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This Communism related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.


Archives for this talk page: <1>, <2>, <3>, (new)

Possibly awkward subtitle or organization[edit]

The first subtitle "What communism 'actually is,'" is somewhat a misnomer, and the information under it at best could be described as "attempts at communism." For example, Stalin or Stalinism is ideologically very far from the original Communist mindset (i.e. a big spinoff.) Without changing that subtitle, a lot of the information could be moved under "Communism in practice."

I fully agree: there is a common misunderstanding. For example USSR had never been and had never named itself as state of communism (there is no "C" in its name). It were state of socialism, which where building communism (but failed) under the lead of Communist Party. So it was communist's state, but not communism. And Staling himself mentioned many times that communism where far, far away to future (generations) for him. And by his written opinion all what he was doing - building economical, social and cultural base for it. So when talking about wat communism 'actually is,' one should tell about theoretical descriptions of society where means of production (not personal property) are owned by community. Or change the title.

John Lennon a Marxist?[edit]

Maybe to assclowns like Nate Shapiro, but it doesn't withstand even a cursory review of his ideas. "Revolution" was a polemic against the Maoist fad in Britain in 1968 and "Imagine" was seen as utopian nonsense by radicals.

Shouldn't we create a seperate page?[edit]

Most criticisms here are for Marxism-Leninism, which isn't communism but state socialism. We should move alot of our criticisms to new pages labeled things like Maoism or Marxism-Leninism and make new criticisms based on the validity of a moneyless and marketless society.--Boredsocialist (talk) 14:38, 13 September 2020 (UTC)

i am under the impression that communism is the end goal, with the various states labelled communist being works in progress, having not yet reached the theorised utopia. that said the people running these states have communism as the end goal. china has communism as it stated end goal. ergo they are communist. russia an china cast long shadows and what most people think of communism is based on russia and china. that is communism for a lot of people, like it or not.
i do have issue with the article though, not just the article, but its serves as a helpful illustration of whats been gnawing at me for a while.
i am not so much concerned with the theory and argument over what was envisaged by marx, or a critique of said theory, there are issue with all of that in the article but not the root of my complaint.
i am more greautly bothered the practice and how it has been represented. the potted history that we give of the rise of soviet russia, of its failings, and of the triumph of capitalism is fundementality flawed. really so massively flawed that any conclusion we draw from the history as presented here are deeply flawed.
ive always had issue with the way human rights abuses and and the horrific genocides are often presented. namely these things happened because of communism, and communism is bad because these things happened. its never explained by anyone how this is inherent to communism, but it is very strongly implied to be so. very often hysterically so. i am referring to on wiki debates, not respected historians and the like, i should add. whats always missing is context. what did the world look like time? what preceded such horrors? what drives people to be complicit with it? to participate?
ideology does not cut it for me. indeed it is rarely discussed, only to apportion blame. to point and say look what they did. look at their brutality. its such a shallow argument. its a lazy argument. its like when we paint nazis responsible for the holocaust as extraordinarily evil, when the reality is of normal everyday human beings complicit in atrocities.
what i feel is lacking here, is a history lesson. the world that birthed such brutalities was itself drenched in blood, and we barely even mention what is so significant, so intrinsic to the brutalities that followed.
lets look at russia. the tsarist empire died in midst of world war one, one the bloodiest conflicts in human history. leading directly to one the most brutal and costly civil wars. no sooner is that over but the ruined land, struggling to rebuild a vast country with regular famines, has to contend with the bloodiest conflict in human history.
lets look at china. after years of exploitation by colonial powers, and of factional disputes amongst warlords, a brutal civil war erupts, only interrupted by a brutal invasion, leaving millions dead and the country ruined.
lets look at north korea. theres a reason why nrth korea hate america. formed after the us arbitrarily split korea in to to fuck over the russians, it sowed the seeds for a war where the us carpet bombed, and fire bombed the entirety of north so no building was left standing and was left a desert, its people reduced to living in mud huts and dug outs for survival. 12% percent of the population killed, some 10 million people. 635000 tons of bombs were dropped - only 500000 tons were dropped in the pacific theatre during all of ww2.
lets look at cambodia. a civil war and the us makes cambodia one of the most heavily bombed places on earth, second only to laos.
can you see my point? these are regimes that were born out of the most extreme brutalities. we barely mention any of it. we cannot begin to talk deviations from 'what marx intended' while glossing over the realities that communist regimes arose from and found themselves in. not just communists either - these conflicts have been the defining feature of the 20th century an the world we live in today.
this leads to the failure of communism and the triumph of capitalism - of the soviets meeting its match in the us, and ulitmately losing out is not an accurate narrative either. this was not a race of equals starting at the same time, with the capitalist west pulling ahead. tsarist russia was a backward backwater, not starting to industrialise till a little before ww1. the capitalist west had decades of a head start. the us was untouched by war, but russia faced 2 world wars and a civil war and it still went toe to toe with the us during the cold war, only faltering towards the end. the us had all the advantages, especially after ww2, in which russian industrial power was key to victory over the nazis, moving whole factories thousands of miles to evade the german, while the us was not even bombed on the mainland. communism wasnt a failure, it was an industrial triumph for russia. look at where china was and to what it is now after all that it has endured. quibble over the terms, of what is and is not communism, but if you are seeing failure here, then you are not looking.
you do not have to like communism or deny any crimes done in its name. but to discuss what it means in reality, we should at the very least be honest about it. i have not yet conidered how this might be incorperated into our article AMassiveGay (talk) 00:01, 14 September 2020 (UTC)

