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Sunday, 6 August 2017

Why Communism is Terrible


North Korea. Cuba. Venezuela. Soviet Russia. What do these places have in common? Evil dictators like Mao, Stalin, Lenin and Kim Jong-Un.
‘BUT THEY’RE NOT REAL COMMUNISTS!’ far-left wingers cry. ‘They didn’t do it properly! They didn’t fulfill Marx’s true aims!’
To that I reply shut up and read my ‘Not a ‘real’ feminist’ post. If someone calls themselves a communist, and acts that way in practice, who are you to say they aren’t?

Communism is terrible because it ignores human nature. It assumes that humans are all benevolent and intelligent enough to share everything equally. Children may think this sounds all sweet and happy because their minds are not mature enough to understand why it won’t work. ‘Sharing is caring’ sounds all cuddly-wuddly. It isn’t. I believe the only person in the world that you can truly count on is yourself. People are unreliable and come and go. Sure, to a degree you can rely on your close friends, immediate family and spouse/partner, but ultimately you’re the one who is with you 24/7.

If a hundred humans are given a hundred pounds, the assumption is everyone takes a pound. What will really happen is some will steal extra pounds before the sharing has begun. Some will take more. Some will take less. Some won’t take anything. Some will take a couple of pounds and share it between several of them. In every AA meeting a pot has to go around where people put money in to contribute to the rent and costs for teas, coffees, literature and the like. Some people put in ten pound notes, others a pound, others fifty pence, and some none.

The natural instinct of humans is to survive. That’s our basic instinct. Survival of the fittest. Eat, sleep and mate. Just because we’ve evolved, those primal needs are still there. Take take take. Take the most I can for myself so I can survive. Look out for myself and my family. Remember Titanic? They tried to organise it so ‘everyone’ (i.e. first class women and children cos fuck men and poor people) could get on. Instead everyone scurried for their lives by the end. Some boats weren’t even half full. Everyone was dying to save themselves and those closest to them. Even the bureaucrats took for themselves and killed their own people.

Communism is terrible because in practice it makes everyone poorer. It creates a two-class system; the bureaucrats and the proletariat. Everyone ‘shares’ the money so everyone has the same so everyone becomes poorer. Meanwhile, a bunch of dictators tell everyone what to do. Communism means everything is state owned. ‘The state is more important than the people.’ It takes away individualism. It means the state tells you what to do and how to live. It forces everyone to have a certain amount. What if you want more? What if you want less? Or more importantly; what if you need more or less? In this instance I would say anarchism makes more sense than communism because at least everyone would ‘rule’ themselves rather than have fat bureaucrats telling em what to do. With communism you end up with everyone being a slave to the system.

Communism is terrible because it takes away rewards for hard work. If I get an A* and everyone else gets E’s, the numbers are evened out so we all got C’s. FUCK THAT SHIT. If I work harder, I deserve better. I deserve to live a better life and look out for myself and my loved ones. Where's the motive to work hard if you're just going to get the same rewards as everyone else? Hence production output declines. I have no interest in lazy idle people. I had no interest in the lazy fuckers at school that complained and didn’t put the work in. Oh, it’s too hard? How is that my problem? Unless you legitimately have a problem, which brings me to my next point.

I support social democracy. Linguistics are funny; to some that may mean socialism. I don’t like to say socialism because Marx and Lenin defined communism and socialism as the same thing. I believe that everyone who can work and contribute to the society should, in whatever way they want. I believe people should pursue their dreams. I believe in equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome. This is why I support welfare, free healthcare and free education. Some people are born disabled, or mentally ill, and that’s not their fault. Some people are born addicts, and that’s not their fault. I think the system should help people where necessary. Also, if a few lazy people want to slack of and commit benefit fraud, that’s their business. Either way they’re still not going to be making tons of money. Enough to fund their shitty little flat in East London.

