myReview 17 d

The facts about Communism and all its shades.

AlexanderAnttila

I have noticed a disturbing lack of insight into the realities of the political ideology of communism. I have read history since young, have studied history on university on first and primary levels and I am also politically active I will share my own findings of having studied this ideology extensively.

1. What was Communism?
Communism started with a school of though referred to as Marxism. The Marxist school of thought stems from the works of Karl Marx, a German philosopher, sociologist, and historian. Historically, there exists a wide variation of interpretive sub schools in Marxism, such as Leninism, Stalinism, Trotskyism, Maoism etc. But the established categorization to make sense of them all has been divided into three main branches: Classical Marxism, which is the original thoughts and creeds of Marx, Orthodox communism, a development which primarily rose in revolutionary Russia in the 20th century, and NeoMarxism.

2. Ontology and epistemology
Classical Marxism is, although this is purportedly contested, based upon a foundationalist
ontology coupled with a realist epistemology. A real world exists “out there”, and thus
Marxism focuses upon an essentialist position that “there are essential processes and
structures which shape or cause contemporary social existence”, (Marsh, David. P. 154).
The four “isms” which is integrally related to the Marxist theorem; economism, wherein
Marxists privilege economic relations, determinism, in that economic relations determine
social and political relations, structuralism, and materialism.

3. Core assumptions
To Marxism, economic relations undergirded the conditions of life in society. The economy
was an inevitable determinant factor that political institutions, laws, belief systems and even
the constellations of family would conform to. Thus, under capitalism, it became the primary
goal of the law to protect private property and therefore, the state was rendered an active
agency of the ruling class, (Marsh, David. P. 154). It was furthermore the assumption of
Marxism that material relations shaped ideas at any given time, and the dominant ideas were
always aligned with the interests of the ruling class, thus the position is materialist. The
structuralist portion of Marxism dictates that structures, economic ones in particular
determines the actions of agents, and the agents themselves according to Marxism are then
rendered as no more than “bearers” of their structural position, (Marsh, David. P. 155). The
state is therefore inevitably and incontrovertibly an agent of the ruling class, and strategic
calculations of subjects prominent within rational institutionalism are therefore void.
These bullet points of Marxist assumptions culminate into what is known as metanarrative, a
view of the world and a theory of history, which covers the past, present and future in a
predictive epistemology, (Marsh, David. P. 155).

4. Weaknesses
One theoretical strength of Marxism is that it bases its core assumptions upon a foundationalist ontology which means that, as there is a real world out there independent of our knowledge of it, Marxists have the potential from objective observations to derive empirical substantiation for their credo, which weighs heavily on scientific discourse. However, as put forth by David Marsh in Theory and Methods of Political Science, the theoretical critique aimed at Marxism has several starting points. One of these belong to the work of Gramsci who emphasized the need of analyzing the relevance of ideologies, hegemonic and political struggles, the significance of agents, which in Gramsci’s works broke with the credo of economism, determinism and structuralism’s rigid dogma which decried strategic calculations of individuals, (Marsh, David. P. 155). There has also been heavy, and well founded, critique against the Marxist proposition of social, economic, and political change. In short, determinist, economist and structuralist principles were not accurate tools of explaining the changes that occurred within these fields, and empirical evidence indicated that economic relations were not in fact a determinant factor for either ideology, the forms of the state nor culture, (Marsh, David. P. 155). It was furthermore evident that the bulk of Marxist conclusions regarding the ubiquitous subservience of the state towards the ruling class, wasn’t a necessary rule of capitalist countries as it was observed that policy did not always nor even clearly in many cases serve the interests of owners and the possessors of capital. It has also been evidenced that the determinist historical view of Marx was and is
unsubstantiated. As Marx wrote his theorems in the context of industrialized Europe in the
19th century, he also ascertained that it was the natural course of development that the
working class would one day overthrow the elites and usher in a socialist regime wherein the
state would eventually wither and absolve itself, creating a utopia for the workers as owners
of the means of production. This is not what transpired however, instead a large middle class
emerged from growing urbanization, constituting a majority in western societies and has
contemporary also seen a decline in both the percentages of elites and working class
adherents in a given capitalist nation.
References:
Marsh, D. (2008). Marxism. In Lowndes V., Marsh, David. & Smith, Martin. (eds), Theory
and Methods in Political Science. (2nd ed.), London: Palgrave Macmillan.

