Is Communism misunderstood?

Bear with me here, as I know that this is a controversial subject, but is Communism all bad?

Countries that adopted it, despite being regimes about total control, many were trying to improve every day life and their countries economy, and at some parts of the 20th century a third of the world was Communist. This didn’t always work very well, as we well know.

What is communism?

Communism derived from the Latin (commūnis) which means shared, or common. As far as Historians are aware, the word communism became known around 1840.

Communism is a form of Socialism, where the government aims to place private property and a profit-based economy into public hands, which means thing like agriculture, factories, mining or millwork is controlled by the community. There are variations of this doctrine, but it’s essentially about creating a community of workers who aren’t class based, and the workers reap the rewards on an equal basis as there’s no hierarchy, except the one-party government. The main reason communism fails as an ideology is human greed, and oppression from a one-party government, as there’s no one to stand up to them.

Who created Communism?

Karl Marx

Karl Marx (1818 – 1883) was a German born in Trier, Kingdom of Prussia (Königreich Preußen), who studied philosophy and law at university. He developed the term Marxism which states that human society is in a perpetual state of class struggle under Capitalism consists of two classes.

• The bourgeoisie who belonged to the middle and upper class.

The proletariat who belonged to the lower class and the only value they had was their hard work ethic.

He believed that the opposite of Capitalism was Communism where there was an establishment of a classless society. He also believed that the working class should start a revolution and overcome the oppression from upper classes in Capitalism. This opinion, amongst others ended up with Marx stateless, and ended up living in exile in London with his family for decades, and was eventually the city where he died.

Whilst many people publicly opposed his ideas, he was secretly admired, and is said to be one of the most influential people of modern social science, and his theories have been copied, modified and adapted by many people and ideologies derived from it included:

• Leninism, 

Marxism – Leninism.

• Trotskyism

• Maoism

• Luxemburgism 

libertarian Marxism

Marxism was the major influence to Vladimir Lenin to start the Russian Revolution as the class-divide, the royal family, and the Russian Orthodox church had too much control over the working classes. Major world leaders who adopted Marxism and twisted it to suit their own agendas included:

Mao Zedong

Fidel Castro

• Salvador Allende

• Josip Broz Tito

 Kwame Nkrumah

 Jawaharlal Nehru

Nelson Mandela

• Xi Jinping

• Jean-Claude Juncker

Thomas Sankara

The claim from many theists that Communism is an atheist view is ridiculous, as almost every single one in that list had a religious upbringing, and most held on to that religious belief they adopted from a young age.

‘A Nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but it’s lowest ones‘ – Nelson Mandela

Whilst Communism in principal is a great idea, it’s often been implemented badly. Communism was supposed to be about everyone being equal, and in an ideal world, that’s what everyone wants, but communism has sadly become synonymous with dictatorships and death.

Even Plato, in his most famous work (Republic – Πολιτεία) who was alive over 2000 years ago, brought the idea of Socialism into the public realm, a long time before Karl Marx walked the earth.

To secure maximum economic progress, Plato advocated the specialization of labor under state administration. Each person would be given work according to, and commensurate with, his proven abilities. The choice of work would, however, not be the individual’s own: it would be decided by the “wise men.” Rewards in prestige, property in trust, and material assets generally would be determined by the rulers following the individual’s needs — these being fixed according to his preordained status in the regime.’ –

Early Christianity adopted a simple form of Communism based on the teachings of the Bible, especially Acts (which I’ve had to read, unfortunately)

‘All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

Despite religion claiming Communism is evil, many early Christians adopted the theology as they were being oppressed by the Roman Empire, and whilst there’s oppression, there will always be a revolutionist to rise up. As long as there is Capitalism, there’ll be some form of Communism.

  • Is the ideology fair and just, and dictators have just used to to fuel their regimes, or is the whole idea of Communism a bad ideology?