Laizze-faire capitalism is not good either in my opinion, but this post is about communism. How many people did Mao, Castro, Stalin and Lenin murder? Dang, even Hitler was a socialist. The Nazi Party stood for ‘National German Worker’s party. He had full employment. And full dictatorship. Communism is against democracy. Capitalism is the lesser of two evils, but not laizze-faire capitalism. Laizze-faire or free market capitalism gives people opportunities, which in that sense makes it less bad than communism. However, you still end up with only a few people benefiting from the system, only instead of bureaucrats it’s wealthy business owners. Owners can exploit the workers by not paying them enough and making them work long hours.

I believe a balance between these two extreme systems is needed. Communism in full practice is fascism. Capitalism in full practice is exploitation. Rather than workers being slaves to the system, they’re slaves to the corporations. I believe evolution is better than revolution, because all revolution is is replacing one evil system with another. 

7 comments:

  1. I wrote response bet it was larger than the 4,096 character limit. I have placed it within a google doc. I have some issues with the piece and wished to share my side of the story. As a communist, I agree with much of what you said, including the critique of self-proclaimed communist nations.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Rf342V-G1aAdVf73aBPtAH_Pd1rHN6E2xet7Yp0THbA/edit?usp=sharing

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    Replies
    1. Ooh, thanks for the response! I will read through the google doc and let you know my thoughts as soon as I can.

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    2. Hello, if you had split your comment into three response boxes, it would have been fine to post here. I am going to post it here just because I found it really interesting, and it also means I can respond here while referring back to it.
      *****************************************************

      I find your article most interesting. I have found some issues in your piece I would like to explore. Firstly, I would like to say I write with good intentions. I mean no harm. Rather, I wish to offer some corrections. I believe you have a lack of understanding of the principles of communism. The Cambridge Dictionary defines communism as "an economic system based on public ownership of property and control of the methods of production, and in which no person profits from the work of others". You claim communists support the idea of a state despite political anarchy being a large component of communist thought. Karl Marx stated:

      "The executive of the modern state is nothing but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeois"

      Marx was highly critical of the state and believed it was one of the sole reasons capitalism had stayed afloat.

      "The most perfect example of the modern State is North America. The modern French, English and American writers all express the opinion that the State exists only for the sake of private property, so that
      this fact has penetrated into the consciousness of the normal man."

      -The German Ideology (Karl Marx)

      "Masses of labourers, crowded into the factory, are organised like
      soldiers. As privates of the industrial army they are placed under the command of a perfect hierarchy of officers and sergeants. Not only are they slaves of the bourgeois class, and of the bourgeois State; they are daily and hourly enslaved by the machine, by the overlooker, and, above all, by the individual bourgeois manufacturer himself."
      -The Communist Manifesto

      Marx grouped the state with the bourgeois. The state and the appearance of relative democracy was the means by which the ruling classes could legitimize themselves the Proletariat. This brings us to the Soviet Union, China, and the other nations your critique is based upon.

      The critique of these states as anti-communist is as old as the Soviet Union. In a letter to a friend, Kropotkin wrote "Lenin is not comparable to any revolutionary figure in history. Revolutionaries have had ideals. Lenin has none. He is a madman, an immolator, wishful of burning, and slaughter, and sacrificing."

      Perhaps it was the critiques from the Libertarian left that had them purged from the state. The funeral of Peter Kropotkin was the last time the Soviet government permitted a gathering of these anarchists. Thousands mourned in the streets as the likes of Emma Goldman, Aron Baron and Alexander Berkman made great speeches. Berkman's account of Russia is most telling. His book, The Bolshevik Myth, explores how the Cheka had begun arresting anarchists, libertarian socialists, and others critical of the new regime. The book paints quite a picture of the union that would evolve into a near fascist state. Berkman would escape before Stalin's purges but many were not so lucky.

      Communism calls for the dissolution of the state. The "Communist" states failed to do so. Communism calls for economic and political equality through the removal of class systems and any other unjust hierarchy. The "Communist" states failed to do so. Communism calls for democratic election systems both for making policy and running factories/farms. The "Communist" states failed to do so. There is a reason Adolf Hitler was able to work with Joseph Stalin. There is a reason the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact managed to take place. Had the Soviets and Nazis had the opposite political stance, negotiations would have failed. They did not.

