• @[email protected]
    link
    fedilink
    27210 months ago

    There were no actual efforts to establish communism in eastern europe. Only autocratic regimes backed by soviet russia.

    • InternationalBastard
      link
      fedilink
      26810 months ago

      It’s like saying democracy sucks because look at states like Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo and German Democratic Republic.

      When people proclaim to be something doesn’t make it true.

    • dub
      link
      fedilink
      4310 months ago

      I’m no too learned in the subject but what would “true” communism even look like on the large scale like a country? Would it even be feasible?

      • @[email protected]
        link
        fedilink
        11510 months ago

        True communism in a country is impossible.

        You can have socialism, or anarchy, which we’ve seen before, but communism cannot function in one country alone, unless said country is completely and absolutely self reliant.

        A major part of communism is internationalism, which is why socialist countries had the Comintern. (Communist International). Besides a political/social system, communism has a strong basis as an economic system. You can’t apply communist economic system principles to the capitalist market.

        To my knowledge, no existing country is self reliant to the point that they can completely cut off trade with the rest of the world. USSR didn’t do it, China didn’t do it and they were the two biggest countries at the time.

        That, of course is all a very surface level ELI5, and if you want to ask something more specific or in depth, feel free to.

        • @[email protected]
          link
          fedilink
          3510 months ago

          Unless you’re an ultra-orthodox marxist, there is no such thing as trüe communism™.

          There always have been many different ideas what „communism“ is, e.g. there have been various „nationalist communist“ ideologies (complicated by the fact that the Russian SFSR called everything „nationalist“ that wasn’t 100% aligned with its ideas of the Soviet Union, e.g. Hungary).

          There are also no clear boundaries between communism, socialism, and anarchism, e.g. Kropotkin with his theories of anarchist communism.

          That being said, I don’t think communism is a system (either social or economic), it’s strictly an idealogy, meaning it’s a way to achieve something, i.e. the classless and stateless society. If you follow that thought to its logical end, you cannot even „achieve“ communism at all, since at this point e.g. the proletariat ceases to exist, and as a result you cannot have a „dictatorship of the proletariat“.

          It’s… complicated.

          • @[email protected]
            link
            fedilink
            1210 months ago

            In feel like you make it complicated to arrive at your conclusion here. Communism, as described by Marx and Engels and to some degree Lenin, is something very specific that covers most aspects of the society. Political, social and economic. Marx himself wrote books upon books on the economy of a socialist, communist system.

            It is not an abstract “I don’t like capitalism so let’s try something different” approach. And yes, many have tried to adapt it, as you mentioned which is why those different approaches carry a different name ‘anarchist communism’ in your example. Because they are different enough from flat out communism.

            • @[email protected]
              link
              fedilink
              1510 months ago

              No, I have a very easy explanation what communism is, it’s just that nobody else agrees is the issue.

              different approaches carry a different name

              Yeah, well… So let’s see, we have: Marxism, Leninism, Trotskyism, Stalinism, Titoism, Gulyáskommunizmus (both, as mentioned before, considered „nationalist communism“ by other communists), Rätekommunismus, Realsozialismus, Maoism …

              So, which one of those is the true communism?

              Joking aside, most of the 20th century was spent with people killing other people because they had slightly different opinions on what true communism means, so it’s really not me who made things complicated.

              • @[email protected]
                link
                fedilink
                510 months ago

                And you keep using different names to describe them. As you should. Communism is not one thing and never was. But when people refer to base or true communism, the answer is just one.

                It’s how it was defined in the communist manifesto in 1848. You could say it’s Marxism, but I dislike that naming since others played a big role on forming it as well, like Engels and others who based on Marx’s mostly economic study added the philosophical and political angles.

                Every theme or name change after the manifesto (that is not found in later revisions by the communist international) is attempts at adapting it with different angles and for different purposes and circumstances, aka NOT base or pure communism. Don’t bundle everything in one basket and try to make sense, same way that bundling Putin’s Russian form of Capitalism with US’s imperialism and French Revolution’s early capitalism together doesn’t make sense either.

