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Karl Marx-founder communism & socialism

Communism History
Communism, a branch of socialism, is a social system, characterized by lack of private property.
The community as a whole owns the means of production and thus the profit is shared equally
with everyone. In theory, labor would be divided up among all citizens according to ability and
interest and resources would be distributed according to need. There would also be no ruler, no
president, king or dictator.
In 1848, the Communist Manifesto was published by Karl Marx and Frank Engels, citing the
principles and ideas of communism. Marx and Engels analyzed modern society, especially the
capitalist economy. Accordingly, capitalism emphasizes the rights of the individual and claims to
give equal opportunity for every person to succeed in life. Marx and Engels point out however
that capitalism creates classes among the citizens, and leads to the oppression and exploitation of
the lower classes. More specifically, modern capitalism has created two classes: bourgeois, the
Owners of the means of production, and the proletariat, the laborers.

Communism, and socialism in general, is designed to cultivate a classless society in which


everyone is truly equal, and such social problems as racism, sexism and oppression are
exterminated. Many respected scholars,
Including Albert Einstein, have agreed that socialism is the next evolution of society. They have
also agreed that the implementation of socialism is difficult, and thus far, communist nations
have proved this to be true.
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics had the most successful attempt at communism so far to
date, but had problems from the beginning due to internal corruption. Vladimir Lenin led a
revolution against the czar, Queen
Alexandra, in 1917, catching the monarchy off guard during World War One. After three years of
struggle, Lenin finally took control.
During the reign of Stalin, the USSR was more of a dictatorship than communist. His tactics to
modernize the country to a socialistic level, called Stalinism, strictly suppressed any sign of
autonomy, which were his personal ideas and were in no way related to true communism.
Between 1945 and 1975, a number of communist nations arose in Europe. The USSR rose to
power and was soon second only to the United States. Other countries followed the Soviet path
to communism, including Vietnam (after defeating the US military and annexing South
Vietnam), North Korea,
China and then Cuba, although China is also more of a dictatorship.
The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, due to the depletion of their economy for military resources
during the Cold War. The Soviet republics broke off into independent nations and fell into a state
of anarchy and in a last
Chance effort, converted to democracy. Boris Yeltsin took over the newly democratic Russia,
which failed once again due to overprinting their money and Yeltsin’s dictatorial rule.
Several countries today are communist, including China and Cuba. Since communism is still in
an infantile stage, the problems are still being smoothed out. Only the future will reveal whether
communism is an unattainable theory of utopia or whether it is the next step for society.

History of Socialism
Thomas More coined the term "utopia" in 1515 in his treatise titled "Utopia," but utopian
imaginings began long before his. Plato described a similar environment when he wrote the
philosophical work "Republic" in 360 B.C. In 1627, Francis Bacon's "New Atlantis" advocated a
more scientific approach, rooted in the scientific method. Bacon envisioned a research-institute-
like society where inhabitants studied science in an effort to create a harmonious environment
through their accumulation of knowledge. In addition to these landmark works, more than 40
utopian-themed novels were published from 1700 to 1850, cementing its status as a very popular
ideal [source: Foner]. Because many social injustices -- such as slavery and oppression -- were
running rampant, the theme was quite popular among embittered and dispirited populations.
While a French revolutionary named François Noël Babeuf is credited with the idea of doing
away with private property to create equality and is often considered the first socialist, the
concept wasn't popularized until the late 1700s, when the Industrial Revolution caused some
drastic changes around the world. The revolution marked a shift from agricultural societies to
modern industries, in which tools were eschewed in favor of cutting-edge machinery. Factories
and railways sprung up, resulting in tremendous wealth for the owners of these industries. While
they profited from these changes, workers were thrown into sudden poverty due to a lack of jobs
as machines began to replace human labor. Many people feared that this discrepancy in income
would continue to spread, making the rich richer and the poor poorer.This fear created unrest
among the working class. Poor housing, coupled with bad working conditions and slave labor
(which was still rampant in the United States and other countries), contributed to the desire for a
more equal society. As a result, socialist ideals quickly became popular among the impoverished
workers. Communes such as Brook Farm and New Harmony began popping up in the United
States and Europe. These small communities abided by socialist principles and worked to avoid
the class struggles that controlled the rest of the world. New Harmony was considered a center of
scientific thought and boasted the United States' first free library, public school and kindergarten.

