Is Communism Dead....?

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  1. jainismus profile image73
    jainismusposted 11 years ago

    One of my friends on forums thinks that Capitalism is dying, almost dead.
    But what about Communism? Isn't Communism already dead?
    I would like to clear that I am neither a Capitalist, nor a Communist and even not a Socialist.
    I am posting this just to have discussions on this subject......

    1. Josak profile image61
      Josakposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Well it's certainly not very active at the moment, and I certainly don't think we will see communism again as we saw it during the USSR, maybe in a democratic form down the line after what I see to be the upcoming socialist period.

      Communism to work without being oppressive requires the abandonment of personal greed and that is a stage humanity has not yet reached (possibly never will).

      1. Ericdierker profile image45
        Ericdierkerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Josak, from my understanding of history. "The Way" was a communist group that worked really well, until all the leaders were somehow crucified. Peace, Love and dope communal living was never productive. And as you point out Russian style did not work because of oppression.
        Vietnamese looks very strong but .... They are bending and transforming so they hardly look like a communist state any more (some say the west won that war -- it just took time to realize it) North Korea is so rancid with depression and starvation that it clearly does not work there.
        It kind of bums me out that the pseudo Utopia of Marx and Locke cannot work.
        The notions of agrarian versus industrial states is long past a a requisite. China is the most Totalitarian regime ever -- not at all communist.
        I think communism still lurks in the heart of man, but greed surpasses his ability.

        1. Josak profile image61
          Josakposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Vietnam has become a strong socialist state, it is certainly neither communist nor capitalist. It irks me too but human nature is what it is, I think we become better with every generation however so maybe one day it will be possible.

      2. Paul Kuehn profile image94
        Paul Kuehnposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        You are absolutely correct.  Communism can't work as an economic system due to personal greed.  It also goes against human nature by stifling competition and encouraging laziness.

        1. John Holden profile image60
          John Holdenposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          And exactly how does communism stifle competition and encourage laziness?

          1. mike102771 profile image69
            mike102771posted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Part of this is in the idea that a person will receive the same amount (of whatever) no matter how they work or even if they work. This removes incentives to work hard. A person sitting on their backside will get the same as the person who works hard. So why work hard?

            1. John Holden profile image60
              John Holdenposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              But where does that idea come into communism?

              Real communism that is, not communism according to right wing propaganda.

              1. mike102771 profile image69
                mike102771posted 11 years agoin reply to this

                What do you think communisum is?

                1. Comrade Joe profile image68
                  Comrade Joeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  A key principle of communism as laid out in the Soviet constitution "He who does not work, neither shall he eat".  Your notion false.  John is correct.

                  1. mike102771 profile image69
                    mike102771posted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    The Soviet Union was socialist not communist.

                  2. mike102771 profile image69
                    mike102771posted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    That line is also from John Smith and the Janestown Colony.

    2. andrew savage profile image60
      andrew savageposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      If you want to see living communism, then watch a federal employee do their job. They work worse than someone on copious quantities of marinol.

  2. profile image0
    Sooner28posted 11 years ago

    Before the capitalist Americans committed genocide against the American Indians, the Indians practiced a primitive form of communism.  Howard Zinn in his book, A People's History of the United States, points this out.  Land, property, almost everything was shared. 

    It's terribly difficult to defend the notion that the Americans (or "British" at the time) were more civilized.  The Indians did nothing equivalent to the Americans. 

    But aside from this, real communism has never actually been tried on a large scale.  Anyone remotely familiar with Marx knows he did not envision a single man dictatorship to rule over a larger society, so the USSR, Cuba, NK, or China are not examples of real communism.  This is quite an elementary point, but many capitalism defenders seem unawares of these facts, and perpetually argue against straw men.

    So, to answer the question, is communism dead?  As a disproven theory, it is not.  As a popular idea among the majority of the working class, my optimism is dimmed.