                He asked for pure communism, I answered for that. If he asked about Trotsky, I’d focus more on the permanent revolution and the Fourth International. If he asked of Stalin, I’d talk about his socialism in one country theory

                • @[email protected]
                  link
                  fedilink
                  English
                  1010 months ago

                  I’ve got no horse in this race, I just want to point out the irony of asserting that there is only one “true” communism in reply to a comment about how leftists have spent the last century arguing over what “true” communism even is.

                • @[email protected]
                  link
                  fedilink
                  510 months ago

                  Yeah well, so you’re an orthodox Marxist and I disagree with you ¯\(ツ)

                  But when people refer to base or true communism, the answer is just one.

                  Aha, is that so?

                  I dislike that naming since others played a big role on forming it as well

                  Yeah, you could say that!

                  So! Let’s talk about Restif de la Bretonne who was using „communist“ and „communism“ 60-70 years before Marx writes the „Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei“. Babeuf (who called himself a „communalist“) already tried to incite a communist revolution in the 1790s. De La Hodde calls the Parisian general strike in 1840 „inspired by communist ideas“. In 1841 the „Communistes Matérialistes“ publish „L’Humanitaire“, which Nettlau calls „the first libertarian communist publication“.

                  And how come that a certain bloke named Karl Marx in his 1842 essay „Der Kommunismus und die Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung" finds that communism had already become an international movement. Hey, I know that name! 🤔

                  Tell me, how exactly is Marxism (or whatever you want to call it) the one and only trüe communism™ when there’s decades of different variances of communism and movements of people calling themselves communists before the „Manifest“?

                  Just face it: your beloved Marxism is just one variant of communism, which for a variety of reasons has become the best known. But it’s certainly not „base communism“.

          • @[email protected]
            link
            fedilink
            810 months ago

            Without search engine and without going into detail that is out of the scope, anarchy is a different path to a classless system. Said classless system is different enough from communism to warrant discussion but close enough for that discussion to be devolving into anarchy vs socialism most of the time to differentiate the path to that system.

            Said path in anarchy is comprised of setting up collectives that start small, neighborhood small, and gradually evolve. Each collective shares almost everything between its members and there’s no leadership or ranking across its members.

            Anything deeper than that leads to a long discussion that is out of the scope of this thread and definitely out of the scope of the ELI5 the post I originally replied to needed or had the philosophical basis to understand possibly. I’m not saying one is better than the other, but they are quite different approaches to a similar goal, a classless society that money does not rule all.

            • Dharma Curious
              link
              fedilink
              110 months ago

              Anarchist checking in, so, y’know, bias and all that. But I’d say it’s just as impossible to have anarchism in one country. Bearing in mind, I’m an anarcho-communist, and not terribly familiar things like mutualism, so that may be different. I tend to view, as do (to my knowledge) most ancoms, communism and anarchism as synonyms. The difference is how we get to the end point, not the end point itself. A stateless, classless, moneyless society. We’ve had the Spanish anarchists, and some examples of societies like Madagascar, where there are villages and region that function in an anarchistic way, but True Anarchism™ couldn’t function in a single country/region. It needs to be international in it’s scope for all the same reasons communism needs to be international in it’s scope. Anarchist political methods can function at a smaller scale, but we can’t have a fully anarchist society until it’s global.

              Which all just means that I’m an anarchist because I prefer the methods to achieving the shared goal, not because I disagree on the goal itself, if that makes sense.

      • @[email protected]
        link
        fedilink
        1510 months ago

        Well, it is feasible. You just need to give people replicators and free living space, and they will eventually learn to use their skills to enrich the world we live in. And boldly go where no one has gone before.

      • Square Singer
        link
        fedilink
        1010 months ago

        True communism is pretty much impossible, same as true capitalism.

        There have been some short-lived small-scale experiments like the “United Order”, but nothing that actually survived more than a few months with more than a few thousand people.

      • ProdigalFrog
        link
        fedilink
        English
        1
        edit-2
        2 months ago

        Realistically, it would look something like how the Anarchists organized society in Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War, or how Rojava is organizing today with communal federations. Anarchism sidesteps the inevitable authoritarian regime that various Marxist theories have by not installing a ‘temporary’ vanguard state that quickly becomes autocratic and dictatorial, they just jump straight to decentralizing power immediately by giving it to the people.

    • @sizeoftheuniverseOP
      link
      12
      edit-2
      10 months ago

      And here comes the guy who thinks he can do it better, this time without mass killings.

