Rotten Foundations: The Conceptual Basis of the Marxist-Leninist Regimes of East Germany and Other Countries of the Soviet Bloc

By Peter W. Sperlich | Go to book overview

Chapter 7

Summary

THE NEED FOR FORCE

Marxism-Leninism, in all of its variations, carries several crucial defects. These have served (and, likely, will continue to serve) to prevent it from ever becoming a freely chosen and efficacious conceptual foundation of a political system. Typically, Marxism-Leninism is imposed and maintained by force. Without force it crumbles and melts away. The events of the late 1980s and the early 1990s have shown incontestably that MarxismLeninism was nowhere the people's choice, and, indeed, was not even the choice of the proletariat. Marxism-Leninism's support came and still was (especially in the former GDR 1) most dependably from the class of erstwhile socialist functionaries and parasitic beneficiaries, who often lived in a great style in restricted and protected communities, while their subjects lacked not only civic rights and political freedoms, but even some of the basic material necessities.

This is not to say that life in the GDR was entirely without advantages for ordinary people. There was job security, albeit of a fake type, sustained only at great cost. 2 There was free health care and subsidized housing, though both tended to be of an abysmally low quality. There was free education, but the one sure road to success was a faithful mouthing of the party line, not scholarly excellence. In particular for the most risk-averse and security-oriented members of the population, there was the comfort of being relieved of the responsibility of making one's own choices and of having to endure the uncertainties and discomforts associated with choosing and deciding. The regime gladly absolved them of the burden of choice. It told them where to live, what schools to attend, what subjects to study,

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Rotten Foundations: The Conceptual Basis of the Marxist-Leninist Regimes of East Germany and Other Countries of the Soviet Bloc
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acronyms and Abbreviations xi
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction 1
  • Chapter 2 - Roots and Developments 13
  • Chapter 3 - Science or Anti-Science 41
  • Chapter 4 - Utopia and Religion 77
  • Chapter 5 - Theory and Practice 107
  • Chapter 6 - The Issue of Totalitarianism 139
  • Chapter 7 - Summary 193
  • Bibliography 199
  • Index 237
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