Communismsocialist political movement and ideology In political
and social sciences
(from Latin communis
, "common, universal") is the philosophical
, and economicideology
and movement whose ultimate goal
is the establishment of the communist society
, which is a socioeconomic
order structured upon the common ownership
of the means of production
and the absence of social classes
, and the state
. Communism includes a variety of schools of thought
, which broadly include Marxism
), and the political ideologies
grouped around both. All these share the analysis that the current order of society
stems from its economic system
, that in this system
, there are two major social classes: the working class
—who must work to survive, and who make up the majority within society—and the capitalist class
—a minority who derives profit
from employing the working class, through private ownership of the means of production—and that conflict between these two classes
will trigger a revolution
. The revolution, in turn, will establish social ownership
of the means of production, which is, according to this analysis, the primary element in the transformation of society
: Hey Gorby
, did you hear this quote ... "Communism is the most painful path between capitalism and capitalism."
To be a Communist is to be a partisan and artisan of Marxism-Leninist philosophy: of dialectical materialism.
Στον καπιταλισμό οι κουμουνιστές είναι πάντα καλύτεροι.
- In capitalism, communists are always better.
- Adonis Georgiadis about the way the Communist Party of Greece handles money (12 May 2018)
There are some of our own people who still think that the Communists are the left wing of the Socialist movement. They are not. The Socialist movement was a movement for freedom
in its widest sense. From the point of view of freedom, Communists are on the extreme right—more reactionary than some of the old tyrannies which we knew in the past. What is the thing for which we fight, for which the men with whom we feel the stir of sympathy throughout the ages have fought? Freedom. But that fight changes from age to age and the freedom that some men fought for may turn out to be tyranny. Communists, concentrating solely on the economic aspects of freedom...have produced the ghastly travesty of Socialism in the lands behind the iron curtain
, speech in Glasgow (10 April 1949), quoted in The Times
(11 April 1949), p. 4
Socialism was the only means of freeing the world from war and poverty. Socialism stood as a third alternative to a barbaric Communism and capitalism in a state of decay. Communism was a falsification of the principles of Socialism.
, speech to the Swedish Social Democratic Party congress in Stockholm (5 June 1952), quoted in The Times
(6 June 1952), p. 5
If communism ever reestablishes itself successfully upon earth, it must be on a foundation of soul's brotherhood and the death of egoism. A forced association and a mechanical comradeship would end in a world-wide fiasco.
, quoted from Sri Aurobindo
, Nahar, S., Aurobindo, ., & Institut de recherches évolutives (Paris). India's rebirth: A selection from Sri Aurobindo's writing, talks and speeches.
Paris: Institut de Recherches Evolutives. 3rd Edition (2000). Chapter II
We are talking here about the future: about the lives of people in the world without wars, without social oppression, without national inequality, without suppression of human’s abilities. In other word, it is about the future that we all call Communism.
The specific kind of anti-communism
that took shape in these years was partly based on value judgements: the widespread belief in the United States that communism was simply a bad system, or morally repugnant even when effective. But it was also based on a number of assertions about the nature of Soviet-led international communism. There was a widespread belief that Stalin wanted to invade Western Europe. It became accepted as fact that the Soviets were pushing for revolution worldwide, and that whenever communists were present, even in small numbers, they probably had secret plans to overthrow the government. And it was considered gospel that anywhere communists were acting, they were doing so on the orders of the Soviet Union, part of a monolithic global conspiracy to destroy the West. Most of this was simply untrue. Much of the rest was greatly exaggerated.
I'm about as much in favor of communism as J. Edgar Hoover. I despise communism and I believe in our own American brand of democracy.
In Brazil, it goes like this: communists only read communist authors, (economic) liberals only read liberal authors and so on. Each one is afraid of tarnishing their little soul with sinful thoughts. In order for someone to speak with some propriety about the communist movement, they must have previously studied the following things:
- The classics of Marxism: Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Mao Zedong.
- The most important Marxist philosophers: Lukács, Korsch, Gramsci, Adorno, Horkheimer, Marcuse, Lefebvre, Althusser.
- Main Currents of Marxism, by Leszek Kolakowski.
- Some good history and sociology books about the revolutionary movement in general, such as Fire in the Minds of Men, by James H. Billington, The Pursuit of the Millenium, by Norman Cohn, The New Science of Politics, by Eric Voegelin.
