The New Class An Analysis of the Communist System Milo Djilas

I have tried to detach myself from my personal problems by
not submitting to them. My circumstances are, at best, un-
crtain and I am therefore compelled to express my personal
observations and experiences hastily; a more detailed examina-
tion of my personal situation might some day supplement and
perhaps even change some of my conclusions.

I cannot describe all the dimensions of the conflict in the painful course of our contemporary world. Nor do I pretend to know any world outside the Communist world, in which I had either the fortune or misfortune to live. When I speak of
a world outside my own, I do so only to put my own world in
perspective, to make its reality clearer.




Almost everything in this book has been expressed some-
where else, and in a different way. Perhaps a new flavor, color,
and mood, and some new thoughts, may be found here. That
is something— in fact, quite enough. Each man’s experiences
are unique, worthy of communication to his fellow men.

The reader should not seek in this book some kind of social
or other philosophy, not even where I make generalized state-
ments. My aim has been to present a picture of the Communist
world but not to philosophize about it by means of generaliza-
tions— even though I have sometimes found generalization

The method of detached observation seemed to me the most
suitable one for presenting my material. My premises could
have been strengthened and my conclusions could have been
proved by quotations, statistics, and recitals of events. In order
to be as simple and concise as possible, I have instead expressed
my observations through reasoning and logical deduction, keep-
ing quotations and statistics to a minimum.

I think my method is appropriate for my personal story and
for my method of working and thinking.

During my adult life I have traveled the entire road open to
a Communist: from the lowest to the highest rung of the hier-
archical ladder, from local and national to international forums,
and from the formation of the true Communist Party and
organization of the revolution to the establishment of the so-
called socialist society. No one compelled me to embrace or to
reject Communism. I made my own decision according to my
convictions, freely, in so far as a man can be free. Even though
I was disillusioned, I do not belong to those whose disillnsiorx-
ment was sharp and extreme. I cut myself off gradually and
consciously, building up the picture and conclusions I present
in this book. As I became increasingly estranged from the re-
ality of contemporary Communism, I came closer to the idea
of democratic socialism. This personal evolution is also reflected


in this book, although the book’s primary purpose is not to
trace this evolution.

I consider it superfluous to criticize Communism as an idea.
The ideas of equality and brotherhood among men, which
have existed in varying forms since human society began— and
which contemporary Communism accepts in word-are prin-
ciples to which fighters for progress and freedom will always
aspire. It would be wrong to criticize these basic ideas, as well
as vain and foolish. The struggle to achieve them is part of
human society.

Nor have I engaged in detailed criticism of Communist
theory, although such criticism is needed and useful. I have
concentrated on a description of contemporary Communism,
touching upon theory only where necessary.

It is impossible to express all my observations and exper-
iences in a work as brief as this one. I have stated only the most,
essential of them, using generalizations where they were un-

This account may appear strange to those who live in the
non-Communist world; it. would not seem unusual to those who
live in the Communist one: I claim no exclusive credit or dis-
tinction for presenting the picture of that world, nor for the
ideas concerning it. They are simply the picture and ideas of
the world in which I live. I am a product of that world. I have
contributed to it. Now I am one of its critics.

Only on the surface is this inconsistent. I have struggled in
the past, and am struggling now, for a better world. That strug-
gle may not produce the desired results. Nevertheless, the logic
of my action is contained in the length and continuity of that




Character of the Revolution


The New Class


The Party State


Dogmatism in the Economy


Tyranny over the Mind


The Atm and The Means


The Essence


National Communism


The Present-Day World



1 .

The roots of modern Communism reach back very far, al-
though they were dormant before the development of modern
industry in western Europe. Communism’s basic ideas are the
Primacy of Matter and the Reality of Change, ideas borrowed
from thinkers of the period just before the inception of Com-
munism. As Communism endures and gains strength, these
basic ideas play a less and less important role. This is under-
standable: once in power. Communism tends to remodel the
rest of the world according to its own ideas and tends less and
less to change itself.

Dialectics and materialism— the changing of the world inde-
pendently of human will— formed the basis of the old, classical,
Marxist Communism. These basic ideas were not originated
by Communist theorists, such as Marx or Engels. They bor-
rowed them and wove them into a whole, thus forming,
unintentionally, the basis for a new conception of the world.

The idea of the Primacy of Matter was borrowed from the
French materialists of the eighteenth century. Earlier thinkers,
including Democritus in ancient Greece, had expressed it in a
different way. The idea of the reality of change, caused by the
struggle of opposites, called Dialectics, was taken over from



Hegel; the same idea had been expressed in a different way by
Heraclitus in ancient Greece.

Without going into the details oE the differences between
Marxist ideas and preceding similar theories, it is necessary to
point out that Hegel, in presenting the idea of the Reality of
Change, retained the concept of an unchanging supreme law,
or the Idea of the Absolute. As he expressed it, in the last analy-
sis there are unchangeable laws which, independently of human
will, govern nature, society, and human beings.

Although stressing the idea of the Reality of Change, Marx,
and especially Engels, stated that the laws of the objective or
material world were unchangeable and independent of human
beings. Marx was certain that he would discover the basic laws
governing life and society, just as Darwin had discovered the
laws govern iug living creatures. At any rate, Marx did clarify
some social laws, particularly the way in which these laws
operated in the period of early industrial capitalism.

This fact alone, even if accepted as accurate, cannot in itself
justify the contention of modem Communists that Marx dis-
covered all the laws of society. Still less can it justify their at-
tempt to model society after those ideas in the same way that
livestock is bred on the basis of the discoveries of Lamarck and
Darwin. Human society cannot be compared to species of ani-
mals or to inanimate objects; it is composed of individuals and
groups which are continuously and consciously active in it,
growing and changing.

In the pretensions of contemporary Communism of being,
if not the unique and absolute, but in any case the highest
science, based on dialectical materialism, are hidden the seeds
of its despotism. The origin of these pretensions can be found
in the ideas of Marx, though Marx himself did not anticipate

Of course, contemporary Communism does not deny the
existence of an objective or unchanging body of laws. However,
when in power, it acts in an entirely different manner toward


human society and the individual, and uses methods to estab-
lish its power different from those its theories would suggest.

Beginning with the premise that they alone know the laws
which govern society, Communists arrive at the oversimplified
and unscientific conclusion that this alleged knowledge gives
them the power and the exclusive right to change society and
to control its activities. This is the major error of their system.

Hegel claimed that the absolute monarchy in Prussia was
the incarnation of his idea of the Absolute. The Communists,
on the other hand, claim that they represent the incarnation
of the objective aspirations of society. Here is more than just
one difference between the Communists and Hegel; there is
also a difference between the Communists and absolute mon-
archy. The monarchy did not think quite as highly of itself as
the Communists do of themselves, nor was it as absolute as
they are.

2 .

Hegel himself was probably troubled by the possible con-
clusions to be drawn from his own discoveries. For instance,
if everything was constantly being transformed, what would
happen to his own ideas and to the society which he wanted
to preserve? As a professor by royal appointment he could
not have dared, in any case, to make public recommendations
for the improvement of society on the basis of his philosophy.

This was not the case with Marx. As a young man he took
an active part in the 1848 revolution. He went to extremes in
drawing conclusions from Hegel’s ideas. Was not the bloody
class struggle raging all over Europe straining toward something
new and higher? It appeared not only that Hegel was right—
that is, Hegel as interpreted by Marx— but also that philo-
sophical systems no longer had meaning and justification, since
science was discovering objective laws so rapidly, including
those applicable to society.


In science, Comte’s positivism had already triumphed as a
method of inquiry; the English school of political economy
(Smith, Ricardo, and others) was at its height; epochal laws
were being discovered from day to day in the natural sciences;
modem industry was carving out its path on the basis of scien-
tific technology; and the wounds of young capitalism revealed
themselves in the suffering and the beginning struggle of the
proletariat. Apparently this was the onset of the domination
of science, even over society, and the elimination of the capital-
istic concept of ownership as the final obstacle to human happi-
ness and freedom.

The time %yas ripe for one great conclusion. Marx had both
the daring and the depth to express it, bnt there were no social
forces available on which he could rely.

Marx was a scientist and an ideologist. As a scientist, he made
important discoveries, particularly in sociology. As an ideol-
ogist, he furnished the ideological basis for the greatest and
most important political movements of modern history, which
took place first in Europe and are now taking place in Asia.

But, just because he was a scientist, economist, and sociol-
ogist, Marx never thought of constructing an all-inclusive
philosophical or ideological system. He once said; “One thing
is certain; I am not a Marxist.” His great scientific talent gave
him the greatest advantage over all his socialist predecessors,
such as Owen and Fourier. The fact that he did not insist on
ideological alldnclusiveness or his own philosophical system
gave him an even greater advantage over his disciples. Most of
the latter were ideologists and only to a very limited degree—
as the examples of Plekhanov, Labriola, Lenin, Kautsky, and
Stalin will show— scientists. Their main desire was to construct
a system out of Marx’s ideas; this was especially true of those
who knew little philosophy and had even less talent for it. As the
time passed, Marx’s successors revealed a tendency to present
his teachings as a finite and all-inclusive concept of the world,
and to regard themselves as responsible for the continuation


of all of Marx’s work, which they considered as being virtually’
complete. Science gradually yielded to propaganda, and as a
result, propaganda tended more and more to represent itself
as science.

Being a product of his time, Marx denied the need for any
kind of philosophy. His closest friend, Engels, declared that
philosophy had died with the development of science. Marx’s
thesis was not at all original. The so-called scientific philosophy,
especially after Comte’s positivism and Feuerbach’s mater-
ialism, had become the general fashion.

It is easy to understand why Marx denied both the need for
and the possibility of establishing any kind of philosophy. It
is harder to understand why his successors tried to arrange his
ideas into an all-inclusive system, into a new, exclusive philos-
ophy. Even though they denied the need for any kind of
philosophy, in practice they created a dogma of their own which
they considered to be the “most scientific” or the “only scien-
tific” system. In a period of general scientific enthusiasm and
of great changes brought about in everyday life and industry
by science, they could not help but be materialists and to
consider themselves the “only” representatives of the “only”
scientific view and method, particularly since they represented
a social stratum which was in conflict with all the accepted
ideas of the time.

Marx’s ideas were influenced by the scientific atmosphere of
his time, by his own leanings toward science, and by his revolm
tionary aspiration to give to the working-class movement a
more or less scientific basis. His disciples were influenced
by a different environment and by different motives when they
converted his views into dogma.

If the political needs of the working-class movement in
Europe had not demanded a new ideology complete in itself,
the philosophy that calls itself Marxist, the dialectical material-
ism, would have been forgotten— dismissed as something not
particularly profound or even original, though Marx’s eco-


nomic and social studies are of the highest scientific and literary

The strength of Marxist philosophy did not lie in its scien-
tific elements, but in its connection with a mass movement, and
most of all in its emphasis on the objective of changing society.
It stated again and again that the existing world would change
simply because it had to change, that it bore the seeds of its
own opposition and destruction; that the working class wanted
this change and would be able to effect it. Inevitably, the influ-
ence of this philosophy increased and created in the European
working-class movement the illusion that it was omnipotent,
at least as a method. In countries where similar conditions did
not exist, such as Great Britain and the United States, the
influence and importance of this philosophy was insignificant,
despite the strength of the working class and the working-class

As a science, Marxist philosophy was not important, since it
was based mainly on Hegelian and materialistic ideas. As the
ideology of the new, oppressed classes and especially of political
movements, it marked an epoch, first in Europe, and later in
Russia and Asia, providing the basis for a new political move-
ment and a new social system.

3 *

Maix thought that the replacement, of capitalist society
would be brought about by a revolutionary struggle between
its two basic classes, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The
clash seemed all the more likely to him because in the capital-
istic system of that time both poverty and wealth kept increas-
ing unchecked, on the opposite poles of a society that was
shaken by periodic economic crises.

In the last analysis, Marxist teaching was the product of the


industrial revolution or of the struggle of the industrial prole-
tariat for a better life. It was no accident that the frightful
poverty and brutalization of the masses which accompanied in-
dustrial change had a powerful influence on Marx. His most
important work. Das Kapital, contains a numher of important
and stirring pages on this topic. The recurring crises, which
were characteristic of the capitalism of the nineteenth century,
together with the poverty and the rapid increase of the popula-
tion, logically led Marx to the belief that revolution was the
only solution. Marx did not consider revolution to be inevita-
ble in all countries, particularly not in those where democratic
institutions were already a tradition of social life. He cited as
examples of such countries, in one of his talks, the Netherlands,
Great Britain and the United States. However, one can con-
clude from his ideas, taken as a whole, that the inevitability
of revolution was one of his basic beliefs. He believed in revo-
lution and preached it; he was a revolutionary.

Marx’s revolutionary ideas, which were conditional and not.
universally applicable, were changed by Lenin into absolute and
universal principles. In The Infantile Disorder of “ Left-Wing ’*
Communism , perhaps his most dogmatic work, Lenin devel-
oped these principles still more, differing with Marx’s position
that revolution was avoidable in certain countries. He said that
Great Britain could no longer be regarded as a country in
which revolution was avoidable, because during the First
World War she had become a militaristic power, and therefore
the British ’working class had no other choice but revolution.
Lenin erred, not only in his failure to understand that “British
militarism” was only a temporary, wartime phase of develop-
ment, but because he failed to foresee the further development
of democracy and economic progress in Great Britain or other
Western countries. He also did not understand the nature of
the English trade-union movement. He placed too much em-
phasis on his own, or Marxian, deterministic, scientific ideas
and paid too little attention to the objective social role and



potentialities of the working class in more highly developed
countries. Although he disclaimed it, he did in fact proclaim
his theories and the Russian revolutionary experience to be
universally applicable.

According to Marx’s hypothesis and his conclusions on the
subject, the revolution would occur first of all in the highly
developed capitalist countries. Marx believed that the results
of the revolution-— that is, the new socialist society— would lead
to a new and higher level of freedom than that prevalent in
the existing society, in so-called liberal capitalism. This is
understandable. In the very act of rejecting various types of
capitalism, Marx was at the same time a product of his epoch,
the liberal capitalist epoch.

In developing the Marxist stand that capitalism must be re-
placed not only by a higher economic and social form— that is,
socialism— but by a higher form of human freedom, the Social
Democrats justifiably considered themselves to be Maix’s suc-
cessors. They had no less right to this claim than the Com-
munists, who cited Marx as the source of their idea that the
replacement of capitalism can take place only by revolutionary
means. However, both groups of Marxs followers— the Social
Democrats and the Communists — were only partly right in cit-
ing him as the basis for their ideas. In citing Marx’s ideas they
were defending their own practices, which had originated in a
different, and already changed society. And, although both
cited and depended on Marxist ideas, the Social Democratic and
Communist movements developed in different directions.

In countries where political and economic progress was dif-
ficult, and where the working class played a weak role in society,
the need arose slowly to make a system and a dogma out of
Marxist teaching. Moreover, in countries where economic forces
and social relations were not yet ripe for industrial change, as in
Russia and later in China, the adoption and dogmatization of
the revolutionary aspects of Marxist teachings was more rapid
and complete. There was emphasis on revolution by the work-


ing-class movement. In snch countries, Marxism grew stronger
and stronger and, with the victory of the revolutionary party, it
became the dominant ideology.

In countries such as Germany, where the degree of political
and economic progress made revolution unnecessary, the demo-
cratic aud reformist aspects of Marxist teaching, rather than
the revolutionary ones, dominated. The anti-dogmatic ideologi-
cal and political tendencies generated an emphasis on reform
by the working-class movement.

In the first case, the ties with Marx were strengthened, at
least in outward appearance. In the second case, they were

Social development and the development of ideas led to a
severe schism in the European socialist movement. Roughly
speaking, the changes in political and economic conditions co-
incided with changes in the ideas of the socialist theorists,
because they interpreted reality in a relative manner, that is,
in an incomplete and one-sided way, from their own partisan
point of view.

Lenin in Russia and Bernstein in Germany are the two ex-
tremes through which the different changes, social and eco-
nomic, and the different “realities” of the working-class move-
ments found expression.

Almost nothing; remained of original Marxism. In the West
it had died out or was in the process of dying out; in the East,
as a result of the establishment of Communist rule, only a res-
idue of formalism and dogmatism remained of Marx’s dialectics
and materialism; this was used for the purpose of cementing
power, justifying tyranny, and violating human conscience.
Although it had in fact also been abandoned in the East, Marx-
ism operated there as a rigid dogma with increasing power. It
was more than an idea there; it was a new government, a new
economy, a new social system.

Although Marx had furnished his disciples with the impetus
for such development, he had very little desire for such develop-


ment nor did he expect it, History betrayed this great master
as it has others who have attempted to interpret its laws.

What has been the nature of the development since Marx?

In the 1870’s, the formation of corporations and monopolies
had begun in countries where the industrial revolution had
already taken place, such as Germany, England, and die United
States. This development was in full swing by the beginning
of the twentieth century. Scientific analyses were made of it
by Hohson, Hilferding, and others. Lenin, in Imperialism, the
Final Stage of Capitalism, made a political analysis, based
mainly on these authors, containing predictions which have
proved mostly inaccurate.

Marx’s theories ahout the increasing impoverishment of the
working class were not borne out by developments in those
countries from which his theories had been derived. However,
as Hugh Seton-Watson states in From Lenin to Malenkov *
they appeared to be reasonably accurate for the most part in
the case of the agrarian East European countries. Thus, while
in the West his stature was reduced to that of a historian and
scholar, Marx became the prophet of a new era in eastern
Europe. His teachings had an intoxicating effect, similar to a
new religion.

The situation in western Europe that contributed to the
theories of Engels and Marx is described by Andre Manrois in
die Yngoslav edition of The History of England:

When Engels visited Manchester in 1844, he found 350,000
workers crushed and crowded into damp, dirty, broken-down
houses where they breathed an atmosphere resembling a mix-
ture of water and coal. In the mines, he saw half-naked
women, who were treated like die lowest of draft animals.
Children spent the day in dark tunnels, where they were
employed in opening and closing the primitive openings for
ventilation, and in other difficult tasks. In the lace industry,
exploitation reached such a point that four-year-old children
w x orked for virtually no pay.

• New York. Frederick A. Praeger, 1953.


Engels lived to see an entirely different picture of Great
Britain, but he saw a still more horrible and— what is more
important— hopeless poverty in Russia, the Balkans, Asia and

Technological improvements brought about vast and con-
crete changes in the West, immense from every point of view.
They led to the formation of monopolies, and to the partition
of the world into spheres of interest for the developed countries
and for the monopolies. They also led to the First World War
and the October Revolution.

In the developed countries the rapid rise in production and
the acquisition of colonial sources of materials and markets
materially changed the position of the working class. The strug-
gle for reform, for better material conditions, together with
the adoption of parliamentary forms of government, became
more real and valuable than revolutionary ideals. In such places
revolution became nonsensical and unrealistic.

The countries which were not yet industrialized, particularly
Russia, were in an entirely different situation. They found
themselves in a dilemma; they had either to become industrial-
ized, or to discontinue active participation on the stage of
history, turning into captives of the developed countries and
their monopolies, thus doomed to degeneracy. Local capital
and the class and parties representing it were too weak to solve
the problems of rapid industrialization. In these countries revo-
lution became an inescapable necessity, a vital need for the na-
tion, and only one class could bring it about— the proletariat,
or the revolutionary party representing it.

The reason for this is that there is an immutable law-that
each human society and all individuals participating in it strive
to increase and perfect production. In doing this they come in
conflict with other societies and individuals, so that they com-
pete with each other in order to survive. This increase and
expansion of production constantly faces natural and social
barriers, such as individual, political, legal, and international


customs and relationships. Since it must overcome obstacles,
society, that is, those who at a given moment represent its
productive forces, must eliminate, change, or destroy the ob-
stacles which arise either inside or outside its boundaries.
Classes, parties, political systems, political ideas, are an expres-
sion of this ceaseless pattern of movement and stagnation.

No society or nation allows production to lag to such an
extent that its existence is threatened. To lag means to die.
People never die willingly; they are ready to undergo any sacri-
fice to overcome the difficulties which stand in the way of their
economic production and their existence.

The environment and the material and intellectual level de-
termine the method, forces, and means that will be used to
bring about the development and expansion of production,
and the social results which follow. However, the necessity for
the development and expansion of production— under any ideo-
logical banner or social force— does not depend on individuals;
because they wish to survive, societies and nations find the
leaders and ideas which, at a given moment, are best suited to
that which they must and wish to attain.

Revolutionary Marxism was transplanted during the period
of monopolistic capitalism from the industrially developed
West to countries of the industrially undeveloped East, such as
Russia and China. This is about the time when socialist move-
ments were developing in the East and West. This stage
of the socialist movement began with its unification and central-
ization in the Second International, and ended with a division
into the Social Democratic (reform) wing and the Communist
(revolutionary) wing, leading to the revolution in Russia and
the formation of the Third International.

In countries where there was no other way of bringing about
industrialization, there were special national reasons for the
Communist revolution. Revolutionary movements existed in
semi-feudal Russia over half a century before the appearance
of the Marxists in the late nineteenth century. IVforeover, there


were urgent and specific concrete reasons— international, eco-
nomic, political— for revolution. The basic reason— the vital
need for industrial change— was common to all the countries
such as Russia, China, and Yugoslavia, where revolution took

It was historically inevitable that most of the European
socialist movements after Marx were not only materialistic and
Marxist, hut to a considerable degree ideologically exclusive.
Against them were united all the forces of the old society:
church, school, private ownership, government and, more im-
portant, the vast power machinery which the European coun-
tries had developed since early times in the face of the constant
continental wars.

Anyone who wants to change the world fundamentally must
first, a of all interpret it fundamentally and “without error.”
movement must be ideologically exclusive, especially
it if reyp’filtion is the only way victory can be won. And if this
^paovement is successful, its very success must strengthen its be-
ifefs^nd ideas. Though successes through “adventurous” par-
liamentary methods and strikes strengthened the reformist trend
in the German and other Social Democratic parties, the Russian
workers, who could not improve their position by one kopeck
without hloody liquidations, had no choice but to use weapons
to escape despair and death by starvation.

The other countries of eastern Europe— Poland, Czecho-
slovakia, Hungary, Rumania, and Bulgaria— do not fall under
this rule, at least not the first three countries. They did not
experience a revolution, since the Communist system was im-
posed on them by the power of the Soviet Army. They did not
even press for industrial change, at least not by the Communist
method, for some of them had already attained it. In these
countries, revolution was imposed from the outside and from
above, by foreign bayonets and the machinery of force. The
Communist, movements were weak, except in the most devel-
oped of the countries, Czechoslovakia, where the Communist



movement, had closely resembled leftist and parliamentary
socialist movements up to the time of direct Soviet intervention
in the war and the coup d’etat of February 1948. Since the Com-
munists in these countries were weak, the substance and form
oE their Communism had to be identical with that of the
U.S.S.R. The U.S.S.R. imposed its system on them, and the
domestic Communists adopted it gladly. The weaker Com-
munism was, the more it had to imitate even in form its „big
brother”— totalitarian Russian Communism.

Countries such as France and Italy, which had relatively
strong Communist movements, had a hard time keeping up
with the industrially better-developed countries, and thus ran
into social difficulties. Since they had already passed through
democratic and industrial revolutions, their Communist move-
ments differed greatly from those in Russia, Yugoslavia, and
China. Therefore, in France and Italy revolution did not have
a real chance. Since they were living and operating in an envi-
ronment of political democracy, even the leaders of their Com-
munist parties were not able to free themselves entirely of par-
liamentary illusions. As far as revolution was concerned, they
tended to rely mote on the international Communist move-
ment and the aid of the U.S.S.R than on their own revolutionary 7
power. Their followers, considering their leaders to be fighters
against poverty and misery, naively believed that the party was
fighting for a broader and truer democracy.

Modern Communism began as an idea with the inception of
modem industry. It is dying out or being eliminated in those
countries where industrial development has achieved its basic
aims. It flourishes in those countries where this has not yet

The historical role of Communism in the undeveloped coun-
tries has determined the course and the character of the revolu-
tion which it has had to bring about.

Character of the Revolution

1 .

History shows that in countries where Communist revolu-
tions have taken place other parties too have been dissatisfied
with existing conditions. The best example is Russia, where the
party which accomplished the Communist revolution was not

the only revolutionary party. . ,

However, only the Communist parties were both re ol –
tionary in their opposition to the status quo and staunc an
consistent in their support of the industrial trans ormattonjn
practice, this meant a radical destruction of established owner-
ship relations. No other party went so far m this respect. None

was “industrial” to that degree. , •

It is less clear why these parties had to be socialist in their
nro-^am. Under the backward conditions existing in Czans
Russia, capitalist private ownership not only showed itself in-
capable of rapid industrial transformation, but actually ob-
structed it. The private property class had developed m a
country in which extremely powerful feudal relationships still
existed, while monopolies of more developed countries retame
their grip ou this enormous area abounding in raw materials

and markets. . , . . ^

t . — > „ccri ;irrnrd irKi to its history, had to be a latecom



with respect to the industrial revolution. It is the only Euro-
pean country which did not pass through the Reformation and
the Renaissance. It did not have anything like the medieval
European city-states* Backward, semi-feudal, with absolutist
monarchy and a bureaucratic centralism, with a rapid increase
of the proletariat in several centers, Russia found herself in
the whirlpool of modern world capitalism, and in the snares
of the financial interests of the gigantic banking centers.

Lenin states in his work Imperialism > the Final Stage of
Capitalism that three-fourths of the capital of the large banks in
Russia was in the hands of foreign capitalists. Trotsky in his
history of the Russian revolution emphasizes that foreigners
controlled forty per cent of the shares of industrial capital in
Russia, and that this percentage was even greater in some lead’
ing industries. As for Yugoslavia, foreigners had a decisive
influence in the most important branches of Yugoslav economy.
These facts alone do not prove anything. But they show that
foreign capitalists used their power to check progress in these
countries, to develop them exclusively as their own sources of
raw materials and cheap labor, with the result that these na-
tions became unprogressive and even began to decline.

The party which had the historic task of carrying out the
revolution in these countries had to be anti-capitalistic in its
internal policy and anti-imperialistic in its foreign policy.

Internally, domestic capital was weak, and rvas largely an
instrument or affiliate of foreign capital. It was not the cap-
italist class but another class, the proletariat which was arising
from the increasing poverty of the peasantry, that was vitally
interested in the industrial revolution. Just as the elimination
of outrageous exploitation was a matter of life arid death for
those who already were proletarians, so was industrialization a
matter of survival for those who in their turn were about to
become proletarians. The movement which represented both
of these had to be anti-capitalistic, that is, socialistic in its
ideas, slogans and pledges.


The revolutionary party could not seriously contemplate exe-
cution of an industrial revolution unless it concentrated all do-
mestic resources in its own hands, particularly those of native
capitalists against whom the masses were also embittered because
of severe exploitation and the use of inhumane methods. The
revolutionary party had to take a similar stand against foreign

Other parties were unable to follow a similar program. All
of them either aspired to a return to the old system, to preserva-
tion of vested, static relationships; or at best, to gradual and
peaceful development. Even the parties which were anti-capital-
istic, as for example the SRs (Socialist-Revolutionary Party) in
Russia, aspired toward returning society to idyllic primitive
peasant life. Even the socialist parties such as the Mensheviks
in Russia did not go farther than to push for the violent over-
throw of the barriers to free capitalist development. They took
the point of view that it was necessary to have fully developed
capitalism in order to arrive at socialism later. However, the
problem here was different; both a return to the old system and
unhampered development of capitalism were impossible for
these countries. Neither solution was capable, under the given
international and internal conditions, of resolving the urgent
problem of further development of these countries, i.e., their
industrial revolutions.

Only the party which was in favor of the anti-capitalist
revolution and rapid industrialization had prospects for suc-
cess. Obviously that party had to be, in addition, socialist in
its convictions. But since it was obliged to operate under pre-
vailing conditions in general, and in the labor or socialist
movements, such a party had to depend ideologically on the
concept of the inevitability and usefulness of modern industry
as well as on the tenet that revolution was unavoidable. This
concept, already existed, it was necessary only to modify it. The
concept was Marxism—its revolutionary aspect. Association with
revolutionary Marxism, or with the European socialist move-




ment, was natural for the party then. Later, with the develop-
ment of the revolution and with the organizational changes in
the developed countries, it became just as essential for it to
separate itself from the reformism of European socialism.

The inevitability of revolution and of rapid industrialization,
which exacted enormous sacrifices and involved ruthless vio-
lence, required not only promises but faith in the possibility of
the kingdom of heaven on earth. Advancing, as others also do,
along the line of least resistance, the supporters of revolution
and industrialization often departed from established Marxist
and socialist doctrine. However, it was impossible for them to
shed the doctrine entirely.

Capitalism and capitalist relationships were the proper and
at the given moment the inevitable forms and techniques by
which society expressed its needs and aspirations for improving
and expanding production. In Great Britain, in the first half
of the nineteenth century, capitalism improved and expanded
production. And just as the industrialists in Britain had to de-
stroy the peasantry in order to attain a higher degree of produc-
tion, the industrialists, or the bourgeoisie, in Russia had to
become a victim of the industrial revolution. The participants
and the forms were different, but the law was the same in both

In both instances socialism was inevitable— as a slogan and
pledge, as a faith and a lofty ideal, and, in fact, as a particular
form of government and ownership which would facilitate the
industrial revolutiou and make possible improvement and ex-
pansion of production.

2 ,

All the revolutions of the past originated after new economic
or social relationships had begun to prevail, and the old politi-


cal system had become the sole obstacle to further development.

None of these revolutions sought anything other than the
destruction of tire old political forms and an opening of the
way for already mature social forces and relationships existing
in the old society. Even in those cases where the revolutionists
desired something else, such as the building of economic and
social relationships by means of force, as did the Jacobins m
the French revolution, they had to accept failure and be swiftly

In all previous revolutions, force and violence appeare
predominantly as a consequence, as an instrument of new but
already prevailing economic and social forces and relationships.
Even when force and violence surpassed proper limits during
the course of a revolution, in the final analysis the revolutionary
forces had to be directed toward a positive and attainable goa .
Ill these cases terror and despotism might have been inerita e
but solely temporary manifestations. _

All so-called bourgeois revolutions, whether achieved from
below, i.e., with participation of the masses as in France, or
from above, i.e., by coup d’etat as in Germany undet TUsmaic – ,
had to end up in political democracy. That is understandable.
Their task was chiefly to destroy the old despotic polittca
system, and to permit the establishment of political relation
ships which would be adequate for already existing economic
and other needs, particularly those concerning the free produc
tion of goods.

The case is entirely different with contemporary Communist
revolutions. These revolutions did not. occur because nev», et
us say socialist, relationships were already existing in the econ-
omy, or because capitalism was “overdeveloped. On the con
trary. They did occur because capitalism was not fully de-
veloped and becanse it was not able to carry out the industrial
transformation of the country.

In France capitalism had already prevailed in the economy.


in social relationships, and even in the public conscience prior
to inception of the revolution. The case is hardly comparable
with socialism in Russia, China, or Yugoslavia.

The leaders of the Russian revolution themselves were aware
of this fact. Speaking at the Seventh Congress of the Russian
Communist Party on March 7, 1918, while the revolution was
still in progress, Lenin said:

■ . . One of the fundamental differences between bourgeois
and socialist revolutions is that in a bourgeois revolution,
which arises from feudalism, new economic organizations
which gradually change all aspects of feudal society are pro-
gressively created in the midst of the old order. In accom-
plishing this task, every bourgeois revolution accomplishes
all that is required of it: it hastens the growth of capitalism,

A socialist revolution is in an entirely different situation.
To the extent that a country which had to begin a socialist
revolution, because of the vagaries of history, is backward,
the transition from old capitalist relations to socialist rela-
tions is increasingly difficult. . . .

The difference between socialist revolutions and bourgeois
revolutions lies specifically in the fact that, in the latter case,
established forms of capitalist relations exist, while the soviet
power— the proletariat— does not attain such relations, if we
exclude the most developed forms of capitalism, which actually
encompassed a small number of top industries and only very
scantily touched agriculture,

I quote Lenin, but I could quote any leader of the Com-
munist revolution and numerous other authors, as confirmation
of the fact, that settled relationships did not exist for the
new society, but that someone, in this case the “soviet power,”
must therefore build them. If the new “socialist” relationships
had been developed to the fullest in the country in which Com-
munist revolution was able to emerge victorious, there would
have been no need for so mauy assurances, dissertations, and
efforts embracing the “buildiug of socialism.”


This leads to an apparent contradiction. If the conditions
; for a new society were not sufficiently prevalent, then who
needed the revolution? Moreover, how was the revolution pos-
sible? How could it survive in view of the fact that the new
social relationships were not yet in the formative process in
the old society?

No revolution or party had ever before set itself to the task
of building social relationships or a new society. But this was
?• the primary objective of the Communist revolution.

Communist leaders, though no better acquainted than others

  • with the laws which govern society, discovered that in the coun-
    try in which their revolution was possible, industrialization was
    also possible, particularly when it involved a transformation of
    society in keeping with their ideological hypothesis. Experience
    —the success of revolution under “unfavorable” conditions—

\ confirmed this for them; the “building of socialism” did like-

wise. This strengthened their illusion that they knew the laws

  • of social development. In fact, they were iu the position of

| making a blueprint for a new society, and then of starting to

build it, making corrections here and leaving out something
there, all the while adhering closely to their plans.

Industrialization, as an inevitable, legitimate necessity of
society, and the Communist way of accomplishing it, joined
forces in the countries of Communist revolutions.

However, neither of these, though they progressed together
and on parallel tracks, could achieve success overnight. After
the completion of the revolution, someone had to shoulder the
responsibility for industrialization. In the West, this role was
taken over by the economic forces of capitalism liberated from
the despotic political chains, while in the countries of Com-
munist revolutions no similar forces existed and, thus, their
function had to be taken over by the revolutionary organs
themselves, the new authority, that is, the revolutionary party.

In earlier revolutions, revolutionary force aud violeuce be-

  • came a hindrance to the economy as soon as the old order was


overthrown Tn r . THE NEW CLASS

a condition for fnr^deTeloT^^ 0 ” 5 ’ f ° rCe *** vioIence are
words of earlier revolutionarie^w’^ Pr0gr “ S * In the
a necessary evil and a me- ” ce and vl olence were only
mu„i sts , force and ir ‘° “ end In words of Co,n

oncuh’an^Ce “,7 t Va “ d “ ** P »*ta,

which made up a new <ncLy a rcfl’ Pa -” ,he da ““ and forccs
tion erupted The cL Y – 7 CX1Sted before the revolu-

b ave had^o eJat a nr 11 „- 5 ‘ reV ° IUti ° nS * re the which

Even as the revoh.l ^ ^ Sodal

democracy after all the^S, f ^ Wes ^ had ine vitably to end in

^EasJher e” lut io t had ^ –

of terror and violence in the West be deSp0tlSin ‘ The methods
lous, and even a hindrance in t h ??■ IleedIess and ridicu-
le revolutionaries and revoluti^*^™ 8 ** revoIution for
case was the opposite. Not o^v L J ^ ** ** East ‘ the
East because the transformation of • e , Sp ° tIsm contmu e in the
time, but, as we shall see later it 1 ? StI ^ re< 5 u ^ red so much
^on had taken place. ’ IaSted lon ? ^er industrialize

3 .

volutions w/tTiwMa’ ^aT CeS Cornmun «t re-

^r^UiepoJoSd^^ 0 ^ ^ gh they
were unable to break out without ad 7 ^

We now know the general con d,V advanta geous conditions.

“<• access of a br the Option

addition to these ? enZ’ coZZT’ ” e V solution has, in

“ OT Pl “f S ^ ““ Whkh

was °’ ** state organi.

larger ones. Until now, however this 1°”‘/°“’ “* leas t fc r the

e vic,ory ° f c °— -o,n



for China; true, there the revolution began prior to the Japa-
iiese invasion, but it continued for an entire decade to spread
and finally to emerge victorious with the end of the war. The
Spanish revolution oE 1936, which could have been an excep-
tion, did not have time to transform itself into a purely Com-
munist revolution, and, therefore, never emerged victorious.

The reason war was necessary for the Communist revolution,
or the downfall of the state machinery, must be sought in the
immaturity of the economy and society. In a serious collapse
of a system, and particularly in a war which has been unsuccess-
ful for the existing ruling circles and state system, a small but
well-organized and disciplined group is inevitably able to take
authority in its hands.

Thus at the time of the October Revolution the Communist
Party had about 80,000 members. The Yugoslav Communist
Party began the 1941 revolution with about 10,000 members.
To grasp power, the support and active participation of at least
a part of the people is necessary, but in every case the party
which leads die revolution and assumes power is a minority
group relying exclusively ou exceptionally favorable condi-
tions. Furthermore, such a party cannot be a majority group
until it becomes the permanently established authority.

The accomplishment of such a grandiose task— the destruc-
tion of a social order and the building of a new society when
conditions for such an undertaking are not propitious in the
economy or society— is a task able to attract only a minority,
and at that, only those who believe fanatically in its possibilities.

Special conditions and a particular party are basic charac-
teristics of Communist revolutions.

The achievement of every revolution, as well as of every
victory in war, demands centralization of all forces. According
to the Malthusian theory, the French revolution was the first
in which “all the resources of a people at war were placed in
the hands of the authorities: people, food, clothing.” This must
be the case to an even greater degree in a Communist “im-


the new class



mature” revolution: not only all material means but al _
tellectual means must fall into the hands of the party, and
party itself must become politically, and as an or ’

centralized to the fullest extent. Only Communist parties,
politically united, firmly grouped around the ” enter> P QUt
sessing identical ideological viewpoints, are able to y

such a revolution. __ TT1P Hnd

Centralization of all force, and means a, well “ ‘ k

of political unity of the revolutionary parries arc #

ditions for every successful revolution, or .

revolution these conditions are even more impomn^ s
from the very beginning the Co— exclude ^etery
independent political group or party from being an ally o
their partv. At the same time they demand unifor y
Saints, including practical political views m we as Aeo
retical philosophical, and even moral views. The fact that the
left-of-center SR’s (Socialist-Revolutionaries) participated in
tire October Revolution, and that individuals and ^ 0U P S
other parties participated in the revolutions in China and Yu 0 –
slavia does not disprove but rather confirms tins proposmon.
these vroups were only collaborators of the Communist Part),
and only to a fixed degree in the struggle. After the revolutio
these collaborating parties were dispersed, or they dlKOlved o
their own accord and merged with the Communtst Part). The
Bolsheviks routed the left-of-center SR.’, as soon a, the latter
wished ,0 become independent, while the non-Comtnumst
vroups in Yugoslavia and China that had supported the revolu-
tion had, in the meantime, renounced every one of their p

ical activities. , . i-.

The earlier revolutions were not carried out by a single polit-
ical group. To be sure, in the course of a revolution individual
oroups pressured and destroyed one another; but, taken as a
whole, the revolution was not the work of only one group. In
the French revolution the Jacobins succeeded m maintaining
their dictatorship for a brief period only. Napoleon s dictator-



ship, which emerged from the revolution, signified both the
end of the Jacobin revolution and the beginning of the rule of
the bourgeoisie. In every case, although one party played a de-
cisive role in the earlier revolutions, the other parties did not
surrender their independence. Although suppression and dis-
persion existed, they could be enforced only for a hrief time.
The parties could not be destroyed and would always emerge
anew. Even the Paris Commune, which the Communists take
as the forerunner of their revolution and their state, was a
multi-party revolution.

