In tracking down the post-communist structure one ought to be aware and reconsider or reflect upon the emergence of communism as such.

In “The New Encyclopedia Britannica”, vol.3, communism is described as “a political system or social organization based on common property or upon the equal distribution of wealth. The term is also applied to political programs and movements inspired by Marxist-Leninist principles, that seek to bring about such types of social organization”.  P496

The origins of the idea of communism lie deep in Western thought. The idea of a classless society, in which all the means of production and distribution are owned by the community as a whole and from which any traces of a state have disappeared, has long held a fascination for human beings. Many of the utopias described in literature (e.g. Thomas More’s Utopia ) grasp for the common ownership to some extent.

Communism came into developing a new meaning in 1848 with the publication of the “Communist Manifesto” by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

According to the Manifesto, all human history had been a long, protracted struggle between an exploiting class, the capitalists in the present age, and an exploited class, the workers (the wage-slaves), the proletariat.

This historical struggle enters its critical stage with the dominance of capitalism backed by the Industrial Revolution.

Here it is the point when one ought to dissociate Karl Marx from his early predecessor Friedrich Hegel. For the latter one, things of the Spirit dominated the material world, that is (mind over matter), whereas for the former one, matter stood alone in the struggle with the spiritual world (matter over spirit), or in a postmodern view (infrastructure over suprastructure).

As I have mentioned above, the advent of industrialism/industrialization sharpened the class-difference or class-war causing the working classes everywhere to realize their oppression at the hands of the capitalists together with their common interests.

“A Spectre is haunting Europe – the Spectre of Communism”. Or, in the final lines: “The Proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workingmen of all countries, unite”. Extracts from “The Communist Manifesto”

However, this most anticipated revolution did not boost overnight causing Karl Mark to reevaluate his thinking.

In “The Critique of the Gotha Program” 1875, Marx wrote that “the revolution will not immediately bring about the ideal, classless, communist state. Prolonged birth pangs will accompany its emergence from capitalist society, and a period of adaptation, the dictatorship of the proletariat will be necessary”.

The materialization of the program took the form of a political party that sought to implement the above-mentioned articles unto stark, daily life.

A detailed examination of the history of the communist regimes under the form of political parties is beyond the scope of my presentation. It suffices to say, nevertheless, that it covered most of the 20th century political life in Eastern Europe causing irremediable mental and physical damages.

…to be continued

Ionut-Andrei Manea

 


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