Apparently this is the only way people read on the internet now. It has also become apparent that I need to prove I can write in this format. But if we are going to do a listicle then we are going to do listicles my way, about things I like, and I like Communism.
SO! In the spirit of everything I just said, here are six things you probably think when you hear the word “communism” that are total bullshit.
Communists hate democracy
This is one of the biggest myths that right wingers and neoliberals love to use to justify Red Scares. They point to people like Stalin and the leaders of North Korea and are all like “See! We told you so!” What they ignore is that Democracy is the core to all socialist theory. Pretty much every socialist theorist; Marx, DeLeon, Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg, James Connolly all advocate for increased democratic participation. The most respected modern socialist thinkers all develop their theory from a frame that centralizes democracy. (Cornel West, Naomi Klein, Ocalan etc.) The Soviet Union had democratic participation to by the way, even under Stalin. Stalin was a dictator but he operated by flooding the Communist party with his supporters and enforcing a policy of democratic centralism (when a group unanimously stands by decisions democratically made by the group). This allowed him to be the dictator that he was but even Stalin, the embarassment of Communism, utilized democracy. If anything the best argument against Stalin is arguing against personality cults, that is a genuine problem for the left to over come. Cuba actually has a more functional democracy than the U.S. because they have more candidate options and voter participation organized from the bottom up from neighborhood representation to the national assembly. Saying “communists hate democracy” has no factual basis.
Communists hate free speech
Again, pure bullshit because there is nothing in socialist theory that says the state should limit speech. Lenin is often misquoted here when capitalists try to defend this point. “Lenin said the ‘Press is the enemy of the people’.” You might have heard. Wrong! Lenin said “A bourgasie capitalist press is the enemy of the people.” And he was right. News orginzations like CNN or Fox are more concerned with ratings and ad revenue than they are with giving people the full story. As long as media is a for-profit enterprise the owners of said media will limit what the public sees and hears to protect their own interests. Communists do not hate free speech, they hate capitalist press.
Communist countries are bland and without culture
This one might be a matter of taste and opinion but I think it can be argued that the country that gave us the Red Army Choir, the Bolshov Ballet, cinematic montage, and the worlds first film school still had plenty of art and culture.
Marxists are rich liberal elitists
Yes, there are a few of what you may call “champagne socialists” in our ranks but grouping all Marxists into a privieleged category totally ignores the fact that socialism is growing in popularity because of the stagnant wages and job growth that my generation faces. A college degree is the privilege of knowledge, this is true, but a degree does not equal riches. Not to mention it ignores the contributions to history by socialists of color, such as Mumia Jamal, Emma Tenayuca, or Angela Davis. There are so many faults to this argument it’s almost impossible to list them all.
All communists want total government control of everything
Again, factually not true because it ignores the fact that not every communist thinks the same. Traditional Marxists will argue that yes, the workers should take control of the state by creating their own state, however Anarcho-syndicalists would argue that states and governments shouldn’t exist at all and they should be destroyed rather than seized. Tell an anarchocommunist to seize the means by seizing the state they will probably scoff. Some communists want a workers government, and some want no government. Not everyone on the left agrees on everything all the time. We are not a hive mind goddamnit!
Communism breeds bloodthirsty dictators
Again people love to point at Stalin or North Korea and go “See! Communism is bad!” But here is the problem with this arguement, democracies have been just as violent as any communist regime. Abrham Lincoln executed 38 Indeginous People without trial. Winston Churchill, the so called “hero” of WWII was a violent racist who wanted to “Keep England White.” FDR forced Japanese Americans into internment camps, causing poverty and death for thousands. Teddy Roosevelt executed prisoners of war publicly and without trial when he was in the army. De Gaulle, the hero of French Resistance, used military suppression and violent police beatings to stay in power during the revolts in 1968. Every so called “hero” of western democracy is literally guilty of causing the deaths of countless others, usually for racist reasons. Let us not forget that the most horrific acts of state violence were carried out by FASCIST regimes, not communist ones.
Well there we are, my first listicle and one of the first listicles about communism that isn’t some Alex Jones wannabe rage comment on a subreddit. So I hope you all enjoyed and I hope this proves that I can write this kind of shit.