Communism: Can it work?


I personally believe that old school Karl Marx communism can work.
It's just never been tested.

Two rules from communist manifesto:
Open borders
fair elections

If you look at any case in the pat 1 of those 2 and usually both were broken
Soviet Union
N. Korea

Other cases like Laos is just because it's a naturally poor nation. They always were and until there education picked up significantly they always will be. China whitch is 50/50 is the number one economy in the world. There economy is communist style. Also there are Kibutez in Isreal where on small scale communism works suberb.

If Communism is properly practiced there's always
better education
100% employment
everyone has health care.

Now I know that everyone says that people don't have motivation. That's why an open border is vital. That's the main reason countries in the past failed. In this system everyone has to be willing.

That's why I conclude I don't think full blown communism can work on a large scale, but in a population of less than let's say 10 million (just pulling a number out of my ass completely honestly) then ya I think it could.

Also I never lived in a communist nation but my parents lived in The Soviet Union. Life was bad ther for them but really that's because of curruption on every scale. Buy My great grandfather (over 100 years old and living) has lived in the US for the past nine years. He still think he's in the soviet union. So how different can it be?
Yeah, there's no body mutilation in it

I still don't think it could because people that have and make more money wouldn't appreciate that kind of equality although it would probably significantly increase people with education and less homelessness.

On Monday Night at 9:30 pm I watched this program (Q & A) on the ABC network it has no commercials. Anyway, there was this woman, educated in (gay). She spoke about Putin, and how he come to power. Mate, Putin is worth from 20 million dollars to 100 million dollars, that was years and years ago. At the moment they are arresting people who may protest, though, they haven't...**** me dead! She reckon Putin is as bad as Stalin, Hiltler and so forth. She went through about his history, years ago, he took out other politicians in a Mayor election in ......about 4 hours from Moscow. Also, he use to work near the Berlin War...KGB I think. I tried to get the you tube show, though I couldn't and I'm not the best at writing.

will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
Communism is the way to go.

I sure hope planet news doesn't see this thread.
It reminds me of a toilet paper on the trees
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I'm not old, you're just 12.
Communism doesn't work. I dunno about you, but when I think of awesome places to live, that list doesn't include Soviet Russia, Cuba, North Korea, or China.
"You, me, everyone...we are all made of star stuff." - Neil Degrasse Tyson

My parents and grandparents also lived in the Soviet Union and they say that people were equal then.There was no one richer,all had the same conditions,all people had jobs and people were given flats for free,they didn't have to pay for them.But there was so much propaganda and absolutely no chance to go abroad.My parents told that when they went to school,history teacher told them which pages they have to tear(it was those which said that USSR occupied,killed,sent to GULAG etc.).Everyone had to praise Lenin,my grandmother wanted to finish music school but the authority said that she can finish only when she learns THE USSR national anthem.
Well it was a good life based on lies.Anyway,I don't think that cummunism can work but I believe that it will come back someday because history always goes around. :/
Oh by the way,I think that USSR is a fascinating country with a good although mad leaders.I mean,how did USSR played with WW2?Took half of the Europe,"saved" countries from nazis and weren't punished for their crimes.
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We've gone on holiday by mistake
All of you have missed the point that the OP was tring to make, that true Communism has never really been tried on a large scale. The Soviet Union was NEVER a true communist state. More like a brutal dictatorship.

Can it work though? Well, Capitalism has turned into a resounding failure through weak oversight of Banking and Corporate ventures.

Perhaps it could work with a few tweaks. I mean there will be no incentive to go through all the training to become a Doctor if you are going to be no better off that a Garbage man.

So perhaps something like Communism but taking the best parts of other forms of Government.

Communism doesn't work. I dunno about you, but when I think of awesome places to live, that list doesn't include Soviet Russia, Cuba, North Korea, or China.
Today's commies are Communist on the outside, Capitalists on the inside, but still corrupt all the same. Although I must say that Vietnam has been rather successful for a communist country. So yes, communism CAN work.

The basic premise of communism came from early tribal cuture: work as hard as you can and you will be provided for your needs.
In theory it seemed like a good idea but in practise it became the sweat of many for the sake of few. Talk about Big Brother and government control! Communism is anathema to personal freedom.

The idea that "real" Communism could work, and that the massive failures we've seen just weren't "real" Communism, is not a new one. But there are some pretty clear problems with it, I think:

1) It'd be easy to defend any terrible idea by saying that, when it fails, it just wasn't done quite right. This is the "No True Scotsman" fallacy.

2) It's entirely possible that the corruption we see under Communism is not incidental, but an inextricable part of it. You're right about open borders; it needs to be entirely voluntary. But let's consider the idea that it's meaningful that it never is, in practice.

3) Even if you ignore both of these things, we're still left with a political system that, if it's not done "correctly," produces millions of deaths, starvation, and horrible human rights violations. And there's really no reason to have faith in people to do something perfectly, so that seems like too much of a risk to take. The best systems take human fallibility into account so that they don't have to be done just right to function, or at least don't result in untold suffering when they don't.

In the Beginning...
It seems to me that Communism fails because it doesn't easily mesh with the way humanity naturally seeks to ascend. Instead, the idea becomes exploited by the inclination of individuals or groups to negotiate, fight, cheat, or bully their way into acquiring more wealth and influence.

