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From the Hardcover edition.
“The publication of Richard Pipes’ Communism: A History . . . is of signal importance. One cannot put it down without realizing, once and for all, that the road to utopia is paved with the bodies of the innocent—and leads nowhere.” —Baltimore Sun
“I wish every university student . . . would read this grim book.” —Paul Johnson
|1.||Communist Theory and Program||1|
|Marx and Engels||8|
|Failed expectations of Marxists||15|
|The Second International and its collapse||18|
|Russia's revolutionary tradition||23|
|Failure of "War Communism"||42|
|3.||Stalin and After||53|
|Stalin takes charge||55|
|Industrialization and collectivization||57|
|The Great Terror||62|
|Stalin exploits Russian nationalism||72|
|Stalin as Lenin's natural heir||73|
|World War II||74|
|Decay and collapse||81|
|4.||Reception in the West||89|
|Western Communists and fellow travelers||97|
|Communism and Nazism||103|
|Stalin's dual foreign policy||107|
|The Cold War||108|
|Post--World War II Communism in the West||110|
|5.||The Third World||115|
|Comintern promotes alliances with nationalists||118|
|Mao and Maoism||122|
|Post-Stalinist Soviet policy in the Third World||127|
|China's "Great Leap Forward" and "Cultural Revolution"||128|
|Pol Pot's Cambodia||132|
|Inherent contradictions of Communism as cause of its repeated failures||147|
|Role of ideology||155|
|The costs of Communism||158|
|Suggestions for Further Reading||166|
Posted March 22, 2005
Neoconservative Professor Richard Pipes¿ Communism: A History is a 160-page obituary for the Marxist-Leninist variety of totalitarianism in the Soviet Union, but not for totalitarianism by other names. Inspired by Darwin¿s theory of evolution, Marx predicted that Communism would evolve in industrial, capitalistic Europe. Lenin discovered that a revolution against Czarist Russia was as easy as `lifting a feather¿ (page 38). False promises of peace at any price and of grassroots democracy were enough to gain support of peasants in agrarian, feudal Russia. Most of Lenin¿s Communist Party members were illiterate or functionally illiterate. After the death of Stalin, Soviet leaders attacked Stalin, but not Lenin, because Soviet leaders wanted to remain in power. Pipes provided ample documentation of the brutality of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and the other Communist leaders who murdered more than 100 million persons and who destroyed the lives of even more. While Marx and Engels claimed that their views on Communism were based upon scientific theory, Pipes documented that Lenin and later Communist leaders learned quickly that Communism is based upon false assumptions about human nature. Millionaire entrepreneurs live in mansions in Communist China today. There has been no abolition of private property. In 1920, Lenin learned that Marx was wrong about an international brotherhood of workers. The Red Army¿s attack on Poland failed because Polish workers and peasants fought against the Red Army, not against the Polish bourgeois and landlords (page 50). After 1920, Soviet leaders decided it was better to provide financial support to local communists or others in each country rather than to attempt to use the Red Army to extend Communism throughout the world. In Germany, Stalin supported Hitler and the Nazis as the best choice for fighting against Western democracies. Surprisingly, this neoconservative historian mentioned Trotsky only briefly and did not explain neoconservative ties to Communism. Trotsky supported world revolution and opposed any alliances with Hitler. With the collapse of the Marxist-Leninist Soviet Union, Pipes predicted that Communists would turn to ¿¿ an eclectic social democratic platform laced with nationalism.¿ (page ix) The Web site of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and other Web sites list large numbers of Members of Congress who support the DSA. The author¿s son and fellow neoconservative, Daniel Pipes, has been a strong supporter of Marxist terrorists (MEK or MKO or Rajavi cult) who have murdered American military officers, Rockwell International employees, and large numbers of innocent persons in Iran and in Iraq. In 2003, the American military attacked Camp Ashraf in Iraq and killed many of the MEK. Neoconservatives were able to reverse the situation. The American military had to protect the Marxist terrorists. Totalitarians have gained powerful positions in Congress and in Democratic and Republican administrations by modifying some labels and messages. Totalitarians, who cannot win elections by explaining truthfully their objectives, need endless, violent wars under any pretext to impose their views and control of the world.
1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 9, 2002
This is a very nice essay. It spends most of its somewhat limited space on European Communism which, given the author's background, is not a shock. I wouldn't have thought you could do justice to the topic in such little space but the author did a very nice job. A good place to start if you want to learn about the history of communisim and also why it always developed into such a horror.
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Posted June 29, 2012
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Posted September 15, 2011
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