Welcome to
Mod The Sims
Online: 6603
News:
Have an account? Sign in:
pass:
If you don't have an account, why not sign up now? It's free!
Other sites: SimsWiki
Reply  Replies: 8 (Who?), Viewed: 2381 times.
Search this Thread
Old 13th Feb 2019, 2:32 AM Communism #1
Pideli
Original Poster

Forum Resident

Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 662
Thanks: 121 in 2 Posts
8 Achievements


I couldn't find a current thread especially about communism so here is one! I'm starting off with a response to posts in another thread that went off topic, which is why this thread was needed.

@TuxxedoCat @iCad

Quote:
Originally Posted by TuxxedoCat
This is off topic and shouldn't continue here, but I just want to say that I don't technically have an issue with communism itself as a theory, just with the concept of the Soviet Union and the hammer and sickle. Normally the communist symbol would be the star, not the hammer and sickle, and I have no reservations about the star, since it doesn't represent the same thing to me as the hammer and sickle does.

You mean like the communist star on China's flag , that's been there since about Mao Zedong's time? The horrible communist dictator? We could get into China's current problems too if you'd like.
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCad
Regarding communism: There is a huge difference between communism, the economic and sociopolitical concept, and the Soviet totalitarian version of "communism"....which wasn't really communism at all but an authoritarian dictatorship (especially under, say, Stalin), which is pretty much the opposite of theoretical/ideal communism. Much like the Nazis called their movement "socialist" but it wasn't really socialist at all. Most people who like the ideal of communism are not advocating Soviet-style oppressive totalitarianism. Just sayin'.

Nazism is short for Nationalsozialismus. Everyone knows what we're talking about when talking about nazism, but for communism, for some reason some people have this reservation between "real" communism and "fake" communism.
It doesn't really matter what communism in theory is when every time it's been actually implemented in reality there has been horrible oppression. Take the aforementioned Mao Zedong for example. His regime brought about mass repression resulting in 30 to 70 million deaths. Among them were up to 6 million people who were sent to labor camps (kind of like Hitler's camps), where many of them died.

I really find it fascinating when people see no problem calling themselves communists when it should be as stigmatized, or more, than being a nazi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TuxxedoCat
But it might not be very wise to say positive things about naziism either, it's definitely the worse of the two ideologies. Nazi Germany represented naziism, but the Soviet Union didn't represent communism; and regardless of ideology, they both were brutal, brutal dictatorships - that's how I see it.

They represented communism the only way it's ever been actualized in reality - oppressively. And I can't say which of the two ideologies is worse. But strictly based on the number of deaths, communism takes the cake. Communism has the highest death toll of any ideology as far as I know. It's estimated around 100 million. But obviously I think both are really horrible ideologies that we should stay far away from, so there's not really a point in comparing them in that sense. It's like comparing different types of murder. Let's not have any of it, ok?

About the notion that that isn't real communism. That's really a common theme (read: excuse) among far leftists. Every time their ideology has caused problems they always say "oh but it's not REAL communism/feminism/islam/whatever" (not that islam is a leftist ideology, but people act as if it is). Aka the No true Scotsman fallacy. Ideologies and movements are always more than what they say on paper. It's the people within them and their actions that matter the most. They define the ideologies more than a piece of paper could. People are always going to interpret ideologies differently. Who are you to say yours is the objective, only true one? You can say it's another kind of communism than, say, Stalin's. But Stalin's was still communism. So it doesn't solve any issues to just deflect the bad parts and pretend it has nothing to do with the ideology in the first place. The best thing to do would be to admit there are problems within the movement and try to fix them.

Or in the case of communism especially, just change the name. There's no saving communism's name. If your version of communism really is that different from the one implemented in reality, why not just call it something else? "Communism" will ALWAYS be linked to Stalin, Mao, Castro, etc, whether you like it or not.

