Last year on the shores of Lake Bled, the CRCE held its second conference on the problems of communism since transition started in 1989. The Centre’s latest book contains the conference discussion together with papers from the first event in 2001.
Ljubo Sirc, the CRCE’s Director:
“Our intention is to discuss what has in fact remained of communist ideas after 1989… Then in the second place we can perhaps discuss the way in which all these countries have privatised. What has emerged from privatisation in different countries, which in a way is connected with the first question, is this: if the communists are still around, what are their intentions?
“One of the indications of what Marx imagined the future would bring can be found in his criticism of the market. According to him, the market system is corrupted and so on. This, of course, ought to make it impossible for anyone who wants to follow Marx to the letter to establish a system that brings in the market as a part of any kind of socialism”.
“The Bolsheviks abolished all private property — not instantly, perhaps, but effectively, because all land was nationalised, although the peasants’ land was left in their hands for about ten more years until 1928/29.
“Now from this, I deduce the following: that if the government owns everything and the subjects own nothing, there are no limitations on the government’s power because the government is exempt from any control by the population at large. Conversely, if the population owns all the wealth, then the government is totally dependent on the population because it cannot run a bureaucracy, cannot wage wars, and in short cannot do anything”. (p.76)
Richard Edgar Pipes (born July 11, 1923) is an American academic who specializes in Russian history, particularly with respect to the history of the Soviet Union. During the Cold War era he headed Team B, a team of analysts organized by the Central Intelligence Agency which analyzed the strategic capacities and goals of the Soviet military and political leadership.
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