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Hammer and sickle nobg.svg THE COMMUNISM PORTAL Hammer and sickle nobg.svg

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Communism is a political ideology that seeks to establish a future without social class or formalized state structure, and with social organization based upon common ownership of the means of production. It can be classified as a branch of the broader socialist movement. Communism also refers to a variety of political movements which claim the establishment of such a social organization as their ultimate goal.

Early forms of human social organization have been described as "primitive communism". However, communism as a political goal generally is a conjectured form of future social organization which has never been implemented. There is a considerable variety of views among self-identified communists, including Maoism, Trotskyism, council communism, Luxemburgism, and various currents of left communism, which are in addition to more widespread varieties. However, various offshoots of the Soviet and Maoist forms of Marxism–Leninism comprise a particular branch of communism that had been the primary driving force for communism in world politics during most of the 20th century.

Selected article

Pin of the flag of the CPSU
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Russian: Коммунистическая партия Советского Союза, Kommunisticheskaya partiya Sovetskogo Soyuza; short: КПСС, KPSS) was the only legal, ruling political party in the Soviet Union and one of the largest communist organizations in the world. It lost its dominance in the wake of the failed August 1991 coup d'état attempt led by authoritarian hardliners.

It emerged from the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin. The party led the 1917 October Revolution that overthrew the Russian Provisional Government and established the world's first socialist state. Given the central role under the Constitution of the Soviet Union, the party controlled all tiers of government in the Soviet Union and tolerated no opposition. Its organization was subdivided into communist parties of the constituent Soviet republics as well as the mass youth organization, Komsomol. The party was also the driving force of the Third International (Comintern).

The party ceased to exist after the coup d'état attempt in 1991 and was succeeded by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation in Russia and the communist parties of the now-independent former Soviet republics.

Selected biography

Erich Honecker
Erich Honecker (German: [ˈeːʁɪç ˈhɔnɛkɐ]; 25 August 1912 – 29 May 1994) was a German communist politician who, as the General Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party, led East Germany from 1971 until the weeks preceding the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. From 1976 onward he was also the country's official Head of State as Chairman of the State Council following Willi Stoph's relinquishment of the post.

Honecker's political career began in the 1930s when he became an official of the Communist Party of Germany, a position for which he was imprisoned during the Nazi era. Following World War II, he was freed and soon relaunched his political activity, founding the youth organisation the Free German Youth in 1946 and serving as the group's chairman until 1955. As the Security Secretary of the Party’s Central Committee in the new East German state, he was the prime organiser of the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961 and, in this function, bore responsibility for the "order to fire" along the Inner German border.

In 1971, he initiated a political power struggle that led, with Soviet support, to his replacing Walter Ulbricht as First Secretary of the Central Committee and as chairman of the state's National Defense Council. Under his command, the country adopted a programme of "consumer socialism" and moved toward the international community by normalising relations with West Germany and also becoming a full member of the UN, in what is considered one of his greatest political successes.

As Cold War tensions eased in the late 1980s under the liberalising reforms of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Honecker refused all but cosmetic changes to the East German political system and was consequently forced to resign by his party in October 1989 and ousted from power as the regime sought to retain its power, thus ending Honecker's eighteen years (effectively) at the helm of the soon-to-cease state.

Selected quote

On the question of agricultural co-operation, I think we should be confident, firstly, that both the poor peasants and the lower-middle peasants among the new and old middle peasants are enthusiastic about taking the socialist road and are eagerly responding to our Party's call for co-operative transformation -- this being particularly the case among those with a higher level of political consciousness -- because the poor peasants are in a difficult economic position and because the lower-middle peasants are still not well off, although their economic position is better than before liberation.

I think we should be confident, secondly, that the Party is capable of leading the people of the whole country to socialism. Having led the great people's democratic revolution to victory and established the people's democratic dictatorship headed by the working class, our Party can certainly lead the whole nation in basically accomplishing socialist industrialization and the socialist transformation of agriculture, handicrafts and capitalist industry and commerce in the course of roughly three five-year plans. In agriculture no less than in other spheres we already have powerful and convincing proof of this. Witness the first batch of 300 co-operatives, the second of 13,700 and the third of 86,000, or a total of 100,000, all established before the autumn of 1954 and all consolidated since. Why, then, can't the fourth batch of 550,000 co-operatives formed in 1954-55 and the fifth batch to be established in 1955-56 (the provisional control figure is 350,000, subject to final confirmation) also be consolidated?

We must have faith in the masses and we must have faith in the Party. These are two cardinal principles. If we doubt these principles, we shall accomplish nothing.

— Mao Zedong (1893-1976)
On the Question of Agricultural Co-operation , 1955

Selected picture

Peermade-taluk (20).JPG
Communist memorial in Peermade.

Photo credit: Soman

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