Portal:Communism

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Communism is a political ideology that seeks to establish a future without social class or formalized state structure, and with social organization based upon common ownership of the means of production. It can be classified as a branch of the broader socialist movement. Communism also refers to a variety of political movements which claim the establishment of such a social organization as their ultimate goal.

Early forms of human social organization have been described as "primitive communism". However, communism as a political goal generally is a conjectured form of future social organization which has never been implemented. There is a considerable variety of views among self-identified communists, including Maoism, Trotskyism, council communism, Luxemburgism, and various currents of left communism, which are in addition to more widespread varieties. However, various offshoots of the Soviet and Maoist forms of Marxism–Leninism comprise a particular branch of communism that had been the primary driving force for communism in world politics during most of the 20th century. Template:/box-footer

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PKI leader D.N. Aidit speaking at election meeting, 1955
The Communist Party of Indonesia (Indonesian: Partai Komunis Indonesia, PKI) was a political party in Indonesia. With growing popular support and a membership of about 3 million by 1965, the PKI was the strongest communist party outside the Soviet Union and China. The party had a firm base in various mass organizations, estimates claim that the total membership of the party and its frontal organizations might have at its peak organized a fifth of the Indonesian population. In March 1962 PKI joined the government. PKI leaders Aidit and Njoto were named advisory ministers.

Following the military coup in 1965, between 300,000 and one million Indonesians were killed in the mass killings that followed as the new regime cracked down on PKI. A CIA study of the events in Indonesia assessed that "In terms of the numbers killed the anti-PKI massacres in Indonesia rank as one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century...".

Selected biography

Joe Slovo (23 May 1926 – 6 January 1995) was a South African politician, long-time leader of the South African Communist Party (SACP), and leading member of the African National Congress.

Slovo was born in Obeliai, Lithuania to a Jewish family who emigrated to South Africa when he was eight. His full name was Yossel Mashel Slovo. His father worked as a truck driver in Johannesburg. Although his family were religious, he became an atheist who retained respect for "the positive aspects of Jewish culture". Slovo left school in 1941 and found work as a dispatch clerk. He joined the National Union of Distributive Workers and, as a shop steward, was involved in organising a strike.

Slovo joined the South African Communist Party in 1942. Inspired by the Red Army's battles against the Nazis on the Eastern Front of World War II, Slovo volunteered to fight in the war, afterwards joining the Springbok Legion, a multiracial radical ex-servicemen's organization, upon his return.

Between 1946 and 1950 he completed a law degree at Wits University and was a student activist. He was in the same class as Nelson Mandela and Harry Schwarz. In 1949 he married Ruth First, another prominent Jewish anti-apartheid activist and the daughter of SACP treasurer Julius First. They had three daughters, Shawn, Gillian and Robyn. First was assassinated in 1982 by order of Craig Williamson, a major in the Apartheid security police.

Selected quote

A means can be justified only by its end. But the end in its turn needs to be justified. From the Marxist point of view, which expresses the historical interests of the proletariat, the end is justified if it leads to increasing the power of man over nature and to the abolition of the power of man over man.

“We are to understand then that in achieving this end anything is permissible?” sarcastically demands the Philistine, demonstrating that he understood nothing. That is permissible, we answer, which really leads to the liberation of mankind. Since this end can be achieved only through revolution, the liberating morality of the proletariat of necessity is endowed with a revolutionary character. It irreconcilably counteracts not only religious dogma but every kind of idealistic fetish, these philosophic gendarmes of the ruling class. It deduces a rule for conduct from the laws of the development of society, thus primarily from the class struggle, this law of all laws.

“Just the same,” the moralist continues to insist, “does it mean that in the class struggle against capitalists all means are permissible: lying, frame-up, betrayal, murder, and so on?” Permissible and obligatory are those and only those means, we answer, which unite the revolutionary proletariat, fill their hearts with irreconcilable hostility to oppression, teach them contempt for official morality and its democratic echoers, imbue them with consciousness of their own historic mission, raise their courage and spirit of self-sacrifice in the struggle. Precisely from this it flows that not all means are permissible. When we say that the end justifies the means, then for us the conclusion follows that the great revolutionary end spurns those base means and ways which set one part of the working class against other parts, or attempt to make the masses happy without their participation; or lower the faith of the masses in themselves and their organization, replacing it by worship for the “leaders”. Primarily and irreconcilably, revolutionary morality rejects servility in relation to the bourgeoisie and haughtiness in relation to the toilers, that is, those characteristics in which petty bourgeois pedants and moralists are thoroughly steeped."

— Leon Trotsky (1879-1940)
Their Morals and Ours , 1938

Selected picture

PRC office Venice.jpg
Communist Refoundation Party office in Venice.

Photo credit: degreezero2000

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General

Variations of Communism

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Present and former Socialist states (under the direction of Communist parties)

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