PLATO’S REPUBLIC OF COMMUNISM..
MOSAIC SABBATH LAWS
MANIFESTO OF JESUS CHRIST
MARXISM: THE GROWTH OF A PSEUDO SCIENCE.
RISE AND FALL OF SOVIET COMMUNISMLENIN-STALIN MODEL.
RISE AND FALL OF CHINESE COMMUNISMMAO MODEL
OTHER COMMUNIST COUNTRIES THAT SURVIVED.
COUNTRIES WHERE COMMUNISM ENDED 103
COMMUNISM IN INDIA.
WEST BENGAL STORY
COMMUNIST SOCIETIES THROUGH HISTORY
This is an attempt to summarise the life time of experience of the Communist Ecperiments around the world during my life. It all happened around me. The Thomas Churches in the state of Kerala which formed a powerful community were heavily attracted to it because of its resonance with the Kingdom of God as enunciated in the Manifesto of Jesus. In fact one of my first artistic presentation with the Christian Institute of Study of Society and Religion was the Manifesto of Jesuss and the declaration of the Year of Jubilee. This Christian community in fact transformed it at least in its earlier days. Our family was almost at the center of it. This is what I saw and heard through the long period of my life - a story of the shattering of the hope. The state never withered away and the Kingdom evaded us. Yet Kerala remains the only state in the world where the Communists still rule as a party through democratic process.
The idea of a classless and stateless society based on communal ownership of property and wealth stretches far back in Western thought long before The Communist Manifesto.While Karl
Marx and Friedrich Engels defined communism as a political movement, there were already similar ideas in the past which one could call communist experiments.
Communism comes from Latin communis, which means "common, universal" is the philosophical, social, political and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society,with common ownership of all means of production and the absence of social classes,money and the state. The only contribution of Marx was the Communism in the package of Historical Scientific Marxism.
Why did it fail everywhere? Find it out yourself.
Normal, Illinois 61761
I PREHISTORIC HUMANS
Marx himself saw primitive communism as the original hunter-gatherer state of humankind. For Marx, only after humanity was capable of producing surplus did private property develop.
Genesis 1 describes the creation of humans by the Elohim the council of the Sons of God from all cosmos where humans are created in the image of God as male and female and they were asked to multiply and fill the earth and subdue the earth. Humans lived by hunting and gathering, and the only division of labor was biologically based: The physically stronger males hunted for food, while the women took care of domestic tasks and raising children. Hunting was a collective activity, and spoils were therefore common property. Earth belonged to everyone.
The only private property to speak of were the huntsman’s tools, and these were ordinarily buried with the body when they died. There was no concept of “the state.” Classes didn’t exist. Quarrels were among individuals, and they were settled by the tribe. Old men played a decisive role in this process due to their experience, but they were not rulers.
This practice is still in existence among the hunter gathers who move as a tribe from place to place.
This was the human condition for 99 percent of the time that the species has inhabited the planet. The Neolithic agricultural revolution changed all that. Now it was possible to produce a surplus. As humans settled in fixed habitations, division between property-owning and laboring classes appeared.
Hunter-gatherer societies are still found across the world, from the Inuit who hunt for walrus on the frozen ice of the Arctic, to the Ayoreo armadillo hunters of the dry South American Chaco, the Awá of Amazonia's rainforests and the reindeer herders of Siberia.
Most hunter-gatherers are nomadic or semi-nomadic and live in temporary settlements. Mobile communities typically construct shelters using impermanent building materials, or they may use natural rock shelters, where they are available.
Some hunter-gatherer cultures, such as the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast and the Yakuts, lived in particularly rich environments that allowed them to be sedentary or semi-sedentary. Amongst the earliest example of permanent settlements is the Osipovka culture (14–10.3 thousand years ago), which lived in a fish-rich environment that allowed them to be able to stay at the same place all year. One group, the Chumash, had the highest recorded population density of any known hunter and gatherer society with an estimated 21.6 persons per square mile.
Hunter-gatherers tend to have an egalitarian social ethos, although settled hunter-gatherers (for example, those inhabiting the Northwest Coast of North America) are an exception to this rule. Nearly all African hunter-gatherers are egalitarian, with women roughly as influential and powerful as men. For example, the San people or "Bushmen" of southern Africa have social customs that strongly discourage hoarding and displays of authority, and encourage economic equality via sharing of food and material goods. Karl Marx defined this socio-economic system as primitive communism.
Mbendjele meat sharing
Anthropologists maintain that hunter-gatherers do not have permanent leaders; instead, the person taking the initiative at any one time depends on the task being performed. In addition to social and economic equality in hunter-gatherer societies, there is often, though not always, sexual parity as well. Hunter-gatherers are often grouped together based on kinship and band (or tribe) membership. Postmarital residence among hunter-gatherers tends to be matrilocal.
A 19th century engraving of an Indigenous Australian encampment.
Skinner Prout. - Edwin Carton Booth (1876), “Queensland”, in Australia In Two Volumes, volume II, London:
Native Encampment (detail), a 19th-century engraving of an Indigenous Australian encampment, showing the
indigenous lifestyle in the cooler parts of Australia at the time of European settlement
II PYTHAGOREAN COMMUNES
Cities of the Gods: Communist Utopias in Greek Thought By Doyne Dawson
The early Pythagoreans (the first society was established in about 530 B.C.) met in the Greek Achaean colony at Croton in Southern Italy, but after becoming caught up in some fierce local fighting, the movement dispersed and those that survived fled back to the Greek mainland and settled around Thebes and Phlius.
The Greek philosopher Pythagoras established a communist experiment in Croton in southern Italy, combining a university and a monastic order. Early Pythagorean communities spread throughout Magna Graecia. The Pythagoreans were mystics who believed in a harmonious physical and moral universe ordered by numbers. Pythagorean Communes were centered around the worship of Apollo and Muses They believed that private property destroyed this harmony and created social injustice. For Pythagoras, merely enjoying comfort and wealth while others endured privation was a grave sin.
The inner-circle members of Pythagoras’s society, the mathematikoi, rejected private property and were strict vegetarians. According to Plato, Pythagoras said, “Friends share everything” and “Friendship is equality.” His disciples even shared personal items like eating utensils. The outer circle, the akousmatics, were allowed their own possessions. They were given a five year probation before allowed into the full fellowship of the communist inner religious cult (thiasoi) of Koinos Bios (common life). The Pythagoreans were notable for being the only ancient sect, apart from the Platonists, who permitted women into the society and treated them as full equals of men. But they imposed strict austere code that forbade adultery and retained the concept of separate households.
Followers of Pythagoras, for instance, lived in one building and held their property in common because the philosopher taught the absolute equality of property with all worldly possessions being brought into a common store.
“The Pythagoreans were definite monotheists, as various Christian writers bear witness: "God is one; and He is not . . . outside of the frame of things, but within it; but, in all the entireness of His being, is in the whole circle of existence . . . the mind and vital power of the whole world" (Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation, VI).
According to this pantheistic concept, God becomes a universal, spiritual force, an idea which the Stoics were to adopt. It is clear that no anthropomorphism could attach itself to such a theology; and the Pythagoreans naturally forbade any representation of the deity in pictures or statues,—in this respect resembling both the Jews and the Zoroastrians
In Pythagoras Petratos
Mr. Petratos an economist and lecturer at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford says:
“The Greek people are now suffering because the government has continued to implement Communist-like policies. A huge leviathan state with strong trade unions, nationalized industries, barriers to business freedoms and a massive corrupt bureaucracy have all diminished wealth creation in the country.”
Apparently communism eventually builds up bureaucracy and destroys the system itself.
III PLATO’S REPUBLIC OF COMMUNISM
Ish Mishra, Associate Professor, Dept. of Political Science, Hindu College, University of Delhi. https://ecommons.luc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1689&context=luc_theses
Reinke, John Henry, "The Communism of Plato and Marx" (1942). Master's Theses https://mises.org/library/it-started-plato
https://www.politicalsciencenotes.com/plato/platos-theories-theory-of-justice-education-and-communism/849 http://filosofia.dickinson.edu/encyclopedia/platonism-marxism/ http://research.haifa.ac.il/~mluz/communism.html
Plato (Πλάτων Plátōn; c. 427 BC – c. 347 BC) was an immensely influential classical
Greek philosopher, student of Socrates, teacher of Aristotle, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens.
His thesis on Communism is found in his book “Republic”
Plato considers society or state as a living organism with various parts where each partt has to perform their function with perfection without external involments. Plato's Republic describe in great detail a communist-dominated society wherein power is delegated in the hands of the intelligent philosopher or military guardian class and rejected the concept of family and private property. In a social order divided into warrior-kings and the Homeric demos of craftsmen and peasants, Plato conceived an ideal Greek city-state without any form of capitalism and commercialism with business enterprise, political plurality, and working-class unrest considered as evils that must be abolished.
Classes in an ideal society Plato lists three classes in his ideal society.
1. Producers or Workers: The laborers who make the goods and services in the society.
2. Guardians/Soldiers: Those who keep order in the society and protect it from invaders
3. Philosopher Kings: are the most intelligent, rational, self-controlled, in love with wisdom, and well suited to make decisions for the community, and who promote the interests of the society as a whole.
Plato’s theory of communism is just opposite to Marxian theory Plato’s theory of communism is the perfected society of stratified classes or caste. Like an organism each part has a specified job which has to be done to perfection. Plato’s theory of communism insist that the major corrupting forces in a society are:
1. family and family relations and
Thus the aim should be to free the second and the third classes from the institutions of family and property. Longings for person based family and property make the rulers self-seeking, indulgent, greedy and hence corrupt. They shall live in the state managed barracks and eat in the common mess. The properties all belong to the producing workers and any requirement of property and possession must be acquired through taxation.
Also there will be no personal families for them. There are two classes Parents (Male and Female Class) who possess in common all Children. All the children are brothers and sisters and all adults are their mothers and fathers.There is only one family each in those groups. Abolition of the institutions of marriage and family and also of individual holding of properties is essential for the moral development of guardians. Thus both male and female citizens of these classes will remain equal and free with their own choices and all the children will form the part of the system as children.
Family education is limited and appropriate to instill the sense of absolute commitment to the state in future guardians. Plato’s communism is of two forms,
@ first the abolition of private property, which included house, land, money, etc., and @ the second, the abolition of family,
Through the abolition of these two, Plato attempted to create a new social order wherein the ruling class surrendered both family and private property and embraced a system of communism. This practice of communism is only meant for the ruling class and the guardian class.
Thus Plato’s theory of communism is just opposite to Marxian theory of communism that seeks to eventually establish a classless and hence stateless society, as according to it the state is instrument of the domination in the hands of ruling classes. State once formed cannot wither away. On the other hand it will start off as a class of exploitation. Plato’s theory of communism that is used as one of instruments of consolidation of the hierarchically ‘well ordered’ state through perpetuating class-division and class-domination. The other instrument is the education.
By 600 BC, Greece had entered a period of great prosperity. It's location allowed it to dominate the grape and olive trade, and many city-states became wealthy. But wealth always leads to conflict between those who have it and those who don't. In order to avoid these conflicts, Sparta came up with a unique plan: conflict over wealth would be eliminated by getting rid of wealth. Every Spartan citizen, regardless of social standing, lived the same way. There were no outward displays of wealth; everybody lived the same 'Spartan' lifestyle. Perhaps most radically, gold and silver, two substances most associated with capitalism, were banned. Iron bars were used as money in the few circumstances where exchange was required, but for the most part there was no need for money, since there was nothing to buy.
Sparta was a socialist state as, in general, the means of production, distribution, and exchange were owned and regulated by the community as a whole (socialist).
While it was socialist in nearly all ways, it wasn’t purely Communist. Pure-blood Spartans owned the land that the state gave them. The merchant class could use money although there was no local currency. The oligarchical class had wealth differences especially toward the end of the classical period.
Every Spartan was given land by the state, and then given a share of what was produced or cultivated by the other classes. The social structure was socialist in that the labor and the distribution of its fruits were divided by the state, but not fully communist, although, like the forms of government, these terms are somewhat semantical too.
However, over time, this system weakened as pure-blood Spartans died in a series of battles. The numbers of the lower classes grew,
Historians label Spartan society as communist, it departed from strict communism by being
stratified into classes
Two kings ruled the city, Two families ruled by bloodline, they were called the Agiads and Eurpontids (two hereditary kings; two heads of state). The Kings commanded the armies and were part of a law making body, the Gerousia, which also consisted of Spartan Elders.
Their powers circumscribed by a 28-member Council of Elder, Ephors who oversaw daily operations who were elected annually and rotates areas every month and All male elected Assembly of 30. This is the democratic process of checks and balance.
In the highest social class were the aristocratic Spartiates, the citizen-warriors who lived most of their lives in communal barracks.
The Perioeci (The Perioeci or Períoikoi (Greek: Περίοικος) were the members of a social class and population group of non-citizen inhabitants of Laconia and Messenia, the territory controlled by Sparta, concentrated in the coastal and highland areas.) made up a middle class of non-citizen farmers and artisans, and
the helots (Helot, a state-owned serf of the ancient Spartans. The ethnic origin of helots is uncertain, but they were probably the original inhabitants of Laconia (the area around the Spartan capital) who were reduced to servility after the conquest of their land by the numerically fewer Dorians.) were the bottom slave class. They were not part of the communes. They are just animals taken for work.
