All of the power was concentrated into the hands of the Communist party causing free press and civil liberties to become suppressed. Censorship and propaganda were widely used because there was state ownership of the economy but this meant that no private enterprise was allowed. There was a gathering of agriculture which was the organizing of an enterprise and industry on the basis of collectivism. The Communist Party invaded and controlled every aspect of political, social, cultural and economic life. Thus, it had become a dictatorial state with complete Communist control over all reface of life.
Karl Marx, founder of the Communist Movement, is most accredited for his anti-Capitalistic views and theories which seek to uncover the underlying “evils” and more importantly the ultimate meaning of the term capitalism. Mar’s revolutionary movement sought to establish the modern wage laborers as a dependent class by abolishing private property, thus destroying the economic system of capitalism and replacing it with Communism, an economic system whose sole purpose is to give everyone the equal opportunity to succeed in life through the elimination of class antagonism.
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By focusing on and evaluating all of the constituents which support Mar’s argument for a Communistic society a reader may reflect not only on the inherent issues present in Communism, but may further question the validity of Mar’s argument that Communism is a necessary product of the flaws Of capitalism. Communism is a necessary historical outcome. Many people believed that the course of history is defined by an ever-present struggle between socioeconomic classes. Marx quotes, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”.
He felt that historical epochs were defined by the relationship between different classes at different points in time. He also noted that every class is unstable and as a result of its internal contradictions, is destined for destruction. After this destruction, a new class would be formed, potentially resolving the contradictions of the previous class; while creating its own contradictions. These contradictions will eventually cause its own destruction. In the Capitalist society the bourgeoisie creates the proletariat class so that they have people to labor in their industries.
The proletariat works under harsh conditions, but because it has the means to associate through politics, their political awareness increases. When the need is met, conditions are created that is necessary for the overthrow of the bourgeoisie class. Marx notes, “What the bourgeoisie, therefore produces, above all, is its own grave-diggers. It falls and victory of the proletariat is equally inevitable” Human history unfolds that lead to an end in history- a Utopian endpoint. This “endpoint” would occur as a result of the establishment of Communism, which would end all class antagonism.
A major factor that contributed to the eventual collapse of communism was the fact that the Communist party’s domination was illegitimate from the beginning. Lenin came to power after a bloody Civil War between those who had supported Lenin and those who opposed the Soviet regime. To Lenin, defeat was unthinkable and he was prepared to make any and every sacrifice to win the war and save “the revolution”. The forcible diminishing of food and supplies was approved by Lenin. This could only be achieved by enforcing strict and absolute discipline at every level of society.
Terror was to become the chief instrument of power and Lenin was to assume the role of dictator. This was a phenomenon which was to become a symbol of communist regimes throughout their lifetime. This trend was continued when Stalin came to power as leader of the Communist party and the Russian government in 1929. He had achieved this through plotting and deceiving the people by shifting alliances. This began in 1924 when Stalin began to remove all opposition to his claim to power. Communism became the answer to many of the working class’ problems. In contrast to Capitalism, Communism focuses on the well-being of the working class.
It attempts to make all society equal by ridding it of class antagonism. The primary objective of Communism is to abolish capitalism and private property and would soon utilize the education system to end the exploitation of women and children. It would abolish all national differences and Incorporate a system of equal land distribution to the working class. Lastly, it would allow for the advancement of the younger generations through public school. Communism would allow the masses a chance to come together and unite for all people to work for the moon good. Under Stalin, any opposition was brutally crushed.
Not one Eastern European country did the revolution have the support of more than a minority of people. The communist take-over was achieved by undemocratic methods or also referred to as rigged elections, terror, totalitarian state, and mainly harassment and threats. In 1 932, a two-hundred page document by a member of the Politburo condemning the Stalinist regime and calling for change was published. In response to this, Stalin proposed a terrible revenge. In 1 936, Stalin began what became known as the purges” whose function was to try members of the communist party who had acted treasonous.
The result was that five thousand party members arrested and taken of their membership. The sixteen defendants in the three Show trials of 1936, 1 937, and 1938 were found guilty and eventually executed. In 1939, those who had assembled the purges were executed as well. By 1939, the only member of Linen’s group who had remained was Stalin himself. Therefore, it can clearly be seen that communism never had popular public support. It cannot be denied that there was a significant minority who supported communism. For a leadership to lead, it must have strong support and confidence.
It must be seen to work for the good of the people and not merely just a minority. Thus, this can be argued to be one of the contributing factors in the downfall of Common ism. A second related factor, which had a hand in bringing about the end of communism in Eastern Europe was the fact that communism never really had the support of the people. There was constant societal opposition to communist rule in Eastern Europe. Although this was mainly in the form of a passive argument, there ere occasional violent and active shows of opposition to communist rule.
The states of Eastern Europe in the post-war period had been forced to adhere to the Moscow line. After 1956 however, with Khrushchev’s new approach to Socialism and his denunciation of Stalin, there were increasing calls for independence among the communist bloc countries that had never been truly supportive of the communist ideal. The next contributing factor to the collapse of communism was the downfall of its economic failure. Bolshevik confiscated virtually all harvest bringing the country to the brink of economic collapse.
The result of war communism under Lenin was that from 1914 the countryside was neglected and destroyed and in 1920 there was a severe drought. In 1 921 , the New Economic Policy (NEAP) was introduced and thus it became in effect as limited capitalism. Peasants were allowed to keep their surpluses after taxes were paid. Bonuses, extra rations, and better housing were offered as incentives. Still there was widespread opposition to the communist policy with the beginnings of a “peasant war” against Stalin’s’ proposed acclimatization policy in 1928.
Although agricultural production increased, the standard of living was lowered and hardship was widespread. Forcible acclimatization was pursued until 1 935 showing the people’s general opposition to communist policies. As previously mentioned, communism never had majority support or a legitimate political basis. Force was regularly used to ensure that the communist party remained its power. One can maintain that the fact that communism was a political failure was also a contributing factor to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. If a party does not have the support of a majority, then it has a weak political basis.
The fact that undemocratic means were used to ensure that the communists came to and maintained power shows that communism was a political failure. Throughout the history of communism in Russia, never once did the party gain a majority support or actually truly succeed in suppressing public demonstrations of antipathy towards communism. It can be argued that a political leadership with no political basis or support could ever hope to Another important factor is communism’s complete failure in us revive. Relation to society and culture. Soviet society under Communist rule was socially and culturally underdeveloped.
The state had a say in every aspect of the society’s life. In response to low birth rates, large numbers of orphans and the failure of 37/100 marriages in 1 934 alone, the communist leadership compelled the media to promote stable family life, which was unsuccessful in the long run. Information and constant brainwashing was used to ensure that the virtues of communism were exploited and a cult following Was created around Lenin and Stalin. This Was a propagandistic book based on an idealistic view of communism and its leaders. The mass arrests, the Ruth of the purges and the labor camps were not allowed to be discussed in the media.
People were simply not allowed to form any opinion contrary to that of the communist state. People were also not allowed to choose their own religion or follow their own personal religious beliefs. The state outlawed and censored religious “propaganda” and publications. The Soviet state actively and brutally persecuted the churches in which a large number of these were desecrated or destroyed. More than half of all monasteries were forced to close and in 1921 twenty-eight bishops were arrested or died in Eileen clashes with the Soviet military.