Did Communism Really Fail?
By Professor Dr. Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai
August 15th, 2009
This essay is passacaglia on an
ideological theme. I propose to adopt the discursive style of the novelist. I
will explore the discrepancy between socialism and capitalism.
Socio-political and ideological issues which socialism aimed at solving, were
more or less achieved, first in the then Soviet Union and now, eminently so, in
Social ownership of the means of production and democracy for the working class,
have been established in Vietnam, North Korea,Cuba,China, Venezuela, Singapore,
Egypt, Russia, etc.
Modern Russia is enjoying the immortal feat of the Soviet people and the Armed
forces, which defeated Hitler’s Germany during the Second World War.
There is no denying the fact that for seventy years, socialism lifted backward
European nations from the Baltic to the Adriatic ,from poverty and illiteracy,
,to societies that now enjoy international standing like Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan,
Uzbekistan, Poland, Hungary and other East European states, now being courted by
I have watched the jingles about Poland being propagated on CNN, as if Polish
prosperity only took place after the Solidarity Movement impacted on Poland. The
truth is that if the Soviet Union did not have a socialist state organization
that defeated Hitler, Warsaw would not have seen war and survived.
Those journalists, academics, pundits in the West, who relied on speculative
musings about socialist states, peddled misinformation, disinformation about
Socialist states and under-rated the opportunities socialism created for growth,
strengthing societies, national liberation in Africa, Asia and Latin America,
from 1960 till 1989.
What some writers fail to point out is that the Soviet Union was Russia’s big
burden. Not to acknowledge the Herculean task of catering for the Union of
Soviet Socialist Republics by the Russians, in which republics like Lithuania,
Latvia, Estonia, Georgia, Mongolia, Bulgaria, contributed little, can not be the
basis of serious analysis..
The Soviet Union came to an end when Gorbachev and the Russian leaders in the
Union decided that it was time to allow those Republics outside Russia to be on
It was ideologically convenient for the West to regard this as the “collapse of
communism” It was the collapse of the Soviet Union, which served the historical
mission of the type of society, Lenin, Marx and Engel advanced. The Union served
Socialism did not collapse totally as can be seen in China’s resilience and
stability. In spite of suffering from environmental disasters, China has
demonstrated that the socialist form of development, though painful and arduous,
is the more progressive social system
I live in China for three years and that gave me the opportunity to see for
myself and form my own opinion.
I also live for five years in the Soviet Union (1963-68), at the time the state
was undergoing its post-war, severe test.
I was lucky to live in West Germany from (1968-72). I witnessed German ingenuity
and how the country climbed from the ashes of defeat to recover fully, within
two decades. The capitalist system assisted the Germans to gain acceleration in
the right direction.
This was because the Western nations granted long term credits to West Germany
and massively invested in the West German economy, which was efficiently run
under Conrad Adenaeur and Dr Erhard, who was the Economics Minister.
The US placed embargo on trade in many strategic goods with the Soviet Union and
its allies causing those nations to recover, after the Second World War, at a
very slow pace. This was then blamed on communism, instead of on geopolitics.
Cuba has been affected most by a denial policy that has spanned five decades.
American citizens and business house have lost myriads of financial
opportunities as a result of their government’s policy on Cuba.
My research shows that trade between the US and Cuba, trade between the US and
North Korea are capable of turning the US economy around. America could supply
from pin to aero planes. But since pride goeth before dollar loss, so be it.
As North Korean Professor, Kim Cheng told me in Beijing, “The Americans do not
know what they are missing” in North Korea. He advised, flooding the country
with electronic gadgets and other merchandise, invest massively in the food
business and see the effect of love going through the stomach.
He pointed at the sophistication of Russian citizens, who, during the 1960’s and
70’s were not able to get hold of good detergents, perfumes and other
In spite of all that, life in Socialist states was more peaceful, ordered and
very safe until rapaciousness became the order as the new wave of everyone to
himself while the devil dispensed greed and avariciousness under the new
This was why the Government of Vladimir Putin pruned the growing whiskers of the
oligarchs, who threw caution to the winds and who, associated the new freedom
with lawlessness and murderous escapades.
Socialism has laid an infrastructural foundation from which the new Russia has
taken off and with its enormous hydro-carbon reserves, its economic co-operation
with China, India and other Asian states, the sky is the limit,
Some people glibly talk about COMMUNIST STATEs, without really understanding
that there are no communist states yet. Those states that are referred to as
“Communist States” are only aspiring to build one, as a futurist hope.
The ideals contained in the Communist philosophy are humanitarian and it
propagates the elimination of the exploitation inherent in unequal social
conditions, which create societies, where oppression, suppression and neglect of
the weak and under-privileged, thrive as a social system.
For example, feudal societies have perpetuated social inequalities and societal
injustices as a result of birth, political affiliations, and marital
associations. Capitalism has tended to stratify the position of merchants,
bankers, contractors, government officials, Chamber of Commerce Chieftains and
The ability or lack of it to belong to these groups determines the position of
one in society. Since it is not everyone that can marry the President’s daughter
or join the merchant shipping association, communist ideology forcefully demands
some accommodation for the under-privileged.
There have been individuals, families and ruling groups, who cannot tolerate
equality and allow other citizens their national rights.
They are the ones, who hate communist ideology.
“Socialist society is one in which powerful productive forces and progressive
science and culture have been created in which the well-being of people is
constantly rising and like in China, more and more favourable conditions are
being created for the all-round development of the individual.”