      • @[email protected]
        link
        fedilink
        4410 months ago

        Hey, I can think what happened in Eastern Europe was just authoritarian dictatorships, backed by Muscovite colonialism & branded as communism just the same as what happened in parts of South America was just authoritarian dictatorship, backed by American imperialism & branded as laissez-faire capitalism.

        Also I can think communism has never actually been tried, and that it’s functionally impossible (therefore people should stop advocating for it).

      • @[email protected]
        link
        fedilink
        -210 months ago

        This time without hierarchy wherever possible. And we’ll keep most of the capitalistic economy as is, just redistribute the wealth so that everybody is safe and happy. Cut the bullshit jobs, make produced goods more durable and sustainable, so that the last at least ten times as long, cut more jobs in producing, distribute the remaining work to all the people, everybody who wants to get a little extra can do this by working, most will. I certainly would still work even if i did not have to, even if there is no monetary benefit. Doing a job that is nice and that you like is fun, because you’re doing your part.

      • @[email protected]
        link
        fedilink
        -510 months ago

        Hey, I can think what happened in Eastern Europe was just authoritarian dictatorships, backed by Muscovite colonialism & branded as communism just the same as what happened in parts of South America was just authoritarian dictatorship, backed by American imperialism & branded as laissez-faire capitalism.

        Also I can think communism has never actually been tried, and that it’s functionally impossible (therefore people should stop advocating for it).

      • @[email protected]
        link
        fedilink
        -1410 months ago

        Can’t critizise something that has never been tried! Also we already got a comment critizising capitalism as a counter argument :D

        • @[email protected]
          link
          fedilink
          010 months ago

          And that’s why we have barriers to entry stifling competition lobbied for by the big players in said industry? Insulin is only the price it is because the government enforces the patent that says pfizer is allowed to have a monopoly on it, if other people were able to produce and sell affordable generics pfizer would have to drop their price or go out of business, but if you try the government comes, kidnaps you, and if you resist kidnapping, kills you.

          Try to sell a product that the government decides you owe them money for: Weed? Jail. Moonshine? Jail. Weed in a legal state but didn’t break off the 50% protection money to the government? Jail. Unlicensed insulin? Jail. Drawing of a mouse too close to a famous one? Jail.

          The US has what is called crony capitalism, not free market capitalism. Free market capitalism economy is what the Agorists like SEKIII want (but they refuse to call capitalism arguing that “real capitalism” is crony capitalism and “free market economies” are not “capitalist” at all and is actually leftist in nature.)

          • @[email protected]
            link
            fedilink
            22
            edit-2
            10 months ago

            Crony capitalism is just capitalism. The agorist free market capitalism is just starting the whole thing over under the mistaken belief that it’ll end up different.

            • @[email protected]
              link
              fedilink
              -410 months ago

              Yes yes and communism will never repeat it’s past mistakes because that wasn’t real communism, I know.

              • @[email protected]
                link
                fedilink
                410 months ago

                I know you’re trying to use sarcasm, but communist countries don’t generally repeat the mistakes of other communist countries. They famously at least try to share knowledge openly with each other.

                • @[email protected]
                  link
                  fedilink
                  -310 months ago

                  Hey at least millions of people die in new mistakes! Or is that all “western propaganda товарищ?”

          • @[email protected]
            link
            fedilink
            410 months ago

            Lol, what utter bullshit.

            Pfizer doesn’t have a monopoly on insulin, it’s primarily produced by Eli Lilly (who were the first), Novo Nordisk and Sanofi.

            „The government“ also doesn’t „enforce“ patents, companies have found a way to make small changes to drugs to keep them perpetually patented. The recent price drops of insulin in the US are the *result of government intervention *.

            Please do get lost with you Alex Jones r/conspiracy drivel, thx.

            • @[email protected]
              link
              fedilink
              110 months ago

              You mean the cheap kind you can get at walmart, or the fast acting stuff everyone complains about being expensive? I mean, I don’t think anyone is claiming that the cheap atuff is too expensive, they’re always talking about the fast acting kind or so they say, so that’s what I’m talking about too, since I was directly referencing people complaining about expensive insulin, you see.

