The basic ideology of communism was popularized in the second half of the nineteenth century because of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, two German political and economic philosophers. The goal of communism, as they viewed it, is for the working class to take control of the rewards of their labor, for even distribution of wealth among the people, and to overthrow capitalism. So long as all citizens work to the best of their ability, all people will receive according to their need.
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However, it wasn’t put into practice up until the Russian Revolution where the Soviet Union was born. The concept was shaky still since most used communism and socialism interchangeably because of their similarities. When discussing communism, it is most often related to a specific political party and achieving economic equality through total eradication of public property. These beliefs center around the idea that inequality within a society is the product of capitalism, therefore the purpose is to declare communal control of most major means of production and natural resources. Reaching mid twentieth century, the political power communism bared was beyond thought; many speculated that it would surpass democracy as the superior ideology, yet in 2018, two decades later, as little as five communist countries remain. These include: the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Cuba, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Considering there is no ‘right’ way to rule a nation, the following are the reasons whether or not nations were successful in their upbringing, and accounts for different views considering the economic, social, and political stances that could put each of the five at an advantage, or completely opposite, a disadvantage.
Although it is not to prevalent in today’s society, communism has great advantages as long as it is conducted correctly. In a communist nation, ideally, everyone has equal opportunity. A world in which everyone receives the same chance as others to build a life for themselves; a world in which no one has a head start. Wealth, a large factor that separates individuals in a capitalistic nation, does not make a difference for every citizen has the same opportunity as the next in order to become extraordinary based on their efforts, talents, and gifts. No social class can be better than another because there is no social class system at all and no job is greater than another. Apart from that, health care, education, and employment become much more accessible to the common citizens through a country ran with communism. Because a communist infrastructure requires its citizens to contribute as much as they are able to, there is almost no unemployment. In some way or another, everybody is employed. The product of increased employment is lower crime since the basic needs of life are provided. Compared to a capitalistic society, in communist nations every girl is given the same level of educational opportunity. Hence, the divide between classes becomes nonexistent. The logic behind this is that children who have the freedom to go to the school of their choice are less likely to drop out and join the working class at a young age. To their benefit, the residents can receive the medical attention they need, free of cost. Illness and disease are easily prevented thus the workforce is not losing members, and the working class can no longer use that to their advantage. Due to the public ownership of major businesses, communism does not allow business monopolies. Since the government allots the money to be spent for production costs, there is no business competition. Government control means manufacturers can produce a limited number of goods and cannot demand for higher prices.
Despite its good intentions, a communistic society is not all rainbows, butterflies, and sunshine. Meanwhile it is great for the population to live under the same economic conditions and consistently receiving paycheck after paycheck, earning is limited, and communism often results in national poverty. The hard caps that are placed on the amount of income an individual can earn, make it difficult for people to continue innovating since they become complacent and have no incentives to work harder. They are aware that they need to reach the community demanded level of productivity but have no reason to go beyond the minimum requirement. Although its goal is to hold everyone in equality, it is too often that families end up struggling with poverty. On record, the structure is perfect; however, it is easy for government officials and politicians to manipulate and corrupt the compensation that the proletariat receive. A single politician can tweak the system to where they receive the most compensation and the rest receives less. Unfortunately, the lower class cannot question the integrity of the actions of their superiors and there is virtually no way for them to gain any insight regarding how the country they live in is ran. Thousands are kept in the dark. As in the most famous communistic nation, North Korea, people are kept in ignorance. There is rarely any type of contact outside of the country that is not screened by the government beforehand. Even though the population may believe that they are aware of current events, they are unaware of the true nature of the world for what the government considers beneficial to them. The most discouraging disadvantage of all is the lack of personal freedom that those inhabiting countries as the United States enjoy. The goal of communism is to have all individuals working toward the same goal, therefore people are not free to pursue their own interests. Additionally, freedom of speech is taken away meaning that if someone openly criticizes the government, they are subjected to harsh punishment. The creative pursuits that many in democratic nations take for granted are not encouraged within a communistic world. Because those with passion for anything creative are not paid for it, the citizenry simply does not have incentive to partake in these outlets thus pushing arts aside as a whole.
On paper, communism sounds very utopic; this system of government looks good because it focuses on equality and eliminating social classes that separate one another. If we take the time to study the many nations that have attempted to apply some of these qualities to their social, political, and economic value, it is true that some were successful in the beginning but ended up a step behind the rest of the world. Even today, countries that claimed to be once completely communistic are slowly changing their markets or converting to recognize private ownership. In my opinion, compared to capitalism, it does not stand a chance. However, what I consider might be more effective for the well-being of the entire population in socialism. Logistically speaking, a concept like this could never be implemented into any of the nations of today as it is no longer effective, and the disadvantages outweigh the good.
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