What exactly is wrong with Communism? Watch

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MTR_10
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If communism means abolishing the class system in favour of equality, then what exactly is wrong with it? Up until now, communism has always been associated with poverty. What if, a world superpower say America for example (or China in the future) resorts to communism. If Britain joins them (and the Commonwealth countries do as well) and the EU then pretty much over half of the world will live in communism. As this spreads, poverty in Africa will be abolished, extreme wealth will be dissolved into the system and the world will potentially stop fighting over wealth and individual gain. The world will be driven by 'the system' and not the 'individual'. New countries will open themselves up to the rest of the world. Borders will be opened and everyone will live as one.
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Aj12
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Communism conjours images of the soviet union in people's minds even though this is not communism. Despite many attempts it has also never been successful and large scales and always descends into Tyranny.
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Steevee
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It will never work. Never. Aside from the inherent problems within it's perfect ideal, any real world application is impossible. We can have elements of socialism in our society, heck maybe we need them. But true socialism, anything anywhere near Marx's ideals, is just impossible. And I for one am glad, Communism is not something I'd want.
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MTR_10
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(Original post by Aj12)
Communism conjours images of the soviet union in people's minds even though this is not communism. Despite many attempts it has also never been successful and large scales and always descends into Tyranny.
So does capitalism.

The Soviet Union was poor though in comparison to what America is today or China may be in the future.

Isn't pure communism the solution to the problems of the world? (In theory at least)
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Aj12
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(Original post by MTR_10)
So does capitalism.

The Soviet Union was poor though in comparison to what America is today or China may be in the future.

Isn't pure communism the solution to the problems of the world? (In theory at least)
No it does not. Unless you can point out the Gulags in the UK France Norway Sweden ect.

In theory it may well be. But Communism appears not to work in practice
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MTR_10
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(Original post by Steevee)
It will never work. Never. Aside from the inherent problems within it's perfect ideal, any real world application is impossible. We can have elements of socialism in our society, heck maybe we need them. But true socialism, anything anywhere near Marx's ideals, is just impossible. And I for one am glad, Communism is not something I'd want.
Why?

Why do we have to pick elements from socialism and pretty much every social theory under the sun and never subscribe to a pure philosophy. Why do we as a country always have to overcomplicate everything?

Why would you not want communism?
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limetang
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(Original post by MTR_10)
So does capitalism.

The Soviet Union was poor though in comparison to what America is today or China may be in the future.

Isn't pure communism the solution to the problems of the world? (In theory at least)
In theory yes, but theres no way it will work in practice. Purely because its biggest flaw is its biggest strength, it treats people as though they are equal. This cannot work in reality because while people should be treat as equals they aren't equal.
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IFondledAGibbon
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I love the idea as an economic system, but disagree with the dictatorship of the proletariat.

I believe it would be best achieved through revolt and abolition of the state, so that all wealth is collectively owned and all decisions are collectively made via direct democracy.
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Fusilero
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Communism is more than simply what you've stated. Most people have little idea about how a communist society would even look like or function, I've finally got around to reading (some) Karl Marx and his theory is mostly on the death of Capitalism and it's replacement with participatory, directly democratic and non-coercive institutions (both political and economic) of the 'dictatorship of the proletariat'. Just a side note but Marx's use of dictatorship is not the same as the Roman Concept of dictatorship (power held by a small unaccountable minority) but of power political power being held by the proletariat rather than the bourgeoisie. After that it gets vague, I suspect he probably thought that once we got to that stage we the people would be able to figure out how communism would end up working. Perhaps like the Catalan, Parisian or Ukrainian Communes on a larger scale. Of course maybe in his later works he goes into great detail about how exactly communism works but that's... a lot of effort. I've read a lot of later conjecture on how a society would work but the core idea is of participation and cooperation above competition and alienation.

And what exactly is wrong with communism? It's association in most minds is with the totalitarian, vanguardist and revolutionary leninist-stalinist regimes in the Soviet Union and friends. Those aren't good things but as John Newsinger said about George Orwell after his experience in the Spanish Civil War:

the other crucial dimension to Orwell's socialism was his recognition that the Soviet Union was not socialist. Unlike many on the left, instead of abandoning socialism once he discovered the full horror of Stalinist rule in the Soviet Union, Orwell abandoned the Soviet Union and instead remained a socialist — indeed he became more committed to the socialist cause than ever.
Socialism should reject tyranny of all kind; economic, social, religious and political tyranny are all alike and must be removed from society. :holmes: The Soviet Union only replaced Tsarist tyranny with a different form of tyranny, perhaps an even worse tyranny as it was done in the name of the people by men who thought they knew what was best for the people.
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Drewski
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In theory it's great, but the practicalties of it fall down.

