If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello All, This is just a friendly reminder to read the Forum Charter where you wish to post before posting in it. :)

Is communism as bad as people say

  • 01-12-2021 11:48pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,037 ✭✭✭ Harryd225

    Please read the whole thing or don't bother commenting as the bottom part is important.

    I don't think most people understand what communism is, it's a theory or system of social organization in which all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs.

    There are two classes in society, the working class, who make up the majority of the population within society and must work to survive, and the capitalist class, a small minority who derives profit from employing the working class through private ownership of the means of production. The theory is that communism would put the working class in power and in turn establish social ownership of the means of production.

    Along with social democracy communism became the dominant political tendency within the international community by the 1930s with generally one side (the west) advocating for social democracy and the other side advocating for communism.

    Most people base their opinion on communism on propaganda from the cold war mainly based around the failed soviet model of communism although most academics and economists, among other scholars, posit that the soviet model under which these nominally Communist states in practice operated was not an actual communist economic model in accordance with most accepted definitions of communism as an economic theory but was in fact a form of state capitalism, basically true communism has never been in existence.

    Basically the theory is that communism would hand back the power to the people rather than the top 1% who maintain control and thrive under social democracies and have most of the wealth and influence over the population.

    It's said that social democracy is a sort of slavery designed to keep the majority of wealth and power in the hands of the few, The wealthiest 1% of Americans controlled about $41.52 trillion in the first quarter, according to Federal Reserve data. Yet the bottom 50% of Americans only controlled about $2.62 trillion collectively, which is roughly 16 times less than those in the top 1%.

    In theory if communism could actually work the way it is said could possibly work, the top 1% would never allow it to happen as it would strip them of most of their power and influence.




  • Registered Users Posts: 1,037 ✭✭✭ Harryd225

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,151 ✭✭✭✭ Danzy

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 1,037 ✭✭✭ Harryd225

    Maybe that is wrong I'm not sure but I think it's also wrong for the top 1% to have over 16 times more wealth than the bottom 50% who certainly aren't working harder than most of the bottom 50% and mostly have that wealth due to the extra privileges they were born into/with.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,037 ✭✭✭ Harryd225

    Who knows? I think so, you see the biggest problem that causes crime is wealth and poverty living so close to each other naturally breeds crime, people believe the system is not fair and they have been given the s***** end of the stick so they simply don't respect the society they live in.

    If we had true equality, not some false sense of equality based on race/gender then I'm certain people would have more respect for one another.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 1,037 ✭✭✭ Harryd225

    What you are saying does not hold up as the soviet Union did not implement communism they only implemented a few dma aspects of it.

    Also aside from any of that, you do realise Sinn Féin is not communist? Judging by your post you seem to think Sinn Féin is a communist party.

    Do you think that the party most likely to be running the country after the next election is going to implement communism?

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,054 ✭✭✭✭ Hello 2D Person Below

    Human beings would not be where we are today without communism.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Everyone earning exactly the same, whether doctor or teacher or shop worker or child minder or brick layer? No private enterprise - everything state run? That's not a fair system in my opinion. And of course neither is unfettered greed and the hugely uneven distribution of wealth.

    There's a middle ground - it's in Scandinavia... even here to an extent: good social welfare system, but cost of living much too high.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,238 ✭✭✭✭ Loafing Oaf

    One lad I worked with told me he'll leave Ireland of that ever happens because he explained the thing about socialism/communism is it is like a religion.

    I've been to North Korea. It has a dead man as its president, Kim Jong-Il is only head of the party and head of the army. He's not head of the state. That office belongs to his deceased father, Kim Il-Sung. It's a necrocracy, a thanatocracy. It's one short of a trinity I might add. The son is the reincarnation of the father. It is the most revolting and utter and absolute and heartless tyranny the human species has ever evolved.

