communism (of latin COMM universities = “together”) designates the ideal of a classless society after general understanding, in which the social differences between humans are waived and which gained national product everything belonged. This goal sets after of Karl Marx (1848) coined/shaped view the abolishment of the private property at means of production and its transfer in common possession (socialization) ahead.

Table of contents


the term “communism” in historically different connections one used and received in the conflicts of communist directions among themselves diverging meanings.Therefore it designates today several society drafts, their conversion attempts and aims:

Earlycommunist developments

of origins in the antique

conception of the common property, which replace the private propertyis, the equalization in principle of all humans presupposes regarding the acquisition of their food. This idea is age-old and already in some nature religions and the monotheistischen religions put on.

The controlling production way of the antique ones was the slave owner company. Exception was in the front Orient only the early, as if loose Amphiktyonie organized Israel. Already the oldest legal texts of the Bible contain the demand, which country it umzuverteilen regularly in such a way that each farmer finds his getting along (Lev 25.23):

Therefore are you the countryalways do not sell. Because the country is mine, and you are Fremdlinge and guests with me.

The theological reason reads thus: Because all country belongs only to the creator of the world, to which Israel admits itself as Sklavenbefreier made (ex3,7), is human possession and rule privileges not eternal, but changeable. The alleged gentlemen are only “foreigner” as those, which are dependent on them up-to-date possessionless and. The demanded equalization of the land inhabitants should the land lots one come become impoverished into slaveryFuture prospect open and the expropriation of the owners of slave initiate.

This law did not become generally accepted however historically in Israel. In the Jewish Prophetie becomes the fair rearrangement and overcoming of the social contrasts thereupon a firm component of finaltemporal future hope (Jes 65,21f):

Ithouses will build and will inhabit, them will become vineyards will plant and their fruits will eat. They are not to build, what another inhabits, and to plant, which another eats.

This utopia of a fair social order without exploitation, in which all live togetherand and the fruits of their work work acquire themselves, were here always at the same time a social criticism at the present (at the 5,11f):

, Because you suppress arms and take from them high deliveries at grain, then are you in the housesdo not live, which built for her from right parallelepiped stones. Because I know your Freveltaten, which are so much, and your sins, which are so large, because you press the fair ones and bribe take and to arms in the gate [where right spoken] one suppressed.

The promise of a fair future for the up-to-date suppressed ones and pressed one becomes here the sharp accusation against the eliminators; defeats with regard to foreign policy are interpreted as inevitable consequence of corruption relating to domestic affairs of the right by the possessing. The promised future formed thusa critical contrast for reality experience and against unfair policy arranged yardstick, which provided in Jewish religion history validity again and again.

This pulls itself up to Jesus of Nazaret, which renewed the old God right of the regulardecree yearly “(Process card 4.18-21) and great land owner to the task of possession to favour arms invited (Mk 10.21). The Urchristliche goods community of the Jerusalemer Urgemeinde is understood therefore as exemplary image of the coming, all ownership structure of revolutionary realm of God (Apg 4.44):

All, which had become gläubig, were together and all things possessed together.

One finds similar concepts of a religiously justified municipality, which practices not only to arm welfare service, but common property, also in the brightism (e.g. with Pythagoras), later - ajar against Jewish social laws - in the Islam as well as insome indianischen master companies of North America. Here a requirement for transformation for the whole was connected however rarely with it.

Friedrich Engels assumed in his Marxist epoch arrangement of mankind history that a Urkommunismus was the general way of life of protofamiliarer master communities, before with the husband family thatown house and territory became usual in demarcation of others (over the origin of the family, the private property and the state, 1884, MEW, Bd. 21). Thus it has communism as renewal of the “original state” on higherEven one is postulated, by the highly industrialized, arbeitsteiligen capitalistic production way are only made possible and the age-old dreams of mankind realize.

Earlycommunist experiments in the Middle Ages

society change toward social justice was hardly possible in the Middle Ages dominated by the Christianity, if not economic conditions and thoseAppointment to Biblical tradition met. While the large churches followed political rule systems frequently closely and were interlaced due to office privileges with these, different minorities in the course of the church history of Europe tied to the ideal of the Urgemeinde.

Some medals like those Franziskaner practiced to common property as a freiwillige poverty in monasteries in distance from church and social normality, other one against it - for instance the Minoriten - wanted the church altogether to originally reform and thus the majority situation tendentious to change.

Forwards, during and after the reformationthe idea of the common property dipped in different connections, about:

  • January Hus in Prague and the Czech Taboriten, which wanted to set off from papal-imperial central power and to create on the new will created municipality;
  • Hans Böhm inContext of a barrier driver movement, which was directed against the ständische order and against the corrupt catholic Klerus and the lay princes required church and social reforms;
  • Nikolaus stork (Zwickau) and Thomas Münzer (Allstedt), in Thuringia and Saxonia radical-democratic urban constitutions to intersperse tried; Müntzer followed then the farmer rebellions outgoing from South Germany ;
  • Jakob Hutter justified 1533 in Tirol a Wiedertäuferkommune and to community of the Hutterer existing today;
  • Gerrard Winstanley in Wales, that in the contextthe English civil war a land municipality constructed and thus the expropriation of all aristocrats as concrete vision of the future connected.

None of these or similar reform approaches could hold itself for a long time. They failed usually because of the balance of power or internal discrepancies.

Utopian socialism

of the human of the 16. Century had developed - parallel to the farmer rebellions caused by economic misery - ideas of a fair, from all citizens equally carried social order, who for their part on the antique Polis and its democracy - conceptions fell back. Consequence-fraught that was particularly latinEducation novel “Utopia “of the English Staatsrechtlers Thomas Morus of 1516. Without knowing the term, Morus represented a kind communism here as Gegenbild to the European Feudalherrschaft: All work and possess everything together, also and straight reason andSoil (means of production at that time); at the same time everyone may attach the faith, which is in accordance with it.