A party may have played the chief, and even an exclusive, role
in a particular phase of a revolution. But no previous party was
ideologically, or as an organization, centralized to the degree
that the Communist Party was. Neither the Puritans in the
English revolution nor the Jacobins in the French revolution
were bound by the same philosophical and ideological views,
although the first belonged to a religious sect. From the organi-
zational point, of view the Jacobins were a federation of clubs;
the Puritans were not even that. Only contemporary Com-
munist revolutions pushed compulsory parties to the forefront,
which were ideologically and organizationally monolithic.

In every case one thing is certain: in all earlier revolutions
the necessity for revolutionary methods and parties disappeared
with the end of civil war and of foreign intervention, and these
methods and parties had to be done away with. After Com-
munist revolutions, the Communists continue with both the
methods and the forms of the revolution, and their party soon
attains the fullest degree of centralism and ideological ex-

Lenin expressly emphasized this dnring the revolution itself
in enumerating his conditions for acceptance in the Comin-

In the present epoch of acute civil war, a Communist Party
will be able to perform its duty only if it is organized in the

■ Selected Works , Vol. X; New York, International Publishers, 1936.



most centralized manner, only if iron discipline bordering on
military discipline prevails in it, and if its party center is a
powerful and authoritative organ, wielding wide powers and
enjoying the universal confidence of the members of the party.

And to this, Stalin appended, in Foundations of Leninism:*

This is the position in regard to discipline in the party in
the period of struggle preceding the achievement of the

The same, but to an even greater degree, must be said
about discipline in the party after the dictatorship has been

The revolutionary atmosphere and vigilance, insistence on
ideological unity, political and ideological exclusiveness, polit-
ical and other centralism do not cease after assuming control.
On the contrary, they become even more intensified.

Ruthlessness in methods, exclusiveness in ideas, and monopoly
in authority in the earlier revolutions lasted more or less as
long as the revolutions themselves. Since revolution in the
Communist revolution was only the first act of the despotic
and totalitarian authority of a group, it is difficult to forecast
the duration of that authority.

In earlier revolutions, including the Reign of Terror ill
France, superficial attention was paid to the elimination of real
oppositionists. No attention was paid to the elimination of those
who might become oppositionists. The eradication and perse-
cution of some social or ideological groups in the religious wars
of the Middle Ages was the only exception to this. From theory
and practice, Communists know that they are in conflict with
all other classes and ideologies, and behave accordingly. They
are fighting against not only actual but also potential opposi-
tion. In the Baltic countries, thousands of people were liqui-
dated overnight on the basis of documents indicating previously
held ideological and political views. The massacre of several

• New York, International Publishers. 1939.


thousand Polish officers in the Katyn Forest was o£ similar
character. In the case of Communism, long after the revolution
is over, terrorist and oppressive methods continue to be used.
Sometimes these are perfected and become more extensive than
in the revolution, as in the case of the liquidation of the Kulaks.
Ideological j exclusiveness and intolerance are intensified after
the revolution. Even when it is able to reduce physical oppres-
sion, the tendency of the ruling party is to strengthen the
prescribed ideology— Marxism-Leninism.

Earlier revolutions, particularly the so-called bourgeois ones,
attached considerable significance to the establishment of indi-
vidual freedoms immediately following cessation of the revolu-
tionary terror. Even the revolutionaries considered it important
to assure the legal status of the citizenry. Independent
administration of justice was an inevitable final result of all
these revolutions. The Communist regime in the U.S.S.R. is
still remote from independent administration of justice after
forty years of tenure. The final results of earlier revolutions
were often greater legal security and greater civil rights. This
cannot be said of the Communist revolution.

There is another vast difference between the earlier revolu-
tions and contemporary Communist ones. Earlier revolutions,
especially the greater ones, were a product of the struggles of
the working classes, but their ultimate results fell to another
class under whose intellectual and often organizational leader-
ship the revolutions were accomplished. The bourgeoisie, in
whose name the revolution was carried out, to a considerable
extent harvested the fruits of the struggles of the peasants and
sans-culottes. The masses of a nation also participated in a
Communist revolution; however, the fruits of revolution do
not fall to them, but to the bureaucracy. For the bureaucracy
is nothing else but the party which carried out the revolution.
In Communist revolutions, the revolutionary movements which
carried out the revolutions are not liquidated. Communist re-
volutions may “eat their own children,” but not. all of them.


In fact, on completion of a Communist revolution, ruthless
and underhanded deals inevitably are made between various
groups and factions which disagree ahout the path of the future.

Mutual accusations always revolve aronnd dogmatic proof as
to who is “objectively” or “subjectively” a greater counter-
revolutionary or agent of internal and foreign “capitalism.”
Regardless of the manner in which these disagreements are
resolved, the group that emerges victorious is the one that is
the most consistent and determined supporter of industriali-
zation along Communist principles, i.e,, on the basis of total
party monopoly, particularly of state organs in control of pro-
duction. The Communist revolution does not devour those
of its children who are needed for its future course— for indus-
trialization. Revolutionaries who accepted the ideas and slogans
of the revolution literally, naively believing in their material-
ization, are usually liquidated. The group which understood
that revolution would secure authority, on a sociahpolitical-
Communist basis, as an instrument of future industrial trans-
formation, emerges victorious.

The Communist revolution is the first in which the revolu-
tionaries and their allies, particularly the authority-wielding
group, survived the revolution. Similar groups inevitably failed
in earlier ones. The Communist revolution is the first to be
carried out to the advantage of the revolutionaries. They, and
the bureaucracy which forms around them, harvest its fruits.
This creates in them, and in the broader echelons of the party,
the illusion that theirs is the first revolution that remained true
to the slogans on its banners.

4 *

The illusions which the Communist revolution creates about
its real aims are more permanent and extensive than those of
earlier revolutions because the Communist revolution resolves


relationships in a new way and brings about a new form of
ownership. Earlier revolutions, too, inevitably resulted in major
or minor changes in property relationships. But in those revolu-
tions one form of private ownership superseded the others. In
the Communist, revolution this is not the case; the change is
radical and deep-rooted, and a collective ownership suppresses
private ownership.

The Communist revolution, while still in process of develop-
ment, destroys capitalist, land-holding, private ownership, i.e.,
that ownership which makes use of foreign labor forces. This
immediately creates the belief that the revolutionary promise
of a new realm of equality and justice is being fulfilled. The
party, or the state authority under its control, simultaneously
undertakes extensive measures for industrialization. This also
intensifies the belief that the time of freedom from want has
finally arrived. Despotism and oppression are there, but they
are accepted as temporary manifestations, to last only until the
opposition of the expropriated authorities and counter-revolu-
tionaries is stifled, and the industrial transformation is com-

Several essential changes occur in the very process of
industrialization. Industrialization in a backward country, es-
pecially if it has no assistance and is hindered from abroad,
demands concentration of all material resources. Nationaliza-
tion of industrial property and the land is the first concentration
of property in the hands of the new regime. However, it does
not, and can not, stop at this.

The newly originated ownership inevitably comes in conflict
with other forms of ownership. The new ownership imposes
itself by force on smaller owners who do not employ someone
else’s manpower, or to whom such manpower is unessential, i.e.,
on craftsmen, workers, small commercial merchants, and peas-
ants, This expropriation of small property owners is effected
even when it is not done for economic motives, i.e., in order
to attain a higher degree of productivity.




In the course of industrialization, the property of those ele-
ments who were not opposed to, or even assisted, the revolution
is taken over. As a matter of form, the state also becomes the
owner of this property. The state administers and manages the
property. Private ownership ceases, or decreases to a role of
secondary importance, but its complete disappearance is subject
to the whim of the new men in authority.

This is experienced by the Communists and by some mem-
bers of the masses as a complete liquidation of classes and the
realization of a classless society. In fact, the old pre-revolution-
ary classes do disappear with the completion of industrialization
and collectivization. There remains the spontaneous and unor-
ganized displeasure of the mass of the people— a displeasure
which neither ceases nor abates. Communist delusions and self-
deceit abont the “remnants” and “influence” of the “class
enemy” still persist. But the illusion that the long-dreamed class-
less society arises by these means is complete, at least for the
Communists themselves.

Every revolution, and even every war, creates illusions and
is conducted in the name of unrealizable ideals. During the
struggle the ideals seem real enough for the combatants; by the
end they often cease to exist. Not so in the case of a Communist
revolution. Those who carry out the Communist revolution as
well as those among the lower echelons persist in their illusions
long after the armed struggle. Despite oppression, despotism,
unconcealed confiscations, and privileges of the ruling echelons,
some of the people— and especially the Communists —retain the
illusions contained in their slogans.

Although the Communist revolution may start with the most
idealistic concepts, calling for wonderful heroism and gigantic
effort, it sows the greatest and the most permanent illusions.

Revolutions are inevitable in the lifetime of nations. They
may result in despotism, but. they also launch nations on paths
previously blocked to them.

The Communist revolution cannot attain a single one of the

| ideals named as its motivating force. However, Communist re-

! volution has brought about a measure of iudustrial civilization

to vast areas of Europe and Asia. In this way, material bases
have actually been created for a future freer society. Thus while
bringing about the most complete despotism, the Communist
revolution has also created the basis for the abolition of des-
potism. As the nineteenth century introduced modem industry
to the West, the twentieth century will introduce modern in-
dustry to the East. The shadow of Lenin extends over the vast
expanse of Eurasia in one way or another. In despotic form in
China, in democratic form in India and Burma, all of the
remaining Asiatic and other nations are inevitably entering an
industrial revolution. The Russian revolution initiated this
process. The process remains the incalculable and historically
significant fact of the revolution.

5 .

It might appear that Communist revolutions are mostly his-
torical deceptions and chance occurrences. In a sense this is
true: no other revolutions have required so many exceptional
conditions; no other revolutions promised so much and accom-
plished so little. Demagoguery and misrepresentation are inevi-
table among the Communist leaders since they are forced to
promise the most ideal society and “abolition of every exploi-

However, it cannot be said that the Communists deceived
the people, that is, that they purposely and consciously did
something different from what they had promised. The fact
is simply this: they were unable to accomplish that in which
they so fanatically believed. They cannot acknowledge this
even when forced to execute a policy contrary to everything
promised before and during the revolution. From their point
of view, such acknowledgment would be an admission that the


revolution was unnecessary. It would also be an admission that
they had themselves become superfluous. Anything of the sort
is impossible for them*

The ultimate results of a social struggle can never be of the
kind envisaged by those who carry it out. Some such struggles
depend on an infinite and complex series of circumstances be-
yond the controllable range of human intellect and action. This
is most true of revolutions that demand superhuman efforts
and that effect hasty and radical changes in society. They inevi-
tably generate absolute confidence that the ultimate in human
prosperity and liberty will appear after their victories. The
French revolution was carried out in the name of common
sense, in the belief that liberty, equality, and fraternity would
eventually appear. The Russian revolution was carried out in
the name of ,; a purely scientific view of the world,” for the pur-
pose of creating a classless society. Neither revolution could
possibly have been created if the revolutionaries, along with a
part of the people, had not believed in their own idealistic aims.

Communist illusions as to post-revolutionary possibilities
were more preponderant among the Communists than among
those who followed them. The Communists should have known
and, in fact, did know about the inevitability of industriali-
zation, but they could only guess about its social results and

Official Communist historians in the U.S.S.R. and Yugoslavia
describe the revolution as if it were the fruit of the previously
planned actions of its leaders. But only the course of the revolu-
tion and the armed struggle was consciously planned, while the
forms which the revolution took stemmed from the immediate
course of events and from the direct action taken. It is revealing
that Lenin, undoubtedly one of the greatest revolutionaries in
history, did not foresee when or in what form the revolution
would erupt until it was almost upon him. In January 1917,
one month before the February Revolution, and only ten
months before the October Revolution which brought him


to power, he addressed a meeting of Swiss Socialist youths:

“We, the older generation, perhaps will not live to see the
decisive battles of the approaching revolution. But, I can, it
seems to me, express with extreme confidence the hope that the
youth, who work in the wonderful socialist movement of
Switzerland and of the whole world, will have the good fortune
not only to fight but also to emerge victorious in the approach-
ing revolution of the proletariat.”

How can it then be said that Lenin, or anyone else, was able
to foresee the social results arising after the long and complex
struggle of the revolution?

But even if Communist aims per se were nnreal, the Com-
munists, as distinct from earlier revolutionaries, were fully
realistic in creating those things that were possible. They car-
ried it out in the only way possible— by imposing their absolute
totalitarian authority. Theirs was the first revolution in history
in which the revolutionaries not only remain on the political
scene after victory but, in the most practical sense, build social
relationships completely contrary to those in which they be-
lieved and which they promised. The Communist revolution,
in the course of its later industrial duration and transforma-
tion, converts the revolutionaries themselves into creators and
masters of a new social state.

Marx’s concrete forecasts proved inaccurate. To an even
greater degree, the same can be said for Lenin’s expectations
that a free or classless society would be created with the aid of
the dictatorship. But the need that made the revolution inevi-
table-industrial transformation on the basis of modern tech-
nology— is fulfilled.

6 .

Abstract logic would indicate that the Communist revolu-
tion, when it achieves, under different conditions and by state
compulsion, the same things achieved by industrial revolutions



and capitalism in the West, is nothing but a form of state-cap-
italist revolution. The relationships which are created by its
victory are state-capitalist. This appears to be even more true
because the new regime also regulates all political, labor, and
other relationships and, what is more important, distributes the
national income and benefits and distributes material goods
which actually have been transformed into state property.

Discussion ou whether or not the relationships in the U.S.S.R*
and in other Communist countries are state-capitalist, socialist,
or perhaps something else, is dogmatic to a considerable degree.
However, such discussion is of fundamental importance.

Even if it is presnmed that state capitalism is nothing other
than the “antechamber of socialism,” as Lenin emphasized, or
that it is the first phase of socialism, it is still not one iota easier
for the people who live under Communist despotism to endure.
If the character of property and social relationships brought
about by the Communist revolution is strengthened and defined,
the prospects for liberation of the people from such relation-
ships become more realistic. If the people are not conscious of
the nature of the social relationships in which they live, or if
they do not see a way in which they can alter them, their
struggle cannot have any prospect of success.

If the Communist revolntion, despite its promises and illu-
sions, is state-capitalist in its undertakings with state-capitalist
relationships, the only lawful and positive actions its function-
aries can take are the ones that improve their work and reduce
the pressure and irresponsibility of state administration. The
Communists do not admit in theory that they are working in
a system of state capitalism, but their leaders behave this way.
They continually boast about improving the work of the ad-
ministration and about leading the struggle “against bureau-

Moreover, actual relationships are not those of state capital-
ism; these relationships do not provide a method of improving
the system of state administration basically.


In order to establish the nature of relationships which arise
in the course of the Communist revolution and ultimately be-
come established in the process of industrialization and collectiv-
ization, it is necessary to peer further into the role and manner
of operation of die state under Communism. At present, it will
be sufficient to point out that in Communism the state ma-
chinery is not the instrument which really determines social
and property relationships; it is only the instrument by which
these relationships are protected. In truth, everything is accom-
plished in the name of the state and through its regulations.
The Communist Party, including the professional party bureau-
cracy, stands above the regulations and behind every single one
of the state’s acts.

It is the bureaucracy which formally uses, administers, and
controls both nationalized and socialized property as well as
the entire life of society. The role of the bureaucracy in society,
i.e., monopolistic administration and control of national in-
come and national goods, consigns it to a special privileged
position. Social relations resemble state capitalism. The more
so, because the carrying out of industrialization is effected not
with the help of capitalists but with the help of the state ma-
chine. In fact, this privileged class performs that function, using
the state machine as a cover and as an instrument.

Ownership is nothing other than the Tight of profit and con-
trol If one defines class benefits by this right, the Communist
states have seen, in tbe final analysis, the origin of a new form
of ownership or of a new ruling and exploiting class.

In reality, the Communists were unable to act differently
from any ruling class that preceded them. Believing that
they were building a new and ideal society, they built it for
themselves in the only way they could. Their revolution and
their society do not appear either accidental or unnatural, but
appear as a matter of course for a particular country and for
prescribed periods of its development. Because of this, no mat-
ter how extensive and inhuman Communist tyranny has been.


society, in the course of a certain period— as long as industrial-
ization lasts— has to and is able to endure this tyranny. Further-
more, this tyranny no longer appears as something inevitable,
but exclusively as an assurance of the depredations and priv-
ileges of a new class.

In contrast to earlier revolutions, the Communist revolution,
conducted in the name of doing away with classes, has resulted
in the most complete authority of any single new class. Every-
thing else is sham and an illusion.

The New Class

1 .

Everything happened differently in the U.S.S.R. and other
Communist countries from what the leaders— -even such promi-
nent ones as Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, and Bukharin— anticipated.
They expected that die state would rapidly wither away, that
democracy would be strengthened. The reverse happened. They
expected a rapid improvement in the standard of living— there
has been scarcely any change in this respect and, in the sub-
jugated East European countries, the standard has even de-
clined. In every instance, the standard of living has failed to
rise in proportion to the rate of industrialization, which was
much more rapid. It was believed that the differences between
cities and villages, between intellectual and physical labor,
would slowly disappear; instead these differences have in-
creased. Communist anticipations in other areas— including
their expectations for developments in the non-Communist
world— have also failed to materialize.

The greatest illusion was that industrialization and collectiv-
ization in the U.S.S.R., and destruction of capitalist, ownership,
would result in a classless society. In 1936, when the new
Constitution was promulgated, Stalin announced that the “ex-
ploiting class” had ceased to exist. The capitalist and other



classes of ancient origin had in fact been destroyed, but a new
class, previously unknown to history, had been formed.

It is understandable that this class, like those before it, should
believe that the establishment of its power would result in
happiness and freedom for all men. The only difference be-
tween this and other classes was that it treated the delay in the
realization of its illusions more crudely. It thus affirmed that
its power was more complete than the power of any other class
before in history, and its class illusions and prejudices were
proportionally greater.

This new class, the bureaucracy, or more accurately the polit-
ical bureaucracy, has all the characteristics of earlier ones as
well as some new characteristics of its own. Its origin had its
special characteristics also, even though in essence it was similar
to the beginnings of other classes.

Other classes, too, obtained their strength and power by the
revolutionary path, destroying the political, social, and other
orders they met in their way. However, almost without excep-
tion, these classes attained power after new economic patterns
had taken shape in the old society. The case was the reverse
with new classes in the Communist systems. It did not come
to power to complete a new economic order but to establish
its own and, in so doing, to establish its power over society.

In earlier epochs the coming to power of some class, some
part of a class, or of some party, was the final event resulting
from its formation and its development. The reverse was true
in the U.S.S.R. There the new class was definitely formed after
it attained power. Its consciousness had to develop before its
economic and physical powers, because the class had not taken
root in the life of the nation. This class viewed its role in
relation to the world from an idealistic point of view. Its
practical possibilities were not diminished by this. In spite of
its illusions, it represented an objective tendency toward in-
dustrialization. Its practical hent emanated from this tendency.
The promise of an ideal world increased the faith in the ranks


of the new class and sowed illusions among the masses. At the
same time it inspired gigantic physical undertakings.

Because this new class had not been formed as a part of the
economic and social life before it came to power, it could only
be created in an organization of a special type, distinguished by
a special discipline based on identical philosophic and ideologi-
cal views of its members. A unity of belief and iron discipline
was necessary to overcome its weaknesses.

The roots of the new class were implanted in a special party,
of the Bolshevik type. Lenin was right in his view that his party
was an exception in the history of human society, although he
did not suspect that it would be the beginning of a new class.

To be more precise, the initiators of the new class are not
found in the party of the Bolshevik type as a whole but in that
stratum of professional revolutionaries who made up its core
even before it attained power. It was not by accident that Lenin
asserted after the failure of the 1905 revolution that only pro-
fessional revolutionaries— men whose sole profession was revolu-
tionary work— could build a new party of the Bolshevik type.
It was still less accidental that even Stalin, the future creator of
a new class, was the most outstanding example of such a
professional revolutionary. The new ruling class has been grad-
ually developing from this very narrow stratum of revolution-
aries. These revolutionar ies composed its core for a long period,
Trotsky noted that in pre-revolutionary professional revolu-
tionaries was the origin of the future Stalinist bureaucrat.
What he did not detect was the beginning of a new class of
owners and exploiters.

This is not to say that the new party and the new class are
identical. The party, however, is the core of that class, and its
base. It is very difficult, perhaps impossible, to define the limits
of the new class and to identify its members. The new class may
be said to be made up of those who have special privileges and
economic preference because of the administrative monopoly
they hold.



Since administration is unavoidable in society, necessary
administrative functions may be coexistent with parasitic func-
tions in the same person. Not every member of the party is a
member of the new class, any more than every artisan or mem-
ber of the city party was a bourgeois.

In loose terms, as the new class becomes stronger and attains
a more perceptible physiognomy, the role of the party di-
minishes. The core and the basis of the new class is created in
the party and at its top, as well as in the state political organs.
The once live, compact party, full of initiative, is disappearing
to become transformed into the traditional oligarchy of the new
class, irresistibly drawing into its ranks those who aspire to
join the new class and repressing those who have any ideals.

The party makes the class, but the class grows as a result and
uses the party as a basis. The class grows stronger, while the
party grows weaker; this is the inescapable fate of every Com-
munist party in power.

IE it were not materially interested in production or if it did
not have within itself the potentialities for the creation of a
new class, no party could act in so morally and ideologically
foolhardy a fashion, let alone stay in power for long. Stalin
declared, after the end of the First Five-Year Plan; “If we had
not created the apparatus, we would have failed!” He should
have substituted “new class” for the word “apparatus,” and
everything would have been clearer.

It seems unusual that a political party could be the beginning
of a new class. Parties are generally the product of classes and
strata which have become intellectually and economically
strong. However, if one grasps the actual conditions in pre-
revolutionary Russia and in other countries in which Com-
munism prevailed over national forces, it will be dear that a
party of this type is the product of specific opportunities and
that there is nothing unusual or accidental in this being so.
Although the roots of Bolshevism reach far back into Russian
history, the party is partly the product of the unique pattern


of international relationships in which Russia found itself at
die end of the nineteenth and the begininng of the twentieth
century. Russia was no longer able to live in the modern world
as an absolute monarchy, and Russia’s capitalism was too weak
and too dependent on the interests of foreign powers to make
it possible to have an industrial revolution. This revolution
could only be implemented by a new class, or by a change in
the social order. As yet, there was no such class.

In history, it is not important who implements a process, it
is only important that the process be implemented. Such was
the case in Russia and other countries in which Communist
revolutions took place. The revolution created forces, leaders,
organizations, and ideas which ‘were necessary to it. The new
class came into existence for objective reasons, and by the wish,
wits, and action of its leaders.

2 .

The social origin of the new class lies in the proletariat jnst
as the aristocracy arose in a peasant society, and the hourgeoisie
in a commercial and artisans’ society. There are exceptions,
depending on national conditions, but the proletariat in eco-
nomically underdeveloped countries, being backward, consti-
tutes the raw material from which the new T class arises.

There are other reasons why the new class always acts as the
champion of the working class. The new class is anti-capitalistic
and, consequently, logically dependent upon the working strata.
The new class is supported by the proletarian struggle and the
traditional faith of the proletariat in a socialist, Communist
society where there is no brutal exploitation. It is vitally im-
portant for the new class to assure a normal flow of production,
hence it cannot ever lose its connection with the proletariat.
Most important of all, the new class cannot achieve industriali-
zation and consolidate its power without the help of the work-




mg class. On the other hand, the working class sees in expanded
industry the salvation from its poverty and despair. Over a long
period of time, the interests, ideas, faith, and hope of the new
class, and of parts of the working class and of the poor peasants,
coincide and unite. Such mergers have occurred in the past
among other widely different classes. Did not the bourgeoisie
represent the peasantry in the struggle against the feudal lords?

The movement of the new class toward power comes as a
result of the efforts of the proletariat and the poor. These are
the masses upon which the party or the new class must lean
and with which its interests are most closely allied. This is true
until the new class finally establishes its power and authority.
Over and above this, the new class is interested in the prole-
tariat and the poor only to the extent necessary for developing
production and for maintaining in subjugation the most ag-
gressive and rebellious social forces.

The monopoly which the new class establishes in the name
o£ the working class over the whole of society is, primarily, a
monopoly over the working class itself. This monopoly is first
intellectual, over the so-called avant-garde proletariat, and then
over the whole proletariat. This is the biggest deception the
class must accomplish, but it shows that the power and interests
of the new class lie primarily in industry. Without industry
the new class cannot consolidate its position or authority.

Former sons of the working class are the most steadfast mem-
bers of the new class. It has always been the fate of slaves to
provide for their masters the most clever and gifted represem
tatives. In this case a new exploiting and governing class is
born from the exploited class.

3 .

When Communist systems are being critically analyzed, it is
considered that their fundamental distinction lies in the fact


that a bureaucracy, organized in a special stratum, rules over
the people. This is generally true. However, a more detailed
analysis will show that only a special stratum of bureaucrats,
those who are not administrative officials, make up the core of
the governing bureaucracy, or, in my terminology, of the new
class. This is actually a party or political bureaucracy. Other
officials are only the apparatus under the conrol of the new
class; the apparatus may be clumsy and slow but, no matter
what, it must exist in every socialist society. It is sociologically
possible to draw the borderline between the different types of
officials, but in practice they are practically indistinguishable.
This is true not only because the Communist system by its very
nature is bureaucratic, but because Communists handle the
various important administrative functions. In addition, the
stratum of political bureaucrats cannot enjoy their privileges
if they do not give crumbs from their tables to other bureau-
cratic categories.

It is important to note the fundamental differences between
the political bureaucracies mentioned here and those which
arise with every centralization in modem economy— especially
centralizations that lead to collective forms of ownership such
as monopolies, companies, and state ownership. The number
of white-collar workers is constantly increasing in capitalistic
monopolies, and also in nationalized industries in the West.
In Human Relations in Administration* R. Dubin says that
state functionaries in the economy are being transformed into
a special stratum of society.

. . . Functionaries have the sense of a common destiny for
all those who work together. They share the same interests,
especially since there is relatively little competition insofar
as promotion is in terms of seniority. In-group aggression is
thus minimized and this arrangement is therefore conceived

• New York, Prentice-Hall, 1951.




to be positively functional for the bureaucracy. However, the
esprit de corps and informal social organization which typi-
cally develops in such situations often leads the personnel to
defend their entrenched interests rather than to assist their
clientele and elected higher officials.

While such functionaries have much in common with Com-
munist bureaucrats, especially as regards esprit de corps, they
are not identical. Although state and other bureaucrats in non-
Communist systems form a special stratum, they do not exercise
authority as the Communists do. Bureaucrats in a non-Coin-
munist state have political masters, usually elected, or owners
over them, while Communists have neither masters nor owners
over them. The bureaucrats in a non-Communist state are of-
ficials in modem capitalist economy, while the Communists
are something different and new: a new class.

As in other owning classes, the proof that it is a special class
lies in its ownership and its special relations to other classes.
In the same way, the class to which a member belongs is indb
cated by the material and other privileges which ownership
brings to him.

As defined by Roman law, property constitutes the use, en-
joyment, and disposition of material goods. The Communist
political bureaucracy uses, enjoys, and disposes of nationalized

If we assume that membership in this bureaucracy or new
owning class is predicated on the use of privileges inherent in
ownership— in this instance nationalized material goods— then
membership in the new party class, or political bureaucracy, is
reflected in a larger income in material goods and privileges
than society should normally grant for such functions. In prac-
tice, the ownership privilege of the new class manifests itself
as an exclusive right, as a party monopoly, for the political
bureaucracy to distribute the national income, to set wages,
direct economic development, and dispose of nationalized and


other property. This is the way it appears to the ordinary man
who considers the Communist functionary as being very rich
and as a man who does not have to ‘work.

The ownership of private property has, for many reasons,
proved to be unfavorable for the establishment of the new
class’s authority. Besides, the destruction of private ownership
was necessary for the economic transformation of nations. The
new class obtains its power, privileges, ideology, and its customs
from one specific form of ownership-collective ownership—
which the class administers and distributes in the name of the
nation and society.

The new class maintains that ownership derives from a desig-
nated social relationship. This is the relationship between the
monopolists of administration, who constitute a narrow and
closed stratum, and the mass of producers (farmers, workers,
and intelligentsia) who have no rights. However, this relation-
ship is not valid since the Communist bureaucracy enjoys a
monopoly over the distribution of material goods.

Every fundamental change in the social relationship between
those who monopolize administration and those who work is
inevitably reflected in the ownership relationship. Social and
political relations and ownership— the totalitarianism of the
government and the monopoly of authority— are being more
fully brought into accord in Communism than in any other
single system.

To divest Communists of their ownership rights would be to
abolish them as a class. To compel tbein to relinquish their
other social powers, so that workers may participate in sharing
the profits of their work— which capitalists have had to permit
as a result of strikes and parliamentary action— would mean
that Communists were being deprived of their monopoly over
property, ideology, and government. This would be the be-
ginning of democracy and freedom in Communism, the end of
Communist monopolism and totalitarianism. Until this hap-,
pens, there can be no indication that important, fundamental


changes are taking place in Communist systems, at least not
in the eyes of men who think seriously about social progress.

The ownership privileges of the new class and membership
in that class are the privileges of administration . This privilege
extends from state administration and the administration of
economic enterprises to that of sports and humanitarian organi-
zations. Political, party, or so-called “general leadership” is
executed by the core. This position of leadership carries privi-
leges with it. In his Stalin an pouvoir, published in Paris in
1951, Orlov states that the average pay of a worker in the
U.S.S.R in 1935 was 1,800 rubles annually, while the pay and
allowances of the secretary of a rayon committee amounted
to 45,000 rubles annually. The situation has changed since
then for both workers and party functionaries, but the essence
remains the same. Other authors have arrived at the same
conclusions. Discrepancies between the pay of workers and
party functionaries are extreme; this could not be hidden from
persons visiting the U.S.S.R. or other Communist countries in
the past few years.

Other systems, too, have their professional politicians. One
can think well or ill of them, but they must exist. Society
cannot live without a state or a government, and therefore
it cannot live without those who fight for it.

However, there are fundamental differences between pro-
fessional politicians in other systems and in the Communist
system. In extreme cases, politicians in other systems use the
government to secure privileges for themselves and their co-
horts, or to favor the economic interests of one social stratnm or
another. The situation is different with the Communist system
where the power and the government are identical with the
use, enjoyment, and disposition of almost all the nation’s goods.
He who grabs power grabs privileges and indirectly grabs
property. Consequently, in Communism, power or politics as
a profession is the ideal of those who have the desire or the
prospect of living as parasites at the expense of others.


Membership in the Communist Party before the Revolution
meant sacrifice. Being a professional revolutionary was one of
the highest honors. Now that the party has consolidated its
power, party membership means that one belongs to a privi-
leged class. And at the core of the party are the all-powerful
exploiters and masters.

For a long time the Communist revolution and the Com-
munist system have been concealing their real nature. The
emergence of the new class has been concealed under socialist
phraseology and, more important, under the new collective
forms of property ownership. The so-called socialist ownership
is a disguise for the real ownership by the political bureaucracy.
And in the beginning this bureaucracy was in a hurry to com-
plete industrialization, and hid its class composition under
that guise.

4 .

The development of modern Communism, and the emer-
gence of the new class, is evident in the character and roles
of those who inspired it.

The leaders and their methods, from Marx to Khrushchev,
have been varied and changing. It never occurred to Marx to
prevent others from voicing their ideas. Lenin tolerated free
discussion in his party and did not think that party forums,
let alone the party head, should regnlate the expression of
“proper*’ or “improper” ideas. Stalin abolished every type of
intra-party discussion, and made the expression of ideology
solely the right of the central forum— or of hirnself. Other
Communist movements were different. For instance, Marx’s
International Workers’ Union (the so-called First Interna-
tional) was not Marxist in ideology, but a union of varied
groups which adopted only the resolutions on which its mem-
bers agreed. Lenin’s party was an avant-garde group combining


an internal revolutionary morality and ideological monolithic
structure with democracy of a kind. Under Stalin the party
became a mass of ideologically disinterested men, who got
their ideas from above, but were wholehearted and unanimous
in the defense of a system that assured them unquestionable
privileges* Marx actually never created a party; Lenin de-
stroyed all parties except his own, including the Socialist Party.
Stalin relegated even the Bolshevik Party to second rank,
transforming its core into the core of the new class, and
transforming the party into a privileged impersonal and color-
less group,

Marx created a system of the roles of classes, and of class war
in society, even though he did not discover them, and he saw
that mankind is mostly made up of members of discernible
classes, although he was only restating Terence’s Stoic philoso-
phy: “Humani nihil a me alienum puto ” Lenin viewed meu as
sharing ideas rather than as being members of discernible
classes, Stalin saw in men only obedient subjects or enemies.
Marx died a poor emigrant in London, but was valued by
learned men and valued in the movement; Lenin died as the
leader of one of the greatest revolutions, but died as a dictator
about, whom a cult had already begun to form; when Stalin
died, he had already transformed himself into a god.

These changes in personalities are only the reflection of
changes which had already taken place and were the very soul
of the Communist movement.

Although he did not realize it, Lenin started the organiza-
tion of the new class. He established the party along Bolshevik
lines and developed the theories of its unique and leading role
in the building of a new society. This is but one aspect of his
many-sided and gigantic work; it is the aspect which came
about from his actions rather than his wishes. It is also the
aspect, which led the new class to revere him.

The real and direct originator of the new class, however,
was Stalin* He was a man of quick reflexes and a tendency to


coarse humor, not very educated nor a good speaker. But he
wa s a relentless dogmatician and a great administrator, a
Georgian who knew better than anyone else whither the new
powers of Greater Russia were taking her. He created the new
class by the use of the most barbaric means, not even sparing
the class itself. It was inevitable that the new class which
placed him at the top would later submit to his unbridled
and brutal nature. He was the true leader of that class as long
as the class was building itself up, and attaining power.

The new class was bom in the revolutionary struggle in the
Communist Party, but was developed in the industrial revolu-
tion. Without the revolution, without industry, the class’s
position would not have heen secure and its power would
have been limited.

While the country was being industrialized, Stalin began
to introduce considerable variations in wages, at the same
time allowing the development toward various privileges to
proceed. He thought that industrialization would come to
nothing if the new class were not made materially interested
in the process, by acquisition of some property for itself. With-
out industrialization the new class would find it difficult to
hold its position, for it would have neither historical justifica-
tion nor the material resources for its continued existence.

The increase in the membership of the party, or of the
bureaucracy, was closely connected with this. In 1927, on the
eve of industrialization, the Soviet Communist Party had
887,233 members. In 1934, at the end of the First Five-Year
Plan, the membership had increased to 1,874,488. This was
a phenomenon obviously connected with industrialization: the
prospects for the new class and privileges for its members were
improving. What is more, the privileges and the class were
expanding more rapidly than industrialization itself. It is diffi-
cult to cite any statistics on this point, but the conclusion is
self-evident for anyone who bears in mind that the standard
of living has not kept pace with industrial production, while

50 THE new class

the new class actually seized the lion’s share of the economic
and other progress earned by the sacrifices and efforts of the

The establishment of the new class did not proceed smoothly.
It encountered bitter opposition from existing classes and from
those revolutionaries who could not reconcile reality with the
ideals of their struggle. In the U.S.S.R. the opposition of
revolutionaries was most evident in the Trotsky-Stalin conflict.
The conflict between Trotsky and Stalin, or between opposi-
tionists in the party and Staliu, as well as the conflict between
the regime and the peasantry, became more intense as indus-
trialization advanced and the power and authority of the new
class increased.

Trotsky, an excellent speaker, brilliant stylist, and skilled
polemicist, a man cultured and of excellent intelligence, was
deficient in only one quality: a sense of reality. He wanted to
be a revolutionary in a period when life imposed the common-
place. He wished to revive a revolutionary party which was
being transformed into something completely different, into
a new class unconcerned with great ideals and interested only
in the everyday pleasures of life. He expected action from a
mass already tired by war, hunger, and death, at a time when
the new class already strongly held the reins and had begun
to experience the sweetness of privilege. Trotsky’s fireworks
lit up the distant heavens; but he could not rekindle fires in
weary men. He sharply noted the sorry aspect of the new
phenomena but he did not grasp their meaning. In addition,
he had never been a Bolshevik. This was his vice and his
virtue. Attacking the party bureaucracy in the name of the
revolution, he attacked the cult of the party and, although he
was not conscious of it, the new class.

Stalin looked neither far ahead nor far behind. He had
seated himself at the head of the new power which was being
bom— the new class, the political bureaucracy, and bureau-
cratism-and became its leader and organizer. He did not preach


—he made decisions. He too promised a shining future, but
one which bureaucracy could visualize as being real because
its life was improving from day to day and its position was
being strengthened. He spoke without ardor and color, but
the new class was better able to understand this kind of realistic
language. Trotsky wished to extend the revolution to Europe;
Stalin was not opposed to the idea but this hazardous under-
taking did not prevent him from worrying about Mother
Russia or, specifically, about ways of strengthening the new
system and increasing the power and reputation of the Russian
state. Trotsky was a man of the revolutiou of the past; Stalin
was a man of today and, thus, of the future.

In Stalin’s victory Trotsky saw the Thermidoric reaction
against the revolution, actually the bureaucratic corruption
of the Soviet government and the revolutionary cause. Conse-
quently, he understood and was deeply hurt by the amorality
of Stalin’s methods. Trotsky was the first, although he was not
aware of it, who in the attempt to save the Communist move-
ment discovered the essence of contemporary Communism. But
he was not capable of seeing it through to the end. He supposed
that this was only a momentary cropping up of bureaucracy,
corrupting the party and the revolution, and concluded that
the solution was in a change at the top, in a ‘ ‘palace revolu-
tion/’ When a palace revolution actually took place after
Stalin’s death, it could be seen that the essence had not
changed; something deeper and more lasting was involved. The
Soviet Thermidor of Stalin had not only led to the installation
of a government, more despotic than the previous one, but also
to the installation of a class. This was the continuation of that
other violent foreign revolution which had inevitably borne
and strengthened the new class.

Stalin could, with equal if not greater right, reEer to Lenin
and all the revolution, just as Trotsky did. For Stalin was the
lawful although wicked offspring of Lenin and the revolution.

History has no previous record of a personality like Lenin






who, by his versatility and persistence, developed one of the
greatest revolutions known to men. It also has no record of a
personality like Stalin, who took on the enormous task of
strengthening, in terms of power and property, a new class bom
out of one of the greatest revolutions in one of the largest of
the world’s countries.

