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The Second Communist Manifesto

Foreword

The spectre of communism is again haunting Europe, and beyond! Yet it remains a spectre. More than century of history has propelled it across countries and continents but has not compelled it to materialize. 

Humanity has matured, it has stopped believing in witches and sprites, devils and ghosts. If, long ago, the spectre provoked fear and trembling in the bourgeoisie, now they occasionally like to scare the philistines with communism. Moreover, the spectres are multiplying. Now, with the help of countless philosophical tailors, even the most respectable bourgeois can dress up in translucent white garments and start hanging out with such foppish phantoms, one among many.[1] And nobody can tell, any more, which is the genuine article. 

To the proletariat of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the word "communism" sounded like the word "hope." The year 1917 rang out like the peal of a bell that could be heard around the world. And in many countries, the bonfires of proletarian struggle burned, threatening to break out into the blaze of world revolution. 

What has changed since then? 

And the proletariat, where it did seize power with its own hands, where it established its hegemony, is it happy? And if so, then why is this happiness not very attractive to the rest. 

In the USSR, a country founded under the gaze of the whole workers movement, the dictatorship of the proletariat has been abolished. Does this signify the recognition by the proletariat of its own bankruptcy, its withdrawal from the ground it had conquered, its willingness to surrender? And to whom? 

Why do the economists of the Western world again and again return to the theory of convergence; the increasing similarity, the intrinsic drawing together of the socialist and capitalist countries? 

Why do the socialist countries not hurry to support these theoretical constructs? What is the essence of the iron curtain which continues to divide these worlds. 

In the mid twentieth century, contrary to all predictions, it is the most backward, underdeveloped countries that are the most revolutionary. Why? 

Because the proletariat of the advanced capitalist countries has not only been inclined to take up a belief in class harmony, but has almost voluntarily carried the whole burden of the economic crises of the second half of the twentieth century; whether it be the global financial crisis or the local oil crisis. 

The communist parties of such countries as France, Italy and others, in order to preserve their numbers, were obliged to repudiate a number of their aims. What do the "new models" of socialism mean to them? 

What is China searching for, steering its zigzagging course between the socialist and the most reactionary regimes of our time? 

Why have the questions of international class solidarity been moved to an inside page and then quietly buried? Why has the working class been gripped, as if by an epidemic, by an incapacity to pull itself out of the swamp of internal and altogether trivial affairs? 

Why has the philosophy of the twentieth century not given a direction capable of captivating the advanced thinkers and the youth? Why do all the newest theories destroy themselves, not lasting more than a few years; while only the philosophies of global, universal negation escape self destruction? 

The world looks in the mirror, wanting to see itself. But the reflection is vague and unsteady. Isn't that the spectre of communism? Isn't it there? 

Much can be seen in the mirror. If only you don't look in the dark or in the smokey glimmer of an oil lamp. If only you illuminate with the light of Marxism. If you look through the eyes of the proletariat. And if in the frame there really is a mirror, and not a map of the last century. 

It is time to look! 

References

  1. This metaphor is intended to call attention not only to the multiplicity of models of "communism," the USSR, PRC, Albania, GDR, Poland etc. but also to such openly bourgeois "socialisms" as the "Swedish Model," Switzerland etc. which were passed off as alternative forms of genuine socialism. Some confusion may result from the fact that in the west the prototypical capitalist is a fat character in a black frock coat and top hat; in Russia, in the summertime, the bourgeoisie of old liked to loll about in pale coloured clothing just like the characters in a play by Chekov. Of course, "the philosophical tailors" are the numberless, second-rate, idealist philosophers whose stock in trade is painting up the grim reality to suit their bourgeois masters. 
  2. The Varangians were Normans from the region of Upsala who subjugated the Slavs beginning around the year 859. Led by Rurik they established themselves near Novgorod. Their domination lasted only two years, after which the locals, who had age old free and democratic traditions, rose in rebellion. 
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