    1. Petra Vlah profile image61
      Petra Vlahposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Communism, just like capitalism IS NOT a political regime, but an economic one. Communism has fallen because of the absurd premise that everyone is equal and should receive "according to their needs" rather than what they are capable of accomplishing.
      Capitalism is not better because the slogan of "equal opportunities" is a joke and the system, based on greed, makes sure only the chosen ones have opportunities while the others are being left behind.
      Between the two evils (and I lived in both systems) I would chose socialism as being the closest to a decent economic solution

      1. profile image0
        Sooner28posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Well true communism is stateless.  Engels specifically says the state will "wither away."  I think you are still stuck on some of the regimes were "communist" in name only.

        Socialism for Marx is actually a transition to communism.  People can't change overnight, so he believes part of that transition is accustoming people to a different way of life.

        The type of socialism you are probably thinking of is a mixed economy, with heavy regulations on industry, such as a living wage, environmental and union protections, education for all who desire it, and universal health care.

        1. mike102771 profile image69
          mike102771posted 11 years agoin reply to this


          1. profile image0
            Sooner28posted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Canada, Switzerland, Denmark, places like that are closer to "state socialism" than anywhere else.  I think the U.S. might be heading that way, but I'm not really as confident as I used to be, because politicians are floating drastic cuts in SS, Medicare, and Medicaid.

            1. mike102771 profile image69
              mike102771posted 11 years agoin reply to this

              If in moderation would that be a bad thing. As some people say we are a Christian nation and a part of the Christian faith is that people have an obligation to one another. So that would mean that we should be a limited socialist nation (taking care of those who cannot do it for themselves). Just remember we pay into Social Security and Medicare. It’s not a government handout. Even Medicaid is paid into by the working public. What worries me is when we reach such things as a state limiting the size of your drink cup or using a SWAT team to raid a farmer’s market because they may be selling raw milk. Despite the logic (in walking down a road) it is better to be middle of the road than an extreme right or left IMO.

              1. profile image0
                Sooner28posted 11 years agoin reply to this

                Oh I completely agree with you that the government is far too large in certain areas of the economy.  If people want to drink raw milk, I have no issue with that.  Just like if people want to do marijuana or heroin, I'm not in favor of preventing them from doing so.  Liberty is a paramount value; it's part of the very definition of humanity.

                Same with food.  If you want an extra large drink, and a company is willing to provide it, I have no issue with that.  People can do what they wish.  I myself enjoy Sonic every week. 

                If the government can claim it's for your own good, then what is to stop them from controlling every aspect of your life?  Using that principle, the government could force you to eat vegetables, exercise, read, and be socially active and get married (since people with stable relationships around them tend to be healthier and live longer).  You would have very little freedom at all!  That's too much for me.

                What I don't like is people starving to death, being paid poverty wages, or breathing polluted area because a factory owner doesn't want to clean up his/her act.  I don't really know what my actual political beliefs are, whether I am just a mixed economy sort of guy, or whether I am a full fledged socialist, or communist, or whether I am actually a libertarian without realizing it.  I'm still thinking it through.  All I can do is explain what my current positions are.

                Additionally, I don't think the market is necessarily something that must be done away with, but its workings need to be drastically reformed.

                1. mike102771 profile image69
                  mike102771posted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  I also have an issue with the government saying who you can’t marry. Some of the issue with the market is the disconnect between the numbers in the market and the lives they represent. I am a moderate (Liberal Republican) because I think we need to regulate parts of the market that have direct correlation to people’s lives and hold people responsible for their action. We should have the right to buy a 20 oz drink, smoke until we get cancer, eat until we are fat, and ride a bike without a helmet. We need regulations on food, but we don’t need them to be one-size-fits-all approach that hurts small farmers. Some drugs are so harmful that they should be banned, but pot is not one of them (never smoked it, never will).

                  As for the three choices you don’t have to limit yourself to one think. Be a socialist libertarian with communist leanings. Don’t let the man keep you down.

                  1. profile image0
                    Sooner28posted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    Marriage is another great example.  Regulating the private sex lives of consenting adults?  Hardly a place for government interference!  It's similar to claiming, "Well I think smoking pot everyday is wrong, so we should ban pot for everyone."  I've never smoked it, but unless the person is going to be operating a vehicle, I'm not in favor of banning it and wasting valuable scarce resources.

                    I think the regulations on food should be to provide an accurate labeling system of the possible side effects of what people are buying, rather than banning the items themselves. To use your example, if someone chose to smoke, knowing it may cause cancer down the line, if they were aware of the dangers before hand, I don't think the tobacco companies are the ones to blame for the cancer. 