It has never worked. It has never lead to a utopian society. Putting that much trust and power to the state ignores the human nature that power corrupts.

That is not to say there is no problem with the current communists. Communists , along with antifa (not seldom intertwined) (warning for strong footage in the second video), are some of the most vile, authoritarian, anti free-speech people I know. Prove me wrong.
Old 13th Feb 2019, 6:21 AM #2
iCad
Undead Molten Llama

Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 5,374
Thanks: 61170 in 101 Posts
27 Achievements

View My Journal


I'll say up front that this isn't really a debate that I want to or that I am really qualified to take part in. Sociopolitical theory isn't my forte. But here's my take.

Communism -- in a very broad, general sense -- is simply an economic and sociopolitical ideology that advocates the dissolution of social classes, as well as the abolition of money and the entire concept of the "free market" and things like privately-owned corporations, in favor of state/collective ownership. In its basic, ideal form, each person contributes to the system according to their abilities, and the fruits of their collective labor is divided amongst the members of the society according to each person's need. This may have been the idea that Soviet Russia started out with, but if so it quickly descended into corruption, mostly, I think, because it never really eliminated the class system, which has to happen in order for the philosophy to be applied successfully. That was my point. The Soviet system wasn't "really" communism. It was, or at least became, pretty much pure Stalinism, and Stalin...was just something else. And not in a good way. Basically, he used the ideal of communism in perverted ways to advance his own interests, resulting in oligarchy, oppression, and atrocity. Again, pretty much the opposite of what idealistic communism is supposed to be.

Ultimately, communism in its ideal form is an ideology that selfish, greedy, tribalistic human beings cannot live up to or maintain, at least not on a large scale. Humans just aren't good at sharing according to need on a large scale, so most of us don't do well in a communal living system. We instead embrace the concept of everyone having to struggle and earn what they need and if you don't or can't...Well, it sucks to be you. And we really like our class systems, too. So, on a small scale -- Like, say, a kibbutz in Israel or a monastery or various small intentional communities, both secular and religious, that exist worldwide -- communism (in the form I'm talking about, NOT Soviet-style communism) often works and works quite well. But ultimately it's been shown that it doesn't work on a large scale, as you pointed out. Or at least it hasn't yet worked, not without nasty side effects, and frankly I doubt that it ever will work on a large scale. Because on a large scale it's a system that's ripe for corruption, so you end up with things like...Well, Stalin. And North Korea.

THAT said, most of the people who advocate communism these days aren't advocating Soviet-style totalitarianism. Mostly, they're anarcho-communists who have a particular beef with capitalism, seeing the capitalist, free-market system as oppressive to wage-earners and unfairly favorable to employers/corporations. So, they're bitter idealists, pretty much, which is a weird combination, but...there it is. Agree or disagree with them as you will (I don't have a dog in that race, myself), but they don't really advocate the system that the Soviet bloc had or that China, North Korea, Cuba, etc. still have....although it seems that China becomes more capitalist every year, anyway.

Overall, I think the issue here is one of differing definitions. I'm speaking of communism in its ideal form of a classless and purely cooperative/collective society. You're speaking of regimes that developed with that idea, perhaps, in mind but that ultimately became something very different. And usually bad.

I'm mostly found on (and mostly upload to) Tumblr these days because, alas, there are only 24 hours in a day.
Muh Simblr! | An index of my downloads on Tumblr.
Old 13th Feb 2019, 10:39 AM #3
FranH
Mad Poster

Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 4,401


My take on the political systems debate-all political systems come from a pure, idealistic theory, but most of them do become inherently corrupt because power in of itself, does corrupt the system and the people within it.

Thus you have a Communist regime, or a capitalist society and they will spawn people/leaders who will turn that ideology into one that serves them the best, and not for the people they supposedly represent. That gives way to the worst excesses in any form, be it murderous purges (Stalin & Mao), or democracy where the ultimate leaders are the ones with the most money/connections into power.