Spartan King Lycurgus
http://factmyth.com/factoids/sparta-was-a-socialist-state/ (Thomas DeMichele)
.“In summary, what does the communism of Sparta amount to?
”There is not, it must be confessed, much to support the moral which it has usually been asked to supply. Despite the original equal division of the soil, differences in material conditions were not excluded; and contact with the larger world in time undermined the more characteristic Spartan virtues, if indeed they were virtues. For the modern communist in search of ensamples there are, on wider grounds, grave stumbling blocks.
In the first place, the Spartan state was not so much a state as a military machine. Its sole interest was in training men to suffer and endure, and it pursued this by methods which stand unique in their revolting barbarity. They may have attained equality and community in education, but not much is thereby gained if education is directed to an unholy end.
And secondly, to revert to a point which cannot be overemphasized, if only because the worshippers of Sparta have so frequently forgotten it, there is the horrible obverse of Spartan communism presented by the hunted and harried Helot. It is not merely that communism in Sparta was a communism in use, others having produced. It was a communism of an idle and boastful people, whose government and whose existence demanded an army of Helots, who suffered at their hands a ruthless tyranny without parallel in history. It has too often been forgotten that the Helots also were men. Mably, in his intoxicated enthusiasm for Lycurgus and all his works, does not seem to have thought of this aspect of the question. It would be a fitting Nemesis, if in some reincarnation he were sent to live — as a Helot — in his so greatly adored Sparta.”
Professor Sir Alexander Gray (1882–1968) was a Scottish civil servant, economist, academic, translator, writer, and poet. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1942. In 1948 he published a study of the life and doctrines of Adam Smith. In addition to his economic writings, Gray was an active composer and translator of poetry.
Essene, member of a religious sect or brotherhood that flourished in Palestine from about the 2nd century BC to the end of the 1st century AD. The New Testament does not mention them but we get accounts given by Josephus (Antiquities 18.1.5), Philo of Alexandria (Quod omnis probus 75-91), Eusebius (Praep.Ev. 8,2), Pliny the Elder (Nat.Hist. 5.17) and Hippolytus (Refut.
9.20.12-13) . Philo speaks of four thousand Essenes, who lived as farmers and artisans apart from the cities and in a perfect state of communism. They lived in villages, working hard at agriculture and similar pursuits, devoting much time to the study of sacred books. They pay scrupulous attention to ceremonial purity; abstain from animal sacrifice, practice celibacy, keep no slaves, took care of their sick and those of old age. They swear no oaths, take no part in military or commercial activity. Essenes lived on its west side of the Dead Sea, above En-gedi. They have lived there for countless generations, he says, renouncing both women and money and added to its membership constantly to maintain their numbers.
The Essenes were essentially older men and excluded women. Property was held in common and all details of daily life were regulated by officials.
"No one possesses a house absolutely his own, one which does not at the same time belong to all; for in addition to living together in companies ["ḥaburot"] their houses are open also to their adherents coming from other quarters. They have one storehouse for all, and the same diet; their garments belong to all in common, and their meals are taken in common. . . . Whatever they receive for their wages after having worked the whole day they do not keep as their own, but bring into the common treasury for the use of all; nor do they neglect the sick who are unable to contribute their share, as they have in their treasury ample means to offer relief to those in need. [One of the two Ḥasidean and rabbinical terms for renouncing all claim to one's property in order to deliver it over to common use is "hefker" (declaring a thing ownerless; comp. Sanh. 49a); Joab, as the type of an Essene, made his house like the wilderness—that is, ownerless and free from the very possibility of tempting men to theft and sexual sin—and he supported the poor of the city with the most delicate food. Similarly, King Saul declared his whole property free for use in warfare (Yalḳ.,Sam. i. 138). The other term is "heḳdesh nekasim" (consecrating one's goods; comp. 'Ar. vi. ;
Pes. 57: "The owners of the mulberry-trees consecrated them to God"; Ta'an. 24a: "Eliezer of
Beeroth consecrated to charity the money intended for his daughter's dowry, saying to his daughter, 'Thou shalt have no more claim upon it than any of the poor in Israel.'" Jose ben Joezer, because he had an unworthy son, consecrated his goods to God (B. B. 133b). Formerly men used to take all they had and give it to the poor (Luke xviii. 22); in Usha the rabbis decreed that no one should give away more than the fifth part of his property ('Ar. 28a; Tosef., 'Ar. iv. 23; Ket. 50a).] They pay respect and honor to, and bestow care upon, their elders, acting toward them as children act toward their parents, and supporting them unstintingly by their handiwork and in other ways" http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/5867-essenes
Entry into Qumran National Park for visitors today
VI MOSAIC SABBATH LAWS
These sabbath laws specifically address those wealthy few. The purpose of sabbath rest for “you” (the householder) is that subordinate members of the household, especially “male and female slaves,” may en-joy rest. The boss must rest so the workers can have a day off. Seventh day rest “so your ox and donkey may rest, and your homeborn slave may be revitalized”
(23:12).Like seventh year release,sabbath has a humanitarian purpose; it is literally to breathe new life (weyinnafesh) into the household’s most vulnerable workers—the slave, the resident alien, and the farm animals. Rest for beasts of burden refreshed the animals but also served a human purpose by effectively stopping agricultural work. The ancient equivalent of turning off the machines and hanging a “closed” sign on the factory door, rest for ox and donkey meant a day off for human laborers. (The Center for Christian Ethics at Baylor University Sabbath, a “Little Jubilee”)
The Sabbatical year law (Deuteronomy 15:1–18) was one in which every seven-years debts were to be released. This law is especially interesting since the text gives the purpose of the law: to eliminate poverty, it also encouraged (in fact commanded) Jews to lend to those in need despite there being a coming release.
1 At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. 2 And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the Lord's release.
3 Of a foreigner thou mayest exact it again: but that which is thine with thy brother thine hand shall release; 4 Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the Lord shall greatly bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it: 5 Only if thou carefully hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all these commandments which I command thee this day. 6 For the Lord thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee. 7 If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:
8 But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.
9 Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the Lord against thee, and it be sin unto thee. 10 Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto. 11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.
12 And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee. 13 And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty: 14 Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the Lord thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him. 15 And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the Lord thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day.
16 And it shall be, if he say unto thee, I will not go away from thee; because he loveth thee and thine house, because he is well with thee; 17 Then thou shalt take an aul, and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant for ever. And also unto thy maidservant thou shalt do likewise. 18 It shall not seem hard unto thee, when thou sendest him away free from thee; for he hath been worth a double hired servant to thee, in serving thee six years: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all that thou doest.
The seventh year law in this passage requires a regular release of agricultural produce for the economic support of the poor:2 “you must release it and leave it alone, so the needy of your people may eat” (23:11).3 Like gleaning (Leviticus 19:9-10, 23:22; Deuteronomy 24:19-21; cf. Ruth 2), the triennial tithe (Deuteronomy 14:28-29), and the laws governing debt and slave release (Deuteronomy 15:1-18; Leviticus 25:8-55), the seventh year law in Exodus 23 provides a mechanism of support for the poor.
Leviticus 25 :8-55 describe the year of Jubilee. The first few verses are as follows: ‘Count off seven Sabbaths of years -- seven times seven years -- so that the seven Sabbaths of years amount to a period of forty-nine years. Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. Consecrate the
fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; each one of you is to return to his family, property and each to his own clan.’
Year of Jubilee seemed to serve as a nice bookend for the cycles of Sabbath days, months, and years. Because everyone was released from debts and slavery, everyone got to rest during this year and was able to start off the next year with a clean slate. God ordered a 50 year cycle probably he wanted every generation to start fresh.
But the country of Israel after settling into the land never celebrated the Jubilee. They refused to obey to release and return what they have accumulated during the 50 years.
Josephus, in his history of the Jewish people, discusses historical events that occurred during Jubilee years. These include Antiochus' besieging of Jerusalem's Temple, the famine during the thirtieth year of rule of King Herod and the pestilence during the time of King Ahab.
The development of the concept of Communism is embedded in Judaism and later many Rabbis claimed it as theirs. Here are a few examples:
VII MANIFESTO OF JESUS CHRIST
The manifesto of Jesus as soon as he was 30 years old having received his spiritual birth from the Holy Spirit was declared which is as follows:
When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.
l He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
l and recovery of sight to the blind,
l to let the oppressed go free,
l to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them,
“Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:16–21).
Unlike earlier Greek definitions the true definition of communism is based on theological and political theory of the Manifesto of Jesus Christ. It was actually already embedded within the Mosaic laws for the Israel community who were to occupy the land of Israel,
It is the Gospel to the Poor with the ultimate aim of building a society where ‘from each according to his ability, to each according to his need”. This is in the “year of Jubilee” when everyone returns to their original property and land. Apparently God knew that there will always be a couple Ananias and Saphira who will eventually destroy the system and hence they are to be repeated. Every 50th sabbath year is an Year of Jubilee. Every sabbath is new attempt to rebuild.
Soon after sending the Apostles to all over the world with his manifesto and Christ leaving the earth for his home, the first churches were established as small communist societies. It is certain that Jesus taught these principles while he was with us. The nucleus of the social reform was the church as a community of believers who accepted his manifesto. This is the basis of Christian Communism which was supposed to bring in the Kingdom of God. “Thy Kingdom come. They will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread…..” Communism was just Christianity in practice and Jesus was the first communist who formulated and defined the ultimate Communist Society. The starting point was the Church.
All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need.
— Acts 2:44–45
Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. ... There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.
— Acts 4:32,34,35
“Montero offers anthropological evidence that the practices recounted in Acts 4:32–35 were historical and were practiced widely and taken seriously during at least the first two centuries of Christianity. All Things in Common gets behind the "communism of the apostles" passages in Acts
2:42-47 and 4:32-37, using the anthropological categories of "social relationship" espoused by David Graeber and other anthropologists. Looking at sources ranging from the Qumran scrolls to the North African apologist Tertullian to the Roman satirist Lucian, “All Things in Common” reconstructs the economic practices of the early Christians and argues that what is described in Acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-37 is a long-term, widespread set of practices that were taken seriously by the early Christians, and that differentiated them significantly from the wider world.”
(Roman A. Montero the author of the books "All Things in Common: The Economic Practices of the
Early Christians" (Wipf & Stock 2017/2019) and "Jesus's Manifesto: The Sermon on the Plain"
(Wipf & Stock, 2019))
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_communism https://wikimili.com/en/Christian_communism https://db0nus869y26v.cloudfront.net/en/Christian_communism https://sejinlifeforce.blogspot.com/2020/01/... https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/currenteventsii/.
Even the christian communes failed right from the start. True they all failed, because there was indeed a couple Ananias and Saphiras to destroy them. They will eventually rise up given the nature of man and the given occasion. God will not stand against the free will of his children and make them machines. So. This will repeat. That is why the Jubilee year repeat every 50 years.
Unless the whole community willingly obey, it will not bring the Kingdom as God wants us to have and live in.
At least these proclamations and practices of Jesus, his apostles and the church gives us an understanding what is the Kingdom of God like and what God expect from his children and the Church.
The ideal Christian community is based on the above principles which formed a community where everything was common without any private property. Churches around the world continued to experiment and practice these communistic principles. Many failed and many still remain as small communes. In the communes every meal was communion following the principle of last supper. When the communal living failed instead of every meal being a communion, the believers met every Sunday. After the service was a communion meal. It was the foreshadow of the living together as a community.
In early periods it was held in the home of the believers or in the church hall. Apparently this was what led to the communion. It was generally held as a potluck where every participant brought their share of the food and shared it among all who were gathered. It was known as the
Agape-feast and the elder took the bread and said the words of institution “This is my body, broken for you.” At the end of the feast he took the wine and said, “this is the blood of the new covenant in my blood, shed for the remission of sins.” This was the original way of celebration a full meal and communion with each other.
Apparently even this simplified feast went wrong as 1 Cor 11 describes.
17 Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you. 20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. 21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is [e]broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
33 Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.
Following this the Agape feast was replaced by the elder or priest just pinches a bread and gives it to the believers one by one. They took the wine and allowed each one to take a sip.
It was still further simplified into white circula wafers and a little wine poured out into the mouth using a spoon so that there is no contact or sharing of the same bread portion or wine cup to avoid contact and germs.
, "The Love Feast, or Agape Meal, is a Christian fellowship meal recalling the meals Jesus shared with disciples during his ministry and expressing the koinonia (community, sharing, fellowship) enjoyed by the family of Christ. Although its origins in the early church are closely interconnected with the origins of the Lord's Supper. It is supposed to be a full meal in which the bread and wine are taken in the manner of Last Supper. These days it is celebrated as seperate from the Holy Communion though they were one to start with.
Bread in hand and the cup given to sip
wafers in hand and wine in teaspoon poured into the mouth
Communion bread pieces and wine in separate cups
Bread and wine pack as one unit
Finally it came to this, Take a wafer and dip it into the wine and give it in the mouth.
