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Encyclopedia > Cummunism
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This article is about communism as a form of society and as a political movement. For issues regarding Communist organizations, see the Communist party article. For issues regarding Communist Party-run states, see Communist state.
Communism

History of communism
Subject: Lock Source: Graphic created by Cantus. ... In modern usage, a communist party is a political party which promotes communism, a sociopolitical philosophy based on the particular interpretation of Marxism put forth by Vladimir Lenin. ... A Communist state is a controversial term for a state governed by a single political party which declares its allegiance to the principles of Marxism-Leninism. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Communism. ...


Schools of communism
Marxism · Leninism
Trotskyism · Maoism
Council Communism Marxism is the social theory and political practice based on the works of Karl Marx, a 19th century German philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary, along with Friedrich Engels. ... Vladimir Lenin in 1920 Leninism is a political and economic theory which builds upon Marxism (the forerunner of Communism) and is a branch in its own right (it has been the dominant branch of Marxism in the world since the 1920s). ... Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. ... Maoism or Mao Tse-tung Thought (Chinese: 毛泽东思想, pinyin: Máo Zédōng Sīxiǎng), is a variant of Marxism-Leninism derived from the teachings of Mao Zedong (1893–1976). ... Council communism was a radical Left movement originating in Germany and the Netherlands in the 1920s. ...


Communist parties
Communist International
World Communist Movement
Communist revolution
World revolution In modern usage, a communist party is a political party which promotes communism, a sociopolitical philosophy based on the particular interpretation of Marxism put forth by Vladimir Lenin. ... The first edition of Communist International, journal of the Comintern published in Moscow and Petrograd (now Saint Petersburg) in May 1919. ... The World Communist Movement is an informal community of certain Communist parties around the world. ... A communist revolution is a proletarian revolution inspired by the ideas of Marxism that aims to replace capitalism with communism, often with socialism (state control of the means of production) as an intermediate stage. ... World revolution is a Marxist concept of a violent overthrow of capitalism that would take place in all countries, although not necessarily simultaneously. ...


Communist states
The Soviet Union
People's Republic of China
Cuba · Vietnam
Laos · North Korea
A Communist state is a controversial term for a state governed by a single political party which declares its allegiance to the principles of Marxism-Leninism. ...


Related subjects
Socialism
Planned economy
Historical materialism
Marxism-Leninism
Eurocommunism
Left communism
New Left
Anti-communism
The color red and particularly the red flag are traditional symbols of Socialism. ... This article is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Historical materialism (or what Marx himself called the materialist conception of history - materialistische Geschichtsauffassung) is a social theory and an approach to the study of history and sociology, normally considered as the intellectual basis of Marxism. ... Vladimir Lenin in 1920 Leninism is a political and economic theory which builds upon Marxism; it is a branch of Marxism (and it has been the dominant branch of Marxism in the world since the 1920s). ... Eurocommunism was an attempt in the 1970s by various European communist parties to widen their appeal by embracing public sector middle-class workers, new social movements such as feminism and gay liberation, rejecting support of the Soviet Union, and expressing more clearly their fidelity to democratic institutions. ... Left Communism is a term describing a whole range of communist viewpoints which oppose the political ideas of the Bolsheviks from a position which is asserted to be more authentically Marxist and proletarian than the views held by the Communist International after its first two Congresses. ... The New Left is a term used in political discourse to refer to radical left-wing movements from the 1960s onwards. ... Anti-communism is the opposition to communist ideology, organization, or government, on either an ideological or pragmatic basis. ...

Communism refers to a theoretical system of social organization and a political movement based on common ownership of the means of production. As a political movement, communism seeks to establish a classless society. A major force in world politics since the early 20th century, modern communism is generally associated with The Communist Manifesto of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, according to which the capitalist profit-based system of private ownership is replaced by a communist society in which the means of production are communally owned, such as through a gift economy. Often this process is said initiated by the revolutionary overthrow of the bourgeoisie (see Marxism), passes through a transitional period marked by the preparatory stage of socialism (see Leninism). Pure communism has never been implemented, it remains theoretical: communism is, in Marxist theory, the end-state, or the result of state-socialism. The word is now mainly understood to refer to the political, economic, and social theory of Marxist thinkers, or life under conditions of Communist party rule. The means of production are physical, non-human, inputs used in production. ... Social class describes the relationships between people in hierarchical societies or cultures. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999 in the... The Communist Manifesto, also known as The Manifesto of the Communist Party, was first published on February 21, 1848, is one of the worlds most historically influential political tracts. ... Marxs view of history, which came to be called the materialist interpretation of history (and which was developed further as the philosophy of dialectical materialism) is certainly influenced by Hegels claim that reality (and history) should be viewed dialectically, through a clash of opposing forces. ... Friedrich Engels Friedrich Engels (November 28, 1820–August 5, 1895) was a 19th-century German political philosopher. ... A gift economy is an economic system in which the prevalent mode of exchange is for goods and services to be given without explicit agreement upon a quid pro quo. ... Bourgeoisie (RP [], GA []) in modern use refers to the wealthy or propertied social class in a capitalist society. ... Marxism is the social theory and political practice based on the works of Karl Marx, a 19th century German philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary, along with Friedrich Engels. ... The color red and particularly the red flag are traditional symbols of Socialism. ... Vladimir Lenin in 1920 Leninism is a political and economic theory which builds upon Marxism (the forerunner of Communism) and is a branch in its own right (it has been the dominant branch of Marxism in the world since the 1920s). ... State socialism, broadly speaking, is any variety of socialism which relies on ownership of the means of production by the state. ... In modern usage, a communist party is a political party which promotes communism, a sociopolitical philosophy based on the particular interpretation of Marxism put forth by Vladimir Lenin. ...