It's a failing of human beings that we often wish to grab more power over each other than to serve one another.

Lord Acton's quotation is most relevant here: ""Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

Receptacle Refugee & Resident Polar Bear
"Get out of my way, young'un, I'm a ninja!"
My downloads of various stuff: https://www.mediafire.com/#myfiles (including funerals!)
Old 13th Feb 2019, 2:21 PM #4
TuxxedoCat
Lab Assistant

Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 161
Thanks: 81 in 1 Posts
3 Achievements


I'm not an expert in this field either, but I'm fairly sure the communist star didn't originate in China and it is one of the original communist symbols, as opposed to the hammer and sickle which is a purely Soviet concept. The star also is just a symbol that's been around way before communism even was, so I just don't think it's as offensive as the hammer and sickle.

Sorry, I'm going to also gloss over a lot of what you said because I don't necessarily disagree with a lot of it, such as Mao Zedong being a brutal dictator and the victims of communist regimes, there is definitely enough evidence that throughout history, communist regimes have killed more people than Hitler did. The main reason why Nazi Germany's murders are "worse" is that they were selective, they purposefully killed everyone they deemed not fit for society; we all know about the Jews and the Holocaust but the nazis also killed at least around 5 million more people: homosexuals, disabled (both mentally and physically) people, communists, other racially "inferior" people (slavs, primarily Poles; the few black people and muslims there were at the time; the Roma people) and so on - but they didn't kill or harm people who they considered Aryan or they thought they could "teach" to be Aryan. This is why there is almost a misconception about the nazis where I live (Estonia), because Estonians were considered to be racially superior enough so during the brief period we were under nazi occupation, things weren't as "bad" for us.

And when it comes to "it's not real communism" etc, I don't think it's unfair to say that it wasn't, because "real" communism, as in pure Marxism, is never going to be possible since the theory by itself is so utopian and would require every human alive to completely change their mindset, which just isn't going to happen. That's the reason Stalin, Mao and so on never actually claimed to implement pure Marxism, or "real" communism, but had their own twisted version of it. And you're right: that's how things go, but when people argue about "real" communism, it's usually pure Marxism they mean and nothing else, and that's kind of how I see it too. Marx had ideas that I don't think are completely terrible, and thus I don't really hold it against people who see the good in his theory. In general on the internet there's two kinds of people who call themselves communist: those who believe in the utopianism of pure Marxism (incl. those who understand it's not entirely possible and thus advocate for something more realistic like democratic socialism instead), and the so-called "tankies" who think Stalin, Mao and so on weren't actually that bad and brutality and force are needed in order to implement communism.

But regardless, I don't think communism is a very good idea in any form, but my issue, and the reason I even brought it up in the other thread, just lies with Soviet Russia and the glorification of it and its symbol (the hammer and sickle), which I don't appreciate as someone who lives in a country which still struggles under the burdens left behind by the 50 year occupation, despite the fact that it's been almost 30 years since our re-independence.
Old 14th Feb 2019, 9:36 PM #5
purplestuddedcoffin
Lab Assistant

Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 175


Socialism is A+++++++++++++++ but communism is just something a bunch of rich kids who didn't listen in history support, IME.
Old 15th Feb 2019, 8:23 AM #6
Charity
Mad Poster

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 8,442
Thanks: 3283 in 35 Posts
14 Achievements


I'm just marking this so it shows up in my list of watched threads. I don't have anything intelligent to say about it, but I'm curious about it.
Old 16th Feb 2019, 5:23 AM #7
Pideli
Original Poster

Forum Resident

Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 662
Thanks: 121 in 2 Posts
8 Achievements