- Good books on the history of communist regimes written from a non-apologetic point of view.
- Books by the most famous critics of Marxism, like Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, Ludwig von Mises, Raymond Aron, Roger Scruton, Nicolai Berdiaev and so many others.
- Books about the communist strategy and tactics on their rise to power, about the underground activities of the movement in the West and chiefly about the "active measures" (disinformation, agents of influence), like those by Anatolyi Golitsyn, Christopher Andrew, John Earl Haynes, Ladislaw Bittman, Diana West.
- The largest number possible of testimonies by former communist agents and militants who recall their experience in service of the movement or communist governments, such as Arthur Koestler, Ian Valtin, Ion Mihai Pacepa, Whittaker Chambers, David Horowitz.
- High-value testimonies about human condition in socialist societies, like those by Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Vladimir Bukovski, Nadiejda Mandelstam, Alexander Soljenítsin, Richard Wurmbrand.
This is a reading program that can be accomplished in four or five years by a good student. I do not know, either in the Brazilian right or left, anyone, absolutely anyone, who has accomplished it.
When I feed the hungry, they call me a saint. When I ask why people are hungry, they call me a Communist.
- Dom Helder Camara, Brazilian archbishop, as quoted in Peace Behind Bars : A Peacemaking Priest's Journal from Jail (1995) by John Dear, p. 65; this is a translation of "Quando dou comida aos pobres chamam-me de santo. Quando pergunto por que eles são pobres chamam-me de comunista."
- Variant translations:
- When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why are they poor, they call me a Communist.
- When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a Communist.
revelations concerning Stalin
are enough to have plunged all those who have participated in communist activity, to whatever degree, into an abyss of shock, pain, and shame (or, at least, I hope so).
The dead, the tortured, the executed—no, neither posthumous rehabilitations, nor national funerals, nor official speeches can overcome them. These are not the kind of ghosts that one can ward off with a mechanical phrase.
From now on, they will show up as watermarks in the very substance of the system.
The details supplied by Khrushchev on Stalin’s methods ... lead us to believe in the existence in these countries of a veritable state capitalism
, exploiting the working class in a manner not very different from the way the working class is used in capitalist countries.
, Letter to Maurice Thorez
resigning from the French Communist Party, October 24, 1956, as translated by Chike Jeffers
- Across the world academics still clung to the words and ideas of Marx and Engels and even Lenin. Fools. There were even those who said that Communism had been tried in the wrong country; that Russia had been too far backward to make those wonderful ideas work.
- It destroys the conditions for the existence of class antagonism, destroys classes in general, and thereby also its domination as a class. Karl Marx, as Quoted in Simply Philosophy 
I am a communist because I am convinced that the reason we have been forcefully compelled to eke out an existence at the very lowest level of American society has to do with the nature of capitalism. If we are going to rise out of our oppression, our poverty, if we are going to cease being the targets of the racist-minded mentality of racist policemen, we will have to destroy the American capitalist system. We will have to obliterate a system in which a few wealthy capitalists are guaranteed the privilege of becoming richer and richer, whereas the people who are forced to work for the rich, and especially Black people, never take any significant step forward.
Angela Y. Davis
, "I am a Revolutionary Black Woman" (1970) in Let Nobody Turn Us Around: Voices of Resistance, Reform, and Renewal
(2000), p. 483
The Right positions communism as a threat because communism names the defeat of and alternative to capitalism. It recognizes the crisis in capitalism: over-accumulation leaves the rich sitting on piles of cash they can't invest; industrial capacity remains unused and workers unemployed; global interconnections make unneeded skyscrapers, fiber-optic cables, malls, and housing developments as much a part of China as the US. At the same time, scores of significant problems – whether food shortages linked to climate change, energy shortages resulting from oil dependency, or drug shortages resulting from the failure of private pharmaceutical companies to risk their own capital – remain unmet because they require the kinds of large-scale planning and cooperation that capitalism, particularly in its contemporary finance and communications-driven incarnation, subverts.
, The Communist Horizon
(2012), pp. 51-52
The US right calls everything it doesn’t like 'communist'. They call Clinton
'communists'. With 'communist' as the go-to name for anything that isn't right wing
, its acceptability increases. If you don't like the right, you're a communist.
