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Communism (from Latin communis, 'common, universal') is a philosophical, social, political, economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of a communist society, namely a socioeconomic order structured upon the ideas of common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money and the state.

Communism includes a variety of schools of thought which broadly include Marxism and anarcho-communism as well as the political ideologies grouped around both, all of which share the analysis that the current order of society stems from capitalism, its economic system and mode of production; that in this system there are two major social classes; that conflict between these two classes is the root of all problems in society; and that this situation can only ultimately be resolved through a social revolution.

The two classes are the proletariat (the working class), who make up the majority of the population within society and must work to survive; and the bourgeoisie (the capitalist class), a small minority who derives profit from employing the working class through private ownership of the means of production. According to this analysis, revolution would put the working class in power and in turn establish social ownership of the means of production which is the primary element in the transformation of society towards communism.

Along with social democracy, communism became the dominant political tendency within the international socialist movement by the 1920s. While the emergence of the Soviet Union as the world's first nominally communist state led to communism's widespread association with the Soviet economic model and Marxism–Leninism, some economists and intellectuals argued that in practice the model functioned as a form of state capitalism, or a non-planned administrative or command economy.

“There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.” - Robert Heinlein, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

Communism is a left-wing materialistic and often violently atheistic ideology created to justify the overthrow of Capitalism, replacing free market economics and democracy with a “dictatorship of the proletariat”. Under Communism, the political system replaces the private ownership of the means of production with “collective ownership” of the economy, this is to be accomplished through direct “democratic” control by the workers.<ref></ref> Twentieth century Communism was based on Karl Marx's manifesto which proposed to establishment of a “classless society.” However, all Communist societies have had a class structure, notably the USSR, which was dominated by a self appointed elitist Nomenklatura.

In the belief that “people cannot change”, governments under the banner of Communism have caused the death of somewhere between 40 million to 260 million human lives.<ref>Multiple references:

President Ronald Reagan in an address before the British House of Commons said,

Today, communism continues to rule over at least one-fifth of the world's people.<ref>Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, Documenting Communism's Crimes Against Humanity.</ref> __TOC__ <br clear=all>

Communist Theory and Practice

]] Communism is based upon Marxism, a philosophy which uses materialism to explain all physical and social phenomena. The theory of evolution influenced the thinking of the Communists, including Marx, Engels, Vladimir Lenin, and Joseph Stalin.<ref></ref> Marx wrote, “Darwin's book is very important and serves me as a basis in natural science for the class struggle in history.” Marx offered to dedicate the second German edition of his polemic Das Kapital to Charles Darwin, but Darwin declined the “honour.” <ref></ref> <ref>Karl Marx's Social and Political Thought, Bob Jessop, ISBN 0415193265 (pg 476)</ref>

Economically, communism advocates a socialist economy in which the government owns the means of production. In countries where communism has been imposed, the government has taken ownership of farms, factories, stores and so on in the name of the people; see “dictatorship of the proletariat”. This drives all market-based economic activity underground and leads to inefficiencies and shortages. In both the Soviet Union and Red China, the number of people who starved to death when the government confiscated their farm products (animals and grain) is estimated in the tens of millions.

Even more important, one party controls every organization from the local labor union to the the army to the national government. The party is not elected. Its top officials (the “Politburo”) select replacements when there is a vacancy. usually a dictator (like Stalin, Mao or Castro) controls the Politburo, but sometimes power is shared among five or six people. No dissent is allowed–all news media are controlled, and the Internet is heavily censored.

Elites do not disappear. Members of the ruling party (see Nomenklatura) have special stores in which ordinary people are barred, stores which are allegedly immune to the shortages which the lower class must endure. Various communist doctrines have evolved or been adapted to the time and place they have been implemented. Marxism, developed by Karl Marx, and its modifications under Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong, advocates the overthrow of the existing order by a revolution of the proletariat, the social group which does not control the means of production. The goal of Marxism is supposedly to create a classless society which would result in no longer the need for any government (Communism).

The most famous government to label itself “communist” is the former USSR or the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; the Communist Party controlled its government from 1918 to 1991. This government was officially atheist and attempted to suppress all religion until World War II, when it discovered religion was needed to rally the people against the Nazi invaders. Like all authoritarian regimes, it tried to cultivate reverence for the state as a psychological substitute for religion.

Marxist theory is intended to appeal to its adherents with the phrase, “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs”, which essentially states point blank a worker does not get paid according to his abilities, and there is no incentive within the economic theory. Another quote by Marx was, “The theory of the Communism may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property,” or as some have phrased it, legalized theft.

Communism and militant atheism

See also: Atheism and communism

According to the University of Cambridge, historically, the “most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power.”<ref name=“Marxism-Leninism”>


Karl Marx believed atheism to be a key part of communism. He is often very famously quoted as saying, “Religion … is the opium of the masses.”<ref>Marx, K. Introduction to A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right (Classic Quotations) (Standard translation from the original German).</ref> His full quote was: “Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”<ref></ref> He believed it was part of the “superstructure,” a false culture built to maintain the status quo. Thus he denigrated Christianity as a fictional religion. Instead, Marx was an avowed atheist, as he wrote, “Communism begins from the outset with atheism; but atheism is at first far from being communism; indeed, that atheism is still mostly an abstraction.”<ref>Marx, Karl, Private Property and Communism, 1944.</ref>

Vladimir Lenin similarly wrote: “A Marxist must be a materialist, i. e., an enemy of religion, but a dialectical materialist, i. e., one who treats the struggle against religion not in an abstract way, not on the basis of remote, purely theoretical, never varying preaching, but in a concrete way, on the basis of the class struggle which is going on in practice and is educating the masses more and better than anything else could.”<ref>Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich, Proletary, No. 45, May 13 (26), 1909, translated by Andrew Rothstein and Bernard Issacs, quote from ://</ref>

In 1955, Chinese communist leader Chou En-lai declared, “We Communists are atheists”.<ref>Noebel, David, The Battle for Truth, Harvest House, 2001.</ref> In 2015, the Communist Party of China reaffirmed that members of their party must be atheists.<ref>China's Communist Party Bans Believers, Doubles Down On Atheism</ref>

The atheism in communist regimes has been and continues to be militant atheism and various acts of repression including the razing of thousands of religious buildings and the killing, imprisoning, and oppression of religious leaders and believers.<ref></ref><ref></ref><ref></ref><ref></ref><ref></ref><ref></ref><ref></ref>

Marxists justification for its persecution of the Russian Orthodox Church was based upon the claim that the Church was a “willing tool of Tsarism.”<ref></ref>

The clergy openly stated its support for the counter-revolution (White Revolution). Lenin proclaimed that a communist regime must show itself to be merciless toward the question of religion. There was no place for the church in Lenin's regime. This led to anti-religious decrees and propaganda. All church property was expropriated by the new Soviet government. <ref></ref>

During the late 1930's and later 1940's the restrictions on church activity were loosened as Stalin needed all the support he could get for the war. This doctrine of co-operation between the church and state continued through out the existence of the Soviet republics and the other Warszawa pact nations. Though never going as far as a leader of the Soviet Union asking god to bless the country the clause in the Soviet Unions constitution addressing the separation of church and state was rendered useless.

Dr. Martin Luther King said, “for the Communist there is no divine government, no absolute moral order, there are no fixed, immutable principles; consequently almost anything - force, violence, murder, lying - is a justifiable means.” <ref>Stride Toward Freedom : The Montgomery Story, Martin Luther King, Jr., Harper and Rowe, New York, 1958, p. 92.</ref>

victims murdered by communists.<ref>Apologists maintain communism has never really been tried. ]

Atheistic communism and torture of the religious

See also: Atheistic communism and torture

The website declares concerning atheistic communism and the use of torture:

For additional information please see: Atheistic communism and torture

Atrocities and Repression

Communist regimes have engaged in mass killings on a scale of millions of individuals.<ref></ref> A work entitled The Black Book of Communism published by the Harvard Press focuses on the crimes, terror, and repression of modern communist regimes over a 70 year period.<ref></ref> This book is fairly controversial partly due to the various estimates regarding the millions of people who died under communist regimes.<ref>Multiple references:

Similarly, a influential book which concerns itself with Russian communist torture, repression and atrocities is Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago which won Solzhenitsyn a Nobel Prize.<ref></ref> In 1983, Alexander Solzhenitsyn in which he gave his explanation of the cause of why millions of people died under Russian communism:

In communist North Korea, abuse and killing in prison camps is occurring today.<ref></ref><ref></ref> In addition, the North Korean government practices brutal repression and atrocities against North Korean Christians.<ref></ref><ref></ref>

In 1999, the publication Christian Century reported that “China has persecuted religious believers by means of “harassment, prolonged detention, and incarceration in prison or `reform-through-labor' camps and police closure of places of worship.”<ref></ref> In 2003, owners of Bibles in China were sent to prison camps and 125 Chinese churches were closed.<ref></ref> China continues to practice religious oppression today.<ref></ref>

Sloth in atheistic communist countries vs. Protestant work ethic

See also: Atheism and sloth and Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

, the growth in religion has accompanied China’s fast economic growth over the last twenty years.<ref>The Protestant Work Ethic: Alive & Well…In China By Hugh Whelchel on September 24, 2012</ref>]] Atheism is a part of Marxist-Leninist and Maoist/Chinese communist ideology (See: Atheism and communism).

Widespread sloth in the former Soviet Union helped cause much poverty.<ref>Poverty, prostitutes and the long, slow death of the Soviet Union: Haunting pictures show desperate struggle to survive in last days of USSR, ''The Daily Mail''</ref><ref>[ Soviet Openness Brings Poverty Out of the Shadows, New York Times</ref> A study performed in the former Soviet Union found that over 50% of the work force admitted to drinking alcohol while on the job (See also: Atheism and alcoholism).<ref>Communism and computer ethics</ref> In the former Soviet Union, a popular joke was that the workers pretended to work and the Soviet Union pretended to pay them.<ref>You Pretend to work and Putin pretends to pay you</ref>

On the other hand, Harvard University historian Niall Ferguson declared: “Through a mixture of hard work and thrift the Protestant societies of the North and West Atlantic achieved the most rapid economic growth in history.”<ref>The Protestant Work Ethic: Alive & Well…In China By Hugh Whelchel on September 24, 2012</ref>

In China, the growth in religion has accompanied China’s fast economic growth over the last twenty years.<ref>The Protestant Work Ethic: Alive & Well…In China By Hugh Whelchel on September 24, 2012</ref> Christianity is seeing rapid growth in China and the historian Niall Ferguson attributes this recent economic growth to the Protestant work ethic being more incorporated into Chinese society.<ref>The Protestant Work Ethic: Alive & Well…In China By Hugh Whelchel on September 24, 2012</ref> See also: Protestant work ethic and Growth of Christianity in China

Similarities between Communism, Nazism and liberalism

See also: Similarities between Communism, Nazism and liberalism

Communist Manifesto Nazi Party Platform Analysis
1 “Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.” “We demand an agrarian reform in accordance with our national requirements, and the enactment of a law to expropriate the owners without compensation of any land needed for the common purpose. The abolition of ground rents, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.” The stripping away of land from private owners. Liberalism today demands “eminent domain” on property.
2 “A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.” “We demand the nationalization of all trusts…profit-sharing in large industries…a generous increase in old-age pensions…by providing maternity welfare centers, by prohibiting juvenile labor…and the creation of a national (folk) army.” The points raised in the Nazi platform demand an increase in taxes to support them. Liberalism today demands heavy progressive and graduated income taxes.
3 “Abolition of all rights of inheritance.” “That all unearned income, and all income that does not arise from work, be abolished.” Liberalism today demands a “death tax” on anyone inheriting an estate.
4 “Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.” “We demand that all non-Germans who have entered Germany since August 2, 1914, shall be compelled to leave the Reich immediately.” The Nuremburg Laws of 1934 allowed Germany to take Jewish property.
5 “Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.” “We demand the nationalization of all trusts.” Central control of the financial system.
6 “Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.” “We demand that there be a legal campaign against those who propagate deliberate political lies and disseminate them through the press…editors and their assistants on newspapers published in the German language shall be German citizens…Non-German newspapers shall only be published with the express permission of the State…the punishment for transgressing this law be the immediate suppression of the newspaper…” Central control of the press. Liberals today demand control or suppression of talk radio and Fox News.
7 “Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c, &c.” “In order to make it possible for every capable and industrious German to obtain higher education, and thus the opportunity to reach into positions of leadership, the State must assume the responsibility of organizing thoroughly the entire cultural system of the people. The curricula of all educational establishments shall be adapted to practical life. The conception of the State Idea (science of citizenship) must be taught in the schools from the very beginning. We demand that specially talented children of poor parents, whatever their station or occupation, be educated at the expense of the State. ” Central control of education, with an emphasis on doing things their way. Liberals today are doing things their way in our schools.

Communists cite scripture

Some Communist ideology has made its way into the Church as a Social Gospel, interpreting the Gospel as less redemptive of sin and more of a public works campaign and activism. They often cite Jesus feeding the masses and warnings to the wealthy who believed self-seeking is all this world has to offer. Communists often cite the Acts of the Apostles, as early Christians practicing some form of sharing for the common good:

But as Arnold Toynbee has pointed out, this Marxist view denies the most crucial points,

Communists shared totalitarian ideals with facism and nazism

Adolf Hitler noted that Communists made excellent converts to National Socialism (a.k.a. Nazism), because the same personality type was attracted to both. ”[T]here is more that binds us to Bolshevism than separates us from it. There is, above all, genuine, revolutionary feeling, which is alive everywhere in Russia except where there are Jewish Marxists. I have always made allowance for this circumstance, and given orders that former Communists are to be admitted to the party at once. The petit bourgeois Social-Democrat and the trade-union boss will never make a National Socialist, but the Communists always will.“<ref>quoted in Hermann Rauschning, Hitler Speaks</ref> Josef Stalin also recognized that ex-Nazis and ex-fascists were natural recruits for post-war Communist regimes. As Stanley Payne notes in his A History of Fascism: 1914-1945, “All over Soviet-occupied eastern Europe (should be: Central and Eastern Europe), most rank-and-file former fascist party members, together with many lower-level leaders, were welcomed to fill the ranks of the initially exiguous local Communist parties. The psychological transition seems to have been an easy one, for obvious reasons.”<ref></ref>

Cuban communism

Cuba remains a communist state controlled by the Castro brothers since 1960 and under U.S economic sanctions.

Asian communism

The CCP in China retains an autocratic regime controlled by the Communist party, which allows no democracy or dissent. However it does allow capitalism, and has experienced a very rapid growth of the private sector and the middle class. Observers expect that the regime's efforts to control public opinion and forestall the will of the people will be more and more difficult.

North Korea remains a brutal dictatorship controlled by the same family. Laos, and Vietnam are also run by the old Communist cliques.

Collapse of the Soviet bloc

from 1989]]

The shooting down by the Soviets on Sept. 1, 1983 of Korean Airlines Flight 007 may have been a contributing factor for the downfall of the Soviet Union as well as for the whole Soviet block. It being a catalyst for the collapse of the Soviet Union may be inferred from the fact that NATO had decided, under the impetus of the U.S. administration, to deploy Pershing II and cruise missiles in Europe, primarily West Germany. This deployment would have placed missiles just 6-10 minutes striking distance from Moscow. But support for the deployment was wavering and many doubted that the missile deployment would find enough support to effect it. When the Soviet Union shot down Flight 007 with 269 people aboard, including conservative Democratic Congressman Larry McDonald —an act which U.S. President Ronald Reagan characterized as a “massacre”—enough support was galvanized for the deployment. The deployment caused great resources of the Soviet Union to be diverted from inner economic use to military expenditures to counter the U.S. and NATO missile deployment.

Between 1989 and 1991, many communist governments fell. The Berlin Wall in Germany, which had become a symbol for the division between the communist states and the rest of Europe, was torn down largely in response to Ronald Reagan in 1989, and there was also a large revolution against Romanian dictator Nicolaie Ceausescu. In 1991, the USSR broke up into several countries - each which reformed to capitalism. Some of these remained under autocratic governments, but some have embraced democracy. With the collapse the remnants of Communist parties have dropped their old names and ideologies, but still operate on the left of the political spectrum.

End of Communism

In 1992, George H. W. Bush told a joint session of Congress, “Communism died this year.”<ref> Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the State of the Union - January 28, 1992</ref>

American communism

:Main article : Committees of Correspondence With the collapse of Soviet communism and the conversion of Chinese communism to “state run capitalism,” the spiritual and ideological center of world of communism and the Marxist-Leninist tradition shifted to the United States. Several prominent American communists, rudderless without Moscow direction, formed a new organization in 1992 called the Committees of Correspondence for Democratic Socialism.

The initial organizational conference was held in Berkeley, California, July 17-19, 1992. Charlene Mitchell, a former leader of the California Communist Party, speaking at the conference said, “the collapse of socialism in Central Europe and the Soviet Union left the United States in a near unchallenged position of world leadership.” Mitchell continued,

Criticizing U.S. actions in the First Gulf War, Mitchell stated,

Decline of the secular left expected in the 21st century

See also: Decline of the secular left

Historically, the largest advances of the secular left has been through utilizing the power of the state (see: State atheism and Atheism and communism). For example, secular leftists use the power of the state to promote evolutionary ideology and to censor creationist/intelligent design models of origins (See: Suppression of alternatives to evolution and Atheist indoctrination).

The historian Martin Van Crevel points out that sovereign states are losing power/influence due to technology democratizing access to information, welfare states increasingly failing, fourth-generation warfare being waged against countries and sovereign states increasingly losing their ability to maintain internal order.<ref>[The Fate of the State] by MARTIN VAN CREVELD</ref><ref>Martin van Creveld interview</ref> See also: Decline of the secular left

Notorious communists

Further reading

  • Pipes, Richard. Communism: A History (2003), by a leading conservative historian
    • Pipes, Richard. History of Communism: A Brief History (2002)
  • Priestland, David. The Red Flag: A History of Communism (2009)

See also

Notes and references

communist.txt · Last modified: 2020/08/11 09:44 (external edit)