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Communism: The Shadows of a Utopia

Kanterian, Edward (2014) Communism: The Shadows of a Utopia. Baltic Worlds, VII (4). pp. 4-11. ISSN 2000-2955. (KAR id:48094)


Twenty-five years ago, communism, the political system dominant in Eastern Europe, collapsed. Two years later, in 1991, the Soviet Union was dissolved. The People’s Republic of China remained the sole communist power, but throughout the 1990s its anti-capitalist party line was watered down through the introduction of market-oriented reforms. Today, only one country can be said to be truly communist: North Korea. Communism, in the 1980s a mighty geopolitical force holding half of Europe and roughly one third of the world’s population in its grip, is today confined to an internationally isolated prison state, one of the poorest countries on the planet.

How are we to remember the past of a utopia? By recounting the utopian dream? Or maybe by still dreaming the dream,

hoping for it to come true? After all, as Alain Badiou puts it in his book The Communist Hypothesis,1 “Communism is [still] the right hypothesis”, and those who disagree “resign themselves to the market economy, to parliamentary democracy” — the true evils of our time, in Badiou’s eyes.

But was communism just a dream, just a hypothesis?

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: communism, socialism, Marx, Badiou, capitalism, China, Soviet Union, Mao, Lenin, Besancon, Kolakowski, Korea, Gulag, Romania, Applebaum, Pitesti experiment, Cheka, Bolsheviks, Kelsen, Malia, Plessner, Pipes
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
J Political Science
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Edward Kanterian
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2015 21:11 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:24 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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