Behind Lenin, who was all passion and thought, stands the
dull, gray figure of Joseph Stalin, the symbol of the difficult,
cruel, and unscrupulous ascent of the new class to its final
power. 5

After Lenin and Stalin came what had to come; namely,
mediocrity in the form of collective leadership. And also there ;
came the apparently sincere, kind-hearted, non-intellectual “man
of the peopIe”—Nikita Khrushchev. The new class no longer
needs the revolutionaries or dogmatists it once required; it is
satisfied with simple personalities, such as Khrushchev, Malen- \
kov, Bulganin, and Shepilov, whose every word reflects the aver*
age man. The new class itself is tired of dogmatic purges and
training sessions. It would like to live quietly. It must protect
itself even from its own authorized leader now that it has been
adequately strengthened. Stalin remained the same as he was
when the class was weak, when cruel measnres were necessary
against even those in its own ranks who threatened to deviate.

Today this is all unnecessary. Without relinquishing anything
it created under Stalin’s leadership, the new class appears to
be renouncing his authority for the past few years. But it is
not really renouncing that authority-only Stalin’s methods
which, according to Khrushchev, hurt ‘good Communists

Lenin’s revolutionary epoch was replaced by Stalin’s epoch,
in which authority and ownership, and industrialization, were
stiengthened so that the mnch desired peaceful and good life
of the new class could begin. Lenin’s revolutionary Commu-
nism was replaced by Stalin’s dogmatic communism, which in

turn was replaced by non-dogmatie Communism, a so-called
collective leadership or a group of oligarchs.

These are the three phases of development of the new T class
in the U.S.S.R, or of Russian Communism (or of every other
type of Communism in one manner or another) ,

The fate of Yugoslav Communism was to unify these three
phases in the single personality of Tito, along with national
and personal characteristics. Tito is a great revolutionary, but
without original ideas; he has attained personal pow T er, but
without Stalin’s distrustfulness and dogmatism. Like Khrush-
chev, Tito is a representative of the people, that is, of the mid-
dle-party strata. The road which Yugoslav Communism has
traveled— attaining a revolution, copying Stalinism, then re-
nouncing Stalinism and seeking its own form— is seen most fully
in the personality of Tito. Yugoslav Communism has been
more consistent than other parties in preserving the substance
of Communism, yet never renouncing any form which could be
of value to it.

The three phases in the development of the new T class—
Lenin, Stalin, and “collective leadership”— are not completely
divorced from each other, in substance or in ideas.

Lenin too was a dogmatist, and Stalin too was a revolutionary,
just as collective leadership will resort to dogmatism and to
revolutionary methods when necessary. What is more, the non-
dogmatism of the collective leadership is applied only to itself,
to the heads of the new class. On the other hand, the people
must be all the more persistently “educated” in the spirit of
the dogma, or of Marxism-Leninism. By relaxing its dogmatic
severity and exclusiveness, the new class, becoming strengthened
economically, has prospects of attaining greater flexibility.

The heroic era of Commnnism is past. The epoch of its
great leaders has ended. The epoch of practical men has set
in. The new class has been created. It is at the height of its


power and wealth, but it is without new ideas- It. has nothing
more to tell the people. The only thing that remains is for
it to justify itself.

5 .

It would not be important to establish the fact that in con- >.
temporary Communism a new owning and exploiting class is
involved and not merely a temporary dictatorship and an arbi-
trary bureaucracy, if some anti-Stalinist Communists including j

Trotsky as well as some Social Democrats had not depicted the ‘!

ruling stratum as a passing bureaucratic phenomenon because :

of which this new ideal, classless society, still in its swaddling
clothes, must suffer, just as bourgeois society had had to suffer j
under Cromwell’s aud Napoleon’s despotism. \

But the new class is really a new class, with a special com- \
position and special power. By any scientific definition of a
class, even the Marxist definition by which some classes are
lower than others according to their specific position in pro-
duction, we conclude that, in the U.S.S.R. and other Com- I

munist countries, a new class of owners and exploiters is in i

existence. The specific characteristic of this new class is its i

collective ownership. Communist theoreticians affirm, and some i

even believe, that Communism has arrived at collective owner-
ship. 1

Collective ownership in various forms has existed in all
earlier societies. All ancient Eastern despotisms were based on ;!

the pre-eminence of the state’s or the king’s property. In ancient ;j

Egypt after the fifteenth century b.c., arable land passed to |

private ownership. Before that time only homes and surround- j

ing buildings had beeu privately owned. State land was handed
over for cultivation while state officials administered the land |

and collected taxes on it. Canals and installations, as well as ii

the most important works, were also state-owned. The state §


owned everything until it lost its independence in the first
century of onr era.

This helps to explain the deification of the Pharaohs of
Egypt and of the emperors, which one encounters in all the
ancient Eastern despotisms. Such ownership also explains the
undertaking of gigantic tasks, such as the construction of
temples, tombs, and castles of emperors, of canals* roads, and

The Roman state treated newly conqnered land as state land
and owned considerable numbers of slaves. The medieval
Church also had collective property.

Capitalism by its very nature was an enemy of collective own-
ership until the establishment of shareholders’ organizations.
Capitalism continued to be an enemy of collective ownership,
even though it could not do anything against new encroach-
ments by collective ownership and the enlargement of its area
of operations.

The Communists did not invent collective ownership as
such, but invented its all-encompassing character, more widely
extended than in earlier epochs, even more extensive than in
Pharaoh’s Egypt. That is all that the Communists did.

The ownership of the new class, as well as its character, was
formed over a period of time and was subjected to constant
change during the process. At first, only a small part of the
nation felt the need for all economic powers to be placed in
the hands of a political party for the purpose of aiding the
industrial transformation. The party, acting as the avant-garde
of the proletariat and as the “most enlightened power of so*
cialism,” pressed for this centralization which could be attained
only by a change in ownership. The change was made in fact
and in form through nationalization first of large enterprises
and then of smaller ones. The abolition of private ownership
was a prerequisite for industrialization, and for the beginning
of the new class. However, without their special role as ad-
ministrators over society and as distributors of property, the




Communists could not transform themselves into a new class,
nor could a new class be formed and permanently established.
Gradually material goods were nationalized, but in fact, thiough
its right to use, enjoy, and distribute these goods, they became
the property of a discernible stratum of the party and the
bureaucracy gathered around it.

In view of the significance of ownership for its power-and
also of the fruits of ownership— the party bureaucracy cannot
renounce the extension of its ovmership even over small-scale
production facilities. Because of its totalitarianism and monopo-
lism, the new class finds itself unavoidably at war with every-
thing which it does not administer or handle, and must
deliberately aspire to destroy or conquer it.

Stalin said, on the eve of collectivization, that the question
of “who will do what to whom” had been raised, even though
the Soviet government was not meeting serious opposition
from a politically and economically disunited peasantry. The
new class felt insecure as long as there were any other owners
except itself. It, could not risk sabotage in food supplies or in
agricultural raw materials. This was the direct reason for the
attack on the peasantry. However, there was a second reason,
a class reason: the peasants could be dangerous to the new
class in an unstable situation. The new class therefore had
to subordinate the peasantry to itself economically and
administratively; this was done through the kolkhozes and
machine- tractor stations, which required an increase propor-
tionate to the size of the new class in the villages themselves.
As a result, bureaucracy mushroomed in the villages too.

The fact that the seizure of property from other classes,
especially from small owners, led to decreases in production
and to chaos in the economy was of no consequence to the new
class. Most important, for the new class, as for every owner in
history, was the attainment and consolidation of ownership.
The class profited from the new property it had acquired even
though the nation lost thereby. The collectivization of peasant


holdings, which was economically unjustified, was unavoidable
if the new class was to be securely installed in its power and
its ownership.

Reliable statistics are not available, but all evidence confirms
that yields per acre in the U.S.S.R. have not been increased
over the yields in Czarist Russia, and that the number of live-
stock still does not approach the pre-revolutionary figure.

The losses in agricultural yields and in livestock can be
{ calculated, but the losses in manpower, in the millions of peas-

i ants who were thrown into labor camps, are incalculable.

i Collectivization was a frightful and devastating war which re-
sembled an insane undertaking— except for the fact that it was
profitable for the new class by assuring its authority.

By various methods, such as nationalization, compulsory co-
operation, high taxes, and price inequalities, private ownership
j was destroyed and transformed into collective ownership. The
establishment of the ownership of the new class was evidenced
in the changes in the psychology, the way of life, and the
material position of its members, depending on the position
they held on the hierarchical ladder. Country homes, the best
housing, furniture, and similar things were acquired; special
quarters and exclusive rest homes were established for the
highest bureaucracy, for the elite of the new class. The party
secretary and the chief of the secret police in some places not
only became the highest authorities but obtained the best hous-
ing, automobiles, and similar evidence of privilege. Those
beneath them were eligible for comparable privileges, depend-
ing upon their position in the hierarchy. The state budgets,
“gifts,” and the construction and reconstruction executed for
the needs of the state and its representatives became the ever-
lasting and inexhaustible sources of benefits to the political

Only in cases where the new class was not capable of
maintaining the ownership it had usurped, or in cases
where such ownership was exorbitantly expensive or politically


dangerous, the ownership surrendered to other strata or other
forms of ownership were devised. For example, collectivization
was abandoned in Yugoslavia because the peasants were resist-
ing it and because the steady decrease in production resulting
from collectivization held a latent danger for the regime. How-
ever, the new class never renounced the right in such cases to
seize ownership again or to collectivize. The new class cannot
renounce this right, for if it. did, it would no longer be total-
itarian and monopolistic.

No bureaucracy alone could be so stubborn in its pur-
poses and aims. Only those engaged in new forms of ownership,
who tread the road to new forms of production, are capable of
being so persistent.

Marx foresaw that after its victory the proletariat would be
exposed to danger from the deposed classes and from its own
bureaucracy. When the Communists, especially those in Yugo-
slavia, criticize Stalin’s administration and bureaucratic meth-
ods, they generally refer to what Marx anticipated. However,
what is happening in Communism today has little connection
with Marx and certainly no connection with this anticipation.
Marx was thinking of the danger from an increase in a parasitic
bureaucracy, which is also present in contemporary Com-
munism, It never occured to him that today’s Communist
strong men, who handle material goods on behalf of their own
narrow caste’s interests rather than for the bureaucracy as a
whole, would be the bureaucracy he was thinking of. In this
case too, Marx serves as a good excuse for the Communists,
whether the extravagant tastes of various strata of the new class
or poor administration is under criticism.

Contemporary Communism is not only a party of a certain
type, or a bureaucracy which has sprung from monopolistic
ownership and excessive state interference in the economy.
More than anything else, the essential aspect of contemporary
Communism is the new class of owners and exploiters.


6 .

No class is established by its own action, even though its
ascent is organized and accompanied by a conscious struggle.
This holds true for the new class in Communism.

The new’ class, because it had a weak relationship to the econ-
omy and social structure, and of necessity had its origin in a
single party, was forced to establish the highest possible organ-
izational structure. Finally it was forced to a deliberate and
conscious withdrawal from its earlier tenets. Consequently the
new class is more highly organized and more highly class-con-
scious than any class in recorded history.

This proposition is true only if it is taken relatively; con-
sciousness and organizational structure heing taken in relation
to the outside world and to other classes, powers, and social
forces. No other class in history has been as cohesive and single-
minded in defending itself and in controlling that which it
holds— collective and monopolistic ownership and totalitarian

On the other hand, the new class is also the most deluded
and least conscious of itself. Every private capitalist or feudal
lord was conscious of the fact that he belonged to a special dis-
cernible social category. He usually believed that this category
was destined to make the human race happy, and that without
this category chaos and general ruin would ensue. A Com-
munist member of the new class also believes that, without his
( party, society would regress and founder But he is not conscious
of the fact that he belongs to a new ownership class, for he does
not consider himself an owner and does not take into account
the special privileges he enjoys. He thinks that he belongs to
a group with prescribed ideas, aims, attitudes, and roles. That
is all he sees. He cannot see that at the same time he belongs
to a special social category: the ownership class.

Collective ownership, which acts to reduce the class, at the


same time makes it unconscious of its class substance, and each
one of the collective owners is deluded in that he thinks he
uniquely belongs to a movement which would abolish classes
in society.

A comparison of other characteristics of the new class with
those of other ownership classes reveals many similarities and
many differences. The new class is voracious and insatiable, just
as the bourgeoisie was. But it does not have* the virtues of
frugality and economy that the bourgeoisie had. The new class
is as exclusive as the aristocracy but without aristocracy s lefine-
ment and proud chivalry.

The new class also has advantages over other classes. Because
it is more compact it is better prepared for greater sacrifices
and heroic exploits. The individual is completely and totally
subordinated to the whole; at least, the prevailing ideal calls
for such subordination even when he is out seeking to better
himself. The new class is strong enough to carry out material
and other ventnres that no other class was ever able to do.
Since it possesses the nation’s goods, the new class is in a posh
tion to devote itself religiously to the aims it has set and to
direct all the forces of the people to the furtherance of these

The new ownership is not the same as the political govern-
ment, but is created and aided by that government. The use,
enjoyment, and distribution of property is the privilege of the
party and the party’s top men.

Party members feel that authority, that control over property,
brings with it the privileges of this world. Consequently, un-
scrupulous ambition, duplicity, toadyism, and jealousy inevita-
bly must increase. Careerism and an ever expanding bureauc-
racy are the incurable diseases of Communism. Because the
Communists have transformed themselves into owners, and
because the road to power and to material privileges is open
only through „devotion” to the party-to the class, to „social-
ism”— unscrupulous ambition must become one of the main


ways of life and one of the main methods for the development
of Communism.

In non-Communist systems, the phenomena of careerism
and unscrupulous ambition are a sign that it is profitable to
be a bureaucrat, or that owners have become parasites, so that
the administration of property is left in the hands of employees*
In Communism, careerism and unscrupulous ambition testify
to the fact that there is an irresistible drive toward ownership
and the privileges that accompany the administration of ma-
terial goods and men.

Membership in other ownership classes is not identical with
the ownership of particular property. This is still less the
case in the Communist system inasmuch as ownership is
collective. To be an owner or a joint owner in the Communist
system means that one enters the ranks of the ruling political
bureaucracy and nothing else.

In the new class, just as in other classes, some individuals
constantly fall by the wayside while others go up the ladder.
In private-ownership classes an individual left his property to
his descendants. In the new class no one inherits anything ex-
cept the aspiration to raise himself to a higher rung of the
ladder. The new class is actually being created from the lowest
and broadest strata of the people, and is in constant motion.
Although it is sociologically possible to prescribe who belongs
to the new class, it is difficult to do so; for the new class melts
into and spills over into the people, into other lower classes,
and is constantly changing.

The road to the top is theoretically open to all, just as every
one of Napoleon’s soldiers carried a marshal’s baton in his
knapsack. The only thing that is required to get on the road
is sincere and complete loyalty to the party or to the new class.
Open at the bottom, the new class becomes increasingly and
relentlessly narrower at the top. Not only is the desire necessary
for the climb; also necessary is the ability to understand and
develop doctrines, firmness in struggles against antagonists, ex-


ceptional dexterity and cleverness in intra-party struggles, and
talent in strengthening the class. Many present themselves, but
few are chosen. Although more open in some respects than
other classes, the new class is also more exclusive than other
classes. Since one of the new class’s most important features is
monopoly of authority, this exclnsiveness is strengthened by
bureaucratic hierarchical prejudices.

Nowhere, at any time, has the road been as wide open to the
devoted and the loyal as it is in the Communist system. But the
ascent to the heights has never at any time been so difficult or
required so much sacrifice and so many victims. On the one
hand, Communism is open and kind to all; on the other hand,
it is exclusive and intolerant even of its its own adherents.

7 .

The fact that there is a new ownership class in Communist
countries does not explain everything, but it is the most im-
portant key to understanding the changes which are periodi-
cally taking place in these countries, especially in the U.S.S.R.

It goes without saying that every such change in each separate
Communist country and in the Communist system as a whole
must be examined separately, in order to determine the extent
and significance of the change in the specific circumstances. To
do this, however, the system should be understood as a whole
to the fullest extent possible.

In connection with current changes in the U.S.S.R. it will be
profitable to point out in passing what is occurring in the kolk-
hozes. The establishment of kolkhozes and the Soviet govern-
ment policy toward them illustrates clearly the exploiting
nature of the new class.

Stalin did not and Khrushchev does not consider kolkhozes
as a “logical socialistic” form of ownership. In practice this


means that the new class has not succeeded in completely taking
over the management of the villages. Through the kolkhozes
and the use of the compulsory crop-purchase system, the new
class has succeeded in making vassals of the peasants and grab-
bing a lion’s share of the peasants’ income, but the new class
has not become the only power of the land. Stalin was com-
pletely aware of this. Before his death, in Economic Problems
of Socialism in the U.S.S.R . , Stalin foresaw that the kolkhozes
should become state property, which is to say that the bureau-
cracy should become the real owner. Criticizing Stalin for his
excess use of purges, Khrushchev did not however renounce
Stalin’s views on property in kolkhozes. The appointment by
the new regime of 30,000 party workers, mostly to be presidents
of kolkhozes, was only one of the measures in line with Stalin’s

Just as under Stalin, the new regime, in executing its so-called
liberalization policy, is extending the “socialist” ownership of
the new class. Decentralization in the economy does not mean
a change in ownership, but only gives greater rights to the
lower strata of the bureaucracy or of the new class. If the so-
called liberalization and decentralization meant anything else,
that would be manifest in the political right of at least part of
the people to exercise some influence in the management of
material goods. At least, the people would have the right to
criticize the arbitrariness of the oligarchy. This -would lead to
the creation of a new political movement, even though it were
only a loyal opposition. However, this is not even mentioned,
just as democracy in the party is not mentioned. Liberalization
and decentralization are in force only for Commnnists; first for
the oligarchy, the leaders of the new class; and second, for those
in the lower echelons. This is the new method, inevitable under
changing conditions, for the further strengthening and consoli-
dation of monopolistic ownership and totalitarian authority of
the new class.

The fact that there is a new owning, monopolistic, and total-




itarian class in Communist countries calls for the following
conclusion: All changes initiated by the Communist chiefs are
dictated first of all by the interests and aspirations of the new
class, which, like every social group, lives and reacts, defends
itself and advances, with the aim of increasing its power. This
does not mean, however, that such changes may not be impor-
tant for the rest of the people as well. Although the innovations
introduced by the new class have not yet materially altered the
Communist system, they must not be underestimated. It is
necessary to gain insight into the substance of these changes in
order to determine their range and significance.

The Communist regime, in common with others, must take
into account the mood and movement of the masses. Be-
cause of the exclusiveness of the Communist Party and the
absence of free public opinion in its ranks, the regime cannot
discern the real status of the masses. However, their dissatis-
faction does penetrate the consciousness of the top leaders.
In spite of its totalitarian management, the new class is not
immune to every type of opposition.

Once in power, the Communists have no difficulty in settling
their accounts with the bourgeoisie and large-estate owners.
The historical development is hostile to them and their prop-
erty and it is easy to arouse the masses against them. Seizing
property from the bourgeoisie and the large-estate owners is
quite easy; difficulties arise when seizure of small properties is
involved. Having acquired power in the course of earlier ex-
propriations, the Communists can do even this. Relations are
rapidly clarified: there are no more old classes and old owners,
society is “classless/ 1 or on the road to being so, and men have
started to live in a new manner.

Under such conditions, demands to retnrn to the old pre-
revolutionary relations seem unrealistic, if not ridiculous.
Material and social bases no longer exist for the maintenance
of such relations. The Communists meet such demands as if
they were Jests.


The new class is most sensitive to demands on the part of the
t people for a special kind of freedom, not for freedom in general
or political freedom. It is especially sensitive to demands for
freedom of thought and criticism, within the limits of present
conditions and within the limits of “socialism”; not for de-
mands for a return to previous social and ownership relations.
This sensitivity originates from the class’s special position.

The new class instinctively feels that national goods are, in
fact, its property, and that even the terms “socialist,” “social,”
and “state” property denote a general legal fiction. The new
class also thinks that any breach of its totalitarian authority
might imperil its ownership. Consequently, the new class
| opposes any type of freedom, ostensibly for the purpose of
preserving “socialist” ownership. Criticism of the new class’s
monopolistic administration of property generates the fear of
of a possible loss of power. The new class is sensitive to these
criticisms and demands depending on the extent to which they
expose the manner in which it rules and holds power.

This is an important contradiction. Property is legally con-
: sidered social and national property. But, in actnality, a single

group manages it in its own interest. The discrepancy between
legal and actual conditions continuously results in obscure and
abnormal social and economic relationships. It also means that,
the words of the leading group do not. correspond to its actions;
and that all actions result in strengthening its property hold-
ings and its political position.

This contradiction cannot be resolved without jeopardizing
the class’s position. Other rnling, property-owning classes could
not resolve this contradiction either, unless forcefully deprived
of monopoly of power and ownership. Wherever there has been
i a higher degree of freedom for society as a whole, the ruling
classes have been forced, in one way or another, to renonnce
monopoly of ownership. The reverse is true also: wherever
monopoly of ownership has been impossible, freedom, to some
degree, has become inevitable.


In Communism, power and ownership are almost always in
the same hands, but. this fact is concealed under a legal guise.
In classical capitalism, the worker had equality with the cap-
italist before the law, even though the worker was being
exploited and the capitalist was doing the exploiting. In Com-
munism, legally, all are equal with respect to material goods.
The formal owner is the nation. In reality, because of monopo-
listic administration, only the narrowest stratum of administra-
tors enjoys the rights of ownership.

Every real demand for freedom in Communism, the kind of
demand that hits at the substance of Communism, boils down
to a demand for bringing material and property relations into
accord with what the law provides.

A demand for freedom— based on the position that capital
goods produced by the nation can be managed more efficiently
by society than by private monopoly or a private owner, and
consequently should actually be in the hands or under control
of society exercised through its freely elected representatives—
would force the new class either to make concessions to other
forces, or to take off the mask and admit its ruling and ex-
ploiting characteristics. The type of ownership and exploita-
tion which the new class creates by using its authority and its
administrative privileges is such that even the class itself must
deny it. Does not the new class emphasize that it uses its au-
thority and administrative functions in the name of the nation
as a whole to preserve national property?

This makes the legal position of the new class uncertain and
is also the source of the new class’s biggest internal difficulties.
The contradiction discloses the disharmony between words and
actions: While promising to abolish social differences, it must
always increase them by acquiring the products of the nation’s
workshops and granting privileges to its adherents. It must
proclaim loudly its dogma that it is fulfilling its historical mis-
sion of “final” liberation of mankind from every misery and
calamity while it acts in exactly the opposite way.


The contradiction between the new class’s real ownership
position and its legal position can furnish the basic reason for
criticism. This contradiction has within it the ability not only
to incite others but also to corrode the class’s own ranks, since
privileges are actually being enjoyed by only a few. This contra-
diction, when intensified, holds prospects of real changes in
the Communist system, whether the ruling class is in favor of
the change or not. The fact that this contradiction is so obvious
has been the reason for the changes made by the new class,
especially in so-called liberalization and decentralization.

Forced to withdraw and surrender to individual strata, the
new class aims at concealing this contradiction and strengthen-
ing its own position. Since ownership and authority continue
intact, all measnres taken by the new class— even those demo-
cratically inspired— show a tendency toward strengthening the
management of the political bureaucracy. The system turns
democratic measures into positive methods for consolidating
the position of the ruling classes. Slavery in ancient times in
the East inevitably permeated all of society’s activities and
components, including the family. In the same way, the monop-
olism and totalitarianism of the ruling class in the Communist
system are imposed on all the aspects of social life, even though
the political heads are not aiming at this.

Yugoslavia’s so-called workers’ management and autonomy,
conceived at the time of the struggle against Soviet imperialism
as a far-reaching democratic measure to deprive the party of
the monopoly of administration, has been increasingly relegated
to one of the areas of party work. Thus, it is hardly possible to
change the present system. The aim of creating a new demo-
cracy through this type of administration will not be achieved.
Besides, freedom cannot be extended to the largest piece of the
pie. Workers’ management has not brought about a sharing in
profits by those who produce, either on a national level or in
local enterprises. This type of administration has increasingly
turned into a safe type for the regime. Through various taxes




and other means, the regime has appropriated even the share
of the profits „which the workers believed would be given to
them. Only crumbs from the tables and illusions have been left
to the workers. Without universal freedom not even workers
management can become free. Clearly, in an unfree society
nobody can freely decide anything. The givers have somehow
obtained the most value from the gift of freedom they sup-
posedly handed the workers.

This does not mean that the new class cannot make conces-
sions to the people, even though it only considers its own
interests. Workers’ management, or decentralization, is a con-
cession to the masses. Circumstances may drive the new class,
no matter how monopolistic and totalitarian it may be, to re-
treat before the masses. In 1948, when the conflict took place
between Yugoslavia and the U.S.S.R., the Yugoslav leaders
were forced to execute some reforms. Even though it might
mean a backward step, they set up reforms as soon as they saw
themselves in jeopardy. Something similar is happening today
in the eastern European countries.

In defending its authority, the ruling class must execute re-
forms every time it becomes obvious to the people that the
class is treating national property as its own. Such reforms are
not proclaimed as being what they really are, but rather as part
of the “further development of socialism” and “socialist democ-
racy.” The groundwork for reforms is laid when the discrep-
ancy mentioned above becomes public. From the historical
point of view the new class is forced to fortify its authority and
ownership constantly, even though it is running aw r ay from the
truth. It must constantly demonstrate how it is successfully
creating a society of happy people, all of whom enjoy equal
rights and have been freed of every type of exploitation. The
new r class cannot avoid falling continuously into profound in-
ternal contradictions; for in spite of its historical origin it is
not able to make its ownership lawful, and it cannot renounce
ownership without undermining itself. Consequently, it is


forced to try to justify its increasing authority, invoking abstract
and unreal purposes.

This is a class whose power over men is the most complete
known to history. For this reason it is a class with very limited
views, views which are false and unsafe. Closely ingrown, and
in complete authority, the new class must, unrealistically
evaluate its own role and that of the people around it.

Having achieved industrialization, the new class can now do
nothing more than strengthen its brute force and pillage the
people. It ceases to create. Its spiritual heritage is overtaken by

While the new class accomplished one of its greatest successes
in die revolution, its method of control is one of the most
shameful pages in human history. Men will marvel at the
grandiose ventures it accomplished, and will be ashamed of
the means it used to accomplish them.

When the new class leaves the historical scene— and this must
happen— there will be less sorrow over its passing than there
was for any other class before it. Smothering everything except
what suited its ego, it has condemned itself to failure and
shameful ruin


The Party State

1 .

The mechanism of Communist power is perhaps the simplest
which can be conceived, although it leads to the most refined
tyranny and the most brutal exploitation. The simplicity of
this mechanism originates from the fact that one party alone,
the Communist Party, is the backbone of the entire political,
economic, and ideological activity. The entire public life is at
a standstill or moves ahead, falls behind or turns around ac-
cording to what happens in the party forums.

Under the Communist systems the people realize quickly
what they are and what they are not permitted to do. Laws and
regulations do not have an essential importance for them. The
actual and unwritten rules concerning the relationship between
the government and its subjects do. Regardless of laws, everyone
knows that the government is in the hands of the party com-
mittees and the secret police. Nowhere is “the directing role”
of the party prescribed, but its authority is established in all
organizations and sectors. No law provides that the secret police
has the right to control citizens, but the police is all-powerful.
No law prescribes that the judiciary and prosecutors should
be controlled by the secret police and the party committee, but
they are. Most people know that this is the case. Everyone



knows what can and what cannot be done, and what depends
on whom. People adjust to the environment and to actual
conditions, turning to party forums or to organs under the
party’s control in all important matters.

The direction of social organizations and social organs is
accomplished simply by this method: the Communists form a
unit, which turns to authorized political forums in all matters.
This is theoretical; actually it operates in this way: In cases
where the social organ or organization is managed by a person
who also has power in the party, he will not refer to anyone
regarding lesser matters. Communists become familiar with
their system and with the relationships created by it; they
accustom themselves to distinguish between the important and
the unimportant, and refer to party forums only in especially
important matters. The unit exists only potentially, important
decisions being made by the party; the opinion of those who
have elected the government or administration of some organi-
zation is totally unimportant.

Communist totalitarianism and the new class took root when
the Communist Party was preparing for the revolution; their
method of administering and maintaining authority also goes
back to that time. The “directing role” in organs of government
and social organizations is merely the former Communist, unit
which has since branched out, developed, and perfected itself.
The second “directing role” of the party in the “building of
socialism” is nothing but the old theory regarding the avant-
garde role of the party with respect to the working class, with
the difference that the theory then had a different significance
for society than it has now. Before the Communists usurped
power, this theory was necessary in order to recruit revolution-
aries and revolutionary organs; now it justifies the totalitarian
control of the new class. One springs from the other, but one
is also different from the other. The revolution and its forms



were unavoidable and were even needed by that part of society
which irresistibly aspired to technical and economic progress.

The totalitarian tyranny and control of the new class, which
came into being during the revolution, has become the yoke
from under which the blood and sweat of all members of society
flow. Particular revolutionary forms were transformed into re-
actionary ones, This was also the case with the Communist

There are two essential methods through which Communist
control of the social machine is accomplished. The first is the
unit, the main method in principle and in theory. The second,
actually more practical one, restricts certain government posts
to party members. These jobs, which are essential in any
government but especially in a Communist one, include assign-
ments with police, especially the secret police; and the diplo-
matic and officers corps, especially positions in the information
and political services. In the judiciary only top positions have
until now been in the hands of Communists. The judiciary,
subordinated to the party and police establishments, is gener-
ally poorly paid, and is unattractive to Communists. However,
the tendency now is for judiciary posts to be considered as a
privilege open only to party members, and for members of the
judiciary to have increasing privileges. Thus, control over the
judiciary could be relaxed, if not completely abolished, with
the assurance that it will continue to rule according to the
intentions of the party or “in the spirit of socialism.”

Only in a Communist state are a number of both specified
and unspecified positions reserved for members of the party.
The Communist government, although a class structure, is a
party government; the Communist army is a party army; and
the state is a party state. Mote precisely. Communists tend to
treat the army and the state as their exclusive weapons.

The exclusive, if unwritten, law that only party members
can become policemen, officers, diplomats, and hold similar
positions, or that only they can exercise actual authority, creates


a special privileged group of bureaucrats and simplifies the
mechanism of government and administration. In this manner
the party unit expanded and more or less took in all these serv-
ices. As a result, the unit has disappeared while these services
have become an essential area for party activity.

There is no fundamental difference in the Communist system
between governmental services and party organizations, as in
the example of the party and the secret police. The party and
the police mingle very closely in their daily functioning; the
difference between them is only in the distribution of work.

The entire governmental structure is organized in this
manner. Political positions are reserved exclusively for party
members. Even in non-political governmental bodies Com-
munists hold the strategic positions or oversee administration.
Calling a meeting at the party center or publishing an article
is sufficient to cause the entire state and social mechanism to
begin functioning. If difficulties occur anywhere, the party and
the police very quickly correct the “error.”

2 .

The particular character of the Communist Party has already
been discussed. There are other special features, too, which
help reveal the essence of a Communist state.

The Communist Party does not have its unique character
solely becanse it is revolutionary and centralized and observes
military discipline and other definite goals, or has other charac-
teristics. There are other parties with similar features, even
though these features may be stronger in the Communist Party.

However, only in the Communist Party is “ideological unity”
or an identical concept of the world and of the development of
society obligatory for its members. This applies only to persons
who function in the higher forums of the party. The others,
those in lower positions, are obligated only to give lip service



to identical ideological views, while they execute orders handed
down from above. The tendency, however, is to have those in
lower positions adjust their ideological level to that of the

Lenin did not consider that party members were all obliged
to hold the same views. However, in practice, he refuted and
explained away every view which did not appear ’’Marxist”
or „the party’s”; that is, every view that did not strengthen
the party in the manner which he had originally conceived.
His settling of accounts with various opposition groups in the
party was different from Stalin’s, because Lenin did not kill
his subjects, „merely” quelled them. While he was in power
both freedom of expression and voting privileges were in effect.
Total authority over everything had not yet been established.

Stalin required ideological unity— obligatory philosophic and
other views— in addition to political unity as a meeting ground
for all party members. This is actually Stalin’s contribution
to Lenin’s teaching about the party. Stalin formed the concept
of obligatory ideological unity in his early youth: in his time,
unanimity became the unwritten requirement of all Com-
munist parties, and it remains so to the present day.

Yugoslav leaders held and still hold the same views. They
are still under Soviet „collective leadership” and the forums
of other Communist parties. This insistence on the obligatory
ideological unity of the party is a sign that no essential changes
have occurred, and only confirms the fact that free discussion
is not possible, or possible only in a very limited way, under
today’s „collective leadership.”

What does obligatory unity in the party mean and where
does it lead?

Its political consequences are very serious. The power in
every party, especially in the Communist Party, resides in its
leaders and higher forums. Ideological unity as an obligation,
especially in the centralized and militarily disciplined Com-
munist Party, inevitably brings with it the power of the central


body leadership over the thoughts of its members. Although
ideological unity was attained in Lenin’s time through dis-
cussion held at the top, Stalin himself began to regulate it.
Today, post-Stalin „collective leadership” is satisfied to make
it impossible for new social ideas to appear. Thus, Marxism
has become a theory to be defined exclusively by party leaders.
There is no other type of Marxism or Communism today, and
the development of another type is hardly possible.

The social consequences of ideological unity have been
tragic: Lenin’s dictatorship was strict, but Stalin’s dictatorship
became totalitarian. The abolition of all ideological struggle
in the party meant the termination of all freedom in society,
since only through the party did the various strata find expres-
sion. Intolerance of other ideas and insistence on the presum-
ably exclusive scientific nature of Marxism were the beginning
of ideological monopoly by party leadership, which later de-
veloped into complete monopoly over society.

Party ideological unity makes independent movements im-
possible within the Communist system and within society itself.
Every action depends on the party, which has total control
over society; within it there is not the slightest freedom.

Ideological unity did not arise suddenly but, like everything
in Communism, developed gradually, reaching its greatest
height during the struggle for power between various party
factions. It is not at all accidental that, during Stalin’s ascend-
ancy to power in the mid- 1920‘s, it was openly demanded of
Trotsky for the first time that he reject all ideas other than
those formulated by the party.

Party ideological unity is the spiritual basis of personal dic-
tatorship. Without it personal dictatorship cannot even be
imagined. It begets and strengthens the dictatorship, and vice
versa. This is understandable; a monopoly over ideas, or ob-
ligatory ideological unity, is only a complement and a theo-
retical mask for personal dictatorship. Although personal
dictatorship and ideological unity were already evident in the



beginnings of contemporary Communism or Bolshevism, both
are firmly establishing themselves with Communism’s full
power, so that they, as trends and often as prevailing forms, will
never again be abandoned until the fall of Communism.

The suppression of ideological differences among the leaders
has also abolished fractions and currents, and thus has abolished
aii democracy in Communist parties. Thus began the period of
the EuArerprinciple in Communism: ideologists are merely
people with power in the party regardless of inadequate intel-
lectual ability-

The continuance of ideological unity in the party is an un-
mistakable sign of the maintenance of a personal dictatorship,
or the dictatorship of a small number of oligarchs who tempo-
rarily work together or maintain a balance of power, as is
the case in the U.S.S.R, today. We find a tendency toward
ideological unity in other parties also, especially in socialist
parties in their earlier stages. However, this is only a tendency
in these parties; in Communist parties it has become obligatory.
One is obliged not only to be a Marxist, but to adopt the type
of Marxism desired and prescribed by the leadership. Marxism
has been transformed from a free revolutionary ideology into
a prescribed dogma. As in ancient Eastern despotism, the top
authority interprets and prescribes the dogma, while the em-
peror is the archpriest.

The obligatory ideological unity of the party, which has
passed through various phases and forms, has remained the
most essential characteristic of Bolshevik or Communist parties.

If these parties had not at the same time been the beginning
of new classes, and if they had not had a special historical role
to play, obligatory ideological unity could not have existed in
them. Except for the Communist bureaucracy, not a single
class or party in modern history has attained complete ideo-
logical unity. None had, before, the task of transforming all of
society, mostly through political aud administrative means. For
such a task, a complete, fanatical confidence in the righteous-


ness and nobility of their views is necessary. Such a task calls
for exceptional brutal measures against other ideologies and
social groups. It also calls for ideological monopoly over
society and for absolute unity of the ruling class. Communist
parties have needed special ideological solidarity for this reason.

Once ideological unity is established, it operates as powerfully
as prejudice. Communists are educated in the idea that ideo-
logical unity, or the prescription of ideas from above, is the
holy of holies, and that factionalism in the party is the greatest
of all crimes.

Complete control of society could not be accomplished with-
out coming to terms with other socialist groups. Ideological
unity, too, is only possible through a reconciliation within the
party’s own ranks. Both the one and the other occur approxi-
mately simultaneously; in the minds of the adherents of
totalitarianism they appear as “objectively” identical, although
the first is a reconciliation of the new class with its opponents,
and the second is a reconciliation within the ruling class. In
fact, Stalin knew that Trotsky, Bukharin, Zinoviev, and others
were not foreign spies and traitors to the “socialist fatherland.’*
However, since their disagreement with him obviously delayed
the establishment of totalitarian control, he had to destroy
them. His crimes within the party consist oE the fact that he
transformed “objective unfriendliness”— the ideological and
political differences in the party— into the subjective guilt of
groups and individuals, attributing to them crimes which they
did not commit.

3 .

But this is the inescapable road oE every Communist system.
The method of establishing totalitarian control, or ideological
unity, may be less severe than Stalin’s, but the essence is always
the same. Even where industrialization is not the form or com




dition for establishing totalitarian control, as in Czechoslovakia
and Hungary, the Communist bureaucracy is inevitably com-
pelled to establish the same forms of authority in underdevel-
oped countries as those established in the Soviet Union, This
does not occur simply because the Soviet Union imposed such
forms on these countries as subordinates, bnt because it is
within the very nature of Communist parties themselves and
of their ideologies to do so. Party control over society, identifi-
cation of the government and governmental machinery with
the party, and the right to express ideas dependent on the
amount of power and the position one holds in the hierarchy;
these are the essential and inevitable characteristics of every
Communist bureaucracy as soon as it attains power.

The party is the main force of the Communist state and
government. It is the motive force of everything. It unites with-
in itself the new class, the government, ownership, and ideas.

For this reason, military dictatorships have not been possible
under Communism, although it seems that military conspiracies
have occurred in the U.S.S.R. Military dictatorships would not
be able to encompass all phases of life, nor even conviuce the
nation temporarily of the need for exceptional efforts and self-
sacrifice. Such can be accomplished only by the party, and then
only by a party with belief in such vast ideals that its despotism
appears to its members and adherents as necessary, as the
highest form of state and social organization.

Viewed from the standpoint, of freedom, a military dictator-
ship in a Communist system would denote great progress. It
would signify the termination of totalitarian party control, or
of a party oligarchy. Theoretically speaking, however, a military
dictatorship would be possible only in case of a military defeat
or an exceptional political crisis. Even in such a case it would
initially be a form of party dictatorship or it would have to
conceal itself in the party. But, this would inevitably lead to
a change in the entire system.