Let me examine the alleged "distinction from capitalism" characteristic of the Soviet Union
and see whether it isn't a distinction from a certain stage of capitalism rather than from capitalism as a whole. The determining factor in analyzing the class nature of a society is not whether the means of production are the private property of the capitalist class or are state-owned, but whether the means of production ... are monopolized and alienated from the direct producers. The Soviet Government occupies in relation to the whole economic system the position which a capitalist occupies in relation to a single enterprise. ... "Bureaucratic state socialism" is an irrational expression behind which there exists the real economic relation of state-capitalist
to the propertyless exploited.
, "The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is a Capitalist Society" (1941), in Russia: From Proletarian Revolution to State-Capitalist Counter-Revolution
, p. 210
The reason i am a communist is because I believe in a total revolution
which is going to overthrow the capitalist control of the economy, which will seize the wealth from all of the giant corporations that exploit and control the lives of all working people.
What is a communist?
One who hath yearnings
For equal division of unequal earnings.
Communism is the doctrine of the conditions of the liberation of the proletariat.
The abolition of private property is, doubtless, the shortest and most significant way to characterize the revolution
in the whole social order
which has been made necessary by the development of industry – and for this reason it is rightly advanced by communists as their main demand.
What will be the attitude of communism to existing nationalities? The nationalities of the peoples associating themselves in accordance with the principle of community will be compelled to mingle with each other as a result of this association and thereby to dissolve themselves, just as the various estate and class distinctions must disappear through the abolition of their basis, private property.
so far have been the expression of historical stages of development
of individual peoples or groups of peoples. But communism is the stage of historical development which makes all existing religions superfluous and brings about their disappearance.
Some propose mere welfare
measures – while others come forward with grandiose systems of reform which, under the pretense of re-organizing society, are in fact intended to preserve
the foundations, and hence the life, of existing society. Communists must unremittingly struggle against these bourgeois socialists because they work for the enemies
of communists and protect the society which communists aim to overthrow.
Since the communists cannot enter upon the decisive struggle between themselves and the bourgeoisie until the bourgeoisie is in power, it follows that it is in the interest of the communists to help the bourgeoisie to power as soon as possible in order the sooner to be able to overthrow it.
There is not so much difference between the ideologies of capitalism and communism, you know. The difference is simple. Capitalism is the exploitation of man by man, and communism is the reverse.
What better time to resurrect the spectre of communism? As youth across the world become increasingly disenchanted with the savage inequalities of capitalism, defenders of the status quo will stop at nothing to convince younger voters about the evils of collectivist ideas. They will rewrite history textbooks, build memorials, and declare days of commemoration for the victims of communism – all to ensure that calls for social justice or redistribution are forever equated with forced labour camps and famine.
Communism is a specter called forth when those in power feel their grip erode.
By a remorseless logic, ... representation of the proletariat turns into its opposite, administration over the proletariat. ~ C. L. R. James
Today, from end to end of the world, men know that democracy is bankrupt. What is to take its place they do not know. The alternative seems to be planned economy and one-party state
. This is the
philosophical question. But the philosophy of planned economy
and one-party state
is distinguishable from that of the bourgeoisie
only by its more complete rationalism
. The labor bureaucracy in power or out of it sees the solution to the crisis of production in scientific progress, greater output. It consciously seeks to plan and organize the division of labor as the means to further accumulation of capital
. In ideology it is ready to expropriate those representatives of private property
who stand in the way of this complete rationalization. But didn’t this bureaucracy develop out of the working class? It did and it could only have developed out of the working class. It is a product of the modern mass movement, created by the centralization of capital
, and holds its position only because of this movement. At the same time it cannot conceive the necessity for abolishing the division of labor
, the only solution to the crisis
in production. By a remorseless logic, therefore, representation of the proletariat
turns into its opposite, administration over the proletariat
. The end of bourgeois rationalism is this crisis of the revolution and counter-revolution
Communism was a very defective answer to some very good questions. In throwing out the bad answer, we have forgotten the good questions. I want to put the good questions back on the table.
, quoted in Evan R. Goldstein, "The Trials of Tony Judt", The Chronicle of Higher Education
(January 06, 2010)
I’m more and more convinced it’s only through communism that we can become human.
Communism is like an autoimmune disorder; it doesn't do the killing itself, but it weakens the system so much that the victim is left helpless and unable to fight off anything else.