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    3. Nationalsozialismus (National Socialism) is an inherently totalitarian idea. Granting such economic power to the state places them above the people, the very problem anarchist communists oppose. The Soviets, Chinese, Koreans, Cubans, and Cambodians were all national socialists. Muammar Gaddafi dubbed his nation the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. There was nothing socialist (besides national socialism) about his policy. His dictatorship was truly fascistic.

      Your article does recognize this. You yourself claim "Communism in full practice is fascism". You label capitalism of a lesser of two evils. I feel your article made legitimate points. I myself am a communist. I hate Stalin. I hate Mao. I hate Guevara. You are a capitalist. Capitalism comes in many forms. You support social democracy. I doubt you support Leopold style colonialism despite colonialism being a direct result of capitalism. I am an anarchist. I want peace. I want prosperity. I feel democratic means are the only means through which that may be achieved. Criticize states labelling themselves as communist. I support that. But don't group Tankies and Marxist-Leninists with democratic communists. Don't confuse right-wing dictators such as Hitler with the likes of Nestor Makhno. Makhno led millions of anarchists and communists in The Ukraine. Trotsky slaughtered thousands of the Makhnovshchyna. Hitler and Franco committed horrifying crimes against Revolutionary Catalonia.

      When regarding revolution, you state "I believe evolution is better than revolution, because all revolution is replacing one evil system with another". Capitalism was born from revolution. In France, the ashes of feudalism formed a new system. Capitalism's spread was violent. Leopold II committed genocide to gain wealth from ivory and rubber. The labour output of slaves caused the American Civil War. Capitalism leads to imperialism as governments clash to grow their economies. That militarism and imperialism caused the First World War. Today millions starve due to government and corporate greed and thousands die for oil in the Middle East. Because you did not clarify, I do have one question. Do you feel revolutions are problematic or do you dislike the ideas that motivated the Russian and Chinese revolutions? If an idea was born which was only achievable through revolution, would it be worth fighting for?

      I do wish revolution was unnecessary. If we could achieve the ideals I praise through peaceful evolution. However, such is not achievable. The game is rigged. If the rich control society, they control politics. In many western nations, all news is publicly owned by large corporations. The wealthy demonize their opposition and deify propagators of capitalism. They hold the power to deceive the public and force them to trust their lies. They use their enforces, police and the military to enforce their rule. Not all soldiers or cops are bad people but the institution is used in malicious ways to prop up the fat under-belly of the Bourgeois.

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    4. You also have criticisms of the communist economic structure. I see things differently. All humans are greedy. We want things. Food, clothes, a home, love, recognition, acceptance. That is what makes us human. The idea is that making the fruits of our labour into public provisions will permit that. Giving homes to the homeless, food to the hungry. Anarcho-egoism is a philosophy that wants the removal of all things that halt our expression and acceptance of our inner personality. Once the state is removed, people will need to organize. Cooperation is the way to win. People are to work according to their ability. Once work is done, the surplus is made public provisions. Public property. I will take according to my needs. Food. Clothes. A home. That is personal property. It is required for you to be you. All people get it. It is the reason for our labour. To each according to his ability, to each according to their needs.

      How do you get people to work without a profit motive? How can you motivate while keeping political and economic equality? We use the social environment. Those who work gain respect. Those who work meet friends. Those who work are treated kindly. Those who don't are subject to ridicule and condemnations. If it was legally permitted to walk about nude, would you? Most would answer with a "no". It is not socially acceptable to do so. The same would be in a communist society. You would work due to societal pressure.

      If the person is ill, the population would help them. If a person was depressed, the population would help them. If a person was lazy, the population would try to motivate them to work. If you did not need to wake up, would you ever? Would you stay asleep or bask in the sun alongside us?

      The more people work, the more public provisions we would have. And if all worked, work hours could be shorter. It would be profitable to show compassion. To help one another. The French Revolution promised equality, liberty, and fraternity. Their solution was capitalism. The fraternity, liberty, and equality lies left of where they looked.

      What would stop people from taking more than they needed? First, we need to ask why. Why would people take more than what they need? The answer is to flex. You might need transportation. You may need a car. What you don't need is a Lamborghini. The Lamborghini is how you boast. Far too much is spent on bragging and attitudinizing. With a communist society, extravagant spending would be frowned upon. In the modern capitalist world, we aspire to live the celebrity lifestyle. Being wealthy comes with clout. The opposite is true of communism. Society respects the one who takes little and keeps running, not the one who takes much to keep crawling.