In 17. and 18. Natural sciences and finishing techniques rapid progress made century. They permitted a mass production of products in the manufaktur and publishing trade already, still without machine means of production.This changed the living conditions and interest situations for large population parts enormously.

In the course of the clearing-up conceptions of equal and rule-free living together developed with the idea of the human rights. In numerous - threatened always of the authority - secret federations and associations without means searchedCraftsman, farmer and intellectual ones a forum and a trailer for their ideas. They were interested hardly in the scientific collection of empirical data, developed their conceptions however from the contradictory experience of disappointed democracy hopes and relative right progress. But only with the emancipation of theMiddle class got these ideas a political striking power.

Since Karl Marx these earlysocialist equality and democratization efforts, which extended also to the economics, are summarized as utopian socialism. In their aim they are with communism to a large extent united, even if thatClass antagonism and the question about the conditions of a successful revolution still no role play.

The age of the civil revolutions

by the clearing-up, the civil French revolution for the end 18. Century and finally the industrialization beginning in England firstCentral Europe (see.Industrielle revolution), became that 19. Century to one century of important economic and social circulations. After overcoming of the Ancien Régime, D. h. the absolutist aristocracy rule in France also the enlightened middle class in the neighbouring states developed revolutionary ambitions,- particularly in German and the Italian principalities. Some their goals were the release from exploitation, suppression, body characteristic. For the former politically rather influenceless middle class, the third conditions at that time of the society after aristocracy and Klerus,this was connected with the demand after economic and political emancipation opposite the dominant prince houses.

The ascent Napoléon Bonapartes and its conquest campaigns spread for example by its law work, the code civil with new civil rights, European-wide also ideas of the French revolution.Napoléons reforms were first welcomed by many intellectual ones, however it contributed also to it to spread the idea (independent) of the national state and created so with broad civil layers in the conquered areas also a basis for the opposition against itselfand its rule, which led in the wars of liberation in the long run to its defeat and its fall. After the Viennese congress began at 1815 with the phase substantially of the restoration the attempt of the European princes coined/shaped by the Austrian state State of Fürst von Metternich,to repair the balance of power, as they had prevailed before the French revolution. But the ideas and ideals of civil liberties and national unit had settled in the middle class. Over decades it came in nearly completely Europe again and againnational and civil liberals rebellions and revolutions, which turned against the policy of the restoration (July revolution 1830 in France, different Polish independence collections, Risorgimento in Italy, February revolution 1848 in France, March revolution of 1848/49 in the states of the German federation and thatoutside of the federation Austrian and Prussian provinces lain).

A part of the middle class had at the beginning 19. Century - while a time, in which each liberal liberal pursues expression of the dominant aristocracy, and newspapers were censored and forbidden - recognized thatwith the developing of civil trade and trade already a new social explosive yield developed. In the course of the industrialization developed also new social groups, which were called in the developing science „classes “. With capitalist and working class social participants steppedinto world history, which - each other causing - began to fight for power. The work Friedrich Engels', „the situation of the working classes in England “, knows now the no more on the pauperization of large parts of the people, througha dominant layer of the aristocracy, but by the liberal civil society was caused. Other social classes were back-pushed from the focus of the change.

19. Century

the communist manifesto

the communist manifesto of 1848 is like that something like the establishment document of themodern communism, which understands itself as contrast and overcoming of capitalism. It was written of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in London as program for the federation of the communists.

This union came out from the earlycommunist federation of the fair ones, thatthe Christian cutter William Weitling and up to its separation by Marx had based 1847 had led. It consisted craftsmen and left liberal citizen of a group to France more emigrierter German associates. Weitling bordered itself already for his part from the early socialists (among other things Proudhon, Saint Simon, Fourier) off and publicised a not only political, but also social revolution of the Proletariats in relation to the middle class. It aimed at the abolition of the money as article of exchange and the direct, in a well-planned manner and jointly administered goods exchange.

The communist manifestois the result of the ideological demarcation, which Marx of utopian socialism Weitlings and its forerunner carried out. It publicises the international class warfare of the lohnabhängigen working class against the Bourgeoisie and describes also the position and task of the communist party as „Education of the Proletariats to the class, fall of the Bourgeoisherrschaft, conquest of political power by the Proletariat “. It assigns it thereby on the one hand a political guide roller, on the other hand the subordination under the proletarian common interest: to find indeed a company form, in of the „everyone after its abilities “actively its and „everyone after its needs “the produced wealth openly to stand is. (Marx: Criticism of the Gothaer of program)

as basis of the revolution and the global theory so of Marx mentioned applied the class warfare by force. In the last section of the communist manifesto it means:

The communists defame it to conceal their opinions and intentions. They explain it openly that their purposes can be only achieved by the revolution by force of all past social order. Like the dominantClasses before a communist revolution tremble. The proletarians do not have anything in it to lose as its chains. They have to win a world. Proletarian of all countries - combines you!

From England this writing in completely Europe became andbeyond that spreads. It had however still no considerable influence on the process of the civil March revolution in the states of the German federation. Only after their striking down by force the workers, gradually in own associations, began themselves the forerunners that To organize trade unions.

The “capital”

with its Hauptwerk „the capital “formulated Karl Marx a comprehensive „criticism of the political economics “(sub-title). It analyzed here the regularities of capitalism, those on fundamental splitting of the society into capitals ownerand wage-dependently working are based.

Principal one develops, if the circulation of commodity, which is exchanged for money with other commodity, verselbstständigt itself to an employment from money to goods production, in order to obtain with their sales again more moneys (increase in value).Alive work, which is to actually be human self implementation and manufacture socially useful products, becomes then the commodity, which applies to buy and exploit it as cheaply as possible. The workers receive thus less and less wages, as the capitalist (on the average) throughto win knows the sales of the commodity (profit). This “value law “is the core of the class contrast of capital, which use the Bourgeoisie, and work, which carry the Proletariat out.

