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Communism


Mark Albertson

37 Russell Street,

Norwalk, Ct. 06855

203-505-4751

Albrts24@aol.com

mark@markwriter.com


A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of Communism!   Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, the Communist Manifesto.


* * * * *


The bible of the Proletarian movement made its appearance in the tumultuous year of 1848: The year of the Springtime of Nations, as the masses rose up throughout Europe, exercising in various guises the ideas of the Age of Reason/Enlightenment, unleashed as they were upon the Continent by the French Revolution.  One such was . . . Communism.


This derivative of Socialism was of a more realistic variety.  Espousing the violent overthrow of the established order so as to pave the way for the Dictatorship of the Proletariat.  For this was the Age of the Industrial Revolution; the maturation of Capitalism; and, the demise of Nobility, as the centuries-old struggle of the Haves and Have Nots entered a new phase. . .  




Week 1:  Utopian Socialism

Comte De Saint-Simon, Steven Owen and Louis Blanc are emblematic of Utopian Socialists who presaged such Scientific Socialists as Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.  Utopian Socialists believed in voluntary cooperation between the Bourgeoisie and Labor; in effect, eschewing Revolution as opposed to Evolution in fostering the betterment of mankind and society.  This session will introduce the advance guard of Socialism who sought in a variety of guises to advance social and economic reform.


Week 2:  Scientific Socialism

Focus here will be on Marx and Engels, poster child practitioners of reason and logic in the effort to overturn the primacy of the Bourgeoisie.  The peaceful assimilation of peoples into a Socialist society gives way to the violent overthrow of the established order to effect the dictatorship of the Proletariat; in essence, effecting a classless society free of the shackles of Private Property, national prejudices, racial bigotry. . .   This session will use the Communist Manifesto to explain the phenomenon known as, Communism.


Week 3:  Lenin:  What is to Be Done

Russia’s Revolutionary Socialist, Vladimir Lenin, who will champion the Russian Proletariat in the face of a dying Romanov dynasty.  But Lenin, who understands that the Proletariat only commands 10 percent of the Russian population, will alter Communist theory to existing conditions in Russia; that the Proletariat must ally itself with the other 90 percent of the masses, the Peasant.  Session will see to the employment of Lenin’s writings, such as What is to Be Done, State and Revolution, Imperialism:  The Highest Stage of Capitalism. . .


Week 4:  Socialism in a Single Country

Stalinism and the Georgian chieftain’s effort to nationalize Communism.  His urbanization of the Soviet Union; collectivization of the Peasantry and forced industrialization of Mother Russia.  References will be made to Stalin’s writings, such as Foundations of Leninism, to convey a clearer picture of one of the 20th century’s monolithic leaders.  And, the issue of Totalitarianism and Stalin.


Week 5:  Political Thought of Mao Tse-tung

1920s China, the fledgling Chinese Communist Party, led eventually by the dynamic Mao Tse-tung, breaks with Marxist convention to base Communism on the Peasant.  The semi-colonial status of China requires national revolutionary war against the imperialists.  But Communist triumph is not possible until the defeat of the Rightist Deviationists known as the Kuomintang.  Only then could China’s New Democracy, outlined in 1940, be put into action; a doctrine which would serve as a model for other backward colonially oppressed peoples


Week  6:  COMINTERN

The Third International of Communist International.  Started by Lenin in 1919 as that conduit of “World Revolution;” or, for want of a better description, “the General Staff of World Revolution.”  Thirty-five Socialist radicals—most from outside the Soviet Union, were organized to lay the groundwork for spreading revolution beyond Russia’s borders.  This session will focus on Communist movements in Germany, the Spartacist League, Bela Kun’s Hungarian Communists. . .  Trotsky and world revolution will be explored as well.


Week 7:  Titoism

With Tito’s break with Stalin in 1948, Yugoslavs charted a more independent course within the Communist world.  A revised Marxist-Leninist dogma resulted; a revisionism which saw to the decentralization of industry and agriculture within the Yugoslav State; and, a more liberal outlook in foreign relations with both Capitalist and Socialist nations.  Known to some as Yugoslav Revisionism.


Week 8:  Contradictions Within Marxism

Destalinization gave way to plethora of free or alternative Marxist thought:  Milovan Djilas, Nikita Khrushchev, Imre Nagy, Ladislaw Gamulka, Palmiro Togliatti . . . overview of Communism in the post-Stalin era.  And, the future of Communism.

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