On the other hand, Capitalism works because it encourages that behavior. The creation of wealth and influence, no matter the method used to get there, makes the growth of a Capitalist economy possible.

So no, I don't think Communism would work. Nobody is ready to stop and say they're happy with what they currently have, and there are plenty of people in the world who have nothing.

It's entirely possible that the corruption we see under Communism is not incidental, but an inextricable part of it.
I'd be more inclined to argue that economic corruption is more a product of human nature, not necessarily of one economic model over another. There's plenty of corruption run rampant in Capitalist countries too.

I should clarify: when I said "the corruption we see under Communism," I was singling it out as a different level of corruption altogether. Namely, the systematic, pervasive corruption that has occurred during all serious attempts to form a Communistic society. Obviously, corruption in general is a fact of life, so any reference to a system's corruption should be assumed to mean something above and beyond the kind of corruption you find in any organization containing people.

I'm not sure what you're asking for. Anecdotes about Soviet government officials circumventing rules? Jailing political dissidents? Spies in the GDR threatening citizens they're monitoring? I can recommend a book or two, I suppose. Stasiland is particularly good.

One other thing I'd like to add here: in any conversation about communism someone will inevitably say that it doesn't work because it doesn't allow for basic human ambition (or greed, if you're feeling less charitable). I think this is true as far as it goes, but it's a very pessimistic argument.

But there's a much more positive reason why capitalism succeeds and communism fails: information. Communism doesn't just fail because it's incompatible with human nature; it fails because it requires central planners, none of whom can ever have the slightest hope of having enough information to know how resources can be most efficiently utilized.

It's not just that greed is a fact of human existence and must be accounted for--though it is, and it must--it's that prices are the most stunningly successful way to transfer economic information in the history of the world. The mere existence of prices coordinates the transfer of efforts and the signalling of desires so incredibly well that it's almost like magic. The result is so elegant and seamless that it looks like it was designed (hence Adam Smith's "Invisible Hand"), even though no one person is in charge of it.

Economist Russ Roberts' (whose podcast and writings I can't recommend enough) likes to use the example of Chinese student migration. Over the next few years millions of Chinese citizens will move from rural areas to cities. Public school rolls will swell and we'll see an inflated demand for pencils. Now try to imagine a scenario where you walk into a stationary store a few years from now and the guy behind the counter tells you "Sorry, we're out of pencils: the Chinese are using all of them." It's unthinkable.

The demand will grow, and so will the price. The higher price will increases the locations that are suddenly cost effective to mine for lead, inviting further investment, which will produce more lead, which will create more pencils. No shadowy figure in a government room has to notice this problem in advance, issue an edict to ramp up pencil production, try to guess what the new price should be, and pull people off of other assembly lines to make sure it all happens. It all happens on its own, because of prices. Because of capital.

So, it's all well and good to say that communism is at odds with human nature. But it's a lot more positive, and perhaps more important, to point out that it can't hope to utilize a fraction of a percent as much information as a society with free capital can. Prices aggregate and distribute human knowledge that no one person, or government body, could ever hope to know.

In the Beginning...
I'll admit, I was phishing.

I was curious how you meant that Communist corruption was inherently different than other forms of political or economic corruption. The examples you cited, for instance, have equivalents that are pretty readily found in the U.S. as well.

Though I suppose this distinction can be made. Much of the corruption in Communism can be found within the government itself, since the government is the core of a state-run nation. Those who stand to benefit are primarily state leaders or those who are held in high regard by state leaders.

Capitalist corruption, however, tends to occur largely in the private sector (Enron, Bernie Madoff, etc.), since the free market allows for opportunities for private companies to work the system. Obviously, we see corruption in the U.S. bleed into government as well (on a far larger scale than we probably realize), but that's largely for the benefit of leaders in the private sector, with political leaders getting a trickle-down reward for the trouble.

Is that what you meant?

In the Beginning...
One other thing I'd like to add here: in any conversation about communism someone will inevitably say that it doesn't work because it doesn't allow for basic human ambition (or greed, if you're feeling less charitable). I think this is true as far as it goes, but it's a very pessimistic argument.
Eh. I rather think it's a realist argument. Yes, individuals can be good-natured. Yes, groups of people can be good-natured. But when you consider the entire population of a country, I think it's far less likely that you'll ever see a unified, well-intentioned effort to choose prosperity over profit. Even in the 1940s, when the United States was galvanized against the Axis powers, there were still plenty of instances of war profiteering. Personal gain is in our blood, man.

I'm still not explaining myself very well, I guess. Sorry.

When I say it's different, I mean that I think it's instrumental, and not incidental. The rule, not the exception. I think the corruption in communist societies is essentially what holds them together (albeit not forever), whereas the opposite is true in capitalist societies: the corruption we have to deal with threatens the stability of our system.

Re: realist. I don't disagree. I just mean that it sounds pessimistic; it doesn't exalt capitalism so much as it denigrates the alternatives. Which is fine. As an argument it's totally valid. But there are limits to the rhetorical power of negative arguments, and I feel like the power of prices to coordinate information and resources is an amazing, positive thing that doesn't get talked about enough.