Class rule is not therefore coincidental for Marx, but an according-to-lawConsequence of exploitation. This is however no bad will of the capitalists, but an obligation: In order to be able to compete on the market controlled by the capital, they must exploit alive work, which produces the increase in value. The competition, too always leadslarger Kapitalkonzentration (monopoly - and Kartellbildung) and thus inevitably to sales crises and wars. It forces the capitals owner to keep labor costs as small as possible and aim at the greatest possible profit, in order to be able to invest this into technological innovations.This again leads to a ever stronger conscious becoming of the necessity for a revolution. The revolution to socialism is thus after Marx in the capitalistic structures themselves put on.

Thus the civil society appears not as the one which can be condemned morally, but as soberly toochecking up rule form, whose structures make the force of humans over humans inevitable. Their analysis wants to make the material starting points recognizable the circulation of force conditions.

The capital consists of three volumes. 1867 appeared the first volume: The production process of the capital ofKarl Marx. Friedrich Engels arranged two further volumes after Marx´ death 1883 from its manuscripts and published these than volume II:The circulation process of the capital 1885, and volume III: The total process of capitalistic production 1895.

This three-restrains work formsthe heart of the society theory, which one calls generallymarxism “. It stresses contrary to all idealistic conceptions of utopian socialism, the anarchy mash or a civil Kathedersozialismus of proceeding strictly empirically andscientifically “thus throughto be material developments falsifizierbar and correctable. Like other sciences 19. Century - e.g. the natural sciences, about Charles Darwins evolution theory - it wants to establish a materialistic conception of the world opposite the like a Christian coined/shaped irrationalism.

For Marx and Engels was communism thusthe revolutionary movement „protect socialism “of the workers' movement in relation to civil currents. Later they suggested a distinction of socialism than gathering mold to the classless society in communism. In addition they expressed themselves however consciously reservedly and scarcely.

Marxism versus anarchy mash

from thatIdeas of the clearing-up, connected with the intensifying radical currents of the revolutionary liberalism as a result of the French revolution and the different earlysocialist beginnings developed the conceptions of the modern anarchy mash about at the same time with the communist ideas of William Weitling to Karl Marx.

One the early Vordenker of the syndicalism, Pierre Joseph Proudhon (- federalism and Mutualismus are considered as the founders of the anarchist directions -) came 1840 in its writing „Qu´est ce que la propriété?“(German: Which is the property?) in the end: „Property is theft! “. Thus it made the private property the basic stick of its criticism at the dominant not only political, but also social conditions in the developing capitalistic society. Karl Marx however sawthe viewpoints of Proudhon critically in the long run as a bare moral list of ideals. After Marx it applied to point the internal contradictions out of existing conditions (capital and work) and to develop from this a society criticism. Marx made the “private property concrete to thatMeans of production " as the basic evil out. The trailers Proudhons, which later extended and with the agitation for a social revolution connected its theories (Mikhail Bakunin in the Kollektivisti anarchy mash, Pjotr Kropotkin in anarchist communism), divided despite variability of the political conceptshowever with Marx and Engels the estimate of the necessity for a social revolution with a radical circulation of the ownership structure. But while it concerns in the theory from Karl Marx the production of the dictatorship of the Proletariats, at its end the stateduring the transition to the classless society die, went it in contrast to it to the representatives mentioned of the anarchy mash around the immediate abolishment of the state, in order to reach a condition of the Klassenlosigkeit so in this way.

Thus crystallized already in the earlyCorrespondence between Marx and Proudhon very different views around the question of power, the liberty of the individual, the role of the collective as revolutionary subject and different one philosophically - ethical principles out. These different viewpoints, opposite of bothSides objective of the abolition of the class company, escalated during the common time of the organization into the first international one international worker association (IAA) between 1864 and 1872 to a fundamental ideological conflict between the trailers Bakunins and those from Marx.

Bakunin leanedthe prominent role of a revolutionary cadre party likewise starting from like national hierarchies and rejected thereby Marx´ demand after the establishment of communist parties as revolutionary elite in the individual states just like the thesis of „the dictatorship of the Proletariats “. Onthis conflict broke the first international one, after Bakunin was excluded 1872 from it. 1876 took place the official dissolution of the IAA.

This argument between revolutionary Anarchisten and Marxists meant first crucial splitting of the international workers' movement 19. Century -still before the conflict around the question „reform or revolution for the penetration of socialism “, the end of the same century the beginning of splitting the social-democracy into revolutionary-communist and reformistisch social-democratic parties rang in.

The following demarcations of the marxism become from Anarchisten, like hereof Rudolf Rocker among other things, nearly in principle met:

  • Refusal of the Marxist „fate theories coined/shaped by Hegel “. In history give it at all no inevitablenesses (`historical necessities', `inevitableness of the historical happening'), „separate only conditions, which one bears and which sink in nothing, as soon ashumans their causes check up and against it revolt themselves “(Rocker).
  • Refusal „of the historical materialism “. From economical conditions everything „political and social happenings could not be explained ".
  • That anarchy mash understands humans as acting individuals, leans the view of humansas mass off.
  • Fundamental refusal of a state. Means of production of the private sector state to hand over, „leads only to a dictatorship by the State of “(Rocker).
  • Refusal of laws and legislators. Decisions are decided decentralized, collectively and in the consent. „Only thatfree conventions, the only moral volume of all social relations of humans “could “be among themselves” (Rocker).
  • Refusal of a transitional phase from capitalism to socialism. „The will to power “must be in principle fought in a free society.
  • Radical refusal of all capitalistically coined/shaped terms.„All value terms, how we know them today, are each and all capitalistic terms. Air, sunlight, rain, earth humidity, humus, briefly, many of the most important factors of production are today capitalistically worthless, because they could not be monopolized. (…) With the stopping of the property term onMeans of production stops also each value term for the particular. “(Pierre Ramus, Franz bar-yielded)

other communism terms

in the early sociology were compiled also different communism terms. Thus designates Ferdinand sound-sneeze in „community and society “(1887) in the sub-title thatCommunism as „empirical culture form “. This is possible according to its theory however only in visible communities; however it concerns in larger social connections in each case „the Socialismus “. Since with it a society can come out from communities, itwith it from socialism communism considers, can the reverse process however impossible also never become. Also max of webers sees communism as pooling, if it refers for example to ‚family communism `and ‚monk communism `.

