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Why do SO many Americans hate communism?


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#1 Mr Rayon

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 02:47 PM

I keep hearing that America hates communism. Is this true?

If so, how did this begin and why do they hate communism (or communists)?
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#2 JohnB

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 03:18 PM

It's not just Americans. I'm an aussie and I hate the bastards too.

Full of high sounding ideas, but if you want to know the truth, just read up on a bit of history. Life in the old Soviet Union, East Germany, Cambodia, pick one.

Any reasonable person who values human beings has to be against a system so bad that they had to build a bloody wall around the place to stop people leaving. A wall complete with guard towers and "Shoot to kill" orders. Communism is possibly the only form of government that could manage to make the nazis look good.
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#3 rigney

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 05:00 PM

It's not just Americans. I'm an aussie and I hate the bastards too.

Full of high sounding ideas, but if you want to know the truth, just read up on a bit of history. Life in the old Soviet Union, East Germany, Cambodia, pick one.

Any reasonable person who values human beings has to be against a system so bad that they had to build a bloody wall around the place to stop people leaving. A wall complete with guard towers and "Shoot to kill" orders. Communism is possibly the only form of government that could manage to make the nazis look good.

Is Mr. Rayon trolling? If so, let me add this to your comment instead of adding another thread. No sane person, intellectual or corner sitting dunce hates people for buying into a system that can't possibly work. But even a idiot knows that once there; getting out of the mistake is a "bitch". The price for committing such a blunder is far too high for most of us in a free society to even comprehend. Without capitalism and a pecking order to maintain a justice system, we may as well turn it back to the worms. At this very moment there are those among us who would love nothing more than to strip capitalism of its industrial benefactors, scrape everything down to basement level and start all over again, with 'them" (WHO)?, as boss.

Edited by rigney, 11 July 2011 - 05:13 PM.

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#4 Mr Rayon

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 05:19 PM

At this very moment there are those among us who would love nothing more than to strip capitalism of its industrial benefactors, scrape everything down to basement level and start all over again, with 'them" (WHO)?, as boss.


By WHO, do you mean the World Health Organisation? :blink:
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#5 John Cuthber

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 06:06 PM

"why do they hate communism"
Because they haven't tried it (properly).
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#6 J.C.MacSwell

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 11:00 PM

"why do they hate communism"
Because they haven't tried it (properly).


...and the list of countries that have tried it "properly" is? ...


...??
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#7 pantheory

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 11:22 PM

Well, of course the answer is just a matter of opinion. In mine, communism is an idealistic social system which is based upon the concept "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."

Although it has kinship to religions of many countries, most countries that have adopted it have been generally anti-religious. The Jews and their system of kibbutzes of yore, remind me of communism which I think morality wise seems quite "pure."

Over time such countries that have practiced it, have come to realize that the system in its purest form is contrary to human nature, and for that reason it does not work. The number one problem, I believe, is that the system takes away human incentives since a garbage man might make the same income as a doctor for instance. The doctor takes ten years of study and the garbage man may need very little education to do a good job. It assumes that people will choose a profession concerning what they choose to do, regardless of the personal sacrifices that may be involved, which is an invalid assumption.

Human nature seems to indicate that the hardest working people in a society are usually motivated by greater rewards than others that choose to work with an average effort and pursue their future with less zeal than those who seek greater money, possessions, luxury, servants, power, the right to give inheritance, travel, more spouses, better looking/ behaving/ smarter spouse(s)/ companions, harem, etc.

Americans as well as other people, may hate those things that they think might be a threat to the possibilities of a happy and/or better future. For that reason much information and propaganda, concerning the problems with communism, have been available in America since the inception of Soviet communism in the early 20's. Also the Soviets declared capitalist counties as the primary enemies of their form of government, after the fall of Germany in WWI.

Edited by pantheory, 12 July 2011 - 01:36 AM.

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#8 Bignose

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 11:22 PM

The philosophy as an idea has merit. I think that most people can understand that as a society, there is value in helping people who are less fortunate, and treating all members of a society as equals.

However, mankind as a species is not mature enough for this kind of arrangement. There are too many people who in receiving a fair share of the output society produces, will chose not to do their part of the input. And, too many people that would ratchet their efforts down to just the barest minimum work required, because they wouldn't see the benefit that the entire society receives as any kind of personal benefit for themselves. Not enough people can think longer term like "when I am young, I can work harder and help support today's older members of society so that when I am older, and can only work a lesser amount, I can let the young of that time help support me."

And, as above, no county has ever instituted the system anywhere near 'properly'. Orwell's Animal Farm probably said it best: "All animals are equals, but some are more equal than others."

I have optimism that someday the species will be mature enough to make a society where every member is equal, and everybody contributed what they can to the good of all society, but I do not think that anything approaching that will occur in my lifetime.
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#9 Daedalus

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 06:01 AM

The philosophy as an idea has merit. I think that most people can understand that as a society, there is value in helping people who are less fortunate, and treating all members of a society as equals.

