Thesis statement: Despite the fact that some countries have adopted communism for decades due to some advantages, communism has a variety of disadvantages and due to this, the world has moved to capitalism.
- Communism definition
There are six defining traits of communism when it was at its peak strength. In terms of politics,the communist party is the only one that has any power. This party has a strict hierarchy within it. In terms of economics the economy was centralized with fixed prices. The state was the owner of all of the means of production. The ideological beliefs were that there was a unified sense of community among all communists and that the goals were to be building a classless, stateless society (Brown, 2010).
- Communism around the world
Today there are very countries that are actually communist because they have all changed to new forms of government. In the last century there were communist countries in Africa, Europe, Asia and North America. Today, with the exception of Cuba, all of the communist countries are in Asia
China is the largest and most powerful communist country. It became communist in 1949 when Chairman Mao Zedong took over the government. Even though there have been some reforms, the country remains communist. Other Asian countries that are communist include Laos, North Korea and Vietnam. Cuba is a small country in the Caribbean that becomes communist in 1961. Even though the United States government will do business with China, it has a block on this countries good because of its communist connections (Brown, 2010).
- History about communism
Communism grew in the 19th century as there were more industrial working class people and they become discontent. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels began to write the foundations of communism. Their ideas help to develop the communist system in the early part of the 20th century. Even though communism became a real and powerful political system, it eventually collapsed (Brown, 2010).
III. Advantages of communism
- Common ownership of resources
The idea here is an all land belongs to the people and that the people should all be able to benefit. In theory the idea was supposed to lead to shared labor that would make communism more efficient.
- No social classes
The goal of communism is for everyone to be equal. This means there is no discrimination based on gender, age, or any other factor. This is in theory a very good idea. It also means that there are no people who have more wealth than others so no one can use their wealth to cause harm over others. All people are given the same quality of life so there are no poor people (Marx & Engels, 1888).
- Social values
Capitalism is often criticized for its approach to consumption. In the communist system people are not encouraged to be over consumers. There is less focus on material things (Benn, 2013)
- Disadvantages of communism
The ideas of communism did not work as they were supposed to. This lead to a situation where the supposed benefits of communism did not happen. Instead there were many disadvantages to the system
- Less productivity
If you have ever taken part in a group project, there are some people in the group, who do a lot of the work and some people who do almost nothing. Sometimes, all of the work is left to one person. In the communist system because there was no sense of ownership, there was no sense of responsibility. People only did what they absolutely had to do and sometimes even less than that knowing someone else would pick up the slack. This led to decreased productivity (Hollander, 2009)
- Less innovation
The system of communism led to decline productivity in the economic sector. There was a technological lag and a great deal of inefficiency in the system. Compared to capitalism, communism could not keep up (Brown, 2010)
- Weaker economies
Since all the resources were controlled by the state, it was the role of the state to meet all of the people’s needs. However the government failed to this often. There were continuous shortages of the basic foods and other consumer goods throughout the communist countries and in particular the society Union (Hollander, 2009)
- No motive to work harder
The communist system lacked the incentives that we have in the capitalist system. There were no bonuses for working hard and even if there was any extra money, there was very little in the way of luxuries for people to spend it on. Everything was rationed. There was less
- Social problems
Even though people were not encouraged to consume, they did not take care of the environment. This is related to the underlying beliefs that make up capitalism. Marx, one of the founders of capitalist ideas, did not believe in the idea of a natural limit on what people could do to the earth. This idea found its way into communism and there was an over exploitation of the natural resources.
- Government problems
One of the major problems with communism is that it looks very good on paper but it is actually very difficult to implement. This is because it requires the people who are at the top to be honest and not take any advantages for themselves unfairly. Even though people say they can do this, often people at the top end up taking more and this leads to the inequality that communism attempts to prevent. People are very selfish and trying to prevent them from being selfish or expecting them to stop acting in their own self-interest was very unrealistic (Hollander, 2009)
Overall even though communism is a good system on paper it is very difficult to carry out in real life. Countries like China who have remained communist follow an altered version of communism that accepts and even encourages private ownership (Wu, 2006). This is the only way that communism can survive.
Benn, D. (2013). Post-communism and the Russian public. International Affairs, 89(1), 175–179.
Brown, A. (2010). SIGN POSTS: Why did Communism end when it did? History Today, 60(3), 60-61.
Hollander, P. (2009). Reflections on Communism Twenty Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity(11), 1-28.
Marx, K., & Engels, F. (1888). Manifesto of the Communist Party. In S. Moore, Marx/Engels Selected Works (pp. 98-137). Moscow: Progress Publishers.
Wu, X. (2006). Communist Cadres and Market Opportunities:. Social Forces, 86(1), 1-24.