News When has communism existed, and what was wrong with it?

Disclaimer: I am not a communist, and I like the ability of people to make their livings their own ways. That being said...

When has communism existed, and what was wrong with it?
 
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BoulderHead

When has communism existed, and what was wrong with it?
I believe it was Karl Marx who said that Communism was an offshoot from the Knights Templar. I have also heard it said that the Templars were the first communists from other sources as well. Their seals show two Knights riding together on a single horse and this may have been a symbol for their self-imposed poverty and communal sharing.

Disclaimer: I am not a communist, and I like the ability of people to make their livings their own ways. That being said...
First, I would say to hell with the disclaimer. It doesn’t matter to me if you are communist or not. It is the right for people to get together and discuss ideas. In the so-called land of the free their were people who had their lives ruined forever for simply being in a room where such things were discussed. What kind of conformist mind control crap is that anyway?

What is wrong with communism, and would it really be so bad if all humanity worked together, sharing and enthused to be a part of such a society? Well, so long as the participants are all willing and not being forced to conform, having their wealth confiscated along the way, then whatever a group of individuals feel might suit their purposes is fine by me. It’s a pity that no matter the form of government, conformity and confiscation takes place. Because of human nature, scarcity of goods and the inability to set relative values on same, there are economic reasons why this system isn’t likely to work…but that is another story.
 

N_Quire

It has never existed, nor will it ever.
 

russ_watters

Mentor
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Originally posted by N_Quire
It has never existed, nor will it ever.
Reason: communism is incompatible with human nature (as Boulder alluded to).
 

steppenwolf

Originally posted by BoulderHead
I believe it was Karl Marx who said that Communism was an offshoot from the Knights Templar. I have also heard it said that the Templars were the first communists from other sources as well. Their seals show two Knights riding together on a single horse and this may have been a symbol for their self-imposed poverty and communal sharing.
i believe epicure started the first actual commune, although this is not necessarily the same thing as communism. he and some intelectual friends moved away from rome so as to be free of the market economy, it was a small commune so not so applicable to society, not very much at all really.

i hate it when people say 'but communism doesn't work', because i don't know what kind of screwed society considers millions dying every day a 'working' economic system, that's just sick. then again i would not describe myself as a communist necessarily simply becasue i don't know enough, studying economics is opening my eyes but at the same time killing the idea i had of economics with humane ideals, but what can you do?

yes, as pretty much everyone says, 'communism is incompatible with human nature' ie wanting things, status, power. which is just great really, but once upon a time killing was considered a quite acceptable part of human nature, as was rape, torture need i go on? human nature isn't a god we have to worship with our economic decisions.

i just bought a red star nose stud!
 

Zero

I guess, ideally, we would embrace large parts of communism, or at least the sharing spirit behind it. Like putre capitalism, pure communism doesn't work. It ignores the fact that people are greedy...but maybe we should as a society start to weed out the greed?
 
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Re: Communism

Originally posted by Dissident Dan
When has communism existed, and what was wrong with it?
It never existed. Communism was never given a chance. What existed in the Soviet Union, and exists in China and Cuba is nowhere close to Communism.
 

jb

pure communism, and pure capitalism for that matter, has never existed on a large scale. pure communism, the fat cats lose their power, so do the politicians. i think that was the main reason for the mccarthyism and the red scare back during the cold war. the politicians saw it as a threat to their power, so they started the red hunt, making it uncool/unprofitable to not be on their side. then the media goes with them like they're doing now with bush. then the people all get sucked into it, even though in some ways they might be better off with communism.

the attempts at communism so far have just been socialist dictatorships- if you remember, communism has no leader. usually there's a "transitional" leader, who gets power-hungry and won't let go. read animal farm.

pure capitalism, don't think society can function with this.


human nature will never fully allow for effective leadership of any form. someone will always try to take control in communism. democracy, i believe many people aren't capable of making an informed decision. furthermore, i don't think congresspeople can make a decision based fully on their constituents. i mean, look at washington. we have a president who is invading countries, possibly so he can get some oil for his big campaign contributors.
 

steppenwolf

Originally posted by jb

the attempts at communism so far have just been socialist dictatorships- if you remember, communism has no leader. usually there's a "transitional" leader, who gets power-hungry and won't let go. read animal farm.
i don't think communism involves there not being a leader, and animal farm is not just about communism as most people would liked to think but a comment on the cyclic nature of any sort of revolution, marxism involves a balance of revolution and reform
 
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Originally posted by steppenwolf
i don't think communism involves there not being a leader
I think there can be a leader in communism, but that leader has to be a part of the middle class (the only class) and has the same quality of life as everybody else. Whereas in a socialist dictatorship the leader makes all the money in the world while the people get nothing.
 

FZ+

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I thought Marx advocated the idea there is no centralised government, but rather the people rule themselves in distrubuted communes and collectives...
 

N_Quire

There is a stage of transition, the "dictatorship of the proletariat", through which you pass before getting to a stateless society. So you go from very strong state to no state. That's the theory of it.
 