In the late 19th century, Marxist theories motivated socialist parties across Europe, although their policies later developed along the lines of "reforming" capitalism, rather than overthrowing it. The exception was the Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party. One branch of this party, commonly known as the Bolsheviks and headed by Vladimir Lenin, succeeded in taking control of the country after the toppling of the Provisional Government in the Russian Revolution of 1917. In 1918, this party changed its name to the Communist Party; thus establishing the contemporary distinction between communism and socialism. Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... The color red and particularly the red flag are traditional symbols of Socialism. ... The Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, or RSDLP (Росси́йская Социа́л-Демократи́ческая Рабо́чая Па́ртия = РСДРП), also known as the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party and the Russian Social Democratic Party, was a revolutionary socialist Russian political party formed in 1898 in Minsk to unite the various revolutionary organisations into one party. ... Leaders of the Bolshevik Party and the Communist International, a painting by Malcolm McAllister on the Pathfinder Mural in New York City and on the cover of the book Lenin’s Final Fight published by Pathfinder. ... Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (Russian: Влади́мир Ильи́ч Ле́нин â–¶(?)), original surname Ulyanov (Улья́нов) (April 22 (April 10 (O.S.)), 1870 – January 21, 1924), was a revolutionary of Russia, the leader of the Bolshevik party, the first Premier of the Soviet Union, and the main theorist of Leninism, which he described as an adaptation of Marxism to... The Russian Provisional Government was formed in Petrograd after the deterioration of the Russian Empire and the abdication of the Tsars. ... The Russian Revolution of 1917 was a political movement in Russia which reached its peak in 1917 with the overthrow of the Provisional Government that had replaced the Russian Czarist system, and led to the establishment of the Soviet Union, which lasted until its collapse in 1991. ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ...


After the success of the October Revolution in Russia, many socialist parties in other countries became communist parties, owing allegiance of varying degrees to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (see Communist International). After World War II, regimes calling themselves communist took power in Eastern Europe. In 1949 the Communists in China, led by Mao Zedong, came to power and established the People's Republic of China. Among the other countries in the Third World that adopted a Communist form of government at some point were Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Angola, and Mozambique. By the early 1980s, almost one-third of the world's population lived under Communist states. The October Revolution, also known as the Bolshevik Revolution, was the second phase of the Russian Revolution of 1917, the first having been instigated by the events around the February Revolution. ... The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Russian: Коммунисти́ческая Па́ртия Сове́тского Сою́за = КПСС) was the name used by the successors of the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party from 1952 to 1991, but the wording Communist Party was present in the partys name since 1918 when the Bolsheviks became the All... The first edition of Communist International, journal of the Comintern published in Moscow and Petrograd (now Saint Petersburg) in May 1919. ... World War II was a truly global conflict with many facets: immense human suffering, fierce indoctrination, and the use of new, extremely devastating weapons such as the atomic bomb. ... 1949 (MCMXLIX) is a common year starting on Saturday. ... ▶ (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976; Mao Tse-tung in Wade-Giles) was the chairman of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China from 1943 and the chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China from 1945 until his death. ... For the Jamaican reggae band, see Third World (band). ... The 1980s in its most obvious sense refers to the decade between 1980 and 1989, however in a pop cultural sense The Eighties sometimes includes at least some aspects of 1979 and 1990, or more or less the era between the end of the Disco era of the 1970s and... A Communist state is a controversial term for a state governed by a single political party which declares its allegiance to the principles of Marxism-Leninism. ...


