Marx And Communism Essay, Research Paper
A specter is haunting Europe the specter of Communism. This was the opening line of Karl Marx s Manifesto of the Communist Party when it was published in 1848. Today, with the apparent failure of so many Communist experiments, this statement should be changed to A specter is haunting Communism the specter of capitalism.
What is communism? Is it as the democratic world sees it anarchic, dangerous, and careless? Is it maybe the theory that the knowledge of one person, one individual, one among the thousands and sometimes millions is enough to decide for the whole nation, even though he or she doesn t know one percent of it? The newest edition of Webster s dictionary describes communism in a couple of ways: as a social organization in which goods are held in common; a theory of social organization advocating common ownership of means of production and a distribution of products of industry based on needs, such as a political doctrine based on a revolutionary Marxist socialism that was the official ideology of some countries. All of the possible explanations are valid, but one has to live through it in order to discuss or even try to describe the word communism. For example, when one is learning about a certain war they learn about where, why and what happened but they really can t say they know much. One cannot, probably, even imagine what the war is really like until they face it and are in it. It is then when one becomes smarter with the knowledge and wisdom from experience. My family has a very bad experience with communism and given the opportunity, I ll gladly speak my mind about communism without worrying of being jailed or killed.
Communism is the most devastating social order of the modern society. From its founders Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels, who gave communism its philosophical meanings, to Lenin, who gave it power after the October revolution in 1917, until today, communism hasn t changed its primary meaning and ideology. World War II, the Cold War, the war in Vietnam, Korea, Afghanistan, and the most recent one in Albania, the starvation and poverty throughout the communist and former communist countries are all the consequences of this so-called people s democracy system. Comparing it with imperialism (being governed by communism), capitalism (developing parallel with communism), and socialism (continuation of the communism), communism is a society without money, without country, without property, and without social classes.
Marx realized that with the unification of the working class, they would be able to better themselves and their lives, and in doing so, better society on the whole. The aspiration to achieve this was purely theoretical. The communist ideals are like a dream that cannot be reached because of human s inescapable desire to satisfy their own egos. For example, my grandfather, a lawyer and an architect, build his own house. When Enver Hoxha, the leader of the communist party in Albania, came to power in 1945, he resorted to brutal Stalinist tactics in order to enforce his radical program. His government imprisoned, executed, or exiled thousands of landowners, rural clan leaders, peasants who resisted collectivization, and disloyal party officials. My grandfather s house was taken away and was used by the father himself, for his own personal satisfaction. My grandfather was send to jail for life and his wife with three kids was send to a labor camp just because he refused to give the house up. According to Marx, private property that is taken away should be used only for public purposes, not for personal satisfaction . My great uncle was heard making a bad comment about Enver Hoxha, leader of communist Albania, and was told on, which resulted in his beating to death by sigurimi (Hoxha s personal security). If one guy is given all this power and could do whatever he pleases with it, I get the opinion that there is something definitely wrong with this system.
Marx, Engels, Lenin, and other people that theorized communism never explained in detail exactly what kind of system they wanted to establish. Their goal was a society in which the workers, not the capitalists (land, factories, machinery owned privately), owned all means of production specifically land, factories, and machinery. To reach communism, a transition period was needed, during which the government controlled the economy. Lenin, when he came to power in Russia in 1917, was inexperienced at organizing and running an economy. He was forced to experiment. Everything he tried failed, and in the process the workable economy of Russia was nearly demolished.
Marx s idea of creating an equal society is a provocative promise in order to rally people together and create a common goal, but keeping this goal is very unrealistic. Now the ruling assembly within the working class has gained power, and like the bourgeois, they can see that this power is really harnessed. By altering the goals of the revolution in a way that still brings change from the past ways of society, allows the ruling class to bring prosperity to their own lives. Falling under the same spell as the bourgeois did themselves, the new rulers can fulfill their own egos while governing a body of people who are much tolerable. Their tolerance comes from feeling of victory, which really just creates a much more efficient work force. Because of their own blindness, they cannot see that in the light of change, in fact, nothing really has.
In a communist government, the community owns the major resources, means of transportation and production. This is stated in Marx s 10 points. The goal of such system is to prevent any person or group of people from becoming radically rich, while others are extremely poor. The system attempts to eliminate lower class by balancing the wealth between rich and poor, therefore giving everyone equal pay and ownership. Unfortunately, this results in an increased lower class. In other words communism is just a phrase for protecting one group of people, one class, one society, the rich society (the ruler and his background), thus leaving the poor to struggle for their lives and share among each other whatever they might posses.
When communism is compared to democracy the difference is like night and day. In a democracy, free enterprising is permitted, and smiled upon. Here free enterprising helps the economy to flourish. People can organize their own businesses and receive their own profits if it succeeds, or debts if it fails. In this system, the harder a person works, the more money they receive, allowing them to make ends meet. On the contrary, in a communist government, a person can work a million times harder than the person sitting next to him, and receive equal pay. When there is nothing to achieve by working harder, people become slothful, which does little good for a country s economy. In theory, everyone is equal in a communist government, however this is not true in many aspects. When only one person controls a communist government, it s not far off from totalitarianism, as that one voice is the only one that really matters. In a democracy, however, every citizen has an equal say in government and suffrage rights apply to men and women alike, regardless of race, past education, heritage, etc. As Winston Churchill once said, The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries (Internet). Generally, democracies seem to be more successful economically. Communism is not an economic system it is simply the age-old system of political control of everything. The result was predictable, great wealth for few and poverty for the rest. Economist Ludwig Von Mises predicted the failure of Marxism in 1922 in his book Socialism . He was the first to explain communism s basic flaw, it had no means of economic calculation, (internet). An economy is a price system. A business must know the prices of everything like raw materials, machinery, rental of buildings, labor, overhead, shipping, and more. A business must know what it can afford in relation to expected income. Prices are calculated in relation to supply and demand. Under communism, there was no market to set prices. The government, regardless of demand determined supply. Everyone was forced to work so there is no competition for jobs and the true costs and of production and goods were not known
The consequences from the communist era are catastrophic. In World War II, millions of people lost their lives. The Germans, who defined themselves as the people of higher social class and who should rule the world, started the war, and the communists, the defenders in that war, had the same idea. Instead of having one country that will rule the world, in this case Germany, the communists had the idea of ruling the world through all the countries with equal social classes. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Working men of all countries, unite! (p.232-par.144).