@AMassiveGay Fair enough, colloquially that's how a lot of people see communism. But it's still this interpretation that's scholarly, and we're meant to educate people, not assure what they think they know. Still, they shouldn't have done things like lock up political dissidents,start gulags and so on. Being bombed by the US and being stuck in a backwater doesn't justify things that they did. China killed millions it didn't like, then converted to a neoliberal hellhole. Rojava, Catalonia and Zapatistas went through the same problems and came out with little to no atrocities. What I was saying is we should change criticisms from criticisms of Marxism-Leninism and how it inherently leads to authoritarianism with it's hierarchy, and instead change it to criticisms of how a decentrally planned system based on a lack f money would work in a nation and it's idealism. --Boredsocialist (talk) 19:35, 17 September 2020 (UTC)

I would suggest separate sections of critique, both on this page. One takes down the eastern bloc, the other looks at "communism the idea."-Flandres (talk) 19:45, 17 September 2020 (UTC)

@Flandres Yeah, that's what I was proposing. One article to look at the horrors of Marxism-Leninism, and one to question the econmic validity of a marketless, moneyless society on a large scale without having economic downturn.--Boredsocialist (talk) 08:27, 19 September 2020 (UTC)

@Boredsocialistyou misunderstand my point. i do not say the brutality preceding the creation of any of these states justifies the horrors that follow. i am saying that the extreme brutality together with the realpolitik necessary to even get started explains the dehumanisation and paranoia that allows people to do horrific things better than broad ideological points. rojava, catalonia, zapatistas - did not remotely go through the same things, with no where near the scale of devastation, while still maintaining some continuity to what preceded them. compare to the old order being completely annihilated, with no organisation or structure surviving in to the new regimes of soviet russia or china. the extreme nature of the crisis at the birth of these communism nations must impact the course of regimes all the way down the line. we barely give them a nod.
there is no one size fits all. in practice success or failure depends on all manner of thing, from scale, to the manner in which power was gained, fundamentally altering the course a regime takes, altering perspectives of what we see communism to be. i see little value in looking at communism the 'idea' removed from practice when any implementation necessitates choices meaning the idea will always be a fantasy.
looking at what has been attempted, what the similarities are, the differences, what constitutes success or failure. you need a critique of russia and china. you need a critique for smaller scale efforts. see what factors must remain to be even called communism AMassiveGay (talk) 11:19, 19 September 2020 (UTC)

This is the level of deep intellectual analysis expected from an imbecilic shithub of centrists who ironically congregate under the banner of "rationality"[edit]

Marx's Determinism[edit]

From the article: "Marx was not deterministic, but he does occasionally seem as such; he believed that socialists would have to actively help educate the workers and fight for a revolution, rather than it just happening automatically. However, crises and such would aid it." I should note that I just changed some formatting here, so maybe I messed something up, but it seems to me that the claim that Marx occasionally seems deterministic is not supported by what follows it. I think it might be better to remove the statement that "he does occasionally seem as such," or to add a clearer example of where he seems to be deterministic. I also think "crises and such" needs more detail. It isn't clear what "and such" refers to, nor how it would help promote the revolution. Again, though, I feel I might just be missing something, so I thought I would mention it here. EyeSky (talk) 19:49, 14 March 2021 (UTC)