5. War crime examples:
Soviet Russia under Stalin: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2002/may/01/news.features11
https://www.sciencespo.fr/mass-violence-war-massacre-resistance/fr/document/kurapaty-1937-1941-nkvd-mass-killings-soviet-belarus.html
https://news.stanford.edu/2010/09/23/naimark-stalin-genocide-092310/Key elements: Mass rape, mass murder, ethnic targeting.
Mao's China: https://www.history.com/topics/china/cultural-revolution Key elements: Dictatorship, failing economy, person-cult.
Soviet Russia under Lenin: https://www-britannica-com.proxy.lnu.se/topic/Red-Terror Key elements: Red terror, Mass execution of prisoners, person-cult.

With much, much more.

6. Take away: When professional thinkers and opinionists in the West aim a disdainful finger at capitalism, that is in their freedom to do so. Capitalism isn't perfect nor does it claim to be. Capitalism can be abused and requires in my view an ethical leash as to not become limitless and oppressive. But it is the best system by far the world has had and has. And when these people instead glorify communism as the messianic opposition to "cruel and extorting capitalism" we enter into the world of direct fallacy and lies. And that I will never stand for. Communism, is an evil.

What Communism creates, is a collectivist tyranny that reduces the individual to a building block of an all powerful state.
What Communism creates, is a collectivist tyranny that reduces the individual to a building block of an all powerful state.
The facts about Communism and all its shades.
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  • nightdrot
    This was an excellent review - albeit I would argue one that was directed more at a specialist's audience than at the general audience found on this site. It properly defines Marxism - though without reference to one key concept, more about which, anon - and points to its fundamental theoretical weaknesses.

    Suffice to add, I am an enormous fan of the author of this piece. I have read his material before and we have debated before. He is never anything but thoughtful in his arguments and polite and respectful in his debate.

    So my cards on the table, as I say, this is an excellent piece. There are just two things - one specific, one general - that I would have liked to see elaborated upon a bit more.

    The specific is that this is a discussion of Marxism, and it goes fairly deeply into Marx's materialistic views. However, there is no reference in it to "the dialectic of History," - with a capital "H." This was a core concept to Marx and is, in some measure, an indication of the fallacious nature of his materialism.

    In essence, Marx said the world is as we see it. Famously there is no God and religion is the "opiate of the masses." Yet then Marx creates a dialectic that, in effect, becomes "God." An autonomous force that drives the development of the material world.

    The author somewhat indirectly alludes to this, but not specifically so. A discussion of this "fly" in Marx's "materialist ointment" might have been helpful. It has been said of Marxism that "what was true in it was derivative, and what was false was original."

    A discussion of Marx's dialectic might have been a place to prove the truth in that old axiom. Albeit that the dialectic was not a Marxian invention, but its application in this materialist context was an innovation - the even weirder part was that it brought a "god" in through the materialist back door.

    The larger concept that did not get sufficient attention was the implications of Marx's materialism in how it affected Marxian governance. The paradox being that Marxism in practice brought about conditions far more brutal that the capitalism he criticized.

    That being because, in a universe that was purely materialist in nature, human beings had no significance. They were just cogs in the machine. Raw material to be shaped by the forces of History, of whom the party in time became the vanguard.

    Suffice to say, once man became raw material, it was not hard for the state to treat him as such. Thus, the state, far from whithering away, became omnipresent and totalitarian. Ever present and all pervasive - thus were the KGB and the Stasi born. This in addition to the economic stupidities - no other word quite applies - that resulted in empty store shelves. Thus adding material deprivation to political oppression.

    Beyond that, it might have been interesting to see more elaboration on the various schools of Marxism that arose and to which the author alludes. However, in fairness, space may not have permitted.

    Overall, though, this is an outstanding and scholarly "MyTake" and the author deserves a ton of credit. He has done some serious thinking about these issues and is not - as happens so often in contemporary culture - not just throwing around labels for their provocative effect. THAT is a giant improvement to the contemporary political and cultural dialogue.

    Well done.

    P. S. By the way, AlexanderAnttila, thought you might want to weigh in on this discussion as time permits - Would you consider you religious belief to be logical and true? . See my response to this question and the debate that followed.
    Like 4 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • Thank you for weighing in on my piece, much appreciated. And thank you for the compliments, it means a lot.

