By Leslie Holmes

ISBN-10: 0199551545

ISBN-13: 9780199551545

If now in decline because the tumultuous occasions of 1989, communism was once surely the good political flow of the 20 th century--at its height, greater than a 3rd of the world's inhabitants lived below communist rule--and it's nonetheless a strong strength in lots of parts of the area, such a lot particularly within the People's Republic of China.

What is communism? the place did the assumption come from and what attracted humans to it? Is there a destiny for communism? This Very brief advent considers those questions and extra within the seek to discover and comprehend this arguable political force.

Explaining the idea at the back of its ideology, and reading the historical past and mind-set at the back of its political, financial and social , Leslie Holmes considers the evolution of communism from Marx's time, to its perform within the Bolshevik Revolution, to its cave in in 1989-91. Holmes highlights the interior dynamics, crises, and loss of life of communism as a world process, and introduces the foremost avid gamers within the communist global, together with Marx, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao.

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Liberalism is a source of continuity in American politics, but what exactly does it mean to be a liberal? "Every man, and every body of men on earth," writes Thomas Jefferson, "possess the right of self-government. They receive it with their being from the hand of nature. " 4 In this remark, Jefferson is using the phrase "self-government" in two distinct sensesone pertaining to individuals, the other to societieseach of which forms a key element of classical or "Lockean" liberalism. When he says that men (and, yes, as we will discuss later, it is worth noting that he refers to men) receive a right of self-governance "from the hand of nature," he suggests that governing oneself as an individual is a fundamental right of human beings.

We are a country made up of different peoples not only in terms of racial and ethnic origin, but of religious affiliation, state and regional identification and interests, urban versus rural upbringings, and occupational and class groupings. A key question for Americans long has been howor whetherwe seek to reconcile our many partial, communal identities with a single identity as Americans. Does the African-American, for example, seek to live a life that is, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "deeply rooted in the American dream"?

This liberal faith in the capacity of individuals to direct their own lives without harming others is tempered, however, by the recognition that human beings do not always act as their morality dictates. Indeed, this recognition forms, for liberals, a prime motive for forming government. " 6 We would not need laws to punish wrongdoers, enforce contracts, and the like, if people never were inclined to unfairly take advantage of their neighbors. Sadly, this is not to be expected. So government is instituted first and foremost to preserve those rights to life, liberty, and property that are the birthrights of all persons.

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Communism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Leslie Holmes


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