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Questions tagged [communism]

An ideology derived from socialist theory of the nineteenth century. Communism defines a condition in which socialist development has lead to the virtual elimination of economic class. This is ultimately achieved by worker ownership and control of the means of production (defined as the tools & facilities which produce goods). Throughout the 20th century multiple nation states claimed either to have achieved communism or to have been developing it.

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91
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10answers
18k views

Has a sovereign Communist government ever run, and conceded loss, on a fair election?

Have there been cases where a sovereign Communist government ran in an open and fair multi-party election and conceded a loss? The reason for the sovereign qualifier is simple. If, for example, the ...
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Did the Germans purposefully arrange to send Lenin to Russia to start a revolution?

A recent documentary, The World Wars, on the History Channel suggested, strongly, that the Imperial German government secretly arranged safe-passage for Vladimir Lenin to return to Moscow from ...
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Did Stalin believe Israel would go communist?

In Anne Applebaum's recent book Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe 1944-1956 she claims the USSR supported the new state of Israel and states "Stalin believed Israel would quickly join the ...
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Why did Stalin keep the famine of 1932 a secret?

The famine of 1932 took millions of lives, before the Soviet authorities took some measures to alleviate the lives of the peasants. During the whole time, and for decades afterwards, the affair was ...
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Why is North-Korean communist leader Kim Il-sung called Kim Ir Sen in some languages?

Looking on Wikipedia I see that in many of the languages of the former communist countries, namely East European, the North Korean leader Kim Il Sung (or Song) (1912-1994) is called Kim Ir Sen. (I am ...
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What was the legal status of an East German once he had reached West Germany?

Cold War histories usually state something like "any German able to reach West Germany was automatically granted West German citizenship" to explain how easy it was to go from East to West, if only ...
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Was the population of Moscow wildly overstated during the Cold War?

The science fiction author Robert Heinlein was a socialist in his youth, but became a strident anticommunist during the Cold War. In 1960, he and his wife Virginia went as tourists to the USSR, and he ...
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Why did the Soviet Union's economy grow fast in the 1950's-1960's?

Communist economic systems self-implode. Today it has been recognized that Communism is bad for economic progress. There is no dispute that Communism makes countries poor based on what has happened in ...
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4answers
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Why is red color associated with communism?

Red color is traditionally associated with communism. You can find it at Soviet Union flag, China flag and red star is normally symbol of communist countries . Why is red color associated with ...
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Were there any westerners who entered the soviet bloc to escape capitalism? [closed]

It is a well known fact that many people from the soviet bloc fled to the west to escape communism, and that during the entire soviet time frame, from the beginning of the Russian civil war in 1918 ...
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Why were the Prague Spring leaders treated more leniently than Nagy and his colleagues?

Following the Warsaw Pact's 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia the lead Czech reformer Alexander Dubček was dismissed and given a lowly job with the forestry commission. A decade or so earlier, the ...
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How many Bolsheviks were Jewish?

There is an old canard to the effect that Bolshevism was a Jewish phenomenon (the Nazis, for example, referred to it as Judeo-Bolshevism), and there are still many people today who stress the ...
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What sources or documentation exists to indicate Stalin's level of popularity in Russia today?

To what extent is Stalin still loved and/or respected by Russians (and for extra points former USSR states)? While articles like these news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7802485.stm news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/...
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When did the Great Purge start?

In what month of what year did the Great Purge begin in the Soviet Union? Wikipedia's individual page says it it started in 1934, but if I Google search for "Great Purge" and "1934," nothing much ...
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3answers
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How much was the wealthy elite harmed by the Bolshevik revolution?

One of the stated benefits of communism is supposed to be that the property of the extremely wealthy will be seized and redistributed. However, a common criticism states that the extremely wealthy ...
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622 views

What was the program of the Mensheviks in their later years? How did they hope to achieve it?

The Mensheviks were an important force in Russia during the February Revolution of 1917. Within Russia proper, they were gradually sidelined after the Bolshevik October Revolution. The Menshevik ...
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How does Louise Bryant's assessment of how the Soviet Union would fall hold up at the beginning of the 21st century?

