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Talk:Communism/Archive1

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Attention, BouncyBear! There was no reason for you to remove the snark, or the link to CP. Please do not remove things without talking about it in talk, or at least stating a reason. Researcher 22:15, 26 December 2007 (EST)

Why doesn't this article mention Communism's Christian origins? The Wikipedia article on Christian Communism should provide plenty of evidence to prove that Communism is a form of Christianity.— Unsigned, by: 206.251.2.41 / talk / contribs

Communism doesn't really have Christian roots, but some Christian movements, like Liberation Theology, have communist roots.--PalMD<sup>-Kill another kittensup> 17:59, 15 February 2008 (EST)

[Q][edit]

Er, didn't Marx profess "Religion is the opiate of the masses?" I am fairly sure that all communists are atheists. At least all but more moderate ones such as Eurocommunists. Lyra (It goes ding when there's stuff) 01:06, 18 May 2008 (EDT)

I thought the line was "the opium of the masses". Surely you can at least google it before asking? All communists = atheists? I doubt it, although maybe. And what's your point? humanUser talk:Human 01:54, 18 May 2008 (EDT)
Same thing. Opium is an opiate. I know it may sound contemporarily inaccurate but true communism as envisioned by Marx would be atheistical. Lyra (It goes ding when there's stuff) 01:59, 18 May 2008 (EDT)
And what's your point? Is there an error in the article? Is there a difference between "Marxism" and "Communism"? And a wrong quote is not "the same thing". humanUser talk:Human 02:08, 18 May 2008 (EDT)
(sigh) Sorry for the confusion, "opiate" and "opium" are interchangeable in this quote. Marx believed that all religion should be done away with, so hard-core communists are by definition always atheists. That's it. Lyra (It goes ding when there's stuff) 02:16, 18 May 2008 (EDT)
Except in liberation theology. Wazza (Yes, that Wazza)Bring a little light into my dim and dull existence 04:26, 18 May 2008 (EDT)
Surely one can be a hard-core communist without ascribing to every belief of a 19th century philosopher? I certainly agree that a Marxist should and well ought to be an atheist, though. humanUser talk:Human 15:38, 18 May 2008 (EDT)
Marxist = Communist, take China, USSR, Cuba, they all did away with religion, it's only the modern Eurocommunists that aren't strictly atheist. Lyra (It goes ding when there's stuff) 15:42, 18 May 2008 (EDT)
I disagree with your equation of the two terms. humanUser talk:Human 16:13, 18 May 2008 (EDT)
A quick cheap referral to pickyweedia yields "The dominant forms of communism, such as Leninism, Stalinism, Maoism, Trotskyism and Luxemburgism, are based on Marxism, but non-Marxist versions of communism (such as Christian communism and anarchist communism) also exist and are growing in importance since the fall of the Soviet Union."

(UNDENT) Lyra, you know little of what you speak. Marxism ==/== communism as practiced in the countries you named. Marxism is a vast and complex set of historical and economic analyses and approaches to policy. Yes, the communist states you mention have economic development policies that are Marxist, but they are far from representative of what the totality of Marxist thought represents. Also, as mentioned above, liberation Theology shows how elements of Marxism can live very comfortably in a religious context - as does the way that Confucianism and Buddhism and Communism have co-existed in China since the Revolution. Read Capital (all three volumes) and the Grundrisse for starters - and then hit up Althuser, James and Gramsci. Get a more complete idea of what Marxist thought can be.PFoster

Mr. Foster, I actually know volumes "of which I speak," I wrote a very long paper on all types of Communism and its preliminary and modern examples... The truth is, in every instance that either Trotskyism, Maoism, Stalinism is declared the only form of the state, they all have been nonreligious. I suppose a distinction can be drawn between State Communism and modern contemporary communist theory of which you speak, but theist/religious communism has never happened and has been mostly taken over by socialist parties in government. Lyra (It goes ding when there's stuff) 17:10, 18 May 2008 (EDT)
Lyra, while I'm sure that your paper was brilliant, your two arguments above ("I am fairly sure that all communists are atheists." and "Marxist = Communist") are flat-out wrong and show that you need to do a lot more in order to critically engage with Marxist and Communist thought.PFoster 17:18, 18 May 2008 (EDT)
So now it's a swordfight? "Critically engage?" ;) I take back those black-and-white statements, for that reason. My previous statement stands, however. ("...in every instance that either Trotskyism...") Lyra (It goes ding when there's stuff) 17:43, 18 May 2008 (EDT)
Well, you're missing a lot of historical subtleties by seeing it that way - while the states involved may have been officially secular/nonreligious/atheistic, this doesn't tell us anything about how the actual people in those states, be they Russian Orthodox, Vietnamese Buddhist, Chinese Buddhists and Confucianists, East German Catholics and Lutherans and Cuban Catholics or Santeria followers, many of whom were also dedicated Communists, were able to reconcile faith and politics.PFoster 17:53, 18 May 2008 (EDT)
Unlike Snafly, I concede the point. (Godspeed!) Lyra (It goes ding when there's stuff) 17:58, 18 May 2008 (EDT)

Although I only bothered to read half of the conversation, I would like to state that I am both religious and a pretty hard-core communist, so… --Linus(plot evil tech) 16:31, 18 May 2008 (EDT)

Linus, how would your faith impact your (hypothetical [I hope]) establishment of a communist state? Lyra (It goes ding when there's stuff) 17:10, 18 May 2008 (EDT)
Pretty much only by not outlawing religion, as others might. I may be misunderstanding your question, could you elaborate? --Linus(plot evil tech) 17:45, 18 May 2008 (EDT)

I covered this in 'socialism', I'll drag it over. Also, half of this article deserves to be chucked somewhere in an article named 'Fun:Communism', rather than here. And while Marx was an atheist, that doesn't mean that he thought that religion should be outlawed. Well, in communism, there would be nobody to outlaw it anyways, but... -Judas Reward 14:48, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

if this article is an 100% joke[edit]

please excuse me. if we want to aim for 50/50 (we'll keep the good jokes) then this needs to go

and that income should be shared equally amongst all citizens of the state.

I really do not feel that this is a communist idea or ideal or anything. To each according to his (her) needs, from each according to his (her) ability or something, is as close as I can get and it is not the same thing. Close enough for Conservapedia, but . ..... really, we can do better here. Carptrash 15:05, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

Yup. Not only is there no state, but there's no money either. -Judas Reward 15:08, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

Exactly. When you ain't got nothing you got nothing to loose. (Bob Dylan) Carptrash 15:11, 30 August 2008 (EDT) Now I'm on to:

"First, we must mention Karl Marx and the idea that human society develops in a dialectic fashion in reaction, starting with one system, swinging to its polar opposite, and then to a new form in the middle."

I suppose that this is a sort of explanation of the "theses, antheses and syntheses" idea of Marx, but it is not how he was describing the evolution of society. He had it moving from feudalism to Capitalism to socialism to communism. The progressing steps here do not involve anything like "polar opposites".

I am beginning to suspect that either this article or my understanding of the meaning of life is seriously flawed, perhaps beyond redemption. Carptrash 17:01, 30 August 2008 (EDT)

His theory was basically that society goes from primitive communism to feudalism, then capitalism (which was necessary for development, though feudal nations could still have successful revolutions if other developed nations around them also revolted), and then socialism. Then communism, of course. IMO we should just put that in, rather than the whole 'polar opposites' thing. -Judas Reward 01:43, 31 August 2008 (EDT)
That misses out slavery and Asian mode of production. 78.142.188.241 03:00, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Please explain in detail this "Asian mode of production". I am curious. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:56, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
The Asiatic mode of production is more or less a catch-all made up by hyper-orthodox Marxists who can't fit the conditions of Asian civilisations into their strict feudal->capital->social continuum. Asia has caused all western types confusion though, since the Asiatic idea among Marxists has its bourgeois-liberal counterpart, "Oriental Despotism". User:Tbasherizer

Any way to add this line?[edit]

I think it was Fukuyama who said that it had been "relegated to the dust-bin of history." I rather fancy the line, but I can't find a way to work it in the way it is now. Any ideas? Researcher 14:07, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Well, I like putting cquote templates at the top of articles, kind of like sound-bite headlines. If you can find the longer quotation, it might be suitable but it's probably a bit too much for a headline. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 14:15, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

RWNC[edit]

Could someone take a look at RWNC's various contributions, particularly to this article? It's quite the rant and seems inappropriate in a number of ways, but I'm a bit dead at the moment, so I can't parse it all. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 04:05, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

I'm no apologist for Communism in any way shape or form, but I think it looks like the numbers killed by Chinese communists seem off by a factor of 2 or 3. Researcher (talk) 04:59, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
They've been running around making so-so edits. As far as I am concerned, a huge new section by a newcomer that ignores the basic MoS is rollbackable. So I did, and I am not ashamed to do so. ħumanUser talk:Human 09:31, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
There might be some use for such a section, if done better. Researcher (talk) 20:07, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
There clearly is a need for such a section. Both communism and the Soviet Union are getting off pretty lightly here, in my opinion. You cannot make a disconnect between the idea of communism - which may or may not have been realised in the Soviet Union (That phase of communist progression that is supposed to anticipate the withering away of the State as a workers' paradise is gradually constructed) - and how it played out in practise (Authoritarianism, little personal freedom, 'secret police' etc. etc.) The international left (And I consider myself part of that) need to come to terms with its own inherited shame. Jean Paul Satre was an inveterate admirer of Stalin until the day he died - and both men are now regarded in common memory as absolute bufoons. We should really learn something from how somebody so manifestly intelligent (Satre) could be so wilfully deluded. MarcusCicero (talk) 20:49, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
It does seem odd that there is no real mention of the massacres (and all the other bits) perpetrated under the banner of communism. No need for something quite so crude as a great big list with wibbley figures, but it can't be too hard to find some better ones. Broccoli (talk) 21:12, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

