Difference between revisions of "Communism"

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== Atrocities and Repression ==
== Atrocities and Repression ==
[[File:Montana de cadaveres en un gulag sovietico.jpg|thumb|350px|right|Victims of communist purges in a Soviet gulag.<ref>[http://www.cubaencuentro.com/es/cultura/articulos/la-condena-del-silencio-y-el-olvido-iii-38610 La condena del silencio y el olvido (III)]
[[File:Kara 08 yellow dress cover X.jpg|thumb|300px|left|Exhumed skeletons of [[class war]] victims murdered by communists.<ref>[http://www.mega.nu/ampp/rummel/rm1.stalin.kill.htm.</ref> Apologists maintain communism has never really been tried.  ]]
La reacción visceral que inspiran los campos de concentración nazis no es unánime cuando se trata de enjuiciar y condenar el horror totalitario del gulag. Carlos Espinosa Domínguez, cubaencuentro.com, 09/07/2007.</ref> Apologists maintain communism has never really been tried.  ]]
Communist regimes have engaged in mass killings on a scale of millions of individuals.<ref>http://www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/bcaplan/museum/comfaq.htm#part3</ref> A work entitled ''[[The Black Book of Communism]]'' published by the [[Harvard]] Press focuses on the crimes, terror, and repression of modern communist regimes over a 70 year period.<ref>http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/COUBLA.html</ref> This book is fairly controversial partly due to the various estimates regarding the millions of people who died under communist regimes.<ref>http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/finalconflict/fcrevb102.html</ref><ref>http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~hpcws/lelivrenoir.htm</ref><ref>http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm</ref>
Communist regimes have engaged in mass killings on a scale of millions of individuals.<ref>http://www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/bcaplan/museum/comfaq.htm#part3</ref> A work entitled ''[[The Black Book of Communism]]'' published by the [[Harvard]] Press focuses on the crimes, terror, and repression of modern communist regimes over a 70 year period.<ref>http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/COUBLA.html</ref> This book is fairly controversial partly due to the various estimates regarding the millions of people who died under communist regimes.<ref>http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/finalconflict/fcrevb102.html</ref><ref>http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~hpcws/lelivrenoir.htm</ref><ref>http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm</ref>

Revision as of 14:27, 23 January 2010

A monument to the Captive Nations stands at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Communism is a materialistic and militantly atheistic ideology created to justify the overthrow of Capitalism, replacing free market economics and democracy with a "dictatorship of the proletariat". Under Communism, the political system replaces the private ownership of the means of production with "collective ownership" (actually nationalization).

Twentieth century Communism was based on Karl Marx's manifesto which proposed to establishment of a "classless society." However, all Communist societies have had a class structure, notably the USSR, which was dominated by a self appointed Nomenklatura.

In the belief that "people cannot change", governments under the banner of Communism have caused the death of somewhere between 40 million to 260 million human lives.[1][2][3][4][5][6] Dr. R. J. Rummel, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii, is the scholar who first coined the term democide (death by government). Dr. R. J. Rummel's mid estimate regarding the loss of life due to communism is that communism caused the death of approximately 110,286,000 people between 1917 and 1987.[7]

President Ronald Reagan in an address before the British House of Commons said,

What I am describing now is a plan and hope for the long term -- the march of freedom and democracy which will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash heap of history as it has left other tyrannies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people.[8]

Today, communism continues to rule over at least one-fifth of the world's people.[9]

Communist theory and practice

The hammer and sickle is considered throughout much of the world to be offensive in the same manner as the swastika is.

Communism is based upon Marxism, a philosophy which uses materialism to explain all physical and social phenomena.

Economically, communism advocates a socialist economy in which the government owns the means of production. In countries where communism has been imposed, the government has taken ownership of farms, factories, stores and so on in the name of the people; see "dictatorship of the proletariat". This drives all market-based economic activity underground and leads to inefficiencies and shortages. In both the Soviet Union and Red China, the number of people who starved to death when the government confiscated their farm products (animals and grain) is estimated in the tens of millions.

