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After Soviet Collapse, Communists Optimistic

Sun., June 30, 1996

You might have thought a gathering of the world’s Communists would be a chastened affair, thick with recrimination and sour predictions for the future of mankind under the thumb of evil capitalists.

You might have thought wrong.

Communists and socialists from nearly three dozen countries attending Vietnam’s Communist Party Congress said Saturday that their movement is recovering from what was assumed to be a death blow - the fall of the Soviet Union.

They talked of markets, training workers for a high-tech world, putting practice ahead of ideology. Former communist countries have had enough of raw capitalism, with its hungry pensioners and lawless tycoons. Communism’s new aim is to combine a working economy with greater social justice, they said.

Communists and reformed Communists from Russia, former Soviet republics, China, North Korea, Cambodia, Europe and South America pointed out the recent leftist resurgence in some of their countries.

Communists are sharing power in India and Italy, while former Communists have won elections in Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria.

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