Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
As in the case of the term "communist state", it should be noted that "post-communism" is completely inaccurate if we use the original definition of communism (the one given by the communists themselves). None of the so-called "communist states" ever claimed to actually have a communist system, and therefore, technically, there is no such thing as "post-communism". However, those states were usually called "communist" in the West, because their ruling parties generally used the name "Communist Party of [country]", and it is in this context that the term post-communism must be understood.
The policies of most Communist Parties in both Eastern and Western Europe had been governed by the example of the Soviet Union. In most of the countries in Eastern Europe, following the fall of communist-led governments in 1989, the Communist Party generally split in two factions: a reformist Social Democratic party and a new Communist Party. Without exception, the newly created Social Democratic parties were vastly larger and more powerful than the remaining Communist Parties.
The ex-communist social democrats gained increasing popularity when the transition to capitalism began to cause economic problems such as poverty and unemployment. Virtually all of them won the elections at least once in the past 15 years. However, their voters, who were certainly expecting a left-wing policy, met with a rather major surprise: all the ex-communist "social democrats", without exception, followed a highly capitalist, neoliberal policy while in power. As a result, many disillusioned left-wing voters have turned to the remaining Communist Parties in recent years.
In western Europe, many of the self-styled communist political parties reacted by changing their policies to a more moderate and less radical course. The old rift in the socialist movement between the revolutionaries and the reformists was therefore mostly eliminated, since the reformists prevailed. In countries such as Italy and Germany, post-communism is marked by the increased influence of their existing Social Democrats. The anti-Soviet communist parties didn't particularly prosper from it - some of them became less radical as well.
Several communist states had undergone economic reforms from a command economy towards a more market-oriented economy in the 1980s. The post-communist economic transition was much more radical and aimed at creating fully capitalist economies.
In most places, this process was successful, but only at the cost of a very detrimental impact on the population. Standards of living registered a catastrophic drop in the early 1990s, and in most post-communist countries they are still below their 1989 level even today.
Today, most post-communist countries in Europe are generally seen to have mixed economies, although it is often argued that some (such as Russia and Estonia, with their flat tax rates) are actually more capitalist than the West.
Some of the keywords of post-communism are:
- more to be written
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details