Communism Revisited – Program of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

“Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country.” – Lenin’s formula as presented by the Communist Party Program of the Soviet Union, p. 62



The draft of the Program of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was presented to the Communist Party’s Twenty -Second Congress in October 1961. Crosscurrents Press in New York published it in English “as an aid to everyone wanting to understand the plans and intentions of those who lead and govern the Soviet Union.” It was a time when the Cold War highlighted the existential fight between communism and capitalism, separated by an invisible red line in the sand.
The communist platform emphasized the phrase “scientific communism,” with contrived stages of development in an attempt to give it a scientific facade. Communism, as a concept and linguistically derived from the Latin word “communis” (shared) is neither scientific nor “shared.”
The theory of scientific communism had to be developed and propagandized and the Communist education had to be improved. (p. 124)
Public education was required to prepare citizens for vocations needed by the communist society. Children were to be molded into “harmoniously developed members of Communist society” and the “elimination of substantial distinctions between mental and physical labor.” The principles of the “Communist outlook” were to be taught and school children were to be engaged in “socially useful labor to the extent of their physical capacity.” (Program of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Crosscurrents Press, New York, 1961, p. 112)
The parental influence of their children’s education had to be harmonized with “their public upbringing.” Schools were meant to inculcate not just “love of labor and of knowledge in children” but also “to raise the younger generation into the spirit of Communist consciousness and morality.” (p. 113)
Literature and art had to be “imbued with optimism and dynamic Communist ideas.” (p. 119)
Collectivism was highly encouraged and the cult of the individual was discouraged. (p. 124)
The Party’s banner was inscribed, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” The Party’s motto was “Everything in the name of man, for the benefit of man” and the militant slogan proclaimed, “Workers of all countries, unite!” (p. 9)
In case there was any doubt that the socialist world was expanding and the capitalist world was cut down to size, the program proclaimed that “Socialism will inevitably succeed capitalism everywhere” because it is the “objective law of social development.”
When communism eventually accomplished its mission, the Soviets said, there will be no social inequality, no oppression, no exploitation, no war, just “peace, labor, freedom, equality, and happiness on earth.” I wondered how the 100 million innocents worldwide who were killed by communists would have responded to such empty and meaningless rhetoric.
“Capitalism extensively exploits female and child labor.” (p. 11) Before this document was published, child labor was a thing of the past in the United States, and women comprised 29.6 percent of the labor force in 1950. Many women stayed home to raise their children and care for their families.
Communists, under the leadership of Lenin, “worked out a plan for the radical transformation of the country, for the construction of socialism.” The plan had three prongs: the industrialization of the country, agricultural cooperation, and the Cultural Revolution.
As those who lived through socialism can attest, forced industrialization into a large scale modern industry resulted in an impoverished populace who survived on the crumbs left after a lot of funds and natural resources, that should have been earmarked for improving the population’s standard of living, were used to industrialize a poorly run centralized economy that wasted a lot of resources.
The program of the Communist Party proposed the development of a first-class heavy industry, defense, and services for the population in the areas of “trade, public catering, health, housing, and communal services.” As we well know, life under communism was very brutal in every aspect.
Total industrial output proposed was to exceed in 10 years 150 percent of the 1961 level of the U.S. industrial output and in 20 years by 500 percent, leaving the U.S. far behind. This was to be accomplished by raising productivity in ten years by 100 percent and by 300-350 percent within 20 years. The goals are laughable today just as they were in 1961. (p. 65)
Major economic areas were set up in the Urals, the Volga, Siberia, Transcaucasia, the Baltic area, and Central Asia and production planning was centrally done. (p. 82)
Labor productivity was supposed to increase in agriculture through the kolkhoz (collectives) system as charted by Vladimir I. Lenin by merging kolkhoz property and individual property into one Communist property. Productivity was to increase 150 percent in ten years and then 5-6 times more in the following ten years. That certainly never happened. Machinery, spare parts, and repair know-how were lacking and the young agricultural labor force tended to seek employment in cities for better opportunities. (p. 74)
Agricultural Cooperation
Agricultural cooperation meant that everyone had to give up their land for the common good, willingly or by force, with no compensation whatsoever, and form cooperative farms from which the communists derived the lion’s share of income from crops, cattle, pigs, horses, and chicken. Peasants were lucky to escape with their lives and the clothes on their backs, and very fortunate to survive the forced move into high-rise concrete block apartments located in very crowded cities.