Communism never became a popular ideology in the United States, either before or after the establishment of the Communist Party USA in 1919. Since the early 1970s, the term "Eurocommunism" was used to refer to the policies of Communist Parties in Western Europe, which sought to break with the tradition of uncritical and unconditional support of the Soviet Union. Such parties were politically active and electorally significant in France and Italy. With the collapse of the Communist governments in Eastern Europe from the late 1980s and the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Communism's influence has decreased dramatically in Europe, but around a quarter of the world's population still lives under Communist Party rule. The Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) is one of several Marxist-Leninist groups in the United States. ... 1919 (MCMXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... The 1970s in its most obvious sense refers to the decade between 1970 and 1979. ... Eurocommunism was an attempt in the 1970s by various European communist parties to widen their appeal by embracing public sector middle-class workers, new social movements such as feminism and gay liberation, rejecting support of the Soviet Union, and expressing more clearly their fidelity to democratic institutions. ... 1991 (MCMXCI) is a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents


Marxism

Main article: Marxism

Like other socialists, Marx and Engels sought an end to capitalism and the exploitation of workers. But whereas earlier socialists often favored longer-term social reform, Marx and Engels believed that popular revolution was all but inevitable, and the only path to socialism. Marxism is the social theory and political practice based on the works of Karl Marx, a 19th century German philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary, along with Friedrich Engels. ...


According to the Marxist argument for communism, the main characteristic of human life in class society is alienation; and communism is desirable because it entails the full realization of human freedom. Marx here follows G.W.F. Hegel in conceiving freedom not merely as an absence of constraints but as action having moral content. Not only does communism allow people to do what they want but it puts humans in such conditions and such relations with one another that they would not wish to have need for exploitation. Whereas for Hegel, the unfolding of this ethnical life in history is mainly driven by the realm of ideas, for Marx, communism emerged from material, especially the development of the means of production. Alienation is estrangement or splitting apart. ... Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 - November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher born in Stuttgart, Württemberg, in present-day southwest Germany. ... The means of production are physical, non-human, inputs used in production. ...


Marxism holds that a process of class conflict and revolutionary struggle will result in victory for the proletariat and the establishment of a communist society in which private ownership is abolished over time and the means of production and subsistence belong to the community. Marx himself wrote little about life under communism, giving only the most general indication as to what constituted a communist society. It is clear that it entails abundance in which there is little limit to the projects that humans may undertake. In the popular slogan that was adopted by the communist movement, communism was a world in which 'each gave according to his abilities, and received according to his needs.' The German Ideology (1845) was one of Marx's few writings to elaborate on the communist future: The proletariat (from Latin proles, offspring) is a term used to identify a lower social class; a member of such a class is proletarian. ... The German Ideology was a book written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels around April or early May 1845. ... 1845 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ...

In communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic. [1]

Marx's lasting vision was to add this vision to a positive scientific theory of how society was moving in a law-governed way toward communism, and, with some tension, a political theory that explained why revolutionary activity was required to bring it about.


Some of Marx's contemporaries, such as Mikhail Bakunin, espoused similar ideas, but differed in their views of how to reach to a harmonic society with no classes. To this day there has been a split in the workers movement between Marxists (communists) and anarchists. The anarchists are against, and wish to abolish, every state organisation. Among them, anarchist-communists such as Peter Kropotkin believed in an immediate transition to one society with no classes, while anarcho-syndicalists believe that labor unions, as opposed to Communist parties, are the organizations that can help usher this society. Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin (Trolo) (Russian — Михаил Александрович Бакунин, Michel Bakunin — on the grave in Bern), (May 30, 1814–June 13, 1876) was a well known Russian anarchist. ... Definitions of anarchism on Wikiquote Anarchism derives from the Greek αναρχία (without archons (rulers)). Thus anarchism, in its most general meaning, is the belief that rulers are unnecessary and should be abolished. ... Anarchist communism, also known as Communist anarchism, Anarcho-communism, or Libertarian communism, is a political ideology related to Libertarian socialism. ... Peter Kropotkin Prince Peter Alexeevich Kropotkin (In Russian Пётр Алексе́евич Кропо́ткин) (December 9, 1842 - February 8, 1921) was one of Russias foremost anarchists and one of the first advocates of what he called anarchist communism: the model of society he advocated for most of his life was that of a communalist society... Anarcho-syndicalist flag. ...


