Why I’m Still a Communist

I became a Communist because I believed that it was the only viable political/economic system capable of providing liberty, justice, and security for everyone, rather than just those who can afford it. I have remained a Communist for much the same reason. While one might expect (and many have hoped) that experience would lead me to leave Communism, it seems the more I see of life, the universe, and everything, the more I become confident that my views are correct.

For example, when I was seventeen I took a course on mainstream worldviews (Christian, Humanist, New Age, Marxist). The class turned out to be a series of hyper-Conservative, dogmatic lectures and the textbook wasn’t much more than a seriously biased collection of arguments against any view other than Conservative Protestantism. Despite the waste of time, effort, and money that the class was, I nevertheless found myself affected by it (or at least, an event resulting from the class). While the textbook was full of little cartoons advocating various right-wing stances- one stood out to me in particular. It showed two frames, one in which a wealthy man giving a handful of coins to a poor man, the other depicted the poor man robbing the rich man. The caption claimed (roughly) that in Capitalism, when the rich give to poor it is called “charity” and- no matter what Communist word you use to describe it- when a poor man takes from the rich it is called theft. When I saw this cartoon, it took a while for me to fully digest what it’s implications were. Granted, it seemed reasonable- giving is accepting, taking isn’t. But when one thinks about it, if this were to be applied, the poor would be reliant on the wealthy giving out a steady stream of spare change. Of course, this would mean that the wealthy are willing to give out a steady stream of spare change (and they say that Communism claims humans are basically good). Quite simply, charity doesn’t work- the people need a better way to survive than aid, pity, and welfare. All in all, as a result of reading a simple political cartoon, I became even more entrenched in the idea that Communism offers the solutions for the problems Capitalism simply can’t solve.

Another example would be the game of monopoly (yes, even Communists play monopoly). You gather the players around the board, they compete and trade and make wild gambles but in the end, there is only one winner. Now disregarding the amount of pain and suffering caused by running every competitor out of business, one must consider what it would be like to live in a country with a monopoly on- let’s say- iron. If you want to make anything with iron, you have to pay the monopoly’s price. If your looking for quality, then it’s more or less a game of chance- the monopoly has no reason to sell anything better than its lowest quality product. If you try to import, then it’ll probably a baffling and expensive ordeal- the monopoly has a hefty lobby at the capitol and there aren’t many senators and congressmen and even presidential candidates who wouldn’t mind taking contributions from the monopoly. Regulation laws? This is Capitalism- regulations are, as Milton Friedman is attributed with saying, “corruption”. Communism averts a disaster that Capitalism leads to.

Or yet another example would be that of airplanes. Nowhere is the class system so pronounced as on a transatlantic flight. The same distance is being traveled, the same plane is being ridden, but the differences between the 1st class and coach cabins are massive. Now we must keep in mind that the people in coach are just as human as those in 1st class. Yet, due to a simple lack of money, those in coach have a dramatically different flight from those in 1st class. The food is inedible, the seats are cramped, the cabin is crowded. Why? Because some people are poorer than others and therefore less valuable. The class system is the greatest example of social injustice since the days of segregation and religious persecution. Communism does away with the class system and ensures equality for all- not only those who can pay for it.

In short, while it was the massive tomes of Marx, Engels, and Smith that convinced me to become a Communist,  it is the little things in life- cartoons, board games, traveling- that convince me to stay Communist.


4 Responses to “Why I’m Still a Communist”

  1. 1 Dennis
    July 31, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    To the communist

    If communists ran the world from day one there would be no automobiles, planes (so who cares whether one gets first class or coach) The fact is that the freedom to dream, the freedom to become wealthy for oneself and ones family is what has driven men (and women) to produce and invent. And in doing so, providing opportunity for the multitudes of others whom do not possess the zeal or the desire to do anything other than provide their labor for pay. (nothing wrong with that, labor is a necessary commodity and if that is what one wants to do with their life and it makes them happy more power to them.) However the world has always had plenty of labor, even poor underdeveloped countries. But what sometimes is missing is the opportunity to create wealth, that permits those who aspire to do more to do so.

    Imagine if nothing ever existed except for the opportunity for every human to have exactly equal economic outcomes as everyone else. There probably would not have been great cinimataic productions, great sporting events, world class trains, planes, automobiles, boats, computers, etc. Look at the automobiles produced in the communist countries. They were all pieces of crap and everyone knows it. Just why is that the case. The answer is simple. When free enterprise does not exist, one gets simply what one expects and nothing more and one gives what is expected of him and nothing more. The end result is a very poor economy and equal misery by all.

    Capitalism, in allowing some to become rich, lifts most higher than they would have been otherwise.

    Monopoly is just a game and the object is to win everything. Capitalism is freedom to establish a business, operate it and grow it and make it successful. It is not about gobbling every other business up. Yes sometimes businesses do grow very large indeed, but that is not a bad thing, as they would not have grown large without being very good at what they do.

    I know there are excesses in Capitalism. There are greedy folks sometimes getting rich by doing bad things. But in every walk of life there are greedy folks obtaining either money, power or fame by doing bad things. Do you not think that Stalin did bad things. He slautered 60million Russians to build his empire. I would say he was a bad man, but of course he wasn’t a capitalist, but rather a communist. But it is not his actions that made communism a poor economical system. The fact is that there are bad individuals in all walks of life. But lets let facts speak for themselves not bad individuals taking advantage of others.

    And looking at the facts, capitilism- the freedom of individuals to choose their economic future- rather than communism – the governments choosing of same that leads to prosperity.

    In other words capitalism leads to prosperity and communism leads to equality but no prosperity. You think equality without prosperity is better. How about prooving it. Just why is equality better? I would rather have a whole spectrum of economic classes that I can aspire to. So I think that capitalism is better. Why do you think equality is better?

  2. August 2, 2009 at 10:31 am

    To talk about “what is better” is nonsense unless you put your concept into a particular context! It is meaningless to assume that any kind of political arrangement is naturally better than it’s opposite. This kind of thinking is not rational or logical.
    Every political concept exists within an environment that will determine at a particular point in time the particular nature of that political concept and what characteristics will naturally flow from it.
    You appear to not know the meaning of communism. Communism can only exist under the conditions of material abundance. Under communism the political state apparatus gradually withers away and a new social being is born out of a social environment of material abundance. A social scientific being that is objectively familiar with his surroundings so that he does not need a “State Apparatus” to force him to act in a way that is cooperative with his fellow man.
    The opposite conditions of material scarcity will produce individuals that do not cooperate but competes with his neighbors and is insecure because of the need to acquire more goods and services than everyone else so as to gain prestige and status. The power of the state is necessary to limit the freedom of that competitor so that he or she does not act in a manner that will be disruptive and anti-social.

  3. August 2, 2009 at 10:50 am

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  4. 4 trotskyite
    August 4, 2009 at 1:42 am

    In response to Dennis:

    If humans were motivated solely by money, than I’d be inclined to agree with you. In reality however, humans- while motivated by money- are also motivated by the desire to do what they love. The Wright brothers, if money was their end goal, wouldn’t have wasted their time, efforts, and resources attempting to build flying machines. Fortunately for the world, the Wright brothers were not motivated by greed but the simple desire to invent things for inventing’s sake. Ars gratia artis, as the Romans would have said. I’m not getting any money by writing this blog- I write because I love writing the same as the Wright brothers invented because they loved inventing and Archimedes sat in the dirt doing mathematics because he enjoyed mathematics. I’ve expounded a bit on the argument in an earlier post, https://trotskyite.wordpress.com/2009/07/22/professional-amateurs/.

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