Author Topic: Why doesn't communism work?  (Read 129325 times)

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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Why doesn't communism work?
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2010, 09:38:24 PM »
 Fair enough, Roerik. I am not not familiar with the term you used, but Marx certainly did believe in a worker's revolution. This was a major goal of Lenin"s revolution- reclaiming the   efforts of the workers from the rich. At least that was the   idea. "from each" etc. I sometimes lament the fall of the Soviet system, but it was inevitable. It was deeply flawed, of course, but so are many capitalists systems. The Western economies are no prize either. In this country, we cannot even get a decent health care programme going.
 As for the monastic communities, they are Small yet viable- sharing the effort and rewards of their work. They are all over the world. and they continue to survive. Although I am no longer a religious person, I admire them.
 Stalin was another story altogether. I doubt he was much of a real Communist,  having studied him  quite  extensively.
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Naslednik Norvezhskiy

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Re: Why doesn't communism work?
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2010, 09:58:40 PM »
Fair enough, Roerik. I am not not familiar with the term you used, but Marx certainly did believe in a worker's revolution.
If you were wondering about the term Endlösung it means "final solution" in reference to Hitler and the Holocaust in German. Just in order to stress that there was a definite totalitarian and apocalyptic aspect to Marx's ideology with its class warfare, revolution and subsequent proletarian dictatorship. He doesn't appear like a guy who believed in charity and step-by-step reforms.

I agree that many monastic communities, also modern ones, are very interesting for their self-sufficency and communal way of life and work. However, since these communities aren't self-procreating, i.e. they need a constant outside influx of new recruits, they can only serve as an inspiration, not a model or a blueprint for humanity in general, insofar as the urge to provide (the best) for one's children is so very strong in humans (as well as in animals in general) and one of the reasons why Communism doesn't work very well.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2010, 10:01:34 PM by Rœrik »

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Why doesn't communism work?
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2010, 10:42:01 PM »
Thank you Roerik, I might have heard the term before, but never related it to Communism.  The  Final Solution was uniquely  a Hitler/ NS  concept. Another handful to deal with in a  forum.  I can play devil's advocate for  him as well,  but  not with much conviction.  Lenin just wanted to be rid of the "upper classes". Be done with them and build from the remains. It was a struggle and worked for a while,  but, houses of cards... like I said, the West is faring not much better, re; the current PIIGS   crisis in Europe.
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Offline TimM

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Re: Why doesn't communism work?
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2010, 04:15:21 PM »
Communism may have looked good on paper, but in practice, it failed.  The main reason was because of human nature, namely greed and lust for power.  Look at how the Communist leaders of Eastern Europe lived, nice big houses (more than one for some of them), nice fancy cars (bought and shipped in from the West), gold, jewels, you name it.  These people were living the very life style they said they were against, I mean if you took them and plonked them down right in the middle of Beverly Hills, they would have been right at home!

The worst of the 1980's lot was Nicolae and Elena Ceaucescu of Romania.  Those two were Emperor and Empress for all intents and purposes, in that all the top posts were held by family members!  Ceaucescu was preparing his oldest son, Nicu, to take over  (just like Kim Jong Il who took over from his dad, Kim Il Sung, in North Korea).   This sounded more like an imperial dynasty than a Communist government.  After Ceaucescu's fall, newscrew went through one of his many houses and saw, and I'm not kidding, solid gold bathtub nozzles!

These guys may have started out as true Communists, but once they got into power, and saw all the goodies they, and those close to them, could have, they became nothing more than corrupt rich little Caesars.  Human nature.  That is why Communism didn't, and will never, work.
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Constantinople

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Re: Why doesn't communism work?
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2010, 08:04:40 PM »
be careful what terms you use.  Augustus Caesar had a good rule!!!!!!!

Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Why doesn't communism work?
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2010, 08:29:30 PM »
And, be careful about those "solid gold bathroom nozzles" I have one from one of Saddam's palaces, same company that made them for the others, dictators or otherwise. They are NOT solid gold.  They are just gold plated!
 He was not a communist though.[Saddam]
 All these  foibles you bring up, TimM, They personality  displays. They have notthing to do with the political and econmic theory of Communism . There are plenty of Western and otherwise capitalist leaders with the same failure of character. [ Greed, power, privilege, etc]
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Offline TimM

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Re: Why doesn't communism work?
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2010, 11:15:19 PM »
Quote
There are plenty of Western and otherwise capitalist leaders with the same failure of character. [ Greed, power, privilege, etc]

Yes, but they never went around saying how bad it was.  The Communist leaders always preached that capitalism was bad, that it had rich and poor, greed and wealth.  Well, these same Communist leaders lived that very lifestyle they condemned as evil.  Bunch of hypocrites, all of them.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2010, 11:20:58 AM by Alixz »
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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Why doesn't communism work?
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2010, 11:32:12 PM »
No,  not all of them at all. Many every day members truly believed in what they were working towards.  Communism  is a state to be achieved, never a sate that existed,
 And as for Western leaders- talking about hypocrites !  Stealing aid money, build massive arms structures to control and terrorise their own people instead of feeding them.,  Lavish palaces in the middle of abject poverty.  Taking national resources and patrimony- not a few royal examples of that. Bribery, sexual and money scandals, ... the list goes on. The arrogance is just as bad, if not worse because of so much more being available to steal. The bankers  ripoff scandals, bastions of capitalism,  stealing and wasting other people's money.
 Both sides putting the other down when they both were doing  exactly the same thing. Including  massive  ethnic cleansing under any name.

 You must be very young TimM, not to see the lack of difference in the behavior of both.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2010, 11:35:52 PM by Robert_Hall »
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Offline TimM

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Re: Why doesn't communism work?
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2010, 11:51:31 PM »
Actually no, I remember all of the 1980's, that's all you get about my age!

I never said that Western Leaders were good guys, hell, we have our share.  Look at Bush and Cheney, they went and started a war for no good reason.  Yet when Russia got in that war with Georgia a few years back, they were quick to condemn it.  In the 2008 campaign, John McCain said, in regards to Russa, "In the 21st Century, counties don't invade other countries."  Uh, John, hello?  Iraq?  An invasion you endorsed.  So I guess it was only evil if Russia was doing the invading.

In fact, Bush, Cheney, and all of them should be brought up on charges of war crimes for starting an illegal war, but they won't be, of course.   Is there any difference between Bush's invasion of Iraq and the Soviet invasions of Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968.  Iraq was just as illegal as the Soviet invasions were.
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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Why doesn't communism work?
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2010, 12:26:14 AM »
We agree on all of those points, TimM.  And, I was not asking for your age. I have had  the great benefit of a lot of world travel,   talented teachers from many different  viewpoints and  been witness to the massive social changes of the 60's- I was in them! Also, I have seen the bigotry, injustice and violence   in   this country, from the Klan and the Birchers, McCarthyism witchunts still existing, sadly. I am not THAT old, but I saw the remnants of it. Experienced it in the Deep South especially. 
 You raise  interesting points about the Russian treatment of Georgia. Disregarding those fools Bush & Cheney,  Georgia was a former  member of the USSR. It borders   Russia, after being integral for centuries. It was  acting with hostility with  a minority that considered itself  more Russian than Georgian. A very difficult call. That minority was not asked to be in Georgia, the borders were drawn by politicians, not the residents.
 McCain's criticism was taken for what it was worth- unthinking and useless contribution.
 Iraq was pure  revenge  invasion because of personal  prejudice [and perhaps guilt]  on the  part of  a totally  inept administration  in the US. Sure, Saddam had gold plated bathroom fixtures, but the Iraqi people   at least had running  water, electricity, food and reasonable security on the streets. Until  the US  bombed them to hell. For what gain? The price has been obscene in lives and money.
 This discussion could go on forever, and it has in many debates all over every country.
 However, as it stands, as I see it,  in the West,  capitalism is under a heavy burden of greed and especially  environmental  abuse, amongst other issues. Social structure not the least of them.
  The former  Communist states are still finding their way,  dealing with corruption and crime especially and    trying to refinance the socialist benefits the people once had [health, education, housing & jobs. Sound familiar ?]
 The true socialist states, mainly in Western Europe are trying to maintin and pay for those same benefits. And they are just becoming costlier to do so.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Constantinople