Relationship to woman Mrs

with all earlycommunist and socialist conceptions however not from the equality of the sexes one proceeded and one took usually not on a individualistische conception, but on the family as joint basis purchase. That applies to earlysocialist model municipalities, for instance from Robert the Owen,up to the soviet republic, as it was aimed at in Germany 1918. In lastly enterprises (and military units) should send the representatives of the basis into the higher committees, which exhibited structurally no equality of the sexes, but nearly only of men consisted.Also the family was actually criticized only later.

The criticism of the special suppression of the woman was - often in tying at Fouriersthe conditions of the woman mark the conditions of the society “- again and again special element thatWork by Marx and Engels. After her conceptions with abolishment of the class company also the suppression of the woman would end, as at all „the rule of humans over humans “. Already in the communist manifesto they professed themselves to the abolitionthe family by free loving, abolition „of the position of the women as bare production instruments “as well as „the exploitation of the children by their parents “and for the social education of the children.

In the developing socialist-communist states those were formalSexes, not however usually on an equal footing in the everyday life. Even if in production women exhibited the men similar a position, they were subjected in the household to nevertheless further patriarchalen structures.

20. Century

communism versus reformism

around the turn of the century referred the European Social-democracy theoretically usually on Karl Marx and the communist manifesto. Socialist parties divided the goal of a communist social order, which they differentiated conceptually if necessary gradually from socialism despite existing internal conflicts.

End of the 1890er years lost the terms however their clarity,since now a contrast between the rather unionized oriented “reformists” and the revolutionary “Marxists” developed. Both 1899 in German and 1903 in the Russian workers' movement gave it a struggle for power of both directions. In the SPD the co-author solved of the Erfurter of program by 1890, Eduard amber, the revisionism debate out. It demanded renouncement of the goal of the proletarian revolution, there capitalism flexibly to modernize themselves and the workers also on parliamentary way sharing at the social prosperity permitseemed. Although the party majority rejected this, the reformism up to the First World War in the SPD became generally accepted.

A cause for it was the integration of social-democratic party elite increasing with choice successes in offices and privileges, so that their representatives other interests thanthe mass of their constituency developed. Their everyday life fight for better living conditions lost the goal of the circulation of production conditions from the view. Political power conquest did not seem many now also on legal, revolutionary way attainable. The Heraufziehen of the 1. World war strengthened alsoat other socialist parties nationalnational priorities and undermined the proletarian internationalism, which Marx had postulated. This was a substantial condition for the agreement of the SPD realm tag parliamentary group for the war credits. By it the second international one broke.

Whereupon revolutionaries splitGroups from most socialist and social-democratic parties and created new, now expressly communist parties: particularly after the successful Russian October Revolution of 1917. Here the Bolsheviks set the yardsticks as well for the following development in Russia and establishedthe CPSU a new state and Gesellschaftsführung.

Since the establishment the third international one in the year 1919 under guidance of Lenin, starting from 1924 Stalins, was insurmountable splitting between Social Democrats and communists. Since then communism becomes generally understanding of mostwestern societies nearly always equated with dictatorship, democracy particularly with economic liberalism, although also communists and socialists stress the implementation of democracy and the reconciliation of individual liberty with social justice.

Since the end of the Second World War 1945 the so-called won Material socialism - particularly since the successful revolution Mao Zedongs in the Republic of China - a world-political counterweight to the according to the free market aligned countries under guidance of the USA. This contrast determined the cold war and in the west dominant the understanding of“Communism”. It pressurized often also socialist and social-democratic parties, which had to resist Diffamierungen, for instance the “fifth column of Moscow” to be (election campaign slogan Konrad Adenauer) or the “defense of the liberty” in the context of the western military alliance (NATOto neglect).

Since many of the material-socialist states stated to realize theorems and practical suggestions of Karl Marx with their state ideology of the marxism Leninism, their systems are often regarded as logical result of its original ideas. Common characteristics itself of the so calling„Volksdemokratien “or „People's Republics “as the autocracy of a communist party by proponents such as opponents often with by Marx intended “dictatorship of the Proletariats “identified.

While Marx did not express itself clearly in addition, Lenin differentiated between the dictatorshipthe Proletariats and the goal of the classless society. It called the phase after the seizure of power and following power defense of the Proletariats socialism, regarded this - including the necessary dictatorship - thus as preliminary stage to completed actual communism, in thatthe state is felt identically to the society and therefore no more than obligation. This organization became generally accepted in the term „material existing socialism “, which designates the self understanding of those states, itself in a socialist transitional phase to communismsaw present.

Also Marx demanded the “Primat of the party “for the coming revolution; but their autocracy was for it if necessary means for the purpose of the self-rule of the Proletariats, which waives and dissolves all rule. Lenin created however one “A party of new type “, which was organized according to its principle of the democratic centralism of “above downward”. Stalin led this party then to the absolute autocracy without social corrective by independent trade unions or parliaments.

The arguments between reformistic oriented Social Democrats andstalinistischen communist in the Weimar Republic, particularly since the social fascism thesis publicised by Stalin, favoured the ascent and the seizure of power of the national socialism. Thus also the term of socialism became, in 19. Century was equated far away with democracy,a further mark of totalitarian rule (this time of fascism) taken over, abused and lastingly corrupts.