I think that this entire article should be revamped, right now its saying that Communism is a good thing that being censored by "evil" americans. --Oniontalk/edits 21:24, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

I was not aware that this was an explicitly pro-Communist site. Researcher--perhaps you cannot accept that your comrades really killed 76 million Chinese; but that is exactly what Professor of democide R.J. Rummel's statistical breakdown concludes. To say that it is hard to believe or imagine, sans any estimate or argument, is insufficient for the debunking of a myth. That is, after all, what the civilized world first thought when they heard about the horrors of the Nazi Holocaust. That number is not far at all from what the most widely cited and accepted estimate--65 million--suggests. To call my contribution a rant when indeed this entire article is a blatant, unapologetic rant itself, is mind-bogglingly hypocritical. If there were any "estimates" you could "cite" that would "prove" Pol Pot, Che, Ho Chi Minh, Stalin, Khrushchev, Lenin, Mao Zedong and Kim Il-Sung were true heroes leading a workers' and peoples' front against evil American imperialism and who actually saved millions of lives and created utopias comparable to France after liberation from the Nazis; you would be free to do so. As far as my list being excessive, or at least overly serious: I have no sense of humor and the amount of people killed by Communism was excessive. I would think that editing rather than outrightly deleting everything would be a more constructive path to take, but then again; I am a Right Wing NutCase.RWNC (talk) 21:45, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

You deem any reaction other than bug-eyed and frothing at the mouth to be pro-communist? Fallacy of the excluded middle on display. In a few more decades the mass murders of the 20th century Marxist-Leninist regimes will be regarded much like those committed by European colonialists. So much dusty history. Thorvelden (talk)
Nobody thinks the Belgian abuses in the Congo are worthy of honourable memory. Considering there are no imperialists left, at least not in the 19th century imagining of them, its stupid to even make that comparison. This article is so hopelessly uncritical it tends to give RW a bad impression, as if its some apologia for the Soviet Union and Communism. Explorations of authoritarianism indeed. MarcusCicero (talk) 23:13, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
I have to differ with you. There are still imperialists and, more importantly, apologists for imperialism. That there is a thriving Churchill Society in the U.S. is evidence that the crimes of imperialism are not condemned with anything like the same ferocity as those of communism. British imperialism in particular is viewed through rose colored lenses. Thorvelden (talk)
I have engaged in occasional campaigns to insert something about the communist bloodshed into this and other pages here on the Wiki. Quite often I get reverted, and when someone condescends to offer an explanation for the revert, it is generally, "That's not what Marx said!" or "Go check for Reds under your bed!" Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:21, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
If I may condescend for a moment, I don't really have any problem with an estimated kill count of communism-themed governments. I do have a problem with it being several paragraphs long and rather arbitrarily placed in the article (i.e. no explanation of meaning/relevance, not fitting the article's tone, etc). Whether any of it is true can be decided by people other than me, though, since I know nothing concrete about history.
In any case, this article is basically made of rants to begin with, so I'd rather see it reorganized than just filled with counter-rants. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 09:18, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
The question is whether the kill counts are a characteristic of Communism per se or whether they were part of the authoritarian methods used by the people who claimed to be Communist leaders. That's certainly a subject about which an interesting debate can be had. Yes, nominally Communist governments have killed tens of millions. But there might be a difference worth discussing between Stalin, who was a Communist In Name Only who mostly killed arbitrarily, and Mao, who killed people as a policy tool because of his personal hypernationalist interpretation of Communism. (In Dungeons and Dragons terms, Stalin = chaotic evil, Mao = lawful evil. Discuss.) EVDebs (talk) 18:52, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
There is nothing incorrect about calling self proclaimed communists who operated within a socialist state 'communists'. The socialist state, dominated by the vanguard political party that by its nature does not permit dissent, is supposed to be the first stage in the eventual communist trajectory towards a stateless society. Its more of a religious cult than a political theory, but regardless. MarcusCicero (talk) 20:28, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
When you're talking about the "vanguard," you're not talking about Marxism or communism in general, you're talking about Lenin's interpretation of Marx and what he thought the transition to a classless and stateless society should involve. Marx believed in the "dictatorship of the proletariat." Lyra § talk 20:36, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
Communism has existed before and after Marx. Marx is probably the most important theorist but there are several other equally valid examples. That is why the term 'Marxist-Leninist' is so interchangable. And besides, the dictatorship of the proletariat is essentially their organisation within a vanguard political party - at least in the statist stage of communist progression. In theoretical terms, the members of the party are supposed to be engaged in raw democracy and decision making - to quote Trotsky (An inveterate little rat of a man, by the way) democracy is the lifeblood of socialism. Its funny that he only started saying things like that after Stalin began to marginalise him.
The inevitable result was always going to be the development of tiny elites who have almost absolute power within the State, rubber stamping new iniatives through the workers. The reason? The democratic basis of communism rests on the assumption that a) natural leaders will be virtuous and defer to the people - despite providing no real mechanism for the people to enforce their wishes and b) all proletariats would naturally want to partake in the communist party infrastructure. Only counter-revolutionaries, capitalists, fascists <insert pejorative term here for anyone who disagrees with you> would wish to remain outside the blessed virtues of communist democratic monopoly. Thus communism requires total consent to work - an obvious fallacy. MarcusCicero (talk) 20:45, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

As far as the notion that Communist crimes are overstated, if I may say so; the inverse is true. As the great columnist Walter Williams writes: "The Nazis murdered 20 million of their own people and those in nations they captured. Between 1917 and 1987, Stalin and his successors murdered, or were otherwise responsible for the deaths of, 62 million of their own people. Between 1949 and 1987, Mao Tsetung and his successors were responsible for the deaths of 76 million Chinese. Mao Tsetung was admired by many academics and leftists across our country. Just think back to the campus demonstrations of the ’60s and ’70s when campus radicals, often accompanied by their professors, marched around singing the praises of Mao and waving Mao’s little red book, “Quotations from Chairman Mao Tsetung.” Forty years later some of these campus radicals are tenured professors and administrators at today’s universities and colleges, as well as schoolteachers and principals indoctrinating our youth. Michel Oksenberg, President Carter’s China expert, complained that “America (is) doomed to decay until radical, even revolutionary, change fundamentally alters our institutions and values,” and urged us to “borrow ideas and solutions” from China. Even Harvard’s late Professor John K. Fairbank, by no means the worst tyrant worshipper, believed that America could learn much from the Cultural Revolution, saying, “Americans may find in China’s collective life today an ingredient of personal moral concern for one’s neighbor that has a lesson for us all.”" Everyone knows about Nazi crimes; no one knows about Communist crimes. I was taught in school that Communism was a good idea and that Ho Chi Minh was an heroic figure. No respected Professor would openly proclaim his admiration for Hitler; teachers in universities across America openly praise Pol Pot, Mao, and Uncle Ho for saving millions of lives and resisting American imperialism, without any controversy at all. Further, I believe that mass death is inherent in Communism as an idea; its fundamental premise is that human sacrifice is the moral ideal and Communism, by definition, means that the individual should be sacrificed for the community. It appears that Pol Pot and Kim Jong Il are simply the most consistent adherents of that creed or ideology. Why is Imperial Japan, which killed 6 million people, so renowned for its atrocities when Mao's Soviets in China killed far more people than the Japanese ever dreamed of even before 1949, and 76 million subsequently? (For that matter, Nationalist China killed 10 million people.) On colonial democide, to quote Williams again: "The tragic fact of business is that ordinary Africans were better off under colonialism. Colonial masters never committed anything near the murder and genocide seen under black rule in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Nigeria, Mozambique, Somalia and other countries, where millions of blacks have been slaughtered in unspeakable ways, which include: hacking to death, boiling in oil, setting on fire and dismemberment. If as many elephants, zebras and lions had been as ruthlessly slaughtered, the world's leftists would be in a tizzy."RWNC (talk) 02:13, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

You're a freaking loon, but I'll bite. Who is this Walter Williams person? There is no wikipedia article on him that I can tell, so can you help. PS, 15-40 million Congolese died under colonial exploitation. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:28, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Oh, wait, is it this guy? ħumanUser talk:Human 02:29, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Yes, it is "that guy." Note that Williams is, in fact, a black American. 15-40 million? I find that hard to believe, but then again; I have no real knowledge of Congo under colonialism, so I would appreciate seeing your source.RWNC (talk) 02:44, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

(EC)Nope, can't be him, he's a raving nutter, not an historian. Anyone whose column runs in World Nut Daily and is endorsed for President by Bruce Tinsley has very little credibility among the sane. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:46, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

I don't read World Net Daily often, but I've admittedly found little of it objectionable. I have never even heard of Bruce Tinsley. Professor Williams is a brilliant scholar and gifted essayist whose column is widely syndicated in newspapers across the country. To dismiss him out of hand because World Net Daily posted some of his essays on their website is so infantile and McCarthyite it hardly merits a response, except to say that you and your sources could be smeared the same way. Still waiting for your source.RWNC (talk) 03:46, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

My source was posted 1/2 hour before your above post. Williams is an economics professor you think is brilliant, and writes screeds that, yes, some newspapers pay to publish. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:18, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Wait, your kidding!? Also, I don't care about the color of his skin. You're kidding, right, using his columns as sources for your rambling? I'll be right back with my reference. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:46, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

My main source is Professor Rummel, as I've mentioned repeatedly on this page.RWNC (talk) 03:46, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

