One Hundred Years of Communist Experiments

One Hunder Years of Communist Experiments, edited by Vladimir Tismaneanu and Jordan Luber
ISBN: 
978-963-386-405-0
cloth
$105.00 / €88.00 / £75.00
July 2021, 408 pages

Why has communism’s humanist quest for freedom and social justice without exception resulted in the reign of terror and lies? The authors of this collective volume address this urgent question covering the one hundred years since Lenin’s coup brought the first communist regime to power in St. Petersburg, Russia in November 1917. The first part of the volume is dedicated to the varieties of communist fantasies of salvation, and the remaining three consider how communist experiments over many different times and regions attempted to manage economics, politics, as well as society and culture. Although each communist project was adapted to the situation of the country where it operated, the studies in this volume find that because of its ideological nature, communism had a consistent penchant for totalitarianism in all of its manifestations.
This book is also concerned with the future. As the world witnesses a new wave of ideological authoritarianism and collectivistic projects, the authors of the nineteen essays suggest lessons from their analyses of communism’s past to help better resist totalitarian projects in the future.

Introduction: Why a 20th Century Exercise in the 21st Century
Vladimir Tismaneanu and Jordan Luber

Part One: Fantasies of Salvation

German Communism, the Jews and Israel: From the Antifascism of World War II to the Undeclared Wars of the Cold War
Jeffrey Herf

Euphoria to Decay: Post-Marxist Revision’s Mortal Threat to Communism
Vladimir Tismaneanu

Getting off the Red Tram of Socialism
Mykola Riabchuk

The Rise, Demise, and Pernicious Long-Term Impact of Soviet Communist Ideology in Russia
Mark Kramer

Part Two: Economics

The Comparative Assessment of Communist and Post-Communist System Performance and Human Wellbeing: Challenges and Insights from In-depth Case Study Approaches
Paul Dragos Aligica and Vlad Tarko

Communist Economy: The Verdict of History
Steven Rosefielde

Looking Back at the Soviet Economic Experience
Peter Rutland

Incentives, Coercion, and Redistribution: Why Industrial Central Plan Economies Performed Worse Than Western Market Economies and Better Than Less Developed Economies
Michael S. Bernstam

The Rise and Fall of the Planned Economy and Its Long-Lasting Effects on Transition
Serguey Braguinsky

Part Three: Politics

Romancing a Millenarian State: From Petrograd to Raqqa
Leon Aron

Stalin, Tito, Djilas, and the Dialectical Quarrels of Post-war Europe
Marius Stan

China’s Enduring Leninist Toolkit: Perspectives on CCP Organization and Ideology
Margaret M. Pearson

Reductio ad Reganum: Reflections on Communism’s Enduring Ideological Invulnerability
Venelin I. Ganev

Ideology and Violence in Communist Venezuela
Jordan Luber

Part Four: Society and Culture

Communist Rhetoric as Official Practices of Discourse: Making Epideictic Arguments on Authority and National Identity
Noemi Marin

Selective Repression and Democratic Opposition in Post-Totalitarian Hungary
András Bozóki

Lost in Protochronia: Ideological Dada in Ceaușescu’s Romania
Mircea Mihăieș

The Road to Liberation Theology: Experiments at the Intersection of Confessional & Secular Religion
Piotr H. Kosicki

Philosophical Lessons from the Bolshevik Experiment
Marci Shore

List of Contributors

Index