Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Who the hell are former communist countries?

In my opinion the term "former communist countries" frequently used to refer to the countries of the former USSR and its allies is controversial. Even without going into the Baltic states' legal countinuity doctrine. Instead the term "former socialist countries" should be used. Of course, such term could be understood as referring to Germany or any other EU memberstate where the socialists recently lost seats in national parliaments. But the vast majority of people would have no problem figuring it out correctly.

Let's consider the self-definition of the pre-1989, 1990 and 1991 Easter Block countries. Indeed, according to the constitution of the USSR, 1977 edition (see here in Russian), the most important part under the title "Basis of the state order and politics of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics", USSR was in fact Socialist country, exactly as his acronym "USSR" reads. First chapter of the basic law gives following definition:

The Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics is a socialist all-people state, which expresses the will and the interests of the workers, peasants and intelligentsia, the working people of all nationalities and peoples of the country.

In fact, the USSR and most likely all of the coutries now known as "former communist", while embrasing communist ideology, both called by the name and proclaimed itself socialist in every official document, statement and ideology textbook. While it would be correct to call these countries "formerly with communist ideology", they never actually considered themselves communist, but socialist. Many of them - though by far not all - had communist party as the ruling as well as single party, for them it was not as significant.

And it remains insignificant even today when we see the neo-communist, neo-KGB Russia where the by-the-book communist party remains the only real, though weak opposition in the parliament filled with Kremlin "technical MPs". Whatever term we use the reality will not change - the entity was called USSR then, it had a number of satellite and dependent countries. Now it is alone and it is called Russian Federation. Par countre, Hungary was looking to the West and freedom even during the formally ideologically communist period, the evidence of this fact abundantly present in the events of 1956.

The following Russian proverb should be remembered "it is not the clothes which make the man beautiful, but the man makes beautiful the clothes".

1 comment:

dausen said...

There were no true communist countries. True communism has never been achieved. Socialism is often mistaken as communism.