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Debate: Communism

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Is communism a sound political philosophy?

Background and context

Communism is a socioeconomic structure that promotes the establishment of a classless, stateless society based on common ownership of the means of production. It is usually considered to be a branch of socialism, a broad group of social and political ideologies, which draws on the various political and intellectual movements with origins in the work of theorists of the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution, although socialist historians say they are older. Communism attempts to offer an alternative to the problems believed to be inherent with capitalist economies and the legacy of imperialism and nationalism. Communism states that the only way to solve these problems would be for the working class, or proletariat, to replace the wealthy bourgeoisie, which is currently the ruling class, in order to establish a peaceful, free society, without classes, or government. The dominant forms of communism, such as Leninism, Stalinism, Maoism, Trotskyism and Luxemburgism, are based on Marxism, but non-Marxist versions of communism (such as Christian communism and anarchist communism) also exist and are growing in importance since the fall of the Soviet Union.


Can communism help the wealthier in society?


  • By sharing wealth, the wealthier will be more satisfied. As they are sharing there money with others, they will have the satisfaction of helping others.


  • Communist states often oppress dissent. This would not be good for the emotional well-being of the population.
  • Helping the wealthier is the intention of communism. Communism was founded on the idea of helping the poorer so it seems obvious that communism will not help the wealthier.
  • Shared wealth will mean less wealth for the wealthier. If wealth is shared the poorer will receive a fairer and high share of a nation's wealth and the wealthier will receive less.

Is a communist state possible?


  • Communists are often dedicate to there political ideology and will do anything to promote it. As a result, it is likely that a communist country could be created.


  • Communist states have a leader. The leader has more power than an average citizen. Everyone is not equal, so it is not a communist society.
  • A stateless society is impossible. When an individual refuses to forfeit the product of his labors to the collective but rather insists on a barter of value for value, some individual or group must enforce the "communist way". Simply organizing public works requires groups to coordinate and the means to decide who will accept and reject candidate proposals. Crimes must be punished, the criminally insane must be restrained and isolated, these functions require an organization of individual efforts with establishment of political authority and policy for the use of force. That is the essence of a state. One may do this informally but an informal state is non-the-less a state with all of its virtues and vises.
  • Common ownership of the means of production is impossible. Ownership is control. The means of production will not be plentiful enough that all who choose to utilize it will have it available. Someone will need to decide who is granted access to the means an who is not worthy. That someone is the true owner of the means of production. Note that the same is true in capitalistic corporations. Nominally the share-holders own the company collectively but it is the executive board who controls it.

Would a Communist state receive popular support?


  • The working class are the largest portion of societies in most countries. As Communism is usually considered beneficial for the working class, communism is likely to receive popular support.


  • Communist states often oppress dissent. This would not be good for the emotional well-being of the population. People would realise this and avoid supporting a communist government.

Is communism fair?


  • "There is no other definition of communism valid for us than that of the abolition of the exploitation of man by man."–Che Guevara
  • "The political form of a society wherein the proletariat is victorious in overthrowing the bourgeoisie will be a democratic republic." –Vladimir Lenin


  • Communist states often oppress dissent. If they need to oppress dissent it must be an unfair government.

Pro/con videos



See also

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