World communism is like a malignant parasite which feeds only on diseased tissue.
The Communists are determined to destroy us, and regardless of what hand of friendship we may hold out or what arguments we may put up, the only thing that will make that decisive difference is the strength of the United States.
John F. Kennedy
, Speech by Senator John F. Kennedy, Democratic Rally, George Washington High School Stadium, Alexandria, VA, August 24, 1960. - The American Presidency Project.
There are many people in the world who really don't understand, or say they don't, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin. And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Lass' sie nach Berlin kommen. Let them come to Berlin.
Communism has sometimes succeeded as a scavenger, but never as a leader. It has never come to power in a country that was not disrupted by war or corruption, or both.
Communism is based on an ethical relativism and a metaphysical materialism that no Christian can accept.
Communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism forgets that life is social, and the kingdom of brotherhood is found neither in the thesis of communism nor the antithesis of capitalism but in a higher synthesis. It is found in a higher synthesis that combines the truths of both.
In the social equation, the value of a single life is nil; in the cosmic equation, it is infinite... Not only communism, but any political movement which implicitly relies on purely utilitarian ethics, must become a victim to the same fatal error. It is a fallacy as naïve as a mathematical teaser, and yet its consequences lead straight to Goya's Disasters, to the reign of the guillotine, the torture chambers of the Inquisition, or the cellars of the Lubianka
, all you have to do to get a house is to be born in the Soviet Union
. You are entitled to housing. In America
, if you don't have a dollar you have a right to choose between sleeping in a house or on the pavement. Yet you say we are the slave to communism.
Communism was a gigantic façade, and the reality concealed behind it was the sheer drive for power, for total power as an end in itself. The rest was merely instrumental -- a matter of tactics and some necessary self-restrictions to achieve the desired end. But the façade was more than mere decoration: it was communism's only means of survival; its respiratory system. It was also the ineradicable residue of the tradition of the Enlightenment and nineteenth-century socialism, of which communism was indeed a deformed descendant. As with all descendants, however deformed, some inherited traits are always visible, and in communism, too, these were evident. The rationalism, contempt for tradition, and hatred for the mythological layer of culture to which the Enlightenment gave birth developed, under communism, into the brutal persecution of religion, but also into the principle (practiced rather than directly expressed) that human beings are expendable: that individual lives count only as instruments of the 'greater whole' or the 'higher cause,' i.e. the state, for no rational grounds exist for attributing to them any special, non-instrumental status. Thus rationalism was transformed under communism into the idea of slavery. And romantic and early socialist strains -- the search for lost community and human solidarity, the protest against social disintegration caused by the industrial revolution and urbanization -- developed, under communism, into caricature: solidarity imposed by force, in an attempt to create a fake, merely ostensible unity -- the unity of despotism.
, "Communism as a Cultural Force", as quoted in Is God Happy? Selected Essays
(2013), Basic Books, pp. 36-37
leads to Communism, and Communism to Anarchy, both alike being expressions of the predominant tendency in modern societies, the pursuit of equality
As a result of this failure of communist ideology to comprehend the nature of man, Stalin decided to alter the Russian constitution. No longer would economic rewards be distributed on the basis of ‘need’; rather, the new concept was to be ‘to each according to his work.’
Quote from The Fundamentals of Liberty
by Robert LeFevre
, Santa Ana: CA, Rampart Institute, 1988, p. 402
For the state to wither away completely, complete communism is necessary.
We Communists are all dead men on leave.
Of this I am fully aware. I do not know if you will extend my leave or whether I will have to join Karl Liebkneccht and Rosa Luxemburg
. In any case I wait your verdict with composure and serenity.
Eugen Lévin, Verso Book of Dissent
There are certain types of people who are political out of a kind of religious reason [...] I think it's fairly common among socialists: They are, in fact, God-seekers, looking for the kingdom of God on earth. A lot of religious reformers have been like that, too. It's the same psychological set, trying to abolish the present in favor of some better future — always taking it for granted that there is a better future. If you don't believe in heaven, then you believe in socialism. When I was in my real Communist phase, I and the people around me really believed — but, of course, this makes us certifiable — that something like 10 years after World War II, the world would be Communist and perfect.
