Marxism-Leninism

Marxism-Leninism

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Marxism–Leninism is a communist
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 ideology
Ideology
An ideology is a set of ideas that constitutes one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things , as in common sense and several philosophical tendencies , or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to...

, officially based upon the theories of Marxism
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 and Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As leader of the Bolsheviks, he headed the Soviet state during its initial years , as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a...

, that promotes the development and creation of a international communist society
Communist society
The communist society or communist utopia is the society postulated by the ideology of communism: a society which is classless and stateless, based upon common ownership of the means of production with free access to articles of consumption, the end of economic exploitation.The term "communist...

 through the leadership of a vanguard party
Vanguard party
A vanguard party is a political party at the forefront of a mass action, movement, or revolution. The idea of a vanguard party has its origins in the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels...

 over a revolutionary
Revolutionary
A revolutionary is a person who either actively participates in, or advocates revolution. Also, when used as an adjective, the term revolutionary refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor.-Definition:...

 socialist state that represents a dictatorship of the proletariat
Dictatorship of the proletariat
In Marxist socio-political thought, the dictatorship of the proletariat refers to a socialist state in which the proletariat, or the working class, have control of political power. The term, coined by Joseph Weydemeyer, was adopted by the founders of Marxism, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in the...

. Marxist-Leninist society seeks to purge anything considered bourgeois, idealist, or religious from it. It supports the creation of a single-party state
Single-party state
A single-party state, one-party system or single-party system is a type of party system government in which a single political party forms the government and no other parties are permitted to run candidates for election...

, which in practice led to the establishment of authoritarian regimes
Authoritarianism
Authoritarianism is a form of social organization characterized by submission to authority. It is usually opposed to individualism and democracy...

; some leaders opposed this system, such as Alexander Dubček
Alexander Dubcek
Alexander Dubček , also known as Dikita, was a Slovak politician and briefly leader of Czechoslovakia , famous for his attempt to reform the communist regime during the Prague Spring...

 and Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the last head of state of the USSR, having served from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991...

, who tried to reform socialism in their respective countries. It rejects political pluralism external to communism, claiming that the proletariat need a single, able political party to represent them and exercise political leadership. The Marxist-Leninist state, in practice and not in theory, forbids opposition to itself and its ideology. Through the policy of democratic centralism
Democratic centralism
Democratic centralism is the name given to the principles of internal organization used by Leninist political parties, and the term is sometimes used as a synonym for any Leninist policy inside a political party...

, the communist party
Communist party
A political party described as a Communist party includes those that advocate the application of the social principles of communism through a communist form of government...

 is the supreme political institution of the Marxist-Leninist state.

Marxism–Leninism is a far-left ideology. It is based on principles of class conflict
Class conflict
Class conflict is the tension or antagonism which exists in society due to competing socioeconomic interests between people of different classes....

, egalitarianism
Egalitarianism
Egalitarianism is a trend of thought that favors equality of some sort among moral agents, whether persons or animals. Emphasis is placed upon the fact that equality contains the idea of equity of quality...

, dialectical materialism
Dialectical materialism
Dialectical materialism is a strand of Marxism synthesizing Hegel's dialectics. The idea was originally invented by Moses Hess and it was later developed by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels...

 and rationalism
Rationalism
In epistemology and in its modern sense, rationalism is "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification" . In more technical terms, it is a method or a theory "in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive"...

, as well as social progress
Social progress
Social progress is the idea that societies can or do improve in terms of their social, political, and economic structures. This may happen as a result of direct human action, as in social enterprise or through social activism, or as a natural part of sociocultural evolution...

. It is anti-bourgeois
Bourgeoisie
In sociology and political science, bourgeoisie describes a range of groups across history. In the Western world, between the late 18th century and the present day, the bourgeoisie is a social class "characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture." A member of the...

, anti-capitalist
Anti-capitalism
Anti-capitalism describes a wide variety of movements, ideas, and attitudes which oppose capitalism. Anti-capitalists, in the strict sense of the word, are those who wish to completely replace capitalism with another system....

, anti-conservative
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

, anti-fascist
Anti-fascism
Anti-fascism is the opposition to fascist ideologies, groups and individuals, such as that of the resistance movements during World War II. The related term antifa derives from Antifaschismus, which is German for anti-fascism; it refers to individuals and groups on the left of the political...

, anti-imperialist
Anti-imperialism
Anti-imperialism, strictly speaking, is a term that may be applied to a movement opposed to any form of colonialism or imperialism. Anti-imperialism includes opposition to wars of conquest, particularly of non-contiguous territory or people with a different language or culture; it also includes...

, anti-liberal, anti-reactionary
Reactionary
The term reactionary refers to viewpoints that seek to return to a previous state in a society. The term is meant to describe one end of a political spectrum whose opposite pole is "radical". While it has not been generally considered a term of praise it has been adopted as a self-description by...

, can be opposed to the revisionism of Marxism
Revisionism (Marxism)
Within the Marxist movement, the word revisionism is used to refer to various ideas, principles and theories that are based on a significant revision of fundamental Marxist premises. The term is most often used by those Marxists who believe that such revisions are unwarranted and represent a...

, and is opposed to bourgeois democracy.

The Marxism-Leninist state utilizes a centrally planned
Planned economy
A planned economy is an economic system in which decisions regarding production and investment are embodied in a plan formulated by a central authority, usually by a government agency...

 state socialist
State socialism
State socialism is an economic system with limited socialist characteristics, such as public ownership of major industries, remedial measures to benefit the working class, and a gradual process of developing socialism through government policy...

 economy. It supports public ownership of the economy and supports the confiscation of almost all private property
Private property
Private property is the right of persons and firms to obtain, own, control, employ, dispose of, and bequeath land, capital, and other forms of property. Private property is distinguishable from public property, which refers to assets owned by a state, community or government rather than by...

 that becomes public property
Public property
Public property is property, which is dedicated to the use of the public. It is a subset of state property. The term may be used either to describe the use to which the property is put, or to describe the character of its ownership...

 administered by the state, while a minuscule portion of private property is allowed to remain. It typically replaces the role of market in the capitalist economy with centralized state management of the economy that is known as a command economy. However an alternative Marxist-Leninist economy that exists is the market socialist economy
Market socialism
Market socialism refers to various economic systems where the means of production are either publicly owned or cooperatively owned and operated for a profit in a market economy. The profit generated by the firms system would be used to directly remunerate employees or would be the source of public...

 that has been used by the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, and historically by the People's Republic of Hungary
People's Republic of Hungary
The People's Republic of Hungary or Hungarian People's Republic was the official state name of Hungary from 1949 to 1989 during its Communist period under the guidance of the Soviet Union. The state remained in existence until 1989 when opposition forces consolidated in forcing the regime to...

 and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. It was a socialist state and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...

.

Historical



Within five years of Vladmir Lenin's death in 1924, Stalin completed his rise to power in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

. According to G. Lisichkin, Marxism–Leninism as a separate ideology was compiled by Stalin in his book "The questions of Leninism". During the period of Stalin's rule in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, Marxism–Leninism was proclaimed the official ideology of the state.
Whether Stalin's practices actually followed the principles of Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

 and Lenin is still a subject of debate among historians and political scientists. Trotskyists
Trotskyism
Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Trotsky considered himself an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik-Leninist, arguing for the establishment of a vanguard party of the working-class...

 in particular believe that Stalinism
Stalinism
Stalinism refers to the ideology that Joseph Stalin conceived and implemented in the Soviet Union, and is generally considered a branch of Marxist–Leninist ideology but considered by some historians to be a significant deviation from this philosophy...

 contradicted authentic Marxism
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 and Leninism
Leninism
In Marxist philosophy, Leninism is the body of political theory for the democratic organisation of a revolutionary vanguard party, and the achievement of a direct-democracy dictatorship of the proletariat, as political prelude to the establishment of socialism...

, and they initially used the term "Bolshevik–Leninism" to describe their own ideology of anti-Stalinist (and later anti-Maoist) communism. Left communists
Left communism
Left communism is the range of communist viewpoints held by the communist left, which criticizes the political ideas of the Bolsheviks at certain periods, from a position that is asserted to be more authentically Marxist and proletarian than the views of Leninism held by the Communist International...

 rejected "Marxism–Leninism" as an anti-Marxist current.

The term "Marxism–Leninism" is most often used by those who believe that Lenin's legacy was successfully carried forward by Joseph Stalin (Stalinists). However, it is also used by some who repudiate Stalin, such as the supporters of Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

.

After the Sino–Soviet split, communist parties of the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China each claimed to be the sole intellectual heir to Marxism–Leninism. In China, the claim that Mao had "adapted Marxism–Leninism to Chinese conditions" evolved into the idea that he had updated it in a fundamental way applying to the world as a whole; consequently, the term "Marxism–Leninism–Mao Zedong Thought" (commonly known as Maoism
Maoism
Maoism, also known as the Mao Zedong Thought , is claimed by Maoists as an anti-Revisionist form of Marxist communist theory, derived from the teachings of the Chinese political leader Mao Zedong . Developed during the 1950s and 1960s, it was widely applied as the political and military guiding...

) was increasingly used to describe the official Chinese state ideology as well as the ideological basis of parties around the world who sympathized with the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

 (such as the Communist Party of the Philippines, Marxist–Leninist/Mao Zedong Thought
Communist Party of the Philippines
The Communist Party of the Philippines is a leading communist party in the Philippines. It remains an underground political organization since its founding on December 26, 1968 and has been operating in clandestine manner since its founding...

, founded by Jose Maria Sison
José María Sison
Jose Maria Sison is a writer and activist who reorganized the Communist Party of the Philippines and added elements of Maoism to its philosophy....

 in 1968). Following the death of Mao, Peruvian Maoists associated with the Communist Party of Peru (Sendero Luminoso)
Shining Path
Shining Path is a Maoist guerrilla terrorist organization in Peru. The group never refers to itself as "Shining Path", and as several other Peruvian groups, prefers to be called the "Communist Party of Peru" or "PCP-SL" in short...

 subsequently coined the term Marxism–Leninism–Maoism, arguing that Maoism was a more advanced stage of Marxism.

Following the Sino–Albanian split, a small portion of Marxist–Leninists began to downplay or repudiate the role of Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

 in the International Communist Movement in favor of the Party of Labor of Albania and a stricter adherence to Stalin.

In North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

, Marxism–Leninism was officially superseded in 1977 by Juche
Juche
Juche or Chuch'e is a Korean word usually translated as "self-reliance." In the Democratic People's Republic of Korea , "Juche" refers specifically to a political thesis of Kim Il-sung, the Juche Idea, that identifies the Korean masses as the masters of the country's development...

, in which concepts of class and class struggle, in other words Marxism itself, play no significant role. However, the government is still sometimes referred to as Marxist–Leninist—or, more commonly, Stalinist—due to its political and economic structure (see History of North Korea
History of North Korea
The history of North Korea formally begins with the establishment of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in 1948 in the aftermath of division of Korea.-The early years:...

).

In the other four communist state
Communist state
A communist state is a state with a form of government characterized by single-party rule or dominant-party rule of a communist party and a professed allegiance to a Leninist or Marxist-Leninist communist ideology as the guiding principle of the state...

s existing today—Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

, Laos
Laos
Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

, and Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

—the ruling Parties hold Marxism–Leninism as their official ideology, although they give it different interpretations in terms of practical policy.

Current usage


Some contemporary communist parties continue to regard Marxism–Leninism as their basic ideology, although some have modified it to adapt to new and local political circumstances.

In party names, the appellation "Marxist–Leninist" is normally used by a communist party who wishes to distinguish itself from some other (and presumably 'revisionist
Revisionism (Marxism)
Within the Marxist movement, the word revisionism is used to refer to various ideas, principles and theories that are based on a significant revision of fundamental Marxist premises. The term is most often used by those Marxists who believe that such revisions are unwarranted and represent a...

') communist party in the same country.

Popular confusion abounds concerning the complex terminology describing the various schools of Marxist-derived thought. The appellation "Marxist–Leninist" is often used by those not familiar with communist ideology in any detail (e.g. many newspaper
Newspaper
A newspaper is a scheduled publication containing news of current events, informative articles, diverse features and advertising. It usually is printed on relatively inexpensive, low-grade paper such as newsprint. By 2007, there were 6580 daily newspapers in the world selling 395 million copies a...

s and other media
Mass media
Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies which are intended to reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media transmit their information electronically and comprise of television, film and radio, movies, CDs, DVDs and some other gadgets like cameras or video consoles...

) as a synonym for any kind of Marxism.

Social


Social policy in Marxist-Leninist states is typically utopian, transformatory, and totalitarian. Marxist-Leninist social policy has often been dedicated to promoting and reinforcing the operation of a planned socialist economy. Improvements in public health and education, provision of child care, provision of state-directed social services, and provision of social benefits are deemed by Marxist-Leninists to help to raise labour productivity. The historical Marxist-Leninist states of Central and Eastern Europe treated housing, education, health care, and child care as universal social entitlements. The People's Republic of China has promised its citizens the right to the basic amenities of life—food, shelter, health care, and education.

In the first years of the Soviet republic in Russia, the Bolshevik government enacted radical policies for that time, it overhauled family law
Family law
Family law is an area of the law that deals with family-related issues and domestic relations including:*the nature of marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships;...

: abortion
Abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

 and divorce
Divorce
Divorce is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties...

 were legalized, children born out of wedlock were given equal rights to those born to married parents; domestic servants were organized into trade unions; and social service centres, such as day care
Day care
Child care or day care is care of a child during the day by a person other than the child's legal guardians, typically performed by someone outside the child's immediate family...

 centres, were directed to promote a communal
Communalism
Communalism is a term with three distinct meanings according to the Random House Unabridged Dictionary'.'These include "a theory of government or a system of government in which independent communes participate in a federation". "the principles and practice of communal ownership"...

 form of social existence. Upon legalizing divorce, by the mid-1920s the Soviet Union had the highest divorce rate in Europe. However Stalin later substantially restricted abortion and divorce to promote pronatalist policies. Religious marriage was abolished and secularized civil marriage was permitted and the traditional religious marriage concept of matrimony, involving the transfer of a woman's legal and economic dependence from her family of origin to her husband's was abolished. Marriage was defined as a "free and voluntary union" of two individuals enjoying equal rights. Marxist-Leninist regimes that developed after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 followed the Soviet model on family law with the goals of: the elimination of the political power of the bourgeoisie, the abolition of private property, and an education that taught citizens to abide by a disiciplined and a regulated lifestyle dictated by the norms of communism as a means to establish a new social order. After the death of Stalin, the Soviet Union reduced the political ideological emphasis on family policy and focused on the national character of family.

Marxism-Leninist states have advocated widespread universal social welfare programs. Soviet law provided pension
Pension
In general, a pension is an arrangement to provide people with an income when they are no longer earning a regular income from employment. Pensions should not be confused with severance pay; the former is paid in regular installments, while the latter is paid in one lump sum.The terms retirement...

s for workers to retire at the age of fifty-five for women and the age of sixty for men. Soviet law officially demanded sanitary housing with a norm of nine square metres per person, though very little housing achieved this until the 1960s. The historical Marxist-Leninist states of Central and Eastern Europe generally followed the Soviet model of social welfare.

Marxism–Leninism advocates universal education with a focus on developing the proletariat with knowledge, class consciousness, and understanding and support for communism.

Marxism–Leninism supports the emancipation
Emancipation
Emancipation means the act of setting an individual or social group free or making equal to citizens in a political society.Emancipation may also refer to:* Emancipation , a champion Australian thoroughbred racehorse foaled in 1979...

 of women and ending the exploitation of women. The advent of a classless society, the abolition of private property, society collectively assuming many of the roles traditionally assigned to mothers and wives, and women becoming integrated into industrial work has been promoted as the means to achieve women's emancipation. Women's committees have been set up in in communist parties since 1920 under the influence of German communist Clara Zetkin
Clara Zetkin
Clara Zetkin was a German Marxist theorist, activist, and fighter for women's rights. In 1910, she organized the first International Women's Day....

. The Soviet Union recognized the "double burden" of housework and paid employment for women. Soviet law encouraged women to work outside the home and a high rate of female workforce participation was achieved in the Soviet Union. However the Soviet Union continued to view housework as a woman's responsibility. Data by the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 indicates that the Soviet Union in 1970 had the highest percentage of employed women in the world.

Marxist-Leninist cultural policy has focused upon modernization and distancing society from: the past, the bourgeoisie, and the old intelligentsia. Agitprop
Agitprop
Agitprop is derived from agitation and propaganda, and describes stage plays, pamphlets, motion pictures and other art forms with an explicitly political message....

 and various associations and institutions are used by the Marxist-Leninist state to indoctrinate society with the values of communism. Marxist-Leninist cultural policy affects popular culture, as Soviet popular culture included "Red" comic strips and "Red" detective stories. During Stalin's regime rigid requirements and restrictions were placed on art
Art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

 and culture to enforce conformity, obedience, and to promote the regime's ideals in what was known as Socialist Realism
Socialist realism
Socialist realism is a style of realistic art which was developed in the Soviet Union and became a dominant style in other communist countries. Socialist realism is a teleologically-oriented style having its purpose the furtherance of the goals of socialism and communism...

 that promoted social harmony and portray hope of a bright future under communism. De-Stalinization in the Soviet Union involved liberalization of cultural policy, including the ending Socialist Realist requirements, and public debate, discussion, and doubt over Soviet policies was allowed. However these freedoms did not last long before some of them were revoked under Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev  – 10 November 1982) was the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union , presiding over the country from 1964 until his death in 1982. His eighteen-year term as General Secretary was second only to that of Joseph Stalin in...

, Alexei Kosygin and the collective leadership
Collective leadership
Collective leadership or Collectivity of leadership , was considered an ideal form of governance in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics...

; the Soviet cultural policy returned to be restrictive until the policies of Perestroika
Perestroika
Perestroika was a political movement within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during 1980s, widely associated with the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev...

 were introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev.

Both cultural and educational policy in Marxist-Leninist states have emphasized the development of a "New Man
New Man
New Man was a prominent American Christian lifestyle men's magazine, founded in 1994, and becoming an online publication in 2008. Its stated purpose is "Helping men to develop Christ-centered perspectives that will transform their lives, their families and their worlds."...

" - an ideal class conscious, knowledgeable, heroic proletarian person devoted to work and collectivism as opposed to the unideal "bourgeois individualist" associated with cultural backwardness. The Soviet Union under Stalin with its productivist
Productivism
Productivism is the belief that measurable economic productivity and growth is the purpose of human organization , and that "more production is necessarily good".-Arguments for productivism:...

 economic orientation emphasized a New Man based upon productivity with dedicated workers being considered "heroes of labour", "heroes of socialism", or "constructors of a new world". Later the Soviet Union also included its soldiers of World War II who fought against Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 as such New Men.

The People's Republic of China created the Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

 in the late 1960s that continued until 1977 that called for an escalation of measures to eliminate the remains of capitalism in the country through progressive mass mobilization
Mass mobilization
Mass mobilization refers to mobilization of civilian population as part of contentious politics. Mass mobilization is often used by grassroots-based social movements, including revolutionary movements, but can also become a tool of elites and the state itself...

, cultural iconoclasm
Iconoclasm
Iconoclasm is the deliberate destruction of religious icons and other symbols or monuments, usually with religious or political motives. It is a frequent component of major political or religious changes...

 of non-communist culture, and mass violence against the bourgeoisie, including alleged bourgeois infiltrators of the Communist Party of China. Mao Zedong permitted the unleashing of mass violence in the late 1960s against specific alleged enemy infiltrators within the Communist Party and the government. The remainder of the Cultural Revolution was the defense by Mao and his supporters of Maoism
Maoism
Maoism, also known as the Mao Zedong Thought , is claimed by Maoists as an anti-Revisionist form of Marxist communist theory, derived from the teachings of the Chinese political leader Mao Zedong . Developed during the 1950s and 1960s, it was widely applied as the political and military guiding...

 and attacking former allies whom were deemed to be "right-wing deviationists" of Maoism, including Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

. Following Mao's death the third and final phase of the Cultural Revolution was declared to be over in 1977.