William Penn-founder of democracy


History of Democracy
The word "democracy," as well as the concept it represents, can be traced back to the
area surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. The beginnings of democracy can be credited
to the Greeks of the sixth century BC. The word comes from two Greek words: demos,
meaning "the people," and kratein, meaning "to rule." These two words are joined
together to form democracy, literally meaning "rule by the people" (Pious). The Greek
system of government was perhaps closer to a true democracy or rule by the people
than any other in history. The Greeks viewed dictatorship as the worst possible form of
government, so their government evolved as the exact opposite. Their civilization was
broken down into small city-states (never more than 10,000 citizens), and all the men
voted on all issues of government. There were no representatives in the Greek system
of government. Instead, they ruled themselves directly; each man was a life long
member of the decision making body. This was almost a total democracy except for the
fact that women and slaves (over 50% of the population) were not considered citizens
and were not allowed to vote. Despite this, no other civilization has come as close to
democracy as its creators, the Greeks, and many later civilizations have incorporated
this Greek idea as part of the foundation for their government (Lee; Lefebvre).
Ideas of democracy similar to that of the Greeks were used by the Romans, though not
to the same extent. The Roman Empire (509-27 BC) took some of their governmental
ideals from the Greeks. Their government was a representative democracy, which had
representatives from the nobility in the Senate and representatives from the commoners
in the Assembly. Governmental power was divided between these two branches and
they voted on various issues. Many Roman political thinkers were fond of democracy.
The Roman Statesman, Cicero was one. Cicero suggested that all people have certain
rights that should be preserved. He and other political philosophers of the time taught
that governmental and political power should come from the people (Lefebvre; Lee).
After the trend of democracy was started by the Greeks and carried on by the Romans,
it has been seen in many later governmental systems throughout history.

