Articles on Communism

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South Africa is far from being the non-racial, classless society envisaged by 1970s activists. Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

How the failed ideals of 1970s activists haunt post-apartheid South Africa

The egalitarian society envisioned by political activists and thinkers Rick Turner and Steve Biko has not been realised. But, they continue to inspire critiques of post-apartheid South Africa.
Back in 1965, bodies of victims of the anti-communist massacre floated along the Brantas River in Kediri East Java. Wibowo Djatmiko/Wikimedia Commons

How Indonesia’s 1965-1966 anti-communist purge remade a nation and the world

In a watershed moment for Indonesia's history, the deadly 1965 anti-communist purge transformed Indonesia from an independent Asian nation in the midst of Cold War into a pro-Western country.
South African Communist Party general secretary and South Africa’s higher education minister Blade Nzimande addresses the party’s 3rd special congress in Soweto in June. Sowetan/Vathiswa Ruselo

Why communism appears to be gaining favour in South Africa

The SACP is the oldest communist party in Africa, formed in 1921. It is one of only 20 parties which survived the anti-communist purge post independence. Its membership went through cycles over years.
When Australians hear about Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s dire warnings and counter-terrorism raids, they could lose historical perspective on the threat posed by Islamic State. AAP/Mal Fairclough

With jihadists among us, is IS more of a threat than communism was?

Dire government warnings and counter-terrorism raids in our suburbs paint a picture of the worst threat Western nations have ever faced. A little historical perspective is in order.
A controversial film Libuse Rudinska

Tarnished heroes: don’t dismiss them

The release of a documentary film in the Czech Republic earlier this year caused much controversy. It is about a dissident named Pavel Wonka who fought against the totalitarian regime in Communist Czechoslovakia…
Pope Francis argues that the poor are at the heart of the Gospel and it’s the communists who have ‘stolen the flag’. EPA/Nicola Lanese

Is the Pope Catholic or communist when he speaks out on poverty?

A blog in The Economist recently accused Pope Francis of following the founder of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin, in adopting an “ultra-radical line” on capitalism. The blog, “Francis, capitalism and…
In Warsaw, a newly unveiled memorial puts freedom of speech at the heart of Poland’s liberation from communism. Aleksandra Hadzelek

Liberation of Poland and Eastern Europe all started with a word

“It all started with a word,” said Polish president Bronislaw Komorowski at the opening of a memorial to freedom of speech, “and the word was ‘freedom’”. The event completed three days of commemorations…
Mexico’s Zapatistas are one of the world’s longest running active revolutionary groups. But who are they, and what are they fighting for? EPA/Jorge Núñez

Mexico’s masked Marxists: meet the Zapatistas

On New Year’s Day 1994, the world was taken by surprise. A group of indigenous people staged a rebellion against a Mexican state that had continued the trajectory of racism, neglect, genocide and exploitation…
Not-so-great wall: Maoism was alive and well in 1970s London. EarthOwned

Inside the paranoid Maoist cults of 1970s Britain

The couple accused in the case of alleged “domestic slavery” in London were reportedly the leaders of a tiny Maoist sect, the Workers’ Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought, which had gone “underground…
A United States Air Force RF-101 Voodoo aircraft pilot photographs a Russian ship loaded with missiles while the aircraft itself casts a shadow in Port Casilda, Cuba, Nov. 6, 1962. EPA/Defense Imagery

Australia’s untold reaction to the Cuban Missile Crisis

Fifty years ago, the United States and the Soviet Union stood on the brink of nuclear war over Soviet missiles in Cuba. Since then, the Cuban Missile Crisis has been recognised as one of the most definitive…

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