The totalitarian dictatorship of the Communist Party oli-


garchy in the Communist system is not the result of momentary
political relations, but of a long and complex social progress.
A change in it. would not mean a change in the form of govern-
ment in one and the same system, but a change in the system
itself, or the beginning of a change. Such a dictatorship is
itself the system, its body and soul, its essence.

The Communist government very rapidly becomes a small
circle of party leaders. The claim that it is a dictatorship of
the proletariat becomes an empty slogan. The process that
leads to this develops with the inevitability and uncontrol-
lability of the elements, and the theory that the party is an
avant-garde of the proletariat only aids the process.

This does not mean that during the battle for power the
party is not the leader of the working masses or that it is not
working in their interests. But then, the party’s role and
struggles are stages and forms of its movement toward power.
Although its struggle aids the working class, it also strengthens
the party, as well a 5 the future power-holders and the embryonic
new class. As soon as it attains power, the party controls all
power and takes all goods into its hands, professing to be the
representative of the interests of the working class and the
working people. Except for short periods during the revolu-
tionary battle, the proletariat does not participate or play a
greater role in this than any other class.

This does not mean that the proletariat, or some of its strata,
are not temporarily interested in keeping the party in power.
The peasants supported those who professed the intention to
rescue them from hopeless misery through industrialization.

While individual strata of the working classes may tempo-
rarily support the party, the government is not. theirs nor is
their part in the government important for the course of social
progress and social relations. In the Communist system nothing
is done to aid the working people, particularly the working
class, to attain power and rights. It cannot be otherwise.

The classes and masses do not exercise authority, but the



party does so in their name. In every party, including the most
democratic, leaders play an important role to the extent that
the party’s authority becomes the authority of the leaders. The
so-called “dictatorship of the proletariat,” which is the begin-
ning of and under the best circumstances becomes the authority
oF the party, inevitably evolves into the dictatorship of the
leaders. In a totalitarian government of this type, the dictator-
ship of the proletariat is a theoretical justification, or ideo-
logical mask at best, for the authority of some oligarchs.

Marx envisioned the dictatorship of the proletariat as democ-
racy within and for the benefit of the proletariat; that is, a
government in which there are many socialist streams or parties.
The only dictatorship of the proletariat, the Paris Commune of
1871, on which Marx based his conclusions, was composed of
several parties, among which the Marxist party was neither the
smallest nor the most significant. But a dictatorship of the pro-
letariat which would be directly operated by the proletariat is a
pure Utopia, since no government can operate without political
organizations. Lenin delegated the dictatorship of the prole-
tariat to the authority of one party, his own. Stalin delegated
the dictatorship of the proletariat to his own personal authority
—to his personal dictatorship in the party and in the state. Since
the death of the Communist emperor, his descendants have
been fortunate in that through “collective leadership” they
could distribute authority among themselves. In any case, the
Communist dictatorship of the proletariat is either a Utopian
ideal or a function reserved for an elite group of party leaders.

Lenin thought that the Russian soviet s, Marx’s “ultimate
discovery,” were the dictatorship of the proletariat. In the be-
ginning, because of their revolutionary initiative and becanse
of the participation of the masses, the soviets did seem to be
something of this kind. Trotsky also believed that the soviets
were a contemporary political form just as parliaments, bom
in the struggle against absolute monarc hs, have been. However,
these were illusions. The soviets were transformed from revo-


lutionary bodies into a form suitable for the totalitarian
dictatorship of the new class, or the party.

This was also the case with Lenin’s democratic centralism,
including both that of the party aiid of the government. As
long as public differences are tolerated in the party, one can
still speak of centralism— even though it is not a very democratic
form of centralism. When totalitarian authority is created,
centralism disappears and the naked despotism of the oligarchy
takes over.

We may conclude from this that there is a constant tendency
to transform an oligarchic dictatorship into a personal dictator-
ship. Ideological unity, the inevitable struggle at the top of
the party, and the needs of the system as a whole tend toward
personal dictatorship. The leader who succeeds in getting to
the top, along with his assistants, is the one who succeeds in
most logically expressing and protecting the interests of the
new class at any given time.

There is a strong trend toward personal dictatorship in other
historical situations; for instance, all forces must be subor-
dinated to one idea and one will when industrialization is being
pressed or when a nation is at war. But there is a specific and
pure Communist reason for personal dictatorship: authority is
the basic aim and means of Communism and of every true Com-
mnnist. The thirst for power is insatiable and irresistible among
Communists. Victory in the struggle for power is equal to being
raised to a divinity; failure means the deepest mortification
and disgrace.

The Communist leaders must also tend to personal extrava-
gance-something which they cannot resist because of human
frailty and because of the inherent need of those in power to
be recognizable prototypes of brilliance and might.

Careerism, extravagance, and love of power are inevitable,
and so is corruption. It is not a matter of the corruption of
public servants, for this may occur less frequently than in the
state which preceded it. It is a special type of corruption caused


by the fact that the government is in the hands of a single
political group and is the source of all privileges. Care of
its men” and their placement in lucrative positions, or the
distribution of all kinds of privileges, becomes unavoidable.
The fact that the government and the party are identical with
the state, and practically with the holding of all property,
causes the Communist state to be one which corrupts itself,
in that it inevitably creates privileges and parasitic functions.

A member of the Yugoslav Communist Party very picture
esquely described the atmosphere in which a regular Com-
munist lives: “I am really tom Into three parts: I see those
who have a better automobile than I have, yet it seems to me
that they are not more devoted to the party and to socialism
than I am; I look down from the heights on those who have
no automobile, for they haven’t really earned any. So I m lucky
that I have the one I have.”

Obviously, he was not a true Communist, bnt was one of
those who became a Communist because he was an idealist,
and then being disillusioned, tried to be satisfied with what
might come to him in a normal bureaucratic career. The true
Communist is a mixture of a fanatic and an unrestrained
power-holder. Only this type makes a true Communist. The
others are idealists or careerists.

Since it is based on administration, the Communist system
is unavoidably bureaucratic with a strict hierarchical organi-
zation. In the Communist system, exclusive groups are estab-
lished arouud political leaders and forums. All policy-making
is reduced to wrangling in these exclusive groups, in which
familiarity and cliquishness flower. The highest group is gener-
ally the most intimate. At intimate suppers, on hunts, in
conversations between two or three men, matters of state of
the most vital importance are decided. Meetings of party for-
ums, confeiences of the government and assemblies, serve no
purpose but to make declarations and put in an appearance.


They are only convened to confirm what has previously been
cooked up in intimate kitchens.

The Communists have a fetishist, relation toward the state
or the government, exactly as if it were their own property.
The same men, the same groups, which are intimate and fa-
miliar inside the party become stiff, formal, and pompous indi-
viduals when they act as representatives of the state.

This monarchy is anything but enlightened. The monarch
himself, the dictator, does not feel himself to be either a
monarch or a dictator. When he was called dictator, Stalin
ridiculed the idea. He felt that he was the representative of
the collective party will. He was right to a degree— since prob-
ably no one else in history ever had as much personal power.
He, like every other Communist dictator, was aware that a
retreat from the ideological bases of the party, from the mo-
nopolism of the new class, fiom ownership of the nation’s goods,
or from the totalitarian power of the oligarchy, would result
in his inevitable downfall. Indeed, no such retreat was even
considered by Stalin, as he was the foremost representative
and creator of the system. However, even he was dependent
on the system created under his administration, or on the
opinions of the party oligarchy. He could do nothing against
them nor could he pass over them.

The fact emerges that in the Communist system no one is
independent, neither those at the top nor the leader himself.
They are all dependent on one another and must avoid being
separated from their surroundings, prevailing ideas, controls,
and interests.

Is there, theu, any sense in talking about the dictatorship
of the proletariat under Communism?

4 .

The Communist theory of the state, a theory worked out
in detail by Lenin and supplemented by Stalin and others.



favors the totalitarian dictatorship of the party bureaucracy.
Two elements are fundamental in the theory: the theory of the
state alone and the theory of the withering away of the state.
Both of these elements are mutually related and together rep-
resent the entire theory. Lenin’s theory of the state is most
completely presented in his document The State and Revolu-
tion , which was written while he was hiding from the Provi-
sional Government on the eve of the October Revolution. Like
everything else of Lenin’s, the theory leans toward the revolu-
tionary aspects of Marxist teaching. In his discussion of the
state Lenin developed this aspect further and carried it to
extremes, utilizing particularly the experience of the Russian
revolution of 1905. Considered historically, Lenin’s document
was of much greater significance as an ideological weapon of
the revolution than it was as a base for development of a new
authority built according to its ideas.

Lenin reduced the state to force, or more precisely, to the
organ of tyranny which one class employs for the sake of op-
pressing the other classes. Trying to formulate the nature of
the state in the most forceful way, Lenin noted, “The state is
a club.”

Lenin perceived other functions of the state too. But in these
functions he also uncovered what was for him the most indis-
pensable role of the state— the use of brute force hy one class
against the others.

Lenin’s theory calling for the destruction of the old state ap-
paratus was, in fact, far from being a scientific one. This docu-
ment of Lenin’s— extremely significant from the historic point
of view— would make valid all that is typical of all Communist
theories. In proceeding from immediate needs, the parties
create generalities, ostensibly scientific conclusions and theories,
and proclaim half truths as truths. The fact that force and
violence are basic characteristics of every state authority, or
the fact that individual social and political forces employ the
machinery of state, particularly in armed clashes, cannot be


denied. However, experience shows that state machinery is
necessary to society, or the nation, for still another reason—
for the development and uniting of its various functions. Com-
munist theory, as well as that of Lenin, ignores this aspect.

There were, long ago, communities without states and au-
thorities. They were not social communities, but something
in transition between the semi-animal and human forms of
social life. Even these most primitive communities had some
forms of authority. With increasingly complex forms of social
life, it would be naive to tiy to prove that the need [or the
state would disappear in the future. Lenin, in support of Marx
who agreed with the anarchists about this, contemplated and
tried to establish precisely such a stateless society. Without
entering into a discussion on the extent to which his prem-
ises were justified, we must remember that he contemplated
this society as his classless society. According to this theory
there will be no classes and no class struggles; there will
be no one to oppress and to exploit others; and there will
be no need for the state. Until that time, then, the „‘most
democratic” state is the „dictatorship of the proletariat,” for
the reason that it „abolishes” classes, and by so doing, ostensibly
makes itself gradually unnecessary. Therefore, everything that
strengthens that dictatorship, or leads to the „abolishing” of
classes, is justified, progressive, and liberal. In those places
where they are not in control the Communists are pleaders in
behalf of the most democratic measures because this facilitates
their struggles; in those places where they manage to get con-
trol, they become opponents of every democratic form as
allegedly a „bourgeois” form. They currently proclaim the
preposterous classification of democracy into „bourgeois” and
„socialist,” although the only proper and fair distinction must
be drawn solely on the basis of the quantity of freedom, or the
universality of freedom.

In tire entire Leninist or Communist theory of the state,
there are gaps in the scientific as well as the practical points



of view. Experience ha 5 demonstrated that the results are com-
pletely contrary to those envisaged by Lenin. The classes did
not disappear under the ‘”dictatorship of the proletariat/’ and
the “dictatorship of the proletariat’ 5 did not begin to wither
away. Actually, the creation of the total authority of the Com-
munists, and the liquidation of the classes of the old society,
was meant to look like the liquidation of classses in general
But the growth of state power or, more precisely, of the bureau-
cracy through which it enforced its tyranny did not stop with
the dictatorship of the proletariat. Instead it increased. The
theory had to be patched up somehow; Stalin had conceived
a still higher “educational” role of the Soviet state before it
“withered.” If Communist theory of the state, and especially
its practice, is reduced to its very essence, i.e., to force and co-
ercion as the principal or only function of the state, Stalin’s
theory might be said to be that the police system has this high
or “educational” role to play. Understandably, only a malicious
interpretation could lead to such a conclusion. And in this
theory of Stalin’s there is one of the Communist half-truths:
Stalin did not know how to explain the obvious fact that the
power and might of the state machinery coutinually gTew in
the already “established socialist society.” So he took one of
the functions of the state— the educational function— as the
main function. He was not able to use tyranny since there no
longer were any opposition classes.

The situation is the same with the Yugoslav leaders’ theories
concerning “autonomy.” In the clash with Stalin, they had to
“rectify” his “deviations” and do something so that the state
would soon begin to “wither away,” It did not matter to Stalin
or to them that they were further promoting and strengthening
that function of the state— force— which for them was the most
important function and one on which they based their theory
of the state.

Stalin’s ideas on how the state withers away while growing
stronger, i.e., the way that the state’s functions continually ex-





pand and draw an ever increasing nuinbeT of citizens into
themselves, is extremely interesting. Perceiving the ever greater
and expanding role of the state machine, despite the already
“started” transition into a “completely classless” Communist
society, Stalin thought that the state would disappear by having
all the citizenry rise to the state’s level and take charge of its
affairs. Lenin, moreover, talked about the time when “even
housewives will admininster the government.” Theories resem-
bling that of Stalin circulate in Yugoslavia, as we have seen.
Neither these nor Stalin’s are able to bridge the ever increasing
chasm between the Communist theories of the state, with the
“disappearance” of classes and the “withering away” of the
state in their “socialism” on the one hand, and the realities
of the totalitarian authority of the party bureaucracy on the

5 .

The most, important problem for Communism, in theory
and practice, is the question of the state; the question is a con-
stant source of difficulties since it is such an obvious contra-
diction inside Communism.

Communist regimes are a form of latent civil war between
the government and the people. The state is not merely an
instrument of tyranny; society as well as the executive bodies
of the state machine is in a continuous and lively opposition
to the oligarchy, which aspires to reduce this opposition by
naked force. In practice, the Communists are unable to attain
the goal of a state existing solely on naked force, nor are they
able to subordinate society completely. But they are able to
control the organs of force, that is, the police and party, which
in turn control the entire state machine and its functions. The
opposition of the organs and functions of the state against the
“irrationalities” of the party and police, or of individual polit-



ical functionaries, is really the opposition of society carried over
into the state machine. It is an expression of dissatisfaction
because of the oppression and crippling of society s objective
aspirations and needs.

In Communist systems, the state and state functions are not
reduced to organs of oppression, nor are they identical with
them. As an organization of national and social life, the state
is subordinated to these organs of oppression. Communism is
unable to solve this incongruity, for the reason that by its own
totalitarian despotism it inevitably comes in conflict with dis-
similar and opposite tendencies of society, tendencies which
are expressed even through the social functions of the state.

Because of this contradiction, and the unavoidable and con-
stant need of the Communists to treat the state predominantly
as an instrument of force, the Communist state cannot become
a lawfnl state, or a state in which the judiciary would be inde-
pendent of the government and in which laws could actually
be enforced. The whole Communist system is opposed to such
a state. Even if the Communist leaders wished to create a law-
ful state, they could not do so without imperiling their totali-
tarian authority.

An independent judiciary and the rule of law would inevita*
bly make it possible for an opposition to appear. For instance,
no law in the Communist system opposes the free expression of
opinion or the right of organization- Laws in the Communist
system guarantee all sorts of rights to citizens, and are based
on the principle of an independent judiciary. In practice, there
is no such thing.

Freedoms are formally recognized in Communist regimes,
but one decisive condition is a prerequisite for exercising them:
freedoms must be utilized only in the interest of the system
of “socialism,” which the Communist leaders represent, or to
buttress their rule. This practice, contrary as it is to legal
regulations, inevitably had to result in the use of exceptionally
severe and unscrupulous methods by police and party bodies*


Legal forms must be protected on the one hand while the
monopoly of authority must be insured at the same time.

For the most part, in the Communist system, legislative
authority cannot be separated fiom executive authority. Lenin
considered this a perfect solution. Yugoslav leaders also main-
tain this* In a one-party system, this is one of the sources of
despotism and omnipotence in government.

In the same way, it has been impossible in practice to separate
police authority from judicial authority. Those w r ho arrest also
judge and enforce punishments, The circle is dosed: the ex-
ecutive, the legislative, the investigating, the court, and the
punishing bodies are one and the same.

Why does the Communist dictatorship have to use laws to
the great extent that it does? Why does it have to hide behind

Foreign political propaganda is one of the reasons. An-
other important one is the fact that the Communist regime
must insure and fix the rights of those upon whom it depends—
the new class— to maintain itself. Laws are always written from
the standpoint of the new class’s or party’s needs or interests.
Officially the laws must be written for all citizens, but citizens
enjoy the rights of these laws conditionally, only if they are
not “enemies of socialism.” Consequently the Communists are
constantly concerned that they might be forced to carry out
the laws that they have adopted. Therefore, they always leave
a loophole or exception which will enahle them to evade their

For instance, the Yugoslav legislative authorities stand on the
principle that no one can be convicted except for an act which
has been exactly formulated by the law. However, most of the
political trials are held on the grounds of so-called “hostile
propaganda,” although this concept is purposely not defined
but, instead, left up to the judges or secret police.

For these reasons political trials in Communist regimes are
mostly prearranged. The courts have the task of demonstrating




what the power-wi elders need to have demonstrated; or have
the task of giving a legal cloak to the political judgment on
the “hostile activity” of the accused.

In trials conducted by this method the confession of the
accused is most important. He himself must acknowledge that
he is an enemy. Thus, the thesis is confirmed. Evidence, little
as there may be of it, must be replaced by confession of guilt.

The political trials in Yugoslavia are only pocket editions
of the Moscow trials. The so-called Moscow trials are the most
grotesque and bloody examples of judicial and legal comedies
in the Communist, system. The majority of other trials are
similar insofar as acts and punishments are concerned.

How are political trials handled?

First, upon the suggestion of party functionaries, the party
police establish that someoue is an “enemy” of existing condi-
tions; that, if nothing else, his views and discussions with close
friends represent trouble, at least for the local authorities. The
next step is the preparation of the legal removal of the enemy.
This is done either through a provocateur , who provokes the
victim to make “embarrassing statements,” to take part in illegal
organizing, or to commit similar acts; or it is done through a
“stool pigeon” who simply bears witness against the victim
according to the wishes of the police. Most of the illegal organi-
zations in Communist regimes are created by the secret police
in order to lure opponents into them and to put these oppo-
nents in a position where the police can settle accounts with
them. The Communist government does not discourage “ob-
jectionable” citizens from committing law violations and
crimes; in fact it prods them into such violations and crimes.

Stalin generally operated without, the courts, using torture
extensively. However, even if torture is not used and the courts
are used instead, the essence is the same: Communists settle
accounts with their opponeuts not because they have committed
crimes, but because they are opponents. It can be said that
most political criminals who are punished are innocent from


a legal point of view, even though they are opponents of the
regime. From the Communist, point of view, these opponents
are punished by “due process of law,” although there may be
no legal basis for their being convicted.

When citizens spontaneously turn against the regime’s meas-
ures, the Communist authorities handle them without regard
to constitutional and legal regulations. Modem history has no
record of actions against the opposition of the masses which
are as brutal, inhuman, and unlawful as those of Communist
regimes. The action taken in Poznan is the best known, but not
the most brutal. Occupying and colonial powers seldom take
such severe measures, even though they are conquerors and
accomplish their actions by the use of extraordinary laws and
measures. The Communist power-wielders accomplish them in
their very “own” country by trampling on their own laws.

Even in non-political matters, the judiciary and the legis-
lative authorities are not safe from the despots. The totali-
tarian class and its members cannot help but mix into the affairs
of the judiciary and the legislative authorities. This is an
everyday occurrence.

An article in the March 23, 1955, issue of the Belgrade news-
paper Politika (Politics) offers this suitable illustration of the
real role and position of the courts in Yugoslavia (although
there has always been a higher degree of legality in Yugoslavia
than in other Communist, countries):

In a discussion of problems connected with criminals oper-
ating in the economy, at a 2-day annual conference, presided
over by public prosecutor Brana Jevremovic, the public prose-
cutors of the republics, of the Vojvodina, and of Belgrade
announced that cooperation between the judiciary organs and
the autonomous organs in the economy and all political or*
ganizations is necessary for complete success in the battle
against criminals operating in the economy and all political
organizations. . . .

The public prosecutors think that society has not yet reacted




with sufficient vigor with regard to ridding itself of such crim-
inals . … ;

The prosecutors agreed that society’s reaction must be more j
effective. According to the thinking of the prosecutors, more
severe penalties and more severe methods of executing penal- .»
ties are only some of the measures that should be taken, …

The examples cited in the discussions confirm the opinions j
that some hostile elements which have lost the battle on the
political field have now entered the economic field. Conse- j

quently, the problem of the criminal in the economy is not
only a legal problem, but also a political one, which requires j
the cooperation of all government agencies and social organi- I
zations. …

Summing up the discussion, federal public prosecutor Brana
Jevremovic emphasized the significance of legality in con-
ditions resulting from the decentralization that has taken place
in Yugoslavia, and pointed out the justification for the severity \
with which our highest leaders have sentenced individuals
guilty of criminal action against die economy. \

It is obvious that prosecutors decide that the courts shall
judge and that penalties shall be imposed according to the
intent of the ’‘highest leaders.” What then is left of the courts
and of legality?

In the Communist system legal theories change according ;
to circumstances and the needs of the oligarchy. Vishinskys
principle which calls for a sentence to be based on “maximum
reliability,” that is, on political analysis and need, has been
abandoned. Even if more humane or more scientific prin-
ciples are adopted, the substance will not change until the
relationship between the government and the judiciary and the
law itself is changed. Periodic campaigns for “legality,” and
Khrushchev’s bragging that the party has “now” succeeded in
putting the police and the judiciary under control, only reveal
changes in the form of increased needs of the ruling class for
legal security. They do not show changes in the ruling class’s
position toward society, the state, die courts, or the laws.


6 .

The Communist legal system cannot free itself of formalism,
nor abolish the decisive influence of party units and the police
in trials, elections, and similar events. The higher up one goes,
the more legality becomes a mere ornament, and the greater
the role of government in the judiciaiy, in elections, and the
like becomes.

The emptiness and pomposity of Communist elections is
generally well known; if I remember correctly, Attlee wittily
called them “a race with one horse.” It seems to ine that some-
thing should be said: Why is it that Communists cannot do
without elections, even though they have no effect on political
relations; and cannot do without such a costly and empty under-
taking as a parliamentary establishment?

Again, propaganda and foreign policy are among the reasons.
There is also this: no government, not even a Communist one,
can exist without everything being legally constituted. Under
contemporary conditions this is done by means of elected repre-
sentatives. The people must formally confirm everything the
Communists do.

Besides this there is a deeper and more important reason
for the parliamentary system in Communist states. It is neces-
sary that the top party bureaucracy, or the political core of the
new class, approve the measures taken by the government, its
supreme body. A Communist government can ignore general
public opinion, but every Communist government is bound by
the public opinion of the party, and by Communist public
opinion. Consequently, even though elections have scarcely any
meaning for Communists, the selection of those who will be in
the parliament is done very carefully by the top party group. In
the selection, account is taken of all circumstances, such as serv-
ices, role and function in the movement and in society, the pro-
fessions represented, etc. From the intra-party point of view,
elections for leadership are very important: the leaders dis-


tribute those party powers in the parliament which they think,
are most important. Thus the leadership has the legality it
needs to operate in the name of the party, class, and people.

Attempts to allow two or more Communists to contend for
the same seat in parliament have had no constructive results.
There were several instances where this was attempted in Yugo-
slavia, but the leadership decided that such attempts were dis-
rupting.* ’ News has recently been received of a large number
of Communist candidates competing for the same positions in
the eastern European countries. The intention may be to have
two or more candidates for every office, but there is little possi-
bility that this will be done systematically. It would be a step
forward, and might even be the beginning of a turning toward
democracy by the Communist system. However, it seems to me
that there is still a long way to go before such measures will
be realized and that development in eastern Europe will first
turn in the direction of the Yugoslav system of “workers’ man-
agement/’ instead of becoming a political democracy with its
attendant changes. The despotic core still holds everything in
its hands, conscious of the fact that relinquishment of its tra-
ditional party unity would prove very dangerous. Every free-
dom within the party imperils not only the authority of the
leaders, but totalitarianism itself.

Communist parliaments are not in a position to make de-
cisions on anything important. Selected in advance as they are,
flattered that they have been thus selected, representatives do
not have the power or the courage to debate even if they wauted
to do so. Besides, since their mandate does not depend on the
voters, representatives do not feel that they are answerable to
them. Communist parliaments are justifiably called “mauso-
leums” for the representatives who compose them. Their right
and role consist of unanimously approving from time to time
that which has already been decided for them from the wings.
Another type of parliament is not required for this system of


government; indeed, the reproach could be made that any other
type would be superfluous and too costly.

7 .

Founded by force and violence, in constant conflict with
its people, the Communist state, even if there are no external
reasons, must be militaristic. The cult of force, especially mili-
tary force, is nowhere so prevalent as in Communist countries.
Militarism is the internal basic need of the new class; it is one
of the forces which make possible the new class’s existence,
strength, and privileges.

Under constant pressure to be primarily and, when necessary,
exclusively an organ of violence, the Communist state has been
a bureaucratic state since the beginning. Maintained by the
despotism of a handful of power- wielders, the Communist state
wields more power than any other state organization does with
the aid of diverse laws and regulations. Soon after its establish-
ment, the Communist state becomes replete with so many regu-
lations that even judges and lawyers have difficulty in finding
their way through them. Everything has to be accurately
regulated and confirmed, even though little profit is derived
thereby. For ideological reasons Communist legislators often
issue various laws without taking the real situation and practical
possibilities into consideration. Immersed in legal and abstract
“socialist” formulas, not subject to criticism or opposition, they
compress life into paragraphs, which the assemblies mechani-
cally ratify.

The Communist government is non-bureaucratic, however,
where a question of the needs of the oligarchy and the working
methods of its leaders is involved. Even in exceptional cases
state and party heads do not like to fetter themselves with regu-
lations. Policy-making and the right of political determination



are in their hands, and these cannot bear procrastination or too
strict formalization. In decisions concerning the economy as a
whole and in all other matters except unimportant, representa-
tional, and formal questions, the heads function without
excessive restrictions. The creators of the most rigid type of
bureaucratism and political centralism are not as individuals
bureaucrats nor are they bound by legal regulations. For ex-
ample, Stalin was not a bureaucrat in any respect. Disorder and
delay prevail in the offices and establishments of many Com
munist leaders.

This does not prevent them from temporarily taking a stand
“against bureaucratism,” that is, against both unscrupulousness
and slowness in administration. They are today battling against
the Stalinist form of bureaucratic administration. However,
they have no intention of eliminating the real, fundamental
bureaucratism rampant in the management of the political
apparatus inside the economy and state.

In this “battle against hureaucratism,” Communist leaders
usually refer to Lenin. However, a very careful study of Lenin
reveals that he did not foresee that the new system was moving
toward political bureaucracy. In the conflict with the bureauc-
racy inherited partly from the Czar’s administration, Lenin
attributed most of the difficulties to the fact that there are
no apparatuses composed from a list of Communists or from
a list oE members of Soviet party schools.” The old officials dis-
appeared under Stalin, and Communists from the “list” stepped
into their places, and in spite of this, bureaucratism grew.
Eveu in places like Yugoslavia where there was a considerable
weakening of bureaucratic administration, its essence, the
monopoly of political bureaucracy and the relations resulting
from it, was not abolished. Even when it is abolished as an
adminstrative method of management, bureaucratism continues
to exist as a political-social relation.

The Communist state, or government, is working toward the
complete irnpersonalization of the individual, the nation, and


even of its own representatives. It aspires to turn the entire
state into a state o£ functionaries. It. aspires to regulate and
control, either directly or indirectly, wages, housing conditions,
and even intellectual activities. The Communists do not dis-
tinguish people as to whether or not they are functionaries— all
persons are considered to be functionaries— but by the amount
of pay they receive and the number of privileges they enjoy.
By means of collectivization, even the peasant gradually be-
comes a member of the general bureaucratic society.

However, this is the external view. In the Communist system
social groups are sharply divided. In spite of such differences
and conflicts, though, the Communist society is as a whole
more unified than any other. The weakness of the whole lies
in its compulsory attitudes and relationships and the conflicting
elements of its composition. However, every part is dependent
on every other part, just as in a single, huge mechanism.

In a Communist government, or state, just as in an absolute
monarchy, the development of human personality is an abstract
ideal. In the period of the absolute monarchy, when mercan-
tilists imposed the state upon the economy, the crown itself —
for example, Catherine the Great-thought that the government
was obliged to re-educate the people. The Communist leaders
operate and think in the same way. However, during the time
of the absolute monarchy, the government did this in an at-
tempt to subordinate existing ideas to its own. Today, in
the Communist system, the government is simultaneously the
owner and the ideologist. This does not mean that the human
personality has disappeared or that it has been changed into
a dull, impersonal cog which rotates in a large, merciless state
mechanism, in accordance with the will of an omnipotent
sorcerer. Personality, by its own nature both collective and
individual, is indestructible, even under the Communist system.
Of course it is stifled under this system more than under other
systems, and its individuality has to be manifested in a different





Its world is a world of petty daily cares. When these cares and
wishes collide with the fortress of the system, which holds a
monopoly over the material and intellectual life of the people,
even this petty world is not free or secure. In the Communist
system, insecurity is the way of life for the individual. The
state gives him the opportunity to make a living, but on con-,
dition that he submit. The personality is tom between what it
desires and what it can actually have. It is free to recognize the
interests of the collective and to submit to them, just as in
every other system; but also it may rebel against the usurping
representatives of the collective. Most of the individuals in
the Communist system are not opposed to socialism, but op-
posed to the way in which it is being achieved— this confirms
the fact that the Communists are not developing any sort of
true socialism. The individual rebels against those limitations
which are in the interest of the oligarchy, not against those
which are in the interest of society.

Anyone who does not live under these systems has a hard
time grasping how human beings, particularly such proud and
brave peoples, could have given up their freedom of thought
and work to such an extent. The most accurate, though not the
most complete, explanation for this situation is the severity
and totality of tyranny. But at the root of this situation, there
are deeper reasons.

One reason is historical; the people were forced to undergo
the loss of freedom in the irresistible drive toward economic
change. Another reason is of an intellectual and moral nature.
Since industrialization had become a matter of life or death,
socialism, or Communism, as its ideal expression, became the
ideal and hope, almost to the point of religious obsession
among some of the population at large as well as the Com-
munists. In the minds of those who did not belong to the old
social classes, a deliberate and organized revolt against the par-
ty, or against the government, would have been tantamount to
treason against the homeland and the highest ideals.



The most important reason why there was no organized
resistance to Communism lies deep in the all-inclusiveness and
totalitarianism of the Communist state. It had penetrated into
all the pores of society and of the personality— into the vision
of the scientists, the inspiration of poets, and the dreams of
lovers. To rise against it meant not only to die the death of
a desperate individual, but to be branded and excommunicated
from society. There is no air or light under the Communist
government’s iron fist.

Neither of the two main types of opposition groups— that
stemming from the older classes and that stemming from origi-
nal Communism itself— found ways and means of combating
this encroachment on their liberty. The first group was tugging
backward, while the second group carried on a pointless and
thoughtless revolutionary activity, and engaged in quibbling
about dogma with the regime. Conditions were not yet ripe
for the finding of new roads.

Meanwhile, the people were instinctively suspicious of the
new load and resisted every step and small detail. Today, this
resistance is the greatest, the most real threat to Communist
regimes. The Communist oligarchs no longer know what
the masses think or feel. The regimes feel insecure in a sea of
deep and dark discontent.

Though history has no record of any other system so sucess-
ful in checking its opposition as the Communist dictatorship,
none ever has provoked such profound and far-reaching dis-
content. It seems that the more the conscience is crushed and
the less the opportunities for establishing an organization exist,
the greater the discontent.

Communist totalitarianism leads to total discontent, in which
all differences of opinion are gradually lost, except despair
and hatred. Spontaneous resistance— the dissatisfaction of mil-
lions with the everyday details of life— is the form of resistance
that the Communists have not been able to smother. This was
confirmed during the Soviet-Gerinan war. When the Germans




first attacked die U.S.S.R., there seemed to be little desire for
resistance among the Russians. However, Hitler soon revealed
that his intentions were the destruction of the Russian state
and the changing of the Slavs and other Soviet peoples into
impersonal slaves of the Herrenvolk . Prom the depths of the
people there emerged the traditional, unquenchable love for
the homeland. During the entire war Stalin did not mention
either the Soviet government or its socialism to the people;
he mentioned only one thing—the homeland. And it was worth
dying for, in spite of Stalin’s socialism.

8 .

The Communist regimes have succeeded in solving many
problems that had baffled the systems they replaced. They are
aiso succeeding* in solving the nationality problem as it existed
up to the time they came to power. They have not been able
to resolve the conflict of national bourgeoisie completely, how-
ever. The problem has reappeared in the Communist regimes
in a new and more serious form.

National rule is being established in the U.S.S.R. through
a highly developed bureaucracy. In Yugoslavia, however, dis-
putes are arising because of friction between national bu-
reaucracies. Neither the first nor the second case concerns
national disputes in the old sense. The Communists are not
nationalists; for them, the insistence on nationalism is only
a form, just like any other form, through which they strengthen
their powers. For this purpose they may even act like vehement
chauvinists from time to time. Stalin was a Georgian, but in
practice and in propaganda, whenever necessary, he was a rabid
Great Russian. Among Stalin’s errors, even Khrushchev ad-
mitted, was the terrible truth of the extermination of entire
peoples. Stalin and Company used the national prejudices of
the largest nation-the Russian nation— just as if it had been


composed of Hottentots. The Communist leaders will always
take recourse to anything they find useful, such as the preaching
of equality of rights among the national bureaucracies, which
is practically the same to them as the demand for equality o£ :
! rights among nationalities.

National feelings and national interest, however, do not lie
at the basis of the conflict between the Communist national
bureancracies. The motive is quite different: it is supremacy in
one’s own zone, in the sphere which is under one’s administra-
tion. The struggle over the reputation and powers of one’s own
republic does not go much further than a desire to strengthen
one’s own power. The national Communist state units have
no significance other than that they are administrative divi-
sions, on the basis of language. The Communist bureaucrats
are vehement local patriots on behalf of their own admin-
istrative units, even though they have not been trained for
the part on either a linguistic or a national basis. In some
purely administrative units in Yugoslavia (the regional coun-
i cils), chauvinism has been greater than in the national republic


Among the Communists one can encounter both shortsighted
bureaucratic chauvinism and a decline of national conscious-
ness, even in the very same people, depending upon oppor-
tunities and requirements.

The languages which the Communists speak are hardly the
same as those of their own people. The words are the same, but
the expressions, the meaning, the inner sense— all of these are
their very own.

While they ate autarchical with regard to other systems and
localistic within their own system, the Communists can be
fervent internationalists when it is to their interest to be so.
j The various nations, eacli of which once had its own form and

color, its own history and hopes, stand virtually still now,
gray and languid, beneath the all-powerful, all-knowing, and
t essentially non-national oligarchies. The Communists did not



succeed in exciting or awakening the nations; in this sense they
also failed to solve nationality questions. Who knows anything
nowadays about Ukrainian writers and political figures? What
has happened to that nation, which is the same size as France,
and was once the most advanced nation in Russia? You would
think that only an amorphous and formless mass of people
conld remain under this impersonal machine of oppression.

However, this is not the case.

Just as personality, various social classes, and ideas still live,
so do the nations still live; they function; they struggle against
despotism; and they preserve their distinctive features un-
destroyed. If their consciences and souls are smothered, they
are not broken. Thongh they are under subjugation, they
have not yielded. The force activating them today is more than
the old or bourgeois nationalism; it is an imperishable desire
to be their own masters, and, by their own free develop-
ment, to attain an increasingly fuller fellowship with the rest of
the human race in its eternal existence.

Dogmatism in the Economy

1 .

The development of the economy in Communism is not the
basis for, but a reflection of, the development of the regime
itself from a revolutionary dictatorship to a reactionary des-
potism. This development, through struggles and disputes,
demonstrates how the interference of government in the econ-
omy, necessary at first, has gradually turned into a vital, personal
interest on the part of the ruling bureaucrats. Initially, the
state seizes all means of production in order to control all
investments for rapid industrialization. Ultimately, further eco-
nomic development has come to be guided mainly in the
interests of the ruling class.

Other types of owners do not act in an essentially different
manner; they are always motivated by some sort of personal
interest. However, the thing that distinguishes the new class
from other types of owners is that it has in its hands, more or
less, all the national resources, and that it is developing its eco-
nomic power in a deliberate and organized manner. A deliberate
system of unification is also used by other classes, such as polit-
ical and economic organizations. Because there are a number of
owners and many forms of property, all in mutual conflict,
spontaneity and competition have been preserved in all econ-



omies preceding the Communist one, at least under normal
or peaceful conditions.

Even the Communist economy has not succeeded in repress-
ing spontaneity, but in contrast to all others, it. constantly
insists that spontaneity should be achieved.

This practice has its theoretic justification. The Communist
leaders really believe that they know economic laws and that
they can administer production with scientific accuracy. The
truth is that the only thing they know how to do is to seize
control of the economy. Their ability to do this, just like their
victory in the revolution, has created the illusion in their minds
jhat they succeeded because of their exceptional scientific

Convinced of the accuracy of their theories, they administer
the economy largely according to these theories. It is a standard
joke that the Communists first equate an economic measure
with a Marxist idea and then proceed to carry out the measure.
In Yugoslavia, it has been officially declared that planning is
conducted according to Marx; but Marx was neither a planner
nor a planning expert. In practice, nothing is done according
to Marx. However, the claim that planning is conducted ac-
cording to Marx satisfies people’s consciences and is used to
justify tyranny and economic domination for “ideal’ 1 aims and
according to “scientific” discoveries.

Dogmatism in the economy is an inseparable part of the Com-
munist system. However, the forcing of the economy into dog*
made molds is not the outstanding feature of the Communist
economic system. In this economy the leaders are masters in
“adapting 1 ’ theorv; they depart from theory when it is to their
interest to no so.

In addition to being motivated by the historical need for
rapid industrialization, the Communist bureaucracy has been
compelled to establish a type of economic system designed to
insure the perpetuation of its own power. Allegedly for the
sake of a classless society and for the abolition of exploitation.


it has created a closed economic system, with forms of property
which facilitate the party’s domination and its monopoly. At
first, the Communists had to turn to this “collectivistic” form
for objective reasons. Now they continue to strengthen this
form— without considering whether or not it is in the interest
of the national economy and of further industrialization— for
their own sake, for an exclusive Communist class aim. They
first administered and controlled the entire economy for so-
called ideal goals; later they did it for the purpose of main-
taining their absolute control and domination. That is the real
reason for such far-reaching and inflexible political measures
in the Communist economy.

In an interview in 1956, Tito admitted that there are “so-
cialist elements” in Western economies, but that they are not
“deliberately” iutroduced into the economics as such. This
expresses the whole Communist idea: only because “socialism”
is established “deliberately”— by organized compulsion— in the
economics of their countries must the Communists preserve
the despotic method of governing and their own monopoly of

This attribution of great and even decisive significance to
deliberateness” in the development of the economy and soci-
ety reveals the compulsory and selfish character of Communist
economic policy. Otherwise, why would such an insistence on
deliberateness be necessary?