Quote:
Originally Posted by iCad
[...] This may have been the idea that Soviet Russia started out with, but if so it quickly descended into corruption, mostly, I think, because it never really eliminated the class system, which has to happen in order for the philosophy to be applied successfully.
I'm sure people would happily give up their classes willingly and nonviolently. sarcasm It appears to me this philosophy can't possibly be applied successfully and nonviolently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iCad
THAT said, most of the people who advocate communism these days aren't advocating Soviet-style totalitarianism. Mostly, they're anarcho-communists who have a particular beef with capitalism, seeing the capitalist, free-market system as oppressive to wage-earners and unfairly favorable to employers/corporations. So, they're bitter idealists, pretty much

Fair enough, the free market has its problems too, but I don't see communism or anarcho-communism as a serious alternative. It is way too extreme and unrealistic for our current society and because of human nature. And the most compelling reason, as I said, is because it's been tried before and it's failed in the worst possible way. Like FranH said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by FranH
My take on the political systems debate-all political systems come from a pure, idealistic theory, but most of them do become inherently corrupt because power in of itself, does corrupt the system and the people within it.

Communism in the past was sprung from the idealistic theory, but it's just not very applicable to reality on a large scale. So it's very dangerous to want to attempt it again when we have heaps of evidence that it's a bad idea.

Also, if you think about it: How many people have fled from a capitalist society to a communist society and not the other way around?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iCad
Overall, I think the issue here is one of differing definitions. I'm speaking of communism in its ideal form of a classless and purely cooperative/collective society. You're speaking of regimes that developed with that idea, perhaps, in mind but that ultimately became something very different. And usually bad.

Yeah you're talking about communism in the dictionary while I'm talking about communism in reality. Examples from reality are more compelling to me.

In my opinion, the best society is capitalist with socialism added in. Such as a social safety net, tax paid health care and education. Kind of like Sweden - although Sweden is an extreme country in that sense, and has tremendous problems right now involving welfare, so I wouldn't call Sweden the ultimate model. It's just that I know more about it since that's where I'm from. So like Sweden, but less extreme. Imo USA is quite extreme on the other end. The richest people get the best health care and education. That has always been wrong to me. Now as I'm writing this I'm realizing that's probably why there's a clash of opinions here. I'm speaking as a person from Sweden, where we already have too much socialism. Some of you are probably from USA, where there's too little. That frustration is likely what causes this counter-reaction from people, the need to counteract capitalism makes some people go too far to the other end. It's over-compensating, really.

Too much capitalism and we get the "every man for himself" scenario, "survival of the fittest" all over again. Too much socialism, and, well...


Quote:
Originally Posted by TuxxedoCat
I'm not an expert in this field either, but I'm fairly sure the communist star didn't originate in China and it is one of the original communist symbols, as opposed to the hammer and sickle which is a purely Soviet concept. The star also is just a symbol that's been around way before communism even was, so I just don't think it's as offensive as the hammer and sickle.

The Nazis weren't the first to use the swastika either. It was a symbol of the sun in some Asian cultures and religions. Would you feel comfortable using the swastika in another context then? To me the swastika, hammer and sickle, and the star all represent some of the most evil parts of humanity. Of course it's all about context though - a star is just a star until it's used in that context. (The debate started over pescado's use of the hammer and the sickle for the business controller. That was an obvious communist symbol. If he'd used a star as an obvious communist symbol, it still would've been offensive to me.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TuxxedoCat
The main reason why Nazi Germany's murders are "worse" is that they were selective, they purposefully killed everyone they deemed not fit for society; we all know about the Jews and the Holocaust but the nazis also killed at least around 5 million more people: homosexuals, disabled (both mentally and physically) people, communists, other racially "inferior" people (slavs, primarily Poles; the few black people and muslims there were at the time; the Roma people) and so on

Saying Nazi killings were worse than communist killings implies the communist murders were less severe. It implies 6 million Jews are worth more than 70 million Chinese, for example. There are no redeeming qualities when it comes to mass killings and genocide. That's about as evil as it gets, no matter the race, sexuality or religion of the victims. The fact that communists weren't selective in their killings as the Nazis is not a reason that they are less severe, to me. A life is still a life whether it's a gay, black, Jew that is murdered or a straight, white Christian. There is no "at least they didn't..."
Communists killed much more people, which is why they are more severe to me, but it's really different levels of hell we're talking about here. I would like to hear your reasons why it's worse because they were selective. (If I wanted to use a strawman I'd ask you why you think it's worse to kill 6 million Jews than 70 million Chinese, but I'm sure that's not your argument.)