The growth of modern Communism

Soviet Marxism

Main article: Marxism-Leninism

In Russia, the modern world's first effort to build socialism or communism on a large scale, following the 1917 October Revolution, led by Lenin's Bolsheviks, raised significant theoretical and practical debates on communism among Marxists themselves. Marx's theory had presumed that revolutions would occur where capitalist development was the most advanced and where a large working class was already in place. Russia, however, was the poorest country in Europe, with an enormous, illiterate peasantry and little industry. Under these circumstances, it was necessary for the communists, according to Marxian theory, to create a working class itself. Nevertheless, some socialists believed that a Russian revolution could be the precursor of workers' revolutions in the west. Vladimir Lenin in 1920 Leninism is a political and economic theory which builds upon Marxism; it is a branch of Marxism (and it has been the dominant branch of Marxism in the world since the 1920s). ... 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar. ... The October Revolution, also known as the Bolshevik Revolution, was the second phase of the Russian Revolution of 1917, the first having been instigated by the events around the February Revolution. ... Leaders of the Bolshevik Party and the Communist International, a painting by Malcolm McAllister on the Pathfinder Mural in New York City and on the cover of the book Lenin’s Final Fight published by Pathfinder. ... Categories: 1911 Britannica | Historical stubs | Feudalism ... The term working class is used to denote a social class. ...


For this reason, the socialist Mensheviks had opposed Lenin's communist Bolsheviks in their demand for socialist revolution before capitalism had been established. In seizing power, the Bolsheviks found themselves without a program beyond their pragmatic and politically successful slogans "peace, bread, and land," which had tapped the massive public desire for an end to Russian involvement in the First World War and the peasants' demand for land reform. The Mensheviks were a faction of the Russian revolutionary movement that emerged in 1903 after a dispute between Vladimir Lenin and Julius Martov, both members of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. ... World War I was primarily a European conflict with many facets: immense human sacrifice, stalemate trench warfare, and the use of new, devastating weapons - tanks, aircraft, machine guns, and poison gas. ... Land reform (also agrarian reform although that can have a broader meaning) is the government-initiated or government-backed redistribution of — i. ...


The usage of the terms "communism" and "socialism" shifted after 1917, when the Bolsheviks changed their name to the Communist Party and installed a single-party regime devoted to the implementation of socialist policies. The revolutionary Bolsheviks broke completely with the non-revolutionary social democratic movement, withdrew from the Second International, and formed the Third International, or Comintern, in 1919. Henceforth, the term "Communism" was applied to the objective of the parties founded under the umbrella of the Comintern. Their program called for the uniting of workers of the world for revolution, which would be followed by the establishment of a dictatorship of the proletariat as well as the development of a socialist economy. Ultimately, their program held, there would develop a harmonious classless society, with the withering away of the state. In the early 1920s, the Soviet Communists formed the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or Soviet Union, from the former Russian Empire. A single-party state or one-party system or single-party system is a type of party system and form of government where only a single political party dominates the government and no opposition parties are allowed. ... Social democracy is a political ideology emerging in the late 19th and early 20th centuries from supporters of Marxism who believed that the transition to a socialist society could be achieved through democratic evolutionary rather than revolutionary means. ... The phrase Second International has two meanings: For the international association of socialist parties of the late 19th century, see Second International (politics) and a successor organization, the Socialist International For one of the Merriam-Webster dictionaries of American English, see Websters New International Dictionary, Second Edition This is... The term Third International has two well-established meanings: For the unabridged dictionary, see Websters Third New International Dictionary. ... The Comintern (from Russian Коммунистический Интернационал (Kommunisticheskiy Internatsional) – Communist International), also known as the Third International, was an independent international Communist organization founded in March 1919 by Lenin, Trotsky and the Russian Communist Party (bolshevik), which intended to fight by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow of the international... 1919 (MCMXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... The dictatorship of the proletariat is a term employed by Karl Marx in his 1875 Critique of the Gotha Program that refers to a transition period between capitalist and communist society in which the state can be nothing but the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat. ... Imperial Russia is the term used to cover the period of Russian history from the expansion of Russia under Peter the Great, through the expansion of the Russian Empire from the Baltic to the Pacific Ocean, to the deposal of Nicholas II of Russia, the last tsar, at the start...


Following Lenin's democratic centralism, the Communist 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. In Liberalism, Democratic centralism is a political philosophy that forms the basis of building a democratic unitary state, as opposed to a democratic federal state. ... For other uses of the term, see Cadre (disambiguation). ... Party discipline is the ability of a political party to get its members to support the policies of the party leadership. ...


In 1918-1920, in the middle of the Russian Civil War, the new regime nationalized all productive property. When mutiny and peasant unrest resulted, Lenin declared the New Economic Policy (NEP). However, Joseph Stalin's personal fight for leadership spelled the end of the NEP, and he used his control over personnel to abandon the program. 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... 1920 (MCMXX) is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar) // Events January January 7 - Forces of Russian White admiral Kolchak surrender in Krasnoyarsk. ... The Russian Civil War was fought between 1918 and 1922. ... The New Economic Policy (NEP) was officially decided in the course of the 10th Congress of the Russian Communist Party. ... For other uses, see Stalin (disambiguation). ...