“Millions of small individual farms went into voluntary association to form collective farms.” Large-scale “socialist farming” predicated on confiscated land destroyed the formerly plentiful crops of each individual family who brought home the fruits of their labor. Now each family had to be content with the leftovers after the Party claimed their planned share.
Cultural Revolution
The Cultural Revolution included the forced indoctrination and reeducation in labor camps of those who resisted communism: “skeptics, capitulators, Trotskyists, Right opportunists, nationalist-deviators, and other hostile groups.” (p. 15)
To achieve this Cultural Revolution, illiteracy had to be wiped out. The socialist intelligentsia was created through indoctrination and the so-called classless society was now comprised of workers, peasants, and intellectuals, all ruled from the top by the communist party elites.
The ridiculous idea that now citizens have a material interest in the fruits of their labor was expressed in the motto, “we pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.” They never raised the people’s standard of living as they claimed, on the contrary, they impoverished the former well-off farmers whose land they confiscated.
There was never an awareness that workers labored for themselves and society. The awareness was that everyone worked for the government bureaucrats who were beholden and answered to the communist party elites.
Although freedom of speech, press, and assembly were written in the Constitution which was often revised, nobody lived under the false sense of being able to speak their minds without disappearing the very next day and never to be seen again.
Because the Socialist revolution “established the dictatorship of the proletariat,” 100 nations and nationalities lived harmoniously within the USSR. At least that is what the propaganda led you to believe. The only dictatorship the Eastern European block has experienced has been the dictatorship of the Communist Party elite and its chosen dear leader.
“The Socialist reorganization of society” has been so successful, claimed the Communist Party’s program, that “The highroad to Socialism has been paved. Many peoples are already marching along it, and it will be taken sooner or later by all peoples.” (p. 21)
“The countries of the Socialist system have accumulated considerable collective experience in the remolding of the lives of hundreds of millions of people.” (p. 22)
I can personally attest to this remolding of our lives. We were comfortable and had a home one day and the next day we lost everything to the new communist regime. Several family members went into gulags for being “bourgeois,” some survived, some did not, property was confiscated, everyone was impoverished overnight, savings and personal belongings taken, and forced re-education into the cult of personality and adulation of the president and his wife Elena.
According to the Program of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the Socialists had in common:
– Same type of economy based on the social ownership of the means of production
– Same type of political system based on the rule of the people led by the working class
– Same Marxist-Leninist ideology
– Same defense against the “imperialist camp”
– Same common goal of communism (p. 22)
Communists believed that their number one responsibility was to educate the “working people” in the vein of “internationalism, Socialist patriotism, and intolerance of all possible manifestations of nationalism and chauvinism. Nationalism is harmful to the common interests of the Socialist community.” (p. 25)
It is now easy to understand the planned drive to erase national borders and sovereignty that have previously defined successful western nations with capitalist economies. “Bourgeois nationalism” and “national egoism” are vehemently opposed, however, “Communists always show utmost consideration for the national feelings of the masses.” (p. 26)
It is interesting to note how much money, force, police, and military might the Communist Party employed to keep the masses from escaping the borders of the impoverished, poorly-run and spirit-suffocating socialist states, heavily guarded by devoted and brain-washed apparatchiks and well-paid informants. The East Germans even built the Berlin Wall between them and their West German brothers and sisters who believed in freedom. The wall was built not to keep people from coming in but to keep people from escaping communism.
The Soviets stated that World War I and the October Revolution caused a general crisis of capitalism. Part two of its crisis began with World War II and the Socialist revolution. ”World capitalism has now entered a new, third stage of that crisis, the principal feature of which is that its development is not tied to a world war.” (p. 26)
In their 1961 opinion, world wars, economic crises, the military industrial complex, and political unrest accelerated the transformation of “monopoly capitalism into state-monopoly capitalism.”
“The oppression of finance capital keeps growing. Giant monopolies controlling the bulk of social production dominate the life of the nation. A handful of millionaires and multi-millionaires (make that billionaires today) wield arbitrary power over the entire wealth of the capitalist world and make the life of entire nations mere small change in their selfish deals. The financial oligarchy is getting fabulously rich.” (p. 27) Of course they left out the Communist Party elites who were also getting offensively rich at the expense of the proletariat. The paragraph contains eerily similar developments today.