The strong opposition of Communists to all forms of owner-
ship except those which they consider to be socialist indicates,
above all, their uncontrollable desires to gain and maintain
power. They abandoned or altered this radical attitude, how-
ever, when it was against their interest to hold to it; thus they
treated their own theory badly. In Yugoslavia, for instance,
they first created and then dissolved the kolkhozes in the name
of “error-free Marxism” and “socialism.” Today they are pur-
suing a third, and confused, middle-of-the-road line in the same
matter. There are similar examples in all Communist coun-


tries. However, the abolition of all forms of private ownership
except their own is their unchanging purpose.

Every political system gives expression to economic forces
and attempts to administer them. The Communists cannot at-
tain complete control over production, but they have succeeded
in controlling it to such an extent that they continuously sub-
ordinate it to their ideological and political goals. In this way,
Commnnism differs from every’ other political system.

2 .

The Communists interpret the special role of those who
prodnce in terms of their total ownership and, even more im-
portant, often in terms of the overriding role of ideology in
the economy.

Immediately after the revolution, freedom of employment
was curtailed in the U.S.S.R. But the need of the regime for
rapid industrialization did not bring about complete curtail-
ment of such freedom- This took place only after the victory of
the industrial revolution and aEter the new class had been
created. In 1940 a law was passed forbidding freedom of em-
ployment and punishing people for quitting their jobs. In this
period and after World War II, a form of slave labor developed,
namely, the labor camps. Moreover, the borderline between
work in the labor camps and work in factories was almost com-
pletely eliminated.

Labor camps and various kinds of „voluntary” work activities
are only the worst and most extreme forms of compulsory labor.
This can be of a temporary character in other systems but
under Communism compulsory labor has remained a permanent
feature. Although compulsory labor did not take the same form
in other Communist countries nor develop there to the extent
that it has in the U.S.S.R., none of these countries lias com-
pletely free employment.


Compulsory labor in the Communist system is the result of
monopoly of ownership over all, or almost all, national property.
The worker finds himself in the position of having not only to
sell his labor; he must sell it under conditions which are beyond
his control, since he is unable to seek another, better employer.
There is only one employer, the state. The worker has no choice
but to accept the employer’s terms. The worst and most harmful
element in early capitalism from the worker s standpoint— the
labor market— has been replaced by the monopoly over labor
of the ownership of the new class. This has not made the worker
any freer.

In the Communist system the worker is not like the ancient
type of slave, not even when he is in compulsory labor camps:
the ancient slave was treated both theoretically and practically
as an object. Even the greatest mind of antiquity, Aristotle,
believed that people were born either freemen or slaves. Though
he believed in humane treatment of slaves and advocated the
reform of the slavery system, he still regarded slaves as tools of
production. In the modern system of technology, it is not pos-
sible to deal this way with a worker, because only a literate and
interested worker can do the sort of work required. Compulsory
labor in the Communist system is quite different from slavery
in antiquity or in later history. It is the result of ownership and
political relationships, not, or only to a slight extent, the result
of the technological level of production.

Since modern technology requires a worker who can dispose
of a considerable amount of freedom, it is in latent conflict
with compulsory forms of labor, or with the monopoly of owner-
ship and the political totalitarianism of Communism. Under
Communism the worker is technically free, but his possibilities
to use his freedom are extremely limited. The formal limita-
tion of freedom is not an inherent characteristic of Commu-
nism, but it is a phenomenon which occurs under Communism.
It is especially apparent with regard to work and the labor
force itself.



Labor cannot be free in a society where all material goods are
monopolized by one group. The labor force is indirectly the
property of that group, although not completely so, since the
worker is an individual human being who himself uses up part
of his labor. Speaking in the abstract, the labor force, taken as
a whole, is a factor in total social production. The new luling
class with its material and political monopoly uses this factor
almost to the same extent that it does other national goods and
elements of production and treats it the same way, disxegard-
ing the human factor.

Dealing with labor as a factor in production, working con-
ditions in various enterprises, or the connection between wages
and profits, are of no concern to the bureaucracy. Wages and
working conditions are determined in accordance with an ab-
stract concept of labor, or in accordance with individual quali-
fications, with little or no regard for the actual results of
production in the respective enterprises or branches of industry.
This is only a general rule; there are exceptions, depending on
conditions and requirements. But the system leads inevitably
to lack of interest on the part of the actual producers, i.e., the
workers. It also leads to low quality of output, a decline in real
productivity and technological progress, and deterioration of
plant. The Communists are constantly struggling for greater
productivity on the part of the individual workers, paying little
or no attention to the productivity of the labor force as a whole.

In such a system, efforts to stimulate the worker are inevitable
and frequent. The bureaucracy offers all kinds of awards and
allowances to counteract lack of interest. But as long as the
Communists do not change the system itself, as long as they
retain their monopoly of all ownership and all government, they
cannot stimnlate the individual worker for long, much less
stimulate the labor force as a whole.

Elaborate attempts to give the workers a share in the profits
have been made in Yugoslavia and are now being contemplated
in the East European countries. These quickly resnlt in the


retention of „excess profits*’ in the hands of the bureaucracy
who justify this action by saying that they are checking inflation
and investing the money wisely. All that remains for the worker
are small, nominal sums and the “right” to suggest how they
should be invested through the party and trade union organi-
zation-through the bureaucracy. Without the right to strike
and to decide on who owns what, the worker’s have not had
much chance to obtain a real share of the profits. It has become
clear that all these rights are mutually interwoven with various
forms of political freedom. They cannot be attained in isolation
from each other.

In such a system, free trade union organizations are impos-
sible, and strikes can happen very rarely, such as the explosions
oE worker dissatisfaction in East Germany in 1954 and in
Poznan in 1956,

The Communists explain the enforced absence of strikes by
saying that the “working class” is in power and owns the
means of production through its state, so that if it did strike,
it would be striking against itself. This naive explanation is
based on the fact that in the Communist system the owner
of property is not a private individual, but, as we know,
camouflaged by the fact that he is collective and formally

Above all, strikes under the Communist system are impos-
sible because there is only one owner who is in charge oE all
goods and of the entire labor force. It would be hard to take
any effective action against him without the participation of
all the workers. A strike of one or more enterprises— supposing
that such a thing could happen at all under a total dictatorship
—cannot really threaten that owner. His property does not
consist of those individual enterprises bnt of the production
machine as a whole. The owner is not harmed by losses in
individual enterprises, because die producers, or society as a
whole, must make up for such losses. Because of this, strikes


are more of a political than an economic problem for the

While individual strikes are almost impossible, and hope-
less as far as potential results are concerned, there are no
proper political conditions for general strikes and they can
occur only in exceptional situations. Whenever individual
strikes have taken place, they have usually changed into general
strikes and have taken on a distinctly political character. In
addition, Communist regimes constantly divide and disrupt
the working class by means of paid functionaries, raised from
its ranks, who “educate” it, “uplift it ideologically,” and direct
it in its daily life.

Trade union organizations and other professional organi-
zations, because oE their purpose and function, can only be
the appendages of a single owner and potentate— -the political
oligarchy. Thus, their “main” purpose is the job of “building
socialism” or increasing production. Their other functions are
to spread illusions and an acquiescent mood among the
workers. These organizations have played only one important
role— the lifting of the cultural level of the working classes.

Workers’ organizations under the Communist system are
really “company” or “yellow” organizations of a special kind.

The expression “of a special kind” is used here because the
employer is at the same time the government and the exponent
of the predominant ideology. In other systems those two factors
are generally separate from each other, so that the workers,
even though unable to rely on either one of them, are at least
able to take advantage of the differences and conflicts between

It is not accidental that the working class is the main con- ?
cerri of the regime; not for idealistic or humanitarian reasons,
but simply because this is the class on which production de-
pends and on which the rise and the very existence of the new
class depends. j


3 .

In spite of the fact that there is no free employment or free
workers’ organizations, there is a limit to exploitation, even
in the Communist system. The search for this limit would
require a deeper and more concrete analysis. We will concern
ourselves here only with its most important aspects.

In addition to political limits— fear of dissatisfaction among
the workers and other considerations which are subject, to
change— there are also constant limits to exploitation: the forms
and degrees of exploitation which become too costly for the
system must sooner or later be discontinued.

Thus, by the decree of April 25, 1956, in the U.S.S.R., the
condemnation of workers for tardiness or for quitting their
jobs was canceled. Also a great many workers were released
from labor camps; these were cases in which it was impossible
to distinguish between political prisoners and those whom the
regime had thrown into labor camps because it needed a labor
force. This decree did not result in a completely freed labor
force, for considerable limitations still remained in force, but
it did represent the most significant progress made after Stalin’s

Compulsory slave labor brought political difficulties to the
regime and also became too costly as soon as advanced tech-
nology was introduced in the U.3.S.R. A slave laborer, no
matter how little you feed him, costs more than he can produce
when you count the administrative apparatus needed to assure
his coercion. His labor becomes senseless and must be discon-
tinued. Modern production limits exploitation in other ways.
Machinery cannot be operated efficiently by exhausted com-
pulsory labor, and adequate health and cultural conditions
have become an indispensable prerequisite.

The limits to exploitation in the Communist system are
paralleled by limits to the freedoms of the labor force. These


freedoms are determined by the nature of ownership and gov-
ernment. Until ownership and government are changed, the
labor force cannot become free and must remain subject to
moderate or severe forms of economic and administrative

Because of its production needs, a Communist regime regu-
lates labor conditions and the status of the labor force. It takes
many-sided and all-encompassing social measures: it regulates
such things as working hours, vacations, insurance, education,
the labor of women and children. Many of these measures are
largely nominal; many are also of a progressively harmful

In a Communist system the tendency to regulate labor rela-
tions and to maintain order and peace in production is constant.

The single and collective owner solves labor-force problems
on an ali-encompassing scale. It cannot support “anarchy” in
anything, and certainly not in the labor force. It must regulate
it just as much as every other aspect of production.

The great boast that there is full employment in Communist
systems cannot hide the wounds which become evident as one
looks more closely. As soon as all material goods are controlled
by one body, these goods, like manpower needs, must become
the subject of planning. Political necessities play an important
role in planning and this unavoidably results in the retention
of a number of branches of industry, which survive at the
expense of others. Thus planning hides actual unemployment.

As soon as sectors of the economy can engage in freer play, or
as soon as it becomes unnecessary for the regime to sustain and \
strengthen one branch at the expense of another, unemploy- f
ment will recur. More extensive ties with the world market
can also cause this trend. \

Consequently, full employment is not the result of Com-
munist “socialism’ 1 but of an economic policy carried out by
command; in the final analysis, full employment is the result
of disharmony and production inefficiency. It does not reveal j

dogmatism in the economy 113

the power but the weakness of the economy. Yugoslavia was
short of workers until it achieved a satisfactory demree of pro
duction efficiency. As soon as it did, there was unemployment
Unemployment would be even higher if Yugoslavia attained
maximum production efficiency.

In Communist economies full employment conceals unem-
ployment. The poverty of all conceals the unemployment of
some, just as the phenomenal progress of some sectors of the
economy conceals the backwardness of others.

By the same token, this type of monopoly ownership and
government is able to prevent economic collapse, but incapable
of preventing chronic crises. The selfish interests of the new
class and the ideological character of the economy make it
impossible to maintain a healthy and harmonious system.

4 .

Marx was not the first to visualize the economy of future
society on a planned basis. But he was the first, or among the
first, to recognize that a modern economy unavoidably tends
toward planning because, in addition to social reasons, it is
being established on the basis of scientific technology. Monopo-
lies were the first to plan on a gigantic national and inter-
national scale. Today, planning is a general phenomenon and
an important element of the economic policy of most govern-
ments, even though it has a different character in industrially
developed countries from that in industrially undeveloped ones.
Planning becomes necessary when production reaches an ad-
vanced stage and when social, international, and other condi-
tions are subject to similar trends. It does not have much con-
nection with anyone’s theories, let alone those of Mai-x, which
were constructed on a far lower level of social and economic


When the U.S.S.R. became the first country to embark upon
national planning, its leaders, who were Marxists, connected
this planning with Marxism, The truth is this: although
Marx’s teachings were the idealistic basis of the revolution in
Russia, his teachings also became the cover for later measures
taken by the Soviet leaders.

All of the historical and specific reasons for Soviet planning
were attributed to corresponding theories. Marx s theory was
the closest and most acceptable because of the social basis and
the past of the Communist movement.

Although leaning heavily on Marx in the beginning, Com-
munist planning has a more profound idealistic and material
background. How can an economy be administered other than
as a planned economy when it has or is going to have a single
owner? How could such tremendous investments be made for
the purpose of industrializing if they were not planned?
Something must be needed before it can become an ideal. So
it is with Communist planning. It is dedicated to the develop-
ment of those branches of the economy which will insure the
strengthening of the regime. This is the general rule, although
in every Communist country, especially those which become
independent of Moscow, there are exceptions to this rule.

Of course, the development of the national economy as a
whole is important for the strengthening of the regime, for it
is impossible permanently to separate progress in one branch
of production from another. Planning emphasis in every Com-
munist system is always directed toward branches of the
economy that are considered to be of decisive importance in
maintaining the political stability of the regime. These branches
are ones that enhance the role, power, and privileges of the
bureaucracy. They also are the ones that strengthen the regime
in its relations to other countries and make it possible for the
regime to industrialize to a greater degree. Up to now, they
have been branches of heavy and war industries. This does not
meau that the situation cannot change in individual countries.


Recently atomic energy, especially in the U.S.S.R., has hegun
to take first place in the plan; I should say that this is happen-
ing because of military, foreign and political considerations
rather than for any other.

Everything is subordinated to these aims. Consequently,
many branches of the economy are lagging and working
inefficiently; disproportions and difficulties are inevitable; and
excessive production costs and chronic inflation are rampant.
According to Andre Philipe (in the New Leader , October 1,
1956), investments in heavy industry in the U.S.S.R. increased
from the 53.3 per cent of total investments in 1954 to 60 per
cent of total investments in 1955. Twenty-one per cent of the
net national income is being invested in industry, with a con-
centration on heavy industry, although heavy industry only
contributed 7.4 per cent to the increase in income per capita,
6.4 per cent of which was due to increased production.

It is understandable why, under such conditions, the standard
of living is the last concern of the new owners, even though,
as Marx himself maintains, men are the most important factor
in production. According to Edward Cranks haw, who is close
to the British Labour Party, a desperate battle for survival must
be fought in the U.S.S.R. by those who earn less than 600 rubles
monthly. Harry Schwartz, the New York Times expert on the
Soviet Union, has estimated that approximately eight million
workers earn less than 300 rubles monthly, and the Tribune ,
representing the point of view of the British Labour Party’s left
wing, adds the comment that this, and not the equality of sexes,
is the reason for the large number of women employed at heavy
labor. The recent 30-per-cent wage increase in the U.S.S.R. has
applied to these low-wage categories.

This is the way it is in the U.S.S.R. It is not much different
in other Communist countries, not even in countries like
Czechoslovakia which are technologically very advanced. Once
an exporter of agricultural products, Yugoslavia now imports
them. According to official statistics, the standard of living of


blue- and white-collar workers is lower than before World
War II, when Yugoslavia was an undeveloped capitalist country.

Communist planning, devoted to political class interests, and
totalitarian dictatorship supplement each other. For ideologic
reasons. Communists invest intensively in certain branches of
the economy. All planning revolves around these branches.
This leads to deep displacements in the economy which cannot
be paid for by income from nationalized farms taken over from
capitalists and large landowners, but. must be paid for mainly
through the imposition of low wages and the pillaging of peas-
ants through the compulsory crop-purchase system.

It might be said that if the U.S.S.R. had not done such plan-
ning, or if it had not concentrated on the development of heavy
industry, it would have entered World War II unarmed and
would have been the easily conquered slave of the Hitler in-
vasion. This ; s correct, but only to a certain degree. For guns
and tanks are not the only strength of a country. If Stalin had
not had imperialistic aims in his foreign policy and tyrannical
aims in his internal policy, no grouping of powers would have
left his country standing alone before the invader.

This is clear; the ideological approach to planning and de-
velopment of the economy was not essential for the develop-
ment of a war industry. It was put into action because of the
power-holders* need to be independent internally and ex-
ternally; defense needs were only associate needs, even though
they were inevitable, Russia could have obtained the same quan-
tities of armaments, proceeding under different plans, linking
her more closely with foreign markets. Greater dependency on
foreign markets would have necessitated a different foreign
policy. Under present-day conditions, where world interests are
interlaced and where wars are total, butter is almost as impor-
tant as guns in the waging of war. This was confirmed even in
the case of the U.S.S.R. Food from the United States was almost
as important for victory as war materiel.


The same is true with regard to agriculture. Under present-

■ day conditions, progressive agriculture also means indus-
trialization. Progressive agriculture does not insure that a
Communist regime will be independent of the outside. Inter-
nally it makes the regime dependent on the peasant, even
though the peasants are members of free cooperatives. Conse-
quently steel has been given priority in the plan, right beside
kolkhozes with low production. The planning of political
power had to come ahead of economic progress.

Soviet, or Communist, planning is of a special kind. It has
j not evolved as the result of the technological development of
production nor as the result of the “socialist” consciousness of
its initiators. Instead it has evolved as tire result of a special
type of government and ownership. Today, technical and other
factors are influencing this type of planning, but these other
. factors have not ceased to have their effect on the evolution
of this type of planning. It is very important to note this, for
it is the key to understanding the character of this type of plan-
i ning, and of the capabilities of a Communist economy.

| The results achieved by such an economy and by such plan-

ning are varied. The concentration of all means to achieve a
specific purpose make it possible for the power-wi elders to
progress with extraordinary speed in certain branches of the
economy. The progress that the U.S.S.R. has achieved in some
branches has heretofore never been achieved anywhere in the

■ world. However, when one considers the backward conditions
existing in other branches die progress achieved is not justified

j from the over-all economic point of view.

Of course, once-backward Russia has attained second place
in world production as far as its most important branches of
the economy are concerned. It has become the mightiest conti-
nental power in the world. A strong working class, a wide stra-
tum of technical intelligentsia, and the materials for consumer
goods production have been created. The dictatorship has not




been essentially weakened because of this, nor the «

reasons to believe that the standard o iv « ,- aDa bilities.
proved in proportion to the country s econo P

P ottership and political comiderations or :
is only an implement have ma*t u tmpos o£ Kving .

dictatorship to any a «nt or » < economy as

The exclusrve monopoly of ^ ^ d increasin g

well as in pol.ucs, planning ;tto : ■» ^ ^ througholIt Ure

i“ P°”‘ er and 1,5 the improvement of the standard

Sr^onfor’trpostponernent. In ComramiK Sf
dom has become the main economic and general proble

5 .

^ TaTet, ex :“;;7,hXtr. i« t X£

the Communist economy is perhaps the most wasteful^onomy
n the history of hnman society. Such claims may seem strange,
e p^ally “f one has in mind the relatively raptd developmen
oHndividnal branches of the economy, and of the economy as
a whole. However, they have a solid basis.

Wastefulness of fantastic proportions was
if this had not been a group which considered every * : 0 –

dudin- the economy, from its own narrow ownership and
ideological point of view. How could a single group of this
kind administer a complex modern economy
thriftily— an economy which, in spite of the m ^ P

planning showed varied and often contradictory internal an
external tendencies from day to day! The ahsence of any type
of criticism, even of any type of important suggestion, inevitably
leads to waste and stagnation.



Because of this political and economic omnipotence, waste-
ful undertakings cannot be avoided even with the best of
intentions. Very little attention is paid to what the cost of
these undertakings is to the economy as a whole. How gTeat
are the costs to a nation of an agriculture which is stagnant
hecause of the superstitious Communist fear of the peasant
and unreasonable investments in heavy industry? What is the
cost of capital invested in inefficient industries? What is the
cost of a stagnant transportation system? What is the cost of
poorly paid workers, who consequently “goldbrick” and work
slowly? What is the cost of poor-quality production? There is
no counting these costs, nor can they be calculated.

Just as they administer the economy, the Communist leaders
handle everything in a way contrary to their o^ra teaching;
that is, from their personal viewpoint. The economy is just
an area which least tolerates arbitrariness. Even if they wished
to do so, the leaders conld not take into consideration the
interests of the economy as a whole. For political reasons the
ruling group determines what is “vitally necessary/* “of key
importance/* or “decisive* * in a movement. Nothing stands in
the iv T ay of its carrying out the matter in question, for the
group is not afraid of losing its power or property.

Periodically the leaders indulge in criticism or self-criticism
and cite experience when there is evidence that something is
not progressing or when tremendous waste has hecome ap-
parent. Khrushchev criticized Stalin for his agricultural policy.
Tito criticized his own regime for excessive capital investments
and the waste of billions. Ochab criticized himself for this “con-
ditional* * ueglect of the standard of living. But the essence
remains the same. The same men prolong the same system by
about the same method, until breaches and “irregularities”
become apparent. Losses incurred can no longer be restored,
so the regime and the party do not take the responsibility for
the losses. They have “noted” the errors and these errors will
be “corrected.” So let’s begin all over againl


There is no evidence that a single Communist leader has
suffered because of unproductively expended or fantastically
wasted means. But many have been deposed because of ideo-
logical deviations,”

In Communist systems, thefts and misappropriations are in-
evitable. It is not just poverty that motivates people to steal
the „national property”; but the fact that the property does
not seem to belong to anyone. All valuables are somehow
rendered valueless, thus creating a favorable atmosphere for
theft and waste. In 1954, in Yugoslavia alone, over 20,000 cases
of theft of „socialist property” were discovered. The Com-
munist leaders handle national property as their own, but at
the same time they waste it as if it were somebody else s. Such
is the nature of ownership and government of the system.

The greatest waste is not even visible. This is the waste of
manpower. The slow, unproductive work of disinterested mil-
lions, together with the prevention of all work not consideied
„socialist,” is the calculable, invisible, and gigantic waste which
no Communist regime has been able to avoid. Even thongh they
are adherents of Smith s theory that labor creates valne, a
theory which Marx adopted, these power-wielders pay the least
attention to labor and manpower, regarding them as something
of very little value which can be readily replaced.

The fear which Communists have of „the renewal of capital-
ism,” or of economic consequences that wonld arise from
narrow class „ideological” motives, has cost the nation tremen-
dons wealth and put a brake on its development. Entire
industries are destroyed because the state is not in a position
to maintain or develop them; only that which is the state’s is
considered „socialist,”

How far and how long can a nation carry on like this?
The moment is approaching when industrialization, which first
made Communism inevitable, will through further develop-
ment make the Communist form of government and ownership


The waste is tremendous because of the isolation of Com-
munist economies. Every Communist economy is essentially
autarchic. The reasons for this autarchy lie in the character of
its government and ownership.

No Communist country— not even Yugoslavia, which was
obliged to cooperate to a greater extent with non-Communist
countries because of its conflict with Moscow— has been success-
ful in developing foreign trade beyond the traditional exchange
of goods. Planned production on a larger scale in cooperation
with other countries has not been attained.

Communist planning, amoug other things, takes very little
account of the needs of world markets or of the production in
other countries. Partly as a result of this, and partly as a result
of ideological and other motives, Communist governments take
too little account of natural conditions affecting production.
They often construct iudustrial plants without having sufficient
raw materials available for them, and almost never pay atten-
tion to the world level of price and production. They produce
some products at several times the production cost in other
countries. Simultaneously, other branches of industry which
could surpass the world average iu productivity, Or which
could produce at lower prices than the world average, are
neglected. Entire new industries are being developed, even
though world markets are surfeited with the items they will
produce. The working people have to pay for all this in order
to make the oligarchs „independent.”

This is one aspect of the problem common to Communist
regimes. Another is the senseless race of the „leading Socialist
country”— the U.S.S.R.— to overtake and pass the most highly
developed countries. What does this cost? And where does it

Perhaps the U.S.S.R. can overtake some branches of the econ-
omy of the most highly developed countries. By infinite waste
of manpower, by low wages, and by neglect of the other


branches of industry, this may be possible. It is quite another
question whether this is economically justifiable.

Such plans are aggressive in themselves. What does the non-
Coinmunist world think of the fact that the U.S.S.R. is deter-
mined to hold first place in the production of steel and
crude oil at the cost of a low standard of living? What is left
of “coexistence” and “peace-loving cooperation” if they con-
sist of competition in heavy industry and of very small trade
exchanges? What is left of cooperation if the Communist econ-
omies develop autarchically, but penetrate the world mostly
for ideological reasons?

Such plans and relations waste domestic and world manpower
and wealth and are unjustified from every viewpoint except
that of the Communist oligarchy. Technical progress and
changing vital needs make one branch of the economy impor-
tant one moment and another the next; this is true for nations
and for the world. What will happen if, fifty years from now,
steel and petroleum lose the significance they hold today? The
Communist leaders take no account of this and many other

Efforts at linking the Commnnist economies, the Soviet first
of all, to the rest of the world, and at the penetration of the
world by these economies, are far behind the actual technical
and other capabilities of these economies. At their present stage
these economies could cooperate with the rest of the world to
a much greater degree than they actually do. The failure to
use their capabilities for cooperation with the outside world
and the rush to penetrate the outer world for ideological and
other reasons are caused by the monopoly that the Communists
hold over the economy and by their need to maintain power.

Lenin was largely right when he stated that politics is a
“concentrated economy.” This has been reversed in the Com-
munist system; economy has become concentrated politics; that
is, politics an almost decisive role in the economy.

Separation from the world market, or the creation of a “world


socialist” market, which Stalin inaugurated and to which Soviet
leaders still pledge allegiance, represents perhaps the major
reason for world strain and world-wide waste.

Monopoly of ownership, antiquated methods of production-
no matter whose or what kind— are ill conflict with the world
economic needs. Freedom vs. ownership has become a world

The abolishment of private, or capitalist, ownership in the
backward Communist states has made possible rapid, if not
smooth, economic progress. The states have become uncom-
monly gTeat physical powers, new and resistant, with a self-
righteous and fanatical class which has tasted the fruits of
authority and ownership. This development cannot solve any
of the questions that were of concern to classic socialism of
the nineteenth century, nor even those that were of concern
to Lenin; still less can it insure economic advancement without
internal difficulties and convulsions.

Despite its powerful concentration of forces in one pair of
hands and its rapid if unbalanced successes, the Communist
economic system has been showing deep fissures and weaknesses
since the moment of its complete victory. Even though it has
not yet reached the height of its power it is already running
into difficulties. Its future is less and less secure; the Com-
munist economic system will have to battle furiously, inside
and outside, for its existence.


Tyranny over the Mind

1 .

There is only partial justification for seeking, in Communist
philosophy, the sources of tyranny over the mind, a tyranny
which the Communists exercise with clinical refinement when
they come to power. Communist materialism is possibly more
exclusive than any other contemporary view of the world. It
pushes its adherents into the position which makes it impossible
for them to hold any other viewpoint. If this view were not
connected with specific forms of government and ownership,
the monstrous methods of oppression and destruction of the
hnman mind could not be explained by the view itself.

Every ideology, every opinion, tries to represent itself as the
only true one arid, complete one* This is innate in man s

It was not the idea itself but the method by which the idea
was applied that distinguished Marx and Engels. They denied
every scientific and progressive socialist value in the thinking
of their contemporaries, usually lumping such ideas into “bour-
geois science/’ thus banning every serious discussion and study
in advance*

The idea that was especially narrow and exclusive with Marx
and Engels, the idea from which Communism later could draw



substance for its ideological intolerance, was that of the insep-
arability of the political views of a contemporary scientist,
thinker, or artist from his real or scientific value as a thinker
or artist. If one was found in the opposite camp politically,
his every other objective or other work was opposed or dis-

This position of Marx and Engels can be only partially ex-
plained as the result of the furious opposition of the owners
and power-holders agitated by the “specter of Communism”
from the very beginning.

The exclusiveness of Marx and Engels was bom and inten-
sified by something else that was at the roots of what they had
learned: convinced that they had plumbed the depths of every
philosophy, they thought that it was impossible for anyone to
attain anything significant without taking their own view of
the world as the basis. Out of the scientific atmosphere of the
epoch and out of the needs of the socialist movement, Marx
and Engels came to think that anything that was not important
to them, or to the movement, was not important, even objec-
tively; that is, if it was independent of the movement, it was
not important.

Consequently, they proceeded practically unaware of the
most important minds of their time, and disdained the views
of opponents in their own movement. The writings of Marx
and Engels contain no mention of such a well-known philos-
opher as Schopenhauer or of an aestheticist like Taine. There
is no mention of the well-known writers and artists of their
period. There is not even any reference to those who were
caught up iu the ideological and social stream to which Marx
and Engels belonged. They settled their accounts with their
oppositionists in the socialist movement in a fierce and intoler-
ant manner. This was perhaps not important for the sociology
of Proudhon, but it was very important for the development


of socialism and social struggles, especially in France. The
same may be said of Bakunin. Slaughtering Proudhon’s ideas,
Marx, in his Misery of Philosophy , scornfully went beyond
his real role. He and Engels did the same with the German
socialist, Lassalle, as well as with other oppositionists inside
their own movement.

On the other hand, they carefully noted the significant in-
tellectual phenomena of their time. They accepted Darwin.
They particularly grasped the currents of the past— ancient, and
Renaissance— from which European culture had developed. In
sociology they borrowed from English political economy (Smith
and Ricardo) ; in philosophy, from classic German philosophy
(Kant, Hegel) ; and in social theory, from French socialism, or
from the currents that emerged after the French revolution.
These were the great scientific, intellectual, and social currents
that created the democratic and progressive climate of Europe
and the rest of the world.

There is logic and consistency in the development of Com-
munism. Marx was more of a scientist, more objective than
Lenin, who was above all a great revolutionary, formed under
the conditions of Czarist absolutism, semi-colonial Russian
capitalism, and world conflicts by monopolists for spheres of

Leaning on Marx, Lenin taught that materialism was pro-
gressive as a rule throughout history, and that idealism was
reactionary. This was not only one-sided and incorrect, but it
intensified Marx’s exclusiveness. It also emanated from insuffi-
cient knowledge of historical philosophy. In 1909, when Lenin
wrote his Materialism and Empiro-Criticism , he was not closely
acquainted with any great philosopher, classical or modem.
Because of the need to overcome oppositionists whose views
hindered the development of his party, Lenin rejected every-
thing that was not in accord with Marxist views. To him, any-
thing was erroneous and valueless if it was not in accord with
original Marxism. It must be acknowledged that, in this respect.


his works are outstanding examples of logical and persuasive

Believing that materialism had always been the ideology of
revolutionary and subversive social movements, he drew the
one-sided conclusion that materialism was generally progres-
sive— even in the fields of research and in the development of
man’s thought— while idealism was reactionary. Lenin confused
form and method with content and with scientific discovery.
The fact that anyone was idealistic in his thinking was sufficient
for Lenin to disregard his real value and the value of his dis-
coveries. Lenin extended his political intolerance to practically
the entire history of human thought.

By 1920, Bertrand Russell, the British philosopher who wel-
comed the October Revolution, had accurately noted the es-
sence of Leninist, or Communist, dogmatism:*

There is, however, another aspect of Bolshevism from which
I differ more fundamentally, Bolshevism is not merely a po-
litical doctrine; it is also a religion, with elaborate dogmas
and inspired scriptures. When Lenin wishes to prove some
proposition, he does so, if possible, by quoting texts from
Marx and Engels. A full-fledged Communist is not merely a
man who believes that land and capital should be held in
common, and their produce distributed as nearly equally as
possible. He is a man who entertains a number of elaborate
and dogmatic beliefs— such as philosophic materialism, for
example— which may be true, but are not, to a scientific tem-
per, capable of being known with any certainty. This habit,
of militant certainty about objectively doubtful matters, is
one from which, since the Renaissance, the world has been
gradually emerging, into that temper of constructive and fruit-
ful skepticism which constitutes the scientific outlook. I be-
lieve the scientific outlook to be immeasurably important to
the human race. If a more just economic system were only
attainable by closing men’s minds against free inquiry, and
plunging them back into the intellectual prison of the middle

From Bolshevism: Practice and Theory ; New York, Harcourt, Brace & Howe.


ages, I should consider the price too high. It cannot be denied
that, over any short period of time, dogmatic belief is a help
in fighting.

But this was Lenin’s period.

Stalin went further; he “devoloped” Lenin, but without
having Lenin’s knowledge or depth. Careful research would
lead to the conclusion that this man, whom Khrushchev himself
today acknowledges to have been the “best Marxist of his time,
had not even read Marx’s Das Kapital, the most important
work on Marxism. Practical soul that he was, and supported by
his extreme dogmatism, it was not even necessary for him to
be acquainted with Marx’s economic studies to build his brand
of “socialism.’* Stalin was not closely acquainted with any
philosopher. He behaved toward Hegel as he would toward a
“dead dog,” attributing to him the “reaction of Prussian ab-
solutism to the French revolution.”

But Stalin was uncommonly well acquainted with Lenin. He
always sought support, in him, to a greater extent than Lenin
did in Marx. Stalin had considerable knowledge of political
history only, especially Russian, and he had an uncommonly
good memory.

Stalin really did not need any more than this for his role.
Anything that did not coincide with his needs and his views,
he simply proclaimed as “hostile” and forbade it.

The three men— Marx, Lenin, and Stalin—are contrasts as
men and are contrasts iir their methods of expression. In addi-
tion to being a revolutionary, Marx was a somewhat simple
scientist. His style was picturesque, baroque, unrestrained, and
witty in an Olympian sort of way. Lenin seemed to be the
incarnation of the revolution itself. His style was flamboyant,
incisive, and logical. Stalin thought his power lay in the satis-
faction of all human desires, and believed his thinking to be
the supreme expression of human thought. His style tvas color-
less and monotonous, but its oversimplified logic and dogma-
tism were convincing to the conformists aud to common people.


It contained simplicities from the writings of the Church
fathers, not so much the result of his religious youth as the
result of the fact that his was the way of expression under
primitive conditions, and of dogmatized Communists.

Stalin’s fol lowers do not have even his crude internal co-
hesiveness nor his dogmatic powers and convictions. Average
inen in everything, they possess an uncommonly strong sense of
reality. Unable to generate new systems or new ideas because of
their commitment to vital bureaucratic realities, they are able
only to stifle or make impossible the creation of anything new.

Thus is the evolution of the dogmatic and exclusive aspect of
Communist ideology. The so-called “further development of
Marxism” has led to the strengthening of the new class and
the sovereignty not only of a single ideology, hut the sovereignty
of thought of a single man or group of oligarchs. This has
resulted in the intellectual decline and impoverishment of the
ideology itself. Along with this, intolerance of other ideas, and
even of human thought as such, has increased. The ideology’s
progress, its elements of truth, have declined in proportion to
the increase of physical power of its disciples.

Becoming increasingly one-sided and exclusive, contempo-
rary Communism more and more creates half-truths and tries
to justify them. At first sight, it seems as if its views, individ-
ually, were true. But it is incurably infected with lies. Its half-
truths are exaggerated and debased to the point of perversion;
the more rigid and the more inspired it is with lies, the more
it strengthens the monopolism of its leaders over society, and
thus over Communist theory itself.

2 .

The proposition that Marxism is a universal method, a
proposition upon which Communists are obliged to stand, must
in practice lead to tyranny in all areas of intellectual activity.


What can the unfortunate physicists do, if atoms do not
behave according to the Hegelian-Marxist struggle or according
to the uniformity of opposites and their development into
higher forms? What of the astronomers, if the cosmos is apa-
thetic to Communist dialectics? What of the biologists, if plants
do not behave according to the Lysenko-Stalinist theory on har-
mony and cooperation of classes in a “socialist” society? Because
it is not possible for these scientists to lie naturally, they must
suffer the consequences of their “heresies.” To have their dis-
coveries accepted they must make discoveries “confirming” the
formulas of Marxism-Leninism. Scientists are in a constant
dilemma as to whether their ideas and discoveries will injure
official dogma. They are therefore forced into opportunism
and compromises with regard to science.

The same is true of other intellectuals. In many ways con-
temporary Communism is reminiscent of the exclusiveness of
religious sects of the Middle Ages. The observations on Cal-
vinism written by the Serbian poet, Jovan Ducic, in his Tuge
i vedrine (Sorrows and Calms), seem to relate to the intellec-
tual atmosphere in a Communist country:

. . . And this Calvin, jurist and dogmatician, what he did
not burn on the funeral pyre, he hardened in the soul of the
people of Geneva. He introduced religious tribulation and
pious renunciation in these homes which are even today filled
with this cold and darkness; planted a hatred of all merriment
and rapture, arid damned poetry and music by decree. As a
politician and tyrant, at the head of the repuhlic, he forged,
like shackles, his iron laws over life in the state, and even
regulated family feelings. Of all the figures which the Refor-
mation fostered, Calvin is probably the most calloused of the
revolutionary figures, and his Bible is the most depressing
textbook for living. . . . Calvin was not a new Christian
apostle who wished to restore the faith to its pristine purity,
simplicity, and sweetness, as it was when it sprung forth from
the parabola of Nazareth. This Calvin was the Aryan ascetic,
who, severing himself from the regime, also severed himself


from love, the basic principle of his dogma. He created a
people, earnest and full of virtue, but also full of hatred of
life and full of disbelief in happiness. There is no harsher
religion or more fearful prophet. Of the people of Geneva,
Calvin made paralytics forever incapable of any joy. There
are no people in the world to whom religion has brought as
much tribulation and dreariness. Calvin was an eminent re-
ligions writer, as important to the purity of the French lan-
guage as Luther was important to the purity of the German
language, the translator of the Bible. But he was also the
creator of a theocracy which was no less like a dictatorship
than was the Papal monarchy. While announcing that he was
freeing man’s spiritual personality, he degraded man’s civil
personality to the blackest slavery. He confused the people
and failed to brighten life in any way. He changed many
things, but completed nothing and contributed nothing. Al-
most SOO years after Calvin, in Geneva, Stendhal ohserved
how young men and young women carried on conversations
only about “the pastor” and his last sermon, and how they
knew his sermons by heart.

Contemporary Communism also contains some elements of
the dogmatic exclusiveness of the Puritans under Cromwell and
of the political intolerance of the Jacobins. But there are essen-
tial differences. The Puritans rigidly believed in the Bible and
the Communists believe in science. Communist power is more
complete than that of the Jacobins. Further, the differences
emanate from the capabilities; no religion or dictatorship has
been able to aspire to such all-around and all-inclusive power
as that of the Communist systems.

The conviction of the Communist leaders that they were on
the path leading to the creation of absolute happiness and an
ideal society grew in proportion to the growth of their power.
It has been said in jest that the Communist leaders created a
Communist society— for themselves. In fact, they do identify
themselves with society and its aspirations. Absolute despotism
equates itself with the belief in absolute human happiness,
though it is an all-inclusive and universal tyranny.


Progress itself has transformed the Communist power-wielders
into boosters of the “human consciousness/’ Their concern for
human consciousness has increased as their power has increased,
along with the “building of socialism/’

Yugoslavia has not bypassed this evolution. Some of the Yugo-
slav leaders, too, stressed the “high level of consciousness of
our people” during the revolutionary period; that is, while
“our people/’ or some of them, actively supported these leaders.
Now, however, the “socialist” consciousness of the same people,
according to these leaders, is very low and, consequently, must
wait for democracy in order to be raised. Yugoslav leaders
openly speak of the fact that they will bestow democracy “when
there is growth of socialist consciousness”; a kind of conscious-
ness which they trust will automatically be attained through
industrialization. Until then, these theoreticians of a democracy
which is doled out in small doses, men who practice something
entirely contrary to democracy, maintain that they have the
right— in the name of future happiness and freedom— to prevent
even the faintest manifestations of ideas or of any consciousness
which is unlike theirs.