Who's in charge? How do they get there?
How do you cope with any employment structure that requires a hierarchy [ie, armed forces]?
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lawology
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Because in order for it to work, there needs to be 100% participation and it's pretty much impossible to guarantee that, given human nature. That means that people who try to break free of the regime need to be 'dealt with' and it essentially becomes more about keeping people in line, rather than equality.
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Woffles
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(Original post by IFondledAGibbon)
I love the idea as an economic system, but disagree with the dictatorship of the proletariat.

I believe it would be best achieved through revolt and abolition of the state, so that all wealth is collectively owned and all decisions are collectively made via direct democracy.
Bolded. This
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username547863
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Problems with communism:

Failure of coordination

In communist economies, a body of planners tries to coordinate all the economic decisions about production, investment, trade and consumtion made by the producers and consumers throughtout the country. This proved impossible to do with any resonable degree of efficiency. Bottlenecls in production, shortages of some goods and gluts of others plagues the Soviet economy for decades. For example, in 1989 much of a bumper harvest rotted on a farm because of shortages of storage and transportation facilitie, and for years there was an amply supply of black and white tvs and severe shortages of toilet paper on soap.

Failure of quality control

Central planners can monitor the numbers of units produced by any factory an reward those who overfulfil their production by targets and punish those who fall short. If is much harder for them however to monitor quality. A constant soviet problem was the production of poor quaility products. Factory managers were concerned with meeting their quotes by whatever means were available, and once the goods passed out of their factory, what happened to them was someones elses problem.

Misplaced incentives

In market economies relative wages and salaries provide incentives for labour to move from place to place, and the possibilty of losing ones job provides an inventive to work diligently. In planned economies workers usually have complete job security. Industrial unemployent is rare and even when it does occur new jobs are found for those who lose theirs. Although the high level of security is attractive to many, it proved impossible to provide sufficient incentives to work reasonably hard and efficiently.

There is also no incentive for entrepenurship.
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username547863
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(Original post by IFondledAGibbon)
I love the idea as an economic system, but disagree with the dictatorship of the proletariat.

I believe it would be best achieved through revolt and abolition of the state, so that all wealth is collectively owned and all decisions are collectively made via direct democracy.
I dont want to live in an economy that doesnt provide an incentive to work, advance and think of new ideas.

If i thought of the a new tech such as the ipod under a communist economy i wouldnt gain for my hard work in developing it
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Absinthe
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There is a saying: "Communists have nothing and they want to share it with you."

In my mind, communism just doesn't work because people are not equal. Someone will always be better off than you. We need the occasional "bright spark" to advance our society: the average person will probably not do anything as significant as say, Thomas Edison or Alexander Fleming or Marie Curie in their lifetime. It does not mean that those who have potential brilliance should be discouraged from outshining others just for the sake of "equality".

Of course we fantasise that it should work because we look at capitalism (a negative consequence of such aforementioned intelligence) which squashes the many to benefit the few, and we think, why does there have to be such imbalance? Maybe it can be achieved, but attempts to date have been massively flawed. Capitalism is based on greed, after all, and we are by nature selfish beings.

tl;dr: As a species, we are not all equal, and we like to compete and try and outdo each other. This is how tyrannies come about: in order for the vision of a utopia to be realised, people have to be FORCED to be the same.
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limetang
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Everyone has to work everyone has to contribute, but when the end is the same for everyone there may not be the insentive for everyone to work as hard as they can and contribute as much as they can as in the end it doesnt matter to them whether they work hard or don't because in the end they still get the same thing.
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pol pot noodles
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(Original post by MTR_10)
What if, a world superpower say America for example (or China in the future) resorts to communism. If Britain joins them (and the Commonwealth countries do as well) and the EU then pretty much over half of the world will live in communism.
Oh well now that you put it like that, it should be extremely easy to get America to take up communism shouldn't it? After all they were only the bankrollers of the fight against communism during the Cold War. They held countless communist witch hunts. They are proudly capitalist. But lets just ignore that shall we?
Oh and then Britain, that should be so easy, and the Commonwealth aswell? Seriously are you even trying to make this challenging? And then only the EU aswell?

You might aswell say 'what's wrong with fascism? If all the nations of the world suddenly took up fascism, then the whole world would be fascist and there wouldn't be a problem with it right?
Er yeah there is a problem, that's never going to happen ever. Do you think countries that have spent the last 60 years fighting against communism will suddenly just take it up for the giggles?

Oh and btw you obviously have a very naive and romanticised view of communism and should in fact study more on the subject before you come out with crap about how it would solve all of the world's problems
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limetang
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(Original post by Absinthe)
There is a saying: "Communists have nothing and they want to share it with you."

