Those Godless Communists

  • News
  • Thread starter BoulderHead
  • Start date
  • #1
Wasn't the talk usually centered around fighting communism?
I have a sneaky suspicion that for a great many people the true enemy was Atheism.


Let's talk about it...
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Well, let's think about it. What did average people know about communism, besides the fact that it was godless? You couldn't really scare people in a post-WWII America with the idea that Soviets sacrificed individual profit for societal gains, since that is exactly what Americans did during the war.
 
  • #3
Since I don't know much about history I need some information.

What communist leaders were surely atheists?

And also, just because they were atheists is why we actually went to war. So what specifically did they do that we declared war for?
 
  • #4
enigma
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,754
17
Originally posted by LogicalAtheist
Since I don't know much about history I need some information.

What communist leaders were surely atheists?

I'm not sure about that...

I'd guess Lenin, Stalin, etc.

The rules over there stated that you had to be atheist by law (or at least organized religion was outlawed), so if someone wasn't an atheist, you didn't talk about it.

And also, just because they were atheists is why we actually went to war. So what specifically did they do that we declared war for? [/B]

Uh. We never declared war with the Soviets.
 
  • #5
Originally posted by LogicalAtheist

And also, just because they were atheists is why we actually went to war. So what specifically did they do that we declared war for?

we never declared war with the ussr...
 
  • #6
Eh
746
1
The US never actually went to war with the Soviets, only minor communist nations at the time. The issue in Korea and Vietnam was preventing the spread of communism, which the US viewed as being a threat to their own capitalist system. If those nations had been godless atheists who happened to be capitalists, the wars would have never been fought. Nor would the cold war have occured had Russia been an empire with a capitalist system.

As for atheist leaders, Stalin and Pot are usually are usually cited as the most noticeable. But you could probably assume the same for other communist leaders, especially in the Soviet Union. It was not just a system where religion was lacking, but state atheism was imposed.
 
  • #7
kat
39
0
Originally posted by BoulderHead
Wasn't the talk usually centered around fighting communism?
I have a sneaky suspicion that for a great many people the true enemy was Atheism.


Let's talk about it...

From the 82nd congress, 2nd session:

"At this moment of our history the principles underlying our American Government and the American way of life are under attack by a system whose philosophy is at direct odds with our own. Our American Government is founded on the concept of the individuality and the dignity of the human being. Underlying this concept is the belief that the human person is important because he was created by God and endowed by Him with certain inalienable rights which no civil authority may usurp. The inclusion of God in our pledge therefore would further acknowledge the dependence of our people and our Government upon the moral directions of the Creator. At the same time it would serve to deny the atheistic and materialistic concepts of communism with its attendant subservience of the individual."

That was in 1954, in 1955 "in god we trust" was required for all united states national currency, and in 1956 "in God we trust" was declared our national motto.


It appears that it was aimed at avoiding, among other things, subservience of the Individual..haha..the irony eh?
 
  • #8
The lore i think about it, the more I believe that teh Cold War had to be sold as a religious war. Nothing else would have convinced people to care.
 
  • #9
I knew we didn't go to war with soviets. That's why I don't understand what communists we were fighting?

Also - man if atheism was required, boy I'd move there in a heart bit.

Anyone know any atheist-run countries that are alive today? I'll get a plane ticket today!
 
  • #10
kat
39
0
Originally posted by LogicalAtheist


Also - man if atheism was required, boy I'd move there in a heart bit.

Anyone know any atheist-run countries that are alive today? I'll get a plane ticket today!

China, Cuba, and North Korea. Bye!
 
  • #11
Eh
746
1
Uh yeah, you might want to consider the "other stuff" about communism.
 
  • #12
drag
Science Advisor
1,096
1
Eh, Pot ?
 
  • #13
Originally posted by drag
Eh, Pot ?


Drag smokes marijuana? Uh oh - better call the FUZZ!
 
  • #14


Originally posted by kat
From the 82nd congress, 2nd session:

"At this moment of our history the principles underlying our American Government and the American way of life are under attack by a system whose philosophy is at direct odds with our own. Our American Government is founded on the concept of the individuality and the dignity of the human being. Underlying this concept is the belief that the human person is important because he was created by God and endowed by Him with certain inalienable rights which no civil authority may usurp. The inclusion of God in our pledge therefore would further acknowledge the dependence of our people and our Government upon the moral directions of the Creator. At the same time it would serve to deny the atheistic and materialistic concepts of communism with its attendant subservience of the individual."

That was in 1954, in 1955 "in god we trust" was required for all united states national currency, and in 1956 "in God we trust" was declared our national motto.


It appears that it was aimed at avoiding, among other things, subservience of the Individual..haha..the irony eh?
Wow, talk about a blast from the past! Where's a non-subservient type person supposed to turn for help now.



China, Cuba, and North Korea. Bye!




