Communism

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Communism is the belief that everyone in a society should be equal and

share their wealth. It is an outgrowth of socialism and Anabaptism (Laski 45).

It became a firmly rooted term after the Russian Revolution of 1917. According

to the words of Karl Marx, "From each according to his ability, to each

according to his needs" 1. These theories were spread by

Karl Marx. He believed that what a person made of himself reflected his effort

(McLellan 1). He also believed that communism, or the state of equality was

ones "final stage in life" (Leone 1).

Communism basically started in 1847, with the formation of the London

Communist League. This was an international association of worker, whose sole

purpose was to write a "theoretical and practical program which would serve as

the basis for uniting the working classes of Europe" (Leone 1). The London

Communist League asked Marx for help in drafting a document to represent their

standings. He composed the "Communist Manifesto" or "The Manifesto of the

Communist Party" (Leone 1).

The Russian Revolution helped foster communism. The Russian Revolution

started with the with the assassination of Rasputin. In March of 1917, the Duma

declares a prvisional government, including czars. During this period, there

were also massive strikes by the workers. It was furthered by the abdication of

Czar Nicholas. The Russian Revolution itself occured throughout 1917, with the

start of the March Revolution. In April of 1917, Lenin return from exil in

Switerland and denounced the established provisional government. The next

general step was the gaining of the seats in the Petograd Soviet Parliment by

the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks picked Lenin to then head the government, just

several days after the November Revolution. During this revolution the peasants

storm the palace, taking total control of the government. At this point, the

power was given to Lenin. Almost immediatly he issued the New Economic Plan,

which instituted the one party system or communism. They basicaly supported the

basic communist theories of Karl Marx, as interpreted by Lenin. He installed

many of his beliefs and helped reorganize the people, and essentially

emmancipatte the working class. He also is credited with the creation of the

S...

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.... The economic state of China made it much more profitable

for a peasant to work for the warlord that form the land (Shanor 95).

Because of the poor conditions, small Communist groups began to form in

China's cities. At first, they were allies with Sun Yat-Sen and his

Nationalists. But the good feelings between the two parties deteriorated

quickly after Chiang Kai-Shek, Sun's successor, ordered the Shanghai Massacre of

the Communists. Chiang spent the following years alternating between

negotiating with and fighting against the Communists. The situation became so

drastic that the Communists eventually fled during the Long March of 1934-35

(Shanor 95).

The United States, who was very Anti-Communist after WWII, supported

Chiang Kai-Shek. Over a period of four years, the US gave $2.5 billion to

support the Nationalist cause. Despite their efforts, the Communists eventually

overthrew the Nationalist government, forcing Chiang and followers to flee to

Taiwan. On October 1, 1949, Mao Zedong, the leader of the Communists,

proclaimed the country as the People's Republic of China (Shanor 96).

1 Industrial Workers of the World www.iww.org

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