Anybody who’s studied Communism in any depth is pretty well aware of what it’s intended to be.
For most people though, they’ve heard the word, and equate it with things to which it cannot even really be compared favorably, much less counted synonymous.
There’s a tendency for people to assume what was seen in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, is currently or was formerly in place in China, or can be found in Cuba at any point after their revolution, can be considered Communism.
To be fair, there’s truth to the idea that all three implemented the types of government that were precursors to Communism.
That’s where the similarity between what they did or are doing, and Communism ends.
Allow me to explain. Karl Marx is known to have been heavily involved in the writing of the Communist Manifesto. Most have never read that document, and frankly, I’m a part of “most.”
I’m not saying I never read any of it, but it’s fair to say I’m not intimately familiar with its contents.
That said, you can sort of boil down a large part of what was delineated more or less like this:
“People live in different social strata. Some are rich and privileged, some poor and shackled. Over time the poor will rise up and take over.
After this has happened, there’ll be a strongly authoritarian government in place. That government will dictate how people will behave.
Over the course of time, people will begin to see that the leadership know how they ought to act, and will begin to adopt the prescribed perspectives and commensurate actions as a result.
After they’ve completed a long term transformation, government will become more or less unnecessary. What will be left is a society in which people do what’s good and right without needing to be told to.
If folks come along who’re bad, the people will rise up against them. After taking care of those individuals, they’ll go back to everyday life.”
Notice that in the middle part of this process, there’s a perceived need for what amounts to a benevolent dictatorship.
Looking at almost all examples of attempts to implement Communism, this was the stage in which things “stuck.” Funnily, in almost every case—if not every one—the “intermediate government” wound up being a strongly Socialist entity. Further, in pretty much all instances, it was not benevolent.
It’s been argued that Adolph Hitler didn’t like what happened in the Bolshevik Revolution largely because, the intended end state of the resultant entity was Communism. This was a problem for Herr Hitler, because he had zero interest in ceding his power to the people.
Had he the ability to see into the future, he would’ve understood that there was really no concern with that. Instead his distress would’ve been that the Soviets had their own government instead of being in his sizable stable of countries.
The point though is, the USSR never became a Communist utopia. It—like China, Cuba, North Korea and others—never made it past totalitarianism.
As previously stated, I’m not aware of any entity attempting to start a Communist enclave using revolution that ever did make it past that point.
It’s hard to be sure, but I believe anyone attempting to push Communism in the modern day is painfully aware this is the case. Taking that a step further, I would bet most are in no wise bothered by that fact.
My argument is that people supposedly attempting to put Communist regimes in place in the current day, really want to stop at that tyrannical stage. They insinuate a desire for Communism because it sounds good to the woefully unaware when looking at the final state supposedly attained.
To clarify, I used to say that Communism “looked good on paper.” Though that’s a fair statement before you begin to explore human nature, when you’re done with such research, it stops looking pretty on the page too.
The thing is, if you’re stuck on the theoretical aspect of Communism, never having looked at every attempt at practical application, you might be confused into believing it sounds like a great plan.
On the other hand, if you’ve looked at how things worked out when people set about creating a Communist country or other entity, you would realize it certainly isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in the texts that talk about it.
In fact, it’s true that things never get to “real” Communism—they end up ever stalled in the “pre-phase.”
But when you’re dealing with people who’re convinced what now exists isn’t working (or you can convince them that’s the case), if they’re young, inexperienced and not well versed on history (particularly the past of those entities in which revolution based Communism’s been tried), the theory can be forwarded as a pie-in-the-sky ideal—and they’ll often support it.
So when some newfangled organization professes its undying admiration for Communism, it’s quite likely the folks at the top of that entity are using the ideals expressed in various works touting the system, as cover for their otherwise naked desire for power and control.
The thinking is, if they can sell the idea to those supporting them, they won’t come to realize their error until later in the game; and since the suggested brave new world begins with violent revolution, by the time that realization comes, the old system’s been destroyed. By that point, they’re already in the position of savior, regardless through what mechanisms.
By comparison, people hocking Socialism make it clear that things are irreparably bad, and that the only answer, is to put new, typically altruistic people in charge. Who’s the best candidate? Someone selected in advance to fill that role (usually the cult leader).
If you want honesty, the real answer to the title of this piece can be summed up in an idea, “A form of society unattainable due to human nature.” The problem is, people look or are pointed to, the theory and it sounds like a reasonable, desirable proposition. Please, take the time to see how things have invariably played out when it’s tried.
Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.