Fragmentation of communist parties


The communist parties of the world are no longer acting in harmony, and that the common ideology of Marxism-Leninism has lost its integrating and mobilizing force. The Soviet Communist Party has been instrumental in bringing this about by putting the interests of the Soviet state above the interests of the communist movement as a whole. Thus, attempts by satellites of the former Soviet Union to bring about reform (as in Poland in the 60s and 80s and Czechoslovakia in the late 60s) were stifled, and this gave rise to disillusionment with any idea of reform in the countries of the Eastern bloc. The former Soviet Union was unable to establish 'good relations' with the countries in its eastern European sphere of power, and was seen to be unable to act as an equal partner with them. This influenced the actions of the communist parties of other countries and in no small way influenced the policy of Glasnost and the eventual dissolution of the former Soviet Union.


In recent years, communism in western Europe has lost much of its original dynamism and fascination. One reason is that the various communist parties find it difficult to reconcile changes in economic and social structures in their various countries (and the resulting shifts in awareness and values) with their theories. They are also divided among themselves on such fundamental problems as the strategy of transformation to be pursued and on their assessment of Soviet policy. The Italian Communist Party, for example, which is the largest and most influential in the West, has publicly called into question the socialist nature of the Soviet system and called the construction of socialism in eastern Europe 'a misguided development forced upon these countries from outside'. There are, however, many anomalies. The Chinese Communist Party has resumed relations with parties critical of Moscow (such as the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, the Italian Communist Party and the Spanish Communist Party) but also with the French Communist Party whose foreign relations are still oriented towards Moscow.

Broader Problems:
Political fragmentation
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST