Communism is a philosophical, social, political and economic ideology. Communism’s ultimate goal is to establish a communist society. A communist society does not have social classes. Members of a communist society do not own property. The public owns the society’s major means of production (e.g. mines, mills, and factories) and the society’s natural resources.
In true Communism there is no government, private property or currency. Wealth is divided equally among citizens. The words “communism” and “socialism” are sometimes used interchangeably.
History of Communism
Modern Communist ideology traces itself back to the Germans, Fedrick Engels and Karl Marx. The pair published The Communist Manifesto in 1848. The Communist Manifesto became a way to rally people into the Communist movement. Instead of predicting the positive future of a communist nation, it argues that capitalism causes class warfare. Engels and Marx declared a capitalist society should be overthrown by the working class.
Communist ideology spread to Russia in the late nineteenth-and early twentieth-centuries. Vladimir Lenin led the 1917 Russian Revolution until Stalin took over after his death. Communism continued to spread throughout Eastern Europe, China, North Korea, Vietnam, and other places.
Communism and America
The United State’s forefathers founded the country as a limited government. The government cannot take away certain individual rights. Individuals also have the right to own and defend their property. Americans began to fear the spread of Communist ideology in the twentieth-century because it’s the opposite of what the country was founded on.
The U.S. had two periods known as the Red Scare. The name Red Scare refers to the red color of the flags Communists use. The first Red Scare happened after World War I. The country thought there were threats from the labor movement and political radicalism.
The second Red Scare happened immediately after World War II. Many Americans believed the federal government and society were being infiltrated by communists.
The U.S. also engaged in a political standoff with the former Soviet Union called the Cold War. The Cold War happened during the second half of the twentieth century. Americans perceived Communism as a threat to their way of life.
The Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, but Communism still carries negative connotations to this day.
Why Communism Won’t Work in America
Communist ideology goes against the fundamental rights of the U.S. Most Americans approach life from an individualistic perspective. They believe individuals and businesses should have the freedom to do what they choose. Communism bans freedom of speech and lacks freedom of choice.
The First Amendment of the United State’s Constitution affirms the government cannot make laws that prohibits the exercise of religion, establishment of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of press and the right to peacefully assemble. In communism, individuals cannot express their ideas or opinions out loud.
Everyone wears similar and bland clothing in communism. Most people drive similar cars. All schools teach the same things. Workers have the same income, regardless whether they work hard at a job or not. Part of the American Dream is that if you work hard, you will be successful. There is no success in Communism.
The Benefits of Capitalism
There are no free markets in communism. The government regulates the production of goods. The consumer has no freedom of choice. America has a capitalist society. Capitalism promotes freedom of choice.
An individual chooses what clothing to wear, what brands of food to eat, what car to drive, and much more in capitalism. Businesses choose what price they charge for their goods or service. They choose to sell their product for a higher or lower price. The consumer then gets to choose where he/she wants to do business. Many choices that are taken for granted would be taken away in communism.
Another benefit of capitalism is opportunity. Opportunity is also part of the American Dream. An individual can get a second job to earn more income or go back to school to get a higher paying job in capitalism. Opportunities are everywhere in capitalism. An individual just has to take advantage of them.
Capitalism promotes hard work. Communism promotes laziness. No matter how hard or long you work in a communist society, you will make the same amount of money as a worker who doesn’t work hard. An industrius work ethic stimulates the economy and innovation.
The government limits the growth of entrepreneurs in communism. They control how far a business will grow. A Communist government is afraid of foreigners expressing their beliefs because they might influence the society to change. Communist countries usually have poor economic relations because of this.
Communism has a long and deep history. The ideology sparks many different emotions. Americans value their independence. Individuals living under a Communist government can only do what their government allows. Americans perceive a lack of choices as a threat to their society, way of life, and country.