      The two of us see eye to eye on many subjects. Free healthcare. Free education. Commodification has corrupted society and made these necessary elements subservient to the profit motive. You see issues in complete laissez-faire capitalism. I hope you see some of my points. I hope you recognize my ideas as a reasonable alternative, regardless of your support for it. I want to educate as to not to have my ideas incorrectly characterized. I am not Lenin. I am not the Joker. I am an anarcho-communist.

      Cambridge Communism Definition
      The German Ideology (1932) by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
      The Communist Manifesto (1848) by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
      The Conquest of Bread (1892) by Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin
      The Bolshevik Myth (1925) By Alexander Berkman
      Prince to Rebel (1990) by George Woodcock and Ivan Avakumovic
      Stalin (1997) by Edvard Radzinsky

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    5. **********************************************
      (This is me responding back to you)

      Wow, this was super interesting to read. I wrote this article in 2017 aged nineteen, and it is now 2020 and I am twenty-two, so my overall worldview and writing style has changed a bit. I am glad you found my piece interesting (it was definitely a bit over-the-top and zealous in its delivery, that was my dry wit coming out).

      In all honesty, I don't have much to say other than that I am very thankful for your educating me on communism. You are exactly right that I wrote this while not knowing much about communism besides my studying of the cold war in A level history. I am glad that you clarified a lot of it for me. I agree that anarcho-communism is more socially and economically sound as it removes the system of bureaucrats controlling the state (which we are both critical of) and gives economic power back to the people.

      Unfortunately, I still stand by my view that humans are inherently selfish and flawed, and that an anarcho-communist state would only work in a really small society where everyone was involved in the community and agreed to share the means of production (like living on a farm or in a commune). Maybe I just have a negative view of people, but I truly believe that there will always be those who want to cheat and exploit the system, and at least capitalism doesn't shy away from that sad fact.

      To answer your question about revolution, I will admit that historically, peace is not achieved without war and bloodshed, and so yes, sometimes revolutions are necessary. However, a revolution should be rooted in helpful ideals, so yes I would say that I dislike the ideas that motivated the Russian Bolsheviks and Mao, due to what I believe was an unnecessary and less helpful outcome (Stalinist and Maoist dictatorships with mass-slaughter of those who went against the state.)

      The outcome of a war/revolution is reflective of its practice, so if a violent revolution leads to a peaceful and prosperous outcome, then it can be justified. I know that's a whole debate about consequentialism, and it depends to what extent one believes that the ends justify the means (I do not agree with 'by any means necessary', and I'm sure we both think that compromise and diplomacy with minimal bloodshed is the ideal. But we must also be realistic and pragmatic about the way in which prosperity is and has been achieved -- currently we are living in one of the most peaceful times in human history, despite everything).

      May I ask what country you are from/live in as I don't think you mentioned that?

      Thanks again for your response!

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    6. I am pleased to see we have come to some sort of understanding. I do understand your point concerning the human ability to set up such a civilization. Small communes is a solid plan. Many communists and syndicalists have proposed societies made up of small communes bound into one vast federation (similar to Rojava). I will note that I am not a psychologist and my knowledge of the human ability to enact anarchism is fairly limited. I have noticed some examples in nature. Ants working in colonies. Bees sharing their hive. Wolves hunting in packs. This is a communal-like lifestyle. Then again, nature has lone creatures. Sharks, bears, and snakes all live lives in seclusion, only meeting to mate.

      As for ends justifying means, one must be careful. If more lives are saved or improved with forceful action, it is justified. The approach used by Stalin, Castro, and Mao was unjustified because they did more harm than good and their rule was not agreed upon by the population. Some may see a docile witness who accepts the tragedies of modern life as the violent one. To ignore or enable while misery remains is support for the one who commits such acts. Action is needed as unnecessary strife is common in our world. We need to find a solution and have it carried out.

      I currently live in the North-East United States. I also spent several years living in the United Kingdom.

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