Even more important, one party controls every organization from the local labor union to the the army to the national government. The party is not elected. Its top officials (the "Politburo") select replacements when there is a vacancy. usually a dictator (like Stalin, Mao or Castro) controls the Politburo, but sometimes power is shared among five or six people. No dissent is allowed--all news media are controlled, and the Internet is heavily censored.

Elites do not disappear. Members of the ruling party (see Nomenklatura) have special stores in which ordinary people are barred, stores which are immune to the shortages which the lower class must endure.

Various communist doctrines have evolved or been adapted to the time and place they have been implemented. Marxism, developed by Karl Marx, and its modifications under Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong, advocates the overthrow of the existing order by a revolution of the proletariat, the social group which does not control the means of production. The goal of Marxism is supposedly to create a classless society which would result in no longer the need for any government (Communism).

The most famous government to label itself "communist" is the former USSR or the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics; the Communist Party controlled its government from 1918 to 1991. This government was officially atheist and attempted to suppress all religion until World War II, when it discovered religion was needed to rally the people against the Nazi invaders. Like all authoritarian regimes, it tried to cultivate reverence for the state as a psychological substitute for religion.

Marxist theory is intended to appeal to its adherents with the phrase, "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs", which essentially states point blank a worker does not get paid according to his abilities, and there is no incentive within the economic theory. Another quote by Marx was, "The theory of the Communism may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property," or as some have phrased it, legalized theft.

Communism and militant atheism

Karl Marx established atheism as a key part of communism. He famously said, "Religion ... is the opium of the masses."[10] He believed it was part of the "superstructure," a false culture built to maintain the status quo. Thus he denigrated Christianity as a fictional religion. Instead, Marx was an avowed atheist, as he wrote, "Communism begins from the outset with atheism; but atheism is at first far from being communism; indeed, that atheism is still mostly an abstraction."[11]

Vladimir Lenin similarly wrote: "A Marxist must be a materialist, i. e., an enemy of religion, but a dialectical materialist, i. e., one who treats the struggle against religion not in an abstract way, not on the basis of remote, purely theoretical, never varying preaching, but in a concrete way, on the basis of the class struggle which is going on in practice and is educating the masses more and better than anything else could."[12]

In 1955, Chinese communist leader Chou En-lai declared, "We Communists are atheists".[13]

The atheism in communist regimes has been and continues to be militant atheism and various acts of repression including the razing of thousands of religious buildings and the killing, imprisoning, and oppression of religious leaders and believers.[14][15][16][17][18][19][20]

Marxists justification for its persecution of the Russian Orthodox Church was based upon the claim that the Church was a "willing tool of Tsarism."[21]

The clergy openly stated its support for the counter-revolution (White Revolution). Lenin proclaimed that a communist regime must show itself to be merciless toward the question of religion. There was no place for the church in Lenin's regime. This led to anti-religious decrees and propaganda. All church property was expropriated by the new Soviet government. [22]

During the late 1930's and later 1940's the restrictions on church activity were loosened as Stalin needed all the support he could get for the war. This doctrine of co-operation between the church and state continued through out the existence of the Soviet republics and the other Warszawa pact nations. Though never going as far as a leader of the Soviet Union asking god to bless the country the clause in the Soviet Unions constitution addressing the separation of church and state was rendered useless.

Dr. Martin Luther King said, "for the Communist there is no divine government, no absolute moral order, there are no fixed, immutable principles; consequently almost anything - force, violence, murder, lying - is a justifiable means." [23]

Atrocities and Repression

File:Kara 08 yellow dress cover X.jpg
Exhumed skeletons of class war victims murdered by communists.[24] Apologists maintain communism has never really been tried.

Communist regimes have engaged in mass killings on a scale of millions of individuals.[25] A work entitled The Black Book of Communism published by the Harvard Press focuses on the crimes, terror, and repression of modern communist regimes over a 70 year period.[26] This book is fairly controversial partly due to the various estimates regarding the millions of people who died under communist regimes.[27][28][29] [30][31]

Similarly, a influential book which concerns itself with Russian communist torture, repression and atrocities is Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago which won Solzhenitsyn a Nobel Prize.[32] In 1983, Alexander Solzhenitsyn in which he gave his explanation of the cause of why millions of people died under Russian communism:

"Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened. Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened."[33]

In communist North Korea, abuse and killing in prison camps is occurring today.[34][35] In addition, the North Korean government practices brutal repression and atrocities against North Korean Christians.[36][37]

In 1999, the publication Christian Century reported that "China has persecuted religious believers by means of "harassment, prolonged detention, and incarceration in prison or `reform-through-labor' camps and police closure of places of worship."[38] In 2003, owners of Bibles in China were sent to prison camps and 125 Chinese churches were closed.[39] China continues to practice religious oppression today.[40]

Communists cite scripture

Some Communist ideology has made its way into the Church as a Social Gospel, interpreting the Gospel as less redemptive of sin and more of a public works campaign and activism. They often cite Jesus feeding the masses and warnings to the wealthy who believed self-seeking is all this world has to offer. Communists often cite the Acts of the Apostles, as early Christians practicing some form of sharing for the common good:

And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. (Acts 2:44-45, KJV)
Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold,
And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.
And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,
Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.(Acts 4:34-7, KJV)

But as Arnold Toynbee has pointed out, this Marxist view denies the most crucial points,

The passage in the Acts represents the philanthropy of the primitive Christian Society as flowing from a God-given grace which was the fruit of a belief in the divinity of Jesus. In other words, the charity which is here depicted as moving the primitive Christians to go—in their mutual concern for one another's welfare—to the extreme length of sharing all their worldly goods is not a mere love of Man for Man (which is the limited literal meaning of the word ‘philanthropy’), but is a spiritual relation to which God is a party as well as His human creatures. In fact, this Christian Socialism is a practical application, on the economic surface of life, of the fundamental religious truth that the brotherhood of man is a consequence of the fatherhood of God - a truth which is driven home with special force by a religion which teaches that God is not only the Father and Creator of man, but also his Savior, Who has been incarnate in human shape and has suffered, and triumphed over, death.[41]

Cuban communism

Cuba remains a communist state controlled by the Castro brothers since 1960 and under U.S economic sanctions.

Asian communism

The CCP in China retains an autocratic regime controlled by the Communist party, which allows no democracy or dissent. However it does allow capitalism, and has experienced a very rapid growth of the private sector and the middle class. Observers expect that the regime's efforts to control public opinion and forestall the will of the people will be more and more difficult.

North Korea remains a brutal dictatorship controlled by the same family. Laos, and Vietnam are also run by the old Communist cliques.

Collapse of the Soviet bloc

The shooting down by the Soviets on Sept. 1, 1983 of Korean Airlines Flight 007 may have been a contributing factor for the downfall of the Soviet Union as well as for the whole Soviet block. It being a catalyst for the collapse of the Soviet Union may be inferred from the fact that NATO had decided, under the impetus of the U.S. administration, to deploy Pershing II and cruise missiles in Europe, primarily West Germany. This deployment would have placed missiles just 6-10 minutes striking distance from Moscow. But support for the deployment was wavering and many doubted that the missile deployment would find enough support to effect it. When the Soviet Union shot down Flight 007 with 269 people aboard, including conservative Democratic Congressman Larry McDonald —an act which U.S. President Ronald Reagan characterized as a "massacre"—enough support was galvanized for the deployment. The deployment caused great resources of the Soviet Union to be diverted from inner economic use to military expenditures to counter the U.S. and NATO missile deployment. Between 1989 and 1991, many communist governments fell. The Berlin Wall in Germany, which had become a symbol for the division between the West and communist states, was torn down largely in response to Ronald Reagan in 1989, and there was also a large revolution against Romanian dictator Nicolaie Ceausescu. In 1991, the USSR broke up into several countries - each which reformed to capitalism. Some of these remained under autocratic governments, but some have embraced democracy. With the collapse the remnants of Communist parties have dropped their old names and ideologies, but still operate on the left of the political spectrum.

American communism

Main article : Committees of Correspondence

With the collapse of Soviet communism and the conversion of Chinese communism to "state run capitalism," the spiritual and ideological center of world of communism and the Marxist-Leninist tradition shifted to the United States. Several prominent American communists, rudderless without Moscow direction, formed a new organization in 1992 called the Committees of Correspondence for Democratic Socialism.

