Communism, socialism and liberalism have distinct meaning so that these are not interchangeable words. The liberal considers that social problems largely derive from poor individual morals, which according to the Communists is the oppressive result of our “mode of production”, as means of survival. That system is considered at present as capitalism. Communism is the critique and the remedy to capitalism, with all its problems, including those of social and cultural division. ‘A liberal believes that capitalism can be humanized’. A liberal says it as “crony capitalism” which denotes that capitalism is bad when bad people are capitalists. On the other hand, a socialist is skeptical about this, while a communist doesn’t believe it at all. Therefore, ‘a communist is a socialist, but a socialist is not necessarily a communist.’
A communist trusts that ‘socialism is a historical phase that precedes communism and follows capitalism. Socialism is that system where the state is the full or partial owner of all property. Communism is the collective ownership of all property.’ We see that ‘a communist seeks the abolition of property, whether held by the state or private firms and citizens; they want all of us to own everything equally and become our own dictators. A communist seeks conditions to end the state entirely and have all human society collectively managed.’
We see that communism contains some ideas which are very appealing even today when an economic downturn has been felt. Again ‘communism is a system of social organization that has never been truly tried and, these days, never truly explained’. ‘It inspires fear in some, derision in others, and an almost universal unconcern for what it is actually intended to convey. Communism is made from a complex reasoning toward a future social evolution.’
According to Karl Marx (forefather of communism), “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles,” That means the labor of many has ensured the comfort of a few. It is our struggle. In a slave economy, most of the people are slaves. In a feudal economy, most of them are serfs. In a capitalist economy, they become the servants of a small class of capitalists. Further, in a slave mode of production, a slave’s labour is considered as “surplus” to his owner. In feudalism, a serf gave roughly half of his surplus to his lord. Under capitalism today, an employee gives a lot of his surplus to his boss. His labour is turned to profit maximum. If a business fails to make a profit (from surplus of an employee), it would not run for very long. ‘A liberal believes that if we encourage business owners to be better people, this exploitation will not occur. But the communist believes that the exploitation is inevitable.’
Capitalism always welcomes cheap labour to function. From a communist’s view point, ‘capitalism produces regular crises, and that over time, there is tendency of the rate of profit to fall.’ From Marxist view, ‘capitalism is going to run its course as the current mode of production, so we’d better have some communism ready to step in. Because, goodness knows, we certainly get some poor solutions to times of capitalist crisis.’
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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