What is Communism?
Communism has always been one of the worlds biggest “What if’s” constantly being talked of for its nearly dreamlike ideology and resounding failures that spiraled to cruel dictatorships and mass loss of life. In the novel First they Killed My Father by Loung Ung the detrimental effects of communism on a society were exemplified through true personal accounts by Ung. The goal of communism is to abolish all private property, every person to be equal, and for every person to have equity.
Though communism may seem appealing as a perfect utopian society that is dreamed of in fantasies, the reality is that a communist government only brings a corrupt dystopian society. In one of the world’s last communist countries in the world Cuba, the average salary is 400 Pesos per month, which in the U.S is equivalent to 30 dollars. “That is in the worlds bottom 5 per capita per month (monthly salary), to this day China has the highest average wage per person for a communist country at 12,472 dollars still, the Capitalist United States average wage per person doubles that of China at 52,292 dollars.”(Wikipedia). At the hands of communism, there has been a total of 149,469,610 deaths to the evil dictatorships and genocide. Just from one decision of government by a group of people millions of tragic and sickening loss of lives that could mount to the destruction of a communities morale and overall mental status. Communism has a destructive impact on society because of the cruel and inequitable principles set by an unfair overruling government.
One of the world’s most disastrous terrors and worst theories ever was created by a German man named Karl Marx and his friend Friedrich Engles living in England during the 1800s. Marx moved to England in the early eighteenth century from his Persian home. He wrote many books on Communism in his career as a politician. Although he was not accepted as a high profiling politician at a convention, he met the man that he would be friends with for many years of his life. Engles was a very wealthy well-respected politician who was invited to many conferences and conventions with other high profile people, many who were direct friends with Winston Churchill. Engles agreed with many of the things Marc presented himself as an intelligent man and agreed with Marx on his theories on government and society. The two would go on and make the biggest impact on human history since Hannibal and the great wars against Ancient Rome. The objective is to Karl Marx Theory of Communism is to “is a common goal ownership of means of production and property. All products are taken straight to the state and evenly distributed to everyone”(Wikipedia). The writing of this theory came during the industrial revolution in England and France during the 1800s. Then Communism became a very popular form of government in the 20th Century with countries such as the Soviet Union and Germany. From then on the theory gained more popularity from the captured territories the communist Soviets annexed during the Second World War. Many of the proletarians agreed with the new style of government because of the diminishing of social classes, that meant the proles were finally able to be equals to their former bosses and CEOs (Wikipedia). The ideal surmise of communism was used in various countries but when the realized the true intentions of the leaders of the communist state. Most of the communist governments had a cruel overruling dictator that had puppet members of the high ranking group of men working alongside him to help reassure the trust of the people. These rulers of the state would then execute the policies of the newly founded government, but the people who run the new government would use the rules as a way to control and oppress the people under the reinstated union.” As the proles realized that they were being oppressed they came together and defeated their oppressors to finally become free “ (George Orwell). Orwell wrote the book called 1984 describing how a communist state is advertised as a utopian society but in reality its corrupted state. Orwell was an outspoken opposed to totalitarianism which is closely tied to communism and was an advocate for a Democratic Socialist government. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, most of the worlds communist governments fell to revolutions, invasions, or when their communist rulers fell from power. Although there have been many communist states to fall there are still to this day five countries left with the theory in use. “Those countries are Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea, and Laos,”(Rosenberg). “Even though there are looming disadvantages the Communist Republic of China is one of the world’s most flourishing economies in the world,”(Wikipedia). All in all, that is the detrimental effect of a single decision by two men changed the complexion of modern history.
