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Communism in the Real World

December 10, 2010

In our recent discussion about communism, I began to consider why communist societies have not worked to great success in the modern world. Economically, communist regimes have often been able to combat some of the most developed nations in the world. After World War II, the USSR was able to become a world superpower and compete against the United States militarily despite the enormous differences between lifestyles in each country. China also has one of the strongest economies in the world, but their standard of living is far different from that of the United States.

After considering these two economically successful nations that enacted a form of a communist society, I realized that communism, if possible, never creates great happiness for the people which are involved in it. Production and efficiency may increase due to a communist frame, but the societal aspect of communism is stagnate and conformist, and for this reason I do not believe that communism can ever be truly successful.

If one was to compare the standard of living and societal norms of the USSR and the United States after World War II, one would see a stark contrast of a diverse and flourishing culture that rewarded innovation and new ideas(for the most part), compared with conspiracy ridden and fear ridden people. One of the most important factors to a progressing nation and a progressing economy is a variety of new ideas and entrepreneurs. That is how The United States attained companies such as Google and Apple. These companies have transformed life in the United States because they were given the freedom to try new ideas. Freedom of expression and new ideas are frequently crushed in communist societies, which does not foster an advancing lifestyle or economy.

This lack of expression is most often due to the control of the government in a communist society. This is one of the main problems of communism in the real world, for in modern society there must be a government institution to help form a communist state, but the communist ideology calls for a society without a ‘state’. The corruption, conspiracy, and power of communist governments are often the problem that leads to the negative aspects of their nation, but without this government a communist society would have been extremely difficult to create. Ideologically, communism may be successful and foster a positive society, but in the real world a government must be in place, crushing a lifestyle that fosters freedom and progress.

In conclusion, the idea of communism and the arguments of Marx and Engels I can understand, and they have very good ideas to fix class struggle and to give the hardest workers of a nation more power. But I cannot agree with the application of these ideas in real life, because until this point, despite economic successes of communist nations, their society has, I believe,  never been one in which anyone would choose to live in with knowledge of what it is like because of the lack of freedom and lies of the government that so often occur within communist regimes.

2 Comments
  1. whchen permalink
    December 10, 2010 12:33 PM

    I know how communism seems to be the worst of worst. Yet democracy is a system that have only been adopted in the past two hundred years? Is that enough time to test it out? I personally think some underlying problems are starting to arose on its basis. People are becoming more aware of their rights in the society, yet they found out that these rights are merely words instead of actual ability given to individuals to make a change. It is too hard for an individual to actually make a sense out of what he wants to portray. The only way to make people hear you is probably through years of studying through university and law school when you finally become a politician or significant figure? Yet is there a way that all individuals regardless of such being able to contribute and make a difference in thoughts and ways the government’s legislature is working?
    I think it’s time to start thinking of a new type of improved democracy that would soon be needed to improve the current one.

    * Above are simply opinions, no offense or such against any.

    • mlubin19 permalink
      December 10, 2010 1:24 PM

      I agree with what you’re saying. Let me first say that I was concentrating a lot on society and social life with communism, and did not focus directly on democracy as the main comparative government(though I may have said “us” or the US many times, I think similar comparisons can be made with other European countries not with the same government of the US, it was just an example). Second, it’s true that our democracy has many flaws, but you say that there still are ways in which citizens in the US can have a voice, though not ideal. In many communist nations, no matter how much school or education you have, you still don’t have the ability to speak out. Just to be clear, this wasn’t to say the US was better than everywhere else, it was just used as an example to compare with communist nations of the 20th century. Also, despite a difficulty to find a voice in government for most citizens, they undoubtedly have freedom with their ideas and with entrepreneurial enterprises which they undertake.

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