However, mankind as a species is not mature enough for this kind of arrangement. There are too many people who in receiving a fair share of the output society produces, will chose not to do their part of the input. And, too many people that would ratchet their efforts down to just the barest minimum work required, because they wouldn't see the benefit that the entire society receives as any kind of personal benefit for themselves. Not enough people can think longer term like "when I am young, I can work harder and help support today's older members of society so that when I am older, and can only work a lesser amount, I can let the young of that time help support me."

And, as above, no county has ever instituted the system anywhere near 'properly'. Orwell's Animal Farm probably said it best: "All animals are equals, but some are more equal than others."

I have optimism that someday the species will be mature enough to make a society where every member is equal, and everybody contributed what they can to the good of all society, but I do not think that anything approaching that will occur in my lifetime.


An excellent point Bignose. Except we must always consider that the path to living in a hell like North Korea, or any other communist country as such, is paved with good intentions.
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#10 CaptainPanic

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 11:18 AM

If you start communism as a nation, you always maintain inequality across the borders. Closing the borders is then a logical result. And that means your people aren't free. And being not free is never really popular.

Add to that a complete mismanagement of the economy in the communist states - I have the impression you got higher up the commie ladder if you kissed some *ss or if you were a military hero, rather than being a capable leader - and you have a disaster.

Don't get me wrong: I think that our current banking system as a way to fund investments is a very sick system that's on the verge of collapse, so this is no rose garden either... but the communist system like the Soviets had, no thanks. I think it would be a good thing to distribute wealth more evenly... but not if that requires closed borders, a police state and a dictatorship.
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#11 Dekan

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 02:57 PM

...and the list of countries that have tried it "properly" is? ...


...??


China.
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#12 pantheory

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 05:58 PM

China.


I think China has a fairly functional social system right now, but I think this system is generally unrelated to communism. Some presently call their system a type of State Capitalism and a brand of socialism with only an admixture of pure communism involved. Their brand of it works quite well in some ways, for instance the state is presently buying resources/ making good investments internally as well as all over the world, which I expect will benefit the country greatly as time progresses. This may be a good idea for our government too in that for excellent internal and external investments, and the related profits, much fewer taxes might be needed which sounds good to me :) And most people in China seem to like their "new" system too.

Edited by pantheory, 12 July 2011 - 06:00 PM.

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#13 John Cuthber

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 06:00 PM

...and the list of countries that have tried it "properly" is? ...


...??

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empty_set
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#14 rigney

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 07:48 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empty_set

You're right John C. No human species, or any of the advanced animal kingdom has done it right so far. At best, it seems impossible to do, so long as there are two cognizant individuals. Daa!!! Bee hives and Bat caves come the closest to that harmony I can think of. But me? I don't like the thought of hiding out in dark places, wearing fuzzy clothing, or to live and work in a place where you only had honey to eat, wax to sleep on, and wear pinstriped suits. And that isn't even Communism!

Edited by rigney, 12 July 2011 - 07:48 PM.

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#15 JohnB

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 11:11 PM

China.


Human rights in the People's Republic of China.

Yes things have improved, they might still execute more people each year than the rest of the world combined, but they no longer bill the surviving family members for the bullets.

Or if you prefer Amnesty International.

Amnesty International has documented widespread human rights violations in China. An estimated 500,000 people are currently enduring punitive detention without charge or trial, and millions are unable to access the legal system to seek redress for their grievances. Harassment, surveillance, house arrest, and imprisonment of human rights defenders are on the rise, and censorship of the Internet and other media has grown. Repression of minority groups, including Tibetans, Uighurs and Mongolians, and of Falun Gong practitioners and Christians who practice their religion outside state-sanctioned churches continues. While the recent reinstatement of Supreme People's Court review of death penalty cases may result in lower numbers of executions, China remains the leading executioner in the world.


If this is "proper" communism, then no sane person could support it.
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#16 Marat

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 11:44 PM

The real reason America is uniquely intense in its anti-communistic fervor is that it is also uniquely religious among the developed countries. Marxism has been unpopular ever since he drew the consequence from his socialist ideas that the intellectual superstructure created by capitalism had no merit apart from the system it served to support, and part of that superstructure he identified was religion, keeping the peasants willing to endure their poverty while their overlords were wealthy on the theory that it was only some mystical life which would somehow occur after death which was important. As Napoleon once said, "If it were not for religion, the poor would murder the rich." The communism-anti-christian link is what really bothers most Americans, and you can still hear today people going around, wringing their hands about the dangers of "Gawdless Commin'ism."

In contrast, pre-communist socialism didn't alarm Americans all that much because it did not directly attack relgion. Experimental communities where everything was shared, Proudhon's and Saint Simon's ideas, various limited progressive theorists around Teddy Roosevelt and Eugene V. Debbs, although appearning after Marx, still underplayed the anti-religion implications of progressivist thought and so got a pass from the American people.