I will look them up... ħumanUser talk:Human 04:18, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
This book. When I find my copy - damn, I have piles of books all over the place - I'll get you a page number and see if he footnoted it. Now where's the reference for your ranting, besides some libertarian economics professor? ħumanUser talk:Human 03:00, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Given that I've sourced everything I've said and it’s your source we're all waiting for, your demands on me seem unwarranted. I think my own words more composed than a rant, particularly one of your rants.RWNC (talk) 03:46, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

You idiot, my source is linked ot in the post you are replying to, and below, 1/2 hour before your above post, I quote it and give the page number, and where he is getting his data. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:18, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Page 29, he is quoting Hannah Arendt: "It was a single sentence. I found it as a tag end to a complex discussion of totalitarian administrative brutality. ... Between 1890 and 1910, to use her indifferent enumeration, between 15 and 40 millions Africans died in the Congo, either by murder or starvation. I'm surprised you weren't aware of this, since you seem so concerned with the death toll of mankind's inhumanity towards mankind, and who is to blame (in this case the rubber trade). ħumanUser talk:Human 03:14, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Fine, perhaps your assertion is correct. However, to assert that "15 to 40 million died" in the whole country over decades, some by "murder," is not to assert that the colonialists systematically murdered 15 to 40 million blacks. Maybe they did, but I guess I would have to wonder for what reason and based on what motives a relatively civilized and democratic country would do such a deed.RWNC (talk) 03:46, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

That's not an assertion, it's a quote from a source. You might want to research the rubber trade, it was horrific. The motives were wealth and trade. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:18, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Look, i think this is the simplest way to sum this situation up: RWNC, the history of Communism is a complex one, with a number of different strains of thought involved and a lot of political jockeying by its implementors. You want to reduce a complex situation like that to body count? Fine. But don't do it here. If you can't deal in shades of gray, you shouldn't be calling yourself rational. EVDebs (talk) 02:33, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Well, all I can say is that if you think that killing 170 million people involves "shades of gray," then I submit to you that you are being profoundly irrational. Note that I have accepted the article as currently composed, and have never even attempted to insert my views about Communism's ideological basis into the article. No one can be rabidly anti-Nazi, as they can be "rabidly" anti-Communist (if you are more than mildly or discreetly anti-Communist, you are rabid). But I must say that there is in fact a rational, secular, factual basis for being rabidly anti-Communist.RWNC (talk) 02:44, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

So "communism" as a political/economic theory killed them? ħumanUser talk:Human 03:00, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

This is a straw man, just like the earlier claim that I was "reducing a complex situation to a death toll" by mentioning any death toll at all within a fraction of this whole article, under the heading "crimes committed by self-avowedly Communistic regimes." An idea can't kill anybody. However, I don't believe that Pol Pot's crimes were inconsistent with a logical application of that idea to reality. Communism means "community-ism," fascism means "group-ism," socialism means "society-ism". The inverse of individualism, these self-sacrificial ideas, which do not work in reality and which necessitate coercion to suppress self-interest, differ only with respect to the group for which they sacrifice individuals. I'm surprised you don't defend fascism or Nazism as good ideas hijacked by a few lone extremists.RWNC (talk) 03:46, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

I'm sorry, did you just conflate communism, socialism and fascism together? You fail. EVDebs (talk) 04:14, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I think that's exactly what RWNC is trying to say, which is largely nonsense in the sense that I doubt Marx would have approved of mass murder for the sake of communism. The real cause of most deaths attributed to communism is power-seeking and entitlement, especially under cults of personality such as those of Stalin and Mao. But communism itself is neither inherently violent nor autocratic; it's only perceived as that because the revolutionaries who brought it into power decided violence was necessary to bring it about and maintain it. I think history shows that didn't work, and mostly just enraged the people the system was supposed to be representing. EVDebs (talk) 03:11, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Because Communism simply does not work, it cannot persuade; it has to coerce, regardless of whether or not Marx grasped the full implications of his own ideas. Indeed, most people praise [human] sacrifice; Mao felt that the more humans he sacrificed, the more morally good he was.RWNC (talk) 03:46, 29 August 2010 (UTC)


Back to the point[edit]

I think this right wing hobby horse is un-necessarily confusing the issue, and its telling that EVdebs would only respond to the loon in question, thus ignoring the more salient argument. Its a pity, but what can you do. Can we please get back to the fundamental point - ie, this article needs drastic change and needs to remove the overal aura of being an apologia for communist failings. MarcusCicero (talk) 08:22, 29 August 2010 (UTC) With regards to the 'No True Scotsman' argument (IE, 'Marx would never have allowed that!') there is only one real answer to that. The liberal democratic system owes its origins to dozens of thinkers extrapolating on a variety of philosophical first principles - Hobbes, Paine, Burke, Locke, Rousseau etc. etc. Its difficult to even find a foundational text that clearly in a black and white fashion lays down all the fundamental principles of the democratic republic.

Commie sympathisers and apologists need to understand that they make the political ideology sound like a religious cult when they constantly harken back to Marx, the major theorist in question. Marx didn't have the first word on what a communist system would look like, and he clearly hasn't had the last. Saying 'Marx wouldn't have approved' isn't an argument and unless somebody is willing to challenge the core of the issue here there really is little point trying to change this article. MarcusCicero (talk) 08:29, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

  • I don't think it is an apologia at all. There's simply no point to writing a descriptive article if you're only going to insist on inserting a condemnation every other paragraph. The reason it was written that way is that there is a tremendous amount of ignorance about what communism actually is, especially in the United States, and the point of the article is to describe what it is and eliminate misconceptions. An attempt to be dispassionate about a touchy subject does not make the product an apologia for it, and it's the height of knee-jerk idiocy to claim it is. Yes, Communism is a failed system. Yes, many Communist movements killed a great many people. Yes, it is entirely reasonable, even necessary, to acknowledge these points. However, hammering on those issues to the exclusion of an accurate description of the rest of the system in theory and in practice only promotes further ignorance about what Communism was actually trying to do, especially since they're more a matter for a historical discussion on the countries and groups that committed those crimes, rather than a discussion of the system itself. I'd like to think we around here are better than that sort of politically correct bullshit. EVDebs (talk) 20:37, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
That would be all well and good if this was a 'dispassionate' account of communism and what it is in theory. A) It makes no effort to appear neutral and dispassionate. B) You wouldn't write an article about National Socialism without taking into account the Holocaust. C) There is nothing politically correct about wanting a rational, thorough and critical analysis of a major political theory on an internet site that purports to accomplish such a thing. At present this article attempts to clumsily say that communism is alright, and if it wasn't for those damn kids/Americans it would have turned out just fine, y'all!. Rationalwiki should be more critical about this. It's a pretty lame article you'd expect an impressionable college student fresh from the local chapter of the Trotskyist party to scrawl. MarcusCicero (talk) 21:19, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Lenin[edit]

This is something I'm seeing more and more of on the internet - 'Lenin was a great guy'. All I can say to that is 'lol'. MarcusCicero (talk) 22:33, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

  • Lenin was better than Stalin; this is indisputable. He was also more flexible ideologically, though that may not be saying much. He was willing to at least try to change things, though. Great? Well, I wouldn't go that far... EVDebs (talk) 22:53, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
Lenin was the most doctrinairre of them all. Stalin was opportunistic and brutal borne from self interest, Lenin was ruthless and unrelenting borne from ideological purity. The entire concept of someone killing many many people in the name of ideas is so elitist and wrong. He commanded and oversaw a genocide of the Kulaks, ordering that every last one should be shot. Trotsky - a deeply flawed man himself - called him 'a caricature of jacobin intolerance' MarcusCicero (talk) 08:41, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

On the other hand; Lenin killed some 5 million people. The Nation magazine, by the way, openly praised and supported and admired him; as they did Mao, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, and, in the case of some of their writers, Stalin. Indeed; Pol Pot's inspiration, Sartre, wrote for their magazine. It claimed repeatedly that Pol Pot, Lenin, Uncle Ho, and Mao had actually saved millions of lives and created utopias comparable to France after liberation from the Nazis, killing perhaps a few thousand in the process. The Nation, which I happen to subscribe to, is today actually far more moderate than it once was. I'm not sure when it made the transition, or why; but after the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia they apparently started feeling guilty about their past genocide denials. In any case, admiration of Lenin is not limited to leftist radicals. Former Cambodian Holocaust denier and Saddam Hussein admirer turned moderate proponent of the Iraq War Christopher Hitchens to this day celebrates Lenin as a great man and a hero.RWNC (talk) 01:51, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Having seen the quality of your "source" in the section above, I doubt most of what you asserting is even true. PS, do you know who liberated the Cambodians from their communist Khmer Rouge oppressors? ħumanUser talk:Human 03:17, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

I have to tell you that I absolutely relish this opportunity. You doubt it, huh? Well, then, here is the proof: Leftists in their own words.

http://www.paulbogdanor.com/deniers/cambodia/nation.pdf

The Nation: "In Cambodia, the much-heralded bloodbath that was supposed to follow the fall of Pnohm Penh has not taken place. As for Vietnam, reports from Saigon indicate exemplary behavior. The revolutionaries in both countries have acted responsibly."

http://www.adl.org/media_watch/magazines/20040421-The+Nation.htm

First link I clicked: "HTTP/1.1 500 Server Error". Copypasta is not a good argument style. ħumanUser talk:Human 08:23, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I just checked the link and it worked fine.RWNC (talk) 17:42, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

The Nation advertised for Holocaust denial.

http://www.chomsky.info/articles/19770625.htm

"If, indeed, postwar Cambodia is, as he believes, similar to Nazi Germany, then his comment is perhaps just, though we may add that he has produced no evidence to support this judgement. But if postwar Cambodia is more similar to France after liberation [from the Nazis], where many thousands of people were massacred within a few months under far less rigorous conditions than those left by the American war, then perhaps a rather different judgement is in order. That the latter conclusion may be more nearly correct is suggested by the analyses mentioned earlier...The "slaughter" by the Khmer Rouge is a Moss-New York Times creation." -The Nation, 1977

