Communism gets a tough rap. Stalin, Mao, Castro—not exactly on history’s nice list. But what if history’s got it wrong?
After all, it’s an impressive list of accomplishments:
1. They know how to get really creative with food.
What do you get when you take cornmeal, wheat chaff, dried nettle leaves, weeds, and mix it together with water and a little salt? Why, a darn good meal on a cold Ukrainian winter day, that’s what. That, coupled with a boiled horse-hide soup and you’ve got a feast. Nina Karpenko and her fellow Ukrainians enjoyed such delicacies while learning valuable lessons from their leaders in the communist Soviet Union; lessons like, “it’s probably not a good idea to resist Joseph Stalin’s polite request that everyone move into a collective farming model, or he’ll have to correct your ways with a forced famine or ‘Holodomor.’”
2. The population never gets out of control.
Sure, there's always the the Margaret Sanger route - nipping the “greatest sin in the world” in the bud before they’re even born, but what happens when you’re dealing with a population that’s already here? In fairness, when you’ve got to confiscate property and redistribute the resources—it’s certainly an easier task when you’re millions of people lighter. This ideology and its responsibility for nearly 100 million deaths worldwide certainly seems to do the trick.
3. Everyone’s educated.
“And what's happened in our economy is that those who are doing better and better -- more skilled, more educated, luckier, having greater advantages -- are withdrawing from sort of the commons -- kids start going to private schools; kids start working out at private clubs instead of the public parks. An anti-government ideology then disinvests from those common goods and those things that draw us together.” (Barack Obama on the dangers of private school, May 2015.)
You see, in Communist countries, they’ve got this problem all buttoned up. Your options are vastly simplified, and you’ll never have to worry about getting dangerously conditioned to think outside the collective. And, even if you hold out and attend another “kind” of school, they’ll make sure you quickly see the error of your ways.
4. There’s a place to live for everyone.
Nothing says uniformity like city block after city block of the same kind of building with the same paper thin walls, unreliable heat and less than 55 square feet of living space per person. And, when the government owns all property, who but its officials know best how to plan urban living? Or consider the genius of the North Korean reeducation facilities. I mean, there’s at least 120,000 North Koreans who no longer need to worry about finding a place to live.
Soldiers in tanks parade in Pyongyang, North Korea, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared Saturday that his country was ready to stand up to any threat posed by the United States as he spoke at a lavish military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the North's ruling party and trumpet his third-generation leadership. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
5. There’s always something entertaining to watch/look at/listen to.
And especially when you don’t have to deal with scads of unnecessary search results that the Chinese government happily filters out for you, you can surf the internet far more easily. And even in places like North Korea where the government has determined that the internet is just too much a burden for its people, there’s still plenty to look at with its extensive campaign of propaganda, er, artwork.
6. They’ve got criminal justice down to a well-oiled machine.
There’s always going to be someone with a chip on their shoulder. Luckily, communism provides for this, too. From 300 unruly Cuban protestors getting in the way of an American president’s visit, to pro-democracy agitators in China—you can be sure this public nuisance is handily whisked away.
7. Religion’s so complicated—they make it simple.
It’s not only complicated and troublesome, but, as Marx noted, it’s the “sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” So naturally, as Lenin put it, communists “do not believe in God.”
Still, there are plenty of people who still cling to the archaic trappings of “god.” Not to worry; communism has generally been able to handle it quite well. From intimidation to arrests; from torture to extermination—there’s always a way to deal with the holdouts.
8. They've done tons for the environment.
I mean, who else could get the Aral Sea—once the fourth largest saline lake in the world—to a tenth of its size? That’s truly an achievement. But hey, when you’re trying to deal with the fact that your economy is having, ahem, issues producing enough stuff to redistribute, a government’s got to divert what a government’s got to divert. And so, Aral said Прощай (that’s Russion for “goodbye”) to the rivers Amu Darya and Syr Darya, and eventually reached its exciting new size.
And what other system could so wonderfully deal with the waste issues in East Germany, where “42 percent of moving water and 24 percent of still waters were so polluted [at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall] that they could not be used to process drinking water”? (You can read more about how communism cares for the environment here.)
9. Their people are so selfless.
“Communism makes persons selfless, with concern not for themselves as individuals, but for the whole society-the masses.” It’s true, capitalism is so selfishly obsessed with the individual. The beauty of communism is that it totally rids a person of the need to strive towards unachievable greatness. After all, when your life’s purpose is to selflessly provide for the collective; when you’re rid of the burden of private property—and instead rely on a centralized authority to pave your path, life becomes simpler.
10. They’ve failed more than capitalist countries ever POSSIBLY could.
Satire aside, the reality is that this is serious stuff—especially as growing numbers of Americans look favorably on all kinds of collectivism. So let me be very clear:
Communism has never worked.
Let me say that again.
Communism has never worked.
From Cuba to China; from the USSR to Vietnam—it has never, ever worked. In fact, it’s torn a path of persecution, torture, death, and destruction wherever it’s been tried. No, it’s not because it just hasn’t been done “right.” Each and every one of these failed experiments followed Marx’s principles to the letter.
And socialism? Just communism’s less violent, slightly more palatable cousin.
In contrast, true capitalism (no, not morally depraved crony capitalism) has fostered freedom, strength, prosperity, and peace everywhere it’s been tried. Indeed, “virtually all conflicts of the last century have been initiated by fettered market, authoritarian states.”
So by all means, Mr. President, let’s do choose what works.
I believe it’s pronounced “ca-pit-al-ism.”
Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com (a political commentary blog), and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show (TheBlaze Radio Network, Saturday, from noon to 3 p.m. ET). She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree
TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.