Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Why you're wrong about communism: 7 huge misconceptions about it (and capitalism)
salon.com ^ | February 2, 2014 | Jesse Myerson

Posted on 02/04/2014 5:40:41 AM PST by Travis McGee

As the commentary around the recent deaths of Nelson Mandela, Amiri Baraka and Pete Seeger made abundantly clear, most of what Americans think they know about capitalism and communism is arrant nonsense. This is not surprising, given our country’s history of Red Scares designed to impress that anti-capitalism is tantamount to treason. In 2014, though, we are too far removed from the Cold War-era threat of thermonuclear annihilation to continue without taking stock of the hype we’ve been made, despite Harry Allen’s famous injunction, to believe. So, here are seven bogus claims people make about communism and capitalism.

1. Only communist economies rely on state violence.

Obviously, no private equity baron worth his weight in leveraged buyouts will ever part willingly with his fortune, and any attempt to achieve economic justice (like taxation) will encounter stiff opposition from the ownership class. But state violence (like taxation) is inherent in every set of property rights a government can conceivably adopt – including those that allowed the aforementioned hypothetical baron to amass said fortune.

In capitalism, competing ownership claims are settled by the state’s willingness to use violence to exclude all but one claimant. If I lay claim to one of David Koch’s mansions, libertarian that he is, he’s going to rely on big government and its guns to set me right. He owns that mansion because the state says he does and threatens to imprison anyone who disagrees. Where there isn’t a state, whoever has the most violent power determines who gets the stuff, be that a warlord, a knight, the mafia or a gang of cowboys in the Wild West. Either by vigilantes or the state, property rights rely on violence.

This is true both of personal possessions and private property, but it is important not to confuse the two. Property implies not a good, but a title – deeds, contracts, stocks, bonds, mortgages, &c. When Marxists talk of collectivizing ownership claims on land or “the means of production,” we are in the realm of property; when Fox Business Channel hosts move to confiscate my tie, we are in the realm of personal possessions. Communism necessarily distributes property universally, but, at least as far as this communist is concerned, can still allow you to keep your smartphone. Deal?

2. Capitalist economies are based on free exchange.

The mirror-image of the “oppressive communism” myth is the “liberatory capitalism” one. The idea that we’re all going around making free choices all the time in an abundant market where everyone’s needs get met is patently belied by the lived experience of hundreds of millions of people. Most find ourselves constantly stuck between competing pressures and therefore stressed out, exhausted, lonely, and in search of meaning. — as though we’re not in control of our lives.

We aren’t; the market is. If you don’t think so, try and exit “the market.” The origin of capitalism was depriving British peasants of their access to land (seizure of property, you might call it), and therefore their means of subsistence, making them dependent on the market for their survival. Once propertyless, they were forced to flock to the dreck, drink and disease of slum-ridden cities to sell the only thing they had – their capacity to use their brains and muscles to work – or die. Just like them, the vast majority of people today are deprived of access to the resources we need to flourish, though they exist in abundant quantities, so as to force us to work for a boss who is trying to get rich by paying us less and working us harder.

Even that boss (the apparent victor in the “free exchange”) isn’t free: the market places imperatives on the ownership class to relentlessly accumulate wealth and develop the forces of production or else fail. Capitalists are compelled to support oppressive regimes and wreck the planet, as a matter of business, even as they protest good personal intentions.

And that’s just the principle of the system. The US’s particular brand of capitalism required exterminating a continent’s worth of indigenous people and enslaving millions of kidnapped Africans. And all the capitalist industry was only possible because white women, considered the property of their fathers and husbands, were performing the invisible tasks of child-rearing and housework, without remuneration. Three cheers for free exchange.

3. Communism killed 110 million* people for resisting dispossession.

*The number cited is as consistent as it is rooted in sound research; i.e., not.

Greg Gutfeld, one of the hosts of Fox News’ “The Five” and a historical scholar of zero renown, recently advanced the position that “only the threat of death can prop up a left-wing dream, because no one in their right mind would volunteer for this crap. Hence, 110 million dead.” In declaring this, Gutfeld and his ilk insult the suffering of the millions of people who died under Stalin, Mao, and other 20th Century Communist dictators. Making up a big-sounding number of people and chalking their deaths up to some abstract “communism” is no way to enact a humanistic commitment to victims of human rights atrocities.

For one thing, a large number of the people killed under Soviet communism weren’t the kulaks everyone pretends to care about but themselves communists. Stalin, in his paranoid cruelty, not only had Russian revolutionary leaders assassinated and executed, but indeed exterminated entire communist parties. These people weren’t resisting having their property collectivized; they were committed to collectivizing property. It is also worth remembering that the Soviets had to fight a revolutionary war – against, among others, the US – which, as the American Revolution is enough to show, doesn’t mainly consist of group hugs. They also faced (and heroically defeated) the Nazis, who were not an ocean away, but right on their doorstep.

So much for the USSR. The most horrifying episode in 20th Century official Communism was the Great Chinese Famine, its death toll difficult to identify, but surely in the tens of millions. Several factors evidently contributed to this atrocity, but central to it was Mao’s “Great Leap Forward,” a disastrous combination of applied pseudoscience, stat-juking, and political persecution designed to transform China into an industrial superpower in the blink of an eye. The experiment’s results were extremely grim, but to claim that the victims died because they, in their right minds, would not volunteer for “a left-wing dream” is ludicrous. Famine is not a uniquely “left-wing” problem.

4. Capitalist governments don’t commit human rights atrocities.

Whatever one’s assessment of the crimes committed by Communist leaders, it is unwise for capitalism’s cheerleaders to play the body-count game, because if people like me have to account for the gulag and the Great Sparrow campaign, they’ll have to account for the slave trade, indigenous extermination, “Late Victorian Holocausts” and every war, genocide and massacre carried out by the US and its proxies in the effort to defeat communism. Since the pro-capitalist set cares so deeply for the suffering of the Russian and Chinese masses, perhaps they’ll even want to account for the millions of deaths resulting from those countries’ transitions to capitalism.

It should be intuitive that capitalism, which glorifies rapid growth amidst ruthless competition, would produce great acts of violence and deprivation, but somehow its defenders are convinced that it is always and everywhere a force for righteousness and liberation. Let them try to convince the tens of millions of people who die of malnutrition every year because the free market is incapable of engineering a situation in which less than half of the world’s food is thrown away.

The 100 million deaths that are perhaps most important to focus on right now are the ones that international human rights organization DARA projected will die climate-borne deaths between 2012 and 2030. 100 million more will follow those, and they will not take 18 years to die. Famine like the human species has never known is in the offing because the free market does not price carbon and oil-extracting capitalist firms have, since the collapse of the USSR, become sovereigns of their own. The most virulent anti-communists have a very handy, if morally disgraceful, way of treating this mass extinction event: they deny that it’s happening.

5. 21st Century American communism would resemble 20th century Soviet and Chinese horrors.

Before their revolutions, Russia and China were pre-industrial, agricultural, largely illiterate societies whose masses were peasants spread out over truly vast expanses of land. In the United States today, robots make robots, and less than 2% of population works in agriculture. These two states of affairs are incalculably dissimilar. The simple invocation of the former therefore has no value as an argument about the future of the American economy.

For me, communism is an aspiration, not an immediately achievable state. It, like democracy and libertarianism, is utopian in that it constantly strives toward an ideal, in its case the non-ownership of everything and the treatment of everything – including culture, people’s time, the very act of caring, and so forth – as dignified and inherently valuable rather than as commodities that can be priced for exchange. Steps towards that state of affairs needn’t include anything as scary as the wholesale and immediate abolition of markets (after all, markets predate capitalism by several millennia and communists love a good farmer’s market). Rather, I contend they can even include reforms with support among broadly ideologically divergent parties.

Given the technological, material, and social advances of the last century, we could expect an approach to communism beginning here and now to be far more open, humane, democratic, participatory and egalitarian than the Russian and Chinese attempts managed. I’d even argue it would be easier now than it was then to construct a set of social relations based on fellowship and mutual aid (as distinct from capitalism’s, which are characterized by competition and exclusion) such as would be necessary to allow for the eventual “withering away of the state” that libertarians fetishize, without replaying the Middle Ages (only this time with drones and metadata).