The Soviet Union and other countries ruled by Communist Parties are often described as 'Communist states' with 'state socialist' economic bases. This usage indicates that they proclaim that they have realized part of the socialist program by abolishing private control of the means of production and establishing state control over the economy; however, they do not declare themselves truly communist, as they have not established communal ownership. A Communist state is a controversial term for a state governed by a single political party which declares its allegiance to the principles of Marxism-Leninism. ...


Stalinism

Main article: Stalinism

The Stalinist version of socialism, with some important modifications, shaped the Soviet Union and influenced Communist Parties worldwide. It was heralded as a possibility of building communism via a massive program of industrialization and collectivization. The rapid development of industry, and above all the victory of the Soviet Union in the Second World War, maintained that vision throughout the world, even around a decade following Stalin's death, when the party adopted a program in which it promised the establishment of communism within thirty years. Stalinism is a political theory, and the political and economic system implemented by Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union. ... In the Soviet Union, collectivisation was a policy introduced in the late 1920s, of consolidation of individual land and labour into co-operatives called collective farms (Russian: колхоз, kolkhoz) and state farms (sovkhozes). ...


However, under Stalin's leadership, evidence emerged that dented faith in the possibility of achieving communism within the framework of the Soviet model. Stalin had created in the Soviet Union a repressive state that dominated every aspect of life. After Stalin's death, the Soviet Union's new leader, Nikita Khrushchev admitted the enormity of the repression that took place under Stalin. Later, growth declined, and rent-seeking and corruption by state officials increased, which dented the legitimacy of the Soviet system. Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchof (Khrushchev) (Russian: Ники́та Серге́евич Хрущёв listen â–¶(?), April 17, 1894 â€“ September 11, 1971) was the leader of the Soviet Union after the death of Joseph Stalin. ... In economics, rent-seeking takes place when an entity seeks to extract uncompensated value from others by manipulation of the economic environment -- often including regulations or other government decisions. ...


Despite the activity of the Comintern, the Soviet Communist Party adopted the Stalinist theory of "socialism in one country" and claimed that, due to the "aggravation of class struggle under socialism," it was possible, even necessary, to build socialism in one country alone. This departure from Marxist internationalism was challenged by Leon Trotsky, whose theory of "permanent revolution" stressed the necessity of world revolution. The Comintern (from Russian Коммунистический Интернационал (Kommunisticheskiy Internatsional) – Communist International), also known as the Third International, was an independent international Communist organization founded in March 1919 by Lenin, Trotsky and the Russian Communist Party (bolshevik), which intended to fight by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow of the international... Stalinism is a political theory, and the political and economic system implemented by Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union. ... With the prospect of world revolution so close at hand in the early part of the 20th Century, communists, socialists and workers movements in general were dominated by a feeling of overwhelming optimism, which in the end proved to be quite premature. ... The theory of aggravation of the class struggle along with the development of socialism was one of cornerstones of Stalinism in the internal politics of the Soviet Union. ... Leon Trotsky ▶(?) (Russian: Лев Давидович Троцкий; also transliterated Leo, Lev, Trotskii, Trotski, Trotskij and Trotzky ) (October 26 (O.S.) = November 7 (N.S.), 1879 – August 21, 1940), born Lev Davidovich Bronstein (Лев Давидович Бронштейн), was a Bolshevik revolutionary and Marxist theorist. ... Permanent Revolution is the theory of how to sustain Communism within an undeveloped (backward) state. ...


Trotskyism

Main article: Trotskyism

Trotsky and his supporters organized into the "Left Opposition," and their platform became known as Trotskyism. But Stalin eventually succeeded in gaining full control of the Soviet regime, and their attempts to remove Stalin from power resulted in Trotsky's exile from the Soviet Union in 1929. After Trotsky's exile, world communism fractured in two distinct branches: Stalinism and Trotskyism. Trotsky later founded the Fourth International, a Trotskyist rival to the Comintern, in 1938. Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. ... The Left Opposition was a faction within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during 1923-1927. ... Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. ... 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Stalinism is a political theory, and the political and economic system implemented by Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union. ... Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. ... For the left communist Fourth International, see Communist Workers International. ... 1938 (MCMXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will take you to calendar). ...


Though some follow Trotskyism today, Trotsky's theories were never reaccepted in Communist circles in the Soviet bloc, even after Stalin's death; and Trotsky's interpretation of communism has not been successful in leading a political revolution that would overthrow a state. However, Trotskyist ideas have occasionally found an echo among political movements in countries experiencing social upheavals (such is the case of Alan Woods' Trotskyist Committee for a Marxist International, which has had contact with President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela), most parties are active in politically stable, developed countries (such as Great Britain, France, Spain and Germany). It is noteworthy that Trotskyists groups that contribute with pro-capitalist parties have not escaped criticism as opportunists from other Trotskyists which are loathe to do so (see Trotskyism). Alan Woods was born in Swansea, South Wales in 1944 into a working-class family with a strong Communist tradition. ... The Committee for a Marxist International (also known as the International Marxist Tendency) is a Trotskyist tendency based on the ideas of Ted Grant and Alan Woods. ... Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (born July 28, 1954) is the 53rd and current President of Venezuela. ... Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. ...