Perhaps only in the beginning were Soviet leaders forced to
manenver with such shallow promises of democracy “in the
future.” They now simply maintain that this freedom has al-
ready been created in the U.S.S.R. Of course, even they sense
that freedom is at work under them. They are constantly “ele-
vating” consciousness; they urge men to “produce”; they cram
minds with arid Marxist formulas and the arid political views
of the leaders. Worse still, they force men constantly to acknowl-
edge their devotion to socialism and their beliefs in the infalli-
bility and reality of the promises of their leaders.

A citizen in the Communist system lives oppressed by the
constant pangs of his conscience, and the fear that he has trans-
gressed. He is always fearful that he will have to demonstrate
that he is not an enemy of socialism, just as in the Middle Ages
a man constantly had to show his devotion to the Church.


The school system and all social and intellectual activity
work toward this type of behavior. From birth to death a man
is surrounded by the solicitude of the ruling party, a solicitude
for his consciousness and conscience. Journalists, ideologists,
paid writers, special schools, approved ruling ideas, and tremen-
dous material means are all enlisted and engaged in this “uplift-
ing of socialism.” In the final analysis, all newspapers are
official. So are the radio and other similar media.

The results are not great. In no case are they proportionate
to the means and measures employed, except for the new class
which would, in any case, be convinced. However, considerable
results are attained in making it impossible to manifest a con-
sciousness other than the official one, and in combatting op-
posing opinions.

Even under Communism, men think, for they cannot help
but think. What is more, they think differently from the pre-
scribed manner. Their thinking has two faces— one for therm
selves, their own; the other for the public, the official.

Even in Communist systems, men are not so stupefied by uni-
form propaganda that it is impossible for them to arrive at the
truth or at new ideas. In the intellectual field, however, the
plan of the oligarchs results less in production than in stag-
nation, corruption, and decay.

These oligarchs and soul-savers, these vigilant protectors who
see to it that human thought does not drift into “criminal
thought” or “anti-socialist lines”; these unscrupulous pro-
curers of the cheap and actually the only available consumer
goods— these holders of obsolete, unchangeable, and immutable
ideas— have retarded and frozen the intellectual impulses of
their people. They have thought up the most antihuman words
—“pluck from the human consciousness”— and act. according to
these words, just as if they were dealing with roots and weeds
instead of man’s thoughts. By stifling the consciousness of
others, and by emasculating human intellect so that it cannot
take courage and soar, they themselves become gray, barren of


ideas, and completely lacking in the intellectual enthusiasm
that disinterested meditation inspires. A theater without an
audience: the actors play and go into raptures over themselves.
They think as automatically as they eat; their brains cook
thoughts in response to the most elementary needs. This is how
it is with these high priests who are simultaneously policemen
and owners of all the media which the human intellect can use
to communicate its thoughts— press, movies, radio, television,
books, and the like-as well as of all substance that keeps a
human being alive—food and a roof over his head.

Are there not reasons then for comparing contemporary Com-
munism with religious sects?

3 .

Nevertheless, every Communist country achieves technical
progress, even though of a special kind and in special periods.

Industrialization, rapid as it is, creates a large technical in-
telligentsia, which, even if it is not especially high in quality,
attracts talents and stimulates the inventive intellect. The rea-
sons that help to achieve industrialization rapidly in specific
branches of the economy also act as an incentive for inventive-
ness. The U.S.S.R. has not lagged to any extent in war tech-
nology either in World War II or since. The U.S.S.R. is not
far behind the United States in the development of atomic
energy. Technology is advanced in spite of the fact that a bu-
reaucratic system makes it difficult to adopt innovations; in-
ventions sometimes lie for years in the warehouses of state
establishments. The disinterest of producing organizations often
deadens inventiveness still more.

Being very practical men, the Communist leaders immediately
establish cooperation with technicians and scientists, not pay-
ing much attention to their „bourgeois” views. It is clear to the


leaders that industrialization cannot be accomplished without
the technical intelligentsia, and that this intelligentsia cannot
by itself become dangerous. As in every other field, Communists
have a simplified and generally half-correct theory with relation
to this intelligentsia: some other class always pays the special-
ists, while they serve it. Consequently, why shouldn’t the „pro-
letariat,” or the new class, also do this? Acting on this proposi-
tion, they immediately develop a system of wages.

In spite of their technical progress, it is a fact that no great
modern scientific discovery has been achieved under the Soviet
government. In this respect, the U.S.S.R. is probably behind
Czarist Russia, where there were epochal scientific discoveries
in spite of technical backwardness.

Even though technical reasons make scientific discovery dif-
ficult, the main reasons for this difficulty are social. The new
class is very interested in seeing that its ideological monopolism
\ is not endangered. Every great scientific discovery is the result
of a changed view of the world in the mind of the discoverer.
A new view does not fit into the form of the already adopted
! official philosophy. In the Commnnist system every scientist
must stop short before this fact or risk being proclaimed a
„heretic” if his theories do not coincide with the confirmed,
prescribed, and desirable dogma.

Work on discoveries is made difficult to an even greater de-
gree by the imposition of the official view that Marxism, or
dialectical materialism, is the most effective method for all
fields of scientific, intellectual, and other activity. There has
not been a single noted scientist in the U.S.S.R. who has not
had political trouble. There have been many reasons for this,
but one is due to opposition to the official line. There have
been fewer occurrences of this kind in Yugoslavia, but con-
versely, there are instances of the favoring of „devoted” but
poor scientists,

Communist systems stimulate technical progress but also
hinder every great research activity where undisturbed func-





tioning of the mind is necessary. This may sound contradictory,
but it is so.

While Communist systems are only relatively opposed to
scientific development, they are absolutely opposed to any intel-
lectual progress and discovery. Based on the exclusiveness of
a single philosophy, the systems are expressly anti-philosophic.
In such systems, there has not been bom, nor can there be
bom, a single thinker, especially a social thinker— as long as
one does not so consider the power-wi elders themselves, who
are generally also the “main philosophers” and masters for
“elevating” the human consciousness. In Communism a new
thought, or a new philosophy and social theory, must travel by
very indirect roads, generally by the way of literature or some
branch of art. The new thought must first hide and conceal
itself in order to reach the light and begin to live.

Of all the sciences and all thought, social sciences and the
consideration of social problems fare the worst; they scarcely
manage to exist. When it is a question of society or of a social
problem, everything is interpreted according to Marx and
Lenin, or everything is monopolized by the leaders.

History, especially of its own— the Communist— period, does
not exist. Imposition of silence and falsification are not only
permitted but are general phenomena.

The intellectual inheritance of the people is also being con-
fiscated. The monopolists act as if all history has occurred just
to let them make their appearance in the world. They measure
the past and everything in it by their own likeness and form,
and apply a single measure, dividing all men and phenomena
into “progressive” and “reactionary” classifications. In this
fashion they raise up monuments. They elevate the pygmies
and destroy the great, especially the great of their own time.

Their “single scientific” method is most suitable too in that
it alone protects and justifies their exclusive dominance over
science and society.

4 .

Similar things are happening in art. Here favors are ex-
tended, in increasing measure, to already established forms and
views of average quality. This is understandable: there is no
art without ideas, or without some effect on the consciousness.
Monopoly over ideas, the formation of the consciousness, are
the prerequisites of the rulers. Communists are traditionalists
in art, mostly because of the need to maintain their monopoly
over the minds of the people but also because of their ignorance
and one-sidedness. Some of them tolerate a kind of democratic
freedom in modem art; but this is only an acknowledgment that
they do not understand modem art, and therefore believe that,
they should permit it. Lenin felt this way about the futurism
of Mayakovsky.

In spite of this, backward peoples in Communist systems ex-
perience a cultural renaissance along with the technical one.
Culture becomes more accessible to them, even though it coines
largely in the form of propaganda. The new class is interested
in the spread of culture because industrialization brings the
need for higher-quality work and the need for enlarging intel-
lectual opportunities. The network of schools and professional
branches of art has spread very rapidly, sometimes even beyond
actual needs and capabilities. Progress in art is undeniable.

After a revolution, before the ruling class has established
a complete monopoly, significant works of art are generally
created. This was true in the U.S.S.R. prior to the 1930’s; it
is true today in Yugoslavia. It is as if the revolution had
awakened dormant talents, even though despotism, which is
also bom in the revolution, increasingly stifles art.

The two basic methods of stifling the arts are by opposition
toward the intellectual-idealistic aspects of it and by oppo-
sition to innovations in form.

In Stalin’s time things reached the point w T here all forms


of artistic expression were forbidden except those that Stalin
himself liked. Stalin did not have particularly good taste; he
was hard of hearing, and liked octosyllabic and Alexandrine
verse. Deutscher has stated that Stalin’s style became the na-
tional style. The adoption of official views on art forms became
as obligatory as the adoption of official ideas.

It has not always been like this in Communist systems, nor
is it inevitable that it should be so. In 1925, in the U.S.S.R., a
resolution was adopted stating that “the party as a whole can
in no way tie devotion to a cause in the field of literaiy form.

By this the party did not renounce its so-called „ideological
aid,” that is, i u ideological and political control over artists.
This was the maximum democracy attained by Communism
in the field of art. Yugoslav leaders are in the same position
today. After 1953, when the abandonment of democratic forms
in favor of bureaucracy began, the most primitive and reae- j
tionary elements were eucouraged; a mad hunt for „petit bour- j
geois” intellectuals was initiated, which openly aimed at con- ?
trolling art forms. Overnight, the whole intellectual world j

turned against the regime. Consequently, the regime had to j

retract, announcing through one of Kardelj’s speeches that
the party cannot prescribe form itself, but that it would not
allow „anti-socialist ideological contraband/’ that is, views
which the regime considered as being „anti-socialist.” The Bol-
shevik parties had taken this stand in 1925. This constituted j.
the „democratic” limits of the Yugoslav regime toward art.
However, the internal attitudes of most of the Yugoslav leaders
were far from changed by this. They privately consider the *
entire intellectual and art world as „insecure,” „petit bour-
geois,” or, putting it mildly, „ideologically confused.” Cited
in Yugoslavia’s greatest newspaper (Politika, May 25, 1954)
are Tito’s „unforgettable” words: “A good textbook is more
valuable than any novel.” Periodic hysterical onslaughts against
^decadence,” “destructive ideas,” and „hostile views” in art
have continued.


Yugoslav culture, unlike Soviet culture, has at least succeeded
in concealing, rather than destroying, dissatisfied and turbulent
opinions regarding art forms. This has never been possible
for Soviet, culture. A sword hang’s over Yugoslav culture, but
the sword has been driven into the heart of Soviet culture.

Relative freedom of form, which the Communists can only
periodically suppress, cannot completely free the creative per-
sou. Art, even though indirectly, must also express new ideas
through form itself. Even in Communist systems where art is
allowed the greatest freedom, the contradiction between prom-
ised free form and compulsory control of ideas remains
unresolved. This contradiction crops out from time to time,
sometimes in attacks on „contraband” ideas, sometimes in the
work of artists because they are forced to use particular forms.
It crops out essentially because of conflict between the un-
curbed monopolistic aspirations of the regime and the irresist-
ible creative aspirations of the artists. It is, actually, the same
cunflict which exists between creativeness in science and Com-
munist dogmatism; it. has merely been carried over into the
field of art.

Any new thought or idea must first be examined in essence,
approved or disapproved, and fitted into a harmless frame.
As with other conflicts, the Communist leaders cannot resolve
this one. But they can, as we have seen, periodically extricate
themselves, usually at the expense of real freedom of artistic
creation. In Communist systems, it has not been possible, be-
cause of this contradiction, to develop genuine subjects for art
or to develop art theory.

A work of art, by its very nature, is usually a criticism of a
given situation and of given relations. In Communist systems,
therefore, artistic creation based on actnal subjects is not pos-
sible. Only praise of a given situation or criticism of the
system’s opponents is permitted. Under these terms art can
have no value whatever.

In Yugoslavia officials and some artists conplain about the fact

14 o the new class

that there are no works of art which can show “our socialist
reality.” In the U.S.S.R., on the other hand, tons of works of
art based on actual subjects are created; but since they do not
reflect the truth, they do not have any value and are rapidly
rejected by the public, later even coming under official criticism.
The method is varied but the final result is the same.

5 .

The theory of so-called “Socialist Realism” reigns in all
Communist states.

In Yugoslavia this theory has been crushed and is now held
only by the most reactionary dogmatists. In this area, as in
others, the regime has been strong enough to forestall the
development of disagreeable theories but has been too weak,
to impose its own views. It can be said that the same goes for
the other East European countries.

The theory of “Socialist Realism” is not even a complete
system. Gorky was the first to use this term, probably inspired
by his realist method. His views were that in rude contemporary
“socialist” conditions, art must be inspired with new or socialist
ideas and must depict reality as faithfully as possible. Every-
thing else that this theory advocates— typicalness, emphasis on
ideology, party solidarity, etc.— has either been taken over from
other theories or thrown in because of the political needs of
the regime.

Not having been evolved into a complete theory, “Socialist.
Realism” actually means ideological monopolism by Com-
munists. It calls for efforts to clothe the narrow, backward ideas
of the leaders in art forms and for their works to be depicted
romantically and panegyrically. This has led to a Pharisaic
justificaton of the regime’s control over ideas and to bureau-
cratic censorship of the needs of art itself.

The forms of this control vary in different Communist coun-


tries, from partyTureaucratic censorship to ideological influ-

Yugoslavia, for instance, has never had censorship. Control
is exercised indirectly by this method; in publishing enter-
prises, artist’s associations, periodicals, newspapers, and the
like, party members submit everything they consider “sus-
picious” to the proper authorities. Censorship, or really self-
censorship, has sprouted from that very atmosphere. Even
though party members may push something or other through,
the self-censorship which they and other intellectuals must exer-
cise over themselves forces them to dissemble everything and
make unworthy insinuations. But this is considered progress,
it is “socialist democracy,” instead of bureaucratic despotism.

Neither in the U,S,S,R. nor in other Communist countries
does the existence of censorship absolve creating artists from
self-censorship. Intellectuals are forced into self-censorship by
their status and the reality of social relations. Self-censorship
is actually the main form of party ideological control in the
Communist system. In the Middle Ages men first had to delve
into the thought of the Church on their work; in the same
manner, in Communist systems, it is necessary first to imagine
what kind of performance is expected and, often, to ascertain
the taste of the leaders.

Censorship, or self-censorship, represents itself as being
“ideological aid.” In the same way, everything in Communism
is represented as being devoted to the implementation of ab-
solute happiness. Consequently, the expressions “the people,”
“the working people,” and similar ones— in spite of their
vagueness— are used frequently in connection with the arts.

Persecutions, prohibitions, the imposition of forms and
ideas, humiliations, and insults; the doctrinaire authority of
semi-literate bureaucrats over geninses; all this is done in the
name of the people and for the people. Communist “Socialist
Realism” is not different even in terminology from Hitler’s
National Socialism, A Yugoslav author of Hungarian origin.



Ervin Sinko, has made an interesting comparison of the „art”
■theoreticians in the two dictatorships:

Timofeyev, the Soviet theorist, wrote in his Theory of Liter-
ature: “Literature is an ideology which helps man to get
acquainted with life and to realize that he is participating

in it.” ,,

“Fundamentals of National-Socialist Cultural Policy states:
„An artist cannot he only an artist, he is also always an edu-

Baldur von Schirach, leader of the Hitler Youtlr stated:
„Every true work of art applies to the entire people.

Zhdanov, member of the Politburo of the Central Commit-
tee of the Communist Party of the U.S.S.R., stated. Every-
thing that is creative is accessible.”

In „Fundamentals . ♦ * ” Wolfgang Schulz stated: National-

Socialist policy, even that part of it which is called cultural
policy, is determined by the Fiihrer and those to whom he
has delegated authority.”

If we wish to know what National-Socialist cultural policy
is, we must look to these men, to what they were doing and
to the directives they issued in order to educate responsible
associates for themselves.

At the Eighteenth Congress of the Communist Party of the
U.S.S.R., Yaroslavsky said: „Comrade Stalin inspires artists;
he gives them guiding ideas. . . . The resolutions of the Cen-
tral Committee of the Soviet Communist Party and the report
of A. A. Zhdanov give Soviet writers a completely prepared
work program.”

Despotisms, even when they are opposing ones, justify them-
selves in the same way; they cannot even avoid the use oE the
same words in doing so.

6 .

An enemy to thought in the name of science, an enemy to
freedom in the name of democracy, the Communist oligarchy
cannot but accomplish complete corruption of the mind. Capi-



talist magnates and feudal lords used to pay artists and scientists
as they could and wished, and thus both aided and corrupted
them. In Communist systems, corruption is an integral part
of state policy.

The Communist system, as a rule, stifles and represses any
intellectual activity with which it does not agree; that is, every-
thing that is profound and original. On the other hand, it
rewards and encourages, and actually corrupts, all that it thinks
will benefit “socialism,” that is, the system itself.

Even overlooking such concealed and drastic means of cor-
ruptions as “Stalin prizes,” the use of personal ties with the
powers-that-be, and the capricious demands and purchases of
the top bureaucrats— all of which represent extremes of the
system— the fact remains that the system itself corrupts intel-
lectuals and, especially, art. Direct rewards from the regime
may be abolished, just as censorship may be, but the spirit of
corruption and oppression remains.

This spirit is established and stimulated by party-bureau-
cratic monopolism over materials and mind. The intellectual
has nowhere to turn except toward this power, whether for
ideas or for profit. Even though this power may not be directly
the government’s, it extends through all establishments and
organizations. In the final analysis it. makes the decisions.

It is very important to the artist that restraint and centralism
be exercised as little as possible, even though the essence of
his social position is not thereby changed. Because of this, it
is much easier for him to work and live in Yugoslavia than in
the U.S.S.R.

An oppressed human mind is forced to submit to corruption.
If one seeks to know why for a quarter of a century there have
been scarcely any significant works, especially in literature,
in the U.S.S.R., he would find that corruption has played as
great or greater a part than oppression in cansing this scarcity.

The Communist system persecutes, suspects, and prods into
self-criticism its really creative people. It offers its sycophants




attractive “working conditions” and lavish honorariums, re-
wards, villas, vacation centers, discounts, automobiles, ambas-
sadorial mandates, agit-prop protections, and “magnanimous
interventions.” Thus, as a rule, it favors the untalented,
dependent, and non-inventive. It is understandable that the
greatest minds have lost their direction, faith, and power. Sui-
cide, despair, alcoholism, and debauchery, the loss of internal
powers and integrity because the artist is forced to lie to himself
and others— these are the most frequent phenomena in the
Communist system among those who actually wish to, and could

7 ,

It is generally thought that Communist dictatorship practices
brutal class discrimination. This is not completely accurate.
Historically, class discrimination declines as the revolution
slackens off, but ideological discrimination increases. The illu-
sion that the proletariat is in power is inaccurate* so, too,
is the proposition that Communists persecute someone because
he is a bourgeois. Their measnres do aim most harshly at the
members of the ruling classes, especially the bourgeoisie. But
those bourgeois who capitulate, or reorient themselves, are able
to assure for themselves lucrative posts and favor. What is
more, the secret police often find able agents in their ranks,
while the new power-wxelders find them able servants. Only
those who do not ideologically approve the Communist meas-
ures and views are punished without consideration as to their
class or their attitude toward nationalization of capitalist

Persecution of democratic and socialist thought which is at
variance with that of the ruling oligarchy is fiercer and more
complete than persecution of the most reactionary followers


of the former regime. This is understandable: the last named
are less dangerous since they look to a past which has little
likelihood of returning and reconquering.

Whenever Communists come to power, their assault on pri-
vate ownership creates the illusion that their measures are
primarily directed against the ownership classes for the benefit
of the working class. Subsequent events prove that their meas-
ures w^ere not taken for this purpose but in order to establish
their own ownership. This must manifest itself predominantly
as ideological rather than class discrimination. If this were not
true, if they really strove for actual ownership by the working
masses, then class discrimination actually would have prevailed.

The fact that ideological discrimination prevails leads, at
first sight, to the conclusion that a new religious sect has risen,
a sect which rigidly sticks to its materialistic and atheistic pre-
scriptions and forcibly imposes them on others. Communists do
behave like a religious sect even though they are not really one.

This totalitarian ideology is not only the result, of certain
forms of government and of ownership. For its part, the ide-
ology aided in their creation and supports them in every
way. Ideological discrimination is a condition for the continu-
ance of the Communist system.

It would be wrong to think that other forms of discrimina-
tion— race, caste, national— are worse than ideological discrimi-
nation. They may seem more brutal to all outward appearances,
but they are not as refined or complete. They aim at the
activities of society, while ideological discrimination aims at
society as a whole, and at every individual. Other types of dis-
crimination may crush a human being physically, while ideo-
logical discrimination strikes at the very thing in the human
being which is perhaps most peculiarly his own. Tyranny over
the mind is the most complete and most brutal type of tyranny;
every other tyranny begins and ends with it.

On the one hand the ideological discrimination in Commu-



nxst systems aims at prohibiting other ideas; on the other, at
imposing exclusively its own ideas. These are two most strik-
ing forms of unbelievable, total tyranny.

Thought is the most creative force. It uncovers what is new.
Men can neither live nor produce if they do not think or con-
template. Even though they may deny it. Communists are
forced to accept this fact in practice. Thus they make it impos-
sible for any thought other than their own to prevail.

Man may renounce much. But he must think and he has a
deep need to express his thoughts. It is profoundly sickening to
be compelled to remain silent when there is need for expres-
sion. It is tyranny at its worst to compel men not to think as
they do, to compel men to express thoughts that are not their

The limitation of freedom of thought is not only an attack
on specific political and social rights, but an attack on the
human heing as such. Man’s imperishable aspirations for free-
dom of thought always emerge in concrete from. If they have
not yet become apparent in Communist systems, this does not
mean that they do not exist. Today they lie in dark and apa-
thetic resistance, and in the unshapen hopes of the people. It
is as if totality of oppression were erasing differences in national
strata, uniting all people in the demand for freedom of thought
and for freedom in general.

History will pardon Communists for much, establishing that
they were forced into many brutal acts because of circumstances
and the need to defend their existence. But the stifling of every
divergent thought, the exclusive monopoly over thinking for
the purpose of defending their personal interests, will nail the
Communists to a cross of shame in history.

The Aim and The Means


All revolutions and all revolutionaries use oppressive and
unscrupulous means in abundance.

However, earlier revolutionaries were not as conscious of
their methods as the Communists have been. They were unable
to adapt and use their methods to the degree that the Com-
munists have done.

“You don’t need to pick and choose the means to use against
enemies of the movement, . . . You must punish not only the
traitors, but also the indifferent; you must punish all who are
inactive in the republic, all who do nothing for it.”

These words of Saint-Just might have heen uttered by some
Communist leader of today. But Saint-Just flung them out in
the heat of the revolution, to preserve its destiny. The Commu-
nists speak these words and act according to them constantly—
from tile beginning of their revolution until they reach com*
i plete power, and even in their decline.

Although Communist, methods surpass any of those of other
revolutionaries in range, duration, and severity, during a revo-
lution the Communists have not as a rule used all the means
t that their antagonists used. However, even though the methods
I of the Communists might have been less bloody, they became







increasingly more inhumane the farther away they got from
the revolution.

Like every social and political movement, Communism must
use methods primarily suited to the interests and relations of
the powers-that-be. Other considerations, including moral ones,
are subordinated.

Here, we are interested only in the methods used by con-
temporary Communism, which may, according to conditions,
be mild or severe, human or inhuman, but which are different ^
from those used by other political and social movements and
distinguish Communism from other movements, revolutionary
or not.

This distinction does not lie in the fact that Communist
methods are perhaps the most brutal ones recorded in history.

It is true that brutality is their most obvious but not their
most intrinsic aspect. A movement which had as its aim the ■

transformation of the economy and of society by means of
tyranny had to resort to brutal methods. But all other revolu-
tionary movements had and wanted to use the same methods.

Yet, the fact that their tyranny was of shorter duration was the
reason that they could not use all these methods. In addition,
their oppression could not be as total as that of the Commu-
nists, because it came about under circumstances which did not
permit it to be as total.

It would be even less justifiable to seek the reasons for Com-
munist methods in the fact that Communists lack ethical or
moral principles. Except for the fact that they are Communists,
they are men like all others who in relationships amoug them- :
selves abide by the moral principles customary in human
societies. Lack of ethics among them is not the reason for their
methods but the result of them. In principles and in words,
Communists subscribe to ethical precepts and humane methods.

They belive that they are “temporarily” forced to resort to
something contrary to their ethical views. Communists too
think that it would be much better if they did not have to act




contrary to their ethical views. In this they are not much dif-
ferent from participants in other political movements, except
that they have divorced themselves from humanity in a more
permanent and monstrous form.

Numerous features which distinguish contemporary Com-
munism from other movements in the use of methods can be
found. Ihese features are predominantly quantitative or are
actuated by varied historical conditions and by the aims of

However, there is an integral feature of contemporary Com-
munism which distinguishes its methods from those of other
political movements. At first sight this feature might seem
similar to features of some churches in the past. It stems from
the idealistic aims which the Communists will use any means
to further. These means have become increasingly reckless as
the aims became unrealizable. The use of their methods, even
for the attainment of idealistic aims, cannot be justified by any
moral priuciple. Their use brands those who use them as un-
scrupulous and merciless power-wielders. The former classes,
parties, and forms of ownership no longer exist or have been
incapacitated, yet methods have not been changed essentially.
Indeed, these methods are just now achieving their full measure
of inhumanity.

As the new exploiting class climbs to power, it tries to
justify its non-idealistic methods by invoking its idealistic aims.
The inhumanity of Stalin s methods reached its greatest height
when he built a socialist society.” Because the new class must
show that its interests are exclusively and ideally the aim of
society and because it must maintain intellectual and every
other type of mouopoly, the new class must proclaim that the
methods it uses are not important. The end is important,
shout its representatives, everything else is trifling. What is
important is that we now “have” socialism. So do the Commu-
nists justify tyranny, baseness, and crime.

Of course, the end must be assured by special instruments—


by the party* It becomes something dominant and supreme unto
itself, like the Church in the Middle Ages. To quote Dietrich
von Nieheim, nominal Bishop of Verden, writing in 1411.

“When its existence is threatened, the church is freed of
moral edicts. Unity as an aim blesses all means: perfidy, treach-
ery, tyranny, simony, prisons, and death- For every holy order j
exists because of the aims of society, and personality must be 5
sacrificed to the general good.”

These words, too, sound as if they had been uttered by some

contemporary Communist. ^ _ j

There is much of the feudal and fanatic in the dogmatism
of contemporary Communism. But neither are we living in
the Middle Ages nor is contemporary Communism a church. |
The emphasis on ideological and other monopolism only seems
to make contemporary Communism similar to the medieval
Church; the essence oE each is different. The Church was only
partly owner and governor; in the most extreme cases, it
aspired to perpetuate a given social system through absolute
control of the mind. The churches persecuted heretics, even
for dogmatic reasons which were not always called for by
direct practical needs. As the Church represented it, it was
attempting to save sinful, heretical souls by destroying their
bodies. All earthly means were considered permissible for the
purpose of attaining the heavenly kingdom.

But the Communists first of all desire physical or state au-
thority. Intellectual control and persecution exercised for dog-
matic reasons are only auxiliary aids for strengthening the
power of the state. Unlike the Church, Communism is not, the
support of the system but its embodiment.

The new class did not arise suddenly, but was developed from
a revolutionary to an ownership and reactionary group. Its
methods too, even though they seemed the same, changed in
essence from revolutionary ones to tyrannical ones, from pro-
tective to despotic ones.

Communist methods will in essence be amoral and un-


scrupulous, even, when they are especially severe in form.
Because it is completely totalitarian, Communist rule cannot
allow for much choice of means. And Communists are incapa-
ble of renouncing the essential thing— the lack of choice of
means— because of the fact that they want to retain absolute
power and their own egotistical interests.

Even if they did not so wish. Communists must be both
owners and despots and must utilize many means for that pur-
pose. In spite of any happy theories or good inclinations they
might have, the system itself drives them to the utilization of
any means. In case of any urgency, they find themselves the
moral and intellectual champions and the actual users oE any
means available.

2 .

Communists speak of “Communist morale,” “the new So-
cialist man,” and similar concepts as if they were speaking of
some higher ethical categories. These hazy concepts have only
one practical meaning— the cementing of Communist ranks and
opposition to foreign influence. As actual ethical categories,
however, they do not exist.

Since no special Communist ethics nor a Socialist Man can
emerge, the caste spirit of the Communists, and special moral
and other concepts, which they nurse among themselves, are
are all the more strongly developed. These are not absolute
principles, but changing moral standards. They are embedded
in the Communist hierarchical system in which almost any-
thing is permitted at the top—the upper circles— while the same
things are condemned if they are practiced at lower echelons—
the lower circles.

This caste spirit and these morals, changeable and incom-
plete, have undergone a long and varied development, and
have even often been the stimulus for the further development



of the new class. The end result of this development has been
the creation of special sets of moral standards for various castes,
always subordinated to the practical needs of the oligarchy.
The formation of these caste morals roughly corresponds to the
rise of the new class and is identical with its abandonment of
hnmane, really ethical standards.

These propositions require detailed exposition.

Like all other aspects of Communism, caste morals developed
from revolutionary morals. At first, in spite of the fact that
they were a part of an isolated movement, these morals were
proclaimed as being more humane than those of any sect or
caste. But a Communist movement always begins as one of
highest idealism and most selfless sacrifice, attracting into its
ranks the most gifted, the bravest, and even the most noble
intellects of the nation.

This statement, just as most of the others made here, relates
to countries in which Communism has developed for the most
part because of national conditions, and where it has attained
full power (Russia, Yugoslavia, and China) . However, with
some modifications this statement also applies to Communism
in other countries.

Everywhere, Communism begins as an aspiration toward a
beautiful ideal society. As such, it attracts and inspires men
of high moral standards and of other high distinction. But
since Communism is also an international movement, it turns,
like a sunflower to the sun, to the movement which is strongest.
— ‘Until now primarily in the U-S.S.R. Consequently, even the
Communists of other countries where they are not in power
rapidly lose the features they had in the beginning and take
on those of the power-wielding Communism. As a result, the
Communist leaders in the West, and in other places, have ac-
cnstomed themselves to play as easily with the truth and ethical
principles as the Cornmnnists in the U.S.S.R. Every Communist
movement at first also has high moral features which isolated
individuals may retain even longer and which provoke crises



when leaders initiate amoral proceedings and arbitrary turn-

History does not have many movements that, like Com-
munism, began their climb with such high moral prinicples
and with such devoted, enthusiastic, and clever fighters, at-
tached to each other not only by ideas and suffering, but also by
selfless love, comradeship, solidarity, and that warm and direct
sincerity that can be produced only by battles in which men are
doomed either to win or die. Cooperative efforts, thoughts, and
desires; even the most intense effort to attain the same method
of thinking and feeling, the finding of personal happiness and
the building of individuality through complete devotion to
the party and workers’ collective; enthusiastic sacrificing for
others; care and protection for the young, and tender respect
for the old— these are the ideals o£ true Communists when the
movement is in its inception and still truly Communist.

Communist woman too is more than a comrade or co-fighter.
It can never he forgotten that she, on entering the movement,
decided to sacrifice all— the happiness of both love and of
motherhood. Between men and women in the movement, a
clean, modest and warm relationship is fostered: a relationship
in which comradely care has become sexless passion. Loyalty,
mutual aid, frankness about even the most intimate thoughts—
these are generally the ideals of true, ideal Communists.

This is true only while the movement is young, before it has
tasted the fruits of power.

The road to the attainment of these ideals is very long and
difficult. Communists and Communist movements are formed
from varied social forces and centers. Internal homogeneity is
not attained overnight, but through the fierce battles of varied
groups and fractions. If conditions are favorable, the group
or fraction which wins the battle is the one which has heen
most aware of the advance toward Communism and which,
when taking over power, is also the most moral. Through
moral crises, through political intrigues and insinuations, mu-


trial calumniation, unreasoning hatred and barbaric encounters,
through debauchery and intellectual decadence, the movement
slowly climbs, crushing groups and individuals, discarding the
superfluous, forging its core and its dogma, its morals and
psychology, atmosphere, and manner of work.

When it becomes truly revolutionary, the Communist move-
ment and its followers achieve, for a moment, the high moral
standards described here. This is a moment in Communism
when it is difficult to separate words from deeds, or more ac-
curately, when the leading, most important, truest, and ideal
Communists sincerely believe in their ideals and aspire to put
them into practice in their methods and in their personal life.

This is the moment on the eve of the battle for power, a mo-
ment which occurs only in movements which arrive at this
unique point.

True, these are the morals of a sect, but they are morals on
a high plane. The movement is isolated, it often does not see
the truth, but this does not mean that the movement does not
therefore aim at, or that it does not love, truth.

Internal moral and intellectual fusion are the result of a J

long battle for ideological and operational unity. Without, this \

fusion there cannot even be any thought of a true revolutionary
Communist movement. “Unity of mind and action 0 is im-
possible without psychic-moral unity. And vice versa. But this
very psychic and moral unity— for which no statutes or laws
have been written, but which occurs spontaneously, to become
a custom and a conscious habit— more than anything else makes
Communists that indestructible family, incomprehensible and j
impenetrable to others, inflexible in the solidarity and identity
of its reactions, thoughts, and feelings. More than anything
else, the existence of this psychic-moral unity— which is not
attained all at once and which is not even finally formed ex-
cept as something to aspire to— is the most reliable sign that I
the Communist movement has established itself and has become
irresistible to its followers and to many others, powerful be-


cause it is fused into one piece, one soul, and one body. This
is the proof that a new, homogeneous movement has emerged,
a movement facing a future completely different from the fu-
ture which the movement foresaw at the beginning.

However, all this slowly fades, disintegrates, and drowns
during the course of the climb to complete power and to owner-
ship by the Communists. Only the bare forms and observances
which have no real substance remain.

The internal monolithic cohesion which was created in the
struggle with the oppositionists and with the half-Communist
groups is transformed into a unity of obedient counselors and
robot-bureaucrats inside the movement. During the climb to
power, intolerance, servility, incomplete thinking, control of
personal life— which once was comradely aid but is now a form
of oligarchic management— hierarchical rigidity and introver-
sion, the nominal and neglected role of women, opportunism,
self-centeredness, and outrage repress the once-existent high
principles, The wonderful human characteristics of an isolated
movement are slowly transformed into the intolerant and
Pharisaical morals of a privileged caste. Thus, politicking and
servility replace the former straightforwardness of the revolu-
tion. Where the former heroes who were ready to sacrifice
everything, including life, for others and for an idea, for the
good of the people, have not been killed or pushed aside, they
become self-centered cowards without ideas or comrades, willing
to renounce everything— honor, name, truth, and morals— in
order to keep their place in the ruling class and the hierachical
circle. The world has seen few heroes as ready to sacrifice and
suffer as the Communists were on the eve of and during the


revolution. It has probably never seen such characterless
wretches and stupid defenders of arid formulas as they become
after attaining power. Wonderful human features were the
condition for creating and attracting power for the movement;
exclusive caste spirit and complete lack of ethical principles
and virtues have become conditions for the power and main-


tenance of the movement. Honor, sincerity, sacrific, and love
of the truth were once things that could be understood fox
their own sakes; now, deliberate lies, sycophancy, slander, de- >
ception, and provocation gradnally become the inevitable *
attendants of the dark, intolerant, and all-inclusive might of
the new class, and even affect relations between the members
of the class, \

Whoever has not grasped this dialectic of the development \

of Communism has not been able to understand the so-called \

  • * *-

Moscow trials. Nor can he understand why the Communists
periodic moral crises, caused by the abandonment of the sacred j
and consecrated principles of the day before yesterday, cannot j
have the great significance that such crises have for ordinary
people or other movements.

Khrushchev acknowledged that truncheons played the main
role in the “confessions” and the self-condemnation of Stalin’s
purges. He claimed that drugs were not used, although there j
is evidence that they were. But the most potent drugs for
forcing “confessions” were in the make-up of the criminal him-

Common criminals, that is, those who are not Communists,
do not go into trances and make hysterical confessions and pray
for death as a reward for their “sins.” This was done only by
‘’men of a special stamp”— the Communists. They were first
morally shocked by the violence and amorality of the beatings
and accusations leveled at them secretly by the top party leader-
ship, in whose complete amorality they could not believe, even \
if they had occasionally found fault with them before. Sud-
denly, they found themselves uprooted; their own class in the
person of Communist leadership had left them; innocent as
they were, the class itself had even nailed them to the cross as


criminals and traitors. Long ago they had been educated to
believe and had proclaimed that they were connected in every
fiber of their being to the party and its ideals. Now, uprooted,
they found themselves completely bereft. They either did not
know or had forgotten or renounced all of those outside the
Communist sect, and its narrow ideas. Now it was too late to
get acquainted with anything but Communism. They were
entirely alone.

Man cannot fight or live outside of society. This is his
immutable characteristic, one which Aristotle noted and ex-
plained, calling it “political being.”

What else is left to a man from such a sect who finds himself
morally crushed and uprooted, exposed to refined and brutal
torture, except to aid the class and his “comrades” with his
“confessions”? Such confessions, he is convinced, are necessary
to the class to resist the “anti-Socialist” opposition and “im-
perialists.” These confessions are the one “great” and “revolu-
tionary” contribution left that the victim, lost and wrecked,
can make.

Every true Communist has been educated and has educated
himself and others in the belief that fractions and fractional
battles are among the greatest crimes against the party and
its aims. It is true that a Communist party which was divided
by fractions conld neither win in the revolution nor establish
its dominance. Unity at any price and without consideration
for anything else becomes a mystical obligation behind which
the aspirations of the oligarchs for complete power entrench
themselves. Even if he has suspected this, or even known it,
the demoralized Communist oppositionist has still not freed
himself of the mystic idea of unity. Besides, he may think that
leaders come and go, and that these too— the evil, the stupid,
the egotistical, the inconsequential and the power-loving— will
disappear, while the goal will remain. The goal is everything;
has it not always been thus in the party?

Trotsky himself, who was the most important of all the oppo-


sitionists, did not go much further in his reasoning. In a
moment of self-criticism, he shouted that the party is infallible,
for it is the incarnation of historical necessity, of a classless
society. In attempting to explain, in his exile, the monstrous
amorality of the Moscow trials, he leaned on historical anal-
ogies: Rome, before the conquest of Christianity; and the
Renaissance, at the beginning of capitalism; in both of which
also appeared the inevitable phenomena of perfidious murders,
calumnies, lies, and monstrous mass crimes. So it must be dur-
ing the transition to socialism, he concluded; these were the
remnants of the old class society which were still evident in
the new. However, he did not succeed in explaining anything
through this; he only succeeded in appeasing his conscience,
in that he did not “betray” the “dictatorship of the proletariat,”
or the Soviets, as the one form of the transition into the new
and classless society. If he had gone into the problem more
deeply, he would have seen that, in Communism as in the
Renaissance and other periods in history, when an ownership
class is breaking a trail for itself, moral considerations play a
smaller and smaller role as the difficulties of the class increase
and as its domination needs to become more complete.