Economic


A central component of most Marxist-Leninist economics is the command economy. Originally, under Lenin and later Stalin, the command economy was not initially used, with war communism
War communism
War communism or military communism was the economic and political system that existed in Soviet Russia during the Russian Civil War, from 1918 to 1921...

 and the New Economic Policy
New Economic Policy
The New Economic Policy was an economic policy proposed by Vladimir Lenin, who called it state capitalism. Allowing some private ventures, the NEP allowed small animal businesses or smoke shops, for instance, to reopen for private profit while the state continued to control banks, foreign trade,...

 as its predecessors, until it became predominant by 1930. Under a command economy, the Marxist-Leninist state owns most of the capital and the land of a territory, it is a planned economy
Planned economy
A planned economy is an economic system in which decisions regarding production and investment are embodied in a plan formulated by a central authority, usually by a government agency...

 where state planning replaces market mechanism
Market mechanism
Market mechanism is a term from economics referring to the use of money exchanged by buyers and sellers with an open and understood system of value and time trade offs to produce the best distribution of goods and services...

s and price mechanisms as the guiding principle of the economy. The state set long-term plans for the economy, including setting production targets and coordinated various aspects of the economy. The Marxist-Leninist state's huge purchasing power in theory replaces the role of market forces, with macroeconomic
Macroeconomics
Macroeconomics is a branch of economics dealing with the performance, structure, behavior, and decision-making of the whole economy. This includes a national, regional, or global economy...

 equilibrium
Economic equilibrium
In economics, economic equilibrium is a state of the world where economic forces are balanced and in the absence of external influences the values of economic variables will not change. It is the point at which quantity demanded and quantity supplied are equal...

 not being achieved through market forces but by government intervention. State commands replace the profit motive. The command economy permits a small amount of private property to remain for necessary personal use. Wage
Wage
A wage is a compensation, usually financial, received by workers in exchange for their labor.Compensation in terms of wages is given to workers and compensation in terms of salary is given to employees...

s are set and differentiated according to skill and intensity of work. In the Soviet Union, consumer goods were only rationed between 1930–1935 and 1941–1947, otherwise consumers could freely spend their income in either the state-owned economic sector or the free market. In state-owned retail trade, prices are fixed at a certain rates, though authorities seek to balance supply and demand
Supply and demand
Supply and demand is an economic model of price determination in a market. It concludes that in a competitive market, the unit price for a particular good will vary until it settles at a point where the quantity demanded by consumers will equal the quantity supplied by producers , resulting in an...

, including through "turnover taxes". In the Soviet Union, the command economy brought about massive industrialization but at the expense of agriculture that declined drastically between 1928 and 1940.

The People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 officially has the command economy system and exercises major state control over the economy, however the economic reforms that began with Deng Xiaoping have opened up a major private enterprise market economy
Market economy
A market economy is an economy in which the prices of goods and services are determined in a free price system. This is often contrasted with a state-directed or planned economy. Market economies can range from hypothetically pure laissez-faire variants to an assortment of real-world mixed...

 in the country.

Marxism–Leninism has pursued different specific labour policies in different countries and has varied over time . The system of the Soviet Union the Stalinist policies of rapid industrialization resulted in both incentives and coercion being used to bring workers in line with state policy.

Marxism–Leninism since mid-1930s has advocated a socialist consumer society based upon egalitarianism, asceticism
Asceticism
Asceticism describes a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various sorts of worldly pleasures often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals...

, and self-sacrifice. Previous attempts to replace the consumer society as derived from capitalism with a non-consumerist society failed and in the mid-1930s permitted a consumer society, a major change from traditional Marxism's anti-market and anti-consumerist theories. These reforms were promoted to encourage materialism and acquisitiveness in order to stimulate people to work better and achieve economic growth. This pro-consumerist policy has been advanced on the lines of "industrial pragmatism" as it advances economic progress through bolstering industrialization.

Justice and Security


The Soviet Union utilized an extensive network of secret police
Secret police
Secret police are a police agency which operates in secrecy and beyond the law to protect the political power of an individual dictator or an authoritarian political regime....

, agents, and informants through its intelligence agency known as the KGB
KGB
The KGB was the commonly used acronym for the . It was the national security agency of the Soviet Union from 1954 until 1991, and was the premier internal security, intelligence, and secret police organization during that time.The State Security Agency of the Republic of Belarus currently uses the...

 (originally known as the Cheka
Cheka
Cheka was the first of a succession of Soviet state security organizations. It was created by a decree issued on December 20, 1917, by Vladimir Lenin and subsequently led by aristocrat-turned-communist Felix Dzerzhinsky...

, and later the NKVD
NKVD
The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs was the public and secret police organization of the Soviet Union that directly executed the rule of power of the Soviets, including political repression, during the era of Joseph Stalin....

 and other organizations) whose principal duties were the prevention of counterrevolution, the prevention of sabotage, and incarceration and/or liquidation of political enemies. Its original predecessor, the Cheka had been created only as a temporary institution that was supposed to be dissolved after political enemies had been liquidated and the regime had consolidated its power, however this was not done. Instead the Cheka took over control of prisoners from the People's Commissariat of Justice (NKJu) and put them in labour camps. The Cheka was succeeded by the NKVD and OGPU in which the later merged into the NKVD in 1934, and during their existence concentration camps that were named "work and reeducation camps" that utilized forced labour of criminals and political prisoners for state building projects. The NKVD took part in the Great Terror
Great Terror
Great Terror may refer to:* Reign of Terror , a period of extreme violence during the French Revolution, last weeks of which are sometimes referred to as the Red Terror or Great Terror...

 campaign of Stalin against alleged "socially dangerous" and "counterrevolutionary" persons that resulted in the Great Purge
Great Purge
The Great Purge was a series of campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Joseph Stalin from 1936 to 1938...

 of 1936-1938 during which 1.5 million people were arrested from 1937–1938 and 681,692 of those were executed. In 1938, the Gulag
Gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

 system of forced labour camps was set up under the auspices of the NKVD. The KGB's creation in 1954 resulted in some limitations being placed on the organization's authority and powers in which the Prosecutor's Office could oversee and correct the KGB's work and the political crimes of "enemy of the people" and "counterrevolutionary crimes" were eliminated. However the KGB's powers increased in 1961, and created a new category of "economic crimes".

Political structure


Marxism–Leninism supports the creation of a single-party state
Single-party state
A single-party state, one-party system or single-party system is a type of party system government in which a single political party forms the government and no other parties are permitted to run candidates for election...

 led by a Marxist-Leninist communist party as a means to develop socialism and then communism. The political structure of the Marxist-Leninist state involves the rule of a communist vanguard party
Vanguard party
A vanguard party is a political party at the forefront of a mass action, movement, or revolution. The idea of a vanguard party has its origins in the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels...

 over a revolutionary
Revolutionary
A revolutionary is a person who either actively participates in, or advocates revolution. Also, when used as an adjective, the term revolutionary refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor.-Definition:...

 socialist state that represents the will and rule of the proletariat
Proletariat
The proletariat is a term used to identify a lower social class, usually the working class; a member of such a class is proletarian...

. Through the policy of democratic centralism
Democratic centralism
Democratic centralism is the name given to the principles of internal organization used by Leninist political parties, and the term is sometimes used as a synonym for any Leninist policy inside a political party...

, the communist party
Communist party
A political party described as a Communist party includes those that advocate the application of the social principles of communism through a communist form of government...

 is the supreme political institution of the Marxist-Leninist state.

Elections are held in Marxist-Leninist states for all positions within the legislative structure, municipal councils, national legislatures and presidencies. In most Marxist-Leninist states this has taken the form of directly electing representatiives to fill positions, though in some states; such as China, Cuba, and the former Yugoslavia; this system also included indirect elections such as deputies being elected by deputies as the next lower level of government. These elections are not competitive multiparty elections and most are not multi-candidate elections; usually a single communist party candidate is chosen to run for office in which voters vote either to accept or reject the candidate. Where there have been more than one candidates, all candidates are officially vetted before being able to stand for candidacy and the system has frequently been structured to give advantage to official candidates over others. Marxism–Leninism asserts that society is united upon common interests represented through the Ccmmunist party and other institutions of the Marxist-Leninist state and in Marxist-Leninist states where opposition political parties have been permitted they have not been permitted to advocate political platforms significantly different from the communist party. The communist party has typically exercised close control over the electoral process, involved with nomination, campaigning, and voting - including counting the ballots.

International relations


Marxism–Leninism opposes colonialism
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

 and imperialism
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

 and advocates decolonization
Decolonization
Decolonization refers to the undoing of colonialism, the unequal relation of polities whereby one people or nation establishes and maintains dependent Territory over another...

 and anti-colonial forces. The Soviet Union and its Eastern bloc consistently supported anticolonial movements even if such movements were not led by communist or Marxist forces because it was believed that the erosion of colonial rule would cause the erosion of capitalism. Opposition to the Warsaw Pact by the more neutral Marxist-Leninist Yugoslavia resulted in Yugoslavia forming the Non-Aligned Movement
Non-Aligned Movement
The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2011, the movement had 120 members and 17 observer countries...

 of states that rejected association with either the eastern or western blocs of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 and sought a neutral position.

The Soviet Union accepted many of the immediate post-colonial governments as being "friendly" "national-bourgeoisie" regimes, that because of the popular "national-" prefix were tolerable bourgeois regimes that held a tendency to cut colonial or neocolonial
Neocolonialism
Neocolonialism is the practice of using capitalism, globalization, and cultural forces to control a country in lieu of direct military or political control...

 ties. The Soviet Union believed that the proletariat could not carry out a successful revolution in colonized countries and thus required an initial anti-colonial revolution supported by the bourgeoisie to allow a future communist revolution. It provided weapons, logistical support, and political cover for anti-colonial revolutionaries.

Marxism–Leninism supports anti-fascist
Anti-fascism
Anti-fascism is the opposition to fascist ideologies, groups and individuals, such as that of the resistance movements during World War II. The related term antifa derives from Antifaschismus, which is German for anti-fascism; it refers to individuals and groups on the left of the political...

 international alliances and has advocated the creation of "popular front
Popular front
A popular front is a broad coalition of different political groupings, often made up of leftists and centrists. Being very broad, they can sometimes include centrist and liberal forces as well as socialist and communist groups...

s" between communist and non-communist anti-fascists against strong fascist movements.

The People's Republic of China focused on developing an Afro-Asian anticolonial movement and accused the Soviet Union of not committing all of its resourced in favour of a global communist revolution. This criticism by the PRC involves the lack of substantial Soviet aide to its Middle Eastern and African allies and by its toleration of the U.S. war in Vietnam
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

.

Founding of Bolshevism, 1905–1907 Russian Revolution, and World War I (1903–1917)



Marxism–Leninism is the descendant of interpretation of the theories of Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

, Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels
Friedrich Engels was a German industrialist, social scientist, author, political theorist, philosopher, and father of Marxist theory, alongside Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research...