Ascent „of material existing socialism “

with the October Revolution 1917 developed first in Russia for the first time a regime, which wanted to develop and realize gradually communism. ThisState of, that by the party of the Bolsheviks was governed understood itself as “worker and farmer state “. At the point of the party and the developed state stood Lenin, who was recognized as undisputed guidance authority. In that the October Revolution the following The Bolsheviks had to maintain themselves civil war partly also against former allied ones. They expanded their rule thereby also since neighbouring countries. 1922 were based from it the “union of the socialist Soviet republics” (USSR, briefly: CSU).

The socialist soviet system of government was the social basis for the ascent of the Bolsheviks and their revolution success 1917 been. But in the process of the civil war it came to hunger emergencies and rebellions. After the Kronstädter sailor rebellion 1921 the Bolsheviks the Soviets entmachteten, around the rule of their partyto stabilize. In a marxist manner oriented society analysts saw later here such as Karl August Wittfogel and Rudolf Bahro a main cause for the later Inflexibilität of the party bureaucracy, which let the CSU fail on a long-term basis.

1922 introduced Lenin the new economic policy, over under nationalTo energize supervision selfinitiative and winning vines of the farmers and to increase so their yields. Thus it wanted to permit self-sufficiency and development of market structures for a transition period, in order to put the agriculture under state control again later (see also central administration economy).

The Bolsheviks had those Dictatorship of the Proletariats in Russia in a country establishes, which possessed little industrial worker (about 10 per cent of the population) and also no developed capitalistic conditions for a successful and without larger problems transformation running off for socialism. Still until 1923 Lenin setafter the November revolution on the victory the German revolutionary, in order to lead the recent CSU from their isolation with regard to foreign policy and to create an impact to the world revolution. But with the Ruhr fights and that Hamburg rebellion failed the last approaches in Germanyto a socialist social order, so that the CSU came into a lasting political contrast to the Western European states. Briefly before its death Lenin warned 1924 by will of Stalins despotism, for which he had provided the switches.

Stalin entmachtetein the struggle for power in the CPSU to 1927the left opposition “around Trotzki and come-new and reached thereby the autocracy. In addition it availed itself like Lenin in the civil war secret service - of the terror of the Tscheka, like it already thosetsarist Ochrana had practiced. With obligation resettlements, hard labour camps (Gulags), „cleanings “and the establishment of a person cult he strengthened then his dictatorship. With brutal obligation it began besides the collectivization of the agriculture and a rigide industrialization, with thatenormous state enterprises developed, in order to advance the Soviet productivity to the western industrialized countries. The centralization of the economy led to the fact that 1928 the central administration economy could be introduced surface covering.

Just like in the CSU established Stalin in the communist international one the marxism Leninism asnew rule doctrine and provided for the sharp demarcation against all forces, which rejected the guide roller of the CSU and „socialism in a country ": above all „the defiance gravel mash “on, „social fascism “(social-democracy) upthe other side. The prevented in Europe like also in China effective alliances of social reformers and communists. In the Spanish to civil war fought Anarchisten, democrats and communists until 1936 last together, but unsuccessfully against Franco.

Center of the 1930er years announced thoseThe CPSU the final victory of socialism in the Soviet Union. Since then the critical designation developed „for material socialism “, which is particularly used for the Soviet Union, its system and its ideology, later in addition, on other states with a one-party system andMarxist-Leninistic state ideology one expanded.

From 1936 to 1938 Stalins reached „cleaning " - politics their cruel high point: It let the generation the October revolutionary banish and murder now also as its possible opponents relating to domestic affairs, among them most high guidance officers of the Red Army. Thiswas also a reason for the Hitler Stalin pact of 1939, which should provide time gained for it to the military Reorganisiation.

To defiance gravel mash

see major item defiance gravel mash


the People's Republic of China saw themselves after the revolution 1949 as special part of “world communism” and maintained those„Brother friendship “with the CSU under Stalin. According to its death 1953 and the Entstalinisierung introduced by Khrushchev 1956 separated however the ways: Mao quit the Gefolgschaft to the CSU. Since then the “communist camp” was in two disliked great powers with more similarState ideology, but competitive claims to leadership split. The CSU represented now the line of a peaceful coexistence with capitalism, during China on the “permanent revolution “(Trotzki) existed. To its sphere of influence above all North Korea and North Vietnam belonged,occasionally also Kambodscha and Laos, while India and the Caucasus region leaned rather against the Soviet Union.

In many states of Asia, Africa and Latin America „block powers the “USA, CSU and China deputy wars led with one another. The Korea war (1950 - 1953) e.g. actually was an Chinese-American conflict, in which the USA for the first time considered the use of atom bombs to Hiroshima again. In that Mongolia again argued the CSU and China skirmishes military with threatening bearing and about courses of the border. They supported also inthe “third world “different revolutionary groups and goal. The red Khmer in Kambodscha about appointed itself occasionally on „the Maoism “. Their short rule (1975-1979) fell up to 2 million humans to the victim.

Details see major items:Maoism.

Many socialists

and communist frightened communist liberations movement this development world-wide, who did not give their fundamental solidarity up however in view of rising fascism nevertheless to the CSU. Due to 2. World war expanded this its sphere of influence to Eastern Europe and transferred their system after 1945 auf die von ihr besetzten Staaten. They were called in the westEastern Bloc “, because they did not possess a material autonomy, but actually satellite states of the CPSU steered by the Politbüro were.

In relation to the European imperialism and colonialism the ideas hadcountries trailers controlled by Karl Marx already since 1900 also in many not-industrialized, of the world market and western hegemony found. With the victim-rich victory of the CSU over Hitler Germany and the following cold war the conception of the antagonism of two “camps” won after 1945 also among them new plausibility. Many liberations movement took up the “marxism Leninism” now and developed him further as anti-imperialistic ideology for its own situations.