The fact that early Christian communities were communist in organization doesn't occur to these folk.

Now why everyone should object so strenuously to the idea of distributing society's resources so that the most fundamental needs are answered before any demands for luxury are met, and requiring labor from people only according to what they can give, not just according to what the capitalist profit motive requires of them, is not clear. "To each according to his needs, from each according to his ability."

The usual argument against communism is that "it just doesn't work," but this is usually measured according to the standards and ways of measuring things in a capitalist system, so of course it doesn't work. The book 'The Spirit Level' has recently presented a convincing statistical demonstration that once society reaches a certain level of material development, what it most needs to produce a good life for everyone is an equal distribution of resources rather than ever more rewards for capitalists to produce more widgets. Denmark, one of the most socialist countries in the Western world, is usually ranked as the best place in the world to live, not hypercapitalist states like the U.S. or Singapore.

The biggest problem with the way capitalism measures the success or failure of any economy is that it ignores the humans in it. Let's operate not with cash or commodities produced by an economy but instead take a measure of an economy's success or failure which is more directly related to the human values for which an economy exists. If we measure the ability of a society to produce this kind of value, more socialist states producing fewer widgets come out ahead of more capitalist societies producing more widgets. Take this example: If a poor person living in a dumpster receives $100,000 to put his life back on track, that it worth to him, in purely human terms of satisfying real human need and producing real human happiness, a trillion times more than it is worth in those same terms to Bill Gates if another $100,000 in interest payments slip into his $40 billion bank account overnight, unnoticed by anyone except his accountants. So by this measure, a society with a nearly even distribution of wealth would wind up producing many trillions of times more genuine human happiness than one with 300,000,000 peasants and 3 trillionaires, which is more or less the Republican Party's dream for America. So the only kind of economy which can possibly 'work' in this real human measure of happiness is a socialist one.
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#17 Bignose

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 12:22 AM

An excellent point Bignose. Except we must always consider that the path to living in a hell like North Korea, or any other communist country as such, is paved with good intentions.


Which is why I wrote multiple times that I feel mankind as a species is not mature enough for anything approaching true communism.
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#18 JohnB

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 03:16 PM

Now why everyone should object so strenuously to the idea of distributing society's resources so that the most fundamental needs are answered before any demands for luxury are met, and requiring labor from people only according to what they can give, not just according to what the capitalist profit motive requires of them, is not clear. "To each according to his needs, from each according to his ability."


If it isn't clear, then you need to get some basic knowledge of human psychology. If the individual is the one assessing his own "ability" and "needs", then a human will want everything he can get for bugger all effort. If there is a free hand out, then people put their hands out, it's that simple.

It's this hold over from earlier times that means communism will never work until humans evolve into something else.

For most of the 6 million odd years since Lucy, humans have lived a hunter gatherer existence. This is the ultimate "throw away" society with zero forward planning. When you are hungry you hunt and gather, when you aren't, you don't. Kill a mamoth and the tribe eats well for 3 days and spends the time not eating lying around and scratching their nuts. This is how humans lived, if the needs of food, shelter and clothing were met, nobody did a bloody thing past that. It's only in the last 6 or 8 thousand years since we developed agriculture and a permanent residence in an area that we've started thinking about what will happen next year. Hunter gatherers don't think past where the next meal is coming from and only then once they start to feel hungry.

Communism is up against 6 million years of evolution as to how humans think and behave. There is zero evidence that this nature has changed at all, people still want a free lunch. Until such time as humans evolve into something else, this will not change. Communism ignores this basic fact in favour of ideology. Any political system that ignores the basics of human psychology simply "won't work". It's like trying to build an aircaft and ignoring the laws of aerodynamics, the plane simply "won't work".
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#19 Ophiolite

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 03:54 PM

Several points arise, some of which have already been made.

1. No country has practised communism. The Soviet Union was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Socialism, as defined by Marx, was a stepping stone on the road to communusm. And, as has been pointed outthe implementation of socialism was haphazard, corrupt and ineffective. That is an argument against Russia, not against communism.

2. Marx thought the appropriate place for the initial steps towards communism were Germany or the UK, not a backward, despotic, feudal Russia. There is a scene in Doctor Zhivago where soldiers on the front learn of the revolution, the removal of the Tsar and the rise to power of Lenin. "Who is Lenin?" asks a soldier. "He's the new Tsar." is the reply. Russia never had communism - it never had true socialism - it simply had a new power structure.

3. The dislike of Communism arises from the fear of empire building on the part of the 'communist countries'.
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#20 thinker_jeff

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 03:57 PM

If it isn't clear, then you need to get some basic knowledge of human psychology.


It's clear that has been called "social loafing" in psychology.
http://en.wikipedia..../Social_loafing
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