Cold War years

As the Soviet Union won important allies by victory in the Second World War in Eastern Europe, communism as a movement spread to a number of new countries, and gave rise to a few different branches of its own, such as Maoism. World War II was a truly global conflict with many facets: immense human suffering, fierce indoctrination, and the use of new, extremely devastating weapons such as the atomic bomb. ... Maoism or Mao Tse-tung Thought (Chinese: 毛泽东思想, pinyin: Máo Zédōng Sīxiǎng), is a variant of Marxism-Leninism derived from the teachings of Mao Zedong (1893–1976). ...


Communism had been vastly strengthened by the winning of many new nations into the sphere of Soviet influence and strength in Eastern Europe. Governments modeled on Soviet Communism were formed in Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Poland, Hungary and Romania. A Communist government was also created under Marshal Tito in Yugoslavia, but Tito's independent policies led to the expulsion of Yugoslavia from the Cominform, which had replaced the Comintern, and Titoism, a new branch in the world communist movement, was labeled "deviationist." East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR), German Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR), was a socialist state that existed from 1949 to 1990 in the former Soviet occupation zone of Germany. ... Josip Broz Tito (May 7, 1892 - May 4, 1980) was the ruler of Yugoslavia between the end of World War II and his death in 1980. ... Yugoslavia (Jugoslavija in all south Slavic languages, in Cyrillic Југославија) is a term used for three separate but successive political entities that existed during most of the 20th century on the Balkan Peninsula in Europe. ... The Cominform (from Communist Information Bureau) is the common name for what was officially referred to as the Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers Parties. The Cominform was a Soviet dominated organization of Communist parties founded in September, 1947 at a conference of Communist party leaders in Szklarska Poreba... The Comintern (from Russian Коммунистический Интернационал (Kommunisticheskiy Internatsional) – Communist International), also known as the Third International, was an independent international Communist organization founded in March 1919 by Lenin, Trotsky and the Russian Communist Party (bolshevik), which intended to fight by all available means, including armed force, for the overthrow of the international... Titoism is a term describing political ideology named after Yugoslav leader, Josip Broz Tito, primarily used to describe the schism between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia after the Second World War (see Cominform) when the Communist Party of Yugoslavia refused to take further dictates from Moscow. ... In Communism, deviationism is an expressed belief which is not in accordance with official party doctrine for the time and area. ...


By 1950 the Chinese Communists held all of China except Taiwan, thus controlling the most populous nation in the world. Other areas where rising Communist strength provoked dissension and in some cases actual fighting include Laos, many nations of the Middle East and Africa, and, especially, Vietnam (see Vietnam War). With varying degrees of success, Communists attempted to unite with nationalist and socialist forces against Western imperialism in these poor countries. 1950 was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Communist Party of China flag The Communist Party of China (Simplified Chinese: 中国共产党; Traditional Chinese: 中國共産黨; pinyin: ) is the ruling party of the Peoples Republic of China. ... The Vietnam War or Second Indochina War was a conflict between the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRVN, or North Vietnam), allied with the National Liberation Front (NLF, or Viet Cong) against the Republic of Vietnam (RVN, or South Vietnam), and its allies—notably the United States military in support of...


Maoism

Main article: Maoism

After the death of Stalin in 1953, the Soviet Union's new leader, Nikita Khrushchev, denounced Stalin's crimes and his cult of personality. He called for a return to the principles of Lenin, thus presaging some change in Communist methods. However, Khrushchev's reforms heightened ideological differences between China and the Soviet Union, which became increasingly apparent in the 1960s and 1970s. As the Sino-Soviet Split in the international Communist movement turned toward open hostility, Maoist China portrayed itself as a leader of the underdeveloped world against the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, with Maoism gaining recognition worldwide as a new branch of Marxism. Maoism or Mao Tse-tung Thought (Chinese: 毛泽东思想, pinyin: Máo Zédōng Sīxiǎng), is a variant of Marxism-Leninism derived from the teachings of Mao Zedong (1893–1976). ... 1953 (MCMLIII) is a common year starting on Thursday. ... Joseph Stalin, the subject of a massive Communist Party campaign to rename locations in his honor (see List of places named after Stalin). ... The 1960s in its most obvious sense refers to the decade between 1960 and 1969, but the expression has taken on a wider meaning over the past twenty years. ... The 1970s in its most obvious sense refers to the decade between 1970 and 1979. ... All people of the world unite, to overthrow American imperialism, to overthrow Soviet revisionism, to overthrow the reactionaries of all nations! (Chinese poster, 1969) — bold text corresponds to blackened characters The Sino-Soviet split was a major conflict between the Soviet Union and the Peoples Republic of China, beginning... Maoism or Mao Tse-tung Thought (Chinese: 毛泽东思想, pinyin: Máo Zédōng Sīxiǎng), is a variant of Marxism-Leninism derived from the teachings of Mao Zedong (1893–1976). ...


