- In search of a utopian state, communism was born and instantly attracted a number of followers
- The dangerous ideology was put to test in the 20th century in places like China, Cambodia and the Soviet Union
- It is important to learn from the horrors of the 20th century that communism is not the answer to a perfect state, rather, far from it
June 14, 2017: In 1848 the ‘Communist Manifesto’ was published that propounded the dangerous ideology of Communism. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels discovered that they had the same thoughts which resulted in the emergence of this political-economic idea.
Communism rapidly grew in popularity, partly because it is the easiest idea to sell to the poor. The ideology seeks a transition “from each according to their abilities; to each according to their needs”. Simply put, everything should be divided equally between everyone.
Many cultures and countries tried to implement communism in the 20th century and we often do not realize the severe consequences of how that turned out. The totalitarian regimes that were in pursuit of a virtuous society were brutal and that is an understatement. They had no regard for human life.
China, Cambodia, Cuba, Soviet Union, all tried communism. The kind of misery that the civilians of these countries underwent is horrific to read. We take North Korea, for example, as a joke today but the situation there is adverse.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, an incredible critique of the Soviet Communism, estimates 66 million people murdered by Joseph Stalin. Even higher up is Mao Zedong of 80 million people. These numbers are no joke. Hitler killed 6 million people and we talk about it but nobody ever talks about what happened in the Soviet Union or China.
The reason for that could be because communism touches the compassionate people deeply. It feels good to be fair and equal. But here is the thing about communist ideology and the leftist ideology at large- what feels good doesn’t necessarily do good. However, it is immoral to steal from others and that’s what communism is- in theory as well as in practice.
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In an attempt to establish a utopian state, millions of lives were taken. Families either starved to death or froze to death in the Soviet camps.
The Soviet Union collapsed because of the weak economy. Agreed, Glasnost and Perestroika were the final blow, but the basic reason was backwardness of the nation. While the United States and other capitalist countries enjoyed prosperity and better standards of living, the Soviet Union was poor and struggling.
Communists argue that what happened in those places actually wasn’t communism at all. That is an arrogant argument. We cannot risk another 100 million lives to give communism ‘another chance’.
It is unnerving to think that so many people are falling prey to the communist ideology. One out of Five Social Scientist is a communist! They subscribe to the hammer and sickle symbol of communism.
It should be understood that communism is based on force, while the capitalist world that we live and criticize so often, is based on consent. Consensual transactions result in the benefit of both the parties and there is nothing wrong about that. It is rightly said that communists do not think about uplifting the poor people as much as they seek to bring down the rich.
Communism does not reward an individual’s hard work and labor. And consequently, when there are no rewards, there is simply no efforts to succeed or do well. What is the point when everybody is equal?
Part of the reason that the United States has done tremendously well and is a great power because it favors free markets (capitalism). It is only in a free market economy that innovation and choices emerge. Capitalism improves the standard of living and brings prosperity to the nation by rewarding individuals for their labor.
Milton Friedman, one of the greatest modern economists, had said “This world runs of individuals pursuing their self-interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. The only cases in which the masses have escaped from poverty is in cases where they have had capitalism and free trade. The record of history is absolutely crystal clear that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving a lot of the ordinary people than free enterprise”.
Today, when communism should be absolutely irrelevant, many people still advocate it. The emergence of libertarian philosophy is a mirror copy of communism. Putting either ideology into policy would result in a catastrophe.
Communism is a delusion. It is a radical transformation in the individual if they decide to apply it. It constructs an illusion that makes the individual perceive he is doing the right thing but in reality, it is just a radical and extreme measure that puts the societal order at risk.
– by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394