Sun, May 02, 2004 - Page 18 News List

Communism dismissed as an opiate of the masses

Robert Harvey's `Comrades' suggests that the political ideology has been, in effect, a failed religion

By Bradley Winterton  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Harvey's strongest sympathies are with Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平), who he sees as a pragmatist almost entirely lacking in ideology, who might have saved communism in his country. But, he decides, for China it died in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Harvey claims that, despite the vast literature on his subject, no other all-inclusive survey such as this book exists. Perhaps other political writers judged it was too soon for a comprehensive overview of communism from its rise to its final fall.

This is a workmanlike book, packed with facts and is strongly anti-communist. The author is a noted British right-wing columnist and legislator who has equally little tolerance for Marxism's jargon or its ideology -- and a vivid sense of the enormous suffering caused by the global upheaval in the century of the movement's most virulent manifestation.

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