Next line "We disagree with Lacouture's judgement on the importance of precision on this question." You lie, you are lame quote miner and do not make a valid case. ħumanUser talk:Human 08:27, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
That quote doesn't change the nature of Chomsky's propaganda. He falsely implies, rather than openly lies; he concludes his genocide denial with a disclaimer. Chomsky openly claimed in 1977 that Pol Pot had saved more than one million lives:http://www.paulbogdanor.com/chomsky/cambodiacomments.pdf
He did so by citing a Nixon administration statement that US aid to Cambodia should continue because the Khmer Rouge would likely kill more than one million people if they took over, and then falsely claiming that the Nixon administration had said aid to Cambodia should not cease because more than one million Cambodians would starve to death if it was cut off. At the time of this essay, the Khmer Rouge had already killed more than a million people, but Chomsky was still claiming that "executions numbered at most in the thousands," that Khmer Rouge atrocities had been "inflated by a factor of 1,000" and that those the Khmer Rouge had allegedly refrained from killing were actually saved by the Khmer Rouge. One million people had not died since aid was terminated, he said, therefore one million lives had been saved from starvation by the Khmer Rouge's ingenious economic policies. He also implies that the US cut off aid, when in fact aid had been terminated by the Khmer Rogue. The Cambodian communists' economic plans were, at times, utterly surreal. Scholar David Chandler notes that, in a Democratic Kampuchea report on General Political Tasks of 1976, there are three lines devoted to education, and six devoted to urine. The document states that, regarding human urine, "We collect thirty per cent. That leaves a surplus of 70%." These were indicative of the types of policies that Chomsky and Herman claimed had lifted Cambodia out of the ashes of war.RWNC (talk) 20:40, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

http://www.paulbogdanor.com/deniers.html

"Stalin did not plan or seek to accomplish genocide." -Cockburn’s infamous Nation column, "A Million Here, A Million There."

http://www.newstatesman.com/print/200707050056

"Saddam Hussain is the first visionary Arab statesman since Nasser."

-Hitchens, when he worked for The Nation

So you assert he could not even spell Hussein's name? Also, who cares what Hitchens thinks? ħumanUser talk:Human 08:34, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Believe it or not; Arabic words have more than one possible spelling when translated into English. You doubted that Hitchens had once expressed admiration for Saddam, so there is your source.RWNC (talk) 20:44, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

http://www.thenation.com/article/lenin-man

"To me Lenin is not only the wonderfully complete incarnation of a will set upon a goal which no man before had dared to set himself; he is one of those great figures, one of those tremendous, half-legendary men who crop up from time to time in Russian history, always unexpectedly, like Peter the Great, Michael Lomonosoff, Leo Tolstoi, and others. I believe that such men are possible only in Russia--the country whose history and manner of living always remind me of Sodom and Gomorrah.

To me Lenin is the hero of a legend, a man who had torn the burning heart out of his breast in order to light up for mankind the path which shall lead it out of the shameful chaos of the present, out of the rotting bog of stupid current politics. . . .

His hero-character has almost no outward adornment. His heroism is of a type not rare in Russia--the modest, ascetic martyrdom of an honorable, intellectual revolutionary who honestly believes in the possibility of justice on earth; the heroism of a man who has renounced all the pleasures of life to do hard work for the happiness of mankind." -The Nation, praising the genocidal monster Vladimir Lenin, who murdered over 5 million people.

You lie, they are printing something written by Maxim Gorki. ħumanUser talk:Human 08:34, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
This is getting ridiculous. That was The Nations obituary for Lenin. It is a matter of record.RWNC (talk) 20:45, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

http://97.74.65.51/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=16769

Writing in The Nation, a Mr. Del Vayo exhorts The Nation’s readership to oppose the Marshall Plan and to “do away with our craven fears of the Communist menace.” He claims that America, whose people "are the most feared and hated on the face of the earth," has no right to judge Stalin or the USSR. Throughout Castro’s brutal reign, The Nation has been unable to bring itself to criticize the gross human rights violations and abject poverty that continue to strangle the Cuban people. Rather, The Nation has chosen to focus on the United States’ alleged ”aggression” towards the "defenseless" isle and its solicitous sovereign. For example, in the August 20, 1983, issue of The Nation, Sidney Lens referred to the Cuban Missile Crisis as an act of “U.S. belligerence” that “threatened to blow Cuba (and a good part of the rest of the world) off the map.” Defending Cuba as “one of the most egalitarian societies in the world,” Lens rejects any suggestion that the United States is justified in undermining Castro’s workers’ paradise.

The Nation also admires the leaders of North Korea, who have killed 4 million of their own people and who are comparable to the Khmer Rouge. In the September 9, 1991, issue of The Nation, Charles William Maynes declared that “North Korea is abandoning its traditional policy of autarky and defiance,” while describing how Kim has rebuilt the North to the point where the “beauty” and “technological achievements” of Pyongyang “shock the foreign visitor.” Subsequently, Maynes questions the United States policy of “baiting” the North Koreans, “who have made it clear to a growing number of foreign visitors that they want to normalize their relations with the rest of the world, including the United States and that they are willing to compromise to achieve this normal level?” “It would seem prudent,” Maynes concludes, “to explore at a higher level what the North Koreans are prepared to do.” In its August 23, 1993, edition, The Nation’s Bruce Cumings, in comments mirroring alleged “craven” Cold War concerns, mocks American concern over the North Koreans as a product of the Pentagon’s “overweening desire to locate a new enemy” in the aftermath of the USSR’s implosion in order to justify “its inflated budgets.” Yet, according to The Nation, financial conspiracies are but a peripheral component to the true cause of the United States aggression towards the peace-loving North Koreans: America’s irrepressible “genocidal impulses.” With such leftist logic dictating The Nation’s editorial slant, it should come as little surprise that in the September 29, 1997, issue of The Nation, the publication blamed “Pyongyang’s worst aspects” on “fifty years of confrontation with recalcitrant elements in U.S. and South Korean military circles.” The Nation seems to truly believe that The United States, not the Kim totalitarian regime, is to blame for the current crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

Later, when defending Saddam Hussein's regime, the Nation changed its story. In a March 3, 2003, article the publication argues that North Korea, not Iraq, is the primary threat presently facing the international community.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Duranty#Reporting_the_famine The Nation described Walter Duranty's denial of the Great Famine as "the most enlightened, dispassionate dispatches from a great nation in the making which appeared in any newspaper in the world."

http://old.nationalreview.com/contributors/stuttaford051501.shtml

To Duranty, Stalin ("the greatest living statesman") represented progress and the chance of a better future for the once benighted masses. In one typical passage he gushed that, "Stalin and his associates have carried with them the strongest and most intelligent elements of the Russian people, and have created a national unity and enthusiasm which the Tsarist Empire never knew. They have learnt by their own errors and pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps, and the nation has followed them." It was, he wrote, "a heroic chapter in the life of humanity." It was behavior that puts the Pulitzer winner in the same moral category as the present day's Holocaust deniers, if not somewhere worse. Today's revisionists, I suppose, can at least claim the excuse that they were not there. By contrast, Duranty was right on the spot, in Moscow and briefly, even, in the killing fields of the Ukraine itself. He knew. Privately, he told British diplomats that as many as ten million people might have died, "The Ukraine," he admitted, "had been bled white."

Publicly, however, his story was very different. He claimed that tales of a famine were "bunk," "exaggeration," or "malignant propaganda." There was "no actual starvation."

Ezra Pound praised Hitler back when he worked for The Nation.

During the Korean War, The Nation published pieces by Soviet agent I. F. Stone alleging that SOUTH KOREA was the aggressor. The Nation also published articles from Jean-Paul Sartre praising Stalin, Mao, Arafat, and Castro. The Khmer Rouge, like the Iraqi Ba'ath Party, trace their intellectual origins to France. The butchers Khieu Samphan and Pol Pot were both educated in France in the 1940s-50s. The Heartless Lovers Of Humankind by Paul Johnson, Wall Street Journal, 5 January 1987: "The events in Cambodia in the 1970s, in which between one-fifth and one-third of the nation was starved to death or murdered, were entirely the work of a group of intellectuals, who were for the most part pupils and admirers of Jean-Paul Sartre -"Sartre's Children," as I call them."

The Nation has also supported conspiracies about the assassination of President Kennedy. Why? "Denial that a Communist could have killed Kennedy afflicts the Left even to this day. A search for a more politically satisfying sniper - a Cuban exile, say, or a CIA spook - has obsessed them since 1963. ... The fact that Kennedy's assassin was a Communist sympathizer with possible ties to Cuba's intelligence service fits uneasily into a political script in which the president is seen as a liberal martyr. ... The truth, in other words, is politically problematic."

Edward Herman’s denial that the Khmer Rouge killed more than 100,000 to 400,000 people and his bizarre belief that any other “excess deaths” were caused by America, first published in The Nation, is something he stands by today. He claimed recently that the “best estimates” show 75-300,000 dead, although the source he cited was himself (his book Manufacturing Consent). He teaches American students this lie at universities.

