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Marxism–Leninism is a communist/authoritarian socialist philosophy with a... complex history. It's the idea that most people think of when they hear the word 'communism'.

History[]

Precursors[]

First Phase (1917 - 1941)[]

This period saw the development of Marxist-Leninism in the USSR (1922) and Mongolia (1924) and the isolation of these countries as they fought their revolutions and pursued independent industrial development, which was highly successful in the USSR. The phase ended with the entry of the USSR into World War II, which led to the development of a war economy and the near destruction of the USSR at the hands of Nazi Germany.

Second Phase (1941 - 1959)[]

This phase saw the defeat of Nazi Germany and the Japanese Empire at the hands of the USSR and the beginnings of the Cold War. The USSR helped set up Marxist-Leninist governments (by supporting local parties and/or revolutions) in Eastern Europe and Asia, notably Yugoslavia (1943), Poland (1945), Albania (1946), Bulgaria (1946), Romania (1947), Czechoslovakia (1948), East Germany (1949), Hungary (1949), China (1949) and North Korea (1950), later Cuba joined the club in 1959.

Third Phase (1960 - 1973)[]

This phase saw the massive growth of Marxist-Leninist organisations that did not take power like the Naxalites, Red Army Faction and Japanese Red Army.

Fourth Phase (1974 - 1988)[]

This period saw the rapid rise of Marxist-Leninist governments in Africa and Asia, with notable revolutions in Ethiopia (1974), Benin (1975), Angola (1975), Cambodia (1975), Laos (1975), Vietnam (1975), Mozambique (1975), Afghanistan (1978), Nicaragua (1979) and Grenada (1979). Marxist-Leninism peaking in August and September 1983 when Marxist-Leninists had full control of 30 governments. Public support for Marxist-Leninism also peaked around this time as numerous terrorist and revolutionary groups formed to try and overthrow their governments, with very little success.

During this period, the first two collapses of Marxist-Leninist governments in history occurred. In 1983, the US invaded Grenada after taking advantage of an internal power struggle, and in 1987 the US, France and Libya worked together to oust the Marxist-Leninist government of Burkina Faso. This would become a dark foreshadowing of what is to come.

Fifth Phase (1989 - 1992)[]

The fifth phase signaled the collapse of the majority of Marxist-Leninist governments and the continuation of the abandoning of command economies in favour of market economies which coincided with a global revolutionary wave against authoritarianism and the rise of neoliberalism and representative democracy. The only Marxist-Leninist governments to have survived the fifth phase are in China, Vietnam, Cuba, North Korea and Laos.

Sixth Phase (1993 - Present)[]

With the majority of Marxist-Leninist governments gone, the remaining five have managed to survive until the present day, with all engaging in market reforms except North Korea. Most of the world's Marxist-Leninist groups either fell apart, dismantled themselves, or switched to libertarian socialism (like the precursors to the EZLN and the PKK) or social democracy.

Marxist-Leninism in Practice[]

Main Article: Marxism-Leninism in Practice

Marxist-Leninist Countries[]

  • Afghanistan (1978 - 1992)
  • Albania (1946 - 1992)
  • Angola (1975 - 1992)
  • Benin (1974 - 1990)
  • Bulgaria (1946 - 1990)
  • Burkina Faso (1983 - 1987)
  • Cambodia (1975 - 1991)
  • China (1949 - Present)
  • Congo (1969 - 1992)
  • Cuba (1959 - Present)
  • Czechoslovakia (1948 - 1990)
  • East Germany (1949 - 1990)
  • Ethiopia (1974 - 1991)
  • Grenada (1979 - 1983)
  • Hungary (1949 - 1989)
  • Laos (1975 - Present)
  • Mongolia (1924 - 1992)
  • Mozambique (1975 - 1990)
  • Nicaragua (1979 - 1990)
  • North Korea (1948 - 1992)
  • Poland (1945 - 1989)
  • Romania (1947 - 1989)
  • Somalia (1969 - 1991)
  • USSR (1922 - 1991)
  • Vietnam (1975 - Present)
  • Yemen (1967 - 1990)
  • Yugoslavia (1943 - 1992)

Data on Marxist-Leninism[]

  • Marxist-Leninist regimes last 36.4 years on average, 15.5 years in Africa, 47.3 years in Asia, 46.3 years in Europe and 25 years in Latin America.
  • Marxist-Leninist regimes consistently oppose elections, freedom of media and often result in above average amounts of environmental destruction and shortages of consumer goods. However, they tend to develop good educational and healthcare systems and expand women's rights.
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