, and Vladimir Lenin. It was officially created after Lenin's death during the regime of Josef Stalin in the Soviet Union and continued to be the official ideology of the Soviet Communist Party after de-Stalinization. However the basis for elements of Marxism–Leninism predate this. Marxism–Leninism descends from the Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

 ("Majority") faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party
Russian Social Democratic Labour Party
The Russian Social Democratic Labour Party , also known as Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party or Russian Social Democratic Party, was a revolutionary socialist Russian political party formed in 1898 in Minsk to unite the various revolutionary organizations into one party...

 (RSDLP) that was founded in the RSDLP's Second Congress in 1903. The Bolshevik faction led by Lenin advocated an active, politically committed vanguard party membership while opposing trade union based membership of social democratic
Social democracy
Social democracy is a political ideology of the center-left on the political spectrum. Social democracy is officially a form of evolutionary reformist socialism. It supports class collaboration as the course to achieve socialism...

 parties. The Bolsheviks supported a vanguard Marxist party composed of active militants committed to socialism who would initiate communist revolution. The Bolsheviks advocated the policy of democratic centralism that would allow members to elect their leaders and decide policy but that once policy was set, members would be obligated to have complete loyalty in their leaders.

Lenin attempted and failed to bring about communist revolution in Russia in the Russian Revolution of 1905-7. During the revolution, Lenin advocated mass action and that the revolution "accept mass terror in its tactics". During the revolution Lenin advocated militancy and violence of workers as a means to pressure the middle class to join and overthrow the Tsar. Bolshevik emigres briefly poured into Russia to take part in the revolution. Prior and after the failed revolution, the Bolshevik leadership voluntarily resided in exile to evade Tsarist Russia's secret police, such as Lenin who resided in Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. Most importantly, the experience of this revolution caused Lenin to conceive of the means of sponsoring communist revolution, through propaganda
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

, agitation
Agitation
Agitation may refer to:* Agitation , putting into motion by shaking or stirring* Emotional state of excitement or restlessness** Psychomotor agitation, an extreme form of the above, which can be a side effect of antipsychotic medication...

, a well-organized and disciplined but small political party, and through psychological manipulation
Psychological manipulation
Psychological manipulation is a type of social influence that aims to change the perception or behavior of others through underhanded, deceptive, or even abusive tactics. By advancing the interests of the manipulator, often at the other's expense, such methods could be considered exploitative,...

 of aroused masses.

In the aftermath of the failed revolution of 1905-7, Bolshevik revolutionaries were forced back into exile in 1908 in Switzerland as well as other anti-Tsarist revolutionaries including the Mensheviks, the Socialist Revolutionaries, and anarchists. Membership in both the Bolshevik and Menshevik ranks diminished from 1907 to 1908 and the number of people taking part in strikes in 1907 was 26 percent of the figure during the year of the revolution in 1905, it dropped in 1908 to 6 percent of that figure, and in 1910 it was 2 percent of that figure. The period of 1908 to 1917 was one of dissillusionment in the Bolshevik party over Lenin's leadership, with members opposing him for scandals involving his expropriations and methods of raising money for the party. One important development after the events the 1905-7 revolution was Lenin's endorsement of colonial revolt as a powerful reenforcement to revolution in Europe. This was an original development by Lenin, as prior to the 1900s Marxists did not pay serious attention to colonialism and colonial revolt. Facing leadership challenges from the "Forward" group, Lenin usurped the all-Party Congress of the RSDLP in 1912, to seize control of it and make it an exclusively Bolshevik party loyal to his leadership. Almost all the members elected to the party's Central Committee
Central Committee
Central Committee was the common designation of a standing administrative body of communist parties, analogous to a board of directors, whether ruling or non-ruling in the twentieth century and of the surviving, mostly Trotskyist, states in the early twenty first. In such party organizations the...

 were Leninists while former RDSLP leaders not associated with Bolshevism were removed from office. Lenin remained highly unpopular in the early 1910s, and was so unpopular amongst international socialist movement that by 1914 it considered censoring him.

At the outset of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 in 1914, the Bolsheviks opposed the war unlike most other socialist parties across Europe that supported their national governments. Lenin and a small group of anti-war socialist leaders, including Rosa Luxemburg
Rosa Luxemburg
Rosa Luxemburg was a Marxist theorist, philosopher, economist and activist of Polish Jewish descent who became a naturalized German citizen...

 and Karl Liebknecht
Karl Liebknecht
was a German socialist and a co-founder with Rosa Luxemburg of the Spartacist League and the Communist Party of Germany. He is best known for his opposition to World War I in the Reichstag and his role in the Spartacist uprising of 1919...

, denounced established socialist leaders of having betrayed the socialist ideal via their support of the war. In response to the outbreak of World War I, Lenin wrote his book Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism
Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism
Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism , by Lenin, describes the function of financial capital in generating profits from imperial colonialism, as the final stage of capitalist development to ensure greater profits...

from 1915 to 1916 and published in 1917 in which he argued that capitalism directly leads to imperialism. As a means to destabilize Russia on the Eastern Front
Eastern Front (World War I)
The Eastern Front was a theatre of war during World War I in Central and, primarily, Eastern Europe. The term is in contrast to the Western Front. Despite the geographical separation, the events in the two theatres strongly influenced each other...

, Germany's High Command allowed Lenin to travel across Germany and German-held territory into Russia in April 1917, anticipating him partaking in revolutionary activity.

October Revolution, aftermath conflict, and the creation of the Soviet Union (1917–1924)


In March 1917, Tsar Nicholas II
Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II was the last Emperor of Russia, Grand Prince of Finland, and titular King of Poland. His official short title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias and he is known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church.Nicholas II ruled from 1894 until...

 abdicated his throne and a Provisional Government
Russian Provisional Government
The Russian Provisional Government was the short-lived administrative body which sought to govern Russia immediately following the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II . On September 14, the State Duma of the Russian Empire was officially dissolved by the newly created Directorate, and the country was...

 quickly filled the vacuum, proclaiming Russia a republic
Russian Republic
The Russian Republic was a short-lived political entity occupying the territory of the former Russian Empire during the 1917 struggle for power that ended with the October Revolution and the establishment the Soviet regime...

 months later. This was followed by the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 by the Bolsheviks, who seized control in a quick coup d'état
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

 against the Provisional Government, resulting in the formation of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic , commonly referred to as Soviet Russia, Bolshevik Russia, or simply Russia, was the largest, most populous and economically developed republic in the former Soviet Union....

 (RSFSR), the first country in history committed to the establishment of communism. However large portions of Russia were held under the leadership of either pro-Tsarist or anti-communist military commanders who formed the White movement
White movement
The White movement and its military arm the White Army - known as the White Guard or the Whites - was a loose confederation of Anti-Communist forces.The movement comprised one of the politico-military Russian forces who fought...

 to oppose the Bolsheviks, resulting in civil war between the Bolsheviks' Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 and the anti-Bolshevik White Army. Amidst civil war between the Reds and the Whites, the RSFSR inheritted the war that the Russian Empire was fighting against Germany that was ended a year later with an armistice. However this was followed by a brief Allied military intervention
Allied Intervention in the Russian Civil War
The Allied intervention was a multi-national military expedition launched in 1918 during World War I which continued into the Russian Civil War. Its operations included forces from 14 nations and were conducted over a vast territory...

 by the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 and others against the Bolsheviks.

In response to the October Revolution, communist revolution broke out in Germany and Hungary from 1918 to 1920, involving creation of the Bavarian Soviet Republic
Bavarian Soviet Republic
The Bavarian Soviet Republic, also known as the Munich Soviet Republic was, as part of the German Revolution of 1918–1919, the short-lived attempt to establish a socialist state in form of a council republic in the Free State of Bavaria. It sought independence from the also recently proclaimed...

, the failed Spartacist uprising
Spartacist uprising
The Spartacist Uprising , also known as the January uprising , was a general strike in Germany from January 5 to January 15, 1919. Its suppression marked the end of the German Revolution...

 in Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 in 1919, and the creation of the Hungarian Soviet Republic
Hungarian Soviet Republic
The Hungarian Soviet Republic or Soviet Republic of Hungary was a short-lived Communist state established in Hungary in the aftermath of World War I....

. These communist forces were soon crushed by anti-communist forces and attempts to create an international communist revolution failed. However a successful communist revolution occurred in Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

 in 1924, resulting in the creation of the Mongolian People's Republic.


The entrenchment of Bolshevik power began in 1918 with the expulsion of Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries from the workers' soviets. The Bolshevik government established the Cheka
Cheka
Cheka was the first of a succession of Soviet state security organizations. It was created by a decree issued on December 20, 1917, by Vladimir Lenin and subsequently led by aristocrat-turned-communist Felix Dzerzhinsky...

, a secret police force dedicated to confronting anti-Bolshevik elements. The Cheka was the predecessor to the NKVD
NKVD
The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs was the public and secret police organization of the Soviet Union that directly executed the rule of power of the Soviets, including political repression, during the era of Joseph Stalin....

 and the KGB
KGB
The KGB was the commonly used acronym for the . It was the national security agency of the Soviet Union from 1954 until 1991, and was the premier internal security, intelligence, and secret police organization during that time.The State Security Agency of the Republic of Belarus currently uses the...

. Initially opposition to the Bolshevik regime was strong as a response to Russia's poor economic conditions, with the Cheka reporting no less than 118 uprisings, including the Kronstadt Revolt. Lenin repressed opposition political parties. Intense political struggle continued until 1922.

Initial Bolshevik economic policies from 1917 to 1918 were cautious with limited nationalizations of private property. Lenin was immediately committed to avoid antagonizing the peasant
Peasant
A peasant is an agricultural worker who generally tend to be poor and homeless-Etymology:The word is derived from 15th century French païsant meaning one from the pays, or countryside, ultimately from the Latin pagus, or outlying administrative district.- Position in society :Peasants typically...

ry by making efforts to coax them away from the Socialist Revolutionaries, allowing a peasant takeover of nobles'
Nobility
Nobility is a social class which possesses more acknowledged privileges or eminence than members of most other classes in a society, membership therein typically being hereditary. The privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be...

 estates while no immediate nationalizations were enacted on peasants' property. Beginning in mid-1918, the Bolshevik regime enacted what is known as "war communism
War communism
War communism or military communism was the economic and political system that existed in Soviet Russia during the Russian Civil War, from 1918 to 1921...

