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NCJ Number: 62641 Find in a Library
Title: POLITICAL TERROR IN COMMUNIST SYSTEMS
Author(s): A DALLIN; G W BRESLAUER
Corporate Author: Stanford University Press
United States of America
Date Published: 1970
Page Count: 185
Sponsoring Agency: Stanford University Press
Stanford, CA 94305
Sale Source: Stanford University Press
Stanford, CA 94305
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE IMPACT OF TERROR ON THE AUTHORITY, IDEOLOGY, AND MORALE OF A REVOLUTIONARY REGIME IN A COMMUNIST SYSTEM IS DISCUSSED; GOALS ACHIEVED THROUGH AND REPERCUSSIONS OF TERRORISM ARE HIGHLIGHTED.
Abstract: POLITICAL TERROR AS AN INSTRUMENT OF POWER IS BEST SEEN AS A FORM OF COERCION AND A MEANS OF POLITICAL CONTROL. MANY PURPOSES AND FUNCTIONS EXIST FOR POLITICAL TERROR AS EMPLOYED IN COMMUNIST SYSTEMS. THESE PURPOSES AND FUNCTIONS VARY ACCORDING TO THE POLITICAL STAGE OF COMMUNIST INVOLVEMENT WHICH INCLUDE THE TAKEOVER STAGE, THE MOBILIZATION STAGE, AND THE POSTMOBILIZATION STAGE. STAGES ARE PREMISED ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT COMMUNIST SYSTEMS APPEAR AS 'DEVELOPING' POLICIES WHICH EXPERIENCE CERTAIN CHARACTERISTIC DYNAMICS. AFTER A COMMUNIST REGIME SEIZES CENTRAL POWER (TAKEOVER STAGE), IT RESORTS TO POLITICAL TERROR AS PART OF AN EFFORT TO CONSOLIDATE ITS POSITION. TERROR FIRST SERVES TO ASSURE THE SURVIVAL OF THE REVOLUTIONARY REGIME AND, SECOND, TO EXTEND AND TIGHTEN ITS CONTROL. MOBILIZATION ENTAILS THE ACQUISITION OF CONTROL BY THE STATE OVER THE RESOURCES WITHIN THE SOCIETY. PURPOSIVE POLITICAL TERROR PRIMARILY SERVES THE TWO FUNCTIONS OF ELIMINATING RIVAL AUTHORITIES AND ELIMINATING INCONGRUENT VALUE STRUCTURES THROUGH NEUTRALIZATION OR REMOVAL. THESE CONTROL FUNCTIONS CAN EXHIBIT TWO DISTINCT ORIENTATIONS. THE SOVIET ORIENTATION STRESSES COERCIVE POWER WHEREAS THE CHINESE APPROACH STRESSES THOUGHT REFORM. TRANSFORMATION FUNCTIONS OF TERRORISM FOCUS ON THE SOCIOECONOMIC STRUCTURE OF SOCIETY IN INSTITUTIONS AND IN INDIVIDUALS, EXEMPLIFIED BY THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION OF CHINA IN THE MID-1960'S. AS COMMUNIST SYSTEMS PASS BEYOND THE MOBILIZATION STAGE, THE INCIDENCE OF POLITICAL TERROR AS AN INSTRUMENT OF PUBLIC POLICY TENDS TO DECLINE SHARPLY. MARX AND HIS FOLLOWERS SEE THE STATE AS AN ORGANIZED FORCE AND AS AN INSTRUMENT OF COERCION CHARACTERIZED BY POLITICAL TERROR. THE ROLE OF TERROR, ITS IMPACT, AND ITS SUCCESS HAVE VARIED GREATLY WITH TIME AND PLACE. TERROR CAN PRODUCE COMPLIANCE OR ALIENATION OR BOTH AND IS THEREFORE, BOTH EFFECTIVE AND SELF-DEFEATING. FOOTNOTES, AN INDEX, AND A BIBLIOGRAPHY ARE PROVIDED IN THE BOOK. (LWM)
Index Term(s): China; Marxism; Political offenders; Terrorism/Mass Violence; Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR); Yugoslavia
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62641

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