For a further discussion about the theme of local communisms, see Norman LaPorte, 'Introduction: local communisms within a global movement', Twentieth Century Communism: a journal of international history, 5, 2013, pp.
This issue of Twentieth Century Communism marks a change from earlier ones: it is the first not to be based around specific themes.
In common with other recent studies of international communism, Smith--whose focus in a wide ranging volume is communism in power--notes that the Bolsheviks understood the October Revolution of 1917 as 'inaugurating a new stage in human history, the beginning of the transition from capitalism, a system they believed was based on exploitation, inequality, and war, to communism'.
In the French collection Le siecle des communismes, communism is characterised in terms of diversity held together by a common project.
1) Freeden doubts how far even the varieties of official communism were held together by shared core concepts.
What did the communism in anti-communism stand for?
Other proposed themes for future issues include the impact of 1968 (Richard Cross) and local communisms (Norman LaPorte).
Communism was one of the defining political movements of the twentieth century.
Working in the UK, though not exclusively on British communism, its editors have been increasingly struck by the insular, sometimes introverted character of discussions of communism both in Britain and in the anglo-phone world more generally.
If communism, as our opening editorial had it, was one of the defining political movements of the twentieth century, it was not just that communism itself helped define Hobsbawm's 'age of extremes'.
What is nevertheless striking is how, as our focus shifts to communism's antagonists, there should for the first time come to the fore several cases in which communism on its own account was a marginal force.
The instrumentalisation of anti-communism for conservative or openly reactionary political projects should not be used, as communists themselves tended to use it, to conflate and delegitimise any such form of opposition to communism.