Collapse of the Soviet Union and Communism today

In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev became leader of the Soviet Union and relaxed central control, in accordance with reform policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). The Soviet Union did not intervene as Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary all abandoned Communist rule by 1990. In 1991, the Soviet Union itself dissolved. Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachyov (Gorbachev) â–¶ (Russian: ; pronunciation: ) (born March 2, 1931), was leader of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991. ... Glasnost (Russian: гла́сность, â–¶(?)) was one of Mikhail Gorbachevs policies introduced to the Soviet Union in 1985. ... Perestroika   listen? (Перестро́йка) is the Russian word (which passed into English) for the economic reforms introduced in June 1987 by the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. ... East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR), German Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR), was a socialist state that existed from 1949 to 1990 in the former Soviet occupation zone of Germany. ... This article is about the year. ... 1991 (MCMXCI) is a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


By the beginning of the 21st century, Communist parties hold power in China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam. President Vladimir Voronin of Moldova is a member of the Communist Party of Moldova, but the country is not run under one-party leadership. However, China has reassessed many aspects of the Maoist legacy; and China, Laos, Vietnam, and, to a lesser degree, Cuba have reduced state control of the economy in order to stimulate growth. Communist parties, or their descendent parties, remain politically important in many European countries and throughout the Third World, particularly in India. The 21st century is the century that began on 1 January 2001 and will last to 31 December 2100. ... Vladimir Nicolae Voronin (born May 25, 1941) is the current President of the Republic of Moldova. ... The Communist Party of Moldova (Moldovan: Partidul Comuniştilor din Republica Moldova) is the ruling political party in Moldova. ...


Theories within Marxism as to why communism in Eastern Europe was not achieved after socialist revolutions pointed to such elements as the pressure of external capitalist states, the relative backwardness of the societies in which the revolutions occurred, and the emergence of a bureaucratic stratum or class that arrested or diverted the transition press in its own interests. Marxist critics of the Soviet Union referred to the Soviet system, along with other Communist states, as "state capitalism," arguing that Soviet system fell far short of Marx's communist ideal. They argued that the state and party bureaucratic elite acted as a surrogate capitalist class in the heavily centralized and repressive political apparatus. There are multiple definitions of the term state capitalism. ...


Non-Marxists, in contrast, have often applied the term to any society ruled by a Communist Party and to any party aspiring to create a society similar to such existing nation-states. In the social sciences, societies ruled by Communist Parties are distinct for their single party control and their socialist economic bases. While anticommunists applied the concept of "totalitarianism" to these societies, many social scientists identified possibilities for independent political activity within them, and stressed their continued evolution up to the point of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and its allies in Eastern Europe during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Anti-communism is opposition to communist ideology, organization, or government, on either a theoretical or practical level. ... Totalitarianism is a typology employed by political scientists to describe modern regimes in which the state regulates nearly every aspect of public and private behavior. ...


Today, Marxist revolutionaries are active in India, Nepal, and Colombia.


"Communism" or "communism"?

According to the 1996 third edition of Fowler's Modern English Usage, communism and derived words are written with the lowercase "c" except when they refer to a political party of that name, a member of that party, or a government led by such a party, in which case the word "Communist" is written with the uppercase "C". 1996 (MCMXCVI) is a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... Fowlers Modern English Usage, often referred to simply as Fowler, is a style guide to British English usage. ... Minuscule, or lower case, is the smaller form (case) of letters (in the Roman alphabet: a, b, c, ...). Originally alphabets were written entirely in majuscule (capital) letters which were spaced between well-defined upper and lower bounds. ... Majuscules or capital letters (in the Roman alphabet: A, B, C, ...) are one type of case in a writing system. ...


Criticism of communism

Main article: Criticisms of communism.