                    Or, take what New York is trying to do, with banning sodas above a number of announces.  What is to stop me from buying two sodas instead one?  If I want to drink a 40 ounce soda, I'm not going to be very much deterred unless the government limits the amount of soda a person can actually consume by tracking my every caloric intake, which is an unacceptable infringement of liberty.

                    The question of whether someone should actually go into business selling cigarettes is an entirely different one than whether they have the freedom to do so.  I don't think stripping is a particularly noble occupation, but I wouldn't want to ban it.

  3. Comrade Joe profile image68
    Comrade Joeposted 11 years ago

    The largest country in the world is governed by a communist party.  The Communists in Russia are kept out of power by Putin's electoral fixing.  Communists are in power in Cuba, Vietnam, DPRK & Laos.  Cyprus elected a communist president.  Communists are junior partners in government in Belarus & Venezuela. The Communist Party in India are one of the biggest political parties in the world.  The majority of eastern Europeans continually vote in polls that they had better lives under communist party rule.  Yesterday I spent my day in the City Centre on a Communist Party stall attracting new members and sympathisers, as happens all over the country and beyond.  In midweek I was at a well attended CP public meeting.  So no communism is not dying, it is not dead. We are here and we are growing. 

    For those who suggest communism cannot work, you should first of all not conflate the higher stage of communism with socialism - the dictatorship of the proletariat.   Secondly, lets deal in facts.  Under Communist Party leadership & socialist production the USSR went through the fastest industrialization in history.  Over it's existence it grew faster than the United States.  Stalin found a backwards agricultural state and left it a nuclear armed, space-exploring superpower.  The Soviet Union never experienced an economic contraction until Gorbachev introduced market incentives.  The contraction of the Russian economy after the introduction of capitalism is largest economic decline in history, well beyond the great depression.  These are all facts, and so the facts clearly show that not only can socialism work, it does work, and works better. 

    Now on the topic of greed that has been raised.  That some people display traits of greed is no more an obstacle to communism than the existence of altruism or compassion is to the existence of capitalism.  Human values evolve & revolutionize as society does.  The idea that black people and women could have equal rights and be thought of the equal of white men would have appalled previous generations.  But that is the reality of the situation, our consciousness has evolved and now we look back at these ideas as infantile and primitive.  In a few hundred years mankind may speak of the times when we used to think silly things like people are inherently greedy and selfish.  They may look at us, like we look at the culture of primitive slave owning societies: a product of the existing order.  A product that people believed was fixed.

    But even if we were inherently selfish and greedy, the point of socialism is that it is in the interests of the majority, and after socialism has eliminated classes, communism is in the interest of all.  Our greed has more to gain from communism than to lose.

  4. Zelkiiro profile image87
    Zelkiiroposted 11 years ago

    Communism enforced on the population by one man who ignores the natural evolution of economic progress is not real Communism. Also, as mentioned earlier, Communism will never work as long as people are lazy and greedy.

  5. John Holden profile image60
    John Holdenposted 11 years ago

    I think a lot of what Lenin meant to do was eliminated by Lenin!

    I certainly don't regard Stalin as either a socialist or a communist.

    Why do you only pick  on "good" aspects of capitalism? There is nothing socialist about food stamps, they may be liberal but liberalism and socialism are different.

    1. andrew savage profile image60
      andrew savageposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Liberal is not a political movement- nor is it even a movement. Food stamps and other social policies such as Social Security are in fact forms of socialism- this is where Americans fail to recognize how free economics and command economics work. Despite that we may have some socialist tendancies is not necessarily bad- it means that we are still formulating a more perfect union and we are not like a cat clinging to a tree. So what if we live in a mixed economy? It is okay for us to exhibit the traits of socialism and capitalism at the same time so long as we protect the environment and our civil rights.

      1. John Holden profile image60
        John Holdenposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Liberal is a political movement! It is watered down capitalism with a soft face.

        Food stamps et al are not a form of socialism - socialism says that if you don't work you don't eat. Food stamps et al are in fact a way of keeping all the unwanted capitalist lackeys from rioting and claiming what is theirs.


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