Communism and its Factions

As I’ve studied Communism, the numerous splits and factions that occurred within it grew ever more confusing to me. There are so many variants, that I decided to identify as many as I could and summarize them in a clear way. I narrowed my scope only to any faction relevant to Russia and the Soviet Union. It was tempting to delve into groups that formed in Europe or Asia, but the list simply became too unwieldy. Some factions, frankly, barely existed and were mere figments of Stalin’s imagination. Still, there are enough points of view that live in the spectrum of Communism to make them worthy of review. As always, one man’s ideology was another man’s deviation. People lived and died in defense of these ideals. To understand them helps students like me keep track of how the perpetual political machinations in Communist history took place. It also makes one see the full span of thought in man’s mind and soul.

This list is a work in progress, so please bear with me as I educate myself and turn those lessons into print. I will include key dates and figures, as necessary, along with any context that I view as worthy of further explanation. Also, many of these factions existed outside of Russia. However, I will usually omit them for the sake of brevity. In cases where non-Russians play a key role in the formulation of these ideas, I will include them and connect them to how they ultimately impacted Russia specifically. I will also provide footnotes and links to additional reading, as needed. Enjoy.

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Russian Elections 2011: Not Much Ado About Something

Duma Elections 2011

Almost two weeks ago, some interesting events took place in Russia that caused much of the West to take pause. Russia’s Duma election returned surprising results where the majority party, United Russia, took a shellacking, and gave many people a thought or a hope that something had finally changed in Putin’s Russia. Peter Robinson, of “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” fame excitedly asked if Russia had, at last, begun it’s march toward the West. I decided to write about this situation after I talked with several of my Russian friends in order to get an inside glimpse of what was really happening.

My conclusion is that something significant did happen, however, it will not produce the change that we typical Westerners crave for our Eurasian brothers. This is evolution and certainly not revolution. Vladimir Putin will win the presidential election in March and will still hold the reins of power for the next six years. If all goes well, he could even last a total of twelve years, but I won’t let myself get on such an untenable hook as Russia’s future. Continue reading

Molotov Remembers


Molotov Remembers” is a journey into the mind of one of Josef Stalin’s most notorious henchmen, Vyacheslav Molotov.  Most focus on the study of the Soviet Union is placed on the two key figures in its history, Lenin and Stalin.  However, one can learn so much more when you delve into how some of their most famous followers managed their lives and careers in such a totalitarian system.  Since Molotov never published official memoirs, “Molotov Remembers” serves as the primary historical source for the man who became the second most powerful man in the Stalin era.

Questions inevitably arise.  Who would follow such people and such ideologies?  Are these people swept into an uncontrollable fate or are these people simply true believers? Can unthinkable crimes be explained by people who seem like us, but carry out despicable crimes?  Is there guilt or regret? How does one make peace with all this?  Is there a sympathetic “other side of the story”? For every ideology, one must understand the leaders and the followers to gain the full spectrum of understanding..  Vyacheslav Molotov is the perfect specimen to study to create a robust case study. Continue reading