6. Communism fosters uniformity.

Apparently, lots of people are unable to distinguish equality from homogeneity. Perhaps this derives from the tendency of people in capitalist societies to view themselves primarily as consumers: the dystopic fantasy is a supermarket wherein one state-owned brand of food is available for all items, and it’s all in red packaging with yellow letters.

But people do a lot more than consume. One thing we do a huge amount of is work (or, for millions of unemployed Americans, try to and are not allowed). Communism envisions a time beyond work, when people are free, as Marx wrote, “to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticize after dinner… without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic.” In that way, communism is based on the total opposite of uniformity: tremendous diversity, not just among people, but even with in a single person’s “occupation.”

That so many great artists and writers have been Marxists suggest that the production of culture in such a society would breed tremendous individuality and offer superior avenues for expression. Those artists and writers might have thought of communism as “an association in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all,” but you might want to consider it an actual instantiation of universal access to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

You won’t even notice the red packaging with yellow letters!

7. Capitalism fosters individuality.

Instead of allowing all people to follow their entrepreneurial spirit into the endeavors that fulfill them, capitalism applauds the small number of entrepreneurs who capture large portions of mass markets. This requires producing things on a mass scale, which imposes a double-uniformity on society: tons and tons of people all purchase the same products, and tons and tons of people all perform the same labor. Such individuality as flourishes amid this system is often extremely superficial.

Have you seen the suburban residential developments that the housing boom shat out all over this country? Have you seen the grey-paneled cubicles, bathed in fluorescent light, clustered in “office parks” so indistinct as to be disorienting? Have you seen the strip malls and service areas and sitcoms? Our ability to purchase products from competing capitalist firms has not produced an optimally various and interesting society.

As a matter of fact, most of the greatest art under capitalism has always come from people who are oppressed and alienated (see: the blues, jazz, rock & roll, and hip-hop). Then, thanks to capitalism, it is homogenized, marketed, and milked for all its value by the “entrepreneurs” sitting at the top of the heap, stroking their satiated flanks in admiration of themselves for getting everyone beneath them to believe that we are free.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; History; Society
KEYWORDS: communism; redistribution; salon; truebeliever; usefulidiot
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-91 next last
"Most of what Americans think they know about capitalism and communism is total nonsense. Here's a clearer picture."

(Pro-communist stooges at Salon are reaching out to a new generation of idiots.)

1 posted on 02/04/2014 5:40:42 AM PST by Travis McGee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee; Eaker; Absolutely Nobama; afnamvet; Ancesthntr; An Old Man; APatientMan; ...
Communism is harder to kill than Dracula. They are always waiting to seduce another generation of historical idiots with their siren song of forced equality. But even in Salon, the comments are 90% condemnatory of communism and socialism
2 posted on 02/04/2014 5:43:03 AM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

The fruits of socialist indoctrination in our public schools.


3 posted on 02/04/2014 5:43:05 AM PST by newfreep (Breitbart sent me...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

All the communists I have known spit and sputter when you ask them to name one (just ONE) communist system that has ever worked.


4 posted on 02/04/2014 5:50:09 AM PST by RoosterRedux (The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing -- Socrates)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

So much crap in that article...need to call a big honey wagon.


5 posted on 02/04/2014 5:50:40 AM PST by Repeal The 17th (We have met the enemy and he is us.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

All those horrible things attributed to Communists? Those weren’t the result of the real, pure Communism that our teachers are trying to teach us about. The future Communist societies will be the nice ones Karl Marx wrote about. After all, even Microsoft Windows didn’t get it right the first and second time.


6 posted on 02/04/2014 5:52:13 AM PST by Procyon (Decentralize, degovernmentalize, deregulate, demonopolize, decredentialize, disentitle.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

Where does this guy point to all of the successful Communist Nations?


7 posted on 02/04/2014 5:53:16 AM PST by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

Good to see the folks as Salon have exposed their COMMUNIST IDEALS.


8 posted on 02/04/2014 5:53:34 AM PST by G Larry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee
"Let them try to convince the tens of millions of people who die of malnutrition every year because the free market is incapable of engineering a situation in which less than half of the world’s food is thrown away.