The tragedy of Korea is further heightened by the fact that its military action is confined to its territorial limits. It condemns that nation, which it is our purpose to save, to suffer the devastating impact of full naval and air bombardment while the enemy's sanctuaries are fully protected from such attack and devastation. Of the nations of the world, Korea alone, up to now, is the sole one which has risked its all against communism. The magnificence of the courage and fortitude of the Korean people defies description. They have chosen to risk death
rather than slavery
. Their last words to me were: 'Don't scuttle the Pacific!'
The cause of Communism is the greatest cause in the history of mankind becasuse it seeks to remove from society all forms of oppression and exploitation, to liberate mankind and to ensure peace and prosperity to all.
Communism is for us not a state of affairs which is to be established, an ideal to which reality [will] have to adjust itself. We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things. The conditions of this movement result from the premises now in existence.
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. Its organisation is, therefore, essentially economic, the material production of the conditions of this unity; it turns existing conditions into conditions of unity. The reality, which communism is creating, is precisely the true basis for rendering it impossible that anything should exist independently of individuals, insofar as reality is only a product of the preceding intercourse of individuals themselves.
A spectre is haunting Europe; the spectre of Communism.
The theory of Communism may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.
Communism deprives no man of the power to appropriate the products of society; all that it does is to deprive him of the power to subjugate the labour of others by means of such appropriation.
The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.WORKING MEN OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!
The trouble with Communism is the Communists, just as the trouble with Christianity is the Christians. They really do not believe in it and hence are hypocrites. All of them pant for money and hope to collar it by changing the rules. This fundamental false pretense colors their whole propaganda. They have no more sense of honor than so many congressmen and engage constantly in wholesale lying.
The chief weakness of Communism is that it is, itself, only another breed of the same materialism which is the source and root of all the evils which it so clearly sees, and it is evidently nothing but another product of the breakdown of the capitalist system. Indeed, it seems to be pieced together out of the ruins of the same ideology that once went into the vast, amorphous, intellectual structure underlying capitalism in the nineteenth century.
But to make the comparison applicable, we must compare Communism at its best, with the regime of individual property, not as it is, but as it might be made... The laws of property have never yet conformed to the principles on which the justification of private property
If the roused and insurgent consumers secure the means of production of the salt industry, in all probability they will confiscate this industry for their own profit, and their first thought will be, not to relegate it to free competition, but rather to exploit it, in common, for their own account. They will then name a director or a directive committee to operate the saltworks, to whom they will allocate the funds necessary to defray the costs of salt production. Then, since the experience of the past will have made them suspicious and distrustful, since they will be afraid that the director named by them will seize production for his own benefit, and simply reconstitute by open or hidden means the old monopoly for his own profit, they will elect delegates, representatives entrusted with appropriating the funds necessary for production, with watching over their use, and with making sure that the salt produced is equally distributed to those entitled to it. The production of salt will be organized in this manner.
This form of the organization of production has been named communism.
When this organization is applied to a single commodity, the communism is said to be partial.
When it is applied to all commodities, the communism is said to be complete.
But whether communism is partial or complete, political economy is no more tolerant of it than it is of monopoly, of which it is merely an extension.
When ecclesiastic love waned, when waves of capitalistic greed surged across Christian Europe, when starving masses cried out bitterly in the slums, the promise of their salvation came not from heaven but from the earth. Its name was communism. Christianity, though it professed the love of God, had degenerated into a dead body of clergy trailing empty slogans. It was then only natural that a banner of rebellion would be raised, arguing that a merciless God who would allow such suffering could not exist. Hence, modern materialism was born. Western society became a hotbed of materialism; it was the fertile soil in which communism flourished.
Nonetheless, one final and inescapable conflict remains before us, the war between democracy and communism. Although each side has equipped itself with fearsome weapons and is pitted against the other in readiness for battle, the core of their conflict is internal and ideological. Which side will triumph in this final ideological conflict? Anyone who believes in the reality of God will surely answer that democracy will win.
After 7,000 biblical years — 6,000 years of restoration history plus the millennium, the time of completion — communism will fall in its 70th year. Here is the meaning of the year 1978. Communism, begun in 1917, could maintain itself approximately 60 years and reach its peak. So 1978 is the border line and afterward communism will decline; in the 70th year it will be altogether ruined. This is true. Therefore, now is the time for people who are studying communism to abandon it.
