The reasons for the total extinction of the spectre of Soviet Communism that haunted the world for nearly a century
Dr Inderjit Singh Mann
Though much has been theorised on why Communism failed in Soviet Union, once known as Super Power, this is an important question and needs to be studied closely. Even though Marx and Engels have been projected as gods of communism, as being “philosophers” and intellectual “exiles” theorising away for the salvation of masses, nothing could be far from truth. A closer scrutiny exposes them as being rich and powerful people who were willing tools of “powers that be” that were interested in causing immense turmoil in the world so that a “new world order” could be created wherein they could grab more power at the cost of people. The hidden agenda was to capture and consolidate power and wealth at any cost and to foist hand-picked dictators over the entire world to benefit the already powerful clique behind the scenes which included international bankers, their friends and lackeys. This meant that only a façade was created and sold to people, with nothing substantive of value to them, and being unsustainable, it had to die its natural death with time. We can contrast this with establishment of a society on Dharmic values by self-less Rishis in Bharat which has sustained the nation for thousands of years.
On the face of it the entire communism crusade was initiated and executed in the name of benefitting industrial workers and farmers. In practice what the communist doctrine talked of, and executed, was destruction of the existing social order, imposition of dictatorship of “proletariat”, destruction of races and nations, all in “preparation” of establishing communist dictatorship over the entire world. The justification was that theoretically this destruction and cruel repression was a necessary precondition for the benefits of Utopia to start flowing. However, the people could very well see that even
theoretically it was not possible to create a benevolent, fair and just Utopia through a communist leadership that consisted of blood thirsty sociopaths, sadistic cold- blooded killers, and power hungry traitors. The false
doctrine of benevolence of communist system was exposed to everyone as soon as the Red Army started whole-sale loot, pillage, slave-labour, terror, torture, killings and as it engineered famines to kill entire generations of workers and farmers. But even though people could see the falsity of communist doctrine as early as 1918, when Lenin lost elections and used violent Red Army to forcibly occupy assemblies, it was too late to resist, and those who resisted or even expressed dissent, were tortured and murdered, their families beaten, raped and destroyed, or were sent to forced labour camps or gulags, to die slowly and excruciatingly, with over-work, fatigue, hunger, abuse and extreme cold. This continued till the communist government was thrown off. People were just biding their time to put an end to this horror.
Lack of Sound Theoretical Basis
Das Capital which is said to provide the theoretical underpinning of communism is logically unsound, pretentious, unscientific piece of work, which is used as an icon or totem to crush the entire humanity. When you read it, it is nothing but a boring tome, proving nothing. It can only be compared to intellectual prank by Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell that was published as The Principia Mathematica in 1910-1913 and which took all of 400 pages of gobbledy-gook to “prove” that 1+1=2. Das Capital does not even achieve that. It meanders and trails through various postulates and then merely peters out. It is the money, propaganda and vicious communist religion behind it which has made it as “sacred and inviolable” as Quran or Bible. Without any genuine substantive theory to back it up, communism can only float as a strong-arm mafia network, and the day people get a chance they flush it down the tubes.
No Values But Violence
Massive disruption of families, society, nations, and religion by war, famine, torture and death was not only built into communist “theories”, the theoretical arguments and propaganda were specifically aimed to normalise and glorify this destructive path to “Utopia”, ostensibly it was needed for “greater good of greater number”. The entire paradigm was based on materialistic and hedonistic pursuits, through a vicious self-centred and violent path of power grab. It lacked a balanced-score card approach to life as in Sanatan Dharma. Out of four purusharthas: Dharm, Artha, Kaam, Moksh, the communist theory focussed only on Artha and Kaam, leaving out Dharm and Moksh. Had they used a Dharmic approach, they would not have used Adharmic means, and would have attained sustainable results which would have been beneficial and pleasant to all.
Immediate Causes of Downfall
A number of immediate causes have been offered for the downfall. A few of them are tyranny, violence and mass murder, forcible collectivisation, suppression of basic rights and personal dignity, lack of adaptation, lack of innovation or creativity, lack of sincerity, and total lack of economic understanding leading to bankrupt policies. Historical timeline shows un-suppressible will of people. “White-army” in Russia fought a civil war against Bolshevik communists from 1918 to 1922 when it got defeated and Soviet Union or U.S.S.R. was created.
In the United States a Red Scare arose between 1919–1920. In 1920s and 1930s, fascist government rose to fight communism. The Japanese Empire and the Chinese National Party (Kuomintang) took strong anti-communist action. End of WW II arrangements in 1945 had thrown entire East Europe into communist fold. Simmering had started, and in 1953, merely 8 years after WW II, a massive unrest erupted as strikes and protests by workers against the communist rule in East Germany. More than one million people in over 700 localities took part. Stalin brutally crushed the revolt using Soviet armed forces. This was followed by harsh repressive measures in Eastern Europe and Soviet Union. Stalin alone was responsible for up to 60 million deaths. This policy for using army as communist enforcer and supporting the client communist regimes financially continued up to Brezhnev, who led Soviet Russia from 1964 to 1982. Soviet Russia, and later Warsaw Pact countries, crushed the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968, and Afghanistan in 1979. These actions caused immense economic strain on U.S.S.R. Gorbachev pronounced the Sinatra Doctrine where-under Soviet Union permitted all its allies under Warsaw Pact to determine their own form of government. This triggered irreversible collapse of communism. Gorbachev’s 1986 anti-alcohol program, which was started by Andropov, not only failed miserably but also made him highly unpopular. Gorbachev’s policies of ‘Glasnost’ and ‘Perestroika’ policies contributed to weakening of stranglehold of communism. People became open in criticism; radio stations exposed the extremely poor living conditions of people and highlighted the flaws in the soviet government and communist system. Weakening economy, financial drain of communist wars and burden of satellite communist states had weakened Soviet Union immensely. Soviet Union withdrew from the draining Afghanistan War in February 1989. But by then it was too late. People were just waiting to throw off the tyranny of communist rule.
The Revolutions of 1989 ended in collapse of communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe. The revolution began in Poland in 1989 and progressed to Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Romania, though the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests failed in China.
The fall of the Berlin wall on November 9, 1989 acted as the trigger point for the collapse of communism in both the USSR and Eastern Europe. The Berlin wall, which divided Berlin since 1945 into Western and Communist halves, was viewed as symbol of oppression and divided German families and friends. Its fall indicated that the clock had started ticking for Soviet Union. The Soviet Union collapsed in December 1991, and 11 nations were freed: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan along with the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The rest area of Soviet Union became Russia. Albania threw out communists in 1990. In 1992 Yugoslavia split into five free states of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia and (later) Serbia and Montenegro, which also separated. Kosovo seceded from Serbia in 2008. In 1992 Czechoslovakia got free from communists splitting in to the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1992. All this resulted in extinction of the spectre of communist threat plaguing the world and heralded the end of Cold War.
(The writer is an economist and former Vice-Chancellor of SGT University, Gurugram)