International Communism today is split on a number of ideological and political issues and is incapable of the kind of unified action implied by the term “movement.†So argues Heinz Timmermann in this assessment of the current state of world Communism. Dr. Timmermann discusses the historical concept of a world Communist movement in connection with the USSR and China. Focusing on Communism in the West, he examines such diverse groups as the Communist parties in Italy, France, Portugal, Cyprus, Chile, and Japan. Communist parties in the West are increasingly adjusting their policies to better fit their own cultures, and the author links this independence to the emphasis the Soviet Union’s Communist Party has been placing on the specifically Russian character of the October Revolution and Soviet state interests. Apparently, Moscow is now showing some flexibility in its response to tendencies toward differentiation and pluralism within the system of Communist parties. Gorbachev is less concerned with ideological orthodoxy than with Communists effectively supporting Soviet foreign policy. The author argues that by acceding to the concept of “unity in diversity,†Gorbachev is signaling that the Soviet leadership is willing to look beyond the myth of a world Communist movement.

part One|122 pages


chapter 1|21 pages

From Comintern to Cominform

chapter 3|9 pages

Decay in the Brezhnev Era

chapter 4|16 pages

Gorbachev’s Strategy

chapter 5|18 pages

Modifications to Democratic Centralism

chapter 6|30 pages

The Chinese Communist Party

part Two|114 pages


chapter 1|25 pages

The Italian Communist Party

chapter 2|17 pages

The French Communist Party

chapter 3|13 pages

The Spanish Communist Party

chapter 4|9 pages

The Finnish Communist Party

chapter 5|9 pages

The Portuguese Communist Party

chapter 6|5 pages

The Communist Party of Cyprus

chapter 7|14 pages

The Chilean Communist Party

chapter 8|12 pages

The Japanese Communist Party