Social Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

What is so bad about being a Communist? Or is it just a scare-mongering label?

Asked by elbanditoroso (33280points) May 2nd, 2021

Related to this question

It seems to be that being a communist in 2021 is far different from being one in 1950. For one thing, even the Chinese and Russian governments (the major purveyors of old-style communisms) have pretty much seen the failures of Communism and moved off it to capitalist dictatorships.

No one takes communism seriously except maybe North Korea.

So why is there so much opprobrium about communism today? Or is this just another right wing social wave-the-flag issue that is really meaningless?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

11 Answers

kritiper's avatar

Russian Communism and Chinese Communism are just two examples of different types of Socialism, of which there are at least 20 types.
When some people use the term “Socialism” to describe what some Democrats are trying to bring to America’s shores, it’s pure scare tactics.

janbb's avatar

“Or is this just another right wing social wave-the-flag issue that is really meaningless?”

You hit the nail on the head there!

Zaku's avatar

Mostly it seems to be right-wing strawman fearmongering. Apparently Biden is a radical leftist, according to them. I think it’s part of politics based on tribal us-vs-them and other feelings rather than anything that makes actual sense.

The idea that Russia (which never really even had a full industrial revolution before its particularly Russian so-called communist revolution) and China (similar situation, but Chinese) are the only possible forms of Communism is ridiculous. Those were just slightly new flavors of those countries’ patterns of abusive central authority. And that’s what the “anti-commie” ideas are about – the idea that anything that’s not extreme US-capitalist is going to be authoritarian evil sauce. Meanwhile, the current Trumpists are basically asking for a retarded evil dictator named Trump.

seawulf575's avatar

If you look at Communist countries, they are the most dictatorial (outside of dictatorships) in the world. The government has control over your entire life up to and including how many children you can have, what food you are allowed to have, etc. None of these countries result in an overall sense of freedom and typically there is quite a bit of need.
Communism is a natural result following the move from capitalism into socialism (at least according to Karl Marx) After that, the government sees the need to have full power. That is why people on the right push so hard against Socialism. Look at some of the human rights violations and living conditions in Communist countries throughout the ages. None of us (I hope) want that sort of thing in this country.
The left loves to try pushing the “Socialist Democrat” angle. Sweden is a classic example. But what they always fail to miss is that when Sweden went that direction, it almost destroyed the country. They adhered to many of the policies and beliefs being pushed by today’s leftists. They went from a prosperous country into one that was falling apart in just a few decades. Their government realized they had to change things. Today’s Sweden is more capitalistic than socialistic. Their federal government is very small with little impact on the individual people. Their state and local governments are more in charge of things and many of the “socialist” things are actually privately provided under contract to these governmental entities. They are chosen based on proposals which show plans for operation and costs…much the same way a large corporation will hire a contractor to perform a service.

rebbel's avatar

Their federal government is very small with little impact on the individual people.
That is, of course, if you don’t count affordable health care, (good and safe) infrastructure, social security, paid leave, and (easily available) voting as impact on the individual.

Zaku's avatar

@seawulf575 That opinion is what I was writing about in my answer above.

It is ignorant of culture and history.

Russia and China have long histories of being authoritarian dictatorships with a hierarchies of abuse. They were that way before and after their communist revolutions. It was not the “communism” making them dictatorial. It’s just the flavor of ideological justification. So those examples do not indicate that communism needs to lead to dictatorship.

As I also responded before your post, they also aren’t examples of Marx’ predicted patterns, because Russia and China had not gone through an industrial revolution yet.

The social programs in Europe and Sweden are far beyond what’s been proposed in the USA, let alone what’s been proposed by Biden, and yet Republican politicians try to demonize him and all such suggestions as radical left-wing, dangerous, socialist, etc., with no sense of proportion or accuracy.

elbanditoroso's avatar

What I gather from the responses is as follows:

- people still blur the line between socialism and communism.

- the evil communism of the 1950s-60s is still a large motivating factor for certain parts of the population today

- a country doesn’t need to be communist (for example: Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Iran), to be dictatorial in this world. The government has control over your entire life up to and including how many children you can have, what food you are allowed to have, etc. (paraphrasing and copying @seawulf575)

My conclusion: The ‘communism’ tag as currently applied by US conservatives is obsolete and largely inaccurate.

seawulf575's avatar

@rebbel “That is, of course, if you don’t count affordable health care, (good and safe) infrastructure, social security, paid leave, and (easily available) voting as impact on the individual.” Many of those things are either provided by companies or are controlled by the more local governments. The federal government is literally nothing more than a bank account. Take health care for instance. Private firms write proposals to bid for the jobs. The state governments evaluate the proposals and decide which one they want and then talk to the feds about any extra funding that might be needed to get it. The federal government is not the sole decision maker. The same goes for schools and many other things. The federal government DOES give incentives for entrepreneurs. But they aren’t controlling the businesses. They are encouraging capitalism.

seawulf575's avatar

@elbanditoroso ” The ‘communism’ tag as currently applied by US conservatives is obsolete and largely inaccurate.” Not at all. Look at all the human rights issues in China going on today. The Uyghers are undergoing genocide through slavery today. That is at the hands of the government. Look what they did to Nepal and the Dali Lama. Anyone that dares to disagree with the central government is at risk. Want another example of communism? Look at Cuba. There are only 5 communist countries today…China, Laos, Vietnam, Cuba, and N. Korea. Which of those would you rather live in? Obviously communism to you is a good thing. Which one of those has a better standard of living and more freedoms that the USA?

Kropotkin's avatar

“Communism” as used by Marxist-Leninist proponents, and by anti-socialist detractors, is more a form of authoritarian state capitalism, and has about nothing to do with socialism or communism.

There are no communist countries, and arguably no socialist ones either.

Trotsky, with incredibly clear hindsight, years after the fact and after he got exiled, recognised that the so-called communists states were authoritarian bureaucracies, and not worker controlled democracies.

Anarchist theorists writing in the 1800s and early 1900s, predicted without the benefit of hindsight, that merely taking over the state would necessarily lead to authoritarianism.

As for whether “communism” is a bad thing—It’s about the best possible thing.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@seawulf575 Are you saying that you would prefer the United States to move in the direction of Sweden? The Swedes are content and prosper, but it is by no means predatory capitalism which is responsible for this. The Swedes have some of the highest levels of entrepreneurship in the world, because in the main, people are allowed to pick what they choose to do without fear of destitution. You can flip burgers or play a flute in the mall, and not worry whether your children will be well fed or schooled. The difference is that if you are successful and generate oodles of money doing it, that money is TAXED ACCORDINGLY.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther