Portal:Communism

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Communism is a political ideology that seeks to establish a future without social class or formalized state structure, and with social organization based upon common ownership of the means of production. It can be classified as a branch of the broader socialist movement. Communism also refers to a variety of political movements which claim the establishment of such a social organization as their ultimate goal. Early forms of human social organization have been described as "primitive communism". However, communism as a political goal generally is a conjectured form of future social organization which has never been implemented. Marxism is a form of socioeconomic analysis that analyses class relations and societal conflict using dialectical materialism. There is a considerable variety of views among self-identified communists, including Bolshevism, Stalinism, Trotskyism, Maoism, council communism, Luxemburgism, Western Marxism and various currents of left communism, which are in addition to more widespread varieties. However, various offshoots of the Soviet and Maoist forms of Marxism–Leninism comprise a particular branch of communism that had been the primary driving force for communism in world politics during most of the 20th century.

The Soviet Union was a one-party federation, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital, which lasted from 1922 to 1991. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government. There was a succession of Soviet secret police agencies over time: Cheka, GPU, OGPU, NKVD, NKGB, MGB and KGB. The activities of these agencies include: suppression of dissent and political opposition, persecution and deportation of deserters, religious people, Jews, invasions, fabrication of crimes, espionage and disinformation. Joseph Stalin's cult of personality became a prominent part of Soviet culture in December 1929, after a lavish celebration for Stalin's 50th birthday. The Soviet Union has been described as totalitarian police state. The Cold War was a state of geopolitical tension after World War II between powers in the Eastern Bloc and powers in the Western Bloc. Historians do not fully agree on the dates, but a common timeframe is the period between 1947 and 1991.

Mass killings occurred under some Communist regimes during the twentieth century: the Red Terror occurred during the Russian Civil War, Decossackization aimed at the elimination of the Cossacks, the Soviet famine of 1932–33 was a man-made famine that affected the major grain-producing areas of the Soviet Union, leading to millions of deaths, Dekulakization included the murder of peasants, purges of the Communist Party in the Union were a key ritual in which periodic reviews of members of the Communist Party were conducted to get rid of the "undesirables", NKVD prisoner massacres were a series of mass executions carried out by the Soviet NKVD secret police during World War II against political prisoners across Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union has also conducted several acts described as war crimes. Concentration camps came to be know as Gulags, established officially in 1930. Racism in the Soviet Union targeted Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europeans, Jews and Asians. There was systematic political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union, based on the interpretation of political opposition or dissent as a psychiatric problem. Homosexuality was criminalized from 1933 to 1993.

Selected article

Anti-communism
Anti-communism is opposition to communism. Organized anti-communism developed in reaction to the rise of communism, especially after the 1917 October Revolution in Russia and reaching global dimensions during the Cold War. Anti-communists argue that the repression in the early years of Bolshevik rule, while not as extreme as that during Joseph Stalin's rule, was still severe by reasonable standards, citing examples such as Felix Dzerzhinsky's secret police, which eliminated numerous political opponents by extrajudicial executions, and the brutal crushing of the Kronstadt rebellion and Tambov rebellion. Some anti-communists refer to both Communism and fascism as totalitarianism, seeing similarity between the actions of communist and fascist governments. Historian Robert Conquest has argued that Communism was responsible for tens of millions of deaths during the 20th century.

Opponents argue that Communist parties that have come to power have tended to be rigidly intolerant of political opposition. These opponents claim that most Communist countries have shown no signs of advancing from Marx's socialist stage of economy to an ideal communist stage. Rather, Communist governments have been accused of creating a new ruling class (a Nomenklatura), with powers and privileges greater than those previously enjoyed by the upper classes in the non-communist regimes.


Selected biography

Salawati Daud was an Indonesian politician and a member of the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI). Salawati Daud was married to a government official from Maros, a guerrilla stronghold during the Indonesian War of Independence. She travelled to Jakarta, trying to convince the republican government to support the guerrilla struggle.

Salawati Daud became the first female mayor in Indonesia, being elected mayor of Makassar in 1949.> As mayor, she confronted Dutch commander Captain Raymond "Turk" Westerling. In 1955 she was elected to parliament (on a PKI list) and moved to Jakarta. Salawati Daud became a prominent leader of the women's movement Gerwani. She was one of many Gerwani leaders imprisoned after the 1965 military takeover.


Selected quote

At the April Conference of 1917, the importance of which Comrade Trotsky misrepresents, I had not the smallest difference of opinion with Comrade Lenin. In the dispute between Comrade Trotsky on the one side, and Comrades Kamenev, Nogin and Rykov on the other side, I was wholly on the side of Comrade Lenin, as was to be seen from a number of my reports and speeches at the April Conference. The whole dispute was naturally confined within the limits of Bolshevism—as Comrade Lenin and the Party regarded it—and only under the pen of Comrade Trotsky does it assume the form of a struggle of a “right-wing” against the Party.

Not the least differences of opinion occurred between myself and Comrade Lenin during and after the July days. We had the opportunity to test this at our leisure in the course of several weeks as long as I lived together with Vladimir Ilyitch in hiding. The first difference of opinion was noticed by me at the beginning of October, after the liquidation of the Kornilov period, after the article of Comrade Lenin “On Compromises” (in this article Lenin proposed, under certain conditions, an agreement with the Mensheviki and the S.R.). My error consisted in the fact that I endeavoured to continue the line of the article “On Compromises” some days later. In all only a few days, but the days at that time counted as months.

— Gregory Zinoviev (1883-1936)
Bolshevism or Trotskyism , 1925

Selected picture

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R0331-0342, Bonn, DKP-Parteitag, SED-Gäste.jpg
German Communist Party congress, 1976.

Photo credit: Hubert Link

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