Clinging to Faith

From the wreckage of communism's legacy, the ideology rises again.

Issue: Spring 2006

The collapse of communist states in Eastern Europe in 1989 and of the Soviet Union itself in 1991 was widely assumed to mark the end of the historical career of communist systems and movements; it was also expected to discredit durably the ideas that animated them. The remaining incarnations of "scientific socialism"--notably the grotesque North Korean dictatorship and the bankrupt patrimony of Fidel Castro--were hardly inspiring models of a "socialism with a human face" for Western idealists and sympathizers.

The fall of communist states has been accompanied by a growing amnesia about the human toll exacted by the attempts to implement socialist ideals in the not-so-distant past, coupled with a revival of anti-capitalist sentiments generated by the problematic results of globalization, stimulating a new susceptibility to socialist ideals.

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