Advertisement

The Power and Impotence of the Marxian Idea of Communism

  • Michael Brie
Chapter
Part of the Marx, Engels, and Marxisms book series (MAENMA)

Abstract

The strategy of the Bolshevik government was not all that changed after the shift from War Communism to the New Economic Policy (NEP) in 1921–1922. The relationship of many bourgeois forces and Russian intellectuals to the Soviet power also shifted. As Part 3 illustrates, the Soviet government adopted various liberal measures both economic and cultural. On the other side, as mentioned above, punitive law was tightened on Lenin’s direct orders and many intellectuals were expelled from Russia. The Communist Party was concerned with maintaining its ideological and political monopoly. The latter appeared all the more threatened given that NEP increased the government’s dependence not only on the cooperation of the peasantry—a sector which had grown aware of its own interests and power—but also on the ‘bourgeois specialists’ and their professional expertise. Moreover, in an attempt to rebuild the economy, the support of relevant foreign actors was also to be pursued. To many this shift of policies seemed to be a distortion of Marx’s ideas on socialism and communism. The following chapter analysis these ideas in the form they influenced the Second International and looks back on Marx’s own search for a communist solution for the contradictions of complex bourgeois societies.

Bibliography

  1. Bakunin, Michail. 1971. The International and Karl Marx. In Bakunin on Anarchy, ed. Sam Dolgoff, 286–320. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.Google Scholar
  2. Bakunin, Michael. 2005. Statism and Anarchy. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bloch, Ernst. 1986. Natural Law and Human Dignity. Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  4. Brie, Michael. 2015. Wie der Sozialismus praktisch wurde. Robert Owen – Reformer, Visionär, Experimentator. Philosophische Gespräche, Heft 40. Berlin: Helle Panke.Google Scholar
  5. ———. 2018. Foreshadowing of the Future in the Critical Analysis of the Present. In The Unfinished System of Karl Marx. Critically Reading Capital as a Challenge for Our Times, ed. Judith Dellheim and Frieder Otto Wolf, 331–358. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  6. Bukharin, Nikolai, and Evgenii Preobrazhensky. 1922. The ABC of Communism. A Popular Explanation of the Program of the Communist Party of Russia. Trans. Eden Paul and Cedar Paul. Communist Party of Great Britain.Google Scholar
  7. Buonarroti, Philippo. 1836. Buonarroti’s History of Babeuf’s Conspiracy for Equality. London: Hetherington.Google Scholar
  8. Chrysis, Alexandros. 2018. ‘True Democracy’ as a Prelude to Communism. The Marx of Democracy. New York: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Feuerbach, Ludwig. 1996a. Vorläufige Thesen zu einer Reformation der Philosophie (1842). In Entwürfe zu einer Neuen Philosophie. Hrsg. von Walter Jaeschke und Werner Schuffenhauer, 3–24. Hamburg: Felix Meiner.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. ———. 1996b. Grundsätze der Philosophie der Zukunft (1843). In Entwürfe zu einer Neuen Philosophie. Hrsg. von Walter Jaeschke und Werner Schuffenhauer, 25–99. Hamburg: Felix Meiner.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Haug, Wolfgang Fritz. 2007. Zur Dialektik des Antikapitalismus. Argument 269: 11–34.Google Scholar
  12. Hegel, G.W.F. 2008. Outlines of the Philosophy of Right. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Höppner, Joachim, and Waltraud Seidel-Höppner, eds. 1975. Von Babeuf bis Blanqui. Französischer Sozialismus und Kommunismus vor Marx. Band II: Texte. Leipzig: Reclam.Google Scholar
  14. Hudis, Peter. 2012. Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism. Leiden/Boston: Brill.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jaeschke, Walter, ed. 2010. Hegel-Handbuch: Leben – Werk – Schule. Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler.Google Scholar
  16. Kautsky, Karl. 1899. Das Erfurter Programm. In seinem grundsätzlichen Teil erläutert. Dritte Auflage. Stuttgart: Dietz.Google Scholar