Louise Bryant, an American bohemian spent six months in Russia during the turbulent times that presaged the October Revolution - and which she wrote up as Six Red Months in Russia. In her conclusion ...
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What made the generation-switch hard in Soviet Union?

I always wondered, why didn't the Soviet leadership have similar generation changes like Chinese had later with Deng Xiao Ping? Only Gorbachev could get the leadership as second-generation communist ...
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How Successful Were the International Brigades?

During the Spanish Civil War (1936 to 1939) to what extent did the International Brigades play a role in fighting the fascists coup? My understanding is that they were a relatively minor element, ...
11
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1answer
287 views

How did the European and international left react to the Cafe War?

During Algerian decolonization, one episode was the Cafe War, when the mainstream Algerian independence group FLN and the communist MNA killed each other's members. This left several thousand dead in ...
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3answers
452 views

Why was the Republican government of Spain so slow to react to the Nationalist revolt?

I have been reading the Battle for Spain by Antony Beevor. One of the arguments the author makes is that the first 48 hours of the July 17th military uprising was the most vital period in which a ...
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1answer
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What was Lenin's major criticism of or differences with Marx?

I'm interested in what specific differences in Lenin's writing might address what he perceived to be the shortcomings of Marx's work. Wikipedia is weak on this topic.
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What was the logic behind Stalin's brutality?

In this article Stalin's behaviour is argued to be the result of a calculated and fanatical strategy. Stephen Kotkin's book 'Stalin' is referenced, and the suggestion is that criticism of Stalin as ...
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1answer
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Lenin Jacket Picture: What's the story?

What is the story behind this photo? When was this photo taken? Who are the models? This photo, in many places on the internet, even in this article on "Chinese wikipedia", is shown as an example of ...
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431 views

Why did Romania create a personality cult long after Russia's “overcoming of the cult of personality”? [closed]

During the Cold War the Socialist Republic of Romania was aligned with the USSR and within the Soviet sphere of influence. What appears odd is that while Russian Communism slowly liberalised after ...
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4answers
655 views

Communist resistance groups in the Nazi German military

In a recent newspaper article about a Jewish man concealing his identity in Norway during the five years of Nazi German occupation, a reference is made to a "secret Communist group" among German ...
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487 views

What unique personal experiences contributed to the formation of Mao's brand of Communism?

Political scientists cite his personal attributes and exposure to the proletariat as synergistic in the formation of his doctrine. What particular experiences in Mao Zedong's formative years ...
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How did the KPD relate to the German state during the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact?

Between August 1939 and June 1941, Germany and the USSR had the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. During this time, many USSR-oriented communist parties in Europe and North America were (forced to be) rather ...
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3answers
331 views

Did technical managers have to join the Nazi party?

In the Soviet Union a person who was rising in technical management (say, becoming the director of a plant) was usually expected to join the Communist Party as a pre-requisite of getting the job. I ...
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What do Marxists mean by “class basis of law”? As seen in linked article

R. Judson Mitchell's article The Brezhnev Doctrine and Communist Ideology uses the term "class basis of law". I'm not sure but I think: Because this concept almost always appears hand in hand with "...
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What were the limitations on possession of wealth in Soviet Russia and how were they enforced?

Specifically: How were workers compensated, was wage equal everywhere? If not - what affected the variations? What were the limitations of possession of money and/or assets? How were they enforced? ...
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2answers
397 views

How would one have gone about setting up a business during Communist Revolutionary China?

In 1966, Mao Zedong launched a movement towards Socialism, to, solidify his power after a disastrous Great Leap Forward, called the Cultural Revolution. Though the movement moved towards a total ...
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2answers
509 views

Ideological differences between Mensheviks and Bolsheviks

As I understand from this brief explanation, the main doctrinal difference was that the Bolsheviks were more radical (class struggle) while the Mensheviks were more in favor of class cooperation and ...
8
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1answer
234 views

Were dissident KPD members ratted out to the Gestapo?