Yes, you Salon fools try and tell this to the Ukrainians.

9 posted on 02/04/2014 5:54:30 AM PST by broken_clock (Do it Sarah! Cut the ties that bind.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

Captilism relies on freedom.

Communism takes it away.


10 posted on 02/04/2014 5:54:36 AM PST by fruser1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

Wow! Someone has a jumbo koolaid sipper and fills it frequently. A poster boy for cognitive dissonance. How do some Americans get so lost? Or, did he just have a tough daddy he’s still trying to hurt back?


11 posted on 02/04/2014 5:55:13 AM PST by polymuser
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee
The author sets up a bunch of straw men, then knocks them down.

What a novel idea!

12 posted on 02/04/2014 5:55:24 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (The only way women can "have it all" is if men aren't allowed to have anything.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

salon.com isn’t worth the money they pay yearly to keep the site online.


13 posted on 02/04/2014 5:56:07 AM PST by b4its2late (A Progressive is a person who will give away everything he doesn't own.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

Well, it is great in concept. Everyone works for the benefit of the other. I sounds great.

Except in groups of more than two it doesn’t work. Because we are inheritly competitive by nature. We strive to survive. My goodness, just watch animal planet and you will see how animals are hard wired.


14 posted on 02/04/2014 5:57:04 AM PST by Vermont Lt (If you want to keep your dignity, you can keep it. Period........ Just kidding, you can't keep it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

The typical distortions and twisting to try and convince people that communism and statism are good things. This yob knows nothing about freedom and liberty.


15 posted on 02/04/2014 5:57:16 AM PST by Nifster
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

Thinking “is this the best you have?”... Well, this is salon, so yes, maybe this is the best they have.


16 posted on 02/04/2014 5:58:40 AM PST by Moose Burger
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

A liberal friend told my husband, when he mentioned the millions of people who were murdered in the name of communism - “Communism has never been implemented properly.’


17 posted on 02/04/2014 6:01:21 AM PST by bboop (does not suffer fools gladly)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: G Larry

Communism is built on child like innocence. The very idea that it is possible to amass vast power without criminals worming their way in makes as much sense as leaving a thousand carcasses to putrify and not expecting buzzards to circle. Communism is always corrupt because it depends upon people addicted to power to do the right thing when they are given absolute power. Government authority is the well spring of corruption.


18 posted on 02/04/2014 6:03:24 AM PST by Louis Foxwell (This is a wake up call. Join the Sultan Knish ping list.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

Socialism is simply the default choice of the stupid. Only a moron unwillingly or unable to look beyond the superficial falls for the idiocy of marxist “thought”.


19 posted on 02/04/2014 6:06:22 AM PST by muir_redwoods (When I first read it, " Atlas Shrugged" was fiction)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee
Amazing. The writer works on superfluous exaggerations as examples of what is supposedly the norm in both economic theories.
20 posted on 02/04/2014 6:06:28 AM PST by celmak
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bboop

I was just thinking about that. Communism is supposed to be some sort of science or such. But it “has never been implemented properly”. So, they made all the hypothesis and all the testing and such from... nothing at all. The “never been implemented” bit is enough to make it a fraud.


21 posted on 02/04/2014 6:06:43 AM PST by Moose Burger
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: celmak

We have a word for this kind of writing: drivel.


22 posted on 02/04/2014 6:07:39 AM PST by John Valentine (Deep in the Heart of Texas)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Louis Foxwell

It should also be mentioned if only in passing that each of the misconceptions listed are all ridiculous red herrings. I have never heard anyone make quite these carefully worded assertions.


23 posted on 02/04/2014 6:07:44 AM PST by Louis Foxwell (This is a wake up call. Join the Sultan Knish ping list.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

“For me, communism is an aspiration”

Another one in for a prison sentence when America rises up. The pathway to good intentions is paved with gravestones. This disgusting piece of subhuman garbage is another Stalin waiting to happen.


24 posted on 02/04/2014 6:08:32 AM PST by Viennacon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Moose Burger

Looks like FoxNews is to blame for the failure(?) or misunderstanding of communism or something. Just like the “lyin’ king” tried to blame the “bloggers and talking heads” for all the uh, “mis-statements” supposedly attributed to him. With a straight face and video evidence, denial is the only way to go. Guess mr.salon has never seen beneath the surface of communism and probably doesn’t care to. Wonder if he went on a castro approved tour of Cuba where the “handlers” show you how great things are there.