              Nonetheless, though I may not be super up on which megacorporation holds patents for which drug, and in essence they’re all exactly the same to me since they operate the same way in terms of patents, the fact that corporation “A” holds the patent instead of corporation “B” is a nonfactor, just replace the name in your head. Hit f12 and edit it if you really lack the imagination to just insert the correct corporation and keep reading.

              The government doesn’t enforce patents, eh? Ok, so what specifically happens if you start selling shit patented by “a corporation of your choosing?” Pinkertons? Well maybe if we’re talking about 1800s Wells Fargo, or current WOTC, but that is rare. No unless I’m mistaken it’s usually “court” which unless I’m mistaken is part of “the judicial branch” of “our government.”

              Face it, the government and corporations being in bed is not only “a bad thing” but is just as much a fault of “the government” as “the corporations.” Hating one is only hating half the problem.

          • @[email protected]
            link
            fedilink
            110 months ago

            And that’s why we have barriers to entry stifling competition lobbied for by the big players in said industry?

            Yes. That’s how capitalism operates. There is nothing in capitalist system that prevents monopolies from happening, in fact they kind of encouraged. And patent system is as capitalist as it gets. It was born as an answer to a question “how do we collectively insure that companies can own everything they want to own”, and the government exists to enforce the rules that rich people and companies want to have (getting back to lobbying). If you get rid of the government, you will get cyberpunk corporate wars, and then when people will get tired of that, they will come up with the same government-like structure.

            • @[email protected]
              link
              fedilink
              110 months ago

              That’s how crony capitalism works, free market capitalism is free from such bounds by definition. Monopolies could also form without the government but they clearly form with the help of those government regulations allowing them to do so as well, see: basically the entire medical industry. We have the worst of both worlds, tbh either socialized healthcare or an end to the racketeering scheme we call the medical industry by freeing the market (things like removing drug patents to make the market competitive and lowering price, etc) would he better than this crony capitalist bullshit we have now. Patents are again antithetical to free market capitalism, that is literally part of what is referenced by “free” in the term. Proponents of free market capitalism ignore patent and IP laws entirely or think they should be limited to a short period (typically 15-20y with no renewal depends on who you talk to).

          • @[email protected]
            link
            fedilink
            1310 months ago

            According to https://www.heritage.org/index/ranking for instance, there are 24 countries in the world with freer economy than USA.

            The right wing, climate change denying, Heritage Foundation is not a reliable source. That’s nowhere near an unbiased analysis, but an opinion piece. No one can seriously believe the US to be less “free market” than like half of western Europe.

            That’s like asking the North Korean government to create an index of democracy.

    • @[email protected]
      link
      fedilink
      610 months ago

      In what sense was it not an actual effort? Just because it quickly slid into non-marxism doesn’t say anything about the initial idea of the revolutionaries. Bakunin predicted exactly what would happen with Marxism, and it did every time.

      If you are against an authoritarian state, the only viable way to communism is to skip the dictatorship part directly and just have anarchism.

    • @[email protected]
      link
      fedilink
      310 months ago

      There were no actual efforts to establish communism

      Period. Relying on the “temporary” government to relinquish their power is…foolish. If you’re building a system for the greater good, hierarchy will always undermine that goal. Unequal amounts of power does not a just system make.

    • Fazoo
      link
      fedilink
      210 months ago

      Oh here we go with “That wasn’t real communism!” as if any other communist state on this planet is any different.

      • @[email protected]
        link
        fedilink
        2410 months ago

        I mean they violated some if tge main principles outlined by Marx, like the other states, who almost all followed the lenin-stalin-model, so yeah. Prove me wrong.

          • Fazoo
            link
            fedilink
            -2
            edit-2
            10 months ago

            No, because that’s not the topic of discussion. Not here to entertain projection and whataboutism as a defense mechanism of hurt feelings.

            • @[email protected]
              link
              fedilink
              910 months ago

              Eh, it’s kinda both. Yes, it’s nice to stay on one topic like how we can make communism the best it can be and learn lessons of the past. But when people look at some of those decisions/theories and say “that sounds terrible, I’d rather keep what I have” then you really gotta cross-compare. America is only as well off as it is because of slavery, corruption, death and destruction. It’s just not death and destruction of their own people and land, so most American citizens don’t “see” that. Or if they do, it’s a “well, that sucks, we should do better” kind of thing, but lack real recognition that the system benefits them so much. As well, the capitalist autocracies have been way more deadly and authoritarian and corrupt than anything communist, and it’s important for people to learn about the differences.