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Re: Why doesn't communism work?
« Reply #25 on: July 13, 2010, 12:39:52 AM »
I think anoher term for most of those who forged revolutions should be monomaniacal kleptocrats.  The first thing that Lenin bought himself after the revolution was a Patek Philippe watch. He also personally commandeered most of the Tsar's Rolls Royces for his personal use.  His idea of a worker's revolution was to kill off the people who shared the concept of a worker's revolution but differed in small details, like making Russia more democratic (the Menshaviks).  This was nothing short of the imposition of a narrow ideology and killing off anyone who didn't share that ideology.  The energy required to impose that narrow vision never lasts that long and once the material benefits (to the autocrats) subsumes the ideological imperative, then something gives.  I was in Poland in 1991 and the desire to shed communism was about improving people's quality of life more than anything.

Offline AGRBear

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Re: Why doesn't communism work?
« Reply #26 on: July 18, 2010, 03:05:28 PM »
It appears that "socialism" and "communism" are being used here as if they are the same.  Lenin started out as a "socialist" ended up the creator of a country that would be lead by the "communist" Stalin, "the Bloody".  

If you would be so kind:  Please define what you believe the definitions for "socialism" and "communism"  are, then,  continue your thoughts because they are most interesting.

Can you, also,  answer me this:  Who was the first communist?


AGRBear
« Last Edit: July 18, 2010, 03:08:39 PM by AGRBear »
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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: Why doesn't communism work?
« Reply #27 on: July 18, 2010, 03:45:46 PM »
Bear,, you, of all people should know the difference.
 Socialism is  a working policy of communal social benefit. It  works  under a free society and does not require   an actual  political party. Just the participation of the populace to pay for  such things as education, health  and housing [smetimes]  It does not "equals"e  by a classless society and  dislocate private property Capitalism  is free to work and prosper  in a socialist environment.
 Communism, on the other hand is definitely a political goal.   Abolition of classes and private property.  "to each according to  his/her needs, from each from his/ her ability?  is the idealistic  maxim. Usually a one-party state and controlled by  strongmen tactics.  Good intentions ruined by   megalomaniacs all too often.
 True  communism  is a goal that has never been achieved on any large scale. IMO, North Korea and pehaps Zibabwe are the  best examples of  attempts to achieve that state, and  both are tragic failures.
 You are correct- there is a lot of misconcenption, perception and prejuduce,  especially induced by propaganda and fear on BOTH sides.
 BTW, Const.  just what was the new government to do with all the inherited property from the former regime ?  It was only  commonon sense to use what was available, Rolls or  otherwise.
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Constantinople

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Re: Why doesn't communism work?
« Reply #28 on: July 18, 2010, 04:14:37 PM »
I think the answer is balance and there are not many countries have achieved this.  They are basically a handfull and most of them are in Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland), the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria are countries where they have balanced low unemployment, strong economies, good public sector policies and good standards of living.  Canada used to be one of these countries but there has been a huge evaporation of decent jobs.  Up to the 1970s, most western developed countries were easy to live in but due to the economic policies of the neocons, the growth of poverty and the concentratiion of wealth has eroded the middle class and cut deep into the working class. 

Offline AGRBear

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Re: Why doesn't communism work?
« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2010, 05:22:08 PM »
Bear,, you, of all people should know the difference.
 Socialism is  a working policy of communal social benefit. It  works  under a free society and does not require   an actual  political party. Just the participation of the populace to pay for  such things as education, health  and housing [smetimes]  It does not "equals"e  by a classless society and  dislocate private property Capitalism  is free to work and prosper  in a socialist environment.
 Communism, on the other hand is definitely a political goal.   Abolition of classes and private property.  "to each according to  his/her needs, from each from his/ her ability?  is the idealistic  maxim. Usually a one-party state and controlled by  strongmen tactics.  Good intentions ruined by   megalomaniacs all too often.
 True  communism  is a goal that has never been achieved on any large scale. IMO, North Korea and pehaps Zibabwe are the  best examples of  attempts to achieve that state, and  both are tragic failures.
 You are correct- there is a lot of misconcenption, perception and prejuduce,  especially induced by propaganda and fear on BOTH sides.
 BTW, Const.  just what was the new government to do with all the inherited property from the former regime ?  It was only  commonon sense to use what was available, Rolls or  otherwise.


Const.,

Do you agree?

AGRBear
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

Joubert, Pensees, No. 152