      I could certainly have included the Dialectic of History, I think my reasoning was that as Marx's base tenets could be disproved from the get-go, there was no argumentative need to dive deeper. But it is an important piece worthy to address indeed.

      With regards to the school I tried to keep it general as it carries the risk of going on indefinitely when going into detail on all the mutations of Marx's credo.

      I'll certainly take a look when I can at this religious question, cheers!

  • Hispanic-Cool-Guy
    Communsim certainly do suck. Capitalism is the best system mixed in with some good amount of socialism to keep the rich, privileged and powerful from exploiting the vulnerable and needy at the bottom.

    Anyone who favors the greedy rich is a scumbag and evil which is what a lot of capitalist do at the expense of the common man and woman in society.

    Psalms 10:3-4
    For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire; He blesses the greedy and renounces the LORD.

    The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts.
    Like 4 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • You're correct up until you speak of mixing in "a good amount of socialism" that really isn't how it works. Socialism is a fundamentalist economic concept and does not coexist with other models. The means of production cannot be commonly owned and free to privatize at the same time.

      Indeed greed is a sin. So is compulsion and theft, which Jesus spoke of many times and defended as well as the Apostles. And Socialism is by and large, compulsion to live exactly as everyone else economically, and theft of one's hard work.

    • Modern society have a good dose of socialism i. e universal healthcare, free higher education, welfare programs etc. I think your country offers it or a lot of European countries do as they should.

    • We have been through this before, that is not socialism. What you mention are aspects of the Swedish Welfare System that is built upon the successes of Swedish companies on the competitive market in the EU to finance and sustain it. We are not nor have we ever been socialist, and that is final. Take it from a Swede. In fact take it from two Swedes; www.atlasnetwork.org/.../the-story-of-sweden-is-about-markets-not-socialism “I don't think the American Left knows that Sweden is the country of pension reform, school vouchers, free trade, low corporate taxes and no taxes on property, gifts and inheritance. Sweden affords its big welfare state because it is more free-market and free trade than other countries. So if they want to redistribute wealth they also have to deregulate the economy drastically to create that wealth.”

      Socialism and Communism are integrate to each other, they are one and the same, wrought from the same destructive school of Marxist thought.

Most Helpful Girl

  • Sweetener_
    I wish I could understand what you wrote lol
    Like 3 People
    Is this still revelant?

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What Girls & Guys Said

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  • ADFSDF1996
    Communism is what the devil would be if he were an ideology. It has been used to oppress millions throughout history and is still used by about countries today, one of those countries being a superpower.

    What’s more frightening is how many left wingers in developed countries romanticize communism, it’s as if the Cold War never ended.
    Like 1 Person
    • Every government ultimately oppressed their citizens at some point. Even the almighty usa has been leaning into authoritarianism for decades now. Eventually we will either go full nazi or a huge wave of social change will occur with minimal friendly fire. Or anything in-between. Who knows. Nobody has found a perfect system of government yet.

      I don't agree with communism, but democratic socialism sure seems to work well to the benefit of a higher majority of the population.

    • ADFSDF1996

      @BeenThereLovedIt Compared to how China and North Korea treats it’s people, USA is a utopia.

  • goaded
    "Communism, is an evil."
    I couldn't disagree more. In order for an idea to be an evil it would have to have evil intent. Communism is intended to ensure everyone has what they need. It doesn't work, but that's its intent. Star Trek's vision of a future Earth is arguably communist.

    What really works well, as shown by large numbers of countries worldwide, are democratically controlled capitalist societies with social ownership (or at least control over) essentials, such as infrastructure, education, health care, policing, justice, and defence, plus strong support for labour.

    Nobody cares if the inventor of the fidget spinner or a better mousetrap gets rich off their invention, but they should care if they are able to parley that into political power that enables them to participate in an oligarchy.

    That's where democracy should come in but, especially in the US, it's hobbled by a century-long massive campaign to call practically anything that's good for the people generally and the country as a whole "Socialism", and, for good measure, equating that to "Communism", and that to "Evil".

    Minimum wage? Socialism!
    Medicare? Socialism!
    Universal health care? Socialism!
    Free education?* Socialism!
    Unions? Socialism!
    Socialism? Communism!
    Communism? Evil!

