] A similar criticism was made by Le Monde.[307] Allegation of a communist or red Holocaust is not popular among scholars in Germany or internationally,[308] and is considered a form of softcore antisemitism and Holocaust trivialization.[309]
  12. politicide,[311] was stopped by Communist Vietnam, and there have been allegations of United States support for the Khmer Rouge. South East Asian communism was deeply divided, as China supported the Khmer Rouge, while the Soviet Union and Vietnam opposed it. The United States supported Lon Nol, who seized power in the 1970 Cambodian coup d'état, and research has shown that everything in Cambodia was seen as a legitimate target by the United States, whose verdict of its main leaders at that time (Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger) has been harsh, and bombs were gradually dropped on increasingly densely populated areas.[56]

Quotes

  1. ^ March (2009), p. 127: "The 'communists' are a broad group. Without Moscow's pressure, 'orthodox' communism does not exist beyond a commitment to Marxism and the communist name and symbols. 'Conservative' communists define themselves as Marxist–Leninist, maintain a relatively uncritical stance towards the Soviet heritage, organize their parties through Leninist democratic centralism and still see the world through the Cold-War prism of 'imperialism,' although even these parties often appeal to nationalism and populism. 'Reform' communists, on the other hand, are more divergent and eclectic. They have discarded aspects of the Soviet model (for example, Leninism and democratic centralism), and have at least paid lip service to elements of the post-1968 'new left' agenda (a (feminism, environmentalism, grass-roots democracy, and so on)."[172]
  2. ^ a b Engels (1970), pp. 95–151: "But, the transformation—either into joint-stock companies and trusts, or into State-ownership—does not do away with the capitalistic nature of the productive forces. In the joint-stock companies and trusts, this is obvious. And the modern State, again, is only the organization that bourgeois society takes on in order to support the external conditions of the capitalist mode of production against the encroachments as well of the workers as of individual capitalists. The modern state, no matter what its form, is essentially a capitalist machine—the state of the capitalists, the ideal personification of the total national capital. The more it proceeds to the taking over of productive forces, the more does it actually become the national capitalist, the more citizens does it exploit. The workers remain wage-workers—proletarians. The capitalist relation is not done away with. It is, rather, brought to a head. But, brought to a head, it topples over. State-ownership of the productive forces is not the solution of the conflict, but concealed within it are the technical conditions that form the elements of that solution."
  3. ^ Morgan (2015): "'Marxism–Leninism' was the formal name of the official state ideology adopted by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), its satellite states in Eastern Europe, the Asian communist regimes, and various 'scientific socialist' regimes in the Third World during the Cold War. As such, the term is simultaneously misleading and revealing. It is misleading, since neither Marx nor Lenin ever sanctioned the creation of an eponymous 'ism'; indeed, the term Marxism–Leninism was formulated only in the period of Stalin's rise to power after Lenin's death. It is revealing, because the Stalinist institutionalization of Marxism–Leninism in the 1930s did contain three identifiable, dogmatic principles that became the explicit model for all later Soviet-type regimes: dialectical materialism as the only true proletarian basis for philosophy, the leading role of the communist party as the central principle of Marxist politics, and state-led planned industrialization and agricultural collectivization as the foundation of socialist economics. The global influence of these three doctrinal and institutional innovations makes the term Marxist–Leninist a convenient label for a distinct sort of ideological order—one which, at the height of its power and influence, dominated one-third of the world's population."
  4. ^ Morgan (2001): "As communist Parties emerged around the world, encouraged both by the success of the Soviet Party in establishing Russia's independence from foreign domination and by clandestine monetary subsidies from the Soviet comrades, they became identifiable by their adherence to a common political ideology known as Marxism–Leninism. Of course from the very beginning Marxism–Leninism existed in many variants. The conditions were themselves an effort to enforce a minimal degree of uniformity on diverse conceptions of communist identity. Adherence to the ideas of 'Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky' characterized the Trotskyists who soon broke off in a 'Fourth International'."
  5. ^ Engels (1970): "The proletariat seizes the public power, and by means of this transforms the socialized means of production, slipping from the hands of the bourgeoisie, into public property. By this act, the proletariat frees the means of production from the character of capital they have thus far borne, and gives their socialized character complete freedom to work itself out."
  6. ^ Morgan (2001), p. 2332: "'Marxism–Leninism–Maoism' became the ideology of the Chinese Communist Party and of the splinter parties that broke off from national communist parties after the Chinese definitively split with the Soviets in 1963. Italian communists continued to be influenced by the ideas of Antonio Gramsci, whose independent conception of the reasons why the working class in industrial countries remained politically quiescent bore far more democratic implications than Lenin's own explanation of worker passivity. Until Stalin's death, the Soviet Party referred to its own ideology as 'Marxism–Leninism–Stalinism'."
  7. ^ Kropotkin, Peter (1901). "Communism and Anarchy". Archived from the original on 28 July 2011. Communism is the one which guarantees the greatest amount of individual liberty—provided that the idea that begets the community be Liberty, Anarchy ... Communism guarantees economic freedom better than any other form of association, because it can guarantee wellbeing, even luxury, in return for a few hours of work instead of a day's work.
  8. ^ Morgan (2015): "Communist ideas have acquired a new meaning since 1918. They became equivalent to the ideas of Marxism–Leninism, that is, the interpretation of Marxism by Lenin and his successors. Endorsing the final objective, namely, the creation of a community owning means of production and providing each of its participants with consumption 'according to their needs', they put forward the recognition of the class struggle as a dominating principle of a social development. In addition, workers (i.e., the proletariat) were to carry out the mission of reconstruction of the society. Conducting a socialist revolution headed by the avant-garde of the proletariat, that is, the party, was hailed to be a historical necessity. Moreover, the introduction of the proletariat dictatorship was advocated and hostile classes were to be liquidated."
  9. ^ Ghodsee (2018): "Throughout much of the twentieth century, state socialism presented an existential challenge to the worst excesses of the free market. The threat posed by Marxist ideologies forced Western governments to expand social safety nets to protect workers from the unpredictable but inevitable booms and busts of the capitalist economy. After the Berlin Wall fell, many celebrated the triumph of the West, cosigning socialist ideas to the dustbin of history. But for all its faults, state socialism provided an important foil for capitalism. It was in response to a global discourse of social and economic rights—a discourse that appealed not only to the progressive populations of Africa, Asia, and Latin America but also to many men and women in Western Europe and North America—that politicians agreed to improve working conditions for wage laborers as well as create social programs for children, the poor, the elderly, the sick, and the disabled, mitigating exploitation and the growth of income inequality. Although there were important antecedents in the 1980s, once state socialism collapsed, capitalism shook off the constraints of market regulation and income redistribution. Without the looming threat of a rival superpower, the last thirty years of global neoliberalism have witnessed a rapid shriveling of social programs that protect citizens from cyclical instability and financial crises and reduce the vast inequality of economic outcomes between those at the top and bottom of the income distribution."

Bibliography

Further reading

External links