By Trevor LoudonCommentary
We are often told there are only six “communist” countries left—that is, nations ruled by an openly communist party.
They are China, Cuba, Laos, Nepal, Vietnam, and North Korea. If you define “communist” in the traditional Marxist–Leninist “command economy” way, there is really only one left—North Korea.
However, this approach is deceptive. It totally underestimates world communist power. It misunderstands what modern communism has become.
The real question is this: How do you accurately define the “World Communist Movement”?
The Path to Communism
Clearly, under the old definition—Marxist–Leninist one-party police state, incessant communist rhetoric, and a centralized command economy—communism is almost dead. But this definition ignores basic Marxism and fails to take into account the subtleties of Leninist strategy. It also ignores modern realities and the global balance of power.
According to classic Marxism, society evolves through several stages:
1. Primitive communism—a hunting party goes out to kill a mammoth. If they are successful and don’t get crushed, they share the meat with their tribe.
2. Feudalism—with the birth of agriculture comes a primitive form of private property. Peasant farmers till small plots of land. They need protection from marauders from other tribes, so strongmen gather up small armies to protect certain areas and are paid tribute to do so. In other words a political protection racket.
3. Capitalism—with the birth of industry, private property is extended to factories, patents, transportation systems, and the like. Huge amounts of wealth are produced, but according to Marxist theory, this wealth is concentrated in a few hands while the working masses receive only a tiny fraction of their due.
4. Socialism—the workers overwhelm the bosses and seize control of the state through a combination of political action and armed insurrection. They expropriate the capitalist’s wealth and proceed to re-distribute it.
5. Communism—all wealth is held in common. The state withers away. Capitalism and competition is completely abolished and everybody works happily together for the common good. And fairies will live in every garden.
None of the old “communist” countries were actually communist. They all had revolutions, led by representatives of the workers, but guess what? When it came time to divide up the capitalist’s wealth, the new ruling class kept most of it for themselves.
Most Westerners look at the booming pro-business economies of China or Vietnam and assume that these countries have abandoned the communist goal. They are dead wrong. China, Vietnam, some of the “former” communist nations of Africa, and even Russia have acknowledged that their massive economic problems arise from a failure to follow Marxism correctly.
They all tried to jump directly from feudalism to socialism, by-passing capitalism. This attempt to short-cut Marx led to economic disaster. The temporary return to some form of capitalism to build up sufficient wealth for socialism is an acknowledgment of the “correctness” of Marxist theory—not a repudiation of it.
Shortly after assuming control in 2012, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Communist Party leadership:
“The eventual demise of capitalism and the ultimate victory of socialism must be a long historical process. … We must profoundly understand the self-regulating ability of capitalist society, fully appraise the objective reality of the long-term advantage of Western developed countries in the economic, scientific and military spheres and conscientiously prepare for all aspects of long-term cooperation and struggle between the two social systems.”
Right now, most of the World Communist Movement is using “capitalist” methods to build up enough wealth and military might to challenge the West. Their main impediment to world domination is the United States and, to a lesser degree, some of the NATO countries, Israel, Taiwan, and until recently South Korea. Since far-left President Moon Jae-in took over, our important ally South Korea hangs in the balance.
Who’s in the World Communist Movement?
If you define the World Communist Movement as those “former” or semi-communist countries allied to or working with the world communist leadership to undermine or overthrow the U.S.-led Western Alliance, the picture changes dramatically.
This brings Russia completely into the mix. Still run by the communist-trained KGB (now FSB), Moscow is allied politically, economically, and militarily with China, Vietnam, Cuba, and North Korea. Russia also supports many of its old Latin American allies, all still led by communists and socialists: Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador. Mexico now has a Marxist president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who is close to Cuba. Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala have all had Marxist-leaning governments or strong communist insurrections inside their borders. Only Brazil and Colombia are truly holding the line for freedom in Latin America.
In Africa, communists or “ex-communists” still control Mozambique, Angola, Namibia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and, of course, Zimbabwe and South Africa. With all its strategic importance and mineral wealth, South Africa withstood Soviet-backed aggression and terrorism for decades, until Nelson Mandela and his communist-controlled African National Congress took over in 1994. Now South Africa is friendly to Cuba and works closely with China.
Further north, most of Africa is heavily under Chinese economic and political influence. Tanzania is practically a Chinese client state and even hosts a Chinese-run communist training institution for aspiring African leaders—the Julius Nyerere Political Education School of Excellence—on its territory.
In the Middle East, Iran and Syria are closely allied to Russia. Lebanon and Iraq are now part of the Russian/Iranian axis. Afghanistan, too, will probably fall when the U.S.-led forces eventually pull out.
In the Pacific, the Chinese have huge influence in most of the micro-states plus Fiji and Tonga. The Philippines still has an active communist insurgency and has ties to both China and North Korea.
On the edge of Europe, Moldova and Belorussia are pro-Russian semi-communist states. Russian networks still operate in most of former Eastern Europe, much of which, including Bulgaria and Romania, is still led by “ex-communists.” Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Greece all have strong communist movements, as does Belgium, France, Denmark, and Norway. Russia also has strong ties to the Czech Republic and Hungary through both leftist and so-called “right-wing” parties. Even Germany under “conservative” Angela Merkel (once an ideological leader of the East German communist youth) has veered strongly toward Russia.
Then there is the United Nations and its subsidiaries, which generally reflect the will of Russia and China. Also to be reckoned with are leftist NGOs, such as the World Council of Churches and several still active international communist front organizations, including the World Peace Council, Women’s International Democratic Federation, and the World Federation of Trade Unions.
In October 2017, 20,000 young communists from all over the world gathered at the World Federation of Democratic Youth festival in Sochi, Russia, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution. Keynote speaker was Russian President Vladimir Putin, who by the way also secured the venue for the young communists.
Communists all over the world excuse the obvious failures of socialism by saying “well, America sabotaged it.” Cuba is poor because of the U.S. blockade. Venezuela is a disaster because of U.S. economic sanctions. The Soviet Union collapsed because the United States bankrupted Moscow with an arms race.
The answer: “To ever have real socialism or communism we must first destroy America.” Anti-Americanism, not some far off utopia, is now the major motivator of the World Communist Movement. Anyone can join in. You can be an environmentalist, a gay rights activist, a feminist, a “Christian,” a Buddhist, a Hindu, an Islamist, a socialist, or even a fascist.
You can be a young communist in Moscow, an environmental activist in Germany, an Antifa member in Spain, a New Democratic Party activist in Canada, a guerrilla in the Philippines, a cocaine producer in Colombia, a marijuana activist in Minnesota, a soldier in Iran, a businessman in Vietnam, an ISIS fighter in Libya, or serve Boko Haram in Nigeria. As long as you hate America, you’re part of today’s communist movement—whether you know it or not.
Most communists today never discuss the complexities of Marxism. That’s boring. That’s for the future. Let’s destroy America first. That’s the rallying cry.
Right now the World Communist Movement mainly works covertly. It has not quite yet achieved the power it needs to ensure a swift military victory. The United States is still fairly strong. The United States still has allies like Britain, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, and Israel. If the United States falters, has an economic collapse, or elects another military-cutting left-wing president, the communists will move in for the kill.
Their form may have changed, but their goal never will.
Trevor Loudon is an author, filmmaker, and public speaker from New Zealand. For more than 30 years, he has researched radical left, Marxist, and terrorist movements and their covert influence on mainstream politics.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.