TWELVE YEARS have passed since the Communists seized power in Czechoslovakia in February 1948. In these first twelve years of its rule the communist regime of Czechoslovakia has weathered such fateful events as the death of Joseph Stalin, the man to whom the Czechoslovak Communists owed their allegiance; the dangerous era of the post-Stalin "thaw"; and the Hungarian and Polish political upheavals of 1956. According to the new Constitution of 1960, socialism has won in Czechoslovakia, the exploitation of man by man has been abolished, and the working people are "gathering forces for the transition to communism."
Thus the initial stage of the march toward the ultimate communist millenium in Czechoslovakia has been completed, and it is the purpose of the present study to review and evaluate its political results. How successful have the leade of Czechoslovak communism been in remolding the body politic of what had once been called a bastion of democracy in Central Europe? What changes have they made in the constitutional, political and socio-political structure of Czechoslovakia and in the Czechoslovak way of life? To what extent have they implemented their promises of better social justice, more equality, and a genuine "people's democracy"--promises which constitute the most appealing part of the Marxian dogma? How have they fared thus far in their ambitious goal of outproducing capitalism and attaining the highest. living standards in the world? What have they done toward the realization of their professed aim of abolishing exploitation of man by man? What have been the results of their colossal attemp to pattern after the image of the Marxist-Leninist Weltanschauung the mind and soul of a nation so thoroughly imbued with the ideas and concepts of Western democracy?
A dozen years is, of course, too short a period in which to answer with finality these and other questions concerning the success or failure of the communist experiment in Czechoslovakia. But it does permit at least an interim evaluation, particularly in view of the fact that