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Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

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Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes. Presentation Outline. Marxism Leninism Stalinism Maoism The Crisis of Communism. 1) Marxism. The political and economic theory of communism was developed by the German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the mid 1840s. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Page 1: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

Communism: Communist and Former Communist

Regimes

Page 2: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

1) Marxism2) Leninism3) Stalinism4) Maoism5) The Crisis of Communism

Presentation Outline

Page 3: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

1) Marxism The political and economic theory of communism was

developed by the German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the mid 1840s.

Marx believed that workers (the proletariat) were being exploited by the capitalists (bourgeoisie)

In the mid 19th century workers were made to work long hours in horrible conditions and paid very little wages- Marx wanted to replace this system

Marx advocated a proletarian revolution where the workers would overthrow the capitalist state and create a worker’s dictatorship- he predicted this would happen in industrialized Western Europe not Russia

Page 4: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

In Marx’s communist state:

One Party State- Communist Worker’s Party

Command Economy: The state would control prices and distribution- all citizens would receive an equal share of goods and there would be no private property or social classes

Economic and Social Equality

Page 5: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

2) Leninism It was in Russia where the first Communist

Revolution occurred in 1917

Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks overthrew the Russian Tsar and established the Soviet Union

Page 6: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes
Page 7: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

Leninism differs from Marxism Workers did not play a major role in the

Russian Revolution since there were not many organized worker’s movements or labor unions in Russia

Lenin’s Revolution was carried out by a professional group of largely middle-class Communist revolutionaries

Page 8: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

Leninism Lenin introduced the concept of

democratic centralism : Party members would be able to criticize policy and make suggestions but once a decision was made, all had to follow and obey – feature of many Communist regimes

In practice, democratic centralism was not very democratic and did not work as Lenin had planned

Page 9: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

3) Stalinism After Lenin’s death, there was a power

struggle- Joseph Stalin assumed complete control in 1927 and created the first totalitarian state

Stalin used the mass media to control the population and mobilize citizens for the Party’s goals

Page 10: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

Stalinism Collectivization: abolition of private farms,

forcing peasants to move on to large common farms where they would work for the state

Heavy industry: using massive numbers of peasants to build railways, make steel, mine coal with the goal of rapid industrialization

Gulags: those who did not comply, obey would be sent to labor camps in Siberia

Page 11: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes
Page 12: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

Stalin’s Cult of Personality Since rational-legal and traditional

legitimacy were low, Stalin used charismatic legitimacy to solidify his rule

Stalin’s photos and statues were found on every street in every major Soviet village and city

School children were made to worship Stalin

Page 13: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

The Communist Party State created under Stalin The Politburo was formally created: top

officials who make decisions- feature of most Communist regimes

The position of the General Secretary: leader of the Communist Party and head of state

Nomenklatura: all Communist Party members had to be approved by the Party elite- the only way to be promoted to high level positions was to follow directions and be in the General Secretary’s “good books”

Page 14: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

4) Maoism The second major Communist Revolution

occurred in China

Unlike in Russia, it was the peasants who carried out the Communist Revolution in China

Mao Zedong mobilized the peasants on the Long March (1934) and later to fight against the Japanese forces and Kuomintang nationalists

Page 15: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

Maoism Mao continued the practices of Stalin,

introducing collectivization, promoting heavy industry, and controlling the masses, and developing his own cult of personality

Page 16: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

Left: Mao leading peasants on the Long March (1934)

Right: Mao surrounded by peasant students during the Cultural Revolution (1966)

Page 17: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

5) The Crisis of Communism After the Cultural Revolution and the death

of Mao in 1976, China was in severe economic trouble- years of economic mismanagement led a new leader to rethink traditional Marxism-Leninism and follow a different path

Page 18: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

Deng Xiaoping Beginning in 1978 Deng introduced a number of

economic reforms to boost China’s economy : 1) creation of Special Economic Zones in Xiamen, Shenzhen.. 2) encouragement of foreign investment 3) allowing private enterprise to operateThese reforms were pragmatic but were

completely opposed to classic Marxism-Leninsm

Page 19: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

Deng’s pragmatism Other Communist states such as Vietnam

have followed Deng’s model

Economic reforms but without major political reforms

Page 20: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

Political and Economic reforms too much for the Soviet Union In 1989 Communist General Secretary Mikhail

Gorbachev introduced political reforms (glasnost: democratization) and economic reforms (perestroika: privatization)

Hard-line Communists attempted a coup to replace Gorbachev

Meanwhile many former Soviet states such as Latvia, Lithuania had declared independence

Both the Party and the Soviet Economy were in chaos, and the regime collapsed in 1991

Page 21: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

Collapse of the Soviet Union

Page 22: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

The collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe- The fall of the Berlin Wall

Page 23: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

Why has Communism not been successful? Arms race with US and Western states cost

the Soviet Economy billions

Information Age: it’s increasingly more difficult for authoritarian regimes to restrict their citizens’ access to the internet and other media sources

Globalization: increasing pressure to fit in to the world trading system

Page 24: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

Communist states have low traditional and rational-legal legitimacy and often must resort to coercion at some point to maintain power- Examples: Stalin’s Gulags

1956 Hungarian protest

against Soviet Communism

1968 Czech demonstration

against Soviet Union 1989 Tienanmen

Square student demonstrations in

Beijing

Page 25: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes
Page 26: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes

Communism in 2012 The only “true Marxist” Communist states

remaining are Cuba and North Korea

Both are totalitarian states, but are isolated politically and economically from the international community

Page 27: Communism: Communist and Former Communist Regimes