What Communism Really Is
The Greek economic crisis had a huge impact in our country’s political system. One of them was to strengthen SYRIZA, a party of the radical left, while at the same time strengthen the Greeks’ anti-communist feelings. The reason though I write this document is not to discuss the political developments in Greece, but rather to make some more theoretical remarks about communism and anti-communism. After all they are both on the rise in Greece, and we have all been monitoring them quite closely. Before I start I have to define what I mean with the word “communism”. I mean a political system with pure socialism as its economic philosophy, where by “pure” socialism I mean 100% social ownership of the means of production.
I now see that what I perceived as communism before the crisis was far from the truth, and the same applies for what I perceived as anti-communism. Before the crisis I never paid attention to what communism really was. But I was always used to listen to its critics arguing that communism contradicts the human nature, and that only ruthless capitalism is in accordance with it. I believe this statement is fundamentally wrong, and the truth is the other way round. In other words we are all inclined towards socialism, and it is capitalism that contradicts human nature.
And let me give you an example of what I mean. Let’s assume I am having a drink with anyone of you that is not a socialist, or that he even considers himself to be a libertarian. Next to us there is another man having his drink, and that man is wealthier, more handsome and taller, and has a higher IQ and bigger penis than both of us. And we have the option to take a portion of his wealth, intelligence, or even some centimeters of his height or penis, without anyone knowing that we did so. What would we do? But I mean no bullshit, what would we really do if we were sure that nobody would find out? Would we resist the temptation to “share”? We will never know but my guess is that we would behave like socialists and would decide to share.
But if the above is true, what does it imply? Well it implies that in a sense we are all socialists, we are all Marxists. The only case when somebody is truly libertarian is when he believes that “sharing” will not benefit him, because he thinks he is superior in this particular field i.e. he thinks that he is taller than the average etc. Let me give you another example. If 20 male libertarians walk in a lawless desert, and they find a couple, what would they do with the female member of the couple? My guess again is that they would socialize her.
But all the above implies that socialism is made from human flesh and people tend to behave as socialists and “share”. Because we have to remember that in order for someone to be truly libertarian he will have to be sure that he is above average. And for a person to be absolutely sure that he is above average, and that he is not going to gain from “sharing”, he has to be quite a bit above average. But by definition only few people are quite above average. Most people are “average” and there might actually exist many that even if they are above average they do not realize it. But that means that libertarianism is made from air and we cannot touch it. As societies we are inclined to behave like socialists. And therefore I believe that to say that socialism contradicts the human nature is totally wrong, it is a myth.
We are all socialists, we are all Marxists, and it is libertarianism that contradicts human nature. Socialism is made from human flesh and libertarianism is made from air. Libertarianism is a utopia. Only a minority of privileged can reach it. And when we examine how societies behave, we do not talk about the privileged “few”, but we rather talk about majorities. And since the majority of people are not above average, or at least they do not consider themselves to be above average, societies tend to behave in a socialist way and “share”.
With the above arguments in mind, I conclude that communism’s critics are wrong, and it is capitalism and not communism that contradicts human nature. Of course it is true that the more of the outcome of his effort a person is allowed to keep, the harder he will work. And therefore I can see why so many people say that capitalism is in accordance with the human nature. But what determines the course of history is not the individual behavior, but the collective behavior instead. And as I explained above individuals might tend to behave like capitalists, but societies always tend to behave like socialists. That means that most people will take decisions in a capitalist fashion when it has to do with their private affairs , but they will behave like socialists when taking decisions about public affairs.
I therefore believe that the whole idea we have in our mind about communism is totally wrong. But if the way we perceive communism is wrong, the way we perceive anti-communism must be wrong too, since communism and anti-communism are closely related. Most of the time we hear anti-communists calling communists traitors or present them as some kind of monsters. But if the truth is that we are all communists, that we are all Marxists, this can be nothing else but nonsense. The truth is that communists are no better or worse than burglars. And this is the way they should be treated. Their crime should be judged in terms of the monetary value that they are trying to expropriate. Anti-communists should not perceive themselves as better than communists in any respect, because deep inside them they are communists too. On the other hand it is one’s right to protect his wealth from a burglar.
And this is what anti-communism should be all about. But is this what we see? No, it is not. Anti-communists tend to present communists as monsters and not as thieves. I believe there are two reasons we see this happening. One is that sometimes its critics are socialists too. For instance we see national socialists (nazis) heavily criticizing communists. But do we ever hear them calling them “thieves”? No, we don’t. They always say they do not love their country etc. The reason is that nazis are socialists too. The second reason which applies to more developed and more stable countries is that anti-communists are afraid that if they present communists as thieves, more people might become tempted to “share”. On the contrary nobody wants to be associated with “monsters”.
I have to admit that I see the logic behind such behaviors. I cannot say that I know how societies should be organized, what is right and wrong etc. But I believe it is quite straight forward to realize these two basic things. First that deep inside we are all Marxists. And the second that follows from the first, is that we should not perceive ourselves as better than Marxists in any respect. We should only try to protect our wealth from them. And I do not see how one could disagree with what I am saying.
In the above discussion I am not examining at all whether capitalism or socialism is a superior economic system for a society, but only the way that societies tend to behave. Of course capitalism is superior to socialism but this is irrelevant to the above discussion which only deals with psycological factors.