25 posted on 02/04/2014 6:08:36 AM PST by rktman (Under my plan(scheme), the price of EVERYTHING will necessarily skyrocket! Period.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

Thanks for posting this article from Salon. It never ceases to amaze me how people intentionally remain so ignorant of reality. The Holodomor in the Ukraine, has for years been touted as a mere accident of collectivization. In fact, it was the intentional genocide of 25% of the Ukrainian population (over 8 million men, women, and children) ordered by Stalin and personally supervised by the “great reformer” Nikita Khrushchev. I challenge anyone to read THE BLACK BOOK OF COMMUNISM, written by former believers in communism...It details the deaths of the over 100 million people exterminated by communist systems beginning with Lenin and extending through the regimes of Mao, Pol-pot, Chiochescu, Ho Chi Min, Castro, and many throughout Eastern Europe, Africa, and Central America. When Reagan called it the Evil Empire, he got it so right.


26 posted on 02/04/2014 6:09:01 AM PST by Bill Russell
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

Even my dyed-in-the-wool whackjob sister doesn’t endorse full-blown communism, and that’s saying something.


27 posted on 02/04/2014 6:10:26 AM PST by arderkrag (An Unreconstructed Georgian, STANDING WITH RAND.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

Communism, and socialism, what a joke. You can dress them up and make them sound sooo appealing to the uninformed and ill-informed. But at the end of the day everyone that knows anything about history, economics, and government knows that communism and socialism suck. Plain and simple they are demonstrably some of the worst social/economic/government systems for societies to adopt. Perhaps only evil dictatorship and utter chaos are worse.


28 posted on 02/04/2014 6:14:41 AM PST by ThunderSleeps (Stop obarma now! Stop the hussein - insane agenda!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee
I went to the USSR in 1986 as a teen and saw first-hand the devastation and poverty that their ideology had wrought. The Russian kids would sneak into our hotel air ducts and work their way up to the third floor to get a chance to trade with us for western products.

The first thing they would do was whisper "KGB" and search our room fixtures for bugs. Their technology was about 15 years behind to be generous. The kids even offered to trade a girl for the braces on her teeth.

But this article isn't about convincing you or me about how benevolent communism is. It's about convincing our kids who didn't see what we saw, who can't remember the fear and oppression.

The commies know they have an opportunity for a fresh crack at the USA by going after the already propagandized minds of our youths.

By the way....Jesse Myerson would do well to discuss the Berlin Wall and other methods used by the commies to prevent their citizens from escape. A capitalist nation may have to take measures to keep people out. But a communist nation takes measures to keep people in...and that's enough convincing for me.
29 posted on 02/04/2014 6:15:43 AM PST by mmichaels1970
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee; All

Great post. Thanks. I’ve only read the great comments.

Individual vs. collective BUMP!


30 posted on 02/04/2014 6:15:55 AM PST by PGalt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mmichaels1970
The kids even offered to trade a girl for the braces on her teeth.

ahemm...to clarify: trade WITH a girl. The russian kids didn't offer to trade us a girl although that would have made for an interesting negotiation.
31 posted on 02/04/2014 6:19:34 AM PST by mmichaels1970
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee
Communism is harder to kill than Dracula. They are always waiting to seduce another generation of historical idiots...

There's a reason for that. In every society, regardless of economic and political structure there's always been a pyramid of wealth roughly described by the Pareto (power-law) distribution. That means that there's always a "1%" and a larger population of the less well-off. Jealousy has always been a powerful emotion, and Communism in its revolutionary stage has been persistent in inflaming it.

Once communism is established, you have a new class with wealth and power, justified by their role as trustees of the proletariat. Look at the Soviet apparatchiks or the Chinese CCP "princelings."

32 posted on 02/04/2014 6:21:11 AM PST by Pearls Before Swine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: polymuser
How do some Americans get so lost?

They don't have functional bullshit filters to protect them from teachers and the media.