(Erich Seligmann Fromm was a social psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist, humanistic philosopher, and democratic socialist. He was a German Jew who fled the Nazi regime and settled in the US. He was one of the Founders of The William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis and Psychology in New York City and was associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory.)
Erich Fromm’s work on early (revolutionary) Christianity as the ideology of the exploited poor and the oppressed, victims of a Roman Empire whose tentacles had spread further than any before, remains revelatory and relevant. Fromm points out that the people who supported early Christianity “were the masses of the uneducated poor, the proletariat of Jerusalem, and the peasants in the country who, because of the increasing political and economic oppression …increasingly felt the urge to change [their] existing conditions.”
Fromm continues: “From this stratum of the poor…Christianity arose as a significant historical messianic-revolutionary movement.”
Fromm is correct. Indeed the revolutionary impulse of early Christianity is implicit in the Gospels.
Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied.
Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh.
But woe to you that are rich, for you have received your consolation.
Woe to you that are full now, for you shall hunger.
Woe to you that laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.
Here it is not the message of peace and love with which Christianity is universally identified, but instead class anger of the kind enshrined in Marx’s Communist Manifesto, demystifying poverty as a natural phenomenon or divinely ordained condition and placing it squarely on the terrain of the exploitation of one class by another in the name not of freedom but of profit and capital accumulation.
The Masses”:in1917 published this political cartoon by socialist cartoonist Art Young
The magazine “
Christian communism does not depend merely on the principles of the early apostles. In fact, Christian communists claim that anti-capitalist ideals are deeply rooted in the Christian faith. While modern capitalism had not yet formed in the time of Christ, his message was overwhelmingly against the love of money (greed) and in support of the poor. Christian communists see the principles of Christ as staunchly anti-capitalist in nature. Since "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil" (1 Timothy 6:10), it seems natural for Christians to oppose a social system founded—as Christian communists claim—entirely on the love of money. In fact, Christian opposition to the emergence of such a system largely delayed capitalist development and capitalism did not gather popular support until John Calvin endorsed capitalist practice from a religious perspective.
There are those who view that the early Christian Church such as that one described in the Acts of the Apostles was an early form of communism and religious socialism. The view is that communism was just Christianity in practice and Jesus as the first communist. This link was highlighted in one of Karl Marx's early writings which stated that "as Christ is the intermediary unto whom man unburdens all his divinity, all his religious bonds, so the state is the mediator unto which he transfers all his Godlessness, all his human liberty".
Illustration of the execution of Mazdak from a copy of the Shahnameh
Photo credit: Aryobarzan/Wikimedia
The Zandiks also called Mazdakism were members of a movement in the mid–fifth century(470 500 AD) seeking to reform the Zoroastrian religion of Persia and its powerful and wealthy clergy. Mazdakism was thus an offshoot of Zoroastrianism. The religion has been called one of the most noteworthy examples of pre-modern communism. This religion was founded in the early Sasanian Empire by Zaradust-e Khuragan;, a Zoroastrian mobad who was a contemporary of Mani (d. 274). However, it is named after its most prominent advocate,Mazdak son of Baamdaad, a man of charisma and revolutionary temper, deeply committed to the notion of social justice and the welfare of the poor, who was a powerful and controversial figure during the reign of Emperor Kavad I ( 498–531). Zandiks, were avowed communists, who banned marriage and property ownership. No Mazdakite books survive. Knowledge of the movement comes from brief mentions in Syrian, Persian, Arabic, and Greek sources.The Sassanids looked somewhat in favor of the Mazdaks since it weakened the nobles. The Zoroastrians, who were fire worshippers, defeated Kavad I, a mazdak , but he soon regained power in his own province. Many Jews were killed by both sides.
Mazdak, the Iranian prophet
One of the accounts of the social aspects of Mazdakite doctrine appears in Ghurar akhbâr mulûk al-Furs :
“Mazdak declared that God placed the means of subsistence (arzāq) on earth so that people divide them among themselves equally, in a manner that no one of them could have more than his share; but people wronged one another and sought domination over one another; the strong defeated the weak and took exclusive possession of livelihood and property. It is absolutely necessary that one take from the rich for giving to the poor, so that all become equal in wealth. Whoever possesses an excess of property, women or goods, he has no more right to it than another. (p. 600)”
But since that ideal had degenerated into exploitation of the weak to gain property, Mazdak taught that it became necessary to rob the rich to help the poor and thus equalize the system.The Muslim historian al-Tabari (d. 923) says in The History of al-Tabari that Mazdak believed that such deeds were "an act of piety that pleased God and was rewarded by Him with the best of rewards" (vol. 1, p. 893).
The Zandiks raided storehouses to redistribute the food to the poor, threatening the property of the rich. Mazdak saw such actions as necessary to overcome the Five Demons—Envy, Wrath, Vengeance, Need, and Greed—that turned people to darkness.
Mazdak proposed ways to break up the large estates, prohibit hoarding, remove class distinctions, and set up public charities. He was accused of promoting sharing wives in common, but it is likely that what he was really against was the hoarding of wives in harems and the practice of polygamy. In Mazdakite society, women were on an equal footing with men.
The Sassanid ruler of Persia, Khosrau, lured Mazdak and his followers ostensibly to a religious debate and banquet in his honor at the capital of Ctesiphon. But instead, Mazdak and 3,000 of his people were seized when they arrived. Mazdak was forced to watch as his followers were buried alive headfirst before he himself was hung upside down and shot with arrows.
https://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/mazdakism https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazdakism https://www.britannica.com/topic/Mazdakism https://www.encyclopedia.com/.../mazdakism https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/..
A few Mazdakites survived and settled in remote areas. Small pockets of Mazdakite societies are said to have survived for centuries even after the Muslim conquest of Persia. Their doctrines probably mixed with radical currents of Shia Islam, influencing them and giving rise to later powerful revolutionary-religious movements in the region. The cult of al-Muqanna, who claimed to be the incarnation of God and had followers among the Mubaiyyidah sect of Zoroastrianism and even some Turks, upheld the laws and institutes of Mazdak.
In the 9th century, the Khurramites, an egalitarian religious sect possibly originating from Mazdakism, led a revolt under the leadership of Babak Khorramdin against the Abbasid Caliphate and successfully defended large territories against the Caliphate's forces for some twenty years. The Batiniyya, Qarmatians and other later revolutionary currents of Islam may also be connected to Mazdakism and were often equated with it by contemporary authors.
Turkish scholar Abdülbâkî Gölpınarlı sees even the Qizilbash of the 16th century – a radical Shi'i movement in Persia which helped the Safaviyya establish Twelver Islam as the dominant religion of Iran – as "spiritual descendants of the Khurramites" and, hence, of the Mazdakites.
The author of the Dabestan-e Mazaheb, writing as late as the 17th century, claims to have met individual adherents of Mazdakism who practised their religion secretly among the Muslims and preserved the Desnad, a book in Middle Persian containing the teachings of Mazdak.
Philosopher and poet Muhammad Iqbal, who inspired the Pakistan Movement in British India, termed Karl Marx as the modern reincarnation of Mazdakite thought.
Shahrestani describe Mazdakite beliefs follows:
God ruled the world through letters, which held the key to the Great Secret that should be learnt.
God had placed the means of subsistence on earth so that people could share in their division equally. But the strong had wronged the weak by seeking domination and thereby causing inequality (cf. Darius' inscription about a just law: "It is not my desire that the weak be wronged by the strong, nor is it my desire that the strong be wronged by the weak, what is right, that is my desire.")
Light and darkness are the two modes of being and principles that existed before the world. Light acts intentionally and voluntarily and is endued with knowledge and perception, whereas darkness acts blindly and at random. Darkness is therefore, ignorant, blind and indiscriminate. The mixture of light and darkness itself came about by chance and at random. At the end of the world the separation of these principles will also come about by chance and not through free will.
From the mingling of the two arose the Manager of Good and the Manager of Evil.
Humankind's role in this life is to release those parts of being that belonged to Light through good conduct. Where Manichaeism saw the mixture of good and bad as a cosmic tragedy, Mazdak viewed this mixture in a more neutral, even optimistic way - as an opportunity.
The three primal elements are water, earth, and fire. The mixture of these elements has resulted in a guiding force of good and a guiding force of evil. However, these forces are not to be equated with the two principles. This is because they effect good and the evil in the elements and can be therefore be regarded as demiurges - creative forces that have formed the world.
Shahrestani next describes the Mazdakite 'object of veneration' and hierarchy. The 'object(s) of veneration' is compared with royal advisors or guiding principles. Human beings like kings have four powers arrayed and available before them: discernment, understanding, preservation or memory, and joy. The four principles are like four courtiers: the Mobedan Mobed or high priest, the chief herbad or wise teacher, the esbahbed / espahdeh / sepahbad or military commander, and the rameshgar or musician / entertainer.
The four powers govern the world through seven ministers: the commander (salar), the teacher (peshkar / peshgah), the balwen (?), the Barven (? messenger), the doer / expert (kardan), the maintaining of law (dastur), and the page (kodag, i.e. little one).
The seven ministers revolve within the twelve spiritual beings (ruhaniyun) - the twelve signs of the zodiac. It appears that the seven powers revolving within the twelve are the planets within the zodiac.
When the Four, the Seven and the Twelve are united in a human being, there is no longer any need for religious duties and rituals. A true religious person was the one who understood and related correctly to the principles of the universe. Apparently, he had all the fire temples closed except the three major ones.
In summary, Mazdak proposed a peace-loving, classless and egalitarian society. The doctrines of his teachings included not taking life and not eating flesh - a pacifist and vegetarian doctrine. Metaphorically, the guiding principle was to increasing the light over darkness through tolerance, justice, kindness, friendship and love (cf. Mithraic traits in Zoroastrianism). Greed and envy were seen as agents of darkness and that an insatiable desire for material goods and pleasures was a source of greed and envy. Up to this point all the ethical principles were in concert with mainstream Zoroastrianism. Where it diverged was in the application of the principles. In order to eliminate greed and envy, Mazdak proposed social reform, the giving up a quest for material wealth, and owning what property was needed in common. These principles would greatly alleviate the burdens placed on peasants and artisans and the movement quickly gained popularity amongst them. According to some sources, the spirit of sharing included sexual partners. Since this is a standard accusation against heretical sects, its veracity has been doubted by researchers. However, this could have been an interpretation amongst splinter sects.
Most authors believe Mazdakism transformed itself to Khurramdin and consequently provided the belief system for Babak Khorramdin and his supporters of 650-850 CE
X CHRISTIAN COMMUNISTS
There are an infinite number of commune movement within the Churches around the world in every period of its growth. What I enumerate is only a few.
1. Thomas Müntzer led a large Anabaptist communist movement during the German Peasants' War which Friedrich Engels analysed in The Peasant War in Germany.
The Hutterites believed in strict adherence to biblical principles, "church discipline" and practiced a form of communism. The Hutterites "established in their communities a rigorous system of Ordnungen, which were codes of rules and regulations that governed all aspects of life and ensured a unified perspective. As an economic system, Christian communism was attractive to many of the peasants who supported social revolution in sixteenth century central Europe" such as the German Peasants' War and "Friedrich Engels thus came to view Anabaptists as proto-Communists".
Jan Hus (c. 1372 – 6 July 1415)was born in Husinec, Bohemia to poor parents. In order to escape poverty, Hus trained for the priesthood. At an early age he traveled to Prague, where he supported himself by singing and serving in churches. His conduct was positive and, reportedly, his commitment to his studies was remarkable. After earning a bachelor of arts degree and being ordained as a priest, Hus began to preach in Prague. He opposed many aspects of the Catholic Church in Bohemia, such as their views on ecclesiology, simony, the Eucharist, and other theological topics.
When Alexander V was elected as a pope, he was persuaded to side with Bohemian church authorities against Hus and his disciples. He issued a Papal bull that excommunicated Hus; however, it was not enforced, and Hus continued to preach. Hus then spoke out against Alexander V's successor, Antipope John XXIII, for his selling of indulgences. Hus's excommunication was then reinforced, and he spent the next two years living in exile. When the Council of
Constance assembled, Hus was asked to be there and present his views on the dissension within the church. When he arrived, he was immediately arrested and put in prison. He was eventually taken in front of the council and asked to recant his views. He replied, "I would not for a chapel of gold retreat from the truth!". When he refused, he was put back in prison. On 6 July 1415, he was burned at the stake for heresy against the doctrines of the Catholic Church. He could be heard singing Psalms as he was burning.
German or Austrian 16th Century. John Huss Centenary Medal . Silver, 4.33 cm. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Samuel H. Kress Collection.
Burning of John Huss
The Taborites were centered on the Bohemian city of Tábor during the Hussite Wars in the 15th century. The religious reform movement in Bohemia splintered into various religious sects. Beginning with the most radical, the various sects that existed were the: Adamites, Taborites, Orebites, Sirotčí, Utraquists and Praguers. Because the revolution's impetus came from the burning of Jan Hus, for the purpose of simplicity, many writers have put most of these sects under one umbrella term calling them the "Hussites". Economically supported by Tabor's control of local gold mines, the citizens joined local peasants to develop a communal society.
