The capitalist West’s war against Communism has been pretty vicious. There are few lies that they have not bothered to toss about. Most here in the West simply uncritically swallowed all of this stuff no questions asked.
I would like to take to task at least bit one anti-Communist dogma: That Communism (and by analogy socialism) has failed, and one of the reasons for that failure was that people hate it.
We really need to ask, “Failed how, and in what way?” If you ask your average person how it is that it failed, you won’t get much of an answer.
One of the ways we can determine if a system failed or not is if the people themselves accepted it or enjoyed. Anti-Communist dogma long held that the people living under Communism were miserable. But this is now coming under question. An earlier post laid out well that after 20 years, large sectors of Eastern Europe, in some cases a majority, prefer Communism to the capitalism that replaced it. Keep in mind that these are folks who experienced both.
More evidence is forthcoming from a new poll from Tajikistan, indicating that 70% of the population wants to go back to Communism. This is 20 years after the transition. In the 20 years since the transition, industrial production has collapsed by 70% and 2 million Tajiks are unemployed. The place is, in a word, fucked.
Another poll says that 60% of Russians regret the fall of the USSR. Face it, whatever replaced it is pretty ugly.
Ok, so if it failed, it wasn’t because the people hated it, right? In many cases, large sectors of the population, even majorities, preferred it to capitalism. So we can’t say it was a failure based on lack of popular support.
How about another argument? This argument says that no one has ever immigrated from a capitalist country to a Communist country, with the exception of a few Western Communists. But this is not the case. After Germany split into West and East halves, many West German Communists left their half and immigrated to East Germany. I’m not sure how long they stayed. This info comes from a German friend of mine from Hessen. She told me that most of her Communist relatives in the West took off for the East.
In Cuba, we have yet another case. Eastern Cuba is now full of Blacks from Jamaica and Haiti who have fled capitalist Haiti and Jamaica (largely failed states) for Cuba. They reportedly like Cuba much better than Haiti and Jamaica.
A better way to look at it is that Communism and capitalism (as economic systems) are different systems, both of which can and often do have immense problems and also immense benefits. Some humans prefer to live under Communism while others prefer to live in a capitalist system. The type of person who prefers to live under one system or the other probably depends on personality and life experience.
A rightwing friend of mine told me that it’s true many people prefer Communism, but he said that they are the “lazy failures” of society. I’m ok with his objection. I just wish that the capitalist media of the West would agree that a lot of humans prefer Communism over capitalism. Then we can argue about who they are and why, whether or not they are “lazy failures,” etc.
As for the larger question of whether Communism failed or not, that goes beyond the preferences of those who lived under it and deserves another post.