Book Comparison of the Rise of Communist Parties S Essay

This essay has a total of 1265 words and 6 pages.

Book Comparison of the Rise of Communist Parties Soviet Union and China

The first half of the twentieth century were the breeding years of Communism. The books
Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini by Bruce F. Pauley and China in Transformation by Colin
Mackerras both deal with the rise of Communism, the former in the Soviet Union and the
latter in China. Although one book deals with the rise of Communism in the Soviet Union
and the other book deals with the rise of Communism in China, both authors have similar
abstract ideas about the elements necessary for a Communist takeover, such as the
importance of “revolution, reform, change, and reaction”. (Mackerras, 2) One can see
that what both these authors agree on, when looked at abstractly, is that for a “Communist
victory” to occur, the course of events must happen in that sequence.

What Pauley and Mackerras agree on, as an obvious element necessary for the rise or
victory of Communism, is the presence seemingly qualified leader. In the Soviet Union, it
was Lenin (later Stalin); in China it was Mao Zedong who finally brought the Communists to
power. “An eloquent, charismatic or powerful leader” is the key to any type of government

An underlying element necessary for the rise or victory of Communism would have to be a
certain state of being that the country would have to be in at the time of the takeover.
Although the full takeover of the Soviet Union by the Communist Party happened earlier
than in China, many similarities can be seen in the political, social, and economic
sectors of the countries in the years directly preceding the takeover.

Since the Communist takeover in the Soviet Union happened earlier than in China, as
mentioned above, one should read these books in sequence; Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini
first, and China in Transformation second. Not only will one be able to make a cross
comparison between the Soviet Union and China, one will be able to compare and contrast
the rise of the fascist totalitarian regimes (Germany and Italy) as well. Also, since the
Communist takeover happened later in China, one might be able to see certain aspects of
Soviet Communism in Chinese Communism. One would think that China would be able to learn
from the mistakes of the Soviet Union.

This paper intends to make a cross comparison of the Communist rise to power in the Soviet
Union and in China. Also, this paper intends to examine the necessities required for a
Communist takeover to be successful, such as the sequence of events, an apt leader, and
the installation of fear to keep the power one has acquired. The evidence in the books
written by Pauley and Mackerras can make these comparisons.

Obvious Necessities for a Communist Takeover
As stated before, any takeover, Communist or otherwise, needs a leader. For the Soviet
Union, they were lucky enough to have two distinguished leaders, Lenin and Stalin. In
1920, Soviet Socialism was only three years old. But already, under the name of “War
Communism”, Lenin’s Bolsheviks had nationalized industry, done away with market prices and
wages, and declared the end of a money economy and had introduced a plan for the formation
of a centrally directed command economy. One might ask, “How did he get there?”. Lenin’s
“energy, organizational skills, speaking ability, and ruthlessness” enabled him to enrapt
the masses and secure his legitimacy. (Pauley, 15) In China, the leader that finally
brought about Chinese Communist victory was Mao Zedong. Mao was noted for having a
“profound influence on the young”. (Mackerras, 38)

The idea of having a leader in a Communist takeover would have sounded absurd to Carl
Marx, the “father” of Communism. Communism calls for the rule of the working class, and
later, the class would step down and the state would “wither” away. Communism does not
call for one person to rule. Although a leader is always needed in any type of takeover,
in a Communist takeover, the leader should step down, not rule like a dictator – that
defeats the whole purpose of Communism.

Nonetheless, this is still an obvious fact of a Communist takeover. Communism is a mass
movement. That should be quite obvious. And although the Bolsheviks started out as part
of the Mensheviks (minority) Lenin and Stalin enabled the Communist movement to become a
mass based movement. And that in itself is the key to any successful takeover.
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