In reality; genocide investigators have exhumed the remains of 1.39 million Cambodians in mass graves near Khmer Rouge execution centers whose cause of death has been determined by the investigators to have been execution by the Khmer Rouge, so the notion from Herman that the "best estimates" are on his side lacks any basis in reality. In truth, the investigators have yet to navigate their way through the entire country and examined mass graves only located at Khmer Rouge execution centers, and using extremely conservative methods (i.e., if there is evidence of grave robbing, the number of bodies inside is recorded as "zero"). All in all; the Khmer Rouge probably did perpetrate about 1.5 million violent killings in less than 4 years. Because such violent killings represented, it is seemingly universally acknowledged, no more than roughly half of those whose unnecessary deaths they caused, one can safely conclude that the original Cambodian estimate of 3 million dead--widely derided by most every newspaper in America at the time as outlandish propaganda, despite the fact that a UN investigation and a separate investigation by UNICEF both came to that same conclusion--has, in fact, been vindicated. I'm aware of not a single TV station, newspaper, or magazine in America which even bothered to mention these findings from the Documentation Center of Cambodia. My history textbook in high school told me that "the Khmer Rouge enslaved or killed perhaps more than one million Cambodians." What a joke.

Since I explicitly mentioned the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia; I'm not sure why you asked me if I was aware of it. I would not call the Vietnamese Communists liberators. They are credited with the killing of at least 1.8 million people from 1945 to 1987, not counting war casualties. According to Rummel; they killed between 400,000 and 2,500,000 Vietnamese and Cambodians after the end of the war in democide alone. Their war of aggression against South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos cost some 1.5 million Indochinese their lives. The most plausible estimates show that they killed 600,000 South Vietnamese after conquering it, in addition to the 200-400,000 South Vietnamese who died at sea following the mass expulsions and repression by the Communists (according to UN figures), and tens of thousands subsequently. The Khmer Rouge was originally part of the Vietminh, and was essentially created as a proxy force by Hanoi. The Vietcong, Pathet Lao, and Khmer Rouge were all proxy armies composed of native forces so as to, in the words of one North Vietnamese official, "hide the fact that there had been an invasion from the North" of those countries. This tactic proved far more effective than Hanoi ever dared dream, thanks to the US anti-war movement and certain useful idiots. Even the great cartoonist Herblock was duped; after an overt invasion by the North brought about the final collapse of Saigon and Phnom Penh, Herblock still maintained that "the situation in Vietnam was different from North Korea's outright invasion of the South." North Vietnam invaded and attempted to completely overrun the entire country of Cambodia in 1970, at the explicit request of the Khmer Rouge. What really happened was that in 1973, Pol Pot took over the Khmer Rouge, soon seizing power with Vietnamese support. Even his fellow Communists feared him, and as he gained more control of the party and the country; fellow Communists repeatedly attempted to depose him. An utter lunatic, the racist Pol Pot openly fantasized about exterminating the entire Vietnamese population of 50 million and repeatedly launched military attacks against Vietnam. Hanoi had originally boasted, in official state media, about its "decisive role" in bringing Pol Pot to power. After the initial skirmishes, Pol Pot traveled to Hanoi to negotiate a peaceful resolution. The talks broke down, and Cambodia refused to cease its violent, fanatic aggression. Vietnam invaded Cambodia in 1978, and did not even bother to overthrow the Khmer Rouge until early 1979. Vietnam did not invade Cambodia to "liberate" its people or spread freedom abroad. Vietnam invaded to assert its hegemony and omnipotence in Indochina, by installing a more obedient Communist dictatorship, all of whose leaders were former Khmer Rouge officials, that would take its orders from and never resist the will of Hanoi. The brutal Communist dictatorship imposed by Vietnam had already slaughtered some 700,000 Cambodians by the mid 1980s. In all, the Vietnamese invasion and occupation of Cambodia, puppet regime in Cambodia, ongoing guerilla warfare and civil war in Cambodia, and ensuing famine had killed another 1.2 million Cambodians by 1990, in addition to the roughly 3 million Cambodians killed by the Communist Khmer Rouge. The population of Cambodia was only 7 million in 1975. The population of Cambodia in 1987 was over 5 million short of what was predicted in 1970 based on the trends that existed then. Why doesn't anyone in this country seem to know that the killing fields did not shut down in 1979; they were just re-opened with new, albeit slightly saner, masters? Why didn't the media cover that story at all? Sure, if I were a Cambodian in 1979, I wouldn't have been complaining; the Vietnamese intervention certainly did save, or result in a net gain with regard to, human lives. But to portray Vietnam as concerned about the poor suffering Cambodians is nothing but a cynical public relations ploy. John Pilger, a Cambodian Holocaust denier who subsequently acknowledged the killing of "more than one million people" by the Khmer Rouge, subsequently defended the brutal dictatorship imposed by Communist Vietnam, and was forced to pay "very significant damages for libel" in England for claiming that America and England were arming the Khmer Rouge against the noble Vietnamese invaders. Despite this, the claim was later endorsed by genocide-deniers-turned-Vietnam apologists such as Noam Chomsky, Ben Kiernan, Gareth Porter, Elizabeth Becker, George Hildebrand, Malcolm Caldwell, and others (Edward Herman, as previously mentioned, still denies the genocide, although he has quietly backed off his original assertion that "executions numbered at most in the thousands," and that Cambodia under Pol Pot was "comparable to France after liberation [from the Nazis]". Herman is a respected professor emeritus at leftist universities in this country). These former genocide deniers and extreme left-wing propagandists then invented elaborate conspiracy theories about how Pol Pot's crimes were exaggerated, Henry Kissinger rivaled Pol Pot for criminality, the US caused the "excess deaths under the Khmer Rouge" (showing they don't know what an "excess" death actually is), and America actually brought the Khmer Rouge to power by resisting them. Their campaign of propaganda was so successful in deceiving a credulous media and the world that every school textbook in this country implies that the Cambodian genocide was "revenge for peasant bombing." The collective myth has gained such currency in our culture that the movie Frost/Nixon actually has Frost ask Nixon if he regretted causing the genocide (to which Nixon replies that he does not). These same pseudo-intellectuals regularly condemn the media for not being biased and leftist enough, suggesting that evil corporations explain this sinister phenomenon as a vast economic conspiracy (only 1% of the Iraqi civilians killed in the Iraq war were killed by US forces--yet US "atrocities," real and imagined, get 100 times more coverage, or so it seems to me. Their only defense is that the media does have a sort of American bias, in that it is more in touch with reality than the European press and is biased in favor of the Democratic Party rather than the left in general).RWNC (talk) 06:19, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

By the way, thank you for your source on the Congo. I appreciate it.RWNC (talk) 06:19, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

You're welcome. ħumanUser talk:Human 08:30, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

TL;DR.

Fucksake, write this in essayspace and present an concise argument here. If anyone wants to spend a few hours decoding this behemoth, go ahead, but I'm not sure how many people would be willing to do that. Lyra § talk 06:15, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. Stick this stuff in essay space. Intellectual debate isn't conducted through massive copy paste jobs and direct quotes of reams of material from other people. If you cannot summarise your position concisely in the interests of reaching some kind of consensus, don't bother. MarcusCicero (talk) 08:24, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Marcus Cicero apparently harbors an irrational prejudice towards any arguments which seem to him to be too intelligently constructed; hence, whenever he reads something that sounds "too smart" for Rational Wiki, he repeatedly smears it by falsely asserting it was copied and pasted. The wildly irrational nature of his suggestion that I should not "quote reams of material from other people" when describing their positions is revealed by a simple fact: The debate I was conducting was on the question of whether or not The Nation had really endorsed those positions I stated it had--so I quoted the Nation itself on all of these topics, in depth and accurately (which is to say, cruelly). To say that the quotes for which I provide links as sources are "copied and pasted" is hardly an insult; it is an obvious (duh!) kind of bromide. However; the writings which are not sourced are mine; your ad hominem attempts to smear them do not address their substance at all. Cicero has regularly regurgitated such baseless claims on this page alone. Apparently, I should not quote, in any detailed way, any material (much less "reams" of it) from The Nation when I am attempting to accurately characterize their stated beliefs. Sometimes making an argument that is challenged requires mounting a defense; I am sorry my response was too nuanced and too in-depth for your attention spans. Nonetheless, Lyra, I don't care if you didn't read it and I do not know why you thought I did care if you read it because it was not directed towards you. It’s foolish to care too much about the views of others.RWNC (talk) 21:08, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Quote mining is not making an argument. If you cannot clearly present your own position, with your own words, in an orderly or structured manner then GTFO. You are copy pasting huge chunks of material from rightwing websites and expect us all to go 'whoa, your PHD is a pretty huge dick'. Your debating skills are sloppy to say the least. MarcusCicero (talk) 21:25, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

None of my supposedly right wing arguments were copied and pasted; they were all my own words. My quote-mining was all from far-left sources, demonstrating their political beliefs, at human's request.RWNC (talk) 21:49, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

You lost me at "According to Rummel"... he's a loon. ħumanUser talk:Human 00:34, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

What were we talking about?[edit]

Since I can't figure out what (if anything) RWNC is actually suggesting, I think this should be summarized "please mention that Lenin was an asshole." Skimming the section on him, I got that impression, so things may be alright now. (That said, the article is still something of a trainwreck...) ~ Kupochama[1][2] 20:56, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

I made my argument long ago. Cicero wanted to start a big debate about Lenin for seemingly random motivating factors, and then started debating with himself about whether or not this was the place for a discussion. Right now; no one is suggesting anything about the article itself. I only wanted to include a section about "Crimes Committed By Self-Avowedly Communistic Regimes," but I was told that doing so would smear Marx and that nothing that Marx would have disapproved of "counts" as "true" Communism.RWNC (talk) 21:08, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

The part that threw me was your continued argument at with Human et al in the "Lenin" section. Fair enough then, although I'd like it if you lost the MARX = COMMUNISM = RATIONALWIKI sort of tone. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 23:13, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm all for posting the crimes of supposedly communistic regimes, but the figures need to be right. I've done some more research into it, and the upper limit for the number of dead Chinese due to the policies of the Chinese Communists is 60M (and even that is mostly by those explicitly looking to make the Communists look worse--40-50M seems more likely.) Researcher (talk) 21:25, 29 August 2010 (UTC)