“The state is becoming a committee for the management of the affairs of the monopoly bourgeoisie. The bureaucratization of the economy is rising steeply.” The Communist Party recognized bureaucratization because they perfected it to an art.
What does state-monopoly capitalism do? It combines state and monopolies into a single power whose sole purpose is to enrich the monopolies, suppress the population, and “launch aggressive wars.” (p. 27) The industrial military complex eager to start new wars around the world comes to mind.
Some interesting points were made about technology that replaced workers through automation, while displacing small producers. Using bombastic language, the Communist Party stated, “Imperialism is using technical progress chiefly for military purposes.” While devouring an ever-increasing fraction of the budget, “The imperialist countries are turning into militarist states run by the army and the police.” (pp. 28-29)
The Communist Party conveniently hid the fact that their police state and military readiness kept the Soviet population in a constant state of fear and of need. The communist platform identified the U.S. as the “world gendarme” (police) who at times supported “reactionary dictatorial regimes and decayed monarchies,” and at times opposed “democratic, revolutionary changes.”
Accusing the “exploiting classes” for “resorting to violence against the people,” the Communist Party conveniently hides the fact of mass killings, 100 million innocents who lost their lives to the aggressive communist movement, indoctrination, and power grab. (p. 39)
“Anti-communism is a reflection of the extreme decadence of bourgeois ideology.” (p. 50) “Thus any staunch anti-communist born by solid experience with the pathetic life people lived under socialism and communism, by this definition is a decadent bourgeois individual.
The Soviets called the capitalist state the “bourgeois state.” It is a “welfare state” for the “magnates of finance capital and state of “suffering and torture for hundreds of millions of working men.” (p. 51)
The commies were wrong in that we have a welfare state for the masses – 50 percent of the labor force today does not work but receives “entitlements” paid by those who choose to work for a living. Our “free world,” said the communist platform of 1961, is a world of “lack of rights, a world where human dignity and national honor are trampled underfoot.” (p. 51)
The Soviets would be shocked and disgusted with so many Americans and illegal aliens on the dole. “It is impossible for a man in Communist society not to work, for neither his social consciousness nor public opinion would permit it.” According to the Communist Party platform, “Anyone who received any benefits from society without doing his share of work would be a parasite living at the expense of others.” (p. 108)
The communist moral code included the following principles:
– Devotion to the communist cause
– Conscientious labor for the good of society – “He who does not work, neither shall he eat”
– Public duty and Intolerance of actions harmful to the public interest
– “Collectivism : one for all and all for one”
– Mutual respect and humane relations
– “Honesty, truthfulness, moral purity, modesty and guilessness in social and private life”
– Intolerance of national and racial hatred
– Mutual respect in families and proper upbringing of children
– Intolerance to “injustice, parasitism, dishonesty, and careerism” (p. 109)
The Soviets described capitalist clericalism as using the church, political groups, unions, youth, and women’s lobby to advance their agendas. Today these groups are used to advance the communist agenda.
The Soviet people with their average equal incomes were never more prosperous than employees of the capitalist economy. What Soviets termed “parasitical classes” under capitalism were no more parasitical than all the communist apparatchiks who stole left and right from the wealth of the people. (p. 84)
Did Soviet communists deliver the promised public consumption funds and goods as promised, according to need and at public expense ? The answer is generally no. When they did deliver some services, they were highly inadequate: (pp. 90-91)
– Caring for disabled people, orphans, and elderly with no family left (few were cared for, were abused, and died shortly in their care)
– Free education (yes, but it was highly competitive and unfairly distributed at the university level)
– Free medical services (yes, substandard care and full of malpractice that was never addressed because it was government run; severe shortage of medicines)
– Rent-free housing, free public transportation (no, it was subsidized)
– Free use of some communal services (yes, libraries, bath houses, culture houses)
– Grants to unmarried mothers (yes)
The communist experiment at Jamestown, Virginia in 1607 failed miserably when many starved to death. Bonded laborers worked on the communal land but there was no incentive to do more. Crops were placed in storage from which everyone took according to their needs but members worked according to their ability.
Communism did not succeed around the world and will never succeed no matter who is in power because it is premised on a highly organized society of free, socially conscious workers who self-govern and labor for the good of the people. Some men by nature work harder and are more conscientious and altruistic than others. Responsibility, consciousness, industriousness, equality, discipline, and devotion by government fiat cannot be dictated or implemented. Some men or groups of people will always be more equal than others.
© Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh

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