Taborites announced the Millennium of Christ and declared there would be no more servants and masters. They promised people would return to a state of pristine innocence. Taborite theology represented one of the most radical departures from that of the hierarchical medieval church. They rejected the outer veneer of the corrupted church and insisted on the normativeness of biblical authority. Even though Taborite theologians were versed in scholastic theology, they were among the first intellectuals to break free from centuries-old scholastic methods.
His followers, the Hussites, thereafter split into the moderate Utraquists and the extremist Taborites. The Taborites were named after the city of Tabor, which they founded and where they sought to prepare themselves spiritually for the end of the world. The Taborites established a utopian society based on the axiom “neither mine nor thine”—rejection of private property.
The Taborite Articles of 1420 clearly spelled out:
“No longer shall there be a reigning king or a ruling lord; for there shall be servitude no longer.
All taxes and exactions shall cease and no one shall compel another to subjection.
All shall be equal as brothers and sisters.
As in the town of Tabor there is no mine or thine, but all is held in common, so shall everything be common to all, and no one own anything for himself alone. Whoever does so commits a deadly sin.”
The Taborites elected their bishops, who were dependent on the community for their needs. The Taborites gave great importance to popular education. But the tiny utopia did not enjoy much peace. The Catholic Church had launched a crusade against the heretics, and the bloody Hussite Wars dragged on for years. Papacy launched five crusades against them between 1419 to 1434, all of which were defeated
Even within Tabor, divisions were appearing. One faction, the Adamites (Pikarti in Czech), believed that they were beyond sin, having returned to the innocence of Eden. They advocated free love and declared marriage as sinful. They performed their rituals in the nude, and nudity in daily life was preferred. They were suppressed in 1421.
Spoils taken in battle also added material wealth to Tabor, and this caused greed and envy to emerge among the inhabitants. There began to be richer and poorer members, with the former becoming less willing to share their surplus. The idyllic equality was eroding.
The Catholics, now allied with the Utraquists, finally inflicted a crushing defeat on the Taborites at the Battle of Lipany in 1434, ending the extremist sect’s existence. They continued to suffer until they gradually merged into the BOHEMIAN BRETHREN.
Adamites, were the extremists of the group who were a people more like the Hippie subculture of the 20th century rather than the Middle Ages.
The chronicler Laurence of Brezova writes:
“Wandering through forests and hills, some of them fell into such insanity that men and women threw off their clothes and went nude, saying that clothes had been adopted because of the sin of the first parents, but that they were in a state of innocence. From the same madness they supposed that they were not sinning if one of their brethren had intercourse with one of the sisters, and if the woman conceived, she said she had conceived of the Holy
Enea Silvio Piccolomini, who later became Pope Pius II (1458-1464) also note:
“They indulged in promiscuous intercourse, but no one might take a lover without the consent of Adam, their chief elder. When one of these brethren ardently desired a sister, he took her by the hand, and, going with her to the chief elder, said, ” My soul is afire with love of this woman.” Whereupon the elder would reply, ” Go, be fruitful and multiply and replenish the
During the summer and fall of 1421 the Taborite military commander Jan Žižka launched attacks against the Adamites, killing and capturing almost all their followers, with the captives being burned as heretics.
The Anabaptists (Anabaptist means “one who baptizes over again”) believed themselves the predestined elect. The sect’s extreme wing sought to seize political power to shape society according to its creed. Its first leader was Thomas Müntzer (c. 1489–1525). , who was influenced by Hussite communism and set out to spread the ideology through fire and sword across Germany. Even Martin Luther, whose Protestant movement unleashed an explosion of sects, deemed Muntzer a very dangerous man.
By 1523, Muntzer had gained the allegiance of a large group of uneducated Thuringian miners, which he transformed into a revolutionary organization called “The League of the Elect.” Muntzer was able to take over the city of Mulhausen in 1525, where he imposed a communist regime by seizing monasteries and abolishing private property. As a result, “he so affected the folk that no one wanted to work,” according to one contemporary.
Communism became the justification for outright theft.
“When anyone needed food or clothing, he went to a rich man and demanded it of him in Christ’s name, for Christ had commanded that all should share with the needy. And what was not given freely was taken by force. Many acted thus . . . Thomas [Muntzer] instituted this brigandage and multiplied it every day.”
After Muntzer’s capture and execution during the Peasants’ War, he was succeeded by Johanness Hut, who promised God’s vengeance on priests, kings, and nobles. Christ, he preached, would return in 1528 and usher in a millennium of communism and free love.
Even after Hut’s lifeless body was found in the tower, the officials pronounced the death sentence
upon the corpse, and burned it at the stake the following day.~The Marginal Mennonite Society Heroes/Martyrs Series.
In 1534, the Anabaptists seized the city of Munster. All non-Anabaptists, including pregnant women, babies, and the elderly, were expelled in the midst of a raging snowstorm. Their properties were seized and turned over to central depots. Wages were paid in kind by the only employer that remained in Munster—the communist government. Eventually, the regime imposed forced labor, with all artisans working for the community for no reward whatsoever.
Private homes were communized. It was illegal to lock—or even close—one’s door. All books except the Bible were prohibited, and massive book-burnings followed by mobs of revolutionaries. By degrees, the once-puritanical Anabaptists first enjoined polygamy, allowed divorce, forbade marriage altogether, and finally embraced free love and total promiscuity.
Every protest and behavior that met the disapproval of the regime, like women refusing sex with their partners, was punishable by death. All the while, the Catholics were besieging the city, blockading it and cutting off its food supply. While the people starved, the ruling elite feasted on confiscated food. Some accounts tell of their lavish and debauched lifestyle. Munster, the Anabaptist “New Jerusalem,” had become a living hell.
At last, two inhabitants managed to escape the city and lead the besiegers to the weak points in its defense. On June 25, 1535, the Catholics finally broke through, massacring the defenders and executing the Anabaptist leaders.
The nightmare of the Great Communist Experiment was over.
Thomas Müntzer led a large Anabaptist communist movement during the German Peasants'
War which Friedrich Engels analysed in The Peasant War in Germany. Engels came to view Anabaptists as proto-Communists. The Marxist ethos that aims for unity reflects the Christian universalist teaching that humankind is one and that there is only one god who does not discriminate among people
Here is the Mennonite Communist story as it developed through WW1 and WW2 and Russia and China from the Mennonite encyclopedia.
Some modern writers have considered the early Anabaptists to be forerunners of Marxian
Communism (K. Kautzky, Die Vorläufer des neueren Sozialismus. . . ; Erich Kuttner, Het Hongerjaar 1563). Even the Mennonite historian K. Vos was somewhat inclined toward this interpretation, while his Dutch colleague W. Kühler claimed to have evidence that a great number of the early Anabaptists belonged to the middle and upper classes. B. H. Unruh dealt with this problem in "Die Revolution und das Täufertum" (Gedenkschrift . . . , 1925: 1947), and Robert Kreider investigated the "Vocations of Swiss and South German Anabaptists" (Mennonite Life, January 1953), coming to the conclusion that "landowner and peasant, patrician and servant, master and apprentice were baptized together."
Many writers did not distinguish between the peaceful Anabaptists who later became known as Mennonites and the radical wing which ended with the catastrophe of Münster and the Batenburgers. To what extent even the two latter could be considered forerunners of modern Communism is a matter of opinion. Nevertheless the theme of the Münsterites and other radicals of the Reformation has not only been a matter of investigation of scholars and a welcome label for contemporaries to be used for all who deviated from the Catholic and Protestant established religious systems, but it has also been a favorite subject for novelists and dramatists to the present day (Mennonite Life, April 1952: 86-87).
One of the common charges leveled at the early Anabaptists in the contemporary polemical literature, which appears repeatedly from the very beginning in Zürich in 1525, both in the court trials and disputations, and in attacks in pamphlets and books (Zwingli, Bullinger, Melanchthon, et al.), is that they taught and practiced communism, i.e., community of goods. Grebel and Manz had to defend themselves against this charge in their first trial in 1525, and Melanchthon makes it a major point in his Underricht wider die Lere der widertauffer of 1528, before either the Hutterite or the Münsterite practices could have been the ground for the accusation. Actually the early Swiss and German Anabaptists taught and practiced the sharing of their goods to support the needy brethren, but they never taught nor practiced community of goods as an ethical principle or as a socio-economic order. Their principle of Christian mutual aid, misunderstood or misrepresented by their enemies, was probably the cause for the charge of communism.
Among the peaceful Anabaptists who have survived persecution, the Hutterites deserve mention.
They are Christian "communists," practicing a community of goods which they base on strictly Biblical principles, having nothing in common with Marxian materialistic philosophy. They practice a voluntary group communism, in contrast to a state communism established and maintained by force as the only permissible way of life.
A large percentage of the Mennonites in Europe have been forced to confront Communism in our day. The Mennonites of Russia have been under Communism for the longest period of time and have suffered most. After the NEP period, when Stalin introduced the present rigid totalitarian Marxist line, liquidating private ownership, forcing all farmers into collectives and the kulaks into slave-labor camps, and breaking up the social and religious life and educational system of the Mennonites, it became apparent to most of the Mennonites in Russia that there was no room for a Christian democratic form of life in a Stalinist-Marxian society. Their petition to the government of Moscow in 1924 to grant them certain basic freedoms which they considered a minimum for the maintenance of their way of life was ignored (Smith, Story of the Mennonites : 505). Some were so fortunate as to escape Russia at this time, while those that remained lost not only all the rights once given to the Mennonites of Russia but also all basic freedoms of any modern society.
At a Russian Mennonite congress in 1917 the relationship between Socialism and Christianity was discussed. One speaker stated that Christianity was not tied directly to any economic system whether socialistic or capitalistic, while another maintained that socialism was more closely related to Christianity than capitalism, although Christianity and socialism were not identical. Whatever the attitude of the Mennonites was toward socialism, they soon found out that there was no bridge between Christianity and Russian Marxian Communism. After World War I some 35,000 Mennonites of Russia, one third of the total number, escaped and found new homes in the
Americas, mostly in Canada. During World War II about 25,000 Mennonites were evacuated from
Russia to the West, of whom nearly two thirds were forcibly repatriated by the Russians and sent to Siberia and one third ultimately found their way to Canada or South America, a few remaining in Germany.
As an outcome of World War II and the extension of the Iron Curtain westward, all Mennonites of Danzig, Prussia, Poland, and Galicia were evacuated from their homes and countries. Some were taken to Russian slave-labor camps, some perished, and most of the others are still living in western Germany. Nearly 2,000 have found their way to North and South America, particularly Uruguay.
About 120,000 Mennonites have been affected directly by Communism, most of whom have lost their homes and other property. This number constitutes about one third of the Mennonites of the world. The number that was affected indirectly was much greater. All Mennonites originally coming from countries now behind the Iron Curtain have lost relatives. Those who left Russia since World War I have lost all their property and many family members.
In the Far East it is China where Mennonite missions have been affected by Communism. All missionaries have left China and it is impossible at this time to determine how much of their work has been destroyed. -- Cornelius Krahn
Writing in the 1950s, when communism was seen in monolithic terms, Cornelius Krahn pointed out that one-third of all Mennonites had been directly affected by communism through the loss of homes, life, and property, and many others were affected indirectly. Further, the communist success in China had meant the end of Mennonite missions there. It is a fair generalization to say that for a major part of the Mennonites of Russian and Prussian background in North America, communism still tends to be equated with anarchy, with Stalinism, with war and suffering.
This perception has remained, due to the continued persecution of "our own people" (relatives and Mennonites in the Soviet Union), due to the information about the Khrushchev campaign to eliminate religion, and the ongoing information about prisoners of conscience and less extreme forms of discrimnation. Mennonite perceptions were influenced by the anticommunist movements in North America and popular fears of communist expansion that fed the Cold War.
Initial interpreters of the Soviet communist impact, e.g., B. H. Unruh, writing in the 1930s, tended to see in Nazism (National Socialism) a bulwark against communism, which led him to reformulations of Mennonite distinctives that allowed military participation against this evil. In the 1950s such scholars as J. Lawrence Burkholder, Donovan Smucker, and Melvin Gingerich analyzed communist philosophies in the context of Mennonite efforts to articulate a peace position in the midst of the Cold War. The general Mennonite attitude to communism remains a major obstacle to developing a peace practice with integrity, since the fears engendered by personal and group trauma, plus the propaganda impact of western Sovietology which remains heavily partisan, has caused many Mennonites to vote for politicians of the peace-through-military-and-nuclear-strength school, while seeking personal exemption from military service or supporting peace efforts in Asian, African, and Latin American settings.
Nevertheless, both the communist practice and Mennonite perceptions of it have changed to some extent. Mennonite workers encountered communist societies firsthand through relief and development work, and thus were forced to compare differences between the Soviet Union, East European countries, and Central America. The usual approach was to maintain a political neutrality, for example, to witness to peace in Vietnam by giving aid and being present with personnel before and after the change of government in 1975.