Originally posted by Zero;
The lore i think about it, the more I believe that teh Cold War had to be sold as a religious war. Nothing else would have convinced people to care.
Yeah, they sure put god to good use back in the mid fifties.

Originally posted by Eh;
If those nations had been godless atheists who happened to be capitalists, the wars would have never been fought. Nor would the cold war have occured had Russia been an empire with a capitalist system.
That's what I'm doubting, actually. Try to imagine the installation of a not-to-friendly capitalist empire that had the audacity to be Atheists... I think a lot of people would have either been worried, or easily made that way.
 
  • #15
Eh
746
1
I doubt it, since money has more influence than religion ever will. The US government couldn't care less about an atheistic country, since they wouldn't poss a threat to the capitalist system. But if there was ever such a thing as religious communism, the US would likely still see it as a threat.
 
  • #16
Originally posted by Eh
I doubt it, since money has more influence than religion ever will. The US government couldn't care less about an atheistic country, since they wouldn't poss a threat to the capitalist system. But if there was ever such a thing as religious communism, the US would likely still see it as a threat.


I agree. I still don't understand why communists are enemies?

What is wrong about communism? Isn't it just that it turns into a dictatorship?
 
  • #17
Actually the first statement there was historically incorrect. You said that you thought the true enemy was atheism BH, yet although communism was wrong they did allow religion but only their religion meaning all the other religions were persecuted so although communism is wrong, it wasnt a war against atheism.
 
  • #18
Originally posted by Nicool003
Actually the first statement there was historically incorrect. You said that you thought the true enemy was atheism BH, yet although communism was wrong they did allow religion but only their religion meaning all the other religions were persecuted so although communism is wrong, it wasnt a war against atheism.

And which religion did an atheist country have? That's an oxymoron, isn't it?
 
  • #19
Originally posted by Nicool003
...communism is wrong...

Did church teach you that?
 
  • #20
Originally posted by LogicalAtheist
Did church teach you that?


Probably not, since the Bible teaches that the rich should give away all their possesions to the poor, until everyone has teh same amount...
 
  • #21
Astronomer107
31
0
Originally posted by LogicalAtheist
I agree. I still don't understand why communists are enemies?

What is wrong about communism? Isn't it just that it turns into a dictatorship?

Communism actually had very positive roots when Karl Marx first began his ideas of socalism. The ideas seemed to be able to faciliate society when they were conceived; however, when a leader is placed into this position, he or SHE can do anything she wants, limiting freedom.
 
  • #22
Originally posted by Astronomer107
Communism actually had very positive roots when Karl Marx first began his ideas of socalism. The ideas seemed to be able to faciliate society when they were conceived; however, when a leader is placed into this position, he or SHE can do anything she wants, limiting freedom.

So, in other words...there is nothing inherently evil about communism, except when it is twisted by evil dictators? I can buy that.
 
  • #23
Well, as communism calls for the abolishment of private property, people with property weren't too happy with it. There's also the fact that communist (actually socialist) economies don't work well and tend to make everyone poor; reason not to want it in your country. And many people object that if they work hard to accomplish something, under communism it will mostly just be taken away and given to people who's been slacking off or don't deserve it.

But mainly it's the atmosphere of revolution and polarization that Communism grew out of; ever since the French Revolution there has been an often-violent tension between traditionalists and revolutionaries...
 
  • #24
FZ+
1,588
3
There's also the fact that communist (actually socialist) economies don't work well and tend to make everyone poor; reason not to want it in your country.
Well... technically no. Most of the big communist countries you see (USSR, China) were initially very backward countries, which after conversion to communism quickly underwent an industrial revolution, and ended up as superpowers. Whether this is to do with the communist part, or merely the ruthless dictatorship part is questionable though. But in terms of general advancement, and sometimes even on the personal level, communism economies don't work that badly.

And argueably, it was socialist economic policies that pulled the US, and with it the rest of the world, from the great depression of 1930.
 
  • #25
Eh
746
1
But even in countries like the Soviet Union and China, the standard of living is very poor for the average individual. When the Soviet empire collapsed, the average citizen was living paycheck to paycheck, with shortages of food and of course had very little luxuries. The communist system has always been a failure, and that seems to be a problem with the very design of system rather than a leadership.
 
  • #26
I would say that the Soviet uiniion collapsed under then weight of its military expenditures, not because of any 'evil' in teh basic idea of communism.
 
  • #27
FZ+
1,588
3
Originally posted by Eh
But even in countries like the Soviet Union and China, the standard of living is very poor for the average individual. When the Soviet empire collapsed, the average citizen was living paycheck to paycheck, with shortages of food and of course had very little luxuries. The communist system has always been a failure, and that seems to be a problem with the very design of system rather than a leadership.
But if you look at the history of Russia, it was in many places worse before - that's why they turned to communism. And arguably, in many places it is worse after the collapse...
 
