Commentary: Why communism doesn’t work


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Communism has never been successfully carried out on a wide scale, but does that make communism inherently bad?

A common argument I have heard against communism is that it has never worked before.

The central problem is that there are too many people for it to succeed.

I don’t think that a communist, planned economy is doomed to fail because of a problem rooted in the idea itself. The truth is the majority of people, at least in the United States, don’t want it.

Communist governments more or less take over all private property, maintaining overall control of the economy. Such was the case in Russia’s 1917 Decree on Land, China’s Real Property Law, Romania’s 1945 land reform and other countries that have attempted communism. 

So, to implement communism, the government must force it upon the population. While democracy is theoretically possible under communism, every country to attempt communism completely destroys the opportunity of a republic. The government must extend their control far beyond the economy to keep things “in order.”

Sadly, the people at the heads of these governments will do whatever it takes to build their twisted visions of utopia. 

Romania and Russia both used cruel prison labor camps as punishment for political prisoners. Both had informants pervading every aspect of life.

My Romanian grandmother was once held and interrogated for two hours over something she knew nothing about – a conversation between two of her colleagues about meat, which wasn’t something you could talk about openly because of rationed and scarce food. 

She told me that she was terrified walking home, and even more so when she saw one of the people who was a part of the alleged conversation because the Securitate (security) would follow anyone, especially if they thought they were lying or hiding something. 

Two of her other colleagues were informants, one of them blackmailed into doing so by the government. Having this conversation with my grandmother, she kept telling me that the government, informed by the Securitate, knew everything – there were informants in every school, every job, any place there were people.

I remember that my Romanian mom once told me that as a young child she would watch planes fly overhead and hope they were piloted by Americans coming to save Romania.  

There are so many crimes, committed by so many different communist governments, that show the utter failure to implement communism as truly intended – a real utopia.

Communism on a large scale has never been a success. It has only become something that it’s people quickly wish to escape.

Small-scale communism plays a different tune.

The Twins Oaks Community is one of the largest and most famous persisting communes in the United States, founded in 1967. They describe their way of life as ‘intentional living’, splitting work among themselves and sharing income. 

However, there are only around 100 people living there, an absolutely tiny scale compared to whole countries. The people are there because they chose to take part in that lifestyle, not as a product of fathomless oppression.

I don’t believe that communism will ever work on a large scale, and with knowledge of the past, I hope for it to no longer be attempted.