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Chapter 8: Current and Former Communist Regimes.

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1 Chapter 8: Current and Former Communist Regimes


3 Thinking about the Current and Former Communist Regimes –Weaknesses of Communist regimes appeared by 1980s States relaxed repressive policies Factional disputes divided Chinese rulers Mikhail Gorbachev became leader of USSR

4 Thinking about the Current and Former Communist Regimes –Former Communist states declared themselves democracies Transitions very difficult Success stories in Poland, Hungary, and others –China, Vietnam, North Korea, and Cuba remained Communist regimes

5 Thinking about Communism Marxist-Leninist Regimes in Eastern Europe and Asia Several Marxist-like regimes in North Africa, Arabia, and South America The Leninist State –Communist Party controlled all political life –Democratic centralism was regime paradigm –Until 1950s, USSR controlled “Communist World” –China and USSR split in late ‘50s offered an alternative model

6 Thinking about Communism Command Economies –Government owned and controlled nearly all industrial and retail activity –State planning committees determined output and consumption goals –Benefits of command economies began diminishing in late ‘80s


8 Thinking about Communism Key Questions –What contemporary and historical, domestic and international forces shaped their development? –How are decisions made in these countries? –What role do average citizens play in policy making? –What are the public policies? –How is political life affected by global forces? –How could regimes that seemed so strong collapse so quickly? –What have some Communist systems survived? –What are the political implications of economic reform in countries that have kept Communism and in those that have abandoned it? –Why are they all facing much more serious domestic and global challenges than any of the countries covered in Part 2?

9 Socialism, Marxism, Leninism Socialism –Public ownership of means of production –Substantial material equality –Economic and political democracy

10 Socialism, Marxism, Leninism Marxism –Evolution of society –Dialectics –Historical materialism –Revolution




14 Socialism, Marxism, Leninism Marxism-Leninism – democratic centralism Stalinism - totalitarianism Expansion –Third International (Comintern) –Eastern Europe –Asia


16 Socialism, Marxism, Leninism De-Stalinization –Khrushchev’s “secret speech” (1956) –Slight loosening of intellectual controls –Brezhnev era of more control and economic stagnation No longer a unified Communist movement Need to change grew at a time leaders were trying to prevent change

17 The Marxist-Leninist State The Party State –Secretariat –Politburo –nomenklatura The Graying of Communism: “thumbs” and “fingers”

18 The Crisis of Communism: Suicide by Public Policy Reform: too little, too late –Glasnost –Democratization of the Party –Perestroika –New thinking in foreign policy Change and resistance in Eastern Europe


20 The Crisis of Communism: Suicide by Public Policy 1989: The Year That Changed the World –Solidarity in Poland –Opening the Iron Curtain in Hungary –Emigration and protest in East Germany –Czechoslovakia’s “Velvet Revolution” –Violent revolution in Romania –Massive protest in Tiananmen Square

21 The Crisis of Communism: Suicide by Public Policy The Remnants of the Communist World –A few Parties and governments were willing to continue to use force –Countries too poor and too closed to outside influences –Most had been outside Soviet Union’s sphere of influence for some time

22 Transitions Relative Success: Eastern and Central Europe –Relative ethnic homogeneity –Economic progress with reform –Communist leaders made common cause with opposition (pacting)


24 Transitions Troubled transitions: The former Soviet Union –No real shift of power to new leaders –Great problems with corruption Ethnic conflict –The former Yugoslavia –Russian war with rebels in Chechnya

25 Transitions What's left of Marxism? –North Korea and Cuba have maintained Marxist-Leninist systems –China and Vietnam have reformed economies –Monopoly power of Communist Parties remains

26 Feedback Marxist-Leninist regimes controlled all media Loosening of controls in 1980s Radio, satellite television, cell phones, and the Internet have made controls much more difficult

27 Conclusion: The End of the Cold War important because Cold War determined the evolution of Communist and non-Communist states Communist past vital to understanding present of Communist and former Communist states today

28 Learning Objectives After mastering the concepts presented in this chapter, you will be able to: Comprehend the development of communist doctrine and ideology in Europe. Differentiate among and define the following: Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism, Totalitarianism Comprehend political and economic doctrines of Karl Marx on communism and class exploitation. Define Marxist theory and explain the following notions and terms: Historical materialism, Dialectics, Proletarian revolution Understand the role of Russian Revolution in 1917 in the development of communist regimes in Eastern Europe and beyond. Comparatively define socialism and communism. Understand the notion of totalitarian regime and totalitarian form of governance. Assess major differences between the command and free market economies. Comparatively analyze similarities and differences between the USSR and the People’s Republic of China in managing economy and political process under communist ideology and party system.

29 Learning Objectives After mastering the concepts presented in this chapter, you will be able to: Recognize the role of Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong in the process of communist state formation and development. Discuss the structure of the Communist Party and government institutions in the Soviet Union. Define the following terms: Nomenklatura, Central Committee, Politburo, General Secretary Understand the role of Mikhail Gorbachev in the process of party, state and ideological reformation in the USSR. Define the following terms: Glasnost, Perestroika Recognize factors that contribute to the collapse of communist regimes in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Identify challenges of post-communist democratization in Eastern Europe. Define social and political, including of revolutionary character movements in Hungary, Romania, Soviet Union, Poland and other countries against communism. Recognize the process of the USSR disintegration. Discuss the implications of the shock therapy in post-communist countries. Identify remaining communist regimes and discuss their political, economic and social challenges.

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