The Global Appeal of Communism in a Time of Peril

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Communism: A Global Appeal In a Time of Peril

Before significant historical milestones such as the Cold War, decolonization, and various independence movements, the world faced ultimate possibilities with communism.

According to author Harry Gunnison Brown of The Appeal of Communist Ideology, “communism conveys an idea of more insistence on equality of incomes and more of a suggestion of the advocacy of radical and revolutionary change as distinguished from evolutionary and gradual reform.”. Thus, communism began to take control; the increasing global appeal promotes economic, political, and social standards after World War II.

Moreover, communism promised to bring hope to millions by addressing injustices, providing new job opportunities, promoting rapid industrial development, and plotting the end of Western domination. Ideologies and religious beliefs helped countries establish their support or hatred for communism; consequently identifying communism’s decline in the late twentieth century.

Communism was originally brought upon as a system of “equality and abundance for all but delivered a dismal and uncertain economic life for the many and great privilege for a few.

”2 Economic standards throughout the spread of communism were tough because of various wars for trade, power, and peace. Author Fredrik Logevall of Embers of War elaborates on the “Western power’s demise in Indochina and the arrival of another, of a revolutionary army’s stunning victory in 1954 in the face of immense challenges, and of the failure of that victory to bring lasting peace to Vietnam.” On the other hand, Karl Marx, the founder of socialism and the Marxist theory, established that “communism was the final stage of historical development.

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Beforehand, the world was following capitalism, an idea used to describe how a country’s trade is dominated by private owners rather than a state. Specifically, China is notorious for being a communist country with a capitalist economy. Because of this idea, “China opened itself up to the world economy and welcomed foreign investment in special enterprise zones along the coast, where foreign capitalists received tax breaks and other inducements. “5 The results from these reforms made China’s economic growth powerful; they had better foods, lower mortality rates, declining poverty, urban construction, and surging exports, a much-improved material life for millions after the Indochina war. According to naive economists, it is simpler to propose that a “government take over the means of production” instead of figuring out what conditions were essential for a successful operating system; this concludes why communistic and socialistic ideology had so much appeal. In response to higher economic standards and ideologies, leaders began to base their views on communism on diverse beliefs in various countries other than China.

Diverse political beliefs came to inspire people’s stances on capitalism versus communism and how communism struck a greater global appeal. Moreover, some view communism as “an ambiguous enterprise”? Communism is a single idea adapting to various changes; the French Indochina War was a primary focus on the convergence of various political beliefs and decisions. Furthermore, “the story of the French Indochina War and its aftermath is a contingent one, full of alternative political choices, major and minor, considered and taken, reconsidered and altered, in Paris and Saigon, in Washington and Beijing, and the Viet Minh’s headquarters in the jungles of Tonkin.” The French Indochina War is not only a reminder to us that to the decision-makers of the past, the future was merely a set of possibilities. Moreover, Indochina’s decolonization will undoubtedly occur; the process plays out in various ways, as the experience of European colonies in other parts of South and Southeast Asia shows. However, some continue to believe that Asia’s economy generated massive corruption among Chinese officials, inequalities between the coast and the interior, urban overcrowding, pollution, and periodic inflation as the state loosened its controls. Additionally, urban vices, including street crime, prostitution, and drug addiction were eliminated after 1949 in China’s booming cities.

Essentially, a capitalist economy had been restored, and by none other than the Communist Party itself. In other words, communism creates a perfect world after a set of sociological problems amongst capitalist countries.

The social aspect of the appeal of communism came about with inequality and unfairness in the product of industry. Moreover, communism implied a gender equality message, thus another probable reason for the appeal of communistic and socialistic ideology; its apparent simplicity was in regards to the explanation of inequality in the sharing of products of industry. Before World War II, in particular, Russia was deeply affected by the incompetence and privileges of the elites. Moreover, that historic event opened up a massive social uproar; “Non-Russian nationalists in Ukraine, Poland, Muslim Central Asia, and the Baltic region demanded greater autonomy or even independence.”9 At this point, Russia was ready for a social change; the Bolsheviks fought and renamed Russia the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, also known as the Soviet Union, a communist island in a capitalist sea. Afterward, Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, intended on installing more communist governments in Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. Up until the 1970s, communism remained powerful because China was emerging from the chaos of the Cultural Revolution while The Soviet Union matched U.S. military might. However, Americans launched a major buildup of their forces in the 19801980snsequently leading to communism’s global downfall.

Soon enough, communism controlled one-third of the world and became responsible for mountains of crimes. Specifically, throughout the twentieth century, various countries called for the need for independence movements and decolonization, which carried an immense significance for the twentieth century’s global structure. According to author Lee Edwards, “communists also failed to deliver the goods. They promised bread but produced perennial food shortages and rationing for everyone except party members and the nomenklatura.”10 Additionally, major social problems that affected workers were the Great Purges, a result of Stalinism, “a distinctive phenomenon in the history of Soviet Communism.”11 The Stalinist era was nothing but state-controlled industrialization; female workers were anticipating discoveries and cities, however, they also faced the fears of arrest, interrogation, and agony of the people left behind into the Terror. Furthermore, the idea of Communism only leads to neglect and empty promises for the world and those who worked on it. Failing to decide the rights and wrongs between Communism and anti-Communism, the greatest moral struggle of the twentieth century, made it impossible to establish what other political issues the world be able to address intelligently. At this point, people questioned these ideas and the effects of communism in the past, and how they would enlist setbacks for the modern era.

Previous social, political, and economic struggles have successfully led to communism’s formation, the end of World War II, as well as the modern era; an approach to both the appeal and decline of communism. At first, capitalism is seen as an idea of originality and a fixed structure in the modern era, while communism strived for differences within various historical conflicts. The spread of communism, in connection to decolonization and independence movements, allowed the world to think about different views and possibilities of what caused communism to decline after the end of the Cold War. However, communism also allowed the world to experience “human mastery over natural order, rapid industrialization, and liberation of women from ancient limitations oppressions to mobilize them for the task of building socialism”12 Learning about the differences between countries continues to influence social, political, and economic relationships and enable us to tackle conflicts. Learning about the post-World War II period, industrialization, and capitalism is important for people to reflect on how “leadership reunites communism”13 and how these previous conflicts transform the world into a more efficient era today.


  1. 13 IISH/Stefan R. Landsberger collection in Robert W. Strayer, Ways of the World: A Brief Global History with Sources, 2. ed. (New York: Bedford/St. Martins, 2013), 1084.
  2. 1 Harry Gunnison Brown, “The Appeal of Communist Ideology,” The American Journal of Economics and Sociology 2, no. 2 (January 1943), accessed November 7, 2016, doi:10.2307/3483469, ?Robert W. Strayer, Ways of the World: A Brief Global History with Sources, 2nd ed. (New York: Bedford/St. Martins, 2013), 1035
  3. Frederik Logevall, Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam (New York: Random House, 2012), Preface, XV 4 Strayer, 1036 5 Strayer, 1062 6 Strayer, 1039
  4. Strayer 1065 8 Frederik Logevall in Frederik Logevall, Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam (New York: Random House, 2012), XVII.
  5. Strayer, 1063 10 “The Collapse of Communism,” National Review, December 30, 2014, accessed November 7, 2016, 11 Irina Kakhovaskaya “Personal Accounts of the Terror” in Robert W. Strayer, Ways of the World: A Brief Global History with Sources, 2. ed. (New York: Bedford/St. Martins, 2013), 10761077. 12 Strayer, 1081

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The Global Appeal of Communism in a Time of Peril. (2022, Jun 28). Retrieved from

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