33 posted on 02/04/2014 6:21:31 AM PST by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee; Eaker; Absolutely Nobama; afnamvet; Ancesthntr; An Old Man; APatientMan

Aww, Come on, Travis...

Whoopie Goldberg said “some us believe, ya know, communism isn’t all THAT bad...”

It’s just that the right people haven’t been in charge, that’s all!

We’re experiencing “compassionate communism” right now - you know, the way Marx and Engels REALLY REALLY REALLY meant it to be....


34 posted on 02/04/2014 6:22:57 AM PST by NFHale (The Second Amendment - By Any Means Necessary.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: NFHale; Travis McGee; Eaker; Absolutely Nobama; afnamvet; Ancesthntr; An Old Man; APatientMan

...and of course the “/sarc” tag ends my previous... as if I really needed it...


35 posted on 02/04/2014 6:23:49 AM PST by NFHale (The Second Amendment - By Any Means Necessary.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee
As a small child in Hong Kong, I saw first hand how the Communist sympathizers terrorized Hong Kong in 1967 and have talked with people who managed to escape the horrors of the Great Leap Forward and Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, telling me of unspeakable crimes against innocent people.

55 million dead from mass shootings, labor camps, forced exile and deliberate famine between 1949 and 1976--the time of Mao Zedong's rule of China--is probably a very conservative estimate, for we may never really know how many Chinese died in this period. And the Cultural Revolution caused enormous harm of China's great historical and cultural heritage.

36 posted on 02/04/2014 6:26:33 AM PST by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee; mmichaels1970

If Communism is so great, why did they shoot those that tried to leave?
In a very narrow spot on the Danube between Slovakia and Austria, the old building with gun ramps is still there as a memory of soldiers shooting those that tried to swim over to freedom.


37 posted on 02/04/2014 6:30:50 AM PST by AlexW
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

Typical communist daydream, “we are all free to be a hunter in the morning”.....nobody is working in this example. So who is producing to provide food and shelter if we are all busy just “being”?
These brilliant dreamers just never think about that part.


38 posted on 02/04/2014 6:31:16 AM PST by Wiser now (Socialism does not eliminate poverty, it guarantees it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Procyon
All those horrible things attributed to Communists? Those weren’t the result of the real, pure Communism that our teachers are trying to teach us about.

Grin, I know you're being sarcastic here. That's one of the traps "modern" self-proclaimed intellectuals fall into. They believe communism and socialism have failed repeatedly (100% failure rate at making happy, prosperous societies) due to mistakes made by the people trying it.

Today's commie intellectual believes (quite falsely) that they themselves are soooo much smarter and wiser than those who have gone before (self-aggrandizing ego trip). They think communism and socialism have only failed because the right people weren't in charge. Of course, they believe themselves to be "the right people" to lead us poor slobs. They honestly think they know what's best for everyone. I know, laughable right? It would be knee-slapping funny if they weren't actually serious about that. They think only they know best.

39 posted on 02/04/2014 6:31:35 AM PST by ThunderSleeps (Stop obarma now! Stop the hussein - insane agenda!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

Article is garbage. Communism and socialism make it acceptable to run over the basic human rights of individuals. Look what our “benevolent” government is doing to individuals and small businesses now. It is criminal. . . and we have not quite gotten to full blown communism yet. IMHO, we are socialist now.


40 posted on 02/04/2014 6:34:03 AM PST by RatRipper (The political left are utterly evil and corrupt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

You have to concede one point. With 60 million American’s killed in the womb because one Supreme Court justice found murder to be a privacy issue, the USA will take its place as one of the worst killers of innocent citizens in history.


41 posted on 02/04/2014 6:34:15 AM PST by txrefugee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bboop

A liberal friend told my husband, when he mentioned the millions of people who were murdered in the name of communism - “Communism has never been implemented properly.’


You mean in the future people will give up their freedom, their rights and all the worldy posessions willingly and peacfully all in the name of communism??? The big problem communism has is keeping the communication of the opposition quiet. Even tougher to do now. North Korea imprisons and kills daily in order to remain communist.


42 posted on 02/04/2014 6:50:03 AM PST by outpostinmass2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: mmichaels1970
The commies know they have an opportunity for a fresh crack at the USA by going after the already propagandized minds of our youths.