Governments and Parties which have relied on the normal instruments of government ... have fallen easy and ignoble victims to the forces of anarchy. If, therefore, such a situation arises in Britain, we shall prepare to meet the anarchy of Communism with the organised force of Fascism
, The Greater Britain
, 1932. Quoted in John Stevenson and Chris Cook, The Slump : Britain in the Great Depression
New York : Pearson Longman, 2010.
What is Communism? It is that when you have eaten enough food for your hunger and still food is left — it belongs to another man.
America continues to aid us; then we continue to fight the communists.
- Nguyễn Văn Thiệu, as quoted in Vietnam, the Ten Thousand Day War (1984), by Michael MacLear.
- Original Vietnamese quote: Mỹ còn viện trợ, thì chúng tôi còn chống cộng!
Don't listen to what communists say, instead look closely at what the communists do!
Philosophically, Communism and Anarchism
are poles apart. Practically - i.e. in the form of society aimed at - the difference is mainly one of emphasis, but it is quite irreconcilable. The Communist's emphasis is always on centralism and efficiency, the Anarchists's on liberty and equality.
The system of production developed in Russia is State socialism. It is organized production, with the State as universal employer, master of the entire production apparatus. The workers are master of the means of production no more than under Western capitalism. They receive their wages and are exploited by the State as the only mammoth capitalist. So the name State capitalism
can be applied with precisely the same meaning. The entirety of the ruling and leading bureaucracy of officials is the actual owner of the factories, the possessing class.
The overthrow of communism gave a green light to the unbridled exploitative impulses of Western corporate interests. No longer needing to convince workers that they live better than their counterparts in Russia, and no longer constrained by a competing system, the corporate class is rolling back the many gains that working people in the West have won over the years. Now that the free market, in its meanest form, is emerging triumphant in the East, so will it prevail in the West.
, Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism.
(1997), p. 58
Having never understood the role that existing communist powers played in tempering the worst impulses of Western capitalism and imperialism, and having perceived communism as nothing but an unmitigated evil, the left anticommunists did not anticipate the losses that were to come. Some of them still don't get it.
, Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism.
(1997), p. 58
I think that communism was a major force for violence for more than 100 years, because it was built into its ideology—that progress comes through class struggle, often violent. It led to the widespread belief that the only way to achieve justice was to hurry this dialectical process along, and allow the oppressed working classes to carry out their struggle against their bourgeois oppressors.
Long live the Communist Party, and partisans! Fight, people, for your freedom! Do not surrender to the evildoers! I will be killed, but there are those who will avenge me!
Such terms as communism, socialism, Fabianism, the welfare state, Nazism, fascism, state interventionism, egalitarianism, the planned economy, the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the New Republicanism, the New Frontier are simply different labels for much the same thing.
I have one question for those rulers: If communism is the wave of the future, why do you still need walls to keep people in and armies of secret police to keep them quiet?
[Cold war demonology] is a color word, and I probably should not have used it. It means just sort of interpreting everything in terms of a great communist conspiracy and in terms of communists being supermen who somehow can overcome the great problems of differences between national units, and so on. They are not supermen at all. They are men with feet of clay which extend almost all the way up to their brains.
Edwin O. Reischauer
, former U.S. ambassador to Japan, testimony at hearing, January 31, 1967. Asia, the Pacific, and the United States, hearing before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, 90th Congress, 1st session, p. 19 (1967).
Seventy years ago people used to die for this idea [communism] [...], in Turin the members of the Communist Party, during the Resistance, had to endure 8 hours of torture. [Fascists] would pull your eyes out with teaspoons, they'd rip your nails out with tweezers. And you had to stay silent for eight hours, and only after that you were allowed to confess and give the names of your comrades, and that was a Party guideline, to ensure the comrades' flight in those eight hours. Those men and women died for this idea. And what's politics today? They must be rolling in their own grave, can't you see that?
Communism is like prohibition
, it's a good idea but it won't work.
The hopes which inspire communism are, in the main, as admirable as those instilled by the Sermon on the Mount, but they are held as fanatically and are as likely to do as much harm.
, The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism
(1920), Part I, The Present Condition of Russia, Ch. 1: What Is Hoped From Bolshevism.
The way to combat Communism is not war. What is needed in addition to such armaments as will deter Communists from attacking the West