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Why is communism a bad word?


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#21
kvnchrist

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Communism is a n idea that has never been tried anywhere in the world by anyone, because no one actually knows how a truly communist community can be implemented. Those who have tried have done such a horrific job of bringing their vision of what a communist society  should be, that they have left a sour taste in the mouths of those who observe it from a far.

 

Theses people have given those opposed to the idea a straw man to demonize on their way to glorifying the system they convinced themselves is better. Trouble is, if there has never been true comunism in the world, how can they actually say their system is better, so they go with whatever is most familar to them.



#22
PkSanTi

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As I suspected, the discussion is turning into a matter of practical communism, of communist governments here and there, or of the absence of such. I will just remind the point 1) which I pretended to use as a guide through the post: the discussion of communism as a theory, as a philosophical view of reality, specially as Marx explained it.



#23
Aurielius

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A political theory without any reference to it's real world applications is called speculative utopian fiction.



#24
Lisnpuppy

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I don't know why people get in such a tizzy, at least here in the U.S. about communism and socialism (socialism I think is the worse of the words here as most Americas think communism lost.  Socialism however is still something of a boogie man here.)  The Communist (i.e The Soviet Union) was the evil which we, as the owners of the "Shining House on the Hill", fought against and won (so we think) when the wall came down and the Soviet Union broke into so many splintered shards.

 

In reality, Communism has been held up as a political theory and an economic theory.  To many in the U.S., capitalism is viewed as both also.  It is really interchangeable with democracy to many Americans, and as such is seen as the system of government in ways since many think one can not have democracy without capitalism.  That isn't really how either of them work but you can not take socialist economics out of communism nor capitalism from our view of democracy.

 

How I ultimately see them is thus, you can not have pure communism without the incorruptibility of government, and you can not have pure capitalism without the incorruptible  generosity of the people.  Without these, neither will hold (as time has shown) and you end up with governments and economies that have various combinations of social/economic practices.

 

Both systems sound absolutely wonderful on paper.  In practice, eh...

 

I do agree though, if not the means to fix the issues, that Marx had it right that there will be a reckoning between the "haves" and the "have nots" in societies.  The U.S. economy is becoming increasingly divided in wealth distribution.  I feel that something is going to give in this as it is not sustainable.  



#25
Perraine

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A political theory without any reference to it's real world applications is called speculative utopian fiction.

^ This

 

We may as well be talking about the "Federation" from Star Trek, that too is a Utopian dream of humanities future.

 

Communism as an "idea" is all fine and dandy, but has never ( whether "true" communism or some bastardized version) and more importantly will NEVER work as a functional form of government.

 

 

As noted earlier, one reason is because - Humans. Like it or not, we are still animals underneath all our supposed sophistication, and our "instinct" is to pass on our genes to the next generation, and to consider our own genes to be far superior to anyone else and to "fight" for that opinion. We also use that "fight" instinct to "hoard" superior breeding partners and the resources to support them and our superior offspring. That's completely at odds with what communism supposedly tries to accomplish.

 

Another is Religion. Like it or not, religion has played a HUGE role throughout human existence, because in allows for that nebulous construct called "morality" which in turn allows for "social contracts" to be formed (for good or ill and, sometimes even unconsciously) and that is how "societies" (and forms of government) are made.



#26
PkSanTi

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A political theory without any reference to it's real world applications is called speculative utopian fiction.

 

Only to clarify, Aurelius: Marxism is not only a political theory, but a philosophical understanding of reality -which goes beyond-. We should be able to discuss it without falling on this or that government on such and such year of the xx century, since, though reality deserves a place (a quite important one), so does theory. Since it's the lack of understanding of Marx's theory and ideals what made communist governments, in general -I, personally, believe there are exceptions- so bad, I can't hurt to discuss it.



#27
PkSanTi

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I might also add -sorry for the double comment- that argument's related to the such called "human nature" are so questionable and week that I wouldn't bother to even use them. We can't be certain of what human nature truly is. The so called "fight" was a law of nature perhaps on a savage state of our development as a specie, but who says it is or has to be a current law? (We may also add that the idea of evolution as the supremacy of the strongest one is mistaken; what Darwin meant was the supremacy of the most adapted one; this is: the one who reproduces the most. Fight and savage competition won't necessary be our evolutionary manner... Lot's of species reproduce more -this is, they are better adapted- through cooperation and society.) 