In the same way, those who did not understand what sort of
social transformation was actually at stake after the Communists
were victorious had to re-evaluate the diverse moral crises
among the Communists. The so-called process of de-Staliniza-
tion, or the unprincipled, somewhat Stalinist-style, attacks on
Stalin by his former courtiers are also re-evaluated as “a moral

Moral crises, great or small, are inevitable in every dictator-
ship, for its followers, accustomed to thinking that uniformity
of political thought is the greatest patriotic virtue and the most
holy civil obligation, must be disturbed over the inevitable
reversals and changes.

But the Communists feel and know that their totalitarian
domination does not weaken, but rather gets stronger, in such


reversals; that this is its inevitable path; and that moral and
similar reasons play only a secondary role, if they are not even
a hindrance. Practice very rapidly teaches them this. Conse-
quently, their moral crises, no matter how profound, end very
quickly. Of course, the Communists cannot be selective in the
means they use if they desire to achieve the real aim to which
they aspire, and which they conceal under the cover of the
ideal aim.

Moral downgrading in the eyes of other men does not yet
mean that Communism is weak. Generally, until now, it has
meant the reverse. The various purges and “Moscow trials”
strengthened the Communist system and Stalin. In all events,
certain strata— the intellectuals with Gide as the most famous
example— renounced Communism because of this and doubted
that Communism as it is today could realize the ideas and ideals
they believed in. However, Communism, such as it is, has not
become weaker: the new class has become stronger, more secure,
freeing itself from moral considerations, wading in the blood
of every adherent of the Communist idea. Although it has been
morally downgraded in the eyes of others. Communism has
j actually been strengthened in the eyes of its own class and in its
| domination over society.

Other conditions wonld be necessary for contemporary Com-
munism to be lowered in the estimation of the ranks of its
own class. It is necessary for the revolution not only to devour
i its own children, but— one might say—devour itself. It is neces-
sary for its greatest, minds to perceive that it is the exploiting
I class and that its reign is unjustified. Concretely speaking, it is

I necessary for the class to perceive that in the near future there

cannot be any talk of the withering away of the state, or talk
of a Communist society—in which everyone will work according



to his capabilities and will receive according to his needs. The
class must recognize that the possibility of such a society can
as well be refuted as it can be demonstrated. Thus the means
that this class used and is using to achieve its aim and domi-
nance would become absurd, inhumane, and contrary to
its great purpose— even to the class itself. This would mean
that there were cleavages and vacillations, which could not
longer be checked, among the ruling class. In other words, the
battle for its own existence would drive the ruling class itself,
or individual fractions of it, to renounce the current means
it is using, or renounce the idea that its goals are within sight
and real. ° j

There is no prospect of such a development here as a purely
theoretic proposition— in any of the Communist countries, least
of all in the post-Stalin U.S.S.R. The ruling class is still a com- l
pact one there; the condemnation of Stalin’s methods has
evolved, even in theory, into protecting the U.S.S.R. from the
despotism of a personal dictatorship. At the Twentieth Party
Congress, Khrushchev advocated “necessary terrorism” against
the enemy, ’ in contrast to Stalin’s despotism against „good
Communists.” Khrushchev did not condemn Stalin’s methods
as such, but only their use in the ranks of the ruling class. It
seems that the relations within the class, which has become
strong enough to avoid surrender to the absolute dominance
of its leader and police apparatus, have changed since Stalin.

The class itself and its methods have not considerably changed
in terms of internal cleavages with regard to moral cohesion.

The first signs of cleavage, however, are present; these are
evidencing themselves in the ideological crisis. But in spite of
this it must be realized that the process of moral disintegration
has scarcely begun; the conditions hardly exist for it to happen.

Arrogating certain rights to itself, the ruling oligarchy cannot
avoid allowing the crumbs of such rights to fall to the people.

It is impossible for the oligarchy to lecture on the lack of
rights under Stalin even among the Communists, and not at


the same time expect an echo among the masses— who are im-
measurably more deprived of their rights. The French bour-
geoisie finally rebelled against its emperor, Napoleon, when
his wars and bureaucratic despotism became intolerable. But
the French people eventually got some profit from this. Stalin’s
methods, in which the dogmatic hypothesis of a future society
also played an important role, will not return. But this does
not mean that the current oligarchs will renounce the use of
all his means, even though they cannot use them, or that the
U.S.S.R. will soon or overnight become a legal, democratic

However, something has changed. The ruling class will no
longer be able to justify even to itself that the end justifies
the means. The class will still lecture on the final goal— a Com-
munist society— for if it did otherwise it would have to renounce
absolute dominance. This will force it to resort to any means.
Every time that it does resort to them, it will also have to
condemn their use. A stronger power— fear of public opinion
in the world, fear that it will bring harm to itself and its
absolute domination— will sway the class and hold back its
hand. Feeling itself sufficiently strong to destroy the cult of
its creator, or the creator of the system— Stalin— it simultane-
ously gave the death blow to its own ideal basis. Completely
dominant, the ruling class has begun to abandon and lose the
ideology, the dogma which brought it to power. The class has
begun to split up into fractions. At the top everything is peace-
ful and smooth, but below the top, in the depths, and even in
its ranks, new thoughts, new ideas, are bubbling and future
storms are brewing.

Because it had to renounce Stalin’s methods, the ruling class
will not be able to preserve its dogma. The methods were
actually only the expression of that dogma, and, indeed, of
the practice on which the dogma was based.

It was not good will, still less humanity, which prompted
Stalin’s associates to perceive the harmfulness of Stalin’s meth-





ods. It was urgent necessity that prompted the ruling class to ■
become more “understanding.” But, by avoiding the use of
very brutal methods, the oligarchs cannot help but plant the
seed of doubt about their goals. The end once served as moral
cover for the use of any means. Renouncing the use of such
means will arouse doubts as to the end itself. As soon as means
which would insure an end are shown to be evil, the end will i
show itself as being unrealizable. For the essential thing in
every policy is first of all the means, assuming that all ends
appear good. Even “the road to hell is paved with good in-
tentions.” |

5 .


Throughout history there have been no ideal ends which
were attained with non-ideal, inhumane means, just as there
has been no free society which was built by slaves. Nothing so
well reveals the Teality and greatness of ends as the methods
used to attain them. j

If the end must be used to condone the means, then there is
something in the end itself, in its reality, which is not worthy.

That which really blesses the end, which justifies the efforts
and sacrifices for it, is the means: their constant perfection,
humaneness, increasing freedom.

Contemporary Communism has not even reached the begin-
ning of such a situation. Instead, it has stopped dead, hesitating
over its means, but always assured about its ends.

No regime in history which was democratic — or relatively
democratic while it lasted— was predominantly established on
the aspiration for ideal ends, but rather on the small everyday
means in sight. Along with this, each such regime achieved,
more or less spontaneously, great ends. On the other hand,
every despotism tried to justify itself by its ideal aims. Not a
single one achieved great ends.

Absolute brutality, or the use of any means, is in accord with
the grandiosity, even with the unreality, of Communist aims.

By revolutionary means, contemporary Communism has suc-
ceeded in demolishing one form of society and despotically
setting up another. At first it was guided by the most beautiful,
primordial human ideas of equality and brotherhood; only
later did it conceal behind these ideas the establishment of its
domination by whatever means.

As Dostoyevski has his hero Shigaliev say, quoted by another
character, in The Possessed:

  • . He’s written a good thing iu that manuscript Ver«
    kliovensky went on. . . , “Every member of the society spies on
    the others, and it’s his duty to inform against them. Every one
    belongs to all and all to every one. All are slaves and equal
    in their slavery. In extreme cases he advocates slander and
    murder, but the great thing about it is equality. . . . Slaves are
    bound to be equal. There has never been either freedom or
    equality without despotism. . .

Thus, by justifying the means because of the end, the end
itself becomes increasingly more distant and unrealistic, while
the frightful reality of the means becomes increasingly obvious
and intolerable.



The Essence

None of the theories on the essence of contemporary Com
munism treats the matter exhaustively. Neither does this theory \
claim to do so. Contemporary Communism is the product of
a series of historical, economic, political, ideological, national,
and international causes. A categorical theory about its essence
cannot be entirely accurate.

The essence of contemporary Communism conld not even be
perceived until, in the course of its development, it. revealed {

itself to its very entrails. This moment came, and could only
come, because Communism entered a particnlar phase of its
development— that of its maturity. It then became possible to }

reveal the nature of its power, ownership, and ideology. In \

the time that Communism was developing and was predomi-
nantly an ideology, it was almost impossible to see through it j
completely. j

Just as other truths are the work of many authors, countries,
and movements, so it is with contemporary Communism. Com- j
munism has been revealed gradually, more or less parallel to
its development; it cannot be looked upon as final, because it |
has not completed its development.

Most of the theories regarding Communism, however, have

some truth in them. Each of them has usually grasped one’
aspect of Communism or one aspect of its essence.

There are two basic theses on the essence of contemporary

The first of them claims that contemporary Communism is
a type of new religion. We have already seen that it is neither
a religion nor a church, in spite of the fact that it contains
elements of both.

The second thesis regards Commuuism as revolutionary so-
cialism, that is, something which was bom of modern industry,
or capitalism, and of the proletariat and its needs. We have
seen that this thesis also is only partially accurate: contem-
porary Communism began in well-developed countries as a
socialist ideology and a reaction against the suffering of the
working masses in the industrial revolution. But after having
come into power in underdeveloped areas, it became something
entirely different— an exploiting system opposed to most of the
interests of the proletariat itself.

The thesis has also been advanced that contemporary Com-
munism is only a contemporary form of despotism, produced
by men as soon as they seize power. The nature of the modem
economy, which in every case requires centralized administra-
tion, has made it possible for this despotism to be absolute.
This thesis also has some truth in it: modern Communism is a
modern despotism which cannot help hnt aspire toward to-
talitarianism. However, all types of modern despotism are not
variants of Communism, nor are they totalitarian to the degree
that Communism is.

Thus whatever thesis we examine, we find that each thesis
explains one aspect of Communism, or a part of the truth, but
not the entire truth.

Neither can my theory on the essence of Communism be
accepted as complete. This is, anyway, the weakness of every




definition, especially when such complex and living matters
as social phenomena are being defined.

Nevertheless, it is possible to speak in the most abstract
theoretical way about the essence of contemporary Commu-
nism, about what is most essential in it, and what permeates
all its manifestations and inspires all of its activity. It is possible
to penetrate deeper into this essence, to elucidate its various
aspects; but the essence itself has already been exposed.

Communism, and likewise its essence, is continuously chang-
ing from one form to another. Without this change it cannot
even exist. Consequently, these changes require continuous
examination and a deeper study of the already obvious truth.

The essence of contemporary Communism is the product
of particular conditions, historical and others. But as soon as
Communism becomes strong, the essence itself becomes a factor
and creates the conditions for its own continued existence.
Consequently, it is evident that it is necessary to examine the
essence separately according to the form and the conditions in
which it appears and is operating at a given moment.

2 .

The theory that contemporary Communism is a type of
modem totalitarianism is not only the most widespread, but
also the most accurate. However, an actual understanding of
the term “modern totalitarianism’* where Communism is being
discussed is not so widespread.

Contemporary Communism is that type of totalitarianism
which consists of three basic factors for controlling the people.
The first is power; the second, ownership; the third, ideology.
They are monopolized by the one and only political party, or—
according to iny previous explanation and terminology— by a
new class; and, at present, by the oligarchy of that party or of
that class. No totalitarian system in history, not even a contem-



porary one— with the exception of Communism— has succeeded
in incorporating simultaneously all these factors for controlling
the people to this degree.

When one examines and weighs these three factors, power
is the one which has played and still continues to play the most
important role in the development of Communism. One of the
other factors may eventually prevail over power, but. it is im-
possible to determine this on the basis of present conditions.
I believe that povrer will remain the basic characteristic of

Communism first originated as an ideology, which contained
in its seed Communism’s totalitarian and monopolistic nature.
It can certainly be said that ideas no longer play the main,
predominant role in Communism’s control of the people. Com-
munism as an ideology has mainly run its course. It does not
have many new things to reveal to the world. This could not
be said for the other two factors, power and ownership.

It can be said: power, either physical, intellectual, or eco-
nomic, plays a role in every struggle, even in every social human
action. There is some truth in this. It can also be said: in every
policy, power, or the struggle to acqnire and keep it, is the basic
problem and aim. There is some truth in this also. But con-
temporary Communism is not only such a power; it is some-
thing more. It is power of a particular type, a power which
unites within itself the control of ideas, authority, and owner-
ship, a power which has become an end in itself.

To date, Soviet Communism, the type which has existed the
longest and which is the most developed, has passed through
three phases. This is also more or less true of other types of
Communism which have succeeded in coming to power (with
the exception of the Chinese type, which is still predominantly
in the second phase) .

The three phases are: revolutionary, dogmatic, and non-
dogmatic Communism. Roughly speaking, the principal catch-
words, aims, and personalities corresponding to these various


phases are: Revolution, or the usurpation of power— Lenin.

Socialism,” or the building of the system— Stalin. “Legality,”
or stabilization of the system — “collective leadership.”

It is important to note that these phases are not distinctly
separate from one another, that elements of all are found in
each. Dogmatism abounded, and the “building of socialism”
had already begun, in the Leninist period; Stalin did not re-
nounce revolution, or reject the dogmas, which interfered with
the building of the system. Present-day, non-dogmatic Com-
munism is only non-dogmatic conditionally: it just will not
renounce even the minutest practical advantages for dogmatic
reasons. Precisely because of such advantages, it will at the same
time be in a position to persecute unscrupulously the minutest
doubt concerning the truth or purity of the dogma. Thus,
Communism, proceeding from practical needs and capabilities,
has today even furled the sails of revolution, or of its own
military expansion. But it has not renounced one or the other.

This division into three phases is only accurate if it is taken
roughly and abstractly. Clearly separate phases do not actually
exist, nor do they correspond to specific periods in the various

The boundaries between the phases, which overlap, and the
forms in which the phases appear are varied in different Com-
munist countries. For example, Yugoslavia has passed through
all three phases in a relatively short time and with the same
personalities at the summit. This is obvious in both precepts
and method of operation.

Power plays a major role in all three of these phases. In the
revolution it was necessary to seize power; in the building of
socialism, it was necessary to create a new system by means of
that power; today power must preserve the system.

During the development, from the first to the third phase,
the quintessence of Communism-power-evolved from being
the means and became an end in itself. Actually power was al-
ways more or less the end, but Communist leaders, thinking that


through power as a means they would attain the ideal goal,
did not believe it to be an end in itself. Precisely because power
served as a means for the Utopian transformation of society,
it could not avoid becoming an end in itself and the most
important aim of Communism. Power was able to appear as
a means in the first and second phases. It can no longer be
concealed that in the third phase power is the actual principal
aim and essence of Communism.

Because of the fact that Communism is being extinguished
as an ideology, it must maintain power as the main means of
controlling the people.

In revolution, as in every type of war, it was natural to con-
centrate primarily on power: the war had to be won. During
the period of industrialization, concentrating on power could
still be considered natural: the construction of industry, or
a “socialist society/’ for which so many sacrifices had been made,
was necessary. But as all this is being completed, it becomes
apparent that in Communism power has not only been a means
hut that it lias also become the main, if not the sole, end*

Today power is both the means and the goal of Communists,
in order that they may maintain their privileges and ownership.
But since these are special forms of power and ownership, it
is only through power itself that ownership can be exercised.
Power is an end in itself and the essence of contemporary
Communism. Other classes may be able to maintain ownership
without a monopoly over power, or power without a monopoly
over ownership. Until now, this has not been possible for the
new class, which was formed through Communism; it is very
improbable that it will be possible in the future.

Throughout all three of these phases, power has concealed
itself as the hidden, invisible, unspoken, natural and principal
end. Its role has been stronger or weaker depending on the
degree of control over the people required at the time. In the
first phase, ideas were the inspiration and the prime mover for
the attainment of power; in the second phase, power operated




as the whip of society and for its own maintainance; today,
“collective ownership” is subordinated to the impulses and
needs of power.

Power is the alpha and the omega of contemporary Com-
munism, even when Communism strives to prevent this.

Ideas, philosophical principles and moral considerations,
the nation and the people, their history, in part even owner-
ship-all can be changed and sacrificed. But not power. Because
this would signify Communism’s renunciation of itself, of its
own essence. Individuals can do this. But the class, the party,
the oligarchy cannot. This is the purpose and the meaning of its

Every type of power besides being a means is at the same
time and end— at least for those who aspire to it. Power is
almost exclusively an end in Communism, because it is both
the source and the guarantee of all privileges. By means of
and through power the material privileges and ownership of
the ruling class over national goods are realized. Power de-
termines the value of ideas, and suppresses or permits their

It is in this way that power in contemporary Communism
differs from all other types of power, and that Communism
itselE differs from every other system.

Communism has to be totalitarian, exclusive, and isolated
precisely because power is the most essential component of
Communism. If Communism actually could have had other
ends, it would have to make it possible for other forces to
spring up in opposition and operate independently.

How contemporary Communism will be defined is secondary.
Everyone who undertakes the work of explaining Communism
finds himself faced with the problem of defining it, even if
actual conditions do not compel him to do this— conditions
in which Communists glorify their system as “socialism,” “class-
less society,” and “the realization of men’s eternal dreams,”
while the opposing element defines Communism as an insensi-


tive tyranny, the chance success of a terroristic group, and the
damnation of the human race.

Science must use already established categories in order to
make a simple exposition. Is there any category in sociology
into which we can cram contemporary Communism if we use
a little force?

In common with many authors who started from other posi-
tions, I have, in recent years, equated Communism with state
capitalism or, more precisely, with total state capitalism.

This interpretation won out among the leaders of Yugoslav
Communists during the time of their clash with the govern-
ment of the U.S.S.R, But just as Communists, according to
practical needs, easily change even their “scientific” analysis,
Yugoslav party leaders changed this interpretation after the
“reconciliation” with the Soviet government, and once more
proclaimed the U.S.S.R. a Socialist country. At the same time,
they proclaimed the Soviet imperialistic attack on the inde-
pendence of Yugoslavia— in Tito’s words— a “tragic,” “incom-
prehensible” event, evoked by the “arbitrariness of individuals.”

Contemporary Communism for the most part does resemble
total state capitalism. Its historical origin and the problems
which it. had to solve— namely, an industrial trausfonnation
similar to the one achieved by capitalism but with the aid of
the state mechanism— lead to such a conclusion.

If, nnder Communism, the state were the owner in the name
of society and of the nation, then the forms of political power
over society would inevitably change according to the varying
needs of society and of the nation. The state by its nature is
an organ of unity and harmony in society, and not only a force
over it. The state could not be both the owner and ruler in
itself. In Communism it is reversed: The state is an instrument
and always subordinate exclusively to the interests of one and
the same exclusive owner, or of one and the same direction in
the economy, and in the other areas of social life.

State ownership in the West might be considered more as



state capitalism than it is in Communist countries. The claim
that contemporary Communism is state capitalism is prompted
by the “pangs of conscience” of those who were disillusioned
by the Communist system, but who did not succeed in defining
it; they therefore equate its evils with those of capitalism.
Since there is really no private ownership in Communism but
rather formal state ownership, nothing seems more logical
than to attribute all evils to the state. This idea of state capi-
talism is also accepted by those who see ‘less evil” in private
capitalism. Therefore they like to point out that Communism
is a worse type of capitalism.

To claim that contemporary Communism is a transition to
something else leads nowhere and explains nothing. What is
not a transition to something else?

Even if it is accepted that it has many of the characteristics
of an all-encompassing state capitalism, contemporary Com-
munism also has so many of its own characteristics that it is
more precise to consider it a special type of new social system.

Contemporary Communism has its own essence which does
not permit it to be confused with any other. Communism,
while absorbing into itself all kinds of other elements— feudal,
capitalist, and even slave-owning— remains individual and in-
dependent at the same time.


National Communism


I h



In essence, Communism is only one thing, but. it is realized
in different degrees and manners in every country. Therefore
j it is possible to speak of various Communist systems, Le., of
\ various forms of the same manifestation.

! The differences which exist between Communist states— dif-

ferences that Stalin attempted futilely to Temove by force— are
the result, above all, of diverse historical backgrounds. Even
the most cursory observation reveals how, for example, con-
temporary Soviet bureaucracy is not without a connecting link
with the Czarist system in which the officials were, as Engels
noted, “a distinct class.” Somewhat the same thing can also be
said of the manner of government in Yugoslavia. When ascend-
j ing to power, the Communists face in the various countries
different cultural and technical levels and varying social rela-
tionships, and are faced with different national intellectual
characters. These differences develop even farther, in a special
way. Because the general causes which brought them to power
are identical, and becanse they have to wage a struggle against
common internal and foreign opponents, the Communists
in separate countries are immediately compelled to fight jointly
and on the basis of a similar ideology. International Com-



munism, which was at one time the task of revolutionaries,
eventually transformed itself, as did everything else in Com-
munism, and became the common ground of Communist
bureaucracies, fighting one another on nationalistic con-
siderations. Of the former international proletariat, only
words and empty dogmas remained. Behind them stood the
naked national and international interests, aspirations, and
plans of the various Communist oligarchies, comfortably en-

The nature of authority and property, a similar international
outlook, and an identical ideology inevitably identify Com-
munist states with one another. Nevertheless, it is wrong to
ignore and underestimate the significance of the inevitable de-
ferences in degree and manner betwen Commnnist states. The
degree, manner, and form in which Communism will be
realized, or its purpose, is just as much of a given condition
for each oE them as is the essence of Communism itselE. No
single form of Communism, no matter how similar it is to other
forms, exists in any way other than as national Communism.
In order to maintain itself, it must become national.

The form of government and property as well as of ideas
differs little or not at all in Communist states. It cannot differ
markedly since it has an identical nature— total authority. How-
ever, if they wish to win and continue to exist, the Communists
must adapt the degree and manner of their authority to
national conditions.

The differences between Communist countries will, as a rule,
be as great as the extent to which the Communists were inde-
pendent in coming to power. Concretely speaking, only the
Communists of three countries— the Soviet Union, China, and
Yugoslavia— independently carried out revolutions or, in their
own way and at their own speed, attained power and began
“the building of socialism.” These three countries remained
independent as Communist states even in the period when
Yugoslavia was— as China is today— under the most extreme


influence of the Soviet Union; that is, in “brotherly love” and
in “eternal friendship” with it. In a report at a closed session
of the Twentieth Congress, Khrushchev revealed that a clash be-
tween Stalin and the Chinese government had barely been
averted. The case of the clash with Yugoslavia was not an
isolated case, but only the most drastic and the first to occur.
In the other Communist countries the Soviet government en-
forced Communism by “armed missionaries”— its army. The
diversity of manner and degree of the development in these
countries has still not attained the stage reached in Yugoslavia
and China. However, to the extent that ruling bureaucracies
gather strength as independent bodies in these countries, and
to the extent that they recognize that obedience to and copying
of the Soviet Union weaken themselves, they endeavor to
“pattern” themselves on Yugoslavia; that is, to develop inde-
pendently. The Communist East European countries did not
become satellites of the U.S.S.R, because they benefited from
it, but because they were too weak to prevent it. As soon as
they become stronger, or as soon as favorable conditions are
created, a yearning for independence and for protection of
“their own people” from Soviet hegemony will rise among

With the victory of a Communist revolution in a country
a new class comes into power and into control. It. is unwilling
to surrender its own hard-gained privileges, even though it
subordinates its interests to a similar class in another country,
solely in the cause of ideological solidarity.

Where a Communist revolution has won victory independ-
ently, a separate, distinct path of development is inevitable.
Friction with other Communist countries, especially with the
Soviet Union as the most important and most imperialistic
state, follows. The ruling national bureaucracy in the country
where the victorious revolution took place has already become
independent in the course of the armed struggle and has tasted
the blessings of authority and of “nationalization” of property.





Philosophically speaking, it has also grasped and become con-
scious of its own essence, “its own state/’ its authority, on the
basis of which it claims equality.

This does not mean that this involves only a clash— when it
comes to that— between two bureaucracies. A clash also involves
the revolutionary elements of a subordinated country, because
they do not usually tolerate domination and they consider that
relationships between Communist states must be as ideally per-
fect as predicted in dogma. The masses of the nation, who
spontaneously thirst for independence, cannot remain unper-
turbed in such a clash. In every case the nation benefits from
this: it does not have to pay tribute to a foreign government;
and the pressure on the domestic government, which no longer
desires, and is not permitted, to copy foreign methods, is also
diminished. Such a dash also brings in external forces, other
states and movements. However, the nature of the dash
and the basic forces in it remain. Neither Soviet nor Yugoslav
Communists stopped being what they are— not before, nor dur-
ing, nor after their mutual bickerings. Indeed, the diverse
types of degree and manner with which they insured their
monopoly led them mutually to deny the existence of socialism
in the opposite camp. After they settled their differences, they
again acknowledged the existence of socialism elsewhere, be-
coming conscious that they must respect mutual differences
if they wanted to preserve that which was identical in essence
aud most important to them.

The subordinate Communist governments in East Europe
can, in fact must, declare their independence from the Soviet
government. No one can say how far this aspiration for inde-
pendence will go and what disagreements will result. The result
depends on numerous unforeseen internal and external circum-
stances, However, there is no doubt that a national Communist
bureaucracy aspires to more complete authority for itself. This
is demonstrated by the anti-Tito processes in Stalin’s time in

the East European countries; it is shown also by the current
unconcealed emphasis on “one’s own path to socialism/’ which
has recently come to light sharply in Poland and Hungary.
The central Soviet government has found itself in difficulty
because of the nationalism existing even in those governments
which it installed in the Soviet republics (Ukraine, Caucasia) ,
and still more so with regard to those governments installed in
the East European countries. Playing an important role in all
of this is the fact that the Soviet Union was unable, and will
not be able in the future, to assimilate the economies of the
East European countries.

The aspirations toward national independence must of
course have greater impetus. These aspirations can be retarded
and even made dormant by external pressure or by fear on
the part of the Communists of “imperialism” and the “bour-
geoisie,” but they cannot be removed. On the contrary, their
strength will grow.

It is impossible to foresee all of the forms that relations
between Communist states will assume. Even if cooperation
between Communist states of different countries should in a
short time result, in mergers and federations, so can clashes
between Communist states result in war. An open, armed clash
between the U.S.S.R. and Yugoslavia was averted not because
of the “socialism” in one or the other country, but because it
was not in Stalin’s interest to risk a clash of unforeseeable pro-
portions. Whatever will happen between Communist states will
depend on all those factors which ordinarily affect political
events. The interests of the respective Communist bureauc-
racies, expressed variously as “national” or as “united,” along
with the unchecked tendency toward ever increasing independ-
ence on a national basis, will, for the time being, play an
important role in the relationships among the Communist




2 .

The concept of national Communism had no meaning un-
til the end of World War II, when Soviet imperialism was
manifested not only with regard to the capitalist but the Com-
munist states as well. This concept developed above all from
the Yugoslav-U.S.S.R. clash. The renunciation of Stalin’s meth-
ods by the “collective leadership” of Khrushchev-Bulganin rnay
perhaps modify relations between the U.S.S.R. and other Com*
munis t countries, but it cannot resolve them. In the U.S.S.R.
operations are not concerned solely with Commuuism but are
simultaneously concerned with the imperialism of the Great
Russian— Soviet— state. This imperialism can change in form
and method, but it can no more disappear than can the aspi-
rations of Communists of other countries for independence.

A similar development awaits the other Communist states.
According to strength and conditions, they too will attempt to
become imperialistic in one way or another.

In the development of the foreign policy of the U.S.S.R.
there have been two imperialistic phases. Earlier policy was
almost exclusively a matter of expansion by revolutionary prop-
aganda in other countries. At that time there were powerful
imperialistic tendencies (as regards the Caucasus) in the pol-
icies of its highest leaders. But, ill my opinion, there is no
satisfactory reason for the revolutionary phase to be categori-
cally considered imperialistic, since at that time it was more
defensive than aggressive.

If we do not consider the revolutionary phase as imperialistic,
then imperialism began, roughly speaking, with the victory of
Stalin, or with the industrialization and establishment of the
authority of a new class in the 1930’s. This change was clearly
shown on the eve of the war when Stalin’s government was
able to go into action and leave behind pacifist and anti-imper-
ialistic phases. It was even expressed in the change of foreign


policy; in place of the jovial and, to a certain extent, principled
Litvinov, the unscrupulous and reserved Molotov appeared.

The basic cause of an imperialistic policy is completely
hidden in the exploitative and despotic nature of the new class.
In order that, that class might manifest itself as imperialistic,
it was necessary for it to attain a prescribed strength and to
appear in appropriate circumstances. It already had this
strength when World War II began. The war itself abounded
in possiblities for imperialistic combinations. The small Baltic
states were not necessary for the security of so large a state as
the U.S.S.R., particularly in modem war. These states were
non-aggressive and even allies; however, they were an attractive
morsel for the insatiable appetite of the Great Russian Com-
munist bureaucracy.

In World War II Communist internationalism, up to that
time an integral part of Soviet foreign policy, came into conflict
with the interests of the ruling Soviet bureaucracy. With that,
the necessity for its organization ceased. The idea of dissolution
of the Communist International (Comintern) was conceived,
according to Georgi Dimitrov, after the subjugation of the
Baltic countries, and in the period of cooperation with Hitler,
although it was not effected until the second phase of the war
during the period of alliance with the Western states.

The Cominform, consisting of the East European and the
French and Italian Communist parties, was created on Stalin’s
initiative in order to guarantee Soviet domination in the satel-
lite countries and to intensify its influence in western Europe.
The Cominform was worse than the former Communist Inter-
national which, even if it was absolutely dominated by Moscow,
at least formally represented all of the parties. The Cominform
evolved in the field of real and apparent Soviet influence. The
clash with Yugoslavia revealed that it was assigned to sub-
ordinate to the Soviet government those Communist states and
parties which had begun to weaken because of the internal
growth of national Communism. After the death of Stalin the


Cominfonn was finally dissolved- Even the Soviet government,
desiring to avoid major and dangerous quarrels, accepted the
so-called separate path to socialism, if not national Communism

These organizational changes had profound economic and
political causes. As long as the Communist parties in East
Europe were weak and the Soviet Union was not sufficiently
strong economically, the Soviet government would have had
to resort to administrative methods to subjugate the East
European countries, even if there had been no Stalinist arbi-
trariness and despotism. Soviet imperialism, by political, police
and military methods, had to compensate for its own economic
and other weaknesses. Imperialism in the military form, which
was only an advanced stage of the old Czarist military-feudal
imperialism, also corresponded to the internal structure of the
Soviet Union in which the police and administrative apparatus,
centralized in one personality, played a major role. Stalinism
was a mixture of a personal Communist dictatorship and mili-
taristic imperialism.

These forms of imperialism developed: joint stock com-
panies, absorption of the exports oE the East European countries
by means of political pressure at prices below the world market,
artificial formation of a „socialist world market,” control of
every political act of subordinate parties and states, transfor-
mation of the traditional love of Communists toward the
“socialist fatherland” into deification of the Soviet state, Stalin,
and Soviet practices.

But what happened?

A change within the ruling class was quietly completed in
the Soviet Union itself. Similar changes, in another sense, also
occurred in the East European countries; new national bureauc-
racies long for ever increasing consolidation of power and prop-
erty relations, but at the same time they fall into difficulties
because of the hegemonic pressure of the Soviet government.
If earlier they had had to renounce national characteristics


in order to come to power, now such action had become a
hindrance to their further ascendancy to power. In addition,
it became impossible for the Soviet government to adhere to
the exorbitant and hazardous Stalinist foreign policy of mili-
tary pressure and isolation and, simultaneously, during the
period of the general colonial movements, to hold the Euro-
pean countries in infamous bondage.

The Soviet leaders had to concede, after long vacillation and
indecisive argumentation, that the Yugoslav leaders were
falsely indicted as Hitlerite and American spies just because
they defended the right to consolidate and build a Communist
system in their own way. Tito became the most significant
personality in contemporary Communism. The principle of
national Communism was formally acknowledged. But with
that Yugoslavia also ceased to be the exclusive creator of inno-
vations in Communism. The Yugoslav revolution subsided into
its groove, and a peaceful and matter-of-fact rule began. With
that the love between yesterday’s enemies did not become
greater, nor were the disagreements terminated. This was
merely the beginning of a new phase.

Now the Soviet Union entered into the predominantly eco-
nomic and political phase of its imperialistic policy. Or so
it appears, judging from current facts.

Today national Communism is a general phenomenon in
Communism. To varying degrees all Communist movements—
except that of the U.S.S.R. against which it is directed— are
gripped by national Communism. In its time, in the period of
Stalin’s ascendancy, Soviet Communism also was national Com-
munism. At that time Russian Communism abandoned inter-
nationalism, except as an instrument of its foreign policy.
Today Soviet Communism is compelled, even if indefinitely,
to acknowledge a new reality in Communism.

Changing internally, Soviet imperialism was also compelled
to alter its views toward the external world. From predomi-
nantly administrative controls, it advanced toward gradual


economic integration with the East European countries. This
is being accomplished by means of mutual planning in impor-
tant branches of economy, in which the local Communist
governments today mainly voluntarily concur, still sensing
themselves weaker externally and internally.

Such a situation cannot remain for long, because it conceals
a fundamental contradiction. On the one hand national forms
of Communism become stronger, but on the other, Soviet im-
perialism does not diminsh. Both the Soviet government and
the governments of the East European countries, including
Yugoslavia, by means of accords and cooperation, are seeking
solutions to mutual problems which influence their very nature
—preservation of a given form of authority and of property
ownership. However, even if it is possible to effect cooperation
with respect to property ownership, it is not possible with
respect to authority. Although conditions for further integra-
tion with the Soviet Union are being realized, those conditions
which lead to the independence of the East European Com-
munist governments are being realized even more rapidly. The
Soviet Union has not renounced authority in these countries,
nor have the governments of these countries renounced their
craving to attain something similar to Yugoslav independence.
The degree of independence that will be attained will depend
on the state of international and internal forces.

Recognition of national forms of Communism, which the
Soviet government did with clenched teeth, has immense sig-
nificance and conceals within itself very considerable dangers
for Soviet imperialism.

It involves freedom of discussion to a certain extent; this
means ideological independence too. Now the fate of certain
heresies in Communism will depend not only on the tolerance
of Moscow, but on their national potentialities. Deviation from
Moscow that strives to maintain its influence in the Communist
world on a “voluntary’’ and “ideologic” basis cannot possibly be


Moscow itself is no longer that which it was. It single-
handedly lost the monopoly of the new ideas and the moral
right to prescribe the only permissible „line.” Renouncing
Stalin, it ceased to be the ideological center. In Moscow itself
the epoch of great Communist monarchs and of gTeat ideas
came to an end, and the reign of mediocre Communist bureau-
crats began.

„Collective leadership” did not anticipate that any difficulties
and failures were awaiting it in Communism itself— either ex-
ternally or internally. But what could it do? Stalin’s imperial-
ism was exorbitant and overly dangerous, and what was even
worse, ineffective. Under him not only the people generally,
but even the Communists, grumbled, and they did so at the
time of a very strained international situation.

The world center of Communist ideology no longer exists;
it is in the process of complete disintegration. The unity of
the world Communist movement is incurably injured. There
are no visible possibilities whatsoever that it can be restored.
However, just as the shift from Stalin to „collective leadership”
did not alter the nature of the system itself in the U.S.S.R., so
too national Communism has been unable, despite ever increas-
ing possibilities for liberation from Moscow, to alter its in-
ternal nature, which consists of total control and monopoly
of ideas, and ownership by the party bureaucracy. Indeed, it
significantly alleviated the pressure and slowed down the rate
of establishment of its monopoly over property, particularly
in the rural areas. But national Communism neither desires
nor is able to transform itself into something other than Colu-
mn nism, and something always spontaneously draws it toward
its source— toward the Soviet Union. It will be unable to sepa-
rate its fate from that which links it with the remaining Com-
munist countries and movements.

National modifications in Communism jeopardize Soviet
imperialism, particularly the imperialism of the Stalin epoch,
bnt not Communism either as a whole or in essence. On the





contrary, where Communism is in control these changes are
ahle to influence its direction and even to strengthen it and
make it acceptable externally, National Communism is in har-
mony with non-dogmaticism, that is, with the anti-Stalinist
phase in the development of Communism, In fact, it is a basic
form of this phase.

3 *

National Communism is unable to alter the nature of current
international relationships between states or within workers’
movements. But its role in these relationships may be of great

Thus, for example, Yugoslav Communism, as a form of na-
tional Communism, played an extremely important role in the
weakening of Soviet imperialism and in the downgrading of
Stalinism inside the Communist movement. The motives for
changes which are occurring in the Soviet Union and in the
East European countries are to be found, above all, in the
countries themselves. They appeared first in Yugoslavia— in the
Yugoslav way. And there, too, they were first completed. Thus
Yugoslav Communism as national Communism, in the dash
with Stalin, actually originated a new, post-Stalin phase in the
development of Communism. Yugoslav Communism signifi-
cantly inflnenced changes in Communism itself, but did not
fundamentally influence either international relationships or
non-Comrnunist workers’ movements.

The expectation that Yugoslav Communism would be able
to evolve toxvard democratic socialism or that it would be
able to serve as a bridge between Social Democracy and Com-
munism has proved baseless. The Yugoslav leaders themselves
were in conflict over this question. Dnring the time of Soviet
pressure on Yugoslavia they demonstrated a fervent desire for
a rapprochement with the Social Democrats. However, in
1956, during the period of peace with Moscow, Tito announced

that both the Cominform and the Socialist International were
unnecessary, despite the fact that the Socialist International
unselfishly defended Yugoslavia while the Cominform labor-
iously attacked Yugoslavia. Preoccupied with a policy of so-
called active coexistence, which for the most part corresponds
to their interests of the moment, the Yugoslav leaders declared
that both organizations— the Cominform and the Socialist
International— were “immoderate” solely because they were
allegedly the product of two blocs.

The Yugoslav leaders confused theiT desires with reality and
confused their momentary interests with profoundly historic
and socialistic differences.

At any rate, the Cominform was the product of Stalinist
efforts for the creation of an Eastern military bloc. It is impos-
sible to deny the fact that the Socialist International is linked
with the Western hloc, or with the Atlantic Pact, since it oper-
ates within the framework of the West European countries.
But it would exist even without that bloc. It is, above all, an
organization of Socialists of the developed European countries
in which political democracy and similar relationships exist.

Military alliances and blocs are temporary manifestations,
but the Western Socialism and Eastern Communism reflect
much more enduring and basic tendencies.

