The Individualism of Communism

The Individualism of Communism

Speculations by Stefan Stenudd


Seeing a documentary about Mao Zedong's China I was reminded of the anomaly of communism: Why are these ideologies of the collective given names of individuals? That should be enough to dismiss them.


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       Marxism, Leninism, Marxism-Leninism, Stalinism, Maoism... The communist ideologies persist in carrying names of individuals in spite of their expressed principles of the rule of the masses.

       They also tend to consist of idolatry. One person is given complete charge and swiftly demands to be worshiped like a deity. Beyond any reason, as if that person was the creator of the universe and then some.

       I noticed it way back in the 1960's, when I was a kid and these movements were high fashion. Their supporters spoke of revolting against the men in power and substituting their rule with one of the people. But why, then, were they obsessed with these individuals? It didn't make sense to me, and still doesn't. So, I had my doubts.

       Not that idolatry is a monopoly of the communists. It pops up just about everywhere, as far as political power is concerned. I guess we simply haven't grown out of monarchy yet.

       Democracy may have been invented already by the ancient Greeks, some 2,500 years ago. But it was forgotten for a number of those years. Since its recent renaissance, it's still in its infancy. We easily slip back into the habits of monarchy. Communists do, too, for sure. More than most.

Stefan Stenudd
March 4, 2013


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I'm a Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, an historian of ideas and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.