History of Syndicalism
The First International
The International Workers Association was founded in Berlin in 1922, but its origins trace back
to the 1860’s and the International Working Men’s Association, better known as the First
International. Most people associate the First International only with Karl Marx and the
emerging Social Democratic movement, but the anarchists and Marxists had actually about the
same influence among the workers and in the International. The Marxists had their base in
Germany and England, while the anarchists stood strong in the Latin countries (France, Spain
and Italy.) The cooperation between Marxists and anarchists was however to be short-lived.
Marx and his fraction was in control of the secretariat of the International, and wanted to turn the
International into a tool to support Social Democratic parties in Parliamentary elections. The
anarchists opposed this, and they also opposed giving more power to the secretariat; they wanted
each section to have full autonomy. At a congress packed with Marx’ supporters, two of the
leading anarchists, Mikhail Bakunin and James Gulliame were expelled from the International on
false accusations, and the secretariat was given wide powers.
Propaganda of the Deed
The anarchists withdrew from Marx’ International, and tried to set up their own, the International
Working Peoples Association. But this was in the years after the Paris Commune and a reign of
counterrevolutionary terror against the Left swept Europe. Both the Marxist and anarchist
Internationals, weakened by the split, died a silent death within a few years.In spite of the
European events, the Chicago anarchists, organized as the International Working Peoples
Association, were very active in promoting the ideas of anarchism and working class
organization. Those who later went on to become the Haymarket Martyr’s were key figures in
both the Chicago Central Labor Union and the eight hour a day movement. The execution of the
Haymarket Martyr’s left a profound impact in the hearts of anarcho-syndicalists throughout the
globe and to this day their memory is commemorated yearly.During the 1870’s and 1880’s
anarchist influence was driven out of the labor movement in the United States, with anarchist’s in
general being driven underground in country after country. In response to the terror of the bosses,
a minority in the anarchist movement launched an armed campaign and killed several kings,
queens, aristocrats and senior politicians. This strategy was coined “propaganda of the deed” and
was supposed to ignite the silent masses. But the result was the opposite. People got alienated by
the violence, and the press got ammunition for their attack against the revolutionists: The image
of the madman with a bomb under his arm was born. By the turn of the century most anarchists
were convinced that a new approach was needed. They called for a return to open and public
militant activity among workers. The strategy they developed was syndicalism.
The Founding of the IWA
In 1913 there was an international syndicalist congress held in London which aimed at building
stronger ties between the existing syndicalist unions and propaganda groups. Present at the
congress were delegates from the FVdG (Germany), the NAS (Holland), the SAC (Sweden), the
USI (Italy) and the ISEL (Britain). Observers attended from the IWW, the CNT (Spain), the
FORA (Argentina) and the CGT (France). Unfortunately the Congress’ outcome was
inconclusive, beyond drawing up a declaration of principles and setting up a short-lived
information bureau. Within a year Europe was plunged into the First World War and
communications between the syndic lists became impossible. When the war ended conditions
were different. Russia had been taken out of the war by a social revolution, but the usurpation of
the revolution by the Communists (”Bolsheviks”) was not well known outside of Russia. When
the Communists set up the Third International, the syndic lists were invited to join the newly
established Red International of Trade Unions. The aura and prestige of the first “successful”
workers revolution caused many syndic lists to abandon their skepticism towards “proletarian
dictatorship.” At the RITU’s first congress in Moscow, however, the syndicalism found their
Russian comrades being imprisoned and shot by the new “workers” government and its secret
police. Disillusioned with the Bolsheviks, they decided to form their own international
organization. The founding conference of the IWA was held in Berlin in 1922. Present were the
Argentine Workers Regional Organization FORA representing 200,000 members, the Industrial
Workers of the World in Chile representing 20,000, the Union for Syndicalism Propaganda in
Denmark with 600, the Free Workers Union of Germany FAU with 120,000, National Workers
Secretariat of the Netherlands representing 22,500, the Italian Syndicalism Union with 500,000,
the General Confederation of Workers in Portugal with 150,000, the Swedish Workers Central
Organization SAC with 32,000, the Committee for the Defense of Revolutionary Syndicalism in
France [a breakaway from the CGT] with 100,000, the Federation du Combatant from Paris
representing 32,000. The Spanish CNT was unable to send delegates due to the fierce class
struggle being waged in their country under the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera. They did,
however, join the following year. During the 1920s the IWA expanded. More unions and
propaganda groups entered into dialogue with the IWA secretariat. They were from Mexico,
Uruguay, Bulgaria, Poland, Japan, Australia, South Africa, Paraguay and North Africa.