", an economic policy that aimed to replace the free market
Free market
A free market is a competitive market where prices are determined by supply and demand. However, the term is also commonly used for markets in which economic intervention and regulation by the state is limited to tax collection, and enforcement of private ownership and contracts...

 with state control over all means of production
Means of production
Means of production refers to physical, non-human inputs used in production—the factories, machines, and tools used to produce wealth — along with both infrastructural capital and natural capital. This includes the classical factors of production minus financial capital and minus human capital...

 and distribution. This was done through the Decree on Nationalization that declared the nationalization of all large-scale private enterprises while requisitioning grain away from peasants and providing it to workers in cities and Red soldiers fighting the Whites. The result was economic chaos as the monetary economy collapsed and was replaced by barter
Barter
Barter is a method of exchange by which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money. It is usually bilateral, but may be multilateral, and usually exists parallel to monetary systems in most developed countries, though to a...

 and black marketeering. The requisitioning of grain away from the peasantry to workers resulted in peasants losing incentive to labour resulting in a drop in production, producing a food shortage crisis in the cities that provoked strikes and riots that seriously challenged the Bolshevik regime, with the most serious being the Kronstadt Revolt of 1921.

The New Economic Policy
New Economic Policy
The New Economic Policy was an economic policy proposed by Vladimir Lenin, who called it state capitalism. Allowing some private ventures, the NEP allowed small animal businesses or smoke shops, for instance, to reopen for private profit while the state continued to control banks, foreign trade,...

 was started in 1921 as a backwards step from war communism, with the restoration of a degree of capitalism and private enterprise. 91 percent of industrial enterprises were returned to private ownership or trusts. Importantly, Lenin declared that the development of socialism would not be able to be pursued in the manner originally thought by Marxists. Lenin stated "Our poverty is so great that we cannot at one stroke restore full-scale factory, state, socialist production". A key aspect that affected the Bolshevik regime was the backward economic conditions in Russia that were considered unfavourable to orthodox Marxist theory of communist revolution. Orthodox Marxists claimed at the time that Russia was ripe for the development of capitalism, not yet for socialism. Lenin advocated the need of the development of a large corps of technical intelligentsia to assist the industrial development of Russia and thus advance the Marxist economic stages of development, as it had too few technical experts at the time. The New Economic Policy was tultmultous, economic recovery took place but alongside famine (1921—1922) and a financial crisis (1924). However by 1924, considerable economic progress had been achieved and by 1926 the economy regained its 1913 production level.

Stalinism and World War II (1924–1945)



As Lenin neared death after suffering strokes, he declared in his testament of December 1922 an order to remove Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 from his post as General Secretary and replaced by "some other person who is superior to Stalin only in one respect, namely, in being more tolerant, more loyal, more polite and more attentive to comrades". When Lenin died in January 1924, the testament was read out to a meeting of the Party's Central Committee. However Party members believed that Stalin had improved his reputation in 1923 and ignored Lenin's order. Lev Kamenev
Lev Kamenev
Lev Borisovich Kamenev , born Rozenfeld , was a Bolshevik revolutionary and a prominent Soviet politician. He was briefly head of state of the new republic in 1917, and from 1923-24 the acting Premier in the last year of Lenin's life....

 and Grigory Zinoviev
Grigory Zinoviev
Grigory Yevseevich Zinoviev , born Ovsei-Gershon Aronovich Radomyslsky Apfelbaum , was a Bolshevik revolutionary and a Soviet Communist politician...

 believed that the real threat to the party came from Trotsky, head of the Red Army, due to his association with the army and his powerful personality. Kamenev and Zinoviev collaborated with Stalin in a power-sharing triumvirate
Triumvirate
A triumvirate is a political regime dominated by three powerful individuals, each a triumvir . The arrangement can be formal or informal, and though the three are usually equal on paper, in reality this is rarely the case...

 where Stalin retained his position as General Secretary. The confrontation between the triumverate and Trotsky began over the debate between the policy of Permanent Revolution as advocated by Trotsky and Socialism in One Country
Socialism in One Country
Socialism in One Country was a theory put forth by Joseph Stalin in 1924, elaborated by Nikolai Bukharin in 1925 and finally adopted as state policy by Stalin...

 as advocated by Stalin. Trotsky's Permanent Revolution advocated rapid industrialization, elimination of private farming, and having the Soviet Union promote the spread of communist revolution abroad. Stalin's Socialism in One Country stressed moderation, development of positive relations between the Soviet Union and other countries to increase trade and foreign investment. Stalin was not particularly committed to these positions, but used them as a means to isolate Trotsky. In 1925, Stalin's policy won the support of the 14th Party Congress while Trotsky was defeated.

From 1925 to 1927, Stalin abandoned his triumverate with Kamenev and Zinoviev and formed an alliance with the most rightest
Right-wing politics
In politics, Right, right-wing and rightist generally refer to support for a hierarchical society justified on the basis of an appeal to natural law or tradition. To varying degrees, the Right rejects the egalitarian objectives of left-wing politics, claiming that the imposition of equality is...

 elements of the Party, Nikolai Bukharin
Nikolai Bukharin
Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin , was a Russian Marxist, Bolshevik revolutionary, and Soviet politician. He was a member of the Politburo and Central Committee , chairman of the Communist International , and the editor in chief of Pravda , the journal Bolshevik , Izvestia , and the Great Soviet...

, Alexei Rykov
Alexei Rykov
Aleksei Ivanovich Rykov was a Russian Bolshevik revolutionary and a Soviet politician most prominent as Premier of Russia and the Soviet Union from 1924–29 and 1924–30 respectively....

, and Mikhail Tomsky
Mikhail Tomsky
Mikhail Pavlovich Tomsky was a factory worker, trade unionist and Bolshevik leader. He was the Soviet leader of the All-Russian Central Council of Trade Unions.Tomsky attempted to form a trade union at his factory in St...

. The 1927 Party Conference gave official endorsement to the policy of Socialism in One Country, while Trotsky along with Kamenev and Zinoviev (both now allied with Trotsky against Stalin) were expelled from the Party's Politburo.

In 1929, Stalin seized control of the Party. Upon Stalin attaining power, Bolshevism became associated with Stalinism, whose policies included: rapid industrialization, Socialism in One Country, a centralized state, collectivization of agriculture, and subordination of interests of other communist parties to those of the Soviet party. In 1929 he enacted harsh radical policy towards the wealthy peasantry (Kulaks) and turned against Bukharin, Rykov, and Tomsky who favoured a more moderate approach to the Kulaks. He accused them of plotting against the Party's agreed strategy and forced them to resign from the Politburo and political office. Trotsky was exiled from the Soviet Union in 1929. Opposition to Stalin by Trotsky led to a dissident Bolshevik ideology called Trotskyism
Trotskyism
Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Trotsky considered himself an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik-Leninist, arguing for the establishment of a vanguard party of the working-class...

 that was repressed under Stalin's rule.

Stalin's regime was an extreme totalitarian state under his dictatorship
Dictatorship
A dictatorship is defined as an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by an individual, the dictator. It has three possible meanings:...

. Stalin exercised extensive personal control over the Communist Party and unleashed an unprecedented level of violence to eliminate any potential threat to his regime. While Stalin exercised major control over political initiatives, their implementation was in the control of localities, often with local leaders interpreting the policies in a way that served themselves best. This abuse of power by local leaders exacerbated the violent purges and terror campaigns carried out by Stalin against members of the Party deemed to be traitors. The Stalinist era saw the introduction of a system of forced labour of convicts and political dissidents, the Gulag
Gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

 system, of that created in the early 1930s.

Political developments in the Soviet Union from 1929 to 1941 included Stalin dismantling the remaining elements of democracy from the Party by extending his control over its institutions and eliminating any possible rivals. The Party's ranks grew in numbers with the Party modifying its organization to include more trade unions and factories. In 1936, the Soviet Union adopted a new constitution that ended weighted voting preference for workers as in its previous constitutions, and created universal suffrage
Universal suffrage
Universal suffrage consists of the extension of the right to vote to adult citizens as a whole, though it may also mean extending said right to minors and non-citizens...

 for all people over the age of eighteen. The 1936 Constitution also split the Soviets into two legislatures, the Soviet of the Union - representing electoral districts, and the Soviet of the Nationalities - that represented the ethnic makeup of the country as a whole. By 1939, with the exception of Stalin himself, none of the original Bolsheviks of the October Revolution of 1917 remained in the Party. Unquestioning loyalty to Stalin was expected by the regime of all citizens.

Economic developments in the Soviet Union from 1929 to 1941 included the acceleration of collectivization of agriculture. In 1930, 23.6 percent of all agriculture was collectivized, by 1941, 98 percent of all agriculture was collectivized. This process of collectivization included "dekulakization", in which kulaks were forced off their land, persecuted, and killed in a wave of terror unleashed by the Soviet state against them. The collectivization policies resulted in economic disaster with severe fluctuations in grain harvests, catastrophic losses in the number of livestock
Livestock
Livestock refers to one or more domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fiber and labor. The term "livestock" as used in this article does not include poultry or farmed fish; however the inclusion of these, especially poultry, within the meaning...

, a substantial drop in the food consumption of the country's citizens, and the intentional Holodomor famine
Holodomor
The Holodomor was a man-made famine in the Ukrainian SSR between 1932 and 1933. During the famine, which is also known as the "terror-famine in Ukraine" and "famine-genocide in Ukraine", millions of Ukrainians died of starvation in a peacetime catastrophe unprecedented in the history of...

 in the Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

. Modern sources estimate that between 2.4 and 7.5 million Ukrainians
Ukrainians
Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

 died in the Holodomor famine. Vast industrialization was initiated, mostly based on the basis of preparation for an offensive war against the West
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 - with a focus on heavy industry
Heavy industry
Heavy industry does not have a single fixed meaning as compared to light industry. It can mean production of products which are either heavy in weight or in the processes leading to their production. In general, it is a popular term used within the name of many Japanese and Korean firms, meaning...

. However even at its peak, industry of the Soviet Union remained well behind that of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Industrialization led to a massive urbanization
Urbanization
Urbanization, urbanisation or urban drift is the physical growth of urban areas as a result of global change. The United Nations projected that half of the world's population would live in urban areas at the end of 2008....

 in the country. Unemployment
Unemployment
Unemployment , as defined by the International Labour Organization, occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively sought work within the past four weeks...

 was virtually eliminated in country during the 1930s.