    • Christopher Hitchens

    I wonder has the NK dynasty evolved into a trinity since Kim III succeeded? Maybe Kim Jong-Un is trying to live up to the role of Holy Ghost/Spirit with his recent weight loss.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,445 ✭✭✭✭ Geuze

    Every school owned by the State. (=ETB)

    Every hospital owned by the State.

    No choice, no diversity in providers.

    A State monopoly in every social service.

    Is that what anybody wants?


    My local for-profit hospital runs their scanning/MRI until 2am, while in the HSE hospital the MRI lies idle.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,228 ✭✭✭✭ Tony EH

    Too simplistic.

    I knew a number of East Germans who, while the were happy that came down and their country was unified, lamented the fact that everything that they once had cheap or for free was now prohibitively expensive, such as a university education. It's not so full on as you'd like to portray. In fact, in 2009 Der Spiegel found that a large amount of East Germans said that life under Communism was "better".

    However, when discussing eastern European Communism it's important to remember that none of those countries chose Communism in the first place. It was Stalinism imposed upon them after the war. The "Communism" as practised in the likes of Poland, Lithuania or East Germany for example wasn't a home grown thing. It was the result of being over run by a dictatorship who's seat of power was in Moscow.

  • Advertisement
  • Posts: 533 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    You can have universal minimum standards and universal services and very comprehensive regulation, in the public interest, in a democracy and social market economy. That’s what most of Europe has. There’s a mixture of both that’s quite possible and works fine. We have it ourselves to a large degree too.

    Ireland tends to be a bit stuck with broken systems like the HSE but that’s more to do with it being a mess that just happened and was never reformed or reorganised properly, rather than a question of grand ideologies.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 84,816 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Capt'n Midnight

    The difference between theory and practice : in theory it works, in practice it doesn't.

    Capitalism is the exploitation of men by other men. Communism is the exact opposite.

    Dictatorship of the preliterate.

    The problem with libertarianism / capitalism is that it's afraid of itself. Pure capitalism would be the complete removal of any protectionism, including monopolies. There would be no patents, no entry barriers, no cartels, no beneficial legislation, not pet politicians, it would be a pure meritocracy : may the best product/service/support win.

    Instead the "capitalism" we have is massively skewed by patents, bribes, favourable laws and loopholes, tax havens, it's like "capitalists" are totally afraid of real competition.

    "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs"

    “We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living. - Richard Buckminster Fuller

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,488 ✭✭✭ WrenBoy

    Would you trust Micheal Martin and Michael Healy Rae to have an even greater role in how you live your life ? No thanks. I thought it would take longer for the so-hot -right-now American Communism stanning to wheeze its way onto our lovely shores. Just in time for Christmas ironically.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,228 ✭✭✭✭ Tony EH

    What you've just described is Democratic Socialism, or Social Democracy and it's hard to imagine too many people being completely against such a thing, although you will obviously find a few. But then, I've talked to people who believe that a national health service is one of the "worst" things they ever heard of.

    As for the HSE, remember that this monster was Mary Harney's baby. Hardly the product of any kind of socialism.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,648 ✭✭✭ Yurt2

    It's a mixed bag, you'll meet plenty of older people from the former Eastern Bloc who were brutally cast aside in the transition to a market economy and will definitively tell you life was better under socialism, children of the Brezhnev era in particular. It was not happy fun time for people in their 40s or 50s when the wall came down by in large. The transition was completely botched in many countries, nowhere more so than Russia, where skeezy Western financiers and opportunists landed to a bamboozled country and along with the local oligarchs suddenly made good, fleeced the place. To give you an idea of some of the characters that were active in Russia at the time, Dominic Cummings (yes him) and Declan Ganley (yes him) were essentially asset strippers in the former Soviet Union in the 90s.

    I have a German friend who's father was an engineer in the GDR. After reunification, his qualifications were deemed as redundant by West Germans despite being an accomplished engineer (Germans are absolute weirdos for credentialism), spent a number of years unemployed before eventually finding work as a low-level traffic cop. Such stories are legion and the GDR was 'the best' of the East, with a high level of productive capacity and an educated populace - now a disgruntled rust belt that's the home of the AfD.