“communism” as national and world-political description of condition continued to itself differentiate in the process of the cold war:With Yugoslavia under Tito and Romania under Ceausescu two different special forms of a relative independence from the Soviet claim to leadership were added, which had for their part authoritarian in party dictatorships.

See major items:Titoismus.

Reform communism east

in the Eastern Bloc countries with an older democratic tradition gave itsince 1953 approaches to self-sufficiency and Abnabelung of the “large brother” in Moscow. These efforts toward reforms on further state-socialist basis can be arranged asreform communism “. They began anti with that rather as reform-communist rising of the people 17. June 1953 in the GDR, which first, placed then the power monopoly of the SED in question demanded work time and wage reforms and already the German unit anvisierte. They led about 1956 in Hungary, 1968 in Czechoslovakia (at that time CSSR) to oneRevival of the advice and the cooperatives in connection with a careful liberalisation of the economy and permission of private business. These attempts were carried and by force by the Red Army were always struck down from broad social classes whenever the detachment ofthe CSU into range came.

Also in the state-independent trade union movement Solidarnosc in Poland e.g. gave it at the beginning of prominent representatives with reform-communist beginnings. control of the food distribution in Poland demanded. Here the invasion of Soviet troops became 1980 only scarcelyavoided, as general Wojciech Jaruzelski imposed the martial law before.

Euro communism west

in Western Europe communist movements up to the Second World War were common in many states. After the war it gave particularly in France and Italy into the 80'sstrong communist parties; very dogmatisch on Soviet course in France, while in Italy „the euro communism in such a way specified developed “, which approximated to the social-democracy.

In West Germany, where the communist party 1956 was forbidden, it developed in the general political tension situationafter the student movement of 1968 numerous so-called K-groups, which competed often strongly against each other and leaned depending upon model against one or more “material existing” communist states. They are not counted therefore to euro communism.

Decay of the Soviet Union

the gradualCollapse of the Eastern Bloc began around 1973, when the USSR in the final act of Helsinki for the first time the individual human rights recognized and so that gave civil rights movements lift. State deficits and foreign debt grew at the same time. Center of the 80's had become the high armament priceless, thatBudgetary deficit forced political and social reforms. With Mikhail Gorbatschow won a man the guidance of the Kremlin, which tackled Glasnost “(opening to the liberty of opinion) and” Perestroika “(a party and administrative reform) with skillful procedure “.

it could do 1986 in Reykjavík a crucial break-through for the disarmament of the medium-range missiles from Europe book. Shortly thereafter it drew the Red Army up from Afghanistan back and main header also the Brezhnev doctrine valid since 1968 . Thus it created the condition with regard to foreign policy for the “turn“of 1989 in the entire Eastern Bloc. After independence efforts in the Baltic it wanted to finally embody also the self-determination of the peoples integrated since 1945 in a new föderalen condition, in order to save the national unit of the CSU during simultaneous democratization. The Putschversuch from August 1991 this development tried to turn back again, however by the erstarkten democracy movement was stopped. This terminated the power monopoly of the CPSU finally. Shortly thereafter dissolved the state federation of the USSR, afterwards also the Comecon and Warsaw Pact .

Before hadGorbachev after the fall Erich of Honecker by the citizen revolution in the GDR of the reunification of both German states affirmatively. Thus “material existing” socialism was in the eastern part of Germany at the end; in addition, all conceptions of a now finally democratic socialism ina reformed GDR, which could contribute the agreement process equally. The national unit was carried out against the will of the citizen movement as entry, the draft constitution “rounds of the table “remained on the distance.

Since that time only two hold themselves beside ChinaStates, whose condition follows the Soviet or Chinese model: In Cuba the communist party under Fidel Castro since the revolution 1959 ( serve-oldest” dictator of the world) prevails continuously. In North Korea from China a supported prevails, cut to the person of the dictatorIn party regime, which uses high armament and nuclear war threat at expense of the hungernden population for its existence preservation.

The communist states were particularly in their initial years strongly certain parts of the working population (inclusive by the respective historical situation and could the “landless” farmers) andcivil intelligence for itself win, because they accomplished drastic social reforms. In addition the socialization of means of production and the expropriation of land owners belonged.

However few years were usually already revised later large parts of the reforms, because „nationalized the productivity “Enterprises was not sufficient to satisfy the needs of the population and the state. Thus died in the Soviet Union already weakened by the First World War into the 1920er years in consequence the October Revolution of the following civil war against the tsarist „White army “(rather from different groups and partly against each other competitive military together sat down) several millions humans at hunger. According to some estimations died up to over 5 million. In particular within the range of the agriculture the independent Kleinbauern became obligatorilycombined into production cooperatives. Also the power of the respective communist party was strengthened and placed quasi with the state directly, partially by force like civil war (actual nationalization in place of the socialization of means of production in the course of the planned economy), which also with the instabilitymany communist concepts and controls necessarily becoming thereby was connected.

In addition, the revolutionary conceptions of socialist intelligence were already taken for example in the USSR in the 20's back (for example socialist models of joint living; Penetration of the „Socialist realism “in the art; Aggravation of the moral conceptions).

Influence on the development of the communist states had also that they developed mostly in connection with military conflicts: so for example Soviet Russia in the First World War and the People's Republic of China in the Chinese civil warwith the movement Chiang dock sheks, the Kuomintang (after Taiwan withdrew themselves later and there an own - today not recognized from China to - state created).

Only outside problems, those were not carried the communist states -by their kp - dictatorships to become left. The respective ruling powers interpreted from Marx and Engels submitted work to scientific socialism also according to own interests of power. Primarily an absolute guide roller of the communist party was defined as a deputy of the Proletariats,in place of the working class and the farmers the fate of the country alone, without genuine democratic authentication determined. A mean-light agency by the population was usually reached by headlight awls. In addition it comes that in the society desired of humans on an equal footing durablemake-exercising organizations intended were not - thus also no mechanisms to prevent misuse of power of such organizations like z. B. Division of power, Pressefreiheit, check and Balances and other democratic control instances. Accordingly ruling powers could implement often to a large extent unhindered extreme measures.