              A: “Communism is authoritarian” B: “Wehll, sometimes, but capitalism is too, and it is MUCH worse” A: “Don’t commit whataboutism” B: “Uhhhh, but we have to compare systems to know which is better and which is worse…”

              Just IMHO.

        • @lightsecond
          link
          310 months ago

          There are very few examples of Communism put into practice at a large scale.

      • @[email protected]
        link
        fedilink
        210 months ago

        They are though. China, Vietnam and Cuba are all pretty drastically different and they are all communist countries.

          • @[email protected]
            link
            fedilink
            -110 months ago

            The functioning of their government is absolutely unequivocally communist. They have allowed some form of capital interests, which I would not consider communist in definition, but the government retains control over nearly all those interests and the plan they’ve put forward from the beginning is to renationalize industries as they reach a point of competitive development with the western world.

            • @[email protected]
              link
              fedilink
              610 months ago

              I’m far from an expert on communism. But the government, and especially a single person, retaining power over the state and economy is far from communism, it’s more authoritarian. Communism in it’s very base is the citizens owning the means of production, not the state owning those. This in no way is represented in China, where the state has a lot of power over the economy and owns parts of some companies, but there are still capitalists owning factories and workers working there.

            • @[email protected]
              link
              fedilink
              5
              edit-2
              10 months ago

              I’m going to preface this with saying I don’t support communism or centrally planned socialism, so this isn’t me handwaving things away. It’s just that this is a nuanced topic and definitions are important, and the red scare has sucessfully lied to most people about what these words mean.

              The government being in control of everything is not the sole defining feature of communism. Socialism is where the people own the means of production (business assets), typically through the government owning it all. Communism takes that a step further by removing currency and markets from the system and using some other system to determine how to create and allocate goods and services. And for the people to own the means of production through the government, they need to have an actual say in the government.

              Basically to have centrally-planned socialism or communism, you need the government owning all business assets in addition to something like a democracy or republic form of governmental policy. If you don’t have a governmental policy that is controlled by the people, then the people don’t own the means of production and by definition you don’t have socialism or communism. You have one of the various forms of autocracy/oligarchy/etc.

              The issue we see here with people conflating modern day China, the USSR, etc with communism is that the change in government started out as socialist or communist movements, but then got coopted by fascists who removed political agency from the people, but also decided to keep calling themselves communists. However, overthrowing a form of government and pretending you’re still that form of government doesn’t magically make it true. North Korea isn’t democratic or a republic just because the rulers call themselves it. Similarly, China’s government is defined by its actions: state capitalist and not communist.

      • @[email protected]
        link
        fedilink
        510 months ago

        If you want to argue against that, fine by me. I have nothing against an honest duscussion. But this comment is neither funny nor smart.

        • Matricaria
          link
          fedilink
          010 months ago

          I was about 99% this was a joke because I thought nobody could be this stupid. I don’t argue with jokes, that’s pointless.

          • @[email protected]
            link
            fedilink
            310 months ago

            But that is no joke at all. It is what every honest historian will tell you. If you take communism as it was defined by Marx (not that this would be the best system or even what I would propse, parts of it maybe) then no society actually tried that.

    • @[email protected]
      link
      fedilink
      -2210 months ago

      Communism fails every time it is tried because it goes against human nature of constantly comparing yourself to others and trying to improve yourself. You will never do harder work if you can get the same reward for easier work, and you will look for other, less moral ways of getting the bigger reward.

      Communism sounds great but it will never work until we have unlimited resources and completely automated labour.

      • @[email protected]
        link
        fedilink
        4310 months ago

        Nah, that’s just wrong. You can compare yourself in other ways than how much fake money you earn. Fun thing is: truly communistic society would mean easier work for most people.

        And communism does work in small scale enviroments. Families, cooperatives, tribes. Sometimes neighborhoods.

        This whole “Sounds great but won’t work” rhethoric is just what the ones that would loose their power in communsim want you to think. If you dig into it you will see, that there were and are a lot of efforts to discredit the idea.