In my mind, communism just doesn't work because people are not equal. Someone will always be better off than you. We need the occasional "bright spark" to advance our society: the average person will probably not do anything as significant as say, Thomas Edison or Alexander Fleming or Marie Curie in their lifetime. It does not mean that those who have potential brilliance should be discouraged from outshining others just for the sake of "equality".

Of course we fantasise that it should work because we look at capitalism (a negative consequence of such aforementioned intelligence) which squashes the many to benefit the few, and we think, why does there have to be such imbalance? Maybe it can be achieved, but attempts to date have been massively flawed. Capitalism is based on greed, after all, and we are by nature selfish beings.

tl;dr: As a species, we are not all equal, and we like to compete and try and outdo each other. This is how tyrannies come about: in order for the vision of a utopia to be realised, people have to be FORCED to be the same.
Edison is overrated and shouldn't be compared to Fleming and Curie who were actually brilliant.
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lanabanana
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(Original post by Steevee)
It will never work. Never. Aside from the inherent problems within it's perfect ideal, any real world application is impossible. We can have elements of socialism in our society, heck maybe we need them. But true socialism, anything anywhere near Marx's ideals, is just impossible. And I for one am glad, Communism is not something I'd want.
I agree to an extent. Communism is too perfect of an idea to work with us humans. It's human nature, we want that 'little bit extra', we possess those '7 deadly sins' and Communism goes against all of that.

In theory communism is the best system- everyone gets the same share of everything! So everyone would be equal! The problem is that no one is equal! Some people may be content with a life as farmer, producing goods for the community, but others want to amass a fortune and others don't want to do anything for society! So what sounds good in books, cannot work in real life with real people!

I believe the theory of communism was never wrong, but I think the way that it was implemented was wrong. Communism generally considers an individual of a country to be an asset of that nation. Each person has the right to education, health-care, to work, etc.

Communist theory assumes that all humans are basically good, well motivated, and possess equal capabilities and motivation. This simply isn't so, and Communism never found any way to overcome the problems this assumption caused. In politics, assuming that all men are basically good means that checks and balances are unnecessary... and abuse of power is the inevitable result, with all rights and power concentrating in the hands of those in power. In economics, all money becomes the property of the state - in effect, the property of those in power. Once this has happened, there's no incentive for anyone to do more than they absolutely have to... with predictable results. The flaw in the theory of Communism is in its most basic assumptions. It can never work unless these assumptions are handled adequately.

I love the idea of it, but hate that the extremity of it eventually invites violence, hunger for power, corruption and the failure to account human nature.
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Fusilero
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(Original post by Woffles)
Bolded. This

(Original post by IFondledAGibbon)
I love the idea as an economic system, but disagree with the dictatorship of the proletariat.

I believe it would be best achieved through revolt and abolition of the state, so that all wealth is collectively owned and all decisions are collectively made via direct democracy.
A side note, but I hope you're aware that the concept, while vague, generally means that political power is held by the proletariat or the working class? It does not mean a dictator or an oligarch with absolute authority who then attempts to work on behalf of the Proletariat. That's dictatorship 'for' the proletariat and not dictatorship of the proletariat, a view adopted as necessary by Vanguard Parties such as the Bolsheviks.

Unless this is what you're afraid of:

(Original post by Karl Marx)
The Commune was formed of the municipal councilors, chosen by universal suffrage in the various wards of the town, responsible, and revocable at short terms. The majority of its members were naturally workers, or acknowledged representatives of the working class. The Commune was to be a working, not a parliamentary body, executive, and legislative at the same time. This form of popular government, featuring revocable election of councilors and maximal public participation in governance, resembles contemporary direct democracy.
(Original post by Rosa Luxemburg)
This dictatorship consists in the manner of applying democracy, not in its elimination, but in energetic, resolute attacks upon the well-entrenched rights and economic relationships of bourgeois society, without which a socialist transformation cannot be accomplished. This dictatorship must be the work of the class, and not of a little leading minority in the name of the class — that is, it must proceed step by step out of the active participation of the masses; it must be under their direct influence, subjected to the control of complete public activity; it must arise out of the growing political training of the mass of the people
Then continue! Be afraid of direct, participatory democracy but I respectfully disagree with you. :holmes:

If you're thinking of:

(Original post by Lenin)
The dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e. the organization of the vanguard of the oppressed as the ruling class for the purpose of suppressing the oppressors, cannot result merely in an expansion of democracy. Simultaneously, with an immense expansion of democracy, which, for the first time, becomes democracy for the poor, democracy for the people, and not democracy for the money-bags, the dictatorship of the proletariat imposes a series of restrictions on the freedom of the oppressors, the exploiters, the capitalists. We must suppress them in order to free humanity from wage slavery, their resistance must be crushed by force; it is clear that there is no freedom and no democracy where there is suppression and where there is violence.
Then I'm on your side!
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