Communism Communist Bolshevik

The doctrine that all possessions should be held in common (that is, without private ownership). The Marxists believed that this was the state of an earlier stage of humanity, perhaps the hunter-gatherers, and would be the state of future man.

Perhaps its real origin is in the monastery where the members are presumed to be free agents - no-one is compelled to join.

From 1917 it was associated with the party and regime which controlled the Soviet Union and its offshoot states.

The party was known at first as the Bolshevik Party (the Majority faction of the Russian Social Democratic Party). It changed its name to Communist and claimed to be working towards this condition. In practice it resulted in state-controlled and owned industry, housing and distribution. This had to be run by a bureaucracy which showed signs of becoming a mafia or feudal class. (Milovan Djilas in former Yugoslavia called it the "new class" ).

Regimes calling themselves Communist now exist in

  • China
  • Cuba
  • Laos
  • North Korea
  • Vietnam

Of these China and Vietnam are both allowing so much private industry that they must be classified as State Capitalist, or something else. The only function remaining to the Communist parties in China and Vietnam is that of ruling, and maintaining a power monopoly. Perhaps in China the party is a new Mandarinate, similar to that of the traditional empire.

Last revised 30/08/09


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