The Idea of Socialism Can Only Flourish in Peace and Freedom

Hope of mankind dashed

By Dr. Rudolf Hänsel

Global Research, January 24, 2023

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In modern times, the Age of Enlightenment, people developed new ideas. But the socialist idea, the anti-militarist idea of peace, freedom, equality, justice and solidarity was shipwrecked. It was the hope of the proletarians of the whole world. We have all neglected these beautiful thoughts and thus destroyed them. There is no politics, no explanation of human concerns without knowledge of psychology.

The Romanian writer Panait Istrati was in the Soviet Union after the First World War and wrote down his observations in three volumes. About the People’s Republic of China, economics professor Michel Chossudovsky recently wrote “It’s Not Socialism”. Good to know in this day and age. The question remains: will the socialist idea of peace and freedom one day celebrate triumphs once again?

Soviet experiment failed

In the former Soviet Union, the experiment was a complete failure. They did not grasp the people. They did not assess people correctly, did not associate with them. The commissars put themselves above the workers. Psychology was missing everywhere.

The people could have been had, they are in solidarity. The Russian peasant lived in the Mir, a Russian village community. All the peasants of a village belonged to it. The land they used was periodically redistributed among them. Each peasant was given enough land to use to maintain himself and to meet his obligations to the state and the landowner. Each household could claim one or more strips of land according to the number of its adult members (1).

Where did the peasant Russian population ever see judges or informers? There were none. They had no locks on their doors because they did not lock them. Until the revolution they worked their fields together. What little life they had, they spent in peace and quiet and without war.

Suddenly the stupid “Reds” came and managed even worse than Tsarism. Commissars who understood nothing were sent to the countryside and told the peasants what to grow. They maintained the state and finally chased the peasants and workers to the “field of honour”.

In very poor Yugoslavia the principle was more humane than in Russia. If a person had work, he could not be dismissed. There the principle of self-management, of workers’ councils was realised. Russia did not go this way and was therefore against Yugoslavia.

Panait Istrati: “Vers l’autre flamme” (“On the wrong track”)

Panait Istrati (1884 – 1935) was a French- and Romanian-language writer of Romanian origin. He travelled to Russia after the First World War and wrote down his observations in three books after his return to France. This political travelogue “Vers l’autre flamme” was published in French in 1929 and its German translation is “Auf falscher Bahn. 16 Months in the Soviet Union. Confessions of a Defeated Man.” (2)

His report was a passionate political appeal to his comrades, whose authoritarian Stalinist forms of organisation, loyalty to the line and faith in authority he sharply denounced. Until then, only reports about the Soviet Union had appeared in the West, full of praise. But as a result he was much maligned:

“Istrati’s book breaks a taboo and dares to criticise it publicly. Suddenly all his previous friends distanced themselves from him, above all his previous mentor Romain Rolland. He was slandered and a smear campaign against him began. On the other hand, Istrati was taken over by the Trotskyists, from whom he otherwise stood aloof.”


“On the Wrong Track” impresses with Istrati’s passion and love of truth, but ultimately also with his ruthlessness towards himself. In the end, we are left with a ‘defeated man’, as he himself put it, a lonely fighter beyond ideologies, a sick and broken man.” (3)

Michel Chossudovsky: “The PRC is not a socialist country.”

On the current situation in the People’s Republic of China, long-time researcher at the University of Hong Kong, economics professor Michel Chossudovsky wrote the enlightening and well-received article: It’s Not Socialism”: China Is a Capitalist Cheap Labour Economy, Based on Exceedingly Low Wages. People on the Left Claim the PRC is a Socialist Country.” (4)

The introduction states:

“Most analysts and historians do not realise that China developed into a full-fledged capitalist country after the early 1980s. There are powerful US business interests, including Big Pharma, large hi-tech companies and banking institutions, that are firmly entrenched in China.

The United States has faithful allies in China’s business community as well as among academics, scientists and doctors who tend to be ‘pro-American’.” (5)

The article concludes on a personal note: Prof. Chossudovsky was unable to publish the manuscript of his 1984 book entitled “Towards Capitalist Restoration? Chinese Socialism after Mao” only two years later because it had been “casually rejected” by the left. It can be downloaded free of charge as a PDF from his homepage (6).

Will socialism celebrate triumphs once more?

Despite all the satisfaction that the world is slowly moving eastwards politically, it is important to take note of Chossudovsky’s enlightening contribution in order to avoid any illusions. Whether the idea of socialism has a chance in Russia’s communist system thus remains unanswered.

Should the people of the world eventually come to their senses and realise themselves, the socialist idea, the idea of peace and freedom, will perhaps celebrate its triumphs.


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Dr. Rudolf Lothar Hänsel is a school rector, educationalist (Dr. paed.) and psychologist (Dipl.-Psych.). After his university studies, he became an academic teacher (professor) in adult education: among other things, he was head of an independent school model experiment and further training instructor for Bavarian counselling teachers and school psychologists. As a retiree, he worked as a psychotherapist in private practice. He was rapporteur for Germany at a public hearing on juvenile delinquency in the European Parliament. In his books and articles, he calls for a conscious ethical-moral education and an education for public spirit and peace. For his services to Serbia, he was awarded the Republic Prize “Captain Misa Anastasijevic” by the Universities of Belgrade and Novi Sad in 2021.




(3) op. cit.


(5) op. cit.

(6) op. cit.

Featured image: Socialists in Union Square, New York City on May Day 1912 (Licensed under the Public Domain)

The original source of this article is Global Research

Copyright © Dr. Rudolf Hänsel, Global Research, 2023

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