Like that were there expresses like insideThose led structures, which led in the communist states partially to extreme suppression of the oppositions, and also the internal-party argument around power in the respective communist parties particularly with Stalin, Mao Zedong and that to extreme force excesses, Culture revolution and the red Khmer under pole poet to be connected.

The concepts of the marxism Leninism (also historical materialism and dialectic materialism as „put ideology under state control “) were spread after the October Revolution particularly over the communist international one (Komintern). The USSR seizedover it in many countries into the social, partially revolutionary arguments and thereby also the model „of the red terror exported “, with which the communists under Lenin in Russia had succeeded. In the east west block confrontation of the Cold war remained many liberations movement, which were in few cases rather nationalistic as communist, nothing else, as itself as kp under the influence of the USSR or China to organize (for example for weapon supplies).

Criticism of material socialism

internal-Marxist, socialist andliberal of criticism beginnings

the criticism at the “material existing” systems alsosets for communist requirement at several aspects:

  • missing basis democracy: The party and parliamentary group prohibition the lame necessary social participation and selfinitiative of the workers imposed by Lenin and endanger in such a way thatStructure of socialism (pink Luxembourg).
  • Bureaucracy: By the isolation of Soviet Russia a new “Bürokratenschichtcould actually tear power, which led to a “degeneration” of the worker state (Leo Trotzki).
  • Centralism: From abovea developed Soviet cadre party is structurally unable downward to solve the economic problems of the country (Wolfgang Leonhard)
  • ideological manipulation: Lenin and Stalins “marxism Leninism” is a break with the original ideas of Marx and Engels and operates it in itOpposite (George Orwell, Oskar Negt, Iring Fet).
  • Authoritarian totalitarianism: The system of government of the CSU permits structurally no democratization and switches the free development off of humans just as totally as fascism (harsh ore Marcuse, Hannah Arendt).
  • the society formation of the CSU and China is not socialism/communism, but a form of the asiatic the potentiometer mash (August joke bird, Rudolf Bahro , Rudi Dutschke ), solidified bureaucratically,
  • imperialism: The domestic dictatorship and the economic weakness of the CSUlead to outside expansion urge and Hegemonialansprüchen, those the world peace endanger (consent of reform communists, anti-communists and some liberations movement of the third world)

in the center of many criticism beginnings is located the a party rule, which was and is the common characteristic „of the Volksdemokratien in such a way specified “. Formally could e.g. in the coalition system to the GDR further small parties exist, which were however coordinated with the SED and whose majority were allowed to never endanger.


the Totalitarismus thesis compares the systems of fascism since its arising in the 20's with the Stalinismus. Representatives of the Totalitarismus thesis proceed from formal and contentwise similarities. Straight one regarding the crimes of the Nationalsozialismuses serves a denying of the singularity of these crimes and the stress of a comparability also relating LV injustice. Generally must be differentiatedbetween historically actually existence been developments like the Stalinismus and the theoretical thing of communism, which become not already congruent by the fact that the participants of the Stalinismus called themselves every now and then as communists.


beside the further existing tradtionalistischen parties and despite gravel tablesParties exist nowadays the following currents:

Post office-communist parties

from the collapse of material-existing socialism went out concerning those again apart from traditionalistischen also currents and suggestions the social problems of the present. Thus it gives changed socialist/communist parties up, those today politically predominantly Basis democracy and “socialist democracy “instead of on dictatorship of the Proletariats and the claim to leadership of only one party set.

Post office-Marxist beginnings: Value criticism and anti-German

in the “new one in such a way specified” or “alternative” linking find today further a critical argument with the civil-capitalisticSocial order instead of. As their expression to be criticized such as Arbeitsfetisch, Personalisierung of abstract conditions, Antisemitismus and anti-Americaism determined ideologies and tendencies. The critics refer not only to Karl Marx, but also to the “critical theory “(Adorno, Horkheimer) and the value critic Moishe pos clay/tone.

Different groups of the left-alternative spectrum represent themselves today new society-critical beginnings, from those particularly after that 11. Septembers 2001 two post office-Marxist currents developed:

  • the “value critics “: Exit, Krisis und die Wertkritischen Kommunisten Leipzig (WKL);
  • the “anti-Germans “: In addition the magazine the Bahamas , the initiative socialist forum ( ISF) belong, the anti-German communists Berlin (ADK), to Kritik&Praxis Berlin (kp) as well as the Leipziger group in establishment (GiG).

Both currents take positivelyPurchase to communism. Among them they understand emancipatory movements, which waive and into a released society to transform want world-wide and prozessual civil-capitalistic conditions. Their goal is a obligationless and joint society, in that humans and its needs inFor center stand and additionally responsibly with nature and environment deals.

The communist society is defined above all negatively against, what is to be overcome and abolished. It does not leave itself on the drawing board and from today's conditionsconceive, but can develop only from the criticism at the existence out in the common and conscious discussion and transformation process. Particularly the “anti-Germans” persist on from Adorno (negatives dialectic, minima Moralia) proclaimed “picture prohibition”, thus to the conscious renouncement uppainting the released future.

Of this negative and society-critical regulation the analysis of capitalism is the center. This is explained out from as dominance the understood „value logic “, whose substantial expression is „the self utilization process “ of the capital: During a steady process must the capitalist from money more money “make”, by purchasing manpower, machines and raw materials, so that produces goods, these sold and to a large extent again into the production process reinvests the obtained profits (profit, increase in value). The “capital” becomes thereby the “automaticSubject ", over whose abstract self purpose the human relations is mediated. Capitalist (Ankäufer of the commodity worker) and worker (salesman of the commodity worker) are regarded as two necessary and competitive function carriers/participants within this relationship. Human activity as „work “becomes thereby oneremember-light and form of human activity pulled out from the living environment of humans, which is subjected only to the purpose of the Kapitalvermehrung. The term of the “value” is in this criticism central, there it in the form of “socially necessary work time” in such a way specifiedabstract “common third” represents, on which goods production and - are based to exchange (see. in addition Karl Marx: “The capital. I bound ").