Thus far, Mennonite reflections on communist diversity, or efforts to understand communism's persistent appeal to underprivileged peoples, have resulted in an emphasis on the possibility of Christian witness in word and deed in communist societies,but communist or even other socialist theories of development (an essential part of communist self-understanding) have not been taken seriously by Europe and North America. Growing experience in Eastern Europe and China through exchange programs has led to some ecumenical dialogue with churches now forced to be voluntaristic churches in an aggressively secular society. Mennonite congregations were present in the following communist countries in 1988: Soviet Union, German Democratic
Republic, Hungary, Ethiopia, Angola, Nicaragua, Cuba, Mennonites working in development efforts outside and, as part of the Three Self movement, China. -- Walter Sawatsky
The aftermath of the English Civil War brought widespread unemployment and hunger due to bad harvests. Against this backdrop of economic and social instability, a movement to abolish private property and secure common ownership of land spread through southern and central England.
The agrarian communists were called Diggers, and they saw the removal of the monarchy and the establishment of the Commonwealth as the first step in the process of wresting land away from the nobility and gentry. In 1648, a pamphlet titled Light Shining in Buckinghamshire called for the overthrow of the nobility and equalization of wealth. A sequel sought support from the army.
The Diggers declared the world as “common treasury.” The hungry and destitute began cultivating waste and public land. Digger communities sprang up, the most prominent being St. George’s Hill and Cobham Heath in Surrey. It was hoped that the poor soil at George Hill (renamed since the Diggers repudiated the saints of the established church) could be made productive by practical agricultural techniques.
The Levellers were a relatively loose alliance of radicals and freethinkers who came to prominence during the period of instability that characterised the English Civil War of 1642 – 1649. The most prominent Levellers were John Lilburne, Richard Overton, William Walwyn, John Wildman, Edward Sexby and Colonel Thomas Rainborough.
This picture of John Lilburne appeared on the front-cover of a Leveller pamphlet published in 1646.
What bound these people together was the general belief that all men were equal; since this was the case, then a government could only have legitimacy if it was elected by the people. The Leveller demands were for a secular republic, abolition of the House of Lords, equality before the law, the right to vote for all, free trade, the abolition of censorship, freedom of speech and the absolute right for people to worship whatever religion [or none] that they chose. This programme was published as ‘The Agreement of the People’.
The Agreement of the People was drawn up by a committee of Levellers including John Lilburne which was to have been discussed at a meeting of the commonwealth armies at Newmarket in June 1647. In brief this is what they asked for:
· Power to be vested in the people
· One year Parliaments, elected by equal numbers of voters per seat. The right to vote for all men who worked independently for their living and all those who had fought for the Parliamentary cause
· Recall of any or all of their MPs by their electors at any time
· Abolition of the House of Lords
· Democratic election of army officers
· Complete religious toleration and the abolition of tithes and tolls
· Justices to be elected; law courts to be local and proceedings to be in English [not French!]
· Redistribution of seized land to the common people
The radical notions of the Diggers were disowned by the more moderate Levellers who worked for reform within the existing social structure. The Diggers designated themselves the “True Levellers,” but their ideas of equality aroused the hostility of the gentry and gained no sympathy from the Commonwealth government. They were harassed with legal actions, boycotts, and direct violence. Digger settlements were burned down, and their crops were destroyed. By the end of 1650, the movement had been effectively suppressed.
But it resurface in America specially in California. The San Francisco Diggers evolved out of two Radical traditions that thrived in the SF Bay Area in the mid-1960s: the bohemian/underground art/theater scene, and the New Left/civil rights/peace movement. The Diggers combined street theater, anarcho-direct action, and art happenings in their social agenda of creating a Free City. The San Francisco Diggers became one of the legendary groups in the Haight-Ashbury during the years 1966 to 1968. Shrouded in a mystique of anonymity, they took their name from the original English Diggers of the 1640s. The San Francisco Diggers combined street theater, anarcho direct action, and art happenings in their social agenda. Their most famous activities revolved around Free Food (every day in the Panhandle), and the Free Store (where everything was free for the taking). They produced a series of events that mark the evolution of the hippie. https://www.foundsf.org/index.php?title=San_Francisco_Diggers
The Diggers were at the forefront of the so-called "back to the land" movement, and created a number of communal farms and ranches throughout Northern California.
DIGGER FREE STORE
Ann Lee was born in Manchester, England, and baptized privately at Manchester Collegiate Church (now Manchester Cathedral) on 1 June 1742, at the age of 6. Her parents were members of a distinct branch of the Society of Friends, and too poor to afford their children even the rudiments of education. Ann Lee's father, John Lees, was a blacksmith during the day, and a tailor at night. It is probable that Ann Lee's original surname was Lees, but somewhere through time it changed to Lee. Little is known about her mother other than she was a very religious woman. As often happened in those days, the mother's name was not even recorded. When Ann was young she worked in a cotton factory, then she worked as a cutter of hatter's fur, and later as a cook in a Manchester infirmary.
In 1758, she joined an English sect founded by Jane and preacher James Wardley; this was the precursor to the Shaker sect. She believed in and taught her followers that it is possible to attain perfect holiness by giving up sexual relations. Like her predecessors, the Wardleys, she taught that the shaking and trembling were caused by sin being purged from the body by the power of the Holy Spirit, purifying the worshiper.
Beginning during her youth, Ann Lee was uncomfortable with sexuality, especially her own. This repulsion towards sexual activity continued and manifested itself most poignantly in her repeated attempts to avoid marriage and remain single. Eventually her father forced her to marry Abraham Stanley. They were married on 5 January 1761 at Manchester Collegiate Church. She became pregnant four times, all of her children died during infancy. Her difficult pregnancies and the loss of four children were traumatic experiences that contributed to Ann Lee's dislike of sexual relations. Lee developed radical religious convictions that advocated celibacy and the abandonment of marriage, as well as the importance of pursuing perfection in every facet of life. She differed from the Quakers, who, though they supported gender equality, did not believe in forbidding sexuality within marriage.In 1774 a revelation led her to take a select band to America.
Hancock Shaker Village in Berkshire Massachusetts
In August 1774, a penniless English mystic named Ann Lee and nine companions arrived in New York, determined to pursue Lee’s vision of a New Eden in America. While in England, they had suffered persecution for their unorthodox doctrines and practices. They held rites where spiritual ecstasy led members to hysterical dancing, singing, and shaking, so the world pejoratively called them “Shaking Quakers” or simply “Shakers.” They called themselves the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing.
In America, “Mother Ann” Lee found ready converts among those caught up in the “Great
Awakening” religious revival. The first Shaker community was established in Niskayuma, New York. Mother Ann kept a low profile at first with her apocalyptic preaching. But on May 19, 1780, a strange and terrifying darkness descended on New England, making noon as black as night.
The cause wasn’t supernatural—there were wildfires out in Canada—but people thought Judgment Day had come. Hundreds thronged around the Shakers who had been predicting these things. With more converts, Shaker settlements spread across New England, south to Kentucky and west to
Indiana. The two cornerstones of these communities were celibacy and communism.
All four of Mother Ann’s children died in infancy, and in her grief, she concluded that sex was evil. Ann insisted on celibacy among her followers. Shaker men and women were kept separate at all times to avoid sexual temptation. Theirs was a simple lifestyle of work and prayer, separate from the world. They lived in dormitory-like housing, and the Shakers became well known and admired for the clean, economic lines of their crafts. They believed that God dwelled in the details of their work.
Shakers were not afraid of innovation and technology. The clothespin, the circular saw, and hundreds of similar laborsaving devices are Shaker inventions that they shared with others and never bothered to patent. In New Hampshire, they owned one of the first cars in the state and had electricity in their village when the state capital was still using gaslight.
Shaker colonies were, and still are, showcases of neatness and order. In these serene villages, converts who gave up marriage, family, and property came “to know, by daily experience, the peaceable nature of Christ’s kingdom.” Here, the races as well as the genders were equal. In 1817, Shakers in the South freed their slaves and bought black believers from their masters.
But their celibacy, and the resulting lack of children, spelled doom for the Shakers, as they had to rely on converts to maintain their existence. Their numbers dwindled as America became more secular and offered more diversity and opportunity than the Shaker utopia. One of the last communities to close was Hancock Village in Massachusetts, which became a ghost town in 1960 and is now a museum. The last surviving Shakers still live in Sabbathday Lake, Maine.
Remaining Rappite buildings in New Harmony, Indiana, by Kathy Weiser-Alexander
The Harmony Society, also called the Rappites, were similar to the Shakers in certain beliefs.
Named after their founder, Johann Georg Rapp, the Rappites immigrated from Württemburg,
Germany, to the United States in 1803, seeking religious freedom. Establishing a colony in Butler County, Pennsylvania, called Harmony, the Rappites held that the Bible was humanity’s sole authority. They also advanced celibacy and lead a communal life without individual possessions, and believed that the harmony of male and female elements in humanity would be reestablished by their efforts. Under the guidance of Frederick Rapp, George Rapp’s adopted son, the economy of Harmony grew from one of subsistence agriculture to gradual diversified manufacturing.
By 1814 the Society boasted 700 members, a town of about 130 brick, frame, and log houses, and numerous factories and processing plants. Their manufactured products, particularly textiles and woolens, gained a widespread reputation for excellence, as did their wines and whiskey.
The Harmony Society soon outgrew its markets, and after selling all their holdings to a Mennonite group for $100,000 they moved to a new location on the Wabash River in Indiana. Here again, they built a prosperous community, New Harmony, only to sell it to Robert Owen, a social reformer from New Lanark, Scotland, and his financial partner, William Maclure, in 1825. The Harmonists next returned to Pennsylvania and built their final home at Economy (now called Old Economy and recognized as a National Historic Landmark), in Ambridge on the Ohio River. The Harmonists reached their peak of prosperity in 1866, but, the practice of celibacy and several schisms thinned the Society’s ranks, and the community was finally dissolved in 1905. The surviving buildings of the first settlement in Harmony, with their sturdy, simple brick dwellings, the Great House with its arched wine cellar, and the imposing cemetery and original town plan are today a National Historic Landmark named the Harmony Historic District.
Oneida Community Mansion House
The founder and leader of the communal Oneida Community, John Humphreys Noyes, was born in Brattleboro, Vermont, in 1811. Noyes joined the Andover Theological Seminary in November 1831. Transferring to Yale Theological College at New Haven, Connecticut, he became involved with the nascent abolitionist movement.
In 1833 he founded the New Haven Anti-Slavery society and the New Haven Free Church, where he preached his radical belief which laid great emphasis on the ideal of perfection is attainable in this life. His followers became known as Perfectionists. However, Noyes’ belief in “complex marriage” alienated many of the townspeople in Putney, New York, where he was living, and he left in 1847. Perfectionists practicing “complex marriage” considered themselves married to the group, not a single partner. Noyes moved his community to Oneida, New York, where the group practiced “Bible Communism.”
The skills of the artisan members were channeled into broom manufacturing, shoe manufacturing, flour processing, lumber milling, and trap manufacturing. The Perfectionists in Oneida held communal property, meals, and arrangements for the rearing and education of children. They built the Oneida Community Mansion House, a rambling U-shaped, brick, Victorian building which began housing the community in the early 1850s. The Oneida Community Mansion House is now listed as a National Historic Landmark. In 1874 there were 270 members of the Oneida Community. Misunderstanding of the community, allied with traditional points of view, inspired an 1879 meeting of ministers in Syracuse, New York, to condemn the settlement. Eventual unrest hit Noyes’ followers, and Noyes fled to Canada on June 29 1879. “Complex marriage” ended two days later. The experiment in their communal utopia ended in January 1881 when the Oneida community was reconstituted as a joint stock corporation.
Numerous religious and social communal groups developed in the nineteenth century. By the end of the century even Theosophical colonies, based off Madame Blavatasky’s merging of eastern and western mysticism, had cropped up in such places as Point Loma and Temple Home, near San Diego, California. Other groups included the Zoarites in Ohio, the Moravians of North Carolina, and the followers of German-born Wilhelm Keil, a Methodist minister heavily influenced by the pietist movement, who founded colonies in Bethel, Missouri, and Aurora, Oregon. Yet of all these utopian groups only the Amana Inspirationists developed and built a network of seven villages set in an agricultural region. They managed to survive by modifying their system into two distinct organizations, one secular and one spiritual. The Inspirationists of Amana founded their communities with an agricultural basis as did other communal groups in the United States. Both men and women labored, although in Amana, women’s work did not include trades and the ministry as it did in the Shaker communities.
While the 20th century witnessed further experiments in communal living, the great wave which founded the 19th-century religious and secular utopian communities had begun to subside. Some of the 19th-century groups were established and depended on the strength of their leaders, those which survived into the 20th century had to alter their way of life significantly, as traditional rural life evolved due to the industrial, economic and scientific progress in the larger society. General causes relating to the demise of these utopian colonies have to be explained individually, as each utopian community faced different circumstances. Overall, the conflict that many of these agrarian or small craft communities faced in an increasingly industrialized world may have contributed to their demise, as did external hostility manifested in the larger, surrounding society, often seen in inflammatory newspaper articles attacking the utopian experiments.
G: AMANA COMMUNES: History of the Seven Villages
Ronneburg, in the Hesse province of Germany, was where many Inspirationists lived in the 18th and 19th centuries
The history of Amana Colonies, a National Historic Landmark and one of America’s longest-lived communal societies, begins in 1714 in the villages of Germany and continues today on the Iowa prairie.