It would seem that the fall of the Iron Curtain was a Phyrric victory for the West. We thought we were reintroducing (and in some cases, introducing for the first time) freedom in those parts of the world, but in actuality we were releasing the legacy of Lenin and Stalin from its cage.

43 posted on 02/04/2014 6:52:55 AM PST by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee
communism and capitalism

Articles of this nature come with a built in fatal flaw.

The flaw is in presenting the notion that capitalism is contrary to communism. Capitalism is present in all forms of government. The difference worthy of comparison is in discovering who owns and controls the capital under the different forms of government.

Nations with Communist governments do not allow private ownership or control of capital.
America’s constitutionally guaranteed Republican form of government protects private ownership of capital.

There are four aspects of ownership necessary for the ownership of property to be full and complete. These four are title, control, use, and the ability to dispose of what a person owns.

In a free market economy, these aspects are unrestrained so long as the owner does not infringe on the legitimate rights and claims of others. True ownership of property and freedom go hand in hand. They always have.

Now let’s compare the two systems of capitalism, monopolistic state-controlled capitalism and competitive free enterprise capitalism.

Private ownership and control of capital exist in the competitive free enterprise system. In the monopolistic system, private or state title of ownership to the capital exists but more importantly, the state or the elite few who control the state control all the capital.

44 posted on 02/04/2014 6:53:02 AM PST by MosesKnows (Love many, trust few, and always paddle your own canoe.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ThunderSleeps

Today’s commie intellectual believes (quite falsely) that they themselves are soooo much smarter and wiser than those who have gone before (self-aggrandizing ego trip). They think communism and socialism have only failed because the right people weren’t in charge. Of course, they believe themselves to be “the right people” to lead us poor slobs. They honestly think they know what’s best for everyone. I know, laughable right? It would be knee-slapping funny if they weren’t actually serious about that. They think only they know best.


So did the communist before them. Today’s communist will behave exactly like yesterday’s communist if given the chance. They have to kill and oppress other-wise the strong and enterprising will rise up and kill communism again.


45 posted on 02/04/2014 6:55:23 AM PST by outpostinmass2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

Socialism, fascism and communism are based on the 7 deadly sins.


46 posted on 02/04/2014 6:55:24 AM PST by fella ("As it was before Noah so shall it be again,")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee
They also faced (and heroically defeated) the Nazis, who were not an ocean away, but right on their doorstep.

I suppose he refers to the National Socialist German Workers Party.

47 posted on 02/04/2014 6:55:59 AM PST by ecomcon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Bill Russell
Ditto on The Black Book of Communism. It is translated from French and very academic, so I wouldn't call it a fun read.

I also recommend Gulag by Anne Applebaum. Not worthy for a Pulitzer, and the author did little to amplify the evil of the Gulag system. It does show the utter destruction of the prisoners' souls and humanity.

Add to the reading list MAO, The Unknown Story by Jung Chang. It goes into great detail, not only about Mao's moral depravity, but also his willingness to sacrifice as many Chinese as it took for him to maintain power.

The problem with this Salon author is that in his opinion he excuses all examples of communism as being untrue to Marx, and condemns every problem with capitalism in the next breath. The systems under which we live will never be pure and are subject to the forces of human nature. It takes an exceeding poor understanding of human nature to think that communism will every work, because collectivism doesn't reward hard work. Collectivism rewards just enough work to not get noticed.

48 posted on 02/04/2014 6:58:39 AM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: ThunderSleeps

“They believe communism and socialism have failed repeatedly (100% failure rate at making happy, prosperous societies) due to mistakes made by the people trying it.”

If that’s what they believe, they believe a theory about society that has no real people on it. Sounds like the old joke about the physicist making a cow produce more milk: “first, we assume a spherical cow”


49 posted on 02/04/2014 6:59:38 AM PST by Moose Burger
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: Travis McGee

Sooooo, it wasn’t communism that killed 110 million people and continues to enslave and impoverish them in Cuba?

Wow, I’m so relieved. Let’s be communists then, and be happy.


50 posted on 02/04/2014 7:07:14 AM PST by lurk
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-91 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson