International Communism today is split on a number of ideological and political issues and is incapable of the kind of unified action implied by the term “movement.â€ So argues Heinz Timmermann in this assessment of the current state of world Communism. Dr. Timmermann discusses the historical concept of a world Communist movement in connection with the USSR and China. Focusing on Communism in the West, he examines such diverse groups as the Communist parties in Italy, France, Portugal, Cyprus, Chile, and Japan. Communist parties in the West are increasingly adjusting their policies to better fit their own cultures, and the author links this independence to the emphasis the Soviet Union’s Communist Party has been placing on the specifically Russian character of the October Revolution and Soviet state interests. Apparently, Moscow is now showing some flexibility in its response to tendencies toward differentiation and pluralism within the system of Communist parties. Gorbachev is less concerned with ideological orthodoxy than with Communists effectively supporting Soviet foreign policy. The author argues that by acceding to the concept of “unity in diversity,â€ Gorbachev is signaling that the Soviet leadership is willing to look beyond the myth of a world Communist movement.
Foreword -- Introduction -- From Comintern to Cominform -- Differentiation and Pluralization Under Khrushchev -- Decay in the Brezhnev Era -- Gorbachev’s Strategy -- Modifications to Democratic Centralism -- The Chinese Communist Party -- Introduction -- The Italian Communist Party -- The French Communist Party -- The Spanish Communist Party -- The Finnish Communist Party -- The Portuguese Communist Party -- The Communist Party of Cyprus -- The Chilean Communist Party -- The Japanese Communist Party -- Chronology of Communist Events -- Strengths of Communist Parties