Romanian Communist Party
- The Romanian Communist Party (Partidul Comunist Român—PCR) was founded in 1921, though until after World War II it existed as a relatively minor organization. Having assisted in removing Romania’s German Nazi occupiers, the PCR grew in strength to the extent that by 1947 it was in full control of the newly proclaimed People’s Republic of Romania. The party quickly reconstituted itself as a clone of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, firmly committing itself to Marxism–Leninism, installing a Central Committee and an all-powerful Permanent Bureau, as well as banning opposition parties. Under General Secretary Gheorge Gheorgiu-Dej, who in 1948 forced the Romanian Social Democratic Party into a merger and temporarily renamed the PCR the Romanian Workers’ Party, the party embraced Stalinism, advocating democratic centralism, enacting the forceful collectivization of agriculture, and presiding over violent purges of perceived opponents. Gheorgiu-Dej’s party scrupulously shunned Nikita Khruschev’s denunciations of Stalinist excess, moving Romania away from the Soviet Union and towards a nationalist form of communism that amounted to Stalinism in all but name. His replacement as PCR leader in 1965 was Nicolae Ceaus,escu, who further emphasized the split with Moscow by declaring Romania a “Socialist” rather than a “People’s” Republic, and changing the party’s name back to the PCR. Ceaus,escu assembled a cult of personality around himself, meaning his hold over the PCR, state and society was seemingly impregnable, and from 1971 he moved further towards Stalinism, increasing societal repression and becoming an archetypal dictator. Thus, in the 1980s the PCR moved from its ideological position as the nominal vanguard party of the proletariat into a bureaucratic and monarchical juggernaut. This angered Romanians and by 1989 popular unrest had reached unprecedented levels. Ceaus,escu and the PCR were toppled, and Romania became a multi-party democracy. Former PCR members formed the moderate and distinctly un-Marxist Romanian Party of Social Democracy, victorious in the 1992 elections but defeated four years later.
Historical dictionary of Marxism. David Walker and Daniel Gray . 2014.
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