Syndicalism unions outside the IWA also existed in many countries such as the Brazilian
Workers Regional Organization and the Industrial Workers of the World in the USA which soon
spread to Canada, Sweden, Australia, South Africa, and Britain).
The Revolution in Spain- In 1936 the Popular Front, a coalition of communists, social
democrats and liberals, won the general elections in Spain. The new government that followed
only introduced minor reforms, but this was still too much for the Spanish ruling class. In July
1936 the fascists, led by General Franco, attempted a coup. The government in Madrid was
paralyzed, and the fascist would have won an easy victory had it not been for the anarcho-
syndicalists workers of the CNT. In Barcelona and other cities, the workers took to the streets,
surrounded the army barracks and took on the army with the few and outdated weapons they
could get hold of. Thus, the fascist coup was halted in its start. In Catalonia (the north-eastern
part of Spain) the anarchist were now in full control. Most of the factory owners had fled, so the
workers took over the factories and started running them themselves. Neighborhood committees
were established to distribute food, and workers militias was organized and sent to the areas that
the fascists controlled. On the countryside, the farmers collectivized the land that up to now had
belonged to a few rich landowners. Free communes were set up, and the president of Catalonia
offered to resign in favor of the CNT. But the Popular Front was still in power in Madrid, and
Franco’s fascists controlled almost half the country. Major elements within the CNT decided that
anti-fascist unity was more important than spreading the revolution. They also knew they needed
help from Russia and the western democracies to beat the fascists, who were backed by Hitler
and Mussolini. Alas they struck a deal with the government in Madrid. The CNT joined first the
Catalonian government and then the federal. This move on the part of the CNT was heavily
criticized by the IWA within its press and at a Special Congress of the IWA. On the international
level, the IWA attempted to aid the revolution and to put pressure on the fascists in a meaningful
way. The IWA appealed to the social democratic International Confederation of Trade Unions
(ICTU) “to bring about united action of the international union forces” in an effort at “organizing
the universal boycott of merchant ships, produce, merchandise and other goods from the fascist
countries.” * The plan was rejected by the ICTU.The alliance with the Popular Front proved to
be a fatal mistake. The western democracies refused to help the republican side, fearing a
workers revolution more than they disliked the fascists. Russia sent some arms, but made sure
that they went to their communist allies. The anarchist militias was refused weapons and finally
forced to merge with the Popular Army. The collectivized factories and farms got broken up, and
the communists were already setting up secret prisons. The last resistance of the anarchists
happened in May 37 as the police tried to take over the CNT-controlled telephone exchange. The
street fighting lasted for days, but even now the CNT leadership backed down. The civil war
stretched out for two more years, but the revolution was already dead.
Decline- By the end of WWII, the European syndicalism movement and the IWA were almost
destroyed. The CNT was now an exile organization. The Italian USI had been crushed by the
Mussolini dictatorship. In Germany there had been mass trials of members of the FAU, many of
whom didn’t survive the concentration camps. The Polish syndicalism union with 130,000
workers, the ZZZ, had been on the verge of applying for membership of the IWA when it was
crushed by the Nazi invasion. But, as with syndic lists elsewhere, they did not go down without a
fight. The Polish ZZZ along with the Polish Syndicalism Association took up arms against the
Nazis and in 1944 even managed to publish a paper called Syndicalista. In 1938, despite their
country being under the Salazar dictatorship since the 1920s, the Portuguese CGT could still
claim 50,000 members in their now completely illegal and underground union, but the union
could not survive forever. Similar fates were waiting for the Dutch NSV, the French CGTSR and
many other unions in Eastern Europe and Latin America. In 1951 the IWA held their first post-
war congress in Toulouse. This time they were a much smaller organization than the great
movement which existed at their first congress. Delegates attended, though mostly representing
very small organizations, from Cuba, Argentina, Spain, Sweden, France, Italy, Germany, the
Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Norway, Britain, Bulgaria and Portugal. A message of support
was received from Uruguay. Things were not looking good for the reemergence of anarcho-
syndicalism. In Eastern Europe the new Stalinist regimes banned all strikes and independent
unions. As usual, the anarchists were the first to be sent to the prison camps. In the West massive
subsidies from the US and the Catholic Church went to reformist unions controlled by Christian
Democrats and Social Democrats. Meanwhile Russia did the same for their allies who controlled
the French CGT, the Italian CGIL and others. The IWA, in its weakened state couldn’t compete
for influence. In the late 1950s the Swedish SAC withdrew from the IWA. There was now not a
single functioning above ground union in its ranks. It staggered on as a collection of noble but
small propaganda groups and exile organizations like the Spanish and Bulgarian CNTs. Some
wondered if it would live much longer.