  • #28
Eh
746
1
That's somewhat true. Before the communists (who did not have the support of all Russians) took over, the average Russian was a poor peasant who had no education, little food, and none of the luxuries people of the west had. After the communist takeover, the average Russian was still a peasant with little food and no luxuries, but they did have an education. Of course, there are the factory workers who were lucky enough to work 12 hour days for next to nothing. That's progress.

But no one would doubt the nation as whole certainly improved, going from a backward peasant nation to an industrial superpower. But for the average individual, life still sucked. Yeah, living under the Tsar was worse, but that doesn't mean communism is much better.

It's also only been 10 years since the change, and the current Russian economy is a direct result of communism, not capitalism. Let's see how the quality of life in Russia on average is decades from now.
 
  • #29
Eh
746
1
Originally posted by Zero
I would say that the Soviet uiniion collapsed under then weight of its military expenditures, not because of any 'evil' in teh basic idea of communism.

I would also say there is nothing "evil" about communism. It just doesn't work. The Soviets aren't the only example. Look at Cuba, China, Korea, etc. The quality of life for the average citizen in those countries is crap.
 
  • #30
Originally posted by Eh
I would also say there is nothing "evil" about communism. It just doesn't work. The Soviets aren't the only example. Look at Cuba, China, Korea, etc. The quality of life for the average citizen in those countries is crap.

It doesn't work?!? Please, we don't know if it works or not, because it was sabotaged by the Arms Race.
 
  • #31
Eh
746
1
Forget about the arms race. We've still got the countless other communist countries where the quality of life is garbage. That is proof enough it doesn't work. It also didn't work in Russia prior to the arms race.
 
Last edited:
  • #32
FZ, I don't think any of that is supported by the actual data, GDP etc. Stalin did industrialize the USSR, but that's not really communism per se; the same industrialization in China came long after communism had first been implemented. Indeed the recent boom in the Chinese economy can be traced back to the market semi-liberalization that became policy a while back.

Other examples abound, too: the per-capita real GDP of Cuba today is less than it was at the time of Castro's revolution. The situation in Vietnam, North Korea, etc is not much better.

As far as the Depression USA, that's a very different situation -- vigorous government spending and regulation in a market framework is a far cry from communism/socialism. Also, I think it's generally accepted that the New Deal policies were of limited immediate effectiveness, and it was WWII that brought the USA out of the depression....
 
  • #33
FZ+
1,588
3
damgo: I disagree with your evaluation - though I admit the figures can be used both ways, there is hardly any evidence to suggest that communism was inherently entirely a failure as a economic system - ie. no evidence of economic collapse directly attributed to the onset of communism. Other systems, with more moderate policies may be more successful in the modern context, but communism is not inherently disasterous.

1. From the 1929 to 1937 period, wages in the USSR rose 271%. Prices also fell in this period.
2. The lowering of GDP in Cuba occured only recently, and was greatly affected by US trade sanctions. The overall picture is an improvement in living conditions, until the collapse of it's soviet trading partner. This data is not seen in context. Taking values in the middle of the communist period shows a significant rise over the Batista period, despite US measures.
3. Comparisons in Vietnam and North Korea are irrelevant, since the nations in their divided state did not have a pre-soviet period. Comparisons with the whole of the country pre-communism are plainly misleading.
4. The success of open policies in China are mostly due to inward investment from the west, not directly from non-socialist policy. The fact that industrialisation took time (in fact, they all occured with the Mao regime) does not show communist policies to be a failure in such reforms, especially given little reform in the pre-socialist years.
5. The US economy did significantly recover from 1930 to the onset of the war. While the war did help things, recovery before can be attributed to a variety of socialist policies. From the height of the depression when GDP fell 31%, recovery began with the entry of FDR to office. When GDP fell 13.4% in 1932, GDP fell only 2% in 1933, and rose 7.7% in 1934. The majority of FDR's policies were socialist in nature. (eg. abolition of Trusts, redistribution of wealth, raising top tax rates) However limited in effectiveness the New Deal was, when it led to a recovery from a GDP of 584.3bn to one of 866.5bn by 1939 (100bn dollars higher than what it was 1929), it was definitely more effective than the non-socialist measures taken before it. Socialist policy in this case was clearly not a FAILURE.
 
  • #34
Eh
746
1
You've still got to deal with the fact that the quality of life is still fairly bad in communist countries. Any system that cannot provide a decent life for citizens must be seen as a failure. Unless there is some other critera for determining whether or not an economic system is a sucess or not.
 
  • #35
FZ+
1,588
3
But the quality of life for the majority of the population is bad in most capitalist countries too, bad relative to the US of course. The quality of life in say, USSR was much better than that in most countries, eg. india. By that definition, capitalism is a failure as well. Or perhaps it is better to say that all systems have their failings, and that communism cannot be absolutely judged to be a failure, only incompatiable in some contexts.
 

Suggested for: Those Godless Communists

Replies
15
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
16
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
27
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
33
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
26
Views
4K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
59
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
44
Views
9K
  • Last Post
Replies
14
Views
2K
Top