BoulderHead

Originally posted by N_Quire
There is a stage of transition, the "dictatorship of the proletariat", through which you pass before getting to a stateless society. So you go from very strong state to no state. That's the theory of it.
And here is what I have always seen as the rub, for the dictatorship doesn't seem to ever go away.
 

dr-dock

communisam is about to exist.i mean the true communisam.
communisam or capitalisam, the problem is same:
THE RESORCES ARE LIMITED
we need a star trek replicator to solve this existencial problem first and after that the type of society won't matter.

when i'm talking about my idea for matter generator (generating and anyhilating matter) no one cares.
 

BoulderHead

the problem is same:
THE RESORCES ARE LIMITED
I agree with this. Who was it that said something like;

In a society that can provide enough worldly goods for everyone, there shouldn't be much desire to oppose socialism.
 

FZ+

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Hmm... I agree. The limitation of resources is the key factor in the evolution of what we call greed. In an ideal environment, we would not have neccessary competition, and hence capitalism would be unviable. However, society would have no impetus to change, and mankind will stagnate.
On the other hand, I think we can at present support everyone in reasonable comfort, even with our limited resources...

when i'm talking about my idea for matter generator (generating and anyhilating matter) no one cares.
Build and we will care.
 
Originally posted by steppenwolf
i don't think communism involves there not being a leader, and animal farm is not just about communism as most people would liked to think but a comment on the cyclic nature of any sort of revolution, marxism involves a balance of revolution and reform
In the final form of Communism, there are no leaders.

I have always been taught that Napoleon was specifically supposed to be the Russian revolutionary leader--Stalin, I belive. I was taught that it is supposed to be a direct allegory to that revolution.
 

jb

a "world commune" would solve the matter of regional resources, as resources could be distributed to where they're needed. but a large scale operation like this would require some leadership, and leadership is where communism loses it.
 

steppenwolf

Originally posted by jb
a "world commune" would solve the matter of regional resources, as resources could be distributed to where they're needed. but a large scale operation like this would require some leadership, and leadership is where communism loses it.
well exactly, this is why i'm sure communism doesn't do away with some form of leadership, a completely centralised economy needs, well, a center! i'm so confused *goes off to read the principles of communism*
 

Zero

I believe that communism involves a period of dictatorship, before turning the reins over to the communes...but how can you trust teh dictator to give up the power once he has it?
 
I don't know. But I think that there will always be leaders for 2 reasons:

1) There will always be someone who wants to take charge.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing or with bad intentions. Sometimes it is--sometimes, people are just powerhungry. Sometimes, a person sees a problem and realizes that he/she has to step up to the plate and solve it, because no one else will. Which leads me to reason #2.

2) There will always be a need for someone to take charge.

Why will there always be a need? Because people are fickle. Because sometimes, firm decisions need to be made while a bunch of people would just sit and argue.
--------------------------------

Anyway, my original points to the post were:
1) The world has never seen communism as described by Marx, at least not for a whole nation.
2) The biggest thing that people hate about "communism" is actually not communism, but dictatorship. All the despicable things that happened in Russian and happen/ed to a lesser degree in China/N. Korea are not part of communism, but part of cruel, totalitarian dictatorship.


Also, trying to completely centrally plan an economy doesn't work. In the case of examples we've seen, the biggest problem for this, however, is the aforementioned totalitarianism. If any kind of central plan is going to have any kind of success, the planners need to adapt to the needs of the constituency. If the country spends all its money building an army and makes lots of pants that nobody wants, the economy is going to fail miserably. But this doesn't mean that a lot of the ideals of Marxism (if any? i don't know a whole lot about communist theory) have anything to do with that. Like I said, Soviet Union, China, N. Korea...none of these were communistic. They were totalitarian regimes with centrally-planned economies, as compared to our republic with a deman economy.
 

dr-dock

Originally posted by FZ+
Originally posted by dr-dock
when i'm talking about my idea for matter generator (generating and anyhilating matter) no one cares.
Build and we will care.
Easy to say but my resources are LIMITED!!!
 
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I've only read a tiny bit of stuff by Marx, back in year 12 (last year of high school here), in the subject International Studies, ie politics and such. In one bit I read, Marx uses the Kalahari bushmen as an example of communism. They took it further than I think the definition requires, even to sharing personal property among whoever wanted or needed it at any given time. Of course, then modern mass-produced crap found its way to them, and pretty soon everyone wanted the nifty stuff like boots and Nintendos (for example). One film we watched in that class followed a group of these very communist people as new stuff was introduced; one of them who had gone off to see the world returned with things they'd never seen before, a red cap, real clothes, boots, all sorts of things. Pretty soon they had fights breaking out here and there as everyone tried to get their hands on stuff. They were fine when the only things anyone had were commonly available items and materials though.

I tend to prefer the very literal meaning of communism, rather than what Marx and others have implied. Ie. if a state is communist, then the state's assets are under the control of the community, ie the people.
 

kat

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This is a bit off topic, Adam's post reminded me of a movie I've been wanting to rent but can't remember the name of. Does anyone remember that movie (this may even be the same movie your mentioning Adam) where the coca cola bottle drops out of the plane flying over the bushmans head, I think it may actually land on his head...or on the sand next to him..he looks up at the sky as though it were a gift from god..when he goes back to the tribe with it the fight breaks out..
 

BoulderHead

Kat,
I think that movie is called;
The Gods are Crazy.
 

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