Adolf Hitler- founder of Nazism


History of Nazism
In the beginning there was Adolph Hitler. Adolf was a earnest little lad who
lived a somewhat uninteresting life as a child. His father, a costumes official
for the border separating Austria and Germany, was dominant and
overpowering. When Adolf was fourteen his father died and it was then that
he began to show signs of the vicious burning hate he would display in later
life. When Adolf was only nineteen he left home for Vienna. He wanted to be a
painter and even tried to be admitted to an art school but he was refused. It
was during his years in Vienna that he picked up (or at least it is evident) an
intense hatred for Jews and according to him is where he formed all of his
Supreme Race theories.
World War One hit Europe with a storm and Hitler joined the German army. He
was a fierce fighter, if not maniacal. At one point he captured 21 men single-
handedly, but he was wounded with mustard gas later and he spent much
time recovering in a hospital. When he finally recovered the war was over and
so a still somewhat weakened Hitler found work in Munich as a courier. It
was at this time that he came across the German Workers' Party and was
entranced with their beliefs.
Hitler did not found or start the German Workers' Party; he only joined it and
later dominated it.
In 1919 at age thirty, immediately Hitler began a frenzied effort to make it,
the party, succeed. Hitler was one of the seven members of the executive
committee of the party. First he prepared invitations for other party members
to give to friends and family...few people came. Slowly the party grew and
then one night they rented a beer cellar that could hold a hundred people and
overly filled the place. One of the speakers (much to the other committee
members doubt of success) was Hitler. Much to everyone's surprise he was a
passionate and stirring speaker...he later described this moment in his auto-
biography Mein Kampf:
"I spoke for thirty minutes, and what before I had simply felt within me,
without in any way knowing it, was now proved by reality: I could speak! After
thirty minutes the people in the small room were electrified and the
enthusiasm was first expressed by the fact that my appeal to the self-
sacrifice of those present led to the donation of three hundred marks."In
1920 Hitler became the head of the party's propaganda and in February he
pushed for the parties first mass meeting. Though the other leaders of the
party apposed it, it was soon organized. It was feared that Marxist
revolutionists would show up at the rally and be disruptive, but Hitler wanted
this. He suspected correctly that this would only spur on the cause of the
Worker's Party playing on the fears of the Germans that there would be a
communist revolution.
On February 24th, 1920, Hitler entered the meeting hall and was pleased to
find 2000 people waiting for the rally to begin. Among this number was a
recognizable amount of Communists waiting to disrupt the meeting. Just a
few minutes into Hitler's speech the communists started yelling which
blossomed into a brawl...but as Hitler had hoped the communists were
outnumbered and soon the shouting "was gradually drowned out by
applause".
Hitler then proceeded to outline his Twenty Five Points of the German
Workers Party. The rally was a success.
"When after nearly four hours the hall began to empty and the crowd,
shoulder to shoulder, began to move, shove, press toward the exit like a slow
stream, I knew that now the principles of a movement which could no longer
be forgotten were moving out among the German people." (Mein Kampf)
It was also in 1920 that Hitler brought the swastika to the party as its official
symbol along with a new name, the National Socialist German Worker's Party,
Nazi for short. By the end of 1920 the party's membership had blossomed to
3000 people.
Hitler quickly gained notoriety throughout Germany as a person capable of
leadership which could lead Germany away from a communist revolt similar
to what had recently occurred in Russia. It was in this light that Hitler went
to Berlin in July 1921 to raise support from other Nationalist groups. The
other leaders of the Nazi party were skeptical, jealous, and strongly apposed
to him leading the party. So while he was gone to Berlin, they quickly formed
an alliance with another Nationalist group from Augsburg to weaken his
position. It was here he once again displayed his adept political manipulative
powers: Hitler rushed back to Munich and on July 11th, 1921 resigned from
the Nazi party. The other party leaders quite quickly realized their mistake, to
throw out Hitler would mean the end of all the advances the party had made
with him, and eventually the death of the party. Hitler fully realized this and
sent them a proposal that he would rejoin the party under the conditions that
they make him chairman and give him almost complete power. At first the
committee held out but then backed down and put it to a member vote. The
votes were counted and Hitler was voted in by 543 for him and only 1 against
him. So the Nazi party found its new leader and on July 29th, 1921 Adolf
Hitler was introduced to the meeting as their new "Fuhrer", a title that would
stay with him for the rest of his life.
By 1923 the party had exploded to 55,000 members and in November of 1923
Hitler led the "Beer Hall Putsch" which tried but did not succeed in
overthrowing the government of Bavaria and eventually Berlin. It was spurred
by the economic breakdown which had struck Germany. It failed dramatically
and ended with several Nazi leaders (later to become ionized Nazi saints) and
Hitler in prison. It was while in prison that Hitler wrote his infamous Mein
Kampf. Nazism was somewhat outlawed which only lead to its becoming
more popular among the young of Germany and Hitler's loyal SA, or Storm
Troopers blossomed.
It was between the times Hitler was released from the prison until 1933 that
what historians call the "quiet years" occurred. Nothing happened, except
that the Nazi party grew quickly in size.
The Hitler Jug end, or Hitler's Youth, was formed during these years.
In 1933, through Hitler's adept political maneuvering he and his party were
given just enough power to quickly take over the German government and
form what they called a new "Reich". The Third Reich. Hopefully the final
Reich.
Of course the rest is well known to any student of history. Hitler built
Germany into a powerful "war machine" and also destroyed the homes,
families, and lives of many of what he called the "unfit races" which included
Jews. It calumniated in the mass murdering of millions of people, Jews,
polish, Christians, and other minority and ethnic or religious groups. World
War two then tore apart Europe, parts of Africa, Japan, and numerous other
places, not to mention Germany. This was the end of what I call the
"Hitlerism Nazi Era".