Communist Influence in the 20th Century

Published 28 Jul 2017

The dawning of the 20th century marked the strengthening of a new ideology, one that is based on the well-being of the minimum wage earner, or the proletariat. Its tenets differed in the sense that authority of rule is meant to be given to the masses, with equal and fair treatment on labor, wages, and the distribution on the use of State properties among its populace. One of the most revered icons of this ideology that is Communism had been Karl Marx, and his influence in Russia and other countries that adopted this ideology had greatly influenced world events in the last century.

According to Communist Manifesto, the immediate goal of communism is the formation of the proletariat into a party, overthrow the bourgeois or ruling class, and ultimately the ascension to political power by the proletariat (Marx, 20). Marx stresses that this is attainable through the formation of the laborers into a trade union inside their factory, then coordinating with other existing groups from the other industries, then with another towns, then cities, until finally an atmosphere wherein all the proletariats from all over the country are standing united against the ruling class is attained.

In a Communist regime, as specified in the Communist Manifesto, especially in more advanced countries, the application of several decrees is necessary, namely:

(1) Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes; (2) A heavy graduated income tax; (3) Abolition of all rights of inheritance; (4) Confiscation of all properties of emigrants and rebels; (5) Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by a national bank with State capital and exclusive monopoly; (6) Centralization of means of communication and transport in the hands of the State; (7) Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; (8) Equal obligation of all to labor; (9) Gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country, by a more equal distribution of the population all over the country; and, (10) Free education of all children in public schools (27-28).

It is written in The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, that by 1949 when Chairman Mao Zedong instituted communism in China, he, in contrast with Russia’s industrialization policy, believed in the development of the peasant economy as the answer to China’s economic struggles, however, during the 1960’s, it was clear that China’s economy was in for the worst (441). In fear of his own extreme implementation of communism which led to a Cultural

Revolution, Mao ordered the execution of his opponents, scholars were put to prison and many were tortured, and families of his political enemies were forcefully separated. It was only after Mao’s death in 1976 that China started to re-open to the world. The economy was refocused on industrialization and the Chinese Communist Government started allowing foreign investments (The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, 441).

Even the late Asian dictator Ferdinand Marcos, in his study on Communism, hypothesizes that due to the communists’ practice of concealing their true intentions of overthrowing the legitimate government behind nationalist fronts and constitutional radicalism (119). The Communists’ conviction to an armed revolution is not as a last resort, but it is the final act. He comes to a conclusion in his book, that communism is the violent, unconstitutional alternative to a genuinely democratic revolution (Marcos, 119).

Works Cited

  • China 1949-1997. The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0753457849, 9780753457849. 2004. 440-41.
  • Marcos, Ferdinand. The Democratic Revolution in the Philippines 3rd ed. Manila: Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data, 1977
  • Marx, Karl and Frederick Engels. The Communist Manifesto. CA: 2006.
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