      • @[email protected]
        link
        fedilink
        510 months ago

        That’s funny because I do easy work for a great paycheck yet we have a harder time hiring than in my previous job which didn’t pay as well and was harder.

          • @[email protected]
            link
            fedilink
            -4
            edit-2
            10 months ago

            I’m in my mid thirties, my current job (first time for this employer) is the best paid and offers the best conditions and is the easiest one I’ve ever worked and they need to give us a retention bonus so people don’t leave for another department.

            I’ll leave it at that so I don’t dox myself.

            Edit: Don’t know why people are downvoting? It’s an office job that requires a high-school diploma, I’ve worked physical jobs before that paid less and where we weren’t short staffed as we are in my current job. Happy?

            • @[email protected]
              link
              fedilink
              410 months ago

              You can tell us the field of work, that wouldn’t Dox you to know it’s programing versus electrician or something.

        • @[email protected]
          link
          fedilink
          -1210 months ago

          They did attempt to be communist, but they failed like every other attempt will fail. Greed is basic human nature, and those who have it more than others will find a way to abuse the system, get in charge and ruin it.

          • @[email protected]
            link
            fedilink
            6
            edit-2
            10 months ago

            What did they do to be communist? And what about a society where there is no such thing as ‘in charge’?

          • @[email protected]
            link
            fedilink
            610 months ago

            Greed is basic human nature

            I’m not arguing your other points, but this isn’t always true. Humans seem to crave respect, not necessarily monetory wealth. If you want you can read more about gift economies.

  • LazaroFilm
    link
    fedilink
    20610 months ago

    The US political spectrum is leaning so far to the right. A US left is a France center or moderate right. So what Americans consider communism is merely what French consider moderate leftist.

    • I’m French living in the US
    • @[email protected]
      link
      fedilink
      8810 months ago

      Yeah, it’s basically “If you keep calling all of the stuff I like ‘communism’, then I guess that makes me a communist.”

      • LazaroFilm
        link
        fedilink
        1110 months ago

        Or if you’re not a Nazi you’re a communist, then I’m a communist I guess.

    • Raltoid
      link
      fedilink
      1010 months ago

      To be fair, depending on the european country the spectrum is quite broad.

      For example Norway has both literal marxists and full on “gay people should be put in camps” christian conservative nutjobs in parliment.

    • @[email protected]
      link
      fedilink
      English
      -210 months ago

      Sure, but the meme refers to the communities on the internet that unironically go full tankie, praising Stalin and Mao.

      Worst of all, tankies tend to inflitrate sane leftist spaces and slowly transform them. I’ve witnessed it many times, and that just makes me think that Marxists-Leninists are just the most dominant form of leftism on the internet, which is horrible.

        • @[email protected]
          link
          fedilink
          English
          3
          edit-2
          10 months ago

          It doesn’t, but in this thread’s we see a simultaneous claim of “We aren’t tankies, of course Stalin and Mao are not good examples of communists” and “Eastern european people were better off under the USSR”. Of course, I don’t think the same people are making both claims, but just the fact that some people can claim the latter and not get collectively shunned is indicative of a huge problem in leftist spaces, it’s disgusting frankly. Tankies are significant force, at least partially representing leftism to everyone else.

      • @[email protected]
        link
        fedilink
        English
        -8
        edit-2
        10 months ago

        I think a lot of people give Mao a bad wrap.

        For what it’s worth, Stalin is a monster, and the state of China right now is repugnant.

        Mao didn’t intentionally lead tens of millions of people to starve in the same way Stalin did. Mao was trying to revolutionise agriculture (The Great Leap Forward) but didn’t understand the ecological and logistic principles required.

        I’m convinced his intentions were good, he just wasn’t educated enough to implement something like this.

    • @[email protected]
      link
      fedilink
      2810 months ago

      The main issue is that they communism is economic policy, NOT social policy. While they do go hand in hand people often conflate the two. Many dictatorships use communism as a way to control the people but that doesn’t mean that communism leads directly to dictatorships.

      • HeuristicAlgorithm9
        link
        fedilink
        2810 months ago

        If they’re using “communism” to control the people, then they’re not really using communism