Also, really important, to you and anyone here: please give your sources whenever needed, so you don't misinform people reading this thread.
For example, where did you read that the Nazis killed Muslims? In fact, many of them were allied with the Nazis since they shared a hatred of Jews and gays. Most notably The Mufti of Jerusalem who met with Adolf Hitler in 1941.
Not that it's the main topic of this thread, but I needed to call out this to stop misinformation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TuxxedoCat
And when it comes to "it's not real communism" etc, I don't think it's unfair to say that it wasn't, because "real" communism, as in pure Marxism, is never going to be possible since the theory by itself is so utopian and would require every human alive to completely change their mindset, which just isn't going to happen.
To me, it's real when it's in reality. Until then it's only an idea. So real communism, as far as I'm concerned, is still represented by the aforementioned dictatorships. But it's good that you recognize it'd be impossible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TuxxedoCat
when people argue about "real" communism, it's usually pure Marxism they mean and nothing else

Then please do call it Marxism, not freaking communism. Like I said, you just can't save communism's name when it's been used in the most horrible contexts. Whether or not you agree it was real communism, it was still called that and people are never going to get over that, and history books are never going to change. (Hopefully or we'll find ourselves in Orwell's 1984.) Of course people are still going to have a problem with marxism, but nothing compared to communism as defined by the history books.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TuxxedoCat
In general on the internet there's two kinds of people who call themselves communist: those who believe in the utopianism of pure Marxism (incl. those who understand it's not entirely possible and thus advocate for something more realistic like democratic socialism instead)

Then they need to advocate for socialism, not communism. I promise you that will come across much better, and it's generally a good idea to differentiate yourself from people who would use such a name with so much bad history.

Simland's Next Top Model - Cycle 2 Part III is out!
Old 16th Feb 2019, 6:02 AM #8
Pideli
Original Poster

Forum Resident

Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 662
Thanks: 121 in 2 Posts
8 Achievements


As a sidenote:

Nazism implemented as in theory would be horrible. You know, one master race and all that shit.

Communism implemented as in theory could work. But it doesn't. And that's the important part - it doesn't. Reality always matters more than theory. Coupled with communism's higher death toll I really can't say communism is better than nazism or vice versa. It's just two sides of one evil, evil coin.

Simland's Next Top Model - Cycle 2 Part III is out!
Last edited by Pideli : 16th Feb 2019 at 6:14 AM.
Old 17th Feb 2019, 12:33 AM #9
TuxxedoCat
Lab Assistant

Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 161
Thanks: 81 in 1 Posts
3 Achievements


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pideli
Also, really important, to you and anyone here: please give your sources whenever needed, so you don't misinform people reading this thread.
For example, where did you read that the Nazis killed Muslims? In fact, many of them were allied with the Nazis since they shared a hatred of Jews and gays. Most notably The Mufti of Jerusalem who met with Adolf Hitler in 1941.
Not that it's the main topic of this thread, but I needed to call out this to stop misinformation.


I'm just going to respond to this bit right now, because I don't have time to respond to the rest, but yes, thank you for calling me out on that. I do enjoy history somewhat and know a fair bit about World War II in particular, but I'm not fully invested in it all to know all of the facts; as such, there's no source to that, I just kind of pulled it out of my head based on vague things I remember from history class. Sorry for that, perhaps I should've fact checked.
Reply


Section jump:


Powered by MariaDB Some icons by http://dryicons.com.