Apart from the fact that I've never quite understood the whole commy==asshole thing, some people need to have a good sit down and a think. I don't think Stalin was wrong because he was a communist, I think he was wrong because he was a paranoid delusional genocidal dick. I have no love for communism, but equating assholes with their beliefs is simply missing the point. It's almost the reverse of 'ad hominem'. Worm(t | c) 21:47, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Stalin was a bad man. Doubtless he would have been a bad man whether he became dictator of the Soviet Union or not (I'd imagine he would have ended up in a mental hospital otherwise) But I think you overlook the point of whether communism contains structural defects or not. What about the atrocities before Stalin? The genocide of the Kulaks, the Krondstadt massacres? Lenin and Trotsky were both bloody men. I've stated above what is structurally wrong with communism that permits its degeneration into tyranny and mass bloodletting; doubtless ye are choosing not to read it. Either way, any ideology that believes the perfect society is but around the corner, any ideology that has revolution as its fundamental characteristic, is always going to degenerate into violence. I often wonder why otherwise intelligent people refuse to confront this. MarcusCicero (talk) 21:52, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I'm so far away from being an expert on this that I can't see it, but a couple of points. 1. The article says 20th century Communism has left a trail of nothing but blood and pollution in its wake which sounds about right to me. The other point is - as you say - Lenin and Trotsky were both bloody men well quite. But what has that to do with Communism? That they were assholes (although I have opinion on that fact) does not indicate a fault in the system per se. I don't think Communism is the way to go, but you need to come up with better reasons than 'look at all the Communists who are assholes'. Their victims deserve better. Worm(t | c) 22:01, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Can you please answer me why it is that every single communist who ever achieved political office and completed 'revolution' has eventually degenerated into a police state awash with blood? I mean, every single one? I'm all for coincidence, but you'd have to be a moron to really simplify it so basically that 'only bad people get into power'. It is the duty of historians and political scientists to attempt to find answers to such questions. I've already explained why I think communism has structural defects that allows megalomaniacs to take power. Unfortunately people wish to ignore that and pretend that it is a minor historical anamoly and not some structural issue with communism itself. I must admit this merry go round is grinding my patience. MarcusCicero (talk) 22:14, 29 August 2010 (UTC)


Well, Mao's own personal estimate of the number of Chinese that he killed was 50 million. It wouldn't surprise me if it were higher; but then, I'm all for posting a range of estimates. Rummel's was originally 35 million, but subsequent research on his part raised it to 76 million. Rummel is not a biased or unprofessional source; but to be sure, other estimates should be included.RWNC (talk) 21:55, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

I can't find Rummel's figures on Cuba. Do you know where he put them? ħumanUser talk:Human 00:42, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Rummel estimates 35 to 141 thousand Cubans killed up to 1987. The most detailed studies on Cuba estimate 90-100,000 killed up until today. Rummel puts deaths under Batista at 1,000. Estimates here: http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/SOD.TAB15.1B.GIFRWNC (talk) 20:12, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Boy that table is hard to read, both physically and "logically". Is it embedded in a text file with analysis? I see a few 20s under Batista, for instance, but don't know what they mean. ħumanUser talk:Human 23:58, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

End this. Please.[edit]

Look, here's how I see this: we've got a small group of editors who are determined that absolutely nothing good, or even neutral, is to be said about Communism, in utter ignorance of the original principles and rare historical realities, and a couple have gone so far as to equate dispassionate analysis with Communist apologetics. This is, plain and simple, horseshit. If RationalWiki has true-Red Marxist editors, they've kept their identities quite quiet. RWNC, if you'd like to know why people talk more about "rabid anti-communists" more than any other political opponent, this is the reason -- so far as I can tell, no political system, not even Fascism, has ever gotten such blind, ignorant hatred from people. Get this through your heads: we come here not to praise Communism, but to dissect it. This means not ignoring inconvenient data like the occasional subnational commie government that has actually worked without bloodshed, or the fact that Communism in practice is rather different from Marx's original conception, or that a great deal of what many people think they know about the system is pure propaganda. Communist economics failed, yes. Communist revolutionaries frequently tended to be a rather desperate and bloody lot, yes. I could also point out benefits of feudalism or the Mesopotamian temple state while still acknowledging their repressiveness and believing that it's a good thing that they're gone. If you can't argue your case without revert-warring or politicking, please leave RW -- you're not the kind of people we need here. Otherwise, let's get back to work. EVDebs (talk) 23:01, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Regarding the latest edit-war, I shall concede if someone will explain to me how a subnational entity under a liberal-democratic, non-communist constitution constitutes an officially communist country. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 23:06, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
And that's terrible - David Gerard (talk) 23:07, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
It was rephrased to "government". That should solve the semantic issue. EVDebs (talk) 23:08, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
That bullet point was never about areas that merely have communist parties in the parliamentary majority. It was about states that are officially communist, which is to say, states where communism is written into the constitution as the official governing ideology. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 23:12, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
EvDebs; I really don't understand how you can genuinely believe you are being 'dispassionate' here. And you refuse to understand that the local government you are referring to is under a wider liberal democratic umbrella, and thus not a communist state or socialist entity. But anyway. I'm giving up. Its going nowhere. Communism truly is the last stain on the international lefts conscience, they seem incapable of analysing it rationally or dispassionately. There really is no point wasting time with some people about this. MarcusCicero (talk) 07:59, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
As a final point, can I ask why you will not debate with the rebuttals I've offered above? MarcusCicero (talk) 08:04, 30 August 2010 (UTC)


Fuck it[edit]

EVdebs, this sums up why you are far from 'dispassionate'. It is not 'content I disagree with', it is an historical fact. A political fact. Local governance doesn't count. You do realise that local governance in Italy is nothing like in the USA? For christs sake. For all your talk of dispassionate dissection, or whatever other bullshit, you seem unable to think about your position. Or I don't know. Read books or something. MarcusCicero (talk) 08:33, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

The 'fuck it' part is a minor request to delete this entire sorry excuse of an article and salt the earth it ever stood on. MarcusCicero (talk) 08:36, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

  • Actually, I think the recent edits are quite an improvement. I still think you're being pathetically, obnoxiously dogmatic about it though. EVDebs (talk) 17:15, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Dogmatic about what? I'm just calling it how I see it. You can choose to engage in debate rather than hand wave your way through arguments by employing terms such as 'dogmatic' - ironically a term often associated with communists of a radical bend. No offence, but do you have anything constructive to add here? You seem to be deliberately antagonistic, to the point of innanity. MarcusCicero (talk) 18:04, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

EvDebs, the reality is that when I first read this article; there was not a single word critical of Communism anywhere in it. I kept all of the "analysis" of Communist ideology intact. To delibrately remain dispassionate, I proposed to only list statistics related to "self-avowedly Communistic regimes." If that is rigid, dogmatic, overly biased right-wing propaganda, well, I have to question if you are a left wing denier. I know that Noam Chomsky, as recently as the 90s and early 2000s on Znet, has questioned if the Cambodian genocide was "inflated by a factor of a thousand" (surpassing his genocide-era estimate of "inflated by a factor of 100") on at least two seperate occassions (i.e., Chomsky questions if the death toll was two or three thousand rather than two or three million people). Chomsky has also said that "no one really believed that Mao literally killed tens of millions of people." Perhaps you agree with these, uh, "estimates"?RWNC (talk) 21:30, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

  • RWNC, you've seen my statements about what I believe about communism. If your numbers are correct, they're correct; I don't know if they are (I believe Huw was checking up on that, wasn't he?). But my point has been and continues to be that they're only part of the whole picture. EVDebs (talk) 22:52, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Why will you not respond to anyone else? MarcusCicero (talk) 10:26, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Okay, that's fair. I'm sorry; my comments were probably out of line.RWNC (talk) 23:08, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

"the reality is that when I first read this article; there was not a single word critical of Communism anywhere in it." Means you cannot read. Our writing is not your failure. OMG We didn't call it "evil" in the lead? You fail at reading... ħumanUser talk:Human 11:07, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
I think RWNC is able to tell the difference between sarcasm and serious statements; we are apparently loath to call things "evil" here on the Wiki for fear that we might be seen as preachy moralistic types. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:31, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

And furthermore"[edit]

I propose that we add the sentence "And that's terrible." to the end of each paragraph, just in case we accidentally give the impression that there is anything positive, useful or even interesting to know about Communism. Because that would be terrible. - David Gerard (talk) 23:01, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

  • Did you know that Fidel Castro once stole forty cakes? That's four tens. EVDebs (talk) 23:05, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
And that's terrible. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 23:08, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
Or maybe, to appease both sides in the truest spirit of the Golden Mean Fallacy, we should rewrite the article from a right-wing perspective-but whenever the word "communism" is mentioned, it's immediately followed with "(not that there's anything wrong with that)." Lyra § talk 00:44, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
We could always do both... EVDebs (talk) 01:37, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
(EC) But, of course, anti-communists are not allowed to be >gasp!< left-wing... Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 01:40, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Don't even bother ListenerX. I'd wager some of the people here are the same kind of people in local communist parties who gave Orwell such a hard time over Animal Farm. MarcusCicero (talk) 08:10, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Well, I'm a socialist by ideology but politically I support the Greens, not the Socialist Party. Lyra § talk 08:21, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Thats great. Orwell was a politically active socialist too. He never allowed his partisan instincts to cloud his judgement, like some here (Not you) MarcusCicero (talk) 08:28, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

RobS[edit]