The initial organizational conference was held in Berkeley, California, July 17-19, 1992. Charlene Mitchell, a former leader of the California Communist Party, speaking at the conference said, "the collapse of socialism in Eastern Europe left the United States in a near unchallenged position of world leadership." Mitchell continued,

What began as a moment to take stock and ponder where to go from there has now become a very different entity. People from the Communist Party, from CrossRoads, from the Democratic Socialists of America, from NCIPA [National Committee for Independent Political Action], from Solidarity, from the Socialist Organizing Network and many others, including independent leftists and independent socialists, have come together here in Berkeley.

Criticizing U.S. actions in the First Gulf War, Mitchell stated,

progressive forces were nearly powerless in the face of an onslaught of demagogic, patriotic jingoism and yellow ribbons. This war, fought for no legitimate reason, was the crowning height of President [George H.W.] Bush's New World Order. Previously, the Soviet Union helped to provide a certain balance to rein in the crazies in this country. Now, that balance is no longer there. It is now up to us, the American people, to rein in our own crazies. The left must take a major responsibility in organizing this task.

Notorious communists

Well known communists include:

Further reading

  • Pipes, Richard. Communism: A History (2003), by a leading conservative historian
    • Pipes, Richard. History of Communism: A Brief History (2002)
  • Priestland, David. The Red Flag: A History of Communism (2009)
  • 100 Things You Should Know About Communism

See also

Notes and references

  1. The Black Book of Communism
  2. The Black Book of Communism
  3. http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/COM.ART.HTM
  4. Source List and Detailed Death Tolls for the Twentieth Century Hemoclysm
  5. Memory and Ideology
  6. The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression
  7. http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/COM.ART.HTM
  8. President Ronald Reagan Speech to the British Parliament, June 8, 1982. Retrieved from International Republican Institute 05/24/07.
  9. Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, Documenting Communism's Crimes Against Humanity.
  10. Marx, K. Introduction to A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right (Classic Quotations) (Standard translation from the original German).
  11. Marx, Karl, Private Property and Communism, 1944.
  12. Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich, Proletary, No. 45, May 13 (26), 1909, translated by Andrew Rothstein and Bernard Issacs, quote from [1].
  13. Noebel, David, The Battle for Truth, Harvest House, 2001.
  14. http://www.academia.org/campus_reports/2000/March_2000_4.html
  15. http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/frroman1.aspx
  16. http://www.nysun.com/article/23082?page_no=1
  17. http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2003/5/7/120250.shtml
  18. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1058/is_26_116/ai_56249447
  19. http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=35818
  20. http://theworldnow.wordpress.com/tag/around-the-world/asia/china/
  21. http://www.marxist.com/religion-soviet-union170406-6.htm
  22. http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-42047/Union-of-Soviet-Socialist-Republics#277888.hook
  23. Stride Toward Freedom : The Montgomery Story, Martin Luther King, Jr., Harper and Rowe, New York, 1958, p. 92.
  24. [http://www.mega.nu/ampp/rummel/rm1.stalin.kill.htm.
  25. http://www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/bcaplan/museum/comfaq.htm#part3
  26. http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/COUBLA.html
  27. http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/finalconflict/fcrevb102.html
  28. http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~hpcws/lelivrenoir.htm
  29. http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm
  30. http://www.sarasotamagazine.com/blog/template_permalink.asp?id=365
  31. http://www.firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=2526
  32. http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/03/01/home/solz-gulag.html
  33. http://www.icr.org/index.php?module=articles&action=view&ID=276
  34. http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=5596
  35. http://www.kimsoft.com/korea/nkdefec3.htm
  36. http://www.nysun.com/article/23082?page_no=1
  37. http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2003/5/7/120250.shtml
  38. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1058/is_26_116/ai_56249447
  39. http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=35818
  40. http://theworldnow.wordpress.com/tag/around-the-world/asia/china/
  41. Arnold Toynbee, A Study of History, Annex II to Vol. V, Part C (i) (c) 2, p. 585, Marxism, Socialism, and Christianity.

External links