- 1 What does Communism mean
- 2 Beginning of the Communist Parties
- 3 The Communist countries
What does Communism mean
Communism is a political, social or economic doctrine, whose main objective is to massify social production in an egalitarian environment for all.
From the sociological point of view, it consists of a socioeconomic doctrine in which the possession of the goods is collective for both production and consumption.
As far as political sense is concerned, communism is the ideology in which the state controls all production and suspends private ownership of it.
In general, communism refers to the eradication of social classes and the conversion of them into one. That is to say, in the States where it is practiced, the aspiration is the existence of a single common class in which all work for all.
It’s an ideology in which all benefits are intended to be centralized and directed to all equally. Practitioners of this movement promote expressions such as equality and inclusion.
The “father” of this doctrine was the German intellectual Karl Marx in the nineteenth century. He wrote, along with Friedrich Engels, the Manifesto of the Communist Party, one of the most influential political treatises in history and from which most of the communist ideas and practices of modernity emerge.
The symbol that is frequently used to identify communist parties is the hammer and sickle which signifies unity among all workers. It is known to have been part, next to a star, of the flag of the USSR.
Beginning of the Communist Parties
Before the Cold War and specifically after World War II, there were times when many countries tried to establish Communist governments and this model had a great rise.
We could say that the first great initiative with Marxist proposals was the Bolshevik Party led by Vladimir Lenin in Russia. From its government and the Revolution of October in 1917, the communist ideas began to expand all around the world more easily.
The beginning of Communist Parties in Europe
For the year 1919 was founded the Communist International whose main office was installed in Moscow and where the base of the modern communism began to form. This movement was installed mainly in some States of Europe where the roots had already been born before the October Revolution. Some of them were Germany, Netherlands and Sweden.
The parties that were added in the following years were developed in countries like Finland, Austria, Hungary, Poland and Lithuania, Yugoslavia, Greece, France, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Portugal, Spain, later joined Iceland and Great Britain, where The Labor Party was also predominant.
An important case to highlight is the Communist Party of Norway that was born in 1887 and was one of the founders of the Communist International. Nevertheless, by 1923 it was expelled from the organization for, among other things, not complying with several of the 21 communist thesis established in the International.
During the 1920s, the Communist International began to have internal disputes. By the 1930s, some Communist Parties began to be banned in countries such as Italy and Germany.
During World War II, communism was organized in different movements of resistance against the Axis around all the countries involved. In 1943 Stalin dissolved the Communist International.
The beginning of Communist Parties in Latin America
The first Communist Parties in Latin America were established in Mexico and Chile. The latter one was part of the Communist International.
As far as the others were concerned, in 1918 the Communist Party of Argentina was founded and during the 1920s the parties were born in Uruguay, Guatemala, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru. In the decade of the 30 communist movements were founded in Venezuela and Puerto Rico.
The beginning of Communist Parties in Africa and Oceania
In 1921 the Communist Party of South Africa was founded and the French Communist Party had a cell in Senegal that was dissolved because it did not grow.
The Communist Party in Australia was founded in 1920 and in New Zealand in 1921, but was never a predominant force in that country.
The Communist countries
Communist countries in Europe after World War II
After the victory of the Soviet Union over Germany, this was accredited and the Communist Parties gained strength throughout the world.
The USSR covered much of Eastern Europe: East Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and Poland. In Yugoslavia and Albania the communist parties had managed to liberate their country without Soviet military aid. The republics took popular Democratic names.
In 1955 the Warsaw Pact was signed. All the Socialist Republics except for Yugoslavia were included there. In 1961 the German Democratic Republic began to build the Berlin Wall.
Communist countries in America after World War II
Although the communist movement was very popular during the postwar years, it only managed to be established on the island of Cuba in 1959. Although there was some predominant current in Mexico and Nicaragua.
The Cuban Revolution caused some revolutionary movements inspired by it in countries like Colombia, Venezuela and El Salvador. Also in Bolivia, Brazil and Uruguay, but these were less important.
In Chile communism was banned in 1948 and in the United States there was a persecution of communists for decades and the Communist Party was declared illegal.
Communist countries in Asia after World War II
In the Asian continent, China was renamed the People’s Republic of China and in 1950 the Korean War began which resulted in the separation of the country and the establishment of North Korea under the premises of communism.
Communist countries during the Cold War
Another point where communism had a boom as a political, economic and social doctrine occurred during the Cold War era in the 1970s. Many capitalist countries were undergoing severe crises while communism had a favorable epoch.
Many civil wars and conflicts occurred in many countries of the world. For example, Vietnam went through a war that ended with the 1973 peace accord and the unification of the country under the name of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, which facilitated the process of creating the Socialist Republic of Laos.
With all these conflicts during the Cold War, the communist countries were: Soviet Union, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia, Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Cuba, Mongolia, China, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, Afghanistan, Iraq Iraq, South Yemen, Angola, Madagascar, Republic of Congo, Syria, Mozambique, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Chile in the period 1970-1973.
Communist countries today
During the 1980s everything changed and after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the dissolution of the USSR and the political changes of the 1990s, the number of communist countries declined considerably, as many stopped counting on the Soviet Union’s support and abandoned The communist model.
At present, only five countries continue to resist a communist regime and call themselves as such: China, North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba and Laos. Venezuela, although its government vociferates that it has a social and economic policy based on socialism, like all these systems, has ended in communism. On the other hand, there are many governments influenced by communist parties and ideas in different parts of the world.