Social developments in the Soviet Union from 1929 to 1941 included the relinquishment of the relaxed social control and allowance of experimentation under Lenin to Stalin's promotion of a rigid and authoritarian society based upon discipline - mixing traditional Russian values with Stalin's interpretation of Marxism. Organized religion was repressed, especially minority religious groups. Education was transformed, under Lenin, the education system took allowed relaxed discipline in schools that became based upon Marxist theory, but Stalin reversed this in 1934 with a conservative approach taken with the reintroduction of formal learning, the use of examinations and grades, the assertion of full authority of the teacher, and the introduction of school uniforms. Art and culture became strictly regulated under the principles of Socialist Realism
Socialist realism
Socialist realism is a style of realistic art which was developed in the Soviet Union and became a dominant style in other communist countries. Socialist realism is a teleologically-oriented style having its purpose the furtherance of the goals of socialism and communism...

, and Russian traditions that Stalin admired were allowed to continue.

Foreign policy in the Soviet Union from 1929 to 1941 resulted in substantial changes in the Soviet Union's approach to its foreign policy. The rise of Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 and the Nazis in Germany in 1933 resulted in the Soviet Union initially terminating the political connections it previously had established with Germany in the 1920s and Stalin turned to accommodate Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

 and the West against Hitler. The Soviet Union promoted various anti-fascist
Anti-fascism
Anti-fascism is the opposition to fascist ideologies, groups and individuals, such as that of the resistance movements during World War II. The related term antifa derives from Antifaschismus, which is German for anti-fascism; it refers to individuals and groups on the left of the political...

 fronts across Europe and created agreements with France to challenge Germany. With the Suddeten agreement in 1938, Soviet foreign policy reversed, with Stalin abandoning anti-German policies and adopting pro-German policies. In 1939, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 agreed to both a non-aggression pact and an agreement to invade and partition Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 between them, resulting in the invasion of Poland in September 1939 by Germany and the Soviet Union and the beginning of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, with the Allies declaring war on Germany.

The German invasion of the Soviet Union resulted in the substantial realignment of multiple Soviet policies. The Soviet Union was brought into World War II and joined the Western Allies
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 in a common front against the Axis Powers
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

. The war brought the threat of physical disintegration of the Soviet Union, as German forces were initially welcomed as liberators by many Belarussians, Georgians
Georgians
The Georgians are an ethnic group that have originated in Georgia, where they constitute a majority of the population. Large Georgian communities are also present throughout Russia, European Union, United States, and South America....

, and Ukrainians. Soviet forces initially faced disastrous losses from 1941 to 1942. Stalin enacted total war
Total war
Total war is a war in which a belligerent engages in the complete mobilization of fully available resources and population.In the mid-19th century, "total war" was identified by scholars as a separate class of warfare...

 policy in response.

Communist insurrection against Axis occupation took place in severa countries. In China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

 led by Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

 reluctantly abandoned the civil war
Chinese Civil War
The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang , the governing party of the Republic of China, and the Communist Party of China , for the control of China which eventually led to China's division into two Chinas, Republic of China and People's Republic of...

 with the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 and cooperated with it against Japanese occupation forces. In Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

, the communist Yugoslav Partisans led by Josip Broz Tito
Josip Broz Tito
Marshal Josip Broz Tito – 4 May 1980) was a Yugoslav revolutionary and statesman. While his presidency has been criticized as authoritarian, Tito was a popular public figure both in Yugoslavia and abroad, viewed as a unifying symbol for the nations of the Yugoslav federation...

 held up an effective guerilla resistance movement to the Axis occupiers. The Partisans managed to form a communist Yugoslav state called Democratic Federal Yugoslavia
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav state that existed from the abolition of the Yugoslav monarchy until it was dissolved in 1992 amid the Yugoslav Wars. It was a socialist state and a federation made up of six socialist republics: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia,...

 in liberated territories in 1943 and by 1944, with the assistance of Soviet forces, seized control of Yugoslavia, entrenching a communist regime in Yugoslavia.

Soviet forces rebounded in 1943 with the victories at the Battle of Stalingrad
Battle of Stalingrad
The Battle of Stalingrad was a major battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in southwestern Russia. The battle took place between 23 August 1942 and 2 February 1943...

 and the Battle of Kursk
Battle of Kursk
The Battle of Kursk took place when German and Soviet forces confronted each other on the Eastern Front during World War II in the vicinity of the city of Kursk, in the Soviet Union in July and August 1943. It remains both the largest series of armored clashes, including the Battle of Prokhorovka,...

, and from 1943 to 1945 they pushed back German forces and sieged Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 in 1945. By the end of World War II, the Soviet Union had become a major military superpower. With the collapse of the Axis Powers, Soviet satellite states were established throughout Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

, creating a large communist bloc of states in Europe.

Cold War, de-Stalinization, and Maoism (1945–1985)



Tensions between the Western Allies and the communist Eastern allies accelerated after the end of World War II, resulting in the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 between the Soviet-led communist East and the American-led capitalist West. Key events that began the Cold War included Soviet, Yugoslav, Bulgarian, and Albanian intervention in the Greek civil war
Greek Civil War
The Greek Civil War was fought from 1946 to 1949 between the Greek governmental army, backed by the United Kingdom and United States, and the Democratic Army of Greece , the military branch of the Greek Communist Party , backed by Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Albania...

 on the side of the communists, and the creation of the Berlin blockade
Berlin Blockade
The Berlin Blockade was one of the first major international crises of the Cold War and the first resulting in casualties. During the multinational occupation of post-World War II Germany, the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies' railway and road access to the sectors of Berlin under Allied...

 by the Soviet Union in 1948. China returned to civil war between the Western-backed Kuomintang versus Mao Zedong's Communists supported by the Soviet Union with the Communists seizing control of all of mainland China
Mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...

 in 1949, creating the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 (PRC). Direct conflict between the East and West erupted in the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

, when the United Nations Security Council, with the absence of the Soviet Union at the time of the vote, voted for international intervention in Korea to stop the civil war. The United States and other Western powers used the war to prop up South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

 against Soviet and PRC-backed communist North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

 led by Kim Il-Sung
Kim Il-sung
Kim Il-sung was a Korean communist politician who led the Democratic People's Republic of Korea from its founding in 1948 until his death in 1994. He held the posts of Prime Minister from 1948 to 1972 and President from 1972 to his death...

. The war ended in armistice and stalemate in 1953.

Stalin's attempts to enforce submission of its Eastern European allies to the economic and political agenda of the Soviet Union sparked opposition and rejection in Yugoslavia by Tito. Stalin denounced Tito and removed Yugoslavia from the Comintern. Tito in return rejected Stalinism and the Eastern bloc, forging a non-aligned position between East and West that developed into the Non-Aligned Movement
Non-Aligned Movement
The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2011, the movement had 120 members and 17 observer countries...

 and the development of an autonomous Marxist-Leninist ideology of Titoism
Titoism
Titoism is a variant of Marxism–Leninism named after Josip Broz Tito, leader of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, primarily used to describe the specific socialist system built in Yugoslavia after its refusal of the 1948 Resolution of the Cominform, when the Communist Party of...

.

In 1953, Stalin died of a stroke, ending his 29 years of influence and rule over the Soviet Union.

With the death of Stalin in 1953, Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

 gradually ascended to power in the Soviet Union and announced a radical policy of de-Stalinization
De-Stalinization
De-Stalinization refers to the process of eliminating the cult of personality, Stalinist political system and the Gulag labour-camp system created by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Stalin was succeeded by a collective leadership after his death in March 1953...

 of the Communist Party and the country, condemning Stalin for excesses and tyranny. Gulag forced labour camps were dismantled. Anti-Stalinist figures such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was aRussian and Soviet novelist, dramatist, and historian. Through his often-suppressed writings, he helped to raise global awareness of the Gulag, the Soviet Union's forced labor camp system – particularly in The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of...

 were allowed the freedom to criticize Stalin. The cult of personality associated with Stalin was eliminated. Stalinists were removed from office. Khrushchev ended Stalin's policy of Socialism in One Country and committed the Soviet Union to actively support communist revolution throughout the world. The policies of de-Stalinization were promoted as an attempt to restore the legacy of Lenin. The death of Stalin, however did not result in the end of the Cold War. The conflict continued and excalated.
Communist revolution erupted in the Americas in this period, including revolutions in Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

, Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador or simply Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador; Santa Ana and San Miguel are also important cultural and commercial centers in the country and in all of Central America...

, Grenada
Grenada
Grenada is an island country and Commonwealth Realm consisting of the island of Grenada and six smaller islands at the southern end of the Grenadines in the southeastern Caribbean Sea...

, Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

, Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, and Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

. In Cuba in 1959, forces led by Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

 and Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara
Che Guevara
Ernesto "Che" Guevara , commonly known as el Che or simply Che, was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, intellectual, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist...

 overthrew the regime of Fulgencio Batista
Fulgencio Batista
Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar was the United States-aligned Cuban President, dictator and military leader who served as the leader of Cuba from 1933 to 1944 and from 1952 to 1959, before being overthrown as a result of the Cuban Revolution....

 and established a communist regime there with ties to the Soviet Union. American attempts to overthrow the Castro regime with the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion
Bay of Pigs Invasion
The Bay of Pigs Invasion was an unsuccessful action by a CIA-trained force of Cuban exiles to invade southern Cuba, with support and encouragement from the US government, in an attempt to overthrow the Cuban government of Fidel Castro. The invasion was launched in April 1961, less than three months...

 by Cuban exiles supported by the CIA
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 failed. Shortly afterwards, a diplomatic dispute erupted when the U.S. discovered Soviet nuclear missiles placed in Cuba, resulting in the Cuban Missile Crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation among the Soviet Union, Cuba and the United States in October 1962, during the Cold War...

. The standoff between the two superpowers was resolved by the Soviet Union agreeing to remove its nuclear missiles from Cuba in exchange for the United States removing its nuclear missiles from Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

. Bolivia faced Marxist-Leninist revolution in the 1960s that included Che Guevara as a leader until being killed there by government forces. Uruguay faced Marxist-Leninist revolution from the Tupamaros
Tupamaros
Tupamaros, also known as the MLN-T , was an urban guerrilla organization in Uruguay in the 1960s and 1970s. The MLN-T is inextricably linked to its most important leader, Raúl Sendic, and his brand of social politics...

 movement from the 1960s to the 1970s. A brief dramatic episode of Marxist-Leninist revolution took place in North America during the October Crisis
October Crisis
The October Crisis was a series of events triggered by two kidnappings of government officials by members of the Front de libération du Québec during October 1970 in the province of Quebec, mainly in the Montreal metropolitan area.The circumstances ultimately culminated in the only peacetime use...

 in the province of Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

 in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, where the Marxist-Leninist and Quebec separatist Front de libération du Québec
Front de libération du Québec
The Front de libération du Québec was a left-wing Quebecois nationalist and Marxist-Leninist paramilitary group in Quebec, Canada. It was active between 1963 and 1970, and was regarded as a terrorist organization for its violent methods of action...