    In the round, the great Soviet-led communist experiment more didn't work than it did. Pigheaded leaders tied to doctrine, too many military first economies, and where some elements of market reform were necessary (particularly for simple consumer goods), they came too little too late.

    However, the news wasn't all bad, and it wasn't an economic hellscape that many presume. For instance, in the early 70s when the economy was at its zenith*, the USSR economy was approximately 60% that of the US (*For context, the current Russian economy is only approx 8 percent the size of the US economy)

    Which all told, isn't half bad for a system derided as an economic wasteland (that's not even to mention the enormous achievement of rebuilding a completely shattered Eastern Europe) . Curiously, one of the theorized reasons things took a turn for the worse from here was high energy prices, ostensibly very good news for the USSR, but an oil curse effect took hold with the government unable to manage the spoils, which led to stagflation, the Afghan War came next which demoralised the country and drained it financially, Chernobyl, and timid implementation of Perestroika reforms (joint ventures with foreign companies without a convertible ruble? what's the point? dogged adherence to price controls for commodities that desperately needed to find a market).

    Post edited by Yurt2 on

  • Posts: 533 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    The majority of European countries actually have universal insurance systems for health. Even in France, a very large proportion of health care is provided by the private sector, but everyone is covered by public insurance systems.

    The NHS is unusual in the sense that it’s direct provision by a monolithic state organisation.

    The Irish system sort of manages to be a mishmash of the U.K. model with some degree of private sector involvement as well as having a lot of voluntary top up insurance. It’s a total mess in other words and doesn’t know what it is.

    To me, the Irish system looks more like it is suited to a continental universal insurance model, yet we just won’t broach that in part because we seem to be unwilling to have a discussion about how that might work.

    What we have at the moment is the worst of both works. You’ve a heaving mess or a public sector system that is incapable of reform and you’ve a private sector cherry picking and often large private monopolies in the public sector as “voluntary hospitals”

    A social market model would give people universal coverage and choice of provider, so you’d have competition and innovation, but within a universal public health system.

    The US model is awful, incredibly bad value for money and utterly unwieldy and totally inequitable. Meanwhile, the U.K. model is becoming problematic for other reasons and it’s something you can’t really retrofit to an existing hybrid of public and private. What we should be looking at is what’s done in the best public systems on the continent, and in other comparable countries like Canada and Australia etc.

    I think we get very bogged down on what sector is providing the services and seeing the NHS as what we should be trying to recreate, when the focus should be on what level of universal public service is provided to end users.

    You can very definitely have socialism and capitalism working side by side, but it takes organisation, design, robust regulation and transparency.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,228 ✭✭✭✭ Tony EH


    so you’d have competition

    In general, there's really no such thing as competition in a marketplace, unless you have a large number of entities competing within that market. Competition among 5 or 6 companies vying for custom only results in a levelling that the companies engineer to benefit themselves. Competition, true competition, only happens when you have many more companies involved who will tailor the same product in order to get an edge. That way the marketplace will always be in constant turnover and prices will fall, as well as rise. For instance, in food, you have many hundreds of companies producing various goods, some of which are cheap and some of which mid range and some of which are expensive "luxury" items. This happens because of the amount of different companies involved.

    In a situation where there are only a few "competitors", what you end up with is merely a cartel. This would be especially true in the case of insurance companies, as we have seen in Ireland over the years as actual competition in that sector has been virtually nil.

  • Registered Users Posts: 560 ✭✭✭ BurgerFace

    Wtf do wages have to do with anything. Talk about not having a clue. And you say that because community is bass never been realised then it is I currently flawed. Peace has never truly been achieved globally because it is deliberately prevented not because it's flawed

  • Registered Users Posts: 560 ✭✭✭ BurgerFace

  • Advertisement