Communism is a revolutionary social order that seeks to create a moneyless and classless society. Communism can be regarded as the extreme expression of socialism. It is premised upon a desire to have a common ownership to all societal means of production. All means of production are controlled the state. Communism was propagated by various theories developed by distinguished scholars of the 19th and 20th centuries. Leninist and Marxist theories form the backbone of the concept of communism. This concept of governance has been praised by Eastern Asian countries and adopted by China and Russia. On the other hand, Western nations have strongly criticized opting instead for capitalism democratic governance. This paper, even though acknowledging that there are several benefits of communism as a structure of social order, will seek to explore the numerous negative consequences that come with the application of communism. The paper will argue a case against communism as a form of governance. Communism advocates for a structure of social order that have proved to have a lot of negative effects on the society with regard to human rights, economic development, environmental degradation and the foreign policy that it proposes.
Literature Review: Negative Effects of Communism
Communist states, including Mainland China, North Korea and Russia provide extremely low living standard for its people compared to capitalist nations despite their high tax regime. The ruling class lives in luxury while the majority of the citizens languish in abject poverty, especially those that are considered to come from regions that are critics of the ruling party.
Human Rights Violations
Another fundamental negative effect of communism ideology is its lack of deference for human rights. Communist governments have the worst records with regard to upholding the dignity of human beings and ensuring that their citizenry enjoy basic human rights. Fundamental rights like the freedom of expression, freedom of movement and freedom of religion among other have received extreme censorship from communist governments. Such measures have been informed by communist ideologies as advanced by various theorists. The limitations of basic rights have been extremely detrimental to the development of society comparable to other societies in capitalist societies. Numerous scholars have argued that communist governments have placed numerous restrictions on the freedom of movement in order to control the governed populace. These restrictions are also meant to curb massive emigration. This is because if massive numbers of people emigrate from a county, it will serve to demonstrate the repressive nature of the ruling class. For example, in Cuba, approximately 500,000 Cubans left the country during the Cuban revolution. In the communist state of Vietnam more than 2 million people left the country when the American troops finally surrendered to the communist Vietnamese government. The international community would be forced to step in, in order to prevent the collapse of such a state. Moreover, massive emigration would also lead to reduced population in a country and consequently diminish the country’s tax base. Curtailing the freedom of movement is the only way communist government can curb emigration. Restriction of emigration is achieved through stringent visa application processes. One has to go through a lengthy and tiresome bureaucracy that discourages a lot of people.
Mass killing is another negative effect of communism that has characterized established communist states. Communist states have killed hundreds of millions of their citizens and foreign citizens. This is because of the high levels of intolerance in such countries. The right to life is the most crucial of all rights available to man. This is because one cannot enjoy any other right if they are denied the right to life. It is, therefore, extremely vital that life the life of an individual be taken away from a person when it is both legitimate and right to do so. If not, the society is denied the immense contribution that would have been made by that person. Each person has a unique role and responsibility that one should undertake in a society. Therefore, if many people are unjustly killed by the ruling elite then it deprives the society of its manpower leaving it struggling to survive. It will force people to change their social responsibilities which will have negative consequences. For example, if a father who serves as the family’s bread winner is killed for political reason, he will leave behind a widow and children. The widow will be forced to look for food and shelter for her children, a responsibility that had been primarily undertaken by the deceased father.
Apart from political and social reasons, communism has also some negative economic effects on the economy which are detrimental to the society. In order to arrive at this conclusion it is critical to examine the economic policy of non-communist countries in comparison with that of communists’ states. This should be done with regard to the welfare of the society. To decipher this phenomenon the ideal countries would be the United States, Europe, Russia and China. This not only because these countries have overwhelming political powers, but also that they are among the leading economies in the world and present the extreme forms of communist and non-communist economic policies. Detailed research and these economies impact on the society does not favor communism. In fact, it has been shown that some of the worst famines to have hit the world have occurred in communist states. This demonstrates that these countries have at once been unable to ensure food security for their citizenry. Moreover, a comparison of countries that after the cold war adopted communist and non-communist approaches clearly favors non-communism. For example, the economic welfare of the people of South Korean is certainly better than that of North Korean. The Northern country has been unable to provide for her people basic needs like food, water and medic care while the south has made tremendous steps towards ensuring that the people welfare are addressed.
In conclusion, Communism as a system of social order has made several contributions in the world. However, its negative effects far outweigh the positive effects. Communism has curtailed basic human freedoms and rights. It is vital that man retains his ability to exercise free will as it has been the driving force in societal development in the three main pillars of any society; political, social and economic pillars. Communist states are characterized by political repression, mass killing and human right violation.
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