This socialness is brought out in capitalism by humans, independent however fetischhaft and carries out themselves as fundamental structure behind of themBack. It is as a whole only with difficulty understandable and steps them “masked” opposite, because the actual purpose of the goods exchange, which Kapitalvermehrung, by which apparent adjustment of use and exchange value of a commodity on the “free market” is covered.

After Roswitha Scholz(Exit) and the underlying structure relationship insists others in capitalism not alone to the value principle, but on a relationship of value (the “male”, rational one, social one, subject-clung) and Abgespaltenem (the “female”, emotional one, natural one, object-clung), broken in itself. This becomes asValue splitting off beginning marks.

Both currents distinguish themselves sharply from the traditional marxism , since this positively occupies the Proletariat as „revolutionary subject so mentioned “and activity form „work “. On the other hand here work becomes strict as specifically capitalistic and from the life everyday life of humans pulled outhuman activity criticizes. Also the Marxist Klassenkampfrhetorik is rejected as Personalisierung.

Value critics analyze “material existing socialism” as a specific form of development dictatorships, those under the default (and in the faith), to establish a socialist society only a retrieving industrialization upthe soil of the be-producing socialization interspersed.

Also the civil subject is criticized as adjusted and unfree form of the human individual. Being connected with it, terms become like “justice”, “human rights”, “clearing-up”, the ideals “equality, liberty, fraternity” and “democracy” as a sign of the civil-capitalistic society,in accordance with their yardsticks, understood. They are not in this form into a communist society to save (see. in addition Karl Marx:“To the Jew question”, |362|-|370|.).

Differently than other communist currents value critics and anti-Germans solidarize in principle with the State of Israel. Itunderstand this as direct answer on the Holocaust at the Jewesses and Jews of Europe, as bastion and place of refuge against each Antisemitismus and approve of it an unrestricted existence and defense right too. Antisemitismus is defined as barbarian crisis ideology of the capitalistic socialization.

Afterthat 11. Septembers and particularly since the attack of the USA on the Iraq became strong differences between both currents obviously. These presented themselves particularly in the estimates of material developments and as necessarily judged reactions:

  • “Anti-Germans” affirm thatWar of the USA against the terrorism in Afghanistan and in the Iraq, because western values and the clearing-up would have to be defended as “conditions of the possibility for emancipation” against the Gegenaufklärung. Their demarcation is directed against elements of Antizionismus, Antisemitismus and anti-Americaism,it also in the social motion against the Iraq war or the globalization regain. Against this “German mobilization” and the “Islamic international one” they organize Gegenkundgebungen to anti-war demonstrations or reminding guards at American consulates or disturb discussion meetings and readings.
  • “Value critics” however turnlikewise against anti-Americaism, criticize themselves and warn however of that the USA which was given role to lead itself as so mentioned “idealistic total imperialist” and “last world power” representatively of capitalism global implemented world order wars against being lords, terrorism and militant fundamentalism. Itunderstand clearing-up and Gegenaufklärung as two sides medal within a reference system (capitalism), so that one can positively refer to none of the two sides. Social movements against social, economic Zumutungen and war stand them rather positively opposite (so long thesesolidary and not openly racistic, anti-Semitic and antizionistisch), take part in them and practice criticism at arising right tendencies, nationalism and location logic as well as demands arise after more work. Practical working concentrates here v.a. on publishing texts,distributing handbills and stops of speech contributions on demonstrations and demonstrations, as well as accomplishing by meetings. They take part more rarely in alliances (e.g. against Hartz IV or Olympia) or concrete actions.

(see in addition Web on the left of)

acquaintance representative of communist currents

Thomas Morus Theodor W. Adorno François Noël Babeuf Sahra car farmhand Ernesto Che Guevara
Josip Broz Tito Antonio Gramsci William Weitling Robert briefly William realm
Karl Marx walter Ulbricht Anton Pannekoek Moishe pos clay/tone George Lukács
Erich Honecker Nikita Khrushchev Friedrich Engels Pink Luxembourg harsh ore Marcuse
William dear farmhand Mao Zedong Clara Zetkin Ernst Busch Ernst Bloch
Ho Chi Minh Karl dear farmhand Fidel Castro walter Benjamin
Vladimir Iljitsch Lenin Paul Frölich Leo Trotzki Johannes Agnoli
Herman Gorter Otto farmer Ernst Thälmann Otto Rühle
Max Reimann To Bertolt break Hanns Eisler Ernest almond
Imre Nagy Alexander Dubček Leszek Kołakowski Robert Havemann


  • Adamczak, Bini: Communism. Small history, as finite everything becomes differently. Unrast: Münster 2004, ISBN 3-89771-430-2
  • Courtois, Werth, Panné, Paczkowski, Bartosek, Margolin: The black book of communism, suppression, crime and terror. Piper: 1998, ISBN 3492040535
  • Mecklenburg, Jens: Red Holocaust'? Criticism of the black book of communism. Concretely: Hamburg 1998, ISBN 3894581697
  • short, Robert: Marx read. The most important texts of Karl Marxfor 21. Century. Calibration fount: Frankfurt 2000, ISBN 3821816449
  • Isaac of Germans: The unfinished revolution, Frankfurt 1973
  • Edgar Snow: Red star over China, Frankfurt 1970

see an also

Web on the left of

Wiktionary: Communism -Word origin, synonyms and translations

collections of texts

Wikiquote: Communism - quotations


in a marxist manner




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