In her essay "Gestern Morgen", Bini Adamczak tells a story from Manes Sperbers "Wie eine Träne im Ozean." I'll paraphrase: In 1935, a member of the German Communist Party (KPD) finds himself ...
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What was the reaction of Western Communist Parties to Kruschev's 1956 speech denouncing Stalin?

I am also curious about the reactions of left-leaning intellectuals (aka "fellow-travellers").
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When did the Vietnam War start?

I embarrassingly don't know much about the history of the Vietnam War. I would like to learn more about the war, but I can't figure out when exactly the war started and ended. World War 2 was from ...
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3answers
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How did the Chinese Self-Criticism work in practice?

During the Maoist era often "enemies" were put through "self-criticisms" where they needed to note where they were in error and how they strayed from the party. I've seen multiple records of this in ...
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1answer
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McCarthy's speech: Where is “When a great democracy is destroyed…” from?

During the Wheeling speech in 1950, McCarthy said : As one of our outstanding historical figures once said, “When a great democracy is destroyed, it will not be from enemies from without, but ...
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1answer
295 views

Why didn't the Communist Party in Czechoslovakia use the military to suppress the protests during the Velvet Revolution?

I've been reading a bit about the fairly peaceful transition of power in Czechoslovokia through the protests throughout the country, but I'm wondering, why didn't the ruling party attempt to bring the ...
6
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2answers
910 views

Did Mao Zedong and Chinese communists collude with the Japanese during the Sino-Japanese War?

Whilst answering another question on in which the CCP was militarily involved in the Sino-Japanese War, To what extent did the CPC avoid fighting with the Japanese? I came across groundbreaking and ...
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What were the effects of US foreign policy in the South East Asian region in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s on states with capitalist economies?

US foreign policy in South East Asia in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s was ostensibly anti-communist. It involved civil and military action in a wide number of countries in this region. Most notably, in ...
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1answer
996 views

Did Amadeo Bordiga tell off Stalin this way?

I read somewhere that Amadeo Bordiga, Italian Communist, said something along these lines to Stalin's face: If the Soviet Union is the homeland of all proletarians and the revolution, then let it ...
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Looking for a symbol for Southern USA communism [closed]

For a novel I'm writing I'm looking for a symbol, akin to hammer and sickle, that would represent a socialist republic created in Florida plus a but of Alabama and surrounding states. The hammer in ...
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6answers
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What was the reason of extreme anti-Communism in the first half of 20th century? [closed]

It is often alleged that a grand part in the success of the Nazi and fascist movements in Europe was their hard-line anti-Communism. Thy used anti-Communist sentiments to gain popularity and even many ...
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Are there any communist leaders without a record of acts we consider as a crime (against humanity)? [closed]

I have taken an interest in dictators a while ago, especially communist dictators and the Cold War in general. As I read through the articles throughout time about these individuals, it came to me ...
5
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1answer
197 views

Was the IMF complicit in destroying the Romanian economy?

Wikipedia claims that despite the unprecedented growth of Romanian industry and food and production at the rate of 22% per year, Romania experienced serious shortage of food and petrol in the late 80s ...
5
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2answers
239 views

Was Nikolai Bukharin told at trial his job was “to confess and repent, not to argue”?

A recent Economist article claims: As Nikolai Bukharin, a close Lenin ally, was told during his own trial, his job was “to confess and repent, not to argue”. I've searched without success for a ...
5
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1answer
408 views

Were Communists drafted for the Vietnam war?

Given that it wasn't illegal to be a member of a Communist party in the US, how did the military handle draftees who might be sympathetic to North Vietnam? Were men who were members of the Communist ...
5
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1answer
685 views

Can anyone find a picture of NSDAP & KPD Workers eating lunch together in 1932 during Berlin Transit Workers Strike?

A few months back I saw a picture on the web of NSDAP and KPD strikers eating lunch together during the November, 1932, Berlin Transit Workers strike. The picture showed strikers of both parties ...
5
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652 views

How much resemblance did the industrialization of the Soviet Union bear to those of the rest of the world?

I was thinking about the industrialization of the Soviet Union, most notably the death toll involved. The policies (such as forced-labour, prison camps for those who under performed, extremely poor ...