With the fall of the USSR, its inability to provide aid to many of the other Communist countries, the global movement declined. The intent of their movement, in theory, was to reject nationalism and unite the workers of the world.
It turned out that nationalism was alive and well in Russia, and they were calling the shots for all of the Soviet and Eastern Bloc Countries. Even in Russia, the workers were actually represented by a Politburo. The first politburo was created in Russia by the Bolshevik Party in 1917 to provide strong and continuous leadership during the Russian Revolution occurring during the same year. The first Politburo had seven members: Lenin, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Trotsky, Stalin, Sokolnikov, and Bubnov. The Politburo is nominally elected by the Central Committee.
During Vladimir Lenin‘s leadership of the Communist Party, the Central Committee functioned as the highest party authority between Congresses. However, the 8th Party Congress (held in 1919) established the Political Bureau (Politburo) to respond to questions needing immediate responses. Some delegates objected to the establishment of the Politburo, and in response, the Politburo became responsible to the Central Committee, and Central Committee members could participate in Politburo sessions with a consultative voice, but could not vote unless they were members. Following Lenin’s death in January 1924, Joseph Stalin gradually increased his power in the Communist Party through the office of General Secretary of the Central Committee, the leading Secretary of the Secretariat. With Stalin’s takeover, the role of the Central Committee was eclipsed by the Politburo, which consisted of a small clique of loyal Stalinists. Communism in Russia no longer represented the best interests of the Proletariat, and a new, more concentrated Burgious was created.
At the same time that Russia was corrupting the intentions of Marx and Engels’s reforms in working conditions, and wages in industrial countries created a new economic “Middle Class” that was positioned between the Burgious and the Proletariat. Communism’s decline has been the result of several factors. In the USSR, it was the inefficiency of the economy, the rise of the middle class in other countries, and the uprising of people against lack of leadership representation. The workers were not happy!
As the USSR imploded, they no longer had the financial ability or willingness (they no longer had a communist system) to support other countries. Today only 5 countries maintain a communist regime with China being by far the most relevant. North Korea is not communist. It is a dictatorship that Marx and Engels would see as a return to the Tsars. Vietnam has developed a system that provides for better worker representation and tends to keep hands off of free trade commerce and entrepreneurship. As a result, they have grown into a key vacation destination, especially for Aussies and Kiwis.
Laos has not been as progressive as Vietnam but is not as oppressive as the system in the USSR. It is incredible to me that Cuba has maintained the communist regime without the support of the USSR. When communism in the USSR collapsed, we had an opportunity to develop a relationship that would have resulted in changes there and benefited the USA. In my opinion, we blew it, big time, for both countries.
China is a fascinating country that deserves a separate narrative.