The writer, like most young men, was in the beginning fascinated by the communist idea. Being a book lover, he went through some literature on the subject. He developed some doubts. He studied deep into the subject. Now he had more questions on the concept of communism itself, materialistic determinism, the bed-rock of communism, Marxist use of the Dialectics, the theory of surplus value, the wide divergence between the theory and practice, and the mouthing of sham and hollow ideals etc. All these questions are placed before the reader along with the factual material that led to these questions for his own judgement.
The present work was actually the third part of a bigger book, 'The Age of Intelligence', on the role of intelligence as the main constituent of human progress. The third part was published earlier under the title, Marxism: Relevance and Practice. The present book is an enlarged version with more relevant material.
Vaasamoorti, a retired Lecturer in English, started his literary career with an article in English on the need for a simpler international language published in January, 1948 in Mysindia, a Weekly from Bengaluru. He wrote, mostly in Telugu, many general articles, short stories, novels and even children's books (one of which was translated into Russian and published in the erstwhile Soviet Union).
His English works are Here and Beyond, a novel, The Language Revolution on the question of language in India; Goodness and Good Manners and Thinking the Right Way besides the present one.
He has wide ranging interests. He started a film society and a science forum in his native town; he considers himself an animal lover.
A spectre is haunting Europe - the spectre of Communism . . ." - thus wrote Karl Marx and Frederick Engels in 1848 in their Manifesto of the Communist Party. The spectre turned a reality when the Russian Revolution took place. Soon it spread to China which became the 'Peoples' Republic of China' in 1949. So I came to write in 1975:
"Today the world's largest country (the Soviet Union) and the world's biggest country (China), the whole of Eastern Europe, North Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Cuba are directly under communist rule. That adds up to nearly one-third of the world's population. Even in many other countries the communist parties are a force to reckon with. The ideology and basic drive behind the communist movement is Marxism. Not only the communists, but also most of the socialists and many others base themselves on, or under the influence of Marxism to a great extent. The communists really believe that sooner or later the whole world will go 'red'. Judging from the present trends in the world we cannot say that their belief is entirely without foundation."
But since then much water has flowed down many a bridge in the world. What were thought to be impregnable fortresses of Marxism, all those mighty governments, were buffeted by the winds of free trade and democracy and at last crumbled down into dust. Only China, Cuba, North Korea and Vietnam are still hanging onto Marxism, but except for the name how much of the ideology is left intact is open to doubt. Anyhow the claim that the whole world would one day go 'red' has turned out to be a day dream, leaving only a bitter taste in the mouth.
"Well and good, it is quite obvious that the days are numbered for Marxism as a doctrine. Then what about it? Why should we exercise ourselves unnecessarily over something that is almost dead and gone?" one may say. For one thing, as we have seen above, five countries, i.e. China, Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and Kampuchea (Cambodia) are still under communist rule. China is not only the biggest country in the world, but also a world power in military terms, next only to the USA, wielding a lot of influence in many countries spread out over the globe. In India, a country of more than a billion people, the communists ruled three States until recently and though they lost two in the latest elections, still remain a powerful force. Almost all parties, except the Hindu ones, seek to be good friends with them. In Nepal, the Maoists are now a major force, being the largest single party. Even in the former communist countries owing to the problems of transition and owing to the insufficiencies, faults and failures of the successive governments communist parties are staging a come back. They may not be able to turn the clock back, but have certainly begun to matter in their countries. In several other countries too, especially in the so-called developing countries, communist parties are still able to command influence far beyond their real strength. In South America, Hugo Chavez's Venezuela, besides being a staunch supporter of Fidel Castro of Cuba, has been drawing many friends (Presidents of some fellow South American countries) to his side, including Iran in the Middle East. Indeed communists in many places are now making common cause even with Islamic fundamentalists to fight the 'arch enemy' the USA. So it is a dangerous folly and delusion to treat Marxism as dead and gone. It is still very much alive and kicking vigorously at that.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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