  17. ———. 1916. The Social Revolution (1902). Trans. A.M. Simon and May Wood Simons. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr and Company.Google Scholar
  18. Kornai, János. 1992. The Socialist System. The Political Economy of Communism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Levine, Norman. 2015. Marx’s Rebellion Against Lenin. New York: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lorenz, Ina Susanne. 2001. Eugen Richter. Der entschiedene Liberalismus in wilhelminischer Zeit 1871 bis 1906. Husum: Matthiesen Verlag.Google Scholar
  21. Marx, Karl. 1981. Historisch-politische Notizen (Kreuznacher Hefte 1–5): Notizen zur Geschichte Frankreichs, Venedigs und Polens und Exzerpte aus staatstheoretischen Werken (Heft 2). In MEGA, IV. Abt., Bd. 2: Exzerpte und Notizen 1843 bis Januar 1845, 63–122 and 623–642. Berlin: Dietz Verlag Berlin.Google Scholar
  22. Neurath, Otto. 1973. In Empiricism and Sociology, ed. Marie Neurath and Robert S. Cohen. Dordrecht/Boston: D. Reidel Publishing Company.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Proudhon, Pierre-Joseph. 1970. Brief an Karl Marx vom 17. Mai 1846. In Der Bund der Kommunisten. Dokumente und Materialien, Bd. 1: 1836–1849, 1036–1040. Berlin: Dietz Verlag.Google Scholar
  24. ———. 2003. What Is Property? Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Richter, Eugen. 1912. Pictures of the Socialistic Future (Freely Adapted from Bebel) (1891). Trans. Henry Wright. London: Gorge Allen & Company.Google Scholar
  26. Roberts, William Clare. 2016. Marx’s Inferno: The Political Theory of Capital. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Roessler, Shirley Elson. 1996. Out of the Shadows. Women and Politics in the French Revolution, 1789–1795. New York et al.: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  28. Röttgers, Kurt. 1975. Kritik und Praxis. Zur Geschichte des Kritikbegriffs von Kant bis Marx. Berlin/New York: De Gruyter.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 2002. The Social Contract. In The Social Contract and the First and Second Discourses. Edited and with an Introduction by Susan Dunn, 149–254. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Ruben, Peter. 1995. Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft – erneut betrachtet. In Philosophische Schriften – Online-Edition.Google Scholar
  31. Schieder, Wolfgang. 1982. Kommunismus. In Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe. Historisches Lexikon zur politisch-sozialen Sprache in Deutschland, Bd. 5, ed. Otto Brunner, Werner Conze, and Reinhart Koselleck, vol. 3, 455–529. Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta.Google Scholar
  32. Schumpeter, Joseph A. 1939. Business Cycles. Volume One: A Theoretical, Historical, and Statistical Analysis of the Capitalist Process. New York/London: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  33. ———. 1994. Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  34. Soboul, Albert. 1962. Die Sektionen von Paris im Jahre II. Berlin: Rütten & Loening.Google Scholar
  35. SPD. 1891. Protokoll über die Verhandlungen des Parteitages der Sozialdemokratischen Partei Deutschlands, abgehalten zu Erfurt. Berlin: Vorwärts.Google Scholar
  36. Steinitz, Klaus, and Dieter Walter. 2014. Plan – Markt – Demokratie. Prognose und langfristige Planung in der DDR – Schlussfolgerungen für morgen. Hamburg: VSA.Google Scholar
  37. Tönnies, Ferdinand. 2001. Community and Civil Society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Valentinov (Vol’ski), Nikolai N. 1991. Novaja ėkonomičeskaja politik i krizis partii posle smerti Lenina (New Economic Policy and the Crisis of the Party After the Death of Lenin). Moskva: Sovremennik.Google Scholar
  39. Widmann, Arno. 2017. 150 Jahre “Das Kapital”. Warum der Tauchgang von Karl Marx immer noch lesenswert ist. Berliner Zeitung, September 13.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Brie
    • 1
  1. 1.Rosa Luxemburg StiftungInstitute for Critical Social AnalysisBerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations