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The Soviet Union collapsed under its own weight, a complete ideological failure, and its member states turned to capitalist economies and democratic forms of government. (To be fair, some Soviets, at the time of Lenin’s ascendancy, believed it was too soon to implement Marxist philosophies, since Marx’s own requirement had not been met — that the country’s capitalist economy had reached its evolutionary endpoint.) China, though still a viable nation-state which wields considerable economic power, has managed to avoid the Soviet Union’s fate by introducing a considerable number of free-market elements into its state-controlled economy. Unfortunately, China shares the former Soviet Union’s penchant for ruthless suppression of individual rights. The only other currently remaining bona fide Marxist/Communist state is North Korea, whose atrocious economic conditions, cultish culture of worship for its dictators, and lack of regard for individual rights, speak for themselves. That in 2005 Marxism would have been so absent from the global political map would have been a heartbreaking blow to Marx, as would the fact that the only attempts at implementing his philosophies in their purest forms have led to brutal, totalitarian regimes which have arguably disrespected the proletariat as acutely as any unregulated capitalist economy.


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