The ignorance and propaganda against Communist states is overwhelming. Until
recently, when Americans were told that the US has borrowed billions of dollars
from Communist China, the average US citizen thought lowly about China, based on
misinformation and disinformation prevalent in US media about things the people
need genuine information about.
If denigrating and showing pictures about other state’s backyard is the sworn
editorial policies of the various US media, so be it. The damage is severely
been done to US ability to know the truth about prevailing business
opportunities in other states and taking concrete action.
My American friend, Jim Hickman, called me the other day to request me to
confirm that there is a Nigerian Zenith Bank that has billions of dollars in
assets. I said that he has my word and that there is a First Bank (formerly
Standard Bank), which has been in good business for over a century. What of Bank
PHB, GTB, Union Bank? etc.
How many Americans know the name of the Nigerian currency? About 80% of
Americans have no passports!!!
So having not travelled abroad, some US citizens tend to rely on a press that
concocts lies about other nations.
Communist ideology encourages total health-care for the majority. Also,
education and employment. Right now, Americans are not well-disposed to
President Barack Obama’s health reforms because under the prevailing ethos, the
poor, who have no health insurance are on their own.
In the former Soviet Union, in Cuba and China, health-care is important and is
well-supported by government.
In Britain, there is 7.8% unemployment and the youth have nowhere to go. So, if
capitalist ideology and communist ideology are compared and contrasted,
impartial observers, who have looked at historical evidence, will not hesitate
to pass a fair judgment on the inherent advantages and disadvantages of both
In which system can one keep secret accounts, retrench workers and yet go around
the world preaching to others, who are doing the same corrupt things, adopting
If war is accepted as an instrument of national policy, how can peace come
about? If people in bad crowds import and take drugs everyday defying government
campaigns against drug use, how can one stop violent crimes,being unleashed
against the populace? The answer, my friend is not floating in the wind but on
I have been reading TIME Magazine and NEWSWEEK, as well as PRAVDA and ISZESTIA
since 1962. These news media have presented the cases for and against America
and the Socialist states, with great energy and learnedness, each doing its best
to portray its world-view and criticize the societal system of the other.
Has communism failed? The Communist Party of China determines the general
perspectives of the socio-economic development of New China, directs, in
co-operation with eight other parties, the course of the home and foreign
policies of China.
The great constructive work to develop the Chinese “society is planned, systemic
and theoretically substantiated character of their struggle for the victory of
communism”, as the party directs.
The success of China is amazing. From 1949 to 2009. the Chinese, with a
population of 1.3 billion, have been able to feed its teeming population,
manufacture for the world, from pin to aero planes, give affordable health-care
to billions, pursue peaceful co-existence and friendship with all nations, while
suffering from occasional environmental hazards, seem to have a future cut out
China’s recent Olympic colossal success underpins the effectiveness of its
societal system with its Chinese characteristics.
Communist ideology puts man first and material things last.
It is only those, who have lived in and studied in both the West and the East
can know how to shift between propaganda and reality.
Comparing social systems is a Herculean task. It is easier to be taken in by
what you repeatedly hear, than embark on research efforts of one’s own.
The Constitution of the Soviet Union, Article 2, stated that all power in the
USSR belonged to the people and like China; the people exercise state power
through peoples’ deputies, which constitute the political foundation of
The peoples’ deputies express the will and interests of the workers, peasants
and the intelligentsia.
It is important to move the socialist societies towards more accommodation with
those with dissenting views, more tolerance for religious practices and
Russia has progressed along these lines and GOD’S BLESSINGS and MERCIES,
unprecedented in its history are gradually showing. Both Putin and Medvedev are
In its state’s societal organization, Chinese society thrives on electiveness of
all bodies of state authority from the lowest to the highest. Law and order are
maintained, often very strictly, in order to safeguard the interest of society.
However, over 300 million Christians need a freeier atmosphere to worship. The
HAND of the TRIUNE GOD will shine HIS light on China if and when this is
In the West, certain actions by the media, especially television encourage
A free society, in which life is unsafe as a result of high crime rate, little
health-care, unemployment, homelessness for the poor, does not produce an
illusion of strength.
Perhaps, with the debate on health-care in America rising to a crescendo, the
class nature of the society will become more manifest.
There are people, who are opposed to recent reforms in America. The Home
Security has announced that some homegrown terrorists are on the prowl. Are
right-wing politicians afraid of a drift to Socialist America? Is a class
This is a worrisome development because a fractious America will send the wrong
signal s to ill-wishers.
In the Era of the Gentiles, Atonement and the Brotherhood of Man, lies will be
exposed, oppression will cease, racism remains condemned and the new spirit of
rights, freedoms duties of citizens will reign.
During her trip to Nigeria, the US Secretary of State tried to wipe up fears
about a possible Al Qaeda attack. The type of antagonism between the West and Al
Qaeda does not seem to manifest in Nigeria.
In her CNN programme, Christine Amanpour asked Arab parents, “How do you teach
them not to hate? The question is asinine, not- thought -through and it shows
how little she understands the effect of not -thought -through policies that
have inflicted so much suffering on those, who will remember their pain, till
Can African states build socialist societies? Let’s think about it. In the
processes, you will be well-served with confused theorizing.
Professor Dr. Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai. Is
the Academic Chancellor, BOSAS INTERNATIONAL LAW BUREAU, ABUJA, FCT, Nigeria.