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Comrades, Communism: A World History by Robert Service | | Booktopia
View all copies of this ISBN edition:. From Publishers Weekly : In this incisive study, Service A History of Modern Russia surveys the varieties of communist ideologies from Marx to Marcuse and regimes the Soviet Union getting the lion's share of attention and finds a coherent pattern, which he forthrightly labels totalitarianism. Buy New Learn more about this copy.
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In his recent book, God is Not Great , Christopher Hitchens responds to the charge that he and his fellow critics of religion are inclined to overplay the crimes committed in the name of God and to underplay the crimes committed in the name of secular ideologies such as Nazism and communism. Needless to say, the case of communism presents the greater challenge here Nazism, although not a Christian ideology, cannot be called a secular one.
But Hitchens makes the excellent point that Stalin was able to, indeed set out to, exploit the massive reservoir of credulity created by centuries of tsarist rule and sullen acquiescence to the Russian Orthodox Church, when he says: "Communist absolutists did not so much negate religion, in societies that they well understood were saturated with faith and superstition, as seek to replace it.
British historian Robert Service, in Comrades: a world history of communism , goes further. For Service, communism is a religion, a "secular credo" complete with millenarian overtones apocalypse followed by paradise , an emphasis on scriptural exegesis each communist party "was a synod of hair-splitting political discussion" and a theory of historical inevitability that looks suspiciously like a doctrine of predestination. Marx and Engels, Service suggests, enthusiastically encouraged devotion, with the consequence that they were "treated as prophets whose every word had to be treasured".
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Comrades Communism a World History by Robert Service
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