In the turbulent 18th century, Germany in the midst of a religious movement called Pietism, two men, Eberhard Ludwig Gruber (1665-1728), and Johann Friedrich Rock (1678-1749), advocated faith renewal through reflection, prayer and Bible study. Their belief, one shared by many other Pietists, was that God, through the Holy Spirit, may inspire individuals to speak. This gift of inspiration was the basis for a religious group that began meeting in 1714 and became known as the Community of True Inspiration. Though the Inspirationists sought to avoid conflict, they were persecuted for their beliefs. Eventually, the Inspirationists found refuge in central Germany settling in several estates, including the 13th-century Ronneburg castle.
Persecution and an economic depression in Germany forced the community to begin searching for a new home. Led by Christian Metz, they hoped to find religious freedom in America and left Germany in 1843-44. Community members pooled their resources and purchased 5,000 acres near Buffalo, New York. By working cooperatively and sharing their property, the community, now numbering some 1,200 people, was able to carve a relatively comfortable living. They called their community the “Ebenezer Society” and adopted a constitution that formalized their communal way of life.
When more farmland was needed for the growing community, the Inspirationists looked to Iowa where attractively priced land was available. Land in the Iowa River valley was particularly promising. Here was fertile soil, stone, wood, and water enough to build the community of their dreams.
.In 1855 they arrived in Iowa. After an inspired testimony directed the people to call their village, “Bleibtreu” or “remain faithful” the leaders chose the name Amana from the Song of Solomon 4:8. Amana means to “remain true.” Six villages were established, a mile or two apart, across a river valley tract of some 26,000 acres – Amana, East Amana, West Amana, South Amana, High Amana, and Middle Amana. The village of Homestead was added in 1861, giving the Colony access to the railroad.
In the seven villages, residents received a home, medical care, meals, all household necessities, and schooling for their children. Property and resources were shared. Men and women were assigned jobs by their village council of brethren. No one received a wage. No one needed one. Farming and the production of wool and calico supported the community, but village enterprises, everything from clock making to brewing, were vital; and well-crafted products became a hallmark of the Amanas. Craftsmen took special pride in their work as a testament of both their faith and their community spirit.
Up before dawn, called to work by the gentle tolling of the bell in the village tower, the unhurried routine of life in old Amana was paced very differently than today. Amana churches, located in the center of each village, built of brick or stone, have no stained glass windows, no steeple or spire, and reflect the ethos of simplicity and humility. Inspirationists attended worship services 11 times a week; their quiet worship punctuating the days.
Over 50 communal kitchens provided three daily meals; as well as a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack to all Colonists. These kitchens were operated by the women of the Colony and well supplied by the village smokehouse, bakery, ice house and dairy, and by the huge gardens, orchards and vineyards maintained by the villagers.
Children attended school, six days a week, year-round until the age of 14. Boys were assigned jobs on the farm or in the craft shops, while girls were assigned to a communal kitchen or garden. A few boys were sent to college for training as teachers, doctors, and dentists.
In 1932, amidst America’s Great Depression, Amana set aside its communal way of life. A ruinous farm market and changes in the rural economy contributed, but what finally propelled the change was a strong desire on the part of residents to maintain their community. By 1932, the communal way of life was seen as a barrier to achieving individual goals, so rather than leave or watch their children leave, they changed. They established the Amana Society, Inc. a profit-sharing corporation to manage the farmland, the mills, and the larger enterprises. Private enterprise was encouraged. The Amana Church was maintained.
Today the seven villages of the Amana Colonies represent an American dream come true; a thriving community founded by religious faith and community spirit. Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965, the Amana Colonies attract hundreds of thousands of visitors annually all of whom come to see and enjoy a place where the past is cherished and where hospitality is a way of life.
Evocative of another age, the streets of the Amana Colonies with their historic brick, stone and clapboard homes, their flower and vegetable gardens, their lanterns and walkways recall Amana yesterday. But a vibrant community, celebrating both its past and its future, is here today for you to experience.
Researchers estimate that there are 3,000 Christian communities in North America, representing more than half of a growing movement of people living in all kinds of communities. This year, the Fellowship for Intentional Communities listed more than 700 communities in its directory, up from 540 in the 1995 edition.
List of American utopian communities
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Old Economy Village
A Harmonites Village. The Harmony Society is a Christian theosophy and pietist society founded in Iptingen, Germany, in 1785.
An abolitionist, free-love community. (LEP)
New Philadelphia Colony
A libertarian socialist community
Shipherd and 8
Community based on Communal ownership of property
George Ripley Sophia Ripley
A Transcendent community. Transcendentalism is a religious and cultural philosophy based in New England.
North American Phalanx
A Fourier Society community. The Fourier Society is based on the ideas of Charles Fourier, a French philosopher.
A community based on "Practical Christianity", which included ideas such as temperance, abolitionism, Women's rights, spiritualism and education.
A Transcendent community.
A Society for Universal Inquiry and Reform community.
Sodus Bay Phalanx
A Fourier Society community.
A Fourier Society community.
A Fourier Society community.
Prairie Home Community
John O. Wattles
A Society for Universal Inquiry and Reform community.
Orson S. Murray
A community based on Owenism and anarchism. Maintained close contact with the Kristeen and Grand Prairie Communities.
Founded by Charles Mowland and others who had previously been associated with the Prairie Home Community. A Society for Universal Inquiry and Reform community.
Bishop Hill Colony
A Swedish Pietist religious commune.
Spring Farm Colony
A Fourier Society community.
John H. Noyes
A Utopian socialism community. Oneida Community practices included Communalism, Complex Marriage, Male
Continence, Mutual Criticism and Ascending Fellowship.
A group of egalitarian communes based on the French utopian movement, founded by Étienne Cabet, after led his followers to the United States.
Community of True
The Amana villages were built one hour apart when traveling by ox cart. Each village had a church, a farm, multi-family residences, workshops and communal kitchens. The communal system continued until 1932.
Raritan Bay Union
Marcus Spring Rebecca Buffum
A Fourier Society community.
Christian utopian community
Free Lovers at Davis House
A community based on Free love and spiritualism.
A utopian socialism community.
Henry S. Clubb
Originally built as a vegetarian colony.
followers of James Bronterre O'Brien
A community based on the political reform philosophy of Chartist James Bronterre O'Brien.
A utopian socialist community
A community in which members would live peaceful, vegetarian lifestyles, and where orphaned urban children were to be raised.
George H. Allen
Oliver A. Verity
B. F. O'Dell
An intentional community based on anarchist philosophy
Established following the Panic of 1893. Originally called
An art colony founded as a Georgist single-tax art community.
John Alexander Dowie
A Utopian Christian religious community, reorganized following fraud allegations and founder's death into modern city.
East Wind Community
Ozark County, Missouri
A secular and democratic community in which members hold all communities assets in common.
currently still in operation
Fairhope was first settled in 1894 by Georgist. The Single tax experiment was incorporated as the Fairhope Single Tax Corporation under Alabama law in 1904. The municipality of Fairhope was incorporated in 1908.
Lewis County, Tennessee
Hippie Buddhist-inspired vegetarian community. De-collectivized in 1983.
members of the Equality Colony
A socialist commune. The first settlers dissident members of the nearby Equality Colony. While the Freeland Association dissolved in 1906 the census-designated place (CDP) of Freeland, Washington continues to exist.
now Post, Texas
Llano del Rio
Unbuilt project by architect and planner Alice Constance Austin with strong emphasis on shared domestic work
This is a dynamic list and may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by expanding it with reliably sourced entries.
XI MARXISM THE GROWTH OF A PSEUDO SCIENCE
Karl Heinrich Marx (1818-1883)was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political
theorist, journalist and socialist revolutionary. Born in Trier, Germany, Marx studied law and philosophy at university. He married Jenny von Westphalen in 1843. Due to his political publications, Marx became stateless and lived in exile with his wife and children in London for decades, where he continued to develop his thought in collaboration with German thinker Friedrich
Engels and publish his writings, researching in the reading room of the British Museum. His best-known titles are the
1848 pamphlet The Communist Manifesto and the three-volume Das Kapital (1867–1883). Marx's political and philosophical thought had enormous influence on subsequent intellectual, economic and political history. His name has been used as an adjective, a noun and a school of social theory.
Karl Marx was born in Trier, Germany in 1818. Starting in 1723, his father’s family line had produced Trier’s rabbis. Karl’s grandfather was named Meier Halevi Marx, likewise he was appointed the town Rabbi, and this position was passed down to Karl’s uncle. Karl’s father’s birth name was Herschel Levi. Breaking from tradition, Karl’s father was the first to receive a secular education. But Herschel was barred from the practice of law because he was Jewish. In response, he converted to Lutheranism, as well as changed his name to one that did not sound Jewish: Heinrich Marx. Subsequently, Karl was baptized at the age of six and attended a Lutheran elementary school. In adulthood, Marx rejected both Judaism and Christianity and became an atheist.
For Marx, man created religion for two purposes:
1) to justify the authority of the ruling class as being granted from God and,
2) to invent a fairy tale to act as a drug to pacify the suffering of the exploited class so they would not rebel.
A political doctrine, A philosophy of History and an analysis of the functioning of the economy
His proposals did not come in a vacuum but was the product of the communistic philosophies and the social attempt to generate in history through the ages. I have given a modest background of these before. The greater part of the force comes from Judaism and Christianity which form the background of the two major proponents Marx and Engels. Marx comes from the family of Priests Cohens and his father converted from Judaism to Christianity. Marx himself being baptised into
Christianity and became a Christian. Karl Marx wrote a devotional commentary on abiding in Christ that was based upon the fifteenth Chapter of John’s Gospel. He wrote it on August 17, 1835 when he was seventeen years old.
I quote a portion of it to show what he stood for at that age.
Karl Marx(1818-1883), "The Union of the Faithful with Christ," The Karl Marx Library, Volume V, On Religion, Translated by Saul K. Padover, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, NY, 1974, p.3-6.
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman [John 15:1]."
"I am the vine, ye are the branches [John 15: 5]."
If the branch were sentient, how joyously would it look to the gardener who tends it, who anxiously clears it of weeds and ties it to the vine from which it derives nourishment and sap for its beautiful blossoms. In the union with Christ, therefore, we turn, before everything, our loving eye toward God, feel for Him an ardent gratitude, sink joyfully on our knees before Him.Then, after a beautiful sun has risen through our union with Christ, when we feel our total unworthiness and at the same time exult over our salvation, then only can we love God, who formerly appeared to us as an offended lord but is now a forgiving father and a benevolent teacher.
But the branch, if it were sentient, would not only look up to the vine dresser, but would also fervently clingto
the vine stock and feel the closest relation to the branches around it; it would love the other branches, because a gardener tends them and a stock gives them vigor.
Thus the union with Christ means a most intimate and vital companionship with Him, keeping Him before our eyes and in our hearts, and being permeated by the highest love, so that we can turn our hearts toward our brothers, united with us through Him, and for whom He had sacrificed himself.
The French Revolution of 1789 catapulted atheistic thought into political notability in Western countries, and opened the way for the nineteenth century movements of Rationalism, Freethought, and Liberalism. The rise of science with defined mechanistic models and laws that governed the physical law was slowly replacing God in the Universities around the world. I have witnessed this in all the universities around the world and personally I myself grew within it. All Scientists were more or less atheists. The basic reasoning was that scientific laws are replacing the earlier assumptions and functions of God and the expectation was that it will eventually kill God as He will have no function.
The Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, a child of the Age of Enlightenment, was expelled from England's Oxford University in 1811 for submitting to the Dean an anonymous pamphlet that he wrote entitled, The Necessity of Atheism. This pamphlet is considered by scholars as the first atheistic tract published in the English language.
An early atheistic influence in Germany was The Essence of Christianity by Ludwig Feuerbach (1804–1872). He influenced other German nineteenth century atheistic thinkers like Karl Marx, Max Stirner, ArthurSchopenhauer (1788–1860), and Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900).
It was during his university years Marx totally rejected Christianity and following norms of the day to accept Hegel, Schelling, and Kant and their arguments against the proofs for the existence of God.
wrote in his Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right:
"Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people."
The ultimate laugh is that atheism, dialectics and materialism is not really a necessary part of his ultimate thesis of the necessity of building communist communes.
Hegel’s proposition was that it is the human mind and ideas that changed the world through the forces of opposites. In 1844, Karl Marx, turned it upside down and claimed that it is material modes of production that determined the society and all other aspects of society. Karl Marx replaced dialectical idealism of Hegel with dialectical materialism. According to Lenin, the “great Hegelian dialectics which Marxism made its own, having first turned it right side up.” Unlike Hegel, he believed that the social institutions are shaped by material conditions of life, which are determined by the economic mode of production.
Alongside of Marx the main proponent of the modern theories on Marxism Communism was Friedrich Engels.
Friedrich Engels was born on November 20, 1820, in Prussia, or what is now Germany. He was the eldest son of a wealthy textile manufacturer Friedrich Sr. and Elisabeth Engels. At an early age, Engels developed a profound sense of cynicism toward major societal institutions like religion. He was opposed to organized religion and capitalism, much of which was influenced by the writings of German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Engels helped develop the foundations of the labor theory of value and exploitation of labor prior to meeting Karl Marx years later.