    *Yes, it gets paid for through taxes, but participation shouldn't depend on the parent's personal ability to pay.
  • msc545
    You forgot about the fact that as predicted, Capitalism metastasizes to the point that it kills societies - something all you "capitalism is the best system in the world" groupies seem to always forget or ignore.
    LikeDisagree 8 People
    • Quite a tiny inference that effectively ignores a very long paragraph on academic evidence that nothing Marx predicted came true.

      But exactly do you mean by capitalism metastasizing and 'killing societies', any examples?

    • msc545

      Yes. Unregulated capitalism results in gross economic inequality which, if left to fester long enough, historically results in violent revolution. France, Cuba, and some ungodly number of South American countries.

    • Right. But it is a gross false comparison to make with the underdeveloped and tightly state controlled societies of pre-revolutionary France in the 1700's with the developed economies of today. They are not the same systems by any measure.

      And you're also making an important distinction in *unregulated capitalism* thankfully, the laissez-faire period is long since gone. There has furthermore been done a huge deal of research into capitalism's history in modern time, and strong indications have been discovered with correlations to free market capitalism and the growth of democracy and prosperity.

      Even those critical to this notion have to concede this, an example is this article by Stelzer: www-jstor-org.proxy.lnu.se/.../42894928 see page 32.

      As well as: www.independent.org/issues/article.asp?id=2769 "There is no evidence that countries that eschewed freer markets and embraced substantially greater state control performed better on any of these major indicators. On the contrary, those countries that adopt increased taxation, increased regulation, fiscal mismanagement and enormous public debt have performed demonstrably worse."

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  • jshm2
    You're wrong off the bat of course. Perhaps educate yourself, before trying to preach to others?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_communist_ideologies#:~:text=Self%2Didentified%20communists%20hold%20a,non%2DMarxist%20communism%2C%20and%20religious

    Just as there are many types of democracies, so there are many types of communist ideologies. Some better, some worse, but all better than American "freedoms" in many regards.
    Disagree 1 Person
    • You always do have a sort of predictable response. Additionally your comment makes it quite clear that you did not read the take. And to present a Wikipedia article in response to real academic inquiry is laughable.

  • KlinkyCoder
    Given that all the "rulers" attempting to implement communism and socialism in their respective countries ended up being an elite of power-mad war criminals, it would at least hamper the credibility of the theoretical part of it.
    Like 2 People
    • Jay3344

      I think this is a western interpretation of communist governments, although I agree many fall prey to systemic corruption, western Democracies also suffer from this. I mean you could bring almost every US President since Eisenhower to trial for war crimes based off of the actions taken by their administration. Look it up if you don’t believe me.

    • @Jay3344 Are you defending the regimes of China, N. Korea, Cuba, the old Soviet Union?

    • Jay3344

      Nope, I was just taking a stab at framing your comment.

    • Show All
  • anylolone
    A few mistakes.
    1. Communism didn't stated with marxism, marx himself says it and has the nerv of calling previous communists "utopian". Not that they were better than him, but the nerve.

    2. Marx's communism claims to be realistic and scientific, but marx sucked at science and reality, it was functionally deontological. When one comes to post-modern post-/marxists like gramsci, it's explicitly deontological, anti-realistic.

    The rest is pretty spot on.
    Like 1 Person
  • Wester1967
    A Chinese communist country provides all your cheap wal mart BS which props up your boojy ridiculous entitled adult infant lifestyle. This is another one of those deluded, unread, commyunizm gonna eat yo momma soft core Bircher posts that sounds like it could have been ginned up in the middle of the 1950s. "Mockingbird" Ms. Forrestal. The facts about Communism and all its shades.
  • Steve_Dogs
    If small enough, just about any type of community experiment can work. A version of Communism can only be viable on very small scales.
    Like 4 People
  • disgustingweebtrash
    Marx didn't consider capitalism would sell the means of production to the "communists"
    LikeDisagree 2 People
    • Not sure that even makes sense what you wrote there.

    • Who manufactures what the west consumes?

    • Are you trying to get at the whole "everything's made in China" spiel? I hope that's not it.

    • Show All
  • cth96190
    There is nothing good about Communism, in all its forms.
    Ask anyone who had to live under the Communist boot on their face.
  • zagor
    It should be duly noted that Marx leeched off of friends for much of his adult life.
    Like 1 Person
  • Dratchild
    Faaaaaacts
    Like 1 Person
  • Jouth
    didn't read lol get rekt
  • Anonymous
    sucks to see so many communism fanboys on here.
    Like 2 People

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