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......
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).
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.
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.
And exactly how does communism stifle competition and encourage laziness?
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?
But where does that idea come into communism?
Real communism that is, not communism according to right wing propaganda.
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.
The Soviet Union was socialist not communist.
Obviously. There is no such thing as a communist state, only socialist states governed by communist parties. The difference between socialism and the higher phase of communism is the abolition of classes. It has absolutely nothing to do with people not having to work. The same guiding principles of the dictatorship of the proletariat (socialism) apply. It is "From each according to ability..." not "From each according to desire to work".
Why don't you tell us what you think communism is, rather than asking others, as what you have alluded to is clearly not communism. You seem to conflate utopian ultra leftism with Marxism. Study Lenin and this will be apparent to you.
When it comes to such countries that had (or have) a communist government (in reality a socialist one) I prefer to ask the people I know who lived there rather than the propaganda of the people who helped bring it about. I know people from Russia (during the Soviet era), Poland, Vietnam, China, and one person from North Korea (ok her parents where from there). All of them have one thing in common. They all came here for a better life. With a number of them risking their lives to do so.
The reality is that much like there is no true Democracy there is no country working under communism. The most basic definition of communism is the abolition of class and private ownership. Go to China and ask if they live a class free life (make sure not to ask the people who lost their homes to that new Dam).
Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach.
One man with a gun can control 100 without one.
Not believing in force is the same as not believing in gravity.
Communism can only be obtained by force.
That line is also from John Smith and the Janestown Colony.
I would ask you to answer my question on what you think it is.
No, you made a statement and I challenged you on it.
Stop trying to weasel your way out of answering. OK, you didn't make the original statement but you picked it up.
OK the original statement said that communism stifled competition and made people lazy, I want to know how this works, why anybody should think so outside right wing propaganda.
In order to answer your question I wanted to know what you meant by “real”. I said that communism does not encourage people to work, and yes that includes the people who will want to do nothing as in the lazy. That is to say the ability to prosper by work is removed if you have no right to own what you produce. This is a reality. In a perfect world all people would want to work for the benefit of each other in a classless society (although I don’t see how we could get around no one owning anything), but we all like to own things. I am sure you like to own what you have (if not I will send you an address on where to send it too).
But why doesn't it encourage people to work? I would have thought the alternative (starvation) would be a great incentive! Much better than the pittance paid by the establishment to keep your head down and do nothing that prevails.
But maybe I'm wrong, perhaps there are hordes of people out there who would rather starve to death than work!
The ability to prosper by work is an illusion for most under the present system, most would be happy with three square meals a day and a decent roof over their heads.
Where do you get the idea that nobody would have any personal possessions under communism?
(I can’t reply to the post this is for so I am posting it here)
I can’t speak for your country, but here if you keep your head down and do nothing you will starve. The most basic definition of true communism:
a: a theory advocating elimination of private property
b: a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed
a: a doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian socialism and Marxism-Leninism that was the official ideology of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
b: a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production
c: a final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably
d: communist systems collectively
if you think that most people would be happy with the basic essentials and don’t want anything more than you are misinformed (unless that’s what’s like in the UK).
P.S. if any of these define what you think it is please say so.
So what is the advantage of capitalism then?
In your country if you aren't needed to work you can ask for food stamps. But not work.
I see nothing there that says you can't own your own cloths! Or your own TV.
The elimination of private property rather means that no one person shall own half of New York or anywhere else that wasn't theirs to begin with.
Don't agree with any of that! By the way are you aware that Lenin's New Economic Policy introduced in the 1920s effectively reintroduced capitalism to the USSR and left it not a communist or even socialist country but a bastion of state capitalism. Despite that they did hold on to some socialist ideals.
If you think that all that communism would provide would be the basic essentials then it is you, rather than I, who is misinformed!
BTW, you also seem to be misinformed about the UK as well - we have a right wing government - very right wing.
(I can’t reply to the post this is for so I am posting it here)
In true capitalism none what’s so ever. We would be even worse off than we are now without any socialist policies. I have a neighbor who lived under Stalin (is is around 89 or so now) and if he wasn’t afraid of the computer I would get him in here to talk about what it was like there in his time. Like the story of how they came to his father’s farm shot his father and mother and put him in a camp where he lived until he was 15 and old enough to fight in the war. My point is that whatever Lenin meant to do was eliminated by his followers. When people talk about the Soviet Union they talk about that (Stalin). There is the book reality than there is actual reality. In the actual reality we are a mix of socialist and capitalist policies with some good (food stamps) and some bad (no government oversight on banks).
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It took government intervention to bring about the knowledge that smoking causes cancer. If it was up the corporations (free enterprise) they would still have doctors selling cigarettes saying their healthy. Having typed that now that we know we should be held to that choice and take responsibility for it. Most of the food related laws where put in place because of the practices of the large corporations such as the meat slaughtering industry. Before the hated EPA the free enterprise system here in Ohio lead to the Cuyahoga River catching fire twice.
We only hear about the part of government that doesn’t work. What we do not hear about or see is how much government oversight and regulation has improved our lives. It’s just that where you have control you can have people who will abuse this control. We regulate cigarette sales as well as where a person can build a “Gentleman’s club.” We can do this without banning it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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