In the memoir by Loung Ung titled First They Killed My Father Ung recalls the overthrow of Lol Nol’s Government in 1979 by the communist Khmer Rouge, she tells her first-hand experience of s communist state in gory and heartbreaking details of the tragic events that would occur. At a young age, the Khmer Rouge overran the capital of Cambodia Phnom Penh dressed as soldiers that came from the war in support of the Lol Nol’s forces. They claimed to the citizens they were to evacuate in the event of a looming potential United States bombing raid on Phenom Phen. When the Khmer Rouge isolated the Cambodians hey enforced their influential dominance by picking off people that did not fit with the philosophy they had for the state. The Khmer Rouge wanted to set a society of man rural farmers, anyone one who was intelligent or had jobs such as being a teacher, doctor, or dentist were immediately isolated and eliminated because they were to believed to be “Corrupt by western influences”. Many people from the cities had to claim to be poor farmers to avoid the Khmer Rouge to find about their past and kill them for their former jobs. The Cambodians that were not slaughtered by the Khmer Rouge were sent to remote farming villages with terrible living conditions that were inhumane
because of the little food that they received and the terrible sanitary conditions. The dirty pots for cooking food and limited products for personal care or hygiene. The once free and joyful Cambodians were treated harshly and had their cries for help mued by the likes of the Khmer Rouge captors. The families were split up and moved around in full disregard of the feelings of the family. In the memoir, Loung Ung remembers the time that her older sister Keav, older brother Khouy, and Meng had to leave the family to live in different camps where they would hardly ever see their family all together again. Six months later Keav was sent to the infirmary in critical condition and the family was able to go see her as a family. That was one of the last time their family reunited. Then days later Loung’s Mother was told to go see her daughter because her death was near so, Keav requested to see her father once more. Although, when her mother came back with her father to say their goodbyes Keav was already dead and they didn’t know where her corpse rested and they returned distraughtly and defeated without the body of their beloved daughter. Four months later two men came to their families and demanded that Loung’s father come with them to help pull out a car from a ditch, but the family knew what was going to happen he was going to be killed. Weeks later their mom realized that Loung, Kim, and Chou had to run away because the family of an executed traitor was to be completely erased. Loung had a feeling of distress from her mother and little brother Geak and she decided to sneak away from the camp to see them again. As she suspected something was wrong and she came to the realization that Ma and Geak had ended up like Pa dead at the hands of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. Weeks later word of a Youn attack was spreading and it was true the Youns’s bombed camps using the Mortar eventually giving the captured Cambodians to escape in the chaos. After the attacks from the Youn, the Cambodians were protected under the Youns. The Cambodians were finally free to live the way they wanted, free to make the decisions out of their own desire, not for someone’s pleasure, they were able to care for their family if they were able to reunite. The Cambodians were able to govern themselves as a society without an overwatching group of cruel and unfair group of Khmer Rouge soldiers. The soldiers had no routine inspections or officials to properly observe their actions leaving them to do anything they wanted because they had no fear of serious consequences for their actions. At the end of the epilogue, Loung and her older brother were smuggled into the Capitalist country of America years during the Youn occupation of Cambodia. After Loung Ung finished her degree in Political Sciences she moved Washington D.C and finally decided to visit her family in Cambodia. When she hopped off the plane the memories of the tragic events that occurred in her childhood came rushing back and she again experienced the same pure fear that she once had as a child. All in all, that, was the description of the first-hand experience of the takeover of the communist Khmer Rouge party in Cambodia.
“The core belief in the theory of Communism is to make everyone equal to each other. Everyone has equal pay, no one owns private property, and no one has more than anyone else”(Brittanica). In Communistic states, the interest of the individual is greater than the one of single individuals. The loss of individuality is one of the biggest problems with Communism as a form of government because the people are deprived of something so simple it seems unreasonable on why someone would agree to have losses as significant as individuality. People don’t have a direct choice or influences on their own lives or for the ones that they care. In the book, First They Killed My Father the captured Cambodians were only to have the bare essentials for life and anyone who had anything of value that was greater than any other individual even if they earned their wealth and position. For example in the years of the communist Khmer Rouge reign in Cambodia people who had jobs as a dentist, doctor, teacher, etc. People were killed for chasing jobs that they were aspired for leaving others less inspired to follow in their ambitions because they were afraid they would end up dead like those once determined and driven. Under the rule of Communist, Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, the inhabitants were forced into being either a soldier or a rural farmer. None of the captured Cambodians had a say in the job they had to do. They were forced to oblige to their jobs and were not allowed to deny the responsibilities they were given. If anyone was to not accept their job they were set to be executed for treason against the state. Often forms of punishment for not filling the role of a set by the state was torture and execution. People could not stand out as an individual because of the cycle of equity and equality would be broken and the “Perfect Society” by having more western properties. Any choice by an individual that does not directly benefit the communist state is not allowed and frowned upon as selfish. “The controversial one-child policy started to be enforced by the Communist Party of China in 1979out of concern of population growth that could hinder the economic boom that was about to take off”( Jiajia Li). The people of under Communist China were forced to have one child for the better of the state against their feelings and heart. Giving me a sister was not my parent’s option”(Jiajia Li). All of these can lead to ripple effects on the people making life tougher and less enjoyable making life seem like an obligation, not a given gift. In conclusion, that’s how the loss of individuality is negative to having Communism as a form of government to govern a group of people because of the loss of basic qualities to life.