(FLQ) kidnapped the British Trade Commissioner in Canada, James Cross, and Quebec government minister Pierre Laporte
Pierre Laporte
Pierre Laporte was a Canadian lawyer, journalist and politician who was the Deputy Premier and Minister of Labour of the province of Quebec before being kidnapped and killed by members of the group Front de libération du Québec during the October Crisis. Mr...

 who was later killed, it issued a manifesto condemning what it considered English Canadian imperialism in French Quebec calling for an independent, socialist Quebec. The Canadian government in response issued a crackdown on the FLQ and suspended civil liberties in Quebec, forcing the FLQ leadership to flee to exile in Cuba where the Cuban government accepted their entry. Daniel Ortega
Daniel Ortega
José Daniel Ortega Saavedra is a Nicaraguan politician and revolutionary, currently serving as the 83rd President of Nicaragua, a position that he has held since 2007. He previously served as the 79th President, between 1985 and 1990, and for much of his life, has been a leader in the Sandinista...

 of the Marxist-Leninist movement called the Sandinista National Liberation Front
Sandinista National Liberation Front
The Sandinista National Liberation Front is a socialist political party in Nicaragua. Its members are called Sandinistas in both English and Spanish...

 seized power in Nicaragua in 1979 and faced armed opposition from the Contras
Contras
The contras is a label given to the various rebel groups opposing Nicaragua's FSLN Sandinista Junta of National Reconstruction government following the July 1979 overthrow of Anastasio Somoza Debayle's dictatorship...

 supported by the United States. The United States launched military intervention in Grenada to prevent the establishment of a Marxist-Leninist regime there. The Salvadoran Civil War from 1980 to 1992 involved Marxist-Leninist rebels fighting against El Salvador's right-wing government.

Developments of Marxism–Leninism and communist revolution occurred in Asia in this period. The People's Republic of China under Mao Zedong developed its own unique brand of Marxism–Leninism known as Maoism
Maoism
Maoism, also known as the Mao Zedong Thought , is claimed by Maoists as an anti-Revisionist form of Marxist communist theory, derived from the teachings of the Chinese political leader Mao Zedong . Developed during the 1950s and 1960s, it was widely applied as the political and military guiding...

. Tensions erupted between the PRC and the Soviet Union over a number of issues, including border disputes, resulting in the Sino-Soviet Split
Sino-Soviet split
In political science, the term Sino–Soviet split denotes the worsening of political and ideologic relations between the People's Republic of China and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics during the Cold War...

 in the 1960s. After the split, the PRC eventually pursued detente
Détente
Détente is the easing of strained relations, especially in a political situation. The term is often used in reference to the general easing of relations between the Soviet Union and the United States in the 1970s, a thawing at a period roughly in the middle of the Cold War...

 with the United States as a means to challenge the Soviet Union. This was inaugurated with the visit of U.S. President Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 to the PRC in 1972 and the US supporting the PRC replacing the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 as the representative of China at the United Nations and taking its seat at the UN Security Council. The death of Mao eventually saw the Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

 politically outmaneuver Mao's chosen successor to power in the People's Republic of China. Deng made controversial economic reforms to the PRC's economy involving effective economic liberalization
Economic liberalism
Economic liberalism is the ideological belief in giving all people economic freedom, and as such granting people with more basis to control their own lives and make their own mistakes. It is an economic philosophy that supports and promotes individual liberty and choice in economic matters and...

 under the policy of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics. His reforms helped to gradually transform the PRC into one of the world's fastest growing economies. Another major conflict erupted between the East and West in the Cold War in Asia during the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

. French colonial forces had failed to hold back independence forces led by the communist leader Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Hồ Chí Minh , born Nguyễn Sinh Cung and also known as Nguyễn Ái Quốc, was a Vietnamese Marxist-Leninist revolutionary leader who was prime minister and president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam...

 in North Vietnam
North Vietnam
The Democratic Republic of Vietnam , was a communist state that ruled the northern half of Vietnam from 1954 until 1976 following the Geneva Conference and laid claim to all of Vietnam from 1945 to 1954 during the First Indochina War, during which they controlled pockets of territory throughout...

. French forces retreated from Vietnam and were replaced by American forces supporting a Western-backed client regime in South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

. Despite being a superpower and having a superior arsenal of weapons at its disposal, the United States was unable to make substantial gains against North Vietnam's proxy guerilla army in South Vietnam, the Viet Cong. With the direct intervention of North Vietnam in the South with the Tet Offensive of 1968, US forces suffered heavy losses. The American public turned against the war eventually resulting in a withdrawal of US troops and the seizure of Saigon by communist forces in 1975 and communist victory in Vietnam. Communist regimes were established in Vietnam's neighbour states in 1975, such as in Laos
Laos
Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

 and the creation of the Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
The Khmer Rouge literally translated as Red Cambodians was the name given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, who were the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led by Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan...

 regime of Democratic Kampuchea
Democratic Kampuchea
The Khmer Rouge period refers to the rule of Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen, Khieu Samphan and the Khmer Rouge Communist party over Cambodia, which the Khmer Rouge renamed as Democratic Kampuchea....

 (Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

). The Khmer Rouge regime became notorious for the mass genocide of the Cambodian population. The Khmer Rouge was overthrown in 1979 by an invasion by Vietnam that assisted the establishment of a new Marxist-Leninist regime, the People's Republic of Kampuchea
People's Republic of Kampuchea
The People's Republic of Kampuchea , , was founded in Cambodia by the Salvation Front, a group of Cambodian leftists dissatisfied with the Khmer Rouge, after the overthrow of Democratic Kampuchea, Pol Pot's government...

, that opposed the policies of the Khmer Rouge.


A new front of Marxist-Leninist revolution erupted in Africa, with revolutions in Benin
Benin
Benin , officially the Republic of Benin, is a country in West Africa. It borders Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east and Burkina Faso and Niger to the north. Its small southern coastline on the Bight of Benin is where a majority of the population is located...

, Congo-Brazzaville, and Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

; Marxist-Leninist liberation fronts in Angola
Angola
Angola, officially the Republic of Angola , is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city...

 and Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

 revolting against Portguese colonial rule; the overthrow of Haile Selassie and the creation of the Derg
Derg
The Derg or Dergue was a Communist military junta that came to power in Ethiopia following the ousting of Haile Selassie I. Derg, which means "committee" or "council" in Ge'ez, is the short name of the Coordinating Committee of the Armed Forces, Police, and Territorial Army, a committee of...

 communist military junta in Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

; blacks led by Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe
Robert Gabriel Mugabe is the President of Zimbabwe. As one of the leaders of the liberation movement against white-minority rule, he was elected into power in 1980...

 in Rhodesia
Rhodesia
Rhodesia , officially the Republic of Rhodesia from 1970, was an unrecognised state located in southern Africa that existed between 1965 and 1979 following its Unilateral Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom on 11 November 1965...

 revolting against white-minority rule there. Angola, Benin, Congo-Brazzaville, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Somalia and Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

 (formerly Rhodesia) all became Marxist-Leninist states between 1969 and 1979. Focus on apartheid white minority rule in South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 brought tensions between East and West, the Soviet Union officially supported the overthrow of apartheid while the West and the US in particular maintained official neutrality on the matter. The Western position became precarious and condemned after the Soweto uprising in 1976 and the killing of black South African rights activist Steve Biko
Steve Biko
Stephen Biko was a noted anti-apartheid activist in South Africa in the 1960s and 1970s. A student leader, he later founded the Black Consciousness Movement which would empower and mobilize much of the urban black population. Since his death in police custody, he has been called a martyr of the...

 in 1977. Under US President Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

, the West joined the Soviet Union and others in enacting sanctions against weapons trade and weapons-grade material to South Africa. However forceful actions by the US against apartheid South Africa were diminished under US President Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

, as the Reagan administration feared the rise of communist revolution in South Africa as had happened in Zimbabwe against white minority rule.

In 1979, the Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan to secure the communist regime there, though the act was seen as an invasion by Afghans opposed to Afghanistan's communist regime and by the West. The West responded to the Soviet military actions by boycotting the Moscow Olympics of 1980 and providing clandestine support to the Mujahadeen, including Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

, as a means to challenge the Soviet Union. The war became a Soviet equivalent of the Vietnam War to the United States - it remained a stalemate throughout the 1980s.

Reform and collapse of Marxist-Leninist regimes, end of the Cold War (1985–1992)



In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the last head of state of the USSR, having served from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991...

 rose to power in the Soviet Union and began policies of radical political reform involving political liberalization, called Perestroika
Perestroika
Perestroika was a political movement within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during 1980s, widely associated with the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev...

 and Glasnost
Glasnost
Glasnost was the policy of maximal publicity, openness, and transparency in the activities of all government institutions in the Soviet Union, together with freedom of information, introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev in the second half of the 1980s...

. Gorbachev's policies were designed at dismantling authoritarian elements of the state that were developed by Stalin, while aiming for a return to a supposed ideal Leninist state that retained single-party structure while allowing the democratic election of competing candidates within the Communist Party for political office. Gorbachev also aimed to seek detente with the West and end the Cold War that was no longer economically sustainable to be pursued by the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union and the United States under US President George H. W. Bush
George H. W. Bush
George Herbert Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 41st President of the United States . He had previously served as the 43rd Vice President of the United States , a congressman, an ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence.Bush was born in Milton, Massachusetts, to...

 joined in pushing for the dismantlement of apartheid and oversaw the dismantlement of South African colonial rule over Namibia
Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

.

Meanwhile the eastern European communist states politically deteriorated in response to the success of the Polish Solidarity movement and the possibility of Gorbachev-style political liberalization. In 1989, revolts across Eastern Europe and China against Marxist-Leninist regimes. In China, the PRC refused to negotiate with student protestors resulting in the Tianamen Square attacks that stopped the revolts by force. The revolts culminated with the revolt in East Germany against the Stalinist regime of Erich Honecker
Erich Honecker
Erich Honecker was a German communist politician who led the German Democratic Republic as General Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party from 1971 until 1989, serving as Head of State as well from Willi Stoph's relinquishment of that post in 1976....

 and demands for the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin...

 to be torn down. The event in East Germany developed into a popular mass revolt with sections of the Berlin Wall being torn down and East and West Berliners uniting. Gorbachev's refusal to use Soviet forces based in East Germany to suppress the revolt was seen as a sign that the Cold War had ended. Honecker was pressured to resign from office and the new government committed itself to reunification with West Germany. The Stalinist regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu
Nicolae Ceausescu
Nicolae Ceaușescu was a Romanian Communist politician. He was General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party from 1965 to 1989, and as such was the country's second and last Communist leader...

 in Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 was forcefully overthrown in 1989 and Ceaușescu was executed. The other Warsaw Pact regimes fell in 1989 with the exception of the Socialist People's Republic of Albania that continued until 1992.

Unrest and eventual collapse of communism also occurred in Yugoslavia, though for different reasons than those of the Warsaw Pact. The death of Tito in 1980 and the subsequent vacuum of strong leadership allowed the rise of rival ethnic nationalism in the multinational country. The first leader to exploit such nationalism for political purposes was communist official Slobodan Milošević
Slobodan Milošević
Slobodan Milošević was President of Serbia and Yugoslavia. He served as the President of Socialist Republic of Serbia and Republic of Serbia from 1989 until 1997 in three terms and as President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000...

 who used it to seize power as President of Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, and demanded concessions to Serbia and Serbs
Serbs
The Serbs are a South Slavic ethnic group of the Balkans and southern Central Europe. Serbs are located mainly in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and form a sizable minority in Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia and Slovenia. Likewise, Serbs are an officially recognized minority in...

 by the other republics in the Yugoslav federation. This resulted in a surge of Slovene and Croat
Croats
Croats are a South Slavic ethnic group mostly living in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and nearby countries. There are around 4 million Croats living inside Croatia and up to 4.5 million throughout the rest of the world. Responding to political, social and economic pressure, many Croats have...

 nationalism in response and the collapse of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia
League of Communists of Yugoslavia
League of Communists of Yugoslavia , before 1952 the Communist Party of Yugoslavia League of Communists of Yugoslavia (Serbo-Croatian: Savez komunista Jugoslavije/Савез комуниста Југославије, Slovene: Zveza komunistov Jugoslavije, Macedonian: Сојуз на комунистите на Југославија, Sojuz na...

 in 1990, the victory of nationalists in multiparty elections in most of Yugoslavia's constituent republics, and eventually civil war between the various nationalities
Yugoslav wars
The Yugoslav Wars were a series of wars, fought throughout the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1995. The wars were complex: characterized by bitter ethnic conflicts among the peoples of the former Yugoslavia, mostly between Serbs on the one side and Croats and Bosniaks on the other; but also...

 beginning in 1991. The SFRY was dissolved in 1992.

The Soviet Union itself collapsed between 1990 and 1991, with a rise of secessionist nationalism and a political power dispute between Gorbachev and the new non-communist leader of the Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999.Originally a supporter of Mikhail Gorbachev, Yeltsin emerged under the perestroika reforms as one of Gorbachev's most powerful political opponents. On 29 May 1990 he was elected the chairman of...

. With the Soviet Union collapsing, Gorbachev prepared the country to become a loose non-communist federation of independent states called the Commonwealth of Independent States
Commonwealth of Independent States
The Commonwealth of Independent States is a regional organization whose participating countries are former Soviet Republics, formed during the breakup of the Soviet Union....

. Hardline communist leaders in the military reacted to Gorbachev's policies with the August Coup of 1991 in which hardline communist military leaders overthrew Gorbachev and seized control of the government. This regime only lasted briefly as widespread popular opposition erupted in street protests and refused to submit. Gorbachev was restored to power, but the various Soviet republics were now set for independence. On December 25, 1991, Gorbachev officially announced the dissolution of the Soviet Union, ending the existence of the world's first communist-led state.

Modern-day Marxism-Leninism and post-communist regimes (1992–present)


Since the fall of the Eastern European communist regimes, the Soviet Union, and a variety of African communist regimes, only a few remained by 1993, including: Angola, China, Cuba, Laos, Mozambique, North Korea, and Zimbabwe. Most communist parties outside those in power have faired poorly in elections. However the Communist Party of the Russian Federation
Communist Party of the Russian Federation
The Communist Party of the Russian Federation is a Russian political party. It is the second major political party in the Russian Federation.-History:...

 has remained a significant political force. A variety of post-communist
Post-Communism
Post-communism is a name sometimes given to the period of political and economic transformation or "transition" in former Communist states located in parts of Europe and Asia, in which new governments aimed to create free market-oriented capitalist economies with some form of parliamentary...

 regimes whose government and cabinet members were formerly associated with Marxism–Leninism, existed in a number of countries. Post-communist regimes from 1991 to present have held power in Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

, Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

, Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

, the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro
Montenegro
Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

, Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, and Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

.

The various post-communist regimes formed in the 1990s and 2000s, have held various positions, with no single unified position. In Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko
Alexander Lukashenko
Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko has been serving as the President of Belarus since 20 July 1994. Before his career as a politician, Lukashenko worked as director of a state-owned agricultural farm. Under Lukashenko's rule, Belarus has come to be viewed as a state whose conduct is out of line...

 had the country maintain much of its Marxist-Leninist command economy structure. In Slovenia, the formerly communist President Milan Kučan
Milan Kucan
Milan Kučan is a Slovenian politician and statesman. He was the first President of Slovenia.-Early life and political beginnings:...

 allowed substantial economic and political liberalization in the country, transforming the country into a capitalist market economy. In Serbia, the formerly communist President Slobodan Milošević and his Socialist Party of Serbia
Socialist Party of Serbia
The Socialist Party of Serbia is officially a democratic socialist political party in Serbia. It is also widely recognized as a de facto Serbian nationalist party, though the party itself does not officially acknowledge this...

 allowed multiparty democracy and some political and economic liberalization, however former communist officials and state authority in a number of sectors remained while utilizing nationalism to maintain popularity and substantial opposition to the regime was repressed until his overthrow in 2000. Milosevic's wife Mirjana Marković
Mirjana Markovic
Mirjana "Mira" Marković is the leader of the Yugoslav Left political party and the widow and childhood friend of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milošević.-Personal life:...

 established a federal political party, the Yugoslav Left
Yugoslav Left
Yugoslav Left was a left-wing political party in Serbia and Montenegro. It was formed in 1994 as is a coalition of 23 left-wing and communist parties, led by the League of Communists - Movement for Yugoslavia . It has been led by Mirjana Marković, the wife of Slobodan Milošević...

 in 1994 in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Serbia and Montenegro
Serbia and Montenegro was a country in southeastern Europe, formed from two former republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia : Serbia and Montenegro. Following the breakup of Yugoslavia, it was established in 1992 as a federation called the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia...

 that held substantial influence in the country that contained Marxist-Leninist ideology and official ties with the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

, the Communist Party of Cuba
Communist Party of Cuba
The Communist Party of Cuba is the governing political party in Cuba. It is a communist party of the Marxist-Leninist model. The Cuban constitution ascribes the role of the Party to be the "leading force of society and of the state"...

, and the Workers' Party of Korea
Workers' Party of Korea
The Workers' Party of Korea is the ruling Communist party of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea , commonly known as North Korea. It is also called the Korean Workers' Party...

.

In Africa, many of the Marxist-Leninist regimes were dismantled in the 1990s. Only Zimbabwe maintained Marxism–Leninism though it too has been challenged with the multiparty elections in 2008 and a powersharing agreement between President Mugabe and his opponent, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Richard Tsvangirai is the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. He is the President of the Movement for Democratic Change - Tsvangirai and a key figure in the opposition to President Robert Mugabe. Tsvangirai was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe on 11 February 2009...

.

In Asia, a number of Marxist-Leninist regimes and powerful movements continue to exist. The People's Republic of China has continued the agenda of Deng's reforms by initiating significant privatization of the economy. However no corresponding political liberalization has occurred as happened in eastern European countries. North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung died in 1994 and was replaced by his son, Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il, also written as Kim Jong Il, birth name Yuri Irsenovich Kim born 16 February 1941 or 16 February 1942 , is the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea...

 who initially pursued a policy of detente with South Korea and the West in exchange for economic support from the West. However talks broke down and the initiative failed. The Naxalite-Maoist insurgency
Naxalite-Maoist insurgency
The Naxalite-Maoist insurgency is an ongoing conflict between Maoist groups, known as Naxalites or Naxals, and the Indian government.In 2006 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called the Naxalites "The single biggest internal security challenge ever faced by our country."...

 has continued between the governments of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

 against various Marxist-Leninist movements, unabated since the 1960s. Maoist rebels in Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

 engaged in a civil war from 1996 to 2006 that managed to topple the monarchy there and create a republic.

Cuba has allied itself with the popular radical socialist politics of Bolivarianism as supported by Hugo Chavez
Hugo Chávez
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías is the 56th and current President of Venezuela, having held that position since 1999. He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela...

 of Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

. Castro and Chavez formed a common front against American imperialism and capitalism. Unlike Marxism–Leninism, Bolivarianism accepts the existence of religion and multiparty democracy. Castro and Chavez have also been joined with the radical socialist agenda of Evo Morales
Evo Morales
Juan Evo Morales Ayma , popularly known as Evo , is a Bolivian politician and activist, currently serving as the 80th President of Bolivia, a position that he has held since 2006. He is also the leader of both the Movement for Socialism party and the cocalero trade union...

 of Bolivia. Marxist-Leninist leader Daniel Ortega returned to power in Nicaragua in 2007. The Marxist-Leninist paramilitary organization the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People's Army is a Marxist–Leninist revolutionary guerrilla organization based in Colombia which is involved in the ongoing Colombian armed conflict, currently involved in drug dealing and crimes against the civilians..FARC-EP is a peasant army which...

 (FARC) is a significant political force in Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

 and has received political support from Chavez. In the ongoing internal conflict in Peru
Internal conflict in Peru
It has been estimated that nearly 70,000 people died in the internal conflict in Peru that started in 1980 and, although still ongoing, had greatly wound down by 2000. The principal actors in the war were the Shining Path , the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement and the government of Peru.A great...

, the Peruvian government faces opposition from Marxist-Leninist and Maoist militants.

External links