An Introduction to Communism
Important Vocabulary
Communism. Disgust in the mouths capitalists. A battle cry for fascists. Salvation for the working class. Karl Marx's utopian ideology of peace, transparency, and equality has led to war, poverty, and 120 million deaths since its first appearance on the global stage in 1917. However, 500 years earlier the Arawak were living peacefully in Central America under the ideology of communism. It must be noted that when Christopher Columbus stepped foot on American soil that this tribe were relatively small and without any connection to the outside world, they had no reason to. There are many views regarding communism however what no one can deny is that there has never been a successful Communist regime (unless you count Chinas ommunist-capitalism). Of course this now leaves a massive gap in the wall of defense for communism but the ideologies of a communist society are in theory perfect.
What is Communism?
The basics of communism are that the government control all means of product, therefore neglecting traditional capitalistic structures such as private enterprises and business. Through managing the factories no one can become too powerful or too poor as everyone shares the benefits of the labour, theoretically. In 1948 Karl Marx wrote “Communist Manifesto” which stated that no one person can “out do” another. In order for this to be true the government must control everything. He also identified three steps or phase which would be followed in order to create a utopian society.
Phase 1: A revolution that overthrows the old government must take place. All aspects of it must be taken away and the board whipped clean.
Phase 2: A dictator must take control, absolute control, of the society. They must control everything from factories, to the workers, and even marriage.
Phase 3: Finally, after the long struggle an utopia is formed. The government controls everything keeping the class as a merged unity. Please note that all communist regimes have only ever reached phase 2…
Marx also cited ten rules/holy commandments of communism
1) Central Banking system
2) Government control education
3) Government control labour
4) Government control all forms of communication and transportation
5) Government control means for agriculture and factories
6) No private property
7) No property rights
8) Heavy income tax for all
9) No rights of inheritance
10) Regional planning
Where did it go wrong?
To say that communism has ever succeeded is a fallacy. The governments of USA, Britain, France, and Holland are very much the same structure as they were 20-30 years ago. The USSR and China have changed drastically over the last 20, 30, 50 years (in China’s case). If communism had succeeded in the USSR maybe it would still be the most powerful nation in the world, communism got them there. We see a similar case with China. Under communism they have risen to the 2nd strongest economy on the planet and one of the biggest powers in the world. China is a young communist nation in the face of US 300 year democracy and therefore cannot be judged a success until it can sustain its economic and political superiority. Communism succeeds in picking a country up off its feet in the same way a dictator does. This is all part of the plan, right? Phase 2, check. But no nation has ever surfaced form the void of dictatorship because it works so well. Communist nations are communist until they reach stage three, by Marx’s laws. A dictator which controls everything is absolutist; this is in no way communism. If a nation has never left phase 2 they have never been or never will be a communist nation.
Why did it fail?
above is a picture depicting communist states and former communist states, orange (previous) communist states and red (current) communist states.

Communism is a utopia. A world in which the poor are supported and the strong are helping he weak; a community. It's beautiful. To walk in to a shop and take a banana for free because the salesman knows you planted the tree is a great idea, in theory. And that is the problem. It's all theoretical. No nation has ever been communist in the way Marx meant for them to be. In order for it to succeed you need a strong industrial base, something the USSR did not have. If you asked Marx in 1848 who he thought the communist nations of the world would be he would have said Germany, the USA, and Britain, they were the most industrial developed nations. The USSR was not designed for it. That's part of the problem.
Communism is fundamentally flawed. It goes against all traditional practices encouraging slacking and demolishing competition. One may argue that the Soviets were incredibly hard working, true Stalin using fear ordered the creation of many structures including the Dnieprostroi Dam. But a good number of people were like the cat in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, always leaving the work for the others because the cat knew she would still get her share of the spoils. In a communist society the prosperous ones are pushed down and forced to work with the norm, the proletariat, they can’t succeed and realize their potential. This ultimately results in a “brain drain” where all the young talents leave to places where their potential will be recognized.

Communism in WWII
Hitler wanted war with the Soviets as he saw Slavs as the lowest of the low. However, after he invade Poland a scenario arose in which both the Nazis and the USSR were trying to gain territory in Poland. Hitler agreed to split Poland with the Russians in exchange for their allegiance. However, having invaded Poland Hitler ends up fighting the wrong; a war against the British, allied with the Soviet Union.
Before the war, the League of Nations allowed Germany to build up their defenses, the idea being that a strong Germany would protect the west against the spread of Communism. Fear of the unknown lead to the powerful nations such as France and Britain, allowing Germany to breach international law.
After WWII
Communism became a real issue to the western world after the death of Hitler. After the Germans had surrendered Stalin pulled the iron curtain across Eastern Europe, again feeding the fire off the fear burning in all capitalist democracies around the world. This was the start of the cold war which was created through a lack of tranquility between nations before the war. Not allowing the USSR into the League of Nations made them outsiders and didn’t allow them to get their views across, creating a sense of paranoia. During the war this fear was driven away through a common goal to defeat the Nazis. However, once the dust has cleared it was obvious that the west and the USSR wouldn't get along.
When I lived in Russia, many of the older citizens felt that if society continued as it was going for another few years then the USSR period would be better in comparison to what they have now. There is a general nostalgia towards the Soviet period; the grass is always greener on the other side�
Obviously I feel that Communism is flawed ion the sense that you can't have a society in which being prosperous is disowned. A nation can't grow.
Obviously people generally have an unfair bias against communism without doing any research. This creates prejudices and gross generalizations against a system which in theory would create a beautiful world. However, if we lived in a world of theory we wouldn�t live in a world at all. It has been warped into many different ideologies by greedy and power hungry men but still called communism. Stalin claimed to be supporting communism but instead he made Stalinism, a branch of communism. Many nations get stuck in this 2nd phase of communism, a dictatorship.
This therefore gives communism a negative reputation which other nations such as the US and Britain used as propaganda. The picture above may be similar to the US campaign: �When you drive alone you drive with Hitler�. Both pirating and driving alone have nothing directly to do with communism or Hitler, but their negative connotations make it believable.

But here are the opinions of others:
Kennedy during his inauguration, creating an us-versus-them mentality Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
"Communism differs from all previous movements in that it overturns the basis of all earlier relations of production and intercourse, and for the first time consciously treats all natural premises as the creatures of hitherto existing men, strips them of their natural character and subjugates them to the power of the united individuals."
Karl Marx, The German Ideology, 1845
In communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes, society regulates the general production and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic."
Karl Marx
A more Marxist point of view
Communism in China
Cuba�s communism
Below is a fun video about the USSR: