The Other Side of Communism

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A Symbol Of Communism [1] (wikimedia)

To truly analyze an idea or opinion, one needs to step out of their own perspective and look at everything impartially. Unfortunately, the world’s history is never written analytically. As Winston Churchill once said, “History is written by the victors.” His words hold true throughout history, and as a result, most of history needs to be reanalyzed to be thoroughly understood. One major example of this is the way that we, as Americans, perceive the idea communism. Most of us have read about or experienced World War II, Vietnam war, the cold war, or the Cuban missile crisis that causes us to naturally feel an aversion to the idea of communism in general. However, this aversion may be misplaced; communism in its simplest form is actually meant to promote equality.

The Founder of Communism [2] (wikimedia)

Karl Marx, the founder of communism along with Fredrich Engels, wrote The Communist Manifesto to share his views and analyze the past to predict events of the future. Karl Marx believed that societies with classes would break down would be replaced by communism. Additionally, he thought that capitalist societies would be eventually replaced by socialist societies and finally be replaced by communism. Communism, according to Marx, would be a society where the was equal education, no inheritance, close to equal pay (based on a progressive taxes), and no ownership of services or property (government owned property, communication services, and transportation). His views and writings made an impact on history that still can be felt today.

After reading through and understanding The Communist Manifesto, I felt inclined to disfavor its form of government. Our government (United States for any stray international readers) is built to support capitalism, individual interest, and growth. This allows individual success to translate into individual benefits. One of my personal dreams is to start my own company and make it successful. As a result, I have naturally come to support capitalism since I feel that my hard work should result in my own benefit. These dreams and opinions clash with the views of communism as well as those of humanitarians. As a humanitarian, I can see major positives in having a communist form of government.  With a communist form of government, no one will be poor, no one will be hungry, no one will be uneducated, and everyone will be able to survive. In this world, every person is nearly equal and every profession is equally as important (writers are as important as doctors). Looking from this view, I can see how communism can be a beneficial form of government in a sense that it raises and keeps equal the standard of living for all people within in nation. This eliminates any class struggles (Occupy Wall Street) and leads to a nation without too many internal conflicts (single party in power).

With this new understanding of communism, it is easy to see that its basic principles are sound. Although its principles may clash with personal beliefs, I hope that you, as a reader, now understand the merits of communism.

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6 thoughts on “The Other Side of Communism

  1. Communism might look good on paper with its basic principles such as equality and strong government, but it will never work in real life. Communism relies on the strength of a dictator or a powerful government and as we seen over the past centuries, whenever there is one strong leader, usually that leader abuses his or her power and makes their country worse. Thus, I think that democracy at the end of the day will always be better than communism.

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  2. I do agree that Communism, in theory, is based on equality. However, equal outcome is not necessarily what true equality is. For example, if someone were to work far fewer hours and be compensated the same as someone who works more hours, that would actually be unfair. Capitalism allows those who work the hardest to thrive, which I believe supports equality more than Communism.

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  3. To the previous commentators, I would just like to point out that I did not discuss present day/ real life situations only theory. To rohitpolsci101, I am not endorsing communism in the post nor am I arguing against it; I am trying to take an analytic approach to look at both the benefits and drawbacks of the theory. (In terms of what you mentioned, the theory did not ask for dictators to abuse their power.) We tend to have a completely negative view of communism, and all I’m asking is that readers see the theory has some positives (I also mention the negatives of the theory when I discuss my personal support of capitalism (If I work hard, I should be the benefactor of my work)). To miker2018, I agree with you for the most part .(I mentioned you’re specific example about capitalism in my post). However, I would like to bring up the famous saying about communism (marxism) by Louis Blanc, ” From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” Do you think that people who can’t work long hours be given less money than those who can? According to that saying, the disabled would be compensated similarly. Our government provides a disability benefit (through the Social Security Administration) that equals a dollar amount just around the poverty line. Do you think its fair that they are not able to make a living because they can’t?
    (To people following this comment please note historically, communist countries have treated their disabled citizens incredibly poorly (going against the quote above) and that the situation has been much nicer for disabled people in our current system)

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  4. Hi politicalrenaissance2014,

    I find your blog post very inspiring. Actually, I hold the same opinion with you. I previously also thought about the concepts and principles in Communism. I think many of them are interesting and understandable in certain situations. The reason for people to have negative attitudes is basically because of those historical incidences, such as Korean war, Cuba, North Korea, etc, as you have mentioned in the post. However, the principles within Communism should be appreciated without the distraction of those biases and stereotypes.

    In my opinion, one of the most essential reason for the general failure of Communism in the history is inefficiency. What Karl Marx did not foresee is the lack of incentives or motivations in Communism. He didn’t recognize that the state of nature, as Hobbes discussed in “Leviathan”, is that men are self-interested. Therefore, a collective society, where private ownership is abolished, is inefficient and unproductive. This is why the Soviet Union was dissolved, and why China, after the 1978 economic reform, is now the world 2nd largest economy.

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  5. I was definitely one of the people that was very against communism because that’s what I was taught. I didn’t have much information about it but felt it was ‘bad’ because of how it is portrayed in history classes. In my philosophy class, we read some of Marx’s manuscripts. They were rough drafts. He had not yet gotten to the concept of communism, but he argued against capitalism. I think that a lot of people think that Marx was a bad guy. That because we don’t agree with communism, the man who founded it was bad. There is a misconception that the communism in place in a few countries today is the one that Marx intended. Marx was a humanitarian. He was against capitalism because he felt that it lessened the value of people, basing their worth on their productivity. I can’t imagine a system other than capitalism and I don’t think I would want one. However, it is interesting to see how history portrays things, like you pointed out.

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  6. I’ve always thought that the basic idea of Communism as described by Marx and Engels was sound. Nowadays we’re surrounded by arguments and complaints surrounding how some groups are given more opportunities than certain minorities, and this ideally wouldn’t exist in the world of Communism. The problem, as we all know by now, is when all people but the leaders (the single party to which the state belongs) are not held to the same standard. A 10th grade History teacher once described Mark’s ideal Communist society as a place in which the government, after a certain amount of time, simply dissolves and is replaced by a society where doves are flying through the air and equality is the mode of existence. If, for whatever reason, the single party that runs the society decides it doesn’t want to give up its power – or perhaps they don’t believe the society is ready for such a change, the ideal Communist society is no longer viable.

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