Where is the man when you need him? --The Emperor Kneel before Zod! 02:03, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Come to think of it, you're right. This article doesn't mention Obama even once. ~ Kupochama[1][2] 02:12, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
It needs a "notable communists" section. Could also use mention of Engels? ħumanUser talk:Human 03:55, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Not only does it not mention Obama but it doesn't mention the Deepwater Horizon spill. Where is Rob when you need him, indeed. AceX-102 21:38, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Communism's exclusion from the extreme moonbattery territory[edit]

While I don't think that Marxism or communism reflexively leads to left-wing stupidity anymore than anarcho-libertarianism reflexively leads to right-wing stupidity, at this point I think we've pretty much extracted everything useful out of communism (conflict theory, most of Marx's more sane proposals like an estate tax, command economies) and can be analyzed on their own merits. Anyone who insists on using the idea of using the economic philosophy as-is or mostly as-is nowadays are in the domain of moonbats. Sort of like how while gold bugs weren't wingnuts back in the 19th or early 20th century, anyone who is still on that gravy train can be safely described as such. --Dr. Swordopolis (talk) 13:22, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Although some people would love to deny this, conflict theory predates Marx; Marx's innovation was to adapt theories of race struggle to describe class struggle.
Also, command economies were not even up to the task in the old days; look at what happened during the attempts to get them off the ground in the Soviet Union and China. I think a more accurate comparison is with creationists rather than gold-bugs; science has passed them by, yet they still think they are scientific.
I do have to agree, however, with taking the article out of the "extreme moonbattery" category; orthodox Marxists are the Puritans of the left wing, with a narrowly-defined scope of craziness. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 15:58, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

I consider myself both a Marxist (with some reservations) and a rationalist. Marx talked about more things than just command economies, absolute equality, and everyone wearing the same grey suit. His biggest contribution to thought was the method of historical materialism- the idea that societies' ideas are governed by their material conditions (He only mentioned economic means of production, but geographical and ecological factors come into play as well). He may have got the precise mechanisms of societies wrong, discounted most of human history (not much of it was known at his point), and he most certainly was co-opted by very brutal figures in history, but he has made a great contribution to rationalist thinking that I think some people here are blind to owing to the echo of Cold War propaganda.

I propose a separate section on Karl Marx or Marxism, with a look at his contributions and errors in light of modern interpretation, be made to placate myself and users like UVDebbs, and that the Communism page be dedicated to the 20th Century, "big-C" Communism and left to whomever wants to put whatever in it. User:Tbasherizer

False equivalence[edit]

This article makes the (all too common, I'm afraid) mistake of equating communism with Marxism. Nothing is farther from the truth. Marxism is a teleological theory arguing that the ultimate end of history is a communist society. But communism (the advocating of a communist society) long predates Marx, and there are a number of modern communist movements that are not Marxist in orientation (not to say they don't have Marxist influences, of course). Shakers, Hutterites, Mennonites are all communists. So were the Tolstoyan communities in late Imperial/early Soviet Russia (and the one that still exists in England). So was the community described in the Book of Acts (whether it historically existed or not is not relevant; it demonstrates that the idea was around then), Anabaptist Munster, and the various communes that dot North America and Europe in the present day. I suggest that this article be moved to Marxism, and the Communism article focus on communism more broadly. Regular Joe (talk) 00:03, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Wrong...[edit]

I'm sorry guys, but I would just like to inform you that 99.9% of this article, and the talk page, is utterly wrong. I've taken numerous college classes on the subject, and some of the basic concepts listed here are just horribly mistaken.

I don't mean to troll by any means... Just, maybe, can we only talk about what we KNOW about? Like, reading The Communist Manifesto or taking a class that would qualify you to talk about this kind of thing, before writing out what you think you know...? — Unsigned, by: 108.202.226.32 / talk / contribs

oooooh. COLLEGE classes? Really? LOOK EVERYBODY! We got us a gen-you-wine college boy here. He's gonna explain some of his book learnin' to us. P-Foster Talk "Watched Mad Men thinking it was supposed to be a sit-com. Found it disappointing." 22:42, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
The voice that I read that in in my head made me laugh at loud. I just thought I should share that. Fartertalk to me :D|see my shit 23:52, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

I removed[edit]

I removed a couple of ridiculous statements from the article. — Unsigned, by: JohnSnow / talk / contribs

A large number of statements you found too accurate for comfort, more likely. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:12, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
As a communist, I can safely say I don't believe in killing people, starving people, limiting freedom of speech, falsely imprisoning people, or forming a non-democratic government. Did I just blow your mind, ListenerX?--"Shut up, Brx." 05:15, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
but thats not communism in practice.--il'Dictator Mikal 05:16, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
There is no such thing as communism in practice.— Unsigned, by: JohnSnow / talk / contribs
So... what were all those communist countries? --il'Dictator Mikal 05:24, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
I think you will find that those were actually socialist countries, "communism" being the state the world will be in when that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, has been bound a thousand years. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:26, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Anyone with a lick of reasoning would describe them as state capitalist. Robert Mugabe can call Zimbabwe a democracy. That in and of itself does not make it true.— Unsigned, by: JohnSnow / talk / contribs
It doesnt change the fact that socialism to communism type socialism/communism was an abject failure at being what it should have been; as much as marx was a short-sighted idealist anyways. --il'Dictator Mikal 05:33, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
(EC) Ah, the good old No True Scotsman. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:36, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Well, ListenerX, is he making a No True Scotsman or are you making a straw man?--"Shut up, Brx." 05:40, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
I think whether they were 'truly' communist is pretty irrelevant. Nihilist 05:41, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
@brx, Are you denying that in the name of communism/socialism/whatever you want to call it, many terrible things were commited?il'Dictator Mikal 05:42, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
How can you even make that kind of false equivocation? Look at what Marx said he believed then look at what THEY did. There is a clear divergence. Hell, look at China today. There is no rational way to describe it other than State Capitalist. Going by your logic I could declare myself God Lord of the Good Ship Lollipop and you would somehow take that as a factual statement. Template:JohnSnow
Marx can say whatever the fucking hell he wants, it doesnt change what people calling themselves communists did. --il'Dictator Mikal 05:51, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
I think that, based on many historical occasions and some common sense, communism can't work in a practical sense, unless you fellas have some radical new way of implementing it that also most likely won't work either. Nihilist 05:54, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
@Mikalos, How many horrible things have been done in the name of any ideology? What about capitalism? Are you going to avoid centuries and centuries of slavery? What about King Leopold's II genocide in the Congo in the name of free enterprise? What about the murder of Union organizers? Look at your own biases. {JohnSnow}
I prefer regulated capitalism thank you very much.also, the "well both sides are black and black, so who are you to judge" arguement is very ineffective as the other side still did lots of stupid bullshit. --il'Dictator Mikal 05:58, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Am I getting E-Pranked. You're the one who brought up the " your side did evil shit" crapola. You really have no business moderating this page if you're going to act in this manner. JohnSnow
both sides did terrible things, that doesnt absolve yours of its sins.--il'Dictator Mikal 06:10, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Liberal socialism is the way to go, man. Nihilist 06:03, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

The not as bad as argument will not work in this instance, since the Reds were worse, especially considering the proportion of communist countries that went in the opposite direction from Marx's ideals (viz., 100%). The messianic nature of Marxism pretty much ensures that fanatics will be drawn to it; the non-viability of communist economic theories pretty much ensures that the fanatics in a communist government will come to power. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:05, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
This is something that I really dislike from capitalist. WHICH set of communist economic theories? There are more one.JohnSnow (talk) 06:08, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
Which ones are suitably orthodox for your taste? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:13, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
My red flag leans towards market socialism. JohnSnow (talk) 06:23, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
As in the kind tried in the Soviet Union in the 1920s and the 1980s, in Yugoslavia in the 1950s and 1960s, and on a small scale elsewhere? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:33, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Communism in practice[edit]

This article isn't really NPOV. We should add something about how Stalin industrialized Russia (and same with Mao) in a single generation and how Soviet science and technical education was ahead of the West in several areas. The article should also say something about how disastrous the transition to capitalism was in Eastern Bloc countries. — Unsigned, by: 71.178.196.158 / talk / contribs

This article isn't really NPOV... This Wiki isn't really NPOV. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:18, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Well, nevermind. 71.178.196.158 (talk) 05:51, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Well, I'm not sure any of that necessarily has anything to do with communism, and in any case, Stalin severely damaged Soviet science by demanding adherence to his own political positions. (That, strictly speaking, doesn't have much to do with communism either; it has more to do with Stalin's authoritarianism than anything else.) You're getting into some very iffy territory, honestly; there's a lot to control for when you make assertions like that. After all, what Marx said, what Lenin said, and what Stalin said vs. what he actually did are three different things (not to mention what Lenin would have done had he not died in 1924, which is an open question for the ages). There's also the question of a Communist system vs. a Communist government within a constitutional, free-elections framework; although there are bits and pieces of the latter here and there (Emilia-Romagna in Italy comes to mind as one place where it at least hasn't been a disaster), we've seen very little on a national scale of what a constitutionally-bound Communist government would actually entail. All this is not to say you're wrong (or right, for that matter), only that when looking at the Soviet system there's a lot of layers of authoritarianism, incompetence, hypocrisy, and just flat-out apathy that make it very hard to figure out what exactly to blame (or credit) Communism for. (Although I think we can be pretty safe in saying that pure Communism just flat out doesn't work -- Lenin figured that much out early on.) EVDebs (talk) 07:45, 7 July 2012 (UTC)
My personal opinion is that communism is like psychology before the cognitive revolution or analog computing. Better than what came before, but not better than what came after it. The USSR and China grew much faster than they would have sticking to unregulated capitalism, but they still lagged (and lag) behind nation-states doing mixed economies. This of course in no way excuses the massive, massive abuse of human rights which in many (most) cases was purely unnecessary. Nonetheless, the nations ended up better off after than before. Still, there honestly isn't any need to put it into practice again, since we already have models of economies that perform/could perform much better than communists could have hoped for i.e. Scandinavia, Canada, Japan. And most of Marx's aims can and have been implemented in societies with a mixed economy. People seem to forget that the Communist Manifesto is like a hundred and fifty freakin' years old and pretty much every country still had some form of pastoralism, slavery, or slavery-by-proxy at the time. Mark me down for 'failed experiment, no need to resuscitate 'cause we got Modern Monetary Theory, biatches!'. Dr. Swordopolis (talk) 15:50, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Marxism as criticism[edit]