Contrasts between Communism and a Social Democracy are
not the result of different principles only— these least of all —
but of the opposing directions of economic and intellectual
forces. The clash be ween Martov and Lenin at the Second
Congress of Russian Social Democrats in London in 1903 con-
cerning the question of party membership, and concerning the
question of lesser or greater centralism and discipline in the
party—’ which Deutscher correctly calls the beginning of the
greatest schism in history—’ was of far greater significance than
even its initiators were able to anticipate. With that began not
only the formation of two movements but of two social systems.

The schism between Communists and Social Democrats is


impossible to bridge until the very natures of these movements,
or the conditions themselves which resulted in differences be-
tween them, are changed. In the course of a half century,
despite periodic and separate rapprochements, the differences
have on the whole increased, and their natures have become
still more individualized. Today Social Democracy and Com-
munism are not only two movements but two worlds.

National Communism, separating itself from Moscow, has
been unable to bridge this chasm although it can circumvent
it. This was demonstrated by the cooperation oE the Yugoslav
Communists with the Social Democrats, which was more seem-
ing than actual and more courteous than sincere, and which
was without tangible important results for either side.

For completely different reasons, unity has not even been
realized between Western and Asian Social Democrats. The
differences between them were not as great in essence, or in
principle, as they w^ere in practice. For national reasons of their
own, Asian Socialists had to remain separated from West
European Socialists. Even when they are opponents of colonial-
ism, Western Socialists— though they play no leading role— are
representatives of countries which, solely because they are more
developed, exploit the undeveloped countries. The contrast
between Asian and Western Social Democrats is a manifestation
of contrasts between underdeveloped and developed countries,
carried over into the ranks of the Socialist movement. Despite
the fact that concrete forms of this contrast have to be sharply
defined, proximity in essence— as far as can be deduced today—
is obvious and inevitable.

4 ,

National Communism similar to that in Yugoslavia could
be of immense international significance in Communist parties
of non-Communist states. It could be of even greater signify


cance there than in Commnnist parties which are actually
in power. This is relevant above all to the Communist parties
in France and Italy, which encompass a significant majority
of the working class and which are, along with several parties
in Asia, the only ones of major significance in the non Com-
munist world.

Until now, the manifestations of national Communism in
these parties have been without major significance and impetus.
However, they have been inevitable. They could, in the final
analysis, lead to profound and essential chauges in these parties.

These parties have to contend with the Social Democrats—
who are able to channel the dissatisfied masses toward them-
selves by means of their owtl socialist slogans and activity.
This is not the only reason for the eventual deviation of these
patties from Moscow. Lesser reasons may be seen in the periodic
and unanticipated reversals of Moscow and of the otheT ruling
Communist parties. Such reversal s lead these and other non-
ruling Communist parties into a “crisis of conscience”— to spit
on what until yesterday they extolled, then suddenly to change
their line. Neither oppositionist propaganda nor administra-
tive pressure will play a fundamental role in the transformation
of these parties.

The basic causes for deviation of these parties from Moscow
may be found in the nature of the social system of the countries
in which they operate. If it becomes evident— and it appears
likely— that the working class of these countries is able through
parliamentary forms to arrive at some improvement in its posi-
tion, and also to change the social system itself, the working
class will abandon the Communists regardless of its revolu-
tionary and other traditions. Only small groups of Communist
dogmaticists can look dispassionately at the disassociation of
the workers; serious political leaders in a given nation will
endeavor to avoid it even at the cost of weakening ties with

Parliamentary elections which give a huge number of votes





to Communists in these countries do not accurately express
the actual strength of Communist parties. To a significant de-
gree they are an expression of dissatisfaction and delusion.
Stubbornly following the Communist leaders, the masses will
just as easily abandon them the moment it becomes obvious to
them that the leaders are sacrificing national institutions, or
the concrete prospects of the working class, to their bureau-
cratic nature, or to the ‘‘dictatorship of the proletariat’* and
ties with Moscow.

Of course, all of this is hypothesis. But even today these
parties are finding themselvs in a difficult, situation. If they
really wish to be adherents of parliamentariaiiism, their leaders
will have to renonnce their anthparliainentary nature, or
change over to their own national Communism which would,
since they are not. in control, lead to disintegration of their

The leaders of Communist parties in these countries are
driven to experiment with the idea of national Communism
and national forms by all of these factors: by the strengthening
of the possibility that the transformation of society and the
improvement of position of the workers will be attained by
democratic means; by Moscow’s reversals, which by the down-
grading of the cult of Stalin ultimately resulted in destruction
of the ideologic center; by concuirence of the Social Democrats;
by tendencies toward unification of the West on a profound
and endnring social basis as well as a military one; by military
strengthening of the Western bloc which offers increasingly
fewer prospects for “brotherly aid” for the Soviet army; and by
the impossibility of new Communist revolutions without a
world war. At the same time fear of the inevitable result of
a transition to parliamentarianism, and of a breaking off with
Moscow, prevents these leaders from doing anything of real
significance. Increasingly deeper social differences between the
East and the West work with relentless force. The clever

Togliatti is confused, and the robust Thorez is wavering. Ex-
ternal and internal party life is beginning to bypass them.

Emphasizing that today a parliament can serve as a “form
of transition to socialism,” Khrushchev intended at the Twen-
tieth Congress to facilitate manipulation of the Communist
parties in “capitalist countries,” and to stimulate the cooper-
ation of Communists and Social Democrats and the formation of
“People’s Fronts.” Something like this appeared realistic to
him, according to his words, because of the changes which had
resulted in the strengthening of Communism and because of
peace in the world. With that he tacitly acknowledged to every-
one the obvious impossibility of Communist revolutions in
the developed countries, as well as the impossibility of further
expansion of Communism under current conditions without
the danger of a new world war. The policy of the Soviet state
has been reduced to a status quo, while Communism has de-
scended to gradual acquisition of new positions in a new way.

A crisis has actually begun in the Communist parties of die
non-Communist states. If they change over to national Com-
munism, they risk forsaking their very nature; and if they do
not change over, they face a loss of followers. Their leaders,
those who represent the spirit of Communism in these parties,
will be forced into the most cunning manipulations and un-
scrupulous measures if they are to extricate themselves from
this contradiction. It is improbable that they will be able to
check disorientation and disintegration. They have reached
a state of conflict with the real tendencies of development in
the world and in their countries that obviously lead toward
new relationships.

National Communism ontside of the Communist states in-
evitably leads toward renunciation of Communism itself, or
toward the disintegration of the Communist parties. Its possi-
bilities are greater today in the non-Commnnist states, but
obviously, only along the lines of separation from Communism



itself. Therefore, national Communism in these parties will
emerge victorious only with difficulty and slowly, in successive

In the Communist parties that are not in power it is evident
that national Communism— despite its intent to stimulate
Communism and strengthen its nature— is simultaneously the
heresy that nibbles at Communism as such. National Com-
muuism per se is contradictory. Its nature is the same as that
of Soviet Communism, but it aspires to detach itself into some-
thing of its own, nationally. In reality, national Communism
is Communism in decline.

The Present-Day World

1 .

In order to determine more clearly the international position
of contemporary Communism, it is necessary briefly to draw
a picture of the present-day world.

The results of the First World War led to the transformation
of Czarist Russia into a uew type of state, or into a country
with new types of social relationships. Internationally the dif-
ference between the technical level and tempo of the United
States and the countries of western Europe deepened; the
Second World War was to transform this into an unbridgeable
gulf, so that only the United States did not undergo major
changes in the structure of its economy.

Wars were not the only cause of this gulf between the United
States and the rest of the world; they only accelerated its com-
ing. The reasons for the rapid advancement of the United States
can be found, undoubtedly, in its internal potentialities— in
the natural and social conditions and the character of the
economy. American capitalism developed in different circum-
stances from European capitalism and it was in full swing at a
time when its European counterpart had already begun to

Today the gulf is this wide: 6 per cent of the world popula-



tion, that of the United States, produces 40 per cent of the
goods and services in the world. Between the First and Second
World Wars the United States contributed 33 per cent of world
production; after the Second World War it contributed 50
per cent. The opposite was true of Europe (excluding the
U.S.S.R.), whose contribution to world production dropped
from 68 per cent in 1870, to 42 per cent in the 1925-29 period,
then to 34 per cent in 1937, and to 25 per cent in 1948 (ac-
cording to United Nations data) ,

The development of modern industry in colonial economies
was also of special importance, and it was to make it possible
for most of them, ultimately, to gain their freedom after the
Second World War.

In the period between the First and Second World Wars
capitalism went through an economic crisis so profound and
with consequences so great that only dogma-ridden Communist
brains, particularly those in the U.S.S.R., failed to acknowledge
it. In contrast to the crises of the nineteenth century, the great
crisis of 1929 revealed that such cataclysms today signify danger
to the social order itself, even to the life of the nation as a
whole. The developed countries^first of all the United States^
had to find ways to emerge from this crisis gradually. By various
methods the United States resorted to a planned economy on
a national scale. The changes in connection with this were of
epochal importance for the developed countries and for the
rest of the world, although they were not recognized sufficiently
from a theoretical point of view.

In this period various forms of totalitarianism developed in
the U.S.S.R. and in capitalist countries such as Nazi Germany.

Germany, in contrast to the United States, was not capable
of solving the problem of its internal and external expansion
by normal economic means. War and totalitarianism (Nazism)
were the only outlets for the German monopolists, and they
subordinated themselves to the racist war party.

As we have seen, the U.S.S.R. went over to totalitarianism


for other reasons. It was the condition for its industrial trans-

However, there was another, perhaps not very obvious, ele-
ment which was really revolutionary for the modern world.
This element was modern wars. They lead to substantial
changes even when they do not lead to actual revolutions.
Leaving frightful devastation behind them, they change both
world relations and relations within individual countries.

The revolutionary character of modern wars is manifested
not only in the fact that they give impetus to technical dis-
coveries, but, most of all, in the fact that they change the
economic and social structure. In Great Britain, the Second
World War exposed and affected relationships to the extent
that considerable nationalization became inevitable. India, Bur-
ma, and Indonesia emerged from the war as independent
countries. The unification of western Europe began as a result
of the war. It hurled the United States and the U.S.S.R. to the
summit as the two major economic and political powers.

Modern warfare affects the life of nations and humanity
much more deeply than did wars of earlier epochs. There are
two reasons for this: First, modern war must inevitably be total
war. Not one economic, human, or other source can remain
untapped, because the technical level of production is already
so high that it makes it impossible for parts of any nation or
any branch of the economy to stand to one side. Second, for
the same technical, economic, and other reasons, the world, to
an incomparably larger extent, has become a whole; so the
smallest changes in one part bring forth reactions in other
parts as well. Every modem war tends to change into a world

These invisible military and economic revolutions are of
enormous extent and significance. They are more spontaneous
than revolutions achieved by force; that is, they are not bur-
dened to as great an extent with ideological and organizational
elements. Therefore, such revolutions make it possible to


register in a more orderly way the tendencies of movements in
the modern world.

The world as it is today and as it emerged from the Second
World War is obviously not the same as it was before.

Atomic energy, which man has tom out of the heart of matter
and wrested from the cosmos, is the most spectacular but not
the only sign of a new epoch.

Official Communist prognostications on the future of the
human race declare that atomic energy is the symbol of Com-
munist society, just as steam was the symbol and the power
prerequisite of industrial capitalism. However we interpret
this na’ive and biased reasoning, another point is true: atomic
energy is already leading to changes in individual countries and
in the world as a whole. Certainly these changes do not point
toward that Communism and socialism which the Communist
“theoreticians” desire.

Atomic energy, as a discovery, is not the fruit of one nation,
but of a century of work by hundreds of the most brilliant
minds of many nations. Its application is also the result of
the efforts— not only scientific but economic— of a number of
countries. If the world had not already been unified, neither
the discovery nor the application of atomic energy would have
been possible.

The effect of atomic energy, in the first place, will tend
toward the further unification of the world. On the way, it
will shatter inexorably all inherited obstacles— ownership rela-
tions and social relations, hut above all exclusive and isolated
systems and ideologies, such as Communism both before and
after Stalin’s death.

2 .

The tendency toward the unification of the world is the basic
characteristic of our time. This does not mean that the world


did not earlier have a tendency toward unity, in a different
way. The tendency toward binding the world together by means
of the world market was already dominant in the mid-nine-
teenth century. It, too, was an epoch of capitalist economies
and national wars. World unity of one kind was being achieved
then, through national economies and national wars.

The further unification of the world was effected by the
shattering of pre-capitalist forms of production in the un-
developed regions and their division among the developed
countries and their monopolies. This was the period of mo-
nopolistic capitalism, colonial conquests, and wars in which
internal connections and interests of the monopolies often
played a role more decisive than national defense itself. The
tendencies at that time toward world unity were achieved
mainly through conflicts and associations of monopolistic capi-
tal. This was a higher level of unity than unity of the market.
Capital poured out of national sources, penetrated, took hold,
and dominated the entire world.

The present tendencies toward unity are apparent in other
areas. They may be found in a very high level of production,
in contemporary science, and in scientific and other thought.
Further advancement of unity is no longer possible on exclu-
sively national foundations or through the division of the world
into individual, monopolistic spheres of influence.

The trends toward this new unity— nnity of production-
are being built on the foundations already attained in earlier
stages— that is, on the unity of the market and the unity of
capital. They conflict, however, with already strained and in-
adequate national, governmental, and, above all, social rela-
tions. While the former unities were achieved by means of
national struggles or through conflicts and wars over spheres
of interest, contemporary unity is being formed, and can only
be formed, by the destruction of the social relationships of
previous periods.

No one can say conclusively in what manner the coordina-


tion and unification of world production will be effected,
whether by war or by peaceful means. But there can be no
doubt that its tendency cannot be checked.

The first method of unification— war— would hasten unifica-
tion by force, that is, by the domination of one or another
group. But it would inevitably leave behind it the sparks of
new conflagrations, discord, and injustice. Unification by means
of war would take place at the expense of the weak and de-
feated. Even if war shonld bring order into given relationships
it would leave behind it unresolved conflicts and deeper mis-

Because the present world conflict is unfolding mainly on
the basis of opposition between systems, it has more of the
character of a class conflict than of opposition between nations
and states. That is the reason for its unusual severity and
sharpness. Any future war would be more of a world and civil
war between governments and nations. Not only would the
course of the war itself be frightful; its effects on further free
development would be terrible too.

The unification of the world by peaceful means, although
a slower way, is the only steady, wholesome, and just. way.

It appears that the unification of the contemporary world
will be effected through the opposition of systems, in contrast
to the types of opposition (national) through which unification
was achieved in earlier periods.

This does not mean that all contemporary conflicts are
merely due to conflicts hetween systems. There are other
conflicts, including those from former epochs. Through the
conflict of systems the tendency toward world unity of produc-
tion is revealing itself most clearly and actively.

It would be unrealistic to expect the nnity of world produc-
tion to be achieved in the near future. The process will take a
long time, since it will be the frnit of the organized efforts of
the economic and other leading powers of humanity, and be-
cause complete unity of production actually cannot be achieved.


The earlier unities were never attained as something final; this
unity too is being established only as a tendency, as something
toward which production, at least that of the most developed
countries, aspires.

3 .

The ending of the Second World War had already confirmed
the tendency to division of systems on a world scale. All the
countries which fell under Soviet influence, even parts of coun-
tries (Germany, Korea), achieved more or less the same system.
It was the same on the Western side.

The Soviet leaders were fully aware of this process. I re-
member that at an intimate party in 1945 Stalin said: „In
modem war, the victor will impose his system, which was not
the case in past wars.” He said this before the war was over, at
a time when love, hope, and trust were at their peak among
the Allies. In February 1948 he said to ns, the Yugoslavs, and
to the Bulgarians: „They, the Western powers, will make a
countiy of their own out of West Germany and we will make
one of our o^vn out of East Germany— this is inevitable/’

Today it is fashionable, and to some extent justifiable, to
evaluate Soviet policy as it was before and after Stalin’s death.
However, Stalin did not invent the systems, nor do those who
succeeded him believe in them less than he did. What has
changed since his death is the method by which Soviet leaders
handle relations between systems, not the systems themselves.
Did not Khrushchev, at the Twentieth Party Congress, mention
his „world of socialism,” his „world socialist system,” as some-
thing separate and special? In practice this means nothing more
than insistence upon a division into systems, into the further
exclusiveness of Communism’s own system and hegemonistic

Because the couflict between the West and East is essentially


a conflict of systems, it must take on the appearance of an ideo-
logical struggle. Ideological war does not wane, even when
temporary compromises are effected, and it drugs into uncon-
sciousness the miuds in the opposing camps. The more the
conflict in the material, economic, political, and other spheres
sharpens, the more it seems as if pure ideas themselves were
in conflict.

In addition to the exponents of Communism and capitalism
there is a third type of country, that which has wrested itself
from colonial dependence (India, Indonesia, Burma, the Arab
countries, etc.) . These countries are straining to coustruct in-
dependent economies in order to tear themselves loose from
economic dependence. In them overlap several epochs and a
number of systems, and particularly the two contemporary

These emerging nations are, principally for their own na-
tional reasons, the most sincere supporters of the slogans of
national sovereignty, peace, mutual understanding, and sim-
ilar ideas. However, they cannot eliminate the conflict between
the two systems. They can only alleviate it. In addition they
are the very fields of battle between the two systems. Their
role can be a significant and noble one but, for the present,
not a decisive one.

It is important to observe that both systems claim that the
unification of the world will be modeled on one or die other.
Both take die stand, then, that there is a need for world unity.
However, these stands are diametrically opposed. The modem
world’s tendency toward unity is being demonstrated and re-
alized through a struggle between opposing forces, a struggle
of unheard-of severity in times of peace.

The ideological and political expressions of this struggle
are, as we know. Western democracy and Eastern Communism.

Since the unorganized tendencies toward unification are
bursting forth more strongly in the West, because of political
democracy and a higher technical and cultural level, the West


also appears as the champion of political and intellectual

One or another characteristic system of ownership in these
countries may check or stimulate this tendency, depending upon
circumstances. However, the aspiration toward unity is wide-
spread. A definite obstacle to this unification is the monopolies.
They want unity, in their own interests, but they want to ac-
complish it by an already obsolete method— in the form of
spheres of influence. However, their opponents— for example,
the English Labourites— are also adherents of unity, but in a dif-
ferent way. The tendency toward unity is also strong in Great
Britain, which has carried out nationalization. Moreover, the
United States is carrying out nationalization as well, on an even
vaster scale, not by changing the form of ownership, but by put-
ting a considerable portion of the national income into the
hands of the government. If the United States should achieve a
completely nationalized economy, tendencies toward the uni-
fication of the contemporary world would receive still greater

4 .

The law of society and man is to expand and perfect pro*
duction. This law evidences itself in the contemporary level
of science, technology, thought, etc., as a tendency toward the
unification of world production. This is a tendency which, as
a rule. Is so much more irresistible if it involves people on a
higher cultural and material level.

Western tendeucies toward world unification are the expres-
sion of economic, technical, and other needs and, behind these,
of political ownership and other forces. The picture in the
Soviet camp is different. Even if there had not been other
reasons, the Communist East, because it was more backward,
would have been compelled to isolate itself economically and






ideologically and to compensate for its economic and other
weaknesses by political measures.

It may sound strange, but. this is true: Communisms so-
called socialist ownership is the main obstacle to world unifi-
cation. The collective and total dominance of the new class
creates an isolated political and economic system which impedes
the unification of the world. This system can and does change,
but very slowly, and almost not at all in regard to mixing and
interweaving with other systems in the direction of consolida-
tion. Its changes are made solely for the purpose of increasing
its own strength. Leading to one type oE ownership, government,
and ideas, this system inevitably isolates itself. It inevitably
moves toward exclusiveness.

A united world which even the Soviet leaders desire can only
be imagined by them as more or less identical with their own
and as being theirs. The peaceful coexistence of systems of
which they speak does not mean to them the interweaving of
various systems, but the static continuation of one system along-
side another, until the point when the other system— the cap-
italist system— is either defeated or corrodes from within.

The existence of the conflict between the two systems
does not mean that national and colonial conflicts have ceased.
On the contrary, it is through clashes of a national and colonial
nature that the basic conflict of systems is revealed. The struggle
over the Suez Canal could hardly be kept from turning into
strife betwen the two systems, instead of remaining what it
was: a dispute between Egyptian nationalism and world trade
which, by a coincidence, happened to be represented by the
old colonial powers of Britain and France.

Extreme strain in all aspects of international life has been
the inevitable result of such relations. Cold war has become
the normal peacetime state of the modern world. Its forms
have changed and are changing; it becomes milder or more
severe, but it is no longer possible to eliminate it under given
conditions. It is necessary first to eliminate something much

deeper, something which is in the nature of the contemporary
world, of contemporary systems, and especially of Communism.
The cold war, today the cause of increasing tension, was itself
the product of other, deeper, and earlier conflicting factors.

The world in which we live is a world of uncertainty. It is
a world of stupefying and unfathomable horizons which science
is revealing to humanity; it is also a world of terrible fear of
cosmic catastrophe, threatened by modem means of war.

This world will be changed, in one way or another. It cannot
remain as it is, divided and with an irresistible aspiration to-
ward unity. World relationships which finally emerge from
this entanglement will be neither ideal nor without friction.
However, they will be better than the present-day ones.

The present conflict of systems, however, does not indicate
that humanity is going in the direction of a single system. This
type of conflict demonstrates only that the further unification
of the world or, more accurately expressed, the unification of
world production, will be achieved through the conflict between

The tendency toward unity of world production cannot lead
everywhere to the same type of production, that is, to the same
forms of ownership, government, etc. This unity of production
expresses the aspiration toward elimination of inherited and
artificial obstacles to the flourishing and greater efficiency of
modern production. It means a fuller adjustment of production
to local, natural, national, and other conditions. The tendency
toward this unification really leads to a greater coordination
and use of the world production potential.

It is fortunate that a single system does not prevail in the
world. On the contrary, the unfortunate thing is that there
are too few different systems. Most of all, what is really bad
is the exclusive and isolated nature of systems, of whatever kind
they may be.

Increasingly greater differences between social units, state
and political systems, in addition to increasingly greater effi-



ciency of production, is one of the laws of society. Peoples unite,
man conforms more and more to the world around him, but
at the same time he also becomes more and more individualized.

The future world will probably be more varied, and, as
such, more unified. Its imminent unification will be made
possible by variety, not by sameness of type and personality. At
least that is the way it has been up to this time. Sameness of
type and personality would mean slavery and stagnation; not
a higher degree of freedom for production than today’s.

A nation which does not become aware of actual world
processes and tendencies will have to pay for it dearly. It will
inevitably lag behind and in the end will have to adjust to
the unification of the world, no matter what its numerical and
military strength may be. None will escape this, just as in the
past not one nation could resist the penetration of capital and
the connection with other nations through the world market.

That is also the reason why today every autarchical, or
exclusive, national economy— whatever its form of ownership
or political order, or even its technical level— must fall into
unresolvable contradictions and stagnation. This holds true also
for social systems, ideas, etc. The isolated system can offer only
a very modest living; it would be unable to move forward and
solve the problems brought about by modern techniques and
modem ideas.

Incidentally, world development has already demolished the
Communist-Stalinist theory of the possibility of construction
of a socialist, or Commnnist, society in one conntry, and has
brought about the strengthening of the totalitarian despotism,
or the absolute dominance of a new exploiting class.

In these circumstances the construction of a socialist, or Com-
munist, or any other kind of society in one country, or in a
large number of countries cut off from the world as a whole, in-
evitably results in autarchy and the consolidation of despotism.
It also causes the weakening of the national potentialities for


economic and social progress of the countries concerned. It
is possible to have, in harmony with progressive economic and
democratic aspirations in the world, more bread and liberty
for people generally, a more just distribution of goods, and a
normal tempo of economic development. The condition for
this is the changing of existing property and political relation-
ships, particularly those in Communism since they are, because
of the monopoly of the ruling class, the most serious— although
not the only— obstacle to national and world progress.

5 .

The tendency toward unification, for other reasons, has also
influenced changes in property relationships.

The increased, and even decisive, role of government organs
in the economy, and to a large extent in ownership as well,
is also an expression of the tendency toward world unification.
Certainly it is manifested in different ways in various systems
and countries, and even as an obstacle in those places where-
as in the Communist countries— formal state ownership itself
conceals the monopoly and the total domination of a new class.

In Great Britain private or, more accurately expressed, mon-
opolist ownership has already legally lost its sanctity and purity
through Labourite nationalization. Over twenty per cent of
British productive power has been nationalized. In the Scandi-
navian countries, in addition to state ownership, a cooperative
type of collective ownership is developing.

The increasing role of government in the economy is espe-
cially characteristic of the countries which until recently were
colonies and semi-dependent countries, without regard to
whether they have a socialist government (Burma) , a parlia-
mentary democracy (India), or a military dictatorship (Egypt).


The government makes most of the investments; it controls
exports, seizes a large portion of the export funds, etc. The
government appears everywhere as an initiator of economic
change, and nationalization is a more frequently occurring
form of ownership.

The situation is no different in the United States, the coun-
try where capitalism is most highly developed. Not only can
everybody see the increasing role of the government in the
economy from the great crisis (1929) to the present time, but
few people deny the inevitability of this role.

James Blaine Walker emphasizes, in The Epic of American
Industry:* “The growing intimacy between government and
the economic life has been one of the striking characteristics
of the twentieth century.”

Walker cites that in 1938 ahout 20 per cent of the national
income was socialized, while in 1940 this percentage went up
to at least 25 per cent. Systematic government planning of the
national economy hegan with Roosevelt. At the same time, the
number of government workers and government functions,
particularly those of the federal government, is growing.

Johnson and Kross, in The Origins and Development of the
American Economy, f come to the same conclusions. They af-
firm that administration has been separated from ownership
and that the role of the government as a creditor has grown
considerably. “One of the chief characteristics of the 20th cen-
tury,” they say, “is the constant augmentation of the govern-
ment’s, especially the federal government’s, influence over
economic affairs.”

In his work The American Way,! Shepard B. Clough cites
figures that illustrate these statements. The expenditures and
public debts of the federal government, according to him, look
Like this:

  • New York, Harper, 1949.

f New York, Prentice-Hall, 1933.

% New York, T, Y. Crowell, 1933,


Expenditures of the Federal Public Debts

Government (Federal)

Year (in millions of dollars) (in thousands of dollars)










In this work Clough speaks of the “managerial revolution/’
which he understands to be the rise of professional adminis-
trators, without whom owners can no longer operate. Their
number, role, and solidarity are continually growing in the
United States, and men of great business genius, like John D.
Rockefeller, John Wanamaker, Charles Schwab and others, do
not emerge any longer in the United States.

Fainsod and Gordon, in Government and the American
Economy * remark that the government has already played a
role in the economy and that various social groups have tried
to make use of this role in economic life. However, there are
now essential differences in this. The regulative role of govern-
ment, they write, has appeared not only in the sphere of labor
but in production— in branches of the economy as important
to the nation as transportation, natural gas, coal, and petroleum.
“Novel and far-reaching: changes were also evident in the form
of an expansion of public enterprise and increased concern
with the conservation of natural and human resources. Public
enterprise became particularly important in the banking and
credit field, in electricity, and in the provision of low-cost
housing/ 1 They comment that the government has begun to
play a far more important role than it played half a century
ago, even ten years ago, “The result of these developments
has been to produce a ‘mixed economy/ an economy in which
pnblic enterprise, partially government-controlled private en-

• New York, \V. W. Norton, 1941.


terprise, and relatively uncontrolled private enterprise all exist
side by side.”

These and other authors cite various aspects of this process
and the growth of the needs of society for social welfare, edu-
cation, and similar benefits, which are being provided by gov-
ernment agencies, as well as the continual increase— both
relative and absolute-in the number of persons employed by
the government.

It is understandable that this process received immense im-
petus and intensity during the Second World War because of
military needs. However, after the war the process did not
subside but continued at a fester tempo than during the prewar
period. It w r as not just the feet that the Democratic Party was
in power. Even the Republican government of Eisenhower,
which was elected to power in 1952 on the slogan of a return
to private initiative, could not change anything essentially.
The same thing happened with the Conservative government
in Great Britain; it did not succeed in bringing about de-
nationalization except in the steel industry. Its role in the
economy, by comparison with that of the Labour government,
has not essentially decreased, although it has not increased

The interference of the government in the economy is ob-
viously the result of objective tendencies which had already
penetrated the people’s consciousness a long time ago. All
serious economists, beginning with Keynes, have advocated the
intervention of the state in the economy. Now this is more or
less an actuality throughout the world. State intervention and
state ownership are today an essential and in some places a
determining factor in the economy.

One could almost conclude from this that there is no distinc-
tion or source of conflict in the fact that in the Eastern system
the state plays the major role, while in the Western system
private ownership, or owuership by monopolies and companies,
plays a major role. Such a conclusion seems all the more war-


ranted since the role of private ownership in the West is
gradually declining, the role of the state growing.

However, this is not the case. Aside from the other differ-
ences between systems, there is an essential difference in state
ownership and in the role of the state in the economy. Though
state ownership is technically present to some extent in both
systems, they are two different, even contradictory types of
ownership. This applies to the role of the state in the economy,

Not a single Western government acts like an owner with
relation to the economy. In fact, a Western government is
neither the owner of nationalized property nor the owner of
funds which it has collected through taxes. It cannot be an
owner because it is subject to change. It must administer and
distribute this property under the control of a parliament. In
the course of distribution of property, the government is sub-
ject to various influences, but it is not the owner. All it does
is administer and distribute, well or badly, property which does
not belong to it.

This is not the case in Communist countries. The govern-
ment both administers and distributes national property. The
new class, or its executive organ— the party oligarchy— both
acts as the owner and is the owner. The most reactionary and
bourgeois government can hardly dream of such a monopoly
in the economy.

Surface similarities in ownership in the West and the East
are in fact real and deep differences, even conflicting elements.

6 .

Even after the First World War, forms of ownership were
probably an essential reason for the conflicts between the West
and the U.S.S.R. Monopolies then played a much more im-
portant role and they could not accept the idea that one part


of the world— specifically the U.S.S.R.- was escaping from their
domain. The Communist bureaucracy had just recently become
the ruling class.

Ownership relationships have always been vital to the
U.S.S.R. in its dealings with other countries. Wherever possible
its peculiar type of ownership and political relationship was
imposed by force. No matter how much it developed its busi-
ness connections with the rest of the world, it could not go
beyond the mere exchange of goods, which had been developed
during the period of national states. This was also true of
Yugoslavia in the period of its break with Moscow. Yugoslavia
could not develop any kind of significant economic cooperation
except for the exchange of goods, although she had and con-
tinues to have hopes of achieving this. Her economy has re-
mained isolated too.

There are other elements which complicate this picture and
these relationships. If the strengthening of Western tendencies
toward world unity of production might not mean aid to unde-
veloped countries, in practice it would lead to the ascendancy
of one uation— the United States— or, at best, a group of nations.

By the very element of exchange, the economy and the
national life of the undeveloped countries are exploited and
forced to be subordinated to the developed countries. This
means that the undeveloped countries can only defend them-
selves by political means, and by shutting themselves in if they
wish to survive. This is one way. The other way is to receive
aid from the outside, from the developed countries. There is
no third way. Up to now there has been barely the beginning
along the second way— aid iu insignificant amounts.

Today the difference between the American and the Indo-
nesian worker is greater than that between the American
worker and the wealthy American stockholder. In 1949 every
inhabitant of the United States earned an average of at least
§1,440.00; the Indonesian worker earned l/53rd as much, only
§27.00, according to United Nations data. And there is general


agreement that the material and other differences between de-
veloped and undeveloped countries do not diminish; on the
contrary, they increase.

The inequality between the Western developed countries
and the undeveloped countries reveals itself as being mainly
economic. Traditional political domination by governors and
local lords is already on its way out. Now, as a rule, the economy
of an undeveloped but politically independent, national gov-
ernment is subordinate to some other country.

Today no single people can willingly accept such subordinate
relationships, just as no single people can willingly renounce
the advantages made possible by greater productivity.

To ask American or West European workers— not to mention
owners— willingly to renounce the benefits offered them by a
high level of technology and more productive work is as un-
thinkable as it would be to persuade a poor Asiatic that he
should be happy that he receives so little for his work.

Mutual aid between governments and the gradual elimina-
tion of economic and other inequalities between peoples must
be bom of need in order to become the child of good will.

In the main, economic aid has thus far been extended only
in those cases where undeveloped couutiies, with low purchas-
ing power and low production, have become a burden to the
developed couutries. The current conflict between the two sys-
tems is the main obstacle to the extension of real economic
aid. This is not only because huge sums are being spent for
military and similar needs; contemporary relationships also
hinder the flourishing of production, aud its teudeucy toward
unification, thus blocking aid to underdeveloped countries and
the progress of the developed countries themselves.

Material and other differences between the developed and
the undeveloped countries have also been registered in their
internal life. It would be completely inaccurate to interpret
democracy in the West only as an expression of solidarity of
rich nations in looting the poor ones; the Western countries


were democratic long before the time of colonial extra-profits,
though on a lower level than that of today. The only connection j
between present-day democracy in the Western countries and
that of the period when Marx and Lenin were alive lies in
the fact of continuous development between the two periods.

The similarity between past and present democracy is not
greater than that between liberal or monopolistic capitalism

and modern statism. ^ |

In his work, In Place of Feat, the British socialist Aneurin ,

Bevan observed:


It is necessary to distinguish between the intention of Lib- [
eralism and its achievements. Its intention was to win power
for the new forms of property thrown up by the Industrial
Revolution. Its achievement was to win political power for j
the people irrespective of property.* ,

. . The function of parliamentary democracy, under uni-
versal franchise, historically considered, is to expose wealth-
privilege to the attack of the people. It is a sword pointed at
the heart of property-power. The arena where the issues are
joined is Parliament.-}-

Bevan’s observation applies to Great Britain. It could be
expanded to apply to other Western countries, but only to the
Western ones.

In the West, economic means which operate toward world
unification have become dominant. In the East, on the Com-
munist side, political means for snch unification have always
been predominant. The U.S.S.R. is capable of “uniting” only
that which it conquers. From this point of view not even the
new regime could change anything essentially. According to
its ideas, oppressed peoples are only those on whom some other
government, not the Soviet one, is inflicting its rule. The Soviet

9 Prom page 9, New York edition, Simon Sc Schuster, 1952.

f From page 6, ibid.


government subordinates its aid to others, even in the case of
loans, to its political requirements.

The Soviet economy has not yet reached the point which
would drive it to world unification of production. Its contra-
dictions and difficulties stem mainly from internal sources. The
system itself can still survive despite its isolation from the
outside world. This is enormously expensive, but it is achieved
by the widespread use of force. But this situation cannot last
long; the limit must be reached. And this will be the beginning
of the end of unlimited domination by the political bureauc-
racy, or by the new class.

Contemporary Communism could help achieve the goal of
world unification most of all by political means— by internal
democratization and by becoming more accessible to the outside
world. However, it is still remote from this. Is it actually capa-
ble of such a thing?

What kind of picture does Communism have of itself and
of the outside world?

Once, during the period of monopolies, the Marxism which
Lenin modified conceived the internal and external relation-
ships into which Czarist Russia and similar countries had fallen
with a degree of accuracy. With this picture to spur it on, the
movement headed by Lenin fought and won. In Stalin’s time
this same ideology, again modified, was realistic to the extent
that it defined, almost accurately, the position and role of the
new state in international relations. The Soviet state, or the
new class, was in a good position externally and internally,
subordinating to itself all that it could acquire.

Now the Soviet leaders have a hard time orienting them-
selves. They are no longer capable of seeing contemporary
reality. The world which they see is not the one that really
exists. It is either the one that used to exist or the one that
they would wish to have exist.

Holding on to obsolete dogmas, the Communist leaders
thought that all the rest of the world would stagnate and de-


stroy itself in conflicts and struggles. This did not happen.
The West advanced both economically and intellectually. It
proved to be united whenever danger from another system
threatened. The colonies were freed, but did not become Com-
munist, nor did this lead to a rupture with the mother coun-
tries involved.

The breakdown of Western capitalism through crises and
wars did not take place. In 1949 Vish insky, at the United Na-
tions, in the name of the Soviet leadership, predicted the
beginning of a great, new crisis in the United States and in
capitalism. The opposite happened. This was not because capi-
talism is good or bad, but because the capitalism the Soviet
leaders rant about no longer exists. The Soviet leaders could
not see that India, the Arab states, and similar countries had
become independent, until they began to approve— for their
own reasons— Soviet points of view in foreign policy. The Soviet
leaders did not and do not now understand social democracy.
Instead, they measure it by the yardstick with which they
measure the fate of the Social Democrats in their own area.
Basing their thinking on the fact that their country did not
reach the development which the Social Democrats foresaw,
Soviet leaders conclude that social democracy in the West, as
well, is unreal and “treacherous.”

This is also true with regard to their evaluation of the basic
conflict— the conflict between systems, or the basic tendency
toward the unification of production. Here too their evaluation
is out of focus.

They declare that this conflict is a struggle between two dif-
ferent social systems. In one of them— theirs, of course— they
state that there are no classes, or that the classes are in the
process of liquidation, and that theirs is state ownership. In
the other system— the foreign one— they insist that there are
raging class struggles and crises while all material goods are
in the hands of private individuals, and that the government is
only the tool of a handful of greedy monopolists. With this


view of the world, they believe that the present conflicts would
have been avoided if such relationships had not been predomi-
nant in the West.

That is where the difficulty lies.

Even if relationships in the West were the way the Com-
munists would like them to be— the conflict would still continue.
Perhaps the conflict would be even more severe in this case.
For not only forms of ownership would differ; it would be a
matter of different, opposing aspirations, behind which stand
modem technology and the vital interests of whole nations, in
which various groups, parties, and classes endeavor to have the
same problem solved according to their needs.

When the Soviet leaders rate the modern Western countries
as blind instruments of the monopolies, they are just as wroug
as they are in interpreting their own system as a classless
society where ownership is in the hands of society. Certainly
the monopolies play an important role in the politics of the
Western countries, but in no case is the role as great or the
same as before the First World War, nor even as before the
Second World War. There is, in the background, something
new and more essential; an irresistible aspiration toward the
unification of the world. This is now expressed more strongly
through statism and nationalization— or through the role of
the government in the economy— than it is through the influ-
ence and action of the monopolies.

To the extent that one class, party, or leader stifles criticism
completely, or holds absolute power, it or he inevitably falls
} into an unrealistic, egotistical, and pretentious judgment of

This is happening today to the Communist leaders. They
do not control their deeds, but are forced into them by reality.
There are advantages in this; they are now more practical men
than they used to be. However, there are also disadvantages,
because these leaders basically lack realistic, or even approxi-
I mately realistic, views. They spend more time defending




themselves from world reality and attacking it than they do
in getting acenstomed to it. Their adherence to obsolete dogma
incites them to senseless actions, from which, on more mature
thoughts, they constantly retreat, but with bloody heads. Let ns
hope that the latter will prevail with them. Certainly, if the
Communists interpreted the world realistically, they might lose,
but they would gaiu as human beings, as part of the human race.

In any case, the world will change and will go in the direc-
tion in which it has been moving and must go on— toward
greater unity, progress, and freedom. The power of reality and
the power of life have always been stronger than any kind of
brutal force and more real than any theory.