These unorthodox beliefs placed a significant strain on his relationship with his parents. They grew concerned by his radical ideology but still expected he would follow Friedrich Sr.'s footsteps. At 22, Engels was sent to a manufacturing center in Manchester to become well-versed in the family business. It was here that Engels grew more engrossed with socialism and met Karl Marx for the first time.
Together, Marx and Engels would produce many pieces of work critiquing capitalism and developing an alternative economic system in communism which is today known as Marxism. Their most famous pieces of work include The Condition of the Working Class in England, The Communist Manifesto, and each volume of Das Kapital. Engels edited and published the fourth volume of Kapital after Marx's death in 1883. The remainder of Engels' life was spent compiling Marx's unfinished work and putting together thoughts of his own. Engels died of throat cancer in London at age 74.
The works of Marx and Engels form the backbone of the Marxism Communism.
According to Marx, the world by its very nature is material and the various phenomenon of the world constitute different forms of matter in motion. In his own words, “it is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but on the contrary their social being that determines their consciousness”.
1. Three Laws of Dialectics:
Marx borrowed the three laws of Dialectics from Hegel. These are:
1. The law of transformation of quantity into quality and vice versa:
It means that changes are qualitative till a certain point after which its form is changed. For example, capitalism to socialism. For example when exploitation increases, the proletariat will rebel and change the form of society.
2. The law of unity of opposites:
It implies that everything within itself contains contradictory but interdependent elements. For example, Capitalism contains both, bourgeoisie and proletariats.
3. The law of negation of negation:
Thesis, antithesis and synthesis are connected in a chain which develops by negating other.
Through this process, Marx explains the history from primitive communism to world communism. The explanation of how this leads to communism as a scientific necessity and that places Marxism as a science and inviolable.
Every thesis has an anti-thesis built within and this leads to a Synthesis. This new synthesis becomes another thesis and and the process will go on until a system with no antithesis happens.
Theory of Value as proposed by Marx and Engels.
“Whereas Buddhists believe that the law of nature was discovered by Siddhartha Gautama,
Communists believed that the law of nature was discovered by Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. The similarity does not end there. Like other religions, Communism too has its holy scripts and prophetic books, such as Marx's Das Kapital, which foretold that history would soon end with the inevitable victory of the proletariat.” — Yuval Noah Harari
vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv "The Communist Manifesto":
The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.
Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.*
Here is how Marx explains the development of history from Primitive Communism to Communism. The ultimate communism does not have an anti-thesis and hence it is the final un-changable eternal form of society….
The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite!
The countries in orange were once communist, while those in red still are. (Image: en.academic.ru)
Early 19th century was the period of development of experimental science and widespread eduction through schools and colleges around the world. It was also followed by the reasoning that science is replacing what God took the place. It was common fashion and a norm for all scientists to be atheists. I have seen this all over the world wherever I have been teaching. Thus though the concept of communism has never before been associated with atheism, Marx wanted to assert that the final ideal human society based of communism is a necessary “scientific final state” and that followed his “scientifc dialectical materialism” laws, giving them the false immediate hope, worse than that of religion to make themselves martyrs. As we will see, it produced new dictators.
Scientific claim of dialectical materialism was intended to fool the working class who were ignorant of what science really was all about, leave alone its philosophical basis. The essential error of dialectics as presented by Marx is that one cannot be sure as to what constitutes a thesis, antithesis and synthesis. Then again it does not really lead to a specific synthesis which will make the development of society unpredictable. Again means of production alone is not the real factor of social changes, all other both material and all non-material factors do play a role. Changes are multidimensional wherein culture, ideology, value system may have dominant role. Which direction the society develop cannot be exactly predicted under so many forces in place. History has amply proved these errors of Marx. Communism of Marx turned out to be the biggest opium of the working class where more lives were lost without any gain.
RISE AND FALL OF SOVIET COMMUNISM
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov(22 April 1870 – 21 January 1924), better known by his alias Lenin, was a
Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as the head of government of Soviet Russia from 1917 to 1924 and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924. Under his administration, Russia, and later the Soviet Union, became a one-party Marxist–Leninist state governed by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Ideologically a Marxist, he developed a variant of it known as Leninism.
Born to a moderately prosperous middle-class family in Simbirsk (now Ulyanovsk), Lenin embraced revolutionary socialist politics following his brother's 1887 execution.
Lenin, Expelled from Kazan Imperial University for participating in protests against the Russian Empire's Tsarist government, he devoted the following years to a law degree. .In 1889, Lenin declared himself a Marxist. He moved to Saint Petersburg in 1893 and became a senior Marxist activist In 1897, he was arrested for sedition and exiled to Siberia for three years, where he married Nadezhda Krupskaya. After his exile, he moved to Western Europe, where he became a prominent theorist in the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP). In 1903, he took a key role in the RSDLP ideological split, leading the Bolshevik faction against Julius Martov's
Mensheviks. Following Russia's failed Revolution of 1905, he campaigned for the First World War to be transformed into a Europe-wide proletarian revolution, which as a Marxist he believed would cause the overthrow of capitalism and its replacement with socialism.
Lenin escaped an assassination attempt before defeating his opposition. In 1922, Russia emerged as the newly formed Soviet Union.After the 1917 February Revolution ousted the Tsar and established a Provisional Government, he returned to Russia to play a leading role in the October Revolution in which the Bolsheviks overthrew the new regime. Czar Nicholas II was overthrown, ending four centuries of Czarist imperial rule. For hundreds of years, Russia was ruled by a series of monarchs called czars. They had absolute and unlimited authority, much like a king or emperor. This institution of rulers lasted from the mid-16th century to the early 20th century.
Lenin launched the Bolshevik Revolution in November 1917, aiming to overthrow the government.
A civil war broke out after the Bolshevik Revolution between loyalists, known as the Whites, and revolutionaries, known as the Reds. In 1922, the Reds won the war and created the first socialist state: the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
Lenin became the leader of the state, and the Bolsheviks were renamed the Communist Party. They became the dominant political power. Lenin's administration redistributed land among the peasantry and nationalised banks and large-scale industry. It withdrew from the First World War by signing a treaty conceding territory to the Central Powers, and promoted world revolution through the Communist International.
Opponents were suppressed in the Red Terror, a violent campaign administered by the state security services; tens of thousands were killed or interned in concentration camps. His administration defeated right and left-wing anti-Bolshevik armies in the Russian Civil War from 1917 to 1922 and oversaw the Polish–Soviet War of 1919–1921. Responding to wartime devastation, famine, and popular uprisings, in 1921 Lenin encouraged economic growth through the market-oriented New Economic Policy. Several non-Russian nations had secured independence from the Russian Empire after 1917, but three were re-united into the new Soviet Union in 1922. His health failing, Lenin died in Gorki, with Joseph Stalin succeeding him as the pre-eminent figure in the Soviet government.
Lenin died in 1924 and was eventually succeeded by Stalin. .
Born to a poor family in Gori in the Russian Empire (now Georgia), as a youth Stalin joined the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. He went on to edit the party's newspaper, Pravda, and raised funds for Vladimir Lenin's Bolshevik faction via robberies, kidnappings, and protection rackets.
Repeatedly arrested, he underwent several internal exiles. After the Bolsheviks seized power during the 1917 October Revolution and created a one-party state under Lenin's newly renamed Communist Party, Stalin joined its governing Politburo. Serving in the Russian Civil War before overseeing the Soviet Union's establishment in 1922, Stalin assumed leadership over the country following Lenin's 1924 death. Under Stalin, "socialism in one country" became a central tenet of the party's dogma. In 1929, the Politburo announced the mass collectivisation of agriculture, establishing both kolkhozy collective farms and sovkhoz state farms. Through the Five-Year Plans, the country underwent agricultural collectivisation and rapid industrialisation, creating a centralised command economy. This led to severe disruptions of food production that contributed to the famine of 1932–33. The Soviet Union experienced a major famine which peaked in the winter of 1932–33. To eradicate accused "enemies of the working class", Stalin instituted the "Great Purge", in which over a million were imprisoned and at least 700,000 executed between 1934 and 1939. By 1937, he had complete personal control over the party and state.With as many as 60 million deaths to his name, he would go on to become one of the most prolific mass murderers in human history. Stalin quickly became a dictator, ruling by terror and eliminating anyone who opposed him
In 1939,USSR signed a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany, resulting in the Soviet invasion of Poland. Germany ended the pact by invading the Soviet Union in 1941. Despite initial setbacks, the Soviet Red Army repelled the German incursion and captured Berlin in 1945, ending World War II in Europe.
In October 1949, Mao took power in China claimed as a great success of Marxian theory.
On 1 March 1953, Stalin's staff found him semi-conscious on the bedroom floor of his Volynskoe dacha. He had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage. Stalin died on 5 March 1953. The world knew of the cruel nature of Stalin only after his death revealing the ugly face of Marxism and Communism based on the “scientific theory” of Marx. “His “communist” policies did not lead to the egalitarian utopia envisioned by Marx; instead, it led to the mass murder of his own people.” www.thoughtco.com
Nikita Khrushchev rose to power after Stalin’s death. He initiated political reforms to make the empire less dictatorial. The period was known as de-Stalinization. The Soviet Union’s last leader was Mikhail Gorbachev, who was in power from 1985 to 1991. He entered office following what was called “The Era of Stagnation.” According to Gorbachev, “The old system collapsed before the new one had time to begin working.” The economy and standards of living got worse. In 1989, there were revolutions across the Eastern European states.
On Dec. 25, 1991, Gorbachev resigned as head of the Communist Party before it eventually dissolved. States then began to leave the Soviet Union and announce their independence. By Dec. 31, the Soviet Union ceased to exist.
RISE AND FALL OF CHINESE COMMUNISM
Mao Zedong was born on Dec. 26, 1893, in a wealthy farmer family in Shaoshan, Hunan Province, China. Mao moved to Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, to continue his education. He spent six months in 1911 and 1912 as a soldier in the barracks at Changsha, during the revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty.
Between 1913 and 1918, Mao studied at the Teachers' Training School, where he began to embrace ever more revolutionary ideas.
In 1920 Mao read a translation of The Communist Manifesto and became a committed Marxist.The Chinese Communist Party was founded as both a political party and a revolutionary movement in 1921 by revolutionaries such as Li Dazhao and Chen Duxiu. Those two men and others had come out of the May Fourth Movement (1919) and had turned to Marxism after the Bolshevik victory in the Russian Revolution of 1917. In the turmoil of 1920s China, CCP members such as Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, and Li Lisan began organizing labour unions in the cities. The CCP joined with the Nationalist Party in 1924, and the alliance proved enormously successful at first. In 1926 the Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang, under Chiang Kai-shek massacred at least 5,000 communists in Shanghai. This was the start of China's Civil War. That fall, Mao led the Autumn Harvest Uprising in Changsha against the Kuomintang (KMT). The KMT crushed Mao's peasant army, killing 90% of them and forcing the survivors out into the countryside, where they rallied more peasants to their cause. In 1927, after the Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek (Jiang Jieshi) turned violently against the communists and ousted them from Shanghai, the CCP was driven underground.
In 1931, Mao was elected chairman of the Soviet Republic of China, in Jiangxi Province. Mao ordered a reign of terror against landlords; perhaps more than 200,000 were tortured and killed. His Red Army, made up mostly of poorly armed but fanatical peasants, numbered 45,000.
Many of the CCP cadres, such as Mao, then abandoned their revolutionary activities among China’s urban proletariat and went to the countryside, where they were so successful in winning peasant support that in 1931 the Chinese Soviet Republic, with a population of some 10 million, was set up in southern China. Under increasing KMT pressure, Mao was demoted from his leadership role. Chiang Kai-shek's troops surrounded the Red Army in the mountains of Jiangxi, forcing them to make a desperate escape in 1934 in the Long March (1934–35) to Yan’an in northern China. It was during the march that Mao achieved the leadership position in the CCP that he held until his death in 1976. Other important leaders who supported him in that period were Zhou Enlai and Zhu De.
By the end of the war with China which was taken seriously by the CCP by 1945, the party controlled base areas of some 100 million people and had an experienced army and a workable political program of alliance between peasants, workers, the middle class, and small capitalists. In 1949, after the Nationalists had been decisively defeated and retreated to Taiwan, the CCP and its allies founded the People’s Republic of China. In 1949, with the support of China’s peasants, Mao successfully took over China and made it a communist state.
At first the CCP adopted the Soviet model for development and closely allied itself with the Soviet Union. However, the CCP and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) soon found themselves increasingly at odds over foreign policy and ideology, and, as the 1950s ended, the CCP and CPSU broke their close ties with each other. Internally, the CCP attempted to hasten China’s industrial development with bold but sometimes harmful programs, most disastrously with the Great Leap Forward (1958–60).
Mao’s contempt for human life came when he ordered the collectivization of China’s agriculture under the ironic slogan, the “Great Leap Forward.” A deadly combination of lies about grain production, disastrous farming methods (profitable tea plantations, for example, were turned into rice fields), and misdistribution of food produced the worse famine in human history.
Deaths from hunger reached more than 50 percent in some Chinese villages. The total number of dead from 1959 to 1961 was between 30 million and 40 million — the population of California.
Mao ordered the Cultural Revolution in 1966, in which Mao advocated for anti-intellectualism and a return to the revolutionary spirit. The result was terror and anarchy.