I don't get why RationalWiki tends to dismiss communist theory as bunk. Historically it has grounded every critique of modern capitalism worth its salt and has since the 19th century branched off into a multiplicity of perspectives. Even 100 years ago Croce dismissed it as only a method of criticism, but hey, that's what many Marxian intellectuals hold it to be. I don't think most people reading Marxist philosophy these days want to burn down the factories and kill the rich; they mainly use it to understand the world, primarily through its insights into ideology. Considering how often the aims of liberalism and Marxist theory coincide--grounded in different values though they are--I don't think it should be dismissed as a pseudoscience. Making fun of the Frankfurt School is one thing but a good deal of the world uses this stuff to frame injustices in more workable ways rather than just saying that's how things are, tough. From the American South to South Africa Marx-inspired thinking has been an undercurrent for a loooong time now and many policy-makers are at least knowledgeable about its points of criticism. Even the more astute mainstream Democrats critique capitalism in ways very similar, and in part derivative of, this tradition. It's more respectable than RationalWiki makes it out to be, I think. It draws its cranks and brutes but it also draws humanitarians and people who aren't batshit in multiples. I live in Tennessee--believe me, religion is the opium of the people. 50.153.132.141 (talk) 11:25, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Recent Edits[edit]

Making some changes in regards to Communism as originally defined by Marx and its relationship to contemporary "Communist States". The heading in regards to Bureaucratic Collectivism should be cited to Orwell and the appropriate third camp Trotskyist sources, to whoever can find them.--P3A58NT86 03:38, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

Working with the definition of communism[edit]

I know I'll probably be attacked as an apologist for this, but I think that the umbrella use of the term "communism" is unwarranted and quite frankly intellectually dishonest. While there were similarities to the ways in which the Chinese and USSR models of "communism" worked, there were key differences as well that made them fundamentally different. The same goes for Castroism and Guevarism. Additionally, as the article admits, these all differ from Marx. I have taken steps to try and differentiate them a bit and hopefully we can get some discussion out of this. Captain Swing (bringer of nachos) 17:39, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. Even if you wanted to use an umbrella term it wouldn't be relevant to communism and if anything we should move large aspects of the talk about Stalin and Lenin's policies into the Socialist section. People seem to fall for the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" fallacy where because it had a Communist Party they are Communist. In fact they called themselves socialist states, plenty of leaders stated they were following socialist ideals and when the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (bolsheviks) changed its name and first added in Communist to the name of the party they specifically stated it was because Communism was their final goal, not because Communism was what they were practising at the time. --Overhead (talk) 10:48, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

No true Scotsman link[edit]

The article briefly mentions Marx's insistence that communism would be unworkable in pre-capitalist societies (this is an absolutely essential plank of historical materialism) and notes that all attempts to establish communism (or to masquerade as doing so) have failed to meet this criteria. Yet, still accuses advocates as using the "No true Scotsman" stance. This is incorrect, as the notion of what it is to be communist is not being redefined in hindsight to exclude the despots, but was already defined well in advance.

An improvement might be to change this: "Advocates of Communism look at the failure of every attempt to implement Communism and claim "but those weren't real Communism!" <link to NTS> "

to this:

Advocates of Communism look at the failure of every attempt to implement Communism and argue that those societies were not really communist - either for immediate, local reasons or for the blanket reason that none of them have taken place in advanced industrial societies, which (for Marx, at least) would doom them to failure. — Unsigned, by: Teflon / talk / contribs

I agree on the wording of the second one. It's a significant improvement on why people play the NTS card on that. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 11:44, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

A space for the BoN to make a case[edit]

Just what the header says. 67.239.50.209, please make the case for your edits here. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 22:46, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

Okay, I made an edit, that put in more information, omitted what's irrelevant and put in a neutral point of view. 67.239.50.209 (talk) 02:02, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

As Brxbrx said on your talk page: we don't do neutral point of view. We are not Wikipedia; we are a community with a specific focus and perspective in favor of positions supported by science, reason and evidence. We support particular positions based on that perspective; we don't care about neutrality.
Furthermore, what you cut isn't irrelevant. In particular, you removed the portion that read "Moreover during periods of more progressive and left-leaning governments in power, economic inequality decreased. This shattered the argument of communism, and former followers of Marx and Engels, such as Eduard Bernstein abandoned communism and founded social democracy." This is highly relevant as it demonstrates that communism has been superseded by more liberal forms of left-wing government. There is no reason to cut this passage.
Lastly, you repeatedly duplicated most of the paragraph starting with "In the modern lexicon". Please, proofread your edits before you publish them. Wehpudicabok [話] [変] 02:15, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
And lose the formal, dry writing style. That's fine for Wikipedia but it's not what we do around here. Doctor Dark (talk) 02:17, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

A radical critique of "Communism"[edit]

Hi, as a Marxist leftist communist, I felt it was time for peoples' war. An all-out revolution against bourgeois society, which is started by posting a comment on a website. Popular Internet Front Unite!

Anyway with regard to the RW article I felt it was a very interesting read. The Wikipedia article about communism focuses on a rather dry intellectual history of the tendencies in communist thought, while Conservapedia mainly emphasizes the horrific systemic evil characterizing every entity ever calling itself communist. By contrast, the RationalWiki article seems most interested in discussing the material effects of communist ideology in history. Also it's a lot funnier (on purpose) than those other articles. I think there's a certain historical approach that's implicit in the RW treatment – in evaluating "Is communism a good idea?" we should see if it had good consequences so far. To the credit of RW authors, the article is very honest about what happened historically and does a decent job of mentioning left-wing counter-arguments to the more mainstream arguments that prevail in most of the article. Someone who wasn't previously very informed about communism probably would read this article and end up deciding communism wasn't such a great choice for countries that went that way, but I'm not criticizing that so much, it'd be weird for liberals & libertarians to advocate a fringe revisionist position.

But here's what I think about the article. I think it is a very good idea to catalogue the seriously awful moves done in the name of communism, including many crimes other than mass killings. But the best question to ask about a political philosophy is "Is this a good idea, compared to other philosophies?" To do that, it's valuable to consider the pros and cons of this position and its historical competitors. A comment on a wiki article is not a great place for this, but it'd be nice for the article to make a more serious effort at comparison versus liberal democracy and other positions. There's also the interesting question of whether communist theory necessarily had to lead to the USSR and PRC, the most notorious commie governments (though hardly the worst ones ever!) which committed the most needless killings. The article touches on this a little but it seems pretty important. The most serious issue seems to be that development of Marxist or Communist thought beyond the 1950s is given only lip service. If left-wing radicals are concerned about imperialist white-supremacist capitalist patriarchy (per bell hooks) then it seems very, very important for these radicals to be aware that Marxism only addresses capitalism, and Communism only means political and economic solutions to social problems. People who believe Communism will solve these problems (without further evolution on the part of communists) are out of their friggen minds.

In short this article is very good about sticking to real-life facts, but it could be made more useful by presenting an honest analysis of communism and capitalism (perhaps with metrics beyond "body count"), by asking why the bad things attributed to communist regimes happened and what historical alternatives existed, and by showing how contemporary communist thought is actually an increasingly relevant criticism of the current social order. It would be a little presumptuous to go making these changes left and right myself, but I look forward to your thoughts on the matter.

98.239.102.254 (talk) 05:25, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

You're basically asking us to speculate, as far as I can tell. That doesn't seem like it would improve the article, but that is just my first impression. Nullahnung (talk) 07:12, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
I think that may find some difficulty in redirecting the article in the way that you suggest. If I were you I'd do two things. First - sign up for an account. This will give you more privacy by hiding your IP and it will also be a sign that you are serious about being part of the community.
Second - why not write an essay? Essays are a special part of RW where people whose views are significantly different from the mainstream can express their opinions without interference. You would create it like this - Essay:An honest analysis of communism and capitalism
Nobody else could edit it but anybody who was interested would comment on the talk page.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 08:30, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
Hi Bob, thanks for getting back to me. I have created an account and it is this one. The essay suggestion is an interesting idea. Obviously it's easier for me to suggest incremental changes to an existing article than to write a new one, but maybe I will give that a shot in the future. Nairu The Kid (talk) 09:06, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
Cool Nairu. The thing is that as an avowed "Marxist leftist communist" it is possible some might regard you as being less than partial in terms of this article. (On the other hand - full marks for up-front disclosure!)
Essays don't need to be long - in fact, people are more likely to read them if they are short. Anyway, other editors may have other ideas/responses. :-) --Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 09:30, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
Interesting, thanks. Probably best to just acknowledge my feelings upfront. Started something at Essay:Left Skepticism. Nairu The Kid (talk) 10:02, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm a little perplexed by your declaration of being a"Marxist leftist communist" as it sounds as if you're not really sure of your ideology. Clickbot (talk) 12:34, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
Clickbot: those things aren't really mutually contradictory but I was obtusely kidding, in that I don't really identify as a doctrinaire communist or Marxist. I would call myself currently some manner of left radical. Nairu The Kid (talk) 12:41, 19 October 2013 (UTC)