Former Communist Prime Minister Manea Manescu Died: Unrepentant Stalinist, Dogmatic Marxist Economist

Former Communist Prime Minister, Political Executive Committe member and Marxist-Leninist ideologue Manea Manescu pased away. Born in 1916, Manescu enrolled in the clandestine Romanian Communist Party while a student at the Economic Institute in Bucharest in the 1930s. He specialized in statistics and contributed to RCP-controlled publications. His father, Constantin Manescu, was a veteran Socialist militant. Two brothers were named for Marxist figures: Lenin Manescu  and Rakovsky Manescu. In the 1950s and early 1960s, during the Gheorghiu-Dej period, Manea Manescu was the head of the Science Department, directly subordinated to the propaganda czar Leonte Rautu. Elected to the Executive Committee in July 1965, at the 9th RCP Congress, Manea Manescu was part of Nicolae Ceausescu’s inner circle. He fully participated, as CC secretary and after Ion Gheorghe Maurer‘s resignation in 1974, as Prime Minister, in the adoption of harsh political, demographic, social,  and economic decisions. Later, as vice-chairman of the State Concil until the regime’s collapse,  he served as Ceausescu’s trusted lietenant, together with other dignitaries such as Constantin Dascalescu, Ion Dinca, Emil Bobu, Stefan Andrei, Tudor Postelnicu, Ion Coman, Gheorghe Radulescu, Constantin Olteanu, Gheorghe Pana, Paul Niculescu-Mizil  etc He most obediently endorsed Ceausescu’s whimsical decisions and approved of the use of military force to repress the revolution in December 1989.

Manescu never disassociated himself from the grotesque personality cult surrounding Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife. On the contrary, on various occasions he engaged in disgraceful worhsipping of both Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu. He stayed close to the dictator and his wife to the very end and left the CC by helicopter together with them on December 21, 1989. Arrested and sentenced for participation in genocide, Manescu served a few years in prison. Once released he published unrepentant paeans to the late tyrant and attacked those who condemned the horrors of Romanian Stalinism. He contributed regularly to Romania Mare, the infamous xenophobic, rabidly anti-Semitic and anti-Hungarian, communostalgic weekly published by the namesake party, headed by populist rabblerouser Corneliu Vadim Tudor.  His biography appears in the Final Report of the Presidential Commission for the Analysis of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania (Humanitas, 2007, pp. 796-797). On various occasions, Manescu lambasted the Report and opposed President Traian Basescu’s condemnation of the communist dictatorship as illegitimate and criminal. His position concerning the crimes of communism in Romania was unequivocally negationist.

A seasoned aparatchik and a hard-liner, Manea Manescu championed a most dogmatic, narrow-minded and voluntaristic version of Marxism-Leninism. As professor at the Academy of Economic Studies, member of the Romanian Academy and chief party economist, he opposed economic reforms and quarrelled with more flexible economists such as Alexandru Barladeanu and Emilian Dobrescu.  As a political leader Manea Manescu failed to ensure peace, prosperity, and a normal life to those whom he claimed to represent.

In the 1970s, Manescu advocated neo-Stalinist (“accelerist”) positions and rejected more pragmatic, technocratic efforts to streamline Romania’s command economy. He was a true believer in the magic powers of the Planning and the leading role of the Communist Party. He abhorred the market and detested private property.

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