One argument that I have heard over and over against communism is this one: “We’ve tried it, and it failed”. It’s true. It has been tried by China and its satellites, the Soviet Union and its satellites, Yugoslavia, and Cuba. They have all, except for Cuba, failed or have done what China has done, which is to remain nominally communist while converting almost completely to a free market economy. (I believe that Cuba has not failed, but that is a topic for another essay). I do not deny that they failed. I do deny that the reason they failed is because communism is not practical. However, I do think that pure communism is not possible to achieve.
Did I just contradict myself there? No. Well, maybe a little bit. What I mean is that the Soviet Union et al did not fail because the communism they practiced wasn’t practical. They may have collapsed because of that eventually, but its not why they collapsed. What I said was truly unfeasible is pure communism, by which I mean pure Marxism. In Marxism there is no state (no government), and everybody sort of just does what they want. No, it doesn’t make sense to me either. As I said before, I am not a communist.
So why did they fail? Well, mostly it was the result of unfair economic and political pressure from the Western world. It was unfair to not trade with them, to stop buying their products and all that just because they were communist. Of course, you’ll here claims that the West became such an enemy of them because they were totalitarian countries, and they abused human rights. Thats just not the reason. The United States is or has been allies with quite a few totalitarian, human rights-abusing countries. If you need an example just look at Bahrain.
Why did the West engage in the Cold War and all of the proxy wars in Vietnam, Korea, Angola, and everywhere else, why did they put crippling trade embargos on North Korea and Cuba, if not because of human rights abuses? Well, its simple. Western multinationals can’t operate in communist countries.
So. There you have it. The core reason for the failure of communism in the 20th century can be traced back to the way corporations control the governments of Western countries. I will right more about this in a future blog post.
One last thing: if I don’t support communism, why do I care if communism failed? Well, I feel that communism is a very good thing to aim for. My main reason for opposition to it is that it is utopian, unachievable. However, it should be given a chance, somewhere in the world, and maybe it will turn out to be a usable economic system, at least in some form. My last hope for communism is resting with Cuba. For now, though, I’m not going to support communism, especially since calling yourself a communist alienates potential allies, who would say they support, say, “a government-less country where everyone is equal and collectively control the means of production”, but of course they would support communism.