 

How certain are we that we are just deadly animals looking to win on whatever price? How certain are we that me are not capable of caring for the others more than what we care for ourselves? I know that the human kind is capable of evil and disaster: that is certain. But it is also capable of wonderful things. To my eyes, it's just a week and comfortable position: "ah, we are humans so that will never work, why make an effort...". So easy to escape a challenge or even a responsibility that way. Perhaps we should assume that capitalism pushes people to poverty and lack of freedom, instead of just resign to that fact because of our such called 'humanity', which's characteristics and character, by the way, is too complex and uncertain to reduce to a simple animal impulse to win or conquer. 



#28
Perraine

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I might also add -sorry for the double comment- that argument's related to the such called "human nature" are so questionable and week that I wouldn't bother to even use them. We can't be certain of what human nature truly is. The so called "fight" was a law of nature perhaps on a savage state of our development as a specie, but who says it is or has to be a current law? (We may also add that the idea of evolution as the supremacy of the strongest one is mistaken; what Darwin meant was the supremacy of the most adapted one; this is: the one who reproduces the most. Fight and savage competition won't necessary be our evolutionary manner... Lot's of species reproduce more -this is, they are better adapted- through cooperation and society.) 

 

How certain are we that we are just deadly animals looking to win on whatever price? How certain are we that me are not capable of caring for the others more than what we care for ourselves? I know that the human kind is capable of evil and disaster: that is certain. But it is also capable of wonderful things. To my eyes, it's just a week and comfortable position: "ah, we are humans so that will never work, why make an effort...". So easy to escape a challenge or even a responsibility that way. Perhaps we should assume that capitalism pushes people to poverty and lack of freedom, instead of just resign to that fact because of our such called 'humanity', which's characteristics and character, by the way, is too complex and uncertain to reduce to a simple animal impulse to win or conquer. 

Well that may be an admirable position in say... Narnia, but it has nothing whatsoever to de with the real world we live in.

 

"Human nature" is exactly that! More and more science is finding that we are in fact not all that far removed from our "savage" ancestors. We developed "social contracts" as a consequence primarily of "religion", in order to create "civilizations", but you can NEVER truly suppress your nature, no matter how much you might like to pontificate on it ...

 

That same instinct can and will cause some (though not all) to attempt to improve their lives and surroundings, and in a large group that may actually be helpful to the "society", but it is NEVER more than a selfish impulse at it's core.

 

Capitalism, though by know means perfect, at least gives those that wish to the "incentive" to strive and improve, and to see a benefit from that effort. Marxism and it's bastard children (known by various names) are the exact opposite of that.

Instead it's promotes what we see currently in the world, this so called "victimhood" narrative, and people blaming others for all their problems and/or demanding others fix there live for them and make them into something special.

 

Equality of Opportunity (Capitalism) versus Equality of Outcome (Communism)  - The former can give a close approximation of the latter (if we try hard enough), but the reverse never will. Corruption in the former will not cause the system to collapse, merely cause a disparity in the latter, the reverse will always lead to the system collapsing.

 

...

 

On a sidenote, I purposely placed the word "fight" in inverted commas to denote that it doesn't necessarily mean violent or destructive behavior, it may simply be jealousy, covetousness, greed, desire or indeed just the "oneupmanship" that comes so naturally to EVERY human on the planet, it a survival instinct that is so basic and so ingrained into our species, that we will never be able to rid ourselves of it completely.



#29
PkSanTi

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I do not believe we are far from our ancestors either, neither biologically nor psychologically (Jung's archetypes...). I don't disagree on that; I disagree on using that argument as an excuse to resign to our so called "nature", which apparently is evil and selfish by definition though we can't define it by any means (do you notice the contradiction...?). And if you think science and genetics will tell you what our nature is, you should come to notice that, though they do influence, they are not the whole. Neither of us is only a genetic disposition, but a big amount of factors, among the which genetics is only one, and perhaps not even the most important. So... We can keep telling ourselves we know something about human "nature" as a defined thing. The true is that we don't.

 

Now, if you'd say that we are usually capable of evil and selfishness, I wouldn't deny it, and I would admit it's a huge concern regarding communism; mostly because it pretends to deposit on one individual the power of "the people". And who can say that individual is righteous? It may be Ernesto Guevara, in which case we are lucky, just as it could be Stalin... in which case we are not. So, as you can see, I agree with this argument; but to identify the possibility of greediness and selfishness with the nature of human being is wrong; it's a possibility. If that's the logic, it would be equally fair to say we are good and kind by nature, since we are capable of goodness and kindness; this is, since those are a possibility. Superficially I would say I agree with your concern; but I couldn't say the same when dealing with your argument's strength.

 

Short notes: Capitalism is not equality of opportunities; a labour's man's son with a bad education and forced to work since early age has not the same opportunities that the son of a wealthy man does. That's a reality nobody can deny.

 

Communism is not equality of income. Where did you even get that from? Haha. In the most favourable case, it's superficial propaganda against communism, but has no contact with communism as a theory. That's why people should read Marx's works and see what Marx's proposals were before attribute its theory fake aims and bases. (Actually, with Jimmy we discussed this prejudice before; you can read on those posts the thing with income in communism (basically people getting what their work is worth, and not loosing their work's value in the hand of others...)).    

 

We developed "social contracts" as a consequence primarily of "religion", in order to create "civilizations". Well... very arguable. And you didn't give any argument, just throw the enunciation by itself. Don't even know if it's worth the debate anyway; wouldn't be sticking to the point. If your point was that communism handled the religious phenomenon very badly, I agree a hundred per cent: people should be free to practise any religion they want. But, again..., Marx didn't want to kill religious people, or repress them, but hoped humanity would overcome religiousness as a repressive form of life. I don't agree with that point of his, but come on, it's not even the important part of communism, haha.  And, in theory, we were debating his ideas, not the mistakes of Castro or Stalin. So... well... that's it. 



#30
Perraine

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Read my post again. I used the phrase "Equality of OUTCOME" not 'income'. Although that principal isn't exactly what Marx himself espoused, it is what Communism and Socialism came to incorporate. Unfortunately, though Marx himself may have been considered altruistic, or even virtuous by some and certainly he had a unique way of looking at the world, later so called proponents of his ideas were certainly not!

 

...

 

Scientist are constantly doing behavioral studies and they are finding that we are far, far more creatures of our ancestry than many believe, and our "unconscious" brains developed many patterns back when we were "hunter gatherers" which we are still slaves to even today.

A perfect example of this is "Find a Uterus and Protect that Uterus" This lead not only to things like extended family groups, agriculture, animal husbandry and "tribes", but even to more modern things such as "Chivalry", or the concept of "Women and children first" And even such things as group child care. Now of course those aren't "bad" or "evil" things (unless you're a 3rd wave Feminist) In fact they can be considered very good, and helpful traits, but the fact remains It's a natural outgrowth of our PRIMAL ancestry. And while some of those instincts might lead to nice things, other instincts (just as powerful and just as 'unconcious') may lead to bad things ... such as WAR

 

...

 

I'll freely admit that Capitalism isn't perfect, and certainly money can make things easier ... But I can and will DENY your inference about "reality".

 

A poor man's child has the same opportunity for betterment (which includes education) as a rich mans child. There is no legal or social impediment (in modern western cultures at least) to anyone willing to put the effort in. Some of the wealthiest people alive today, started with nothing, and some of the children of past generations of "rich" people have ended up with nothing, because the didn't work for it.

 

THAT is the true reality that cannot be denied.

 

...

 

 

Also, when talking about "religion" it doesn't just encompass modern ones such as Catholicism or whatever, it goes back all the way to our first civilizations, where the "King" or ruler/leader was also a god to be worshiped, or the even older concept of "Ancestor Worship". This worship ( or 'religion' ) had many consequences, not the least of which is it forced individuals to come together to not only partake in rituals, but also to co-operate to create shrines and temples. It also gave unrelated people something in common, so that ideas and chattels could be exchanged without conflict or prejudice, and finally it brought about "consequences" for not worshiping and the need for enforcement of that worship. ( i.e crime and punishment or 'social contracts')






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