Cover Osteuropa 5-6/2013

In Osteuropa 5-6/2013
Teil des Lesepaket Politikwissenschaft

A Short History of the Concept

Wolfgang Eichwede

Deutsche Fassung


The concept of communism is rooted in the state utopias of the modern era. It is amorphous in content. Sometimes, it is connected with social orders and future models; sometimes, it refers to a technique of power. For followers and opponents, it is a fighting word. With the October Revolution of 1917, the term shifted from the realm of ideas to become an element of real history. Lenin declared communism a sustainable strategy of development – and with that turned Marxist thinking on its head. In China, the second main communist power of the 20th century, communism today serves solely to legitimise the rule of the communist party.

(Osteuropa 5-6/2013, pp. 79–92)