A diverse array of writers and political activists have published anticommunist work, such as Soviet bloc dissidents Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Vaclav Havel; economists Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, and Milton Friedman; and historians and social scientists Hannah Arendt, Robert Conquest, Daniel Pipes and R. J. Rummel, to name a few. Some writers such as Conquest go beyond attributing large-scale human rights abuses to Communist regimes, presenting events occurring in these countries, particularly under Stalin, as an argument against the ideology of Communism itself. Note that communism is a branch of socialism. ... Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (Russian: ; born December 11, 1918) is a Russian novelist, dramatist and historian. ... Václav Havel [VAWTS-lav HA-vel] (born October 5, 1936) is a Czech writer and dramatist. ... Friedrich Hayek Friedrich August von Hayek (May 8, 1899 in Vienna – March 23, 1992 in Freiburg) was an economist and social scientist of the Austrian School, noted for his defense of liberal democracy and free-market capitalism against a rising tide of socialist and collectivist thought in the mid-20th... Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises (September 29, 1881 - October 10, 1973), was a notable economist and social philosopher. ... Milton Friedman Milton Friedman (born July 31, 1912) is a U.S. economist, known primarily for his work on macroeconomics and for his advocacy of laissez-faire capitalism. ... Hannah Arendt in her early adulthood Hannah Arendt (October 14, 1906 – December 4, 1975) was a German political theorist. ... Dr. George Robert Ackworth Conquest (born July 15, 1917), British historian, became one of the best-known writers on the Soviet Union with the publication in 1968 of his classic account of Stalins purges of the 1930s, The Great Terror. ... Daniel Pipes Daniel Pipes is an American neoconservative [1] columnist, author, counter-terrorism analyst, and scholar of Middle Eastern history. ... Rudolph Joseph Rummel (born October 21, 1932) is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii and alternative historian. ...


It should be noted that these are criticisms of Communist parties and states they have ruled, rather than criticisms of communism as such. It should also be noted that many Communist parties outside of the Warsaw Pact (i.e. Communist parties in Western Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa) differed greatly, therefore no single criticism fits all. In modern usage, a communist party is a political party which promotes communism, a sociopolitical philosophy based on the particular interpretation of Marxism put forth by Vladimir Lenin. ... Seal of the Warsaw Pact Distinguish from the Warsaw Convention, which is an agreement among airlines about financial liability. ...


See also

A Communist state is a controversial term for a state governed by a single political party which declares its allegiance to the principles of Marxism-Leninism. ... Anti-communism is the opposition to communist ideology, organization, or government, on either an ideological or pragmatic basis. ... Note that communism is a branch of socialism. ... Post-Communism is a name sometimes given to the period of political and economic transition in former communist states located in parts of Europe and Asia. ...

Schools of communism

Anarchist communism, also known as Communist anarchism, Anarcho-communism, or Libertarian communism, is a political ideology related to Libertarian socialism. ... Council communism was a radical Left movement originating in Germany and the Netherlands in the 1920s. ... Developed by Daniel De Leon, Marxism_Deleonism is a form of Marxism. ... Eurocommunism was an attempt in the 1970s by various European communist parties to widen their appeal by embracing public sector middle-class workers, new social movements such as feminism and gay liberation, rejecting support of the Soviet Union, and expressing more clearly their fidelity to democratic institutions. ... Enver Hoxha (1908-1985) Enver Hoxha [en-vehr hoj-e] (October 16, 1908–April 11, 1985) was the communist leader of Albania from the end of World War II until his death, primarily as the First Secretary of the Albanian Party of Labour. ... Juche (pronounced Joo-cheh), officially called the Juche Idea in English, also dubbed by westerners as Kimilsungism, is the official state ideology of the Korean Workers Party leading The Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK). ... Left Communism is a term describing a whole range of communist viewpoints which oppose the political ideas of the Bolsheviks from a position which is asserted to be more authentically Marxist and proletarian than the views held by the Communist International after its first two Congresses. ... Marxism is the social theory and political practice based on the works of Karl Marx, a 19th century German philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary, along with Friedrich Engels. ... Vladimir Lenin in 1920 Leninism is a political and economic theory which builds upon Marxism; it is a branch of Marxism (and it has been the dominant branch of Marxism in the world since the 1920s). ... Maoism or Mao Tse-tung Thought (Chinese: 毛泽东思想, pinyin: Máo Zédōng SÄ«xiÇŽng), is a variant of Marxism-Leninism derived from the teachings of Mao Zedong (1893–1976). ... Stalinism is a political theory, and the political and economic system implemented by Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union. ... Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. ...

Organizations and people

In modern usage, a communist party is a political party which promotes communism, a sociopolitical philosophy based on the particular interpretation of Marxism put forth by Vladimir Lenin. ... There are, at present, a number of communist parties active in various countries across the world, and a number who used to be active. ... This is a list of the major figures in history who identified themselves as communists. ...

Further reading

  • Fernando Claudin, The Communist Movement: From Comintern to Cominform (1975)
  • Pipes, Richard, "Communism", London, (2001), ISBN 0-297-64688-5

Richard Edgar Pipes (b. ...

External links

Online resources for original Marxist literature

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Look up Communism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary

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