Communism should take some of the blame

Wojtek Sokolowski sokol at
Tue Jul 21 15:31:24 PDT 1998

At 02:14 PM 7/21/98 -0400, Brett Knowlton wrote:
>I agree with the notion that people can falsly claim to be doing something
>in the name of a given ideology when they are really perverting it. But I
>think communism as the world has experienced it so far deserves to be
>The vast majority of real world communist examples I can think of have been
>anti-democratic if not downright authoritarian. And authoritarian regimes
>invariably abuse their power in one way or another, ranging from limits on
>political expression to outright genocide. Soviet Russia and China are not
>examples I would like to see emulated. Shouldn't communism be held at
>least partly responsible for what has transpired in self-proclaimed
>communist countries?


I'm not trying to exonerate Stalin & Co. of any wrongdoing. All I am saying that they should be judged by some rational criteria, not by those created by the US anti-communist propaganda machine.

Specifically, we need to define what is the essence of the communist system (central planning? state ownership of the means of production? ideology?) and analytically seprate the effects of that essence from the effects of other factors (such as economic backwardness, political instability, social structure, etc.) that affected the countries in question regardless of what political regime was in place. We also need to separate that efect form the effect of particular leadership style, which is the effect of the person rather than that of the system.

Only after we analytically separate those different effects, a formidable task indeed, we can blame or exonerate communism.

Needless to add that we need to to make a distinction between different communisms.

Besides, Soviet Unions cum satellites and China are definitely NOT the examples to be emulated by the developed nations. The reason for that is quite simple: it is them who emulated the developed nations to catcg up with them economically and militarily.



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