1976, when Zhou Enlai and Mao himself died the radical group known as the Gang of Four, including Mao’s widow, were arrested, and soon afterward the frequently purged and frequently rehabilitated Deng Xiaoping reappeared and assumed paramount power. The Cultural Revolution was formally ended, and the program of the “Four Modernizations” (of industry, agriculture, science/technology, and defense) was adopted.
Marxism was a spiritual utopia to the early communists, while, on the other hand, they modified or "Sinicized" some doctrines of communist ideology in a realistic and nationalist way to support their revolution in China. These ideological syntheses led to the emergence of the famous Great Leap Forward movement and the Cultural Revolution. Gangs of Red Guards — young men and women between 14 and 21 — roamed the cities targeting revisionists and other enemies of the state, especially teachers.
Professors were dressed in grotesque clothes and dunce caps, their faces smeared with ink. They were then forced to get down on all fours and bark like dogs. Some were beaten to death, some even eaten — all for the promulgation of Maoism. A reluctant Mao finally called in the Red Army to put down the marauding Red Guards when they began attacking Communist Party members, but not before 1 million Chinese died.
All the while, Mao kept expanding the laogai, a system of 1,000 forced labor camps throughout China. Harry Wu, who spent 19 years in labor camps, has estimated that from the 1950s through the 1980s, 50 million Chinese passed through the Chinese version of the Soviet gulag. Twenty million died as a result of the primitive living conditions and 14-hour work days.
Marxism–Leninism was the first official ideology of the Chinese Communist Party, and is a combination of classical Marxism (the works of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels) and Leninism. According to the Chinese Communist Party, "Marxism–Leninism reveals the universal laws governing the development of history of human society." Marxism in general "like any science, needs to change as time and circumstances change” and even "capitalism is the early or first stage of communism."
In official pronouncements, the primary stage of socialism is predicted to last about 100 years, after which China will reach another developmental stage. CCP formulation had in fact made it possible even to view the old, Maoist ideology as obsolete. The 3rd plenum of the 16th Central Committee conceived and formulated the ideology of Scientific Outlook on Development. This concept is generally considered to be Hu Jintao's contribution to the official ideological discourse. It is considered a continuation and creative development of ideologies advanced by previous CCP leaders. To apply the Scientific Outlook on Development on China, the CCP must adhere to building a Harmonious Socialist Society. According to Hu Jintao, the concept is a sub-ideology of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It is a further adaptation of Marxism to the specific conditions of China, and a concept open to change. At any rate that is a better approximation to Science than the predetermined mechanistic model developed by Marx and Engels.
The Maoists started a strong communist tradition, instituting the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. The Great Leap Forward was instituted to help transform China into a heavy industrialized society. However, this was largely considered to be a failure and many Chinese starved to death. In the cultural revolution, Mao overthrew his enemies and millions of people were killed or persecuted.
After Mao's death, the ideals of China shifted under Deng Xiaoping to a form of "market socialism." “Thus, while Marx may have provided the comprehensive framework for the philosophical idea of communism, the ideology changed in subsequent years as leaders like Vladimir Lenin (Leninism), Joseph Stalin (Stalinism), Mao Zedong (Maoism), and others attempted to implement communism as a practical system of governance. Each of these leaders reshaped the fundamental elements of communism to meet their personal power interests or the interests and peculiarities of their respective societies and cultures.” https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-communism-1779968
OTHER COMMUNIST COUNTRIES THAT SURVIVED
The following is a list of the communist countries in the world in 2020. We can see that the Soviet
Union is not in the list but China is still in it because of its modified version over Marx-Engels, LeninStalin- Mao.
There are only five remaining Communist countries in the world as of 2019. The modern-day Communist countries are:
• North Korea
COMMUNIST COUNTRIES, PAST AND PRESENT
UPDATED FEBRUARY 11, 2017 | INFOPLEASE STAFF (DETAILS CAN BE OBTAINED IN THE LINK) Current Communist Countries: China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam. Formerly Communist countries (by current name):
• Formerly part of the Soviet Union: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
• Other Asian countries: Afghanistan, Cambodia, Mongolia, and Yemen.
• Soviet-controlled Eastern bloc countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany (East), Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia.
• The Balkans: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Rep. of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia.
Africa: Angola, Benin, Dem Rep. of Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, and Mozambique
During the Soviet Union era, communist nations could be found in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. However, these communist countries are quickly turning into multi-party state and adopting different philosophies. Some of the multi-party states with governing communist parties include Brazil, Nepal, India, and Russia. Today, there are only five communist states, some of which are struggling to hold on to communism. This article focuses on the five communist countries that are still adherent to Marxism-Leninism.
A stamp printed in Cuba shows image of the Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban communist revolutionary and politician who was Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and President from 1976 to 2008, circa 1962
The Cuban Revolution (Spanish: Revolución cubana) was an armed revolt conducted by Fidel
Castro's revolutionary 26th of July Movement and its allies against the military dictatorship of Cuban President Fulgencio Batista. The revolution began in July 1953, and continued sporadically until the rebels finally ousted Batista on 31 December 1958, replacing his government. 26 July 1953 is celebrated in Cuba as the Day of the Revolution (Dia de la Revolución). The 26th of July
Movement later reformed along Marxist-Leninist lines, becoming the Communist Party of Cuba in October 1965. Castro came to power in 1959 after leading a successful revolution against the dictatorial regime of Fulgencio Batista.
The Cuban Revolution of 1959 is one of the bloodiest events in history and a political turning point for Cuba. During the revolution, thousands of citizen were executed for political crimes, with Fidel Castro taking over the government. By 1961, Cuba was a fully communist state with close ties to the Soviet Union. On December 02, 1961 : Castro declared himself a Marxist Leninist. He implemented agrarian reform, expropriated foreign oil company holdings, and eventually seized all foreign-owned property in Cuba. He also established close diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, and the Russians were soon providing economic and military aid. By 1965, Cuba became a fully communist country and developed close ties to the Soviet Union culminating in the stationing of Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba in 1962. Today, Cuba is the only communist state outside of Asia. Following the revolution, the United States imposed a ban on trade with Cuba.
When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Cuba turned to China, Venezuela, and Bolivia as new trade partners and sources of subsidies. The ruling party in Cuba is the Communist Party of Cuba. The party ascribes to the Marxist-Leninist philosophy and its role is described in the Cuban Constitution as the “leading force of the society and of the state.
The original Communist Party of Cuba was formed in the 1920s. It was renamed to Popular Socialist Party in 1944. In 1961, the Integrated Revolutionary Organization. The current CPC was founded on October 3, 1965, with Fidel Castro as the First Secretary of the Central Committee.
At the same time, the United States imposed a ban on all trade with Cuba. Because of this, when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Cuba was forced to find new sources for trade and financial subsidies. It did so in countries including China, Bolivia, and Venezuela.
The Communist dictatorship succeeded in executing thousands of citizens for political crimes. The United States has attempted to eliminate Fidel Castro on several occasions, but failing repetitively.
In 2008, Fidel Castro stepped down and his brother, Raul Castro, became president; Fidel died in 2016.
Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz is a Cuban politician who is currently serving as the First Secretary of the
Communist Party of Cuba, the most senior position in the communist state, succeeding his brother Fidel Castro in April 2011. He was the President of Cuba from 2008–2018 and continues to hold the position of the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba,
Miguel Díaz-Canel became president of the Council of State on 19 April 2018, taking over from Raúl Castro, and has been president of Cuba since 10 October 2019. The president is the second most powerful position, after the first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba
The Cuban Revolution was a bloody event, and Unlike some other Communist nations, Cuba has a respectable healthcare system available to all citizens; it’s ranked one of the best in the world.
"Peace, independence, democracy, unity and prosperity"
The Lao people migrated into Laos from southern China from the 8th century onward. In the 14th century, the first Laotian state was founded, the Lan Xang kingdom, which ruled Laos until it split into three separate kingdoms in 1713. During the 18th century, the three kingdoms came under Siamese (Thai) rule and, in 1893, became a French protectorate. With its territory incorporated into Indochina. A strong nationalist movement developed during World War II, but France reestablished control in 1946 and made the king of Luang Prabang constitutional monarch of all Laos. France granted semiautonomy in 1949 and then, spurred by the Viet Minh rebellion in Vietnam, full independence within the French Union in 1950.
In 1951, Prince Souphanouvong organized the Pathet Lao, a Communist independence movement, in North Vietnam. Viet Minh and Pathet Lao forces invaded central Laos, resulting in civil war. By the Geneva Agreements of 1954 and an armistice of 1955, two northern provinces were given to the Pathet Lao; the rest went to the royal regime. Full sovereignty was given to the kingdom by the Paris Agreements of Dec. 29, 1954. In 1957, Prince Souvanna Phouma, the royal prime minister, and Pathet Lao leader Prince Souphanouvong, the prime minister's half-brother, agreed to reestablishment of a unified government, with Pathet Lao participation and integration of Pathet Lao forces into the royal army. The agreement broke down in 1959, and armed conflict began anew.
In 1960, the struggle became a three-way fight as Gen. Phoumi Nosavan, controlling the bulk of the royal army, set up in the south a pro-Western revolutionary government headed by Prince Boun Oum. General Phoumi took Vientiane in December, driving Souvanna Phouma into exile in Cambodia. The Soviet bloc supported Souvanna Phouma. In 1961, a cease-fire was arranged and the three princes agreed to a coalition government headed by Souvanna Phouma.
But North Vietnam, the U.S. (in the form of CIA personnel), and China remained active in Laos after the settlement. North Vietnam used a supply line (Ho Chi Minh Trail) running down the mountain valleys of eastern Laos into Cambodia and South Vietnam, particularly after the U.S.–South Vietnamese incursion into Cambodia in 1970 stopped supplies via Cambodian seaports.
An agreement reached in 1973 revived the coalition government. The Communist Pathet Lao seized complete power in 1975, installing Souphanouvong as president and Kaysone Phomvihane as prime minister. Since then, other parties and political groups have been moribund and most of their leaders have fled the country. The monarchy was abolished on Dec. 2, 1975, when the Pathet Lao ousted the coalition government and King Sisavang Vatthana abdicated.
One-Party Rule Continues as International Relations Improve
New Laos leaders take office as communists
During the 1990s, the country began making more diplomatic overtures toward its neighbors. The Supreme People's Assembly in Aug. 1991 adopted a new constitution that dropped all references to socialism but retained the one-party state. In addition to implementing market-oriented policies, the country has passed laws governing property, inheritance, and contractsIn 1995, the U.S.
announced a lifting of its ban on aid to the nation. By most international estimates, Laos is one of the 10 poorest countries in the world. The subsistence farmers who make up more than 80% of the population have been plagued with bad agricultural conditions—alternately floods and drought—since 1993.
Since March 2000, Vientiane has been rocked by a series of unexplained blasts. The activity has been widely attributed to a group of Hmong tribesmen based in the north. The anti-Communist rebel group has been protesting the government's reluctance to embrace democratic reforms. Others attribute the bombs to rival factions in the government or military.
In Feb. 2002 parliamentary elections, 165 out of 166 candidates were members of the governing Lao People's Revolutionary Party. In 2006, Choummaly Sayasone became party secretary-general and president of Laos. First Deputy Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh became prime minister.
Supported by both neighboring Vietnam and the Soviet Union, Laos underwent a Communist revolution in 1975. The nation’s governing system is run by high-ranked officials in Laos’ military. Laos has historically been largely influenced by Vietnam’s Communist government–leaving it largely isolated from trade with the rest of the world, among other consequences to its economic development.
Laos has been accused of committing genocide against the nation’s Hmong minority. In fact, during the late 1900s the United States received hundreds of thousands of Hmong refugees who were fleeing their homeland’s communist repression and persecution. Today Laos is ranked #23 of the world’s poorest countries.
Laos—officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic—became a communist country in 1975 following a revolution supported by Vietnam and the Soviet Union. The country had previously been a monarchy.
Laos' government is largely run by military generals who support a one-party system grounded in Marxist ideals. In 1988 though, the country began allowing some forms of private ownership, and it joined the World Trade Organization in 2013.
Vietnam was partitioned at a 1954 conference that followed the First Indochina War. While the partition was supposed to be temporary, North Vietnam became communist and was supported by the Soviet Union while South Vietnam became democratic and was supported by the United States. Following two decades of war, the two parts of Vietnam were unified, and in 1976, Vietnam as a unified country became communist.
Like other communist countries, Vietnam has, in recent decades, moved toward a market economy that has seen some of its socialist ideals supplanted by capitalism. It remained a truly communist state until 1986 when it started reaching out for international support leading to several political reforms.
The founding and ruling party in Vietnam is the Communist Party of Vietnam. CPV has been the only legal party in the country since 1988 and its supremacy is guaranteed by the constitution. The party has maintained a unitary government and has control over the media, state, and military. The Vietnamese and the country’s press refer to CPV a “Dang ta” meaning “Our Party.” The current General Secretary of the Central Committee is Nguyen Phu Trong.
Economic and political reforms have spurred rapid growth in Vietnam as 45 million people were lifted out of poverty from 2002-2018, according to The World Bank. The provision of basic services had improved in the past three decades and its GDP per capita has increased