Author: Erik Parker, Torch Staff
Communism is a great idea. What, you don’t believe me? Are you thinking about Stalin’s purges in Russia, the famine in Mao’s China, Cuba’s political prisoners, or the current human rights violations in North Korea? Well, hey, I did say idea. I’d like to show you that the theory of communism is essentially perfect. Putting it into practice is a whole other issue, because it’s true that there’ve been horrendous manifestations of supposed communist ideals in the past. However, these failures are not representative of what communism stands for, so the stigma associated with the political theory needs to be dispelled. In my experience, many people are quick to reject what they view as a radical and failed political theory, but just consider what a society based on ideas so different from our capitalist ways could entail. I’m really no expert on communism, but I know the basics, and I know why I think it’s great.
In short, communism calls for a stateless and classless society. Everyone works for the common good and benefits when society benefits, and there is no such thing as private property. In true communism, government and political power cease to exist. According to the Communist Manifesto of 1848, “Political power . . . is merely the organized power of one class oppressing another.” This makes me think of rich senators, congressmen, and big corporations-in America, they have the power to direct political (and often social) change. In a communist society, the state evolves naturally, and for a communist state to be formed, the masses must continually overrun the upper oppressive class until a socialist government is established. This government then withers away as order is established and becomes natural. Capitalism does not allow for these mini-revolutions that could lead to positive change and equality. No one can say that we’re all equal in American society, and it doesn’t look like this will be achieved any time soon. This is one of the aspects of communism that appeals to me most. Everyone receives the same benefits and is of equal importance.
I don’t agree with the highly competitive spirit of capitalism that forces us to be concerned about our own interests. Personally, I don’t like being competitive. I feel bad that my success results in someone else’s failure. I think the future is in a more harmonious community. I’m not self-interested. I don’t want to be the next big player on Wall Street or a hard-hitting, briefcase-toting lawyer. I’m interested in furthering the community—as the proletariat, if you will—on the whole because it makes me feel like a better human being. I don’t see much point being alive and part of a society if I don’t make anyone in it happy except myself. Communism encourages (well, demands) this spirit, and I like it.
Others in the communist state would also have to share these ideals, which is one of the first obstacles to actually having a communist state. Establishing this said entity would require a community of citizens who share the same values and are sure that they would be happy within this system of working and sharing. It would be nearly impossible to keep everyone happy because humans naturally develop conflicting interests and believe in different things. Successful communism is also impossible because resources need to be plentiful to keep everyone happy so that inequalities don’t develop. Obviously, resources are scarce, so this requirement cannot be met. There’s plenty more reasons why true, good communism won’t happen, but I won’t go into them because it’ll just make me sad.
I wish my communist utopia could exist. I’d love to work for the common good and know that my actions were benefiting everyone equally. Maybe it’s just because I don’t like where American government and society are headed at the moment, but I’m ready for more people to at least think about alternatives. You don’t necessarily have to like them, but realize that they’re out there. I’d encourage everyone to think about how the current “system” is serving you and making you happy—and if you’re not happy, do something about it.
Emma Parker is an undeclared sophomore. She can be reached at [email protected]
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