Utopianism has been a prime characteristic of communist ideology from the original Marxism 1 to the more recent manifestations of LeninismStalinism-Maoism. Among the most prominent utopian elements are the expectations of a new and essentially altruistic human nature (the new socialist man); and of a new and essentially conflictless community (the classless society). It should be noted at the beginning that the new socialist man has much in common with the new Christian man. The Christian fathers also expected a transfiguration and perfection of human nature via the contemplation of the nature of God [Greer, 1989, 178]—much like the rabbis expected this transformation to result from the study of the word of God. Contrary to Marxist pretensions, religious and Marxist utopian expectations have always been close brothers.
Clearly utopian in nature also are these characteristics of the (future) communist society: the disappearance of specialized occupations, the ability of any and all persons to run the machinery of government, the distribution of goods and services based only on need, the withering away of the state, the absence of all exploitation and alienation, the harmony/identity of individual and collective interests, and, most remarkably, the replacement of the “government of persons” by the “administration of things.” But things do not administer themselves. Can it really be that Marx and Engels did not realize that the administration of things is done by persons, and that it affects and controls persons?
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Publication information: Book title: Rotten Foundations: The Conceptual Basis of the Marxist-Leninist Regimes of East Germany and Other Countries of the Soviet Bloc. Contributors: Peter W. Sperlich - Author. Publisher: Praeger. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 77.
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