Communism is not strictly black or white. There are
different styles and types that focus on the main idea. Four men particularly
stand out with their "versions" of communism: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin, and Joseph Stalin. Karl Marx and
Friedrich Engels had their version of communism addressed in the Communist Manifesto,
while Lenin and Stalin had their versions named after them respectively.
A system for professional revolutionists where flexibility in tragedies and tactics are preached was the basis of Lenin's thoughts. His goal was to gain the support of peasants and other minorities without giving up the ultimate goal of communism. Lenin eventually did give up this idea (Croan). The communist party became even stricter as other parties were outlawed. He was able to instigate the New Economic Policy that was formed to legalize private trade, encourage small scale enterprises, and attempt to loosen the government's grip on the agricultural production.
Since Stalin believed the U.S.S.R. could build Socialism itself and that they had to become an industrial power to refrain from being demolished by the capitalist west, he utilized totalitarianism (Croan). Stalin used it to control every possible aspect of soviet life, yet his controls were somewhat relaxed in order to gain support for the WWII effort. Control tightened as soon as the war ended. When Stalin died, Nikita Khrushchev took over the leadership role and the party actually loosened its grip. Khrushchev's goal was to raise living standards by diverting resources from industry to agriculture. He was later unseated and replaced by Leonid Brezhnev and Alexsei Kosygin.
* The different variations of the color red in the preceding table
shows the level of true communism- the darker the red being the more extreme
version of communism.
[Governments] [Overthrow] [Styles] [Bibliography]