In communist states, the end of the government’s reign has always been at the hands of revolution, a bloody and heart fracturing form of solving an internal conflict from a divide between people. Many of the people under communist countries do not agree with the terms and conditions set by the leaders. Although, the people had their cries silenced by the cruel overruling group of powerful individuals. The use of military force was used to suppress the wave of rebellious actions and voices stirring from the angry mob of people. Philosophers that study Communism reason that the state doesn’t listen to the outcry of the people is that the for the state to prosper as a whole the feelings of the individual would have to be put aside to handle the needs of the whole society. Still, the rebels would not be at rest and would have to decide whether to come back with force to oppose the state or allow the rule of the communist government. As expected they decided to engage the communist rule in a war that would evidently lead to a mass loss of life that may not even benefit the cause if the revolution is a failure. “In every setting of rebellion against the principles of Communism, it would be considered treason and anyone who associates with any rebellious activity would be tortured or executed”(Wikipedia). With the show of firm and concrete outspoken disallowing of speaking against the state, the stage of a fierce, bloody battle is set. In 1970 the people of Hungary had a peaceful demonstration that took a violent turn as it became a way to firmly oppose the communist rule. As a result of the riot, the Polish Peoples Army brutally put down the rebellious spark killing 42 people though, knowing the intention to oppose the Communist rule at the time. Although ten years later the Communistic republic of Hungry fell alongside many other communistic republics of the late 1900s. Unlike the European Communist governments, the Asian Communist parties did not allow any outspeaking against the state at all. In Cambodia, if a person was even suspected of committing treason against the state he or she would be tortured or killed for their actions defining the policies set for all inhabitants. To sum up, that is how people under communist rule using violence as the only way of dissent is bad for a ruling government.
Private property has always been the staple to a rich mans prospering although, communism was made to end that cycle by having equity for everyone in the state. “ In a communist state, there is no individual that owns property that is open to him only at any time, so no person could break the complete equity that a communist government is to achieve”(Federal Reserve Banks St. Louis). Having private property helps eliminate the possibility of one having more many than the other person adding to the effort for a utopian communist society. “The means of production belong to the society as a whole so everyone could get what they desired”(Rosenberg). “There is no personal reward for public achievement” (Bartleby), that is a belief in the communist theory that bridges equity and property together. In the Communist Republic of China, an inventor could choose the patents for his or her inventions they decide to give patents to, although the state could still retain the patent as a public invention. They justified the ownership of the inventions as a way to better the standards for the people’s lives and everyday activities. As the sole purpose of Communism states everyone is the same and equal if they use the interventions to improve the lives of everyone in the state. In the once communist occupied Cambodia they were all farmers that worked in open gardens and fields. Even though the captured Cambodians were the ones that created and cultivated the food although, they didn’t get a ration or a taste of their hard work. That alone could destroy the motivation and energy of a society. They would feel like their work is not significant and that means they are useless to the state, ultimately expressing the fact that their existence is not significant or important. All in all, the abolishing of private property hurts the economy and morale of the state as a whole unit.
In conclusion, Communism is not an ideal form of government for a country because of the looming deficiencies in its core beliefs and functionality. Communism restricts the society from flouring economically and keeping a high and peaceful morale. The theory is the single-handedly responsible for wars, famine, bankruptcy, and death through one simple decision of a government. The top average wage per person for a communist country is China at 12,472 dollars per month. The highest capitalist country wage per month is the United States at and that to quadruples China’s average 52,292 dollars. Communism’s main staple is complete equity for every single person in the state and that itself comes at a high price worth the lives of many and the beloved families of the inhabitants. If the country you live in was to become Communist how would you feel being seen as a worker and not person? How would you live without knowing if you were going to survive to the next day? All of these questions would be running through your mind every day if you lived under communist rule.
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