Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Communism entered world history in a number of forms, of which we may distinguish the following: a vision of ideal human association, a multistranded political movement, a modular set of state systems run by nominally communist parties, a Cold War counter-idea (“the communist menace”), and a widespread human striving. At each of these levels, communism massively shaped the politics of the last 150-odd years. As a consequence, it also shaped the environment in which modern anthropology established itself. And at each level we can trace the intersection of communism and anthropology. Communism features neither in Aristotle's famous typology of governmental forms (monarchy, aristocracy, and constitutional government) nor in his list of respective governmental perversions (tyranny, oligarchy, and democracy). It is not until around 1840 that the word finally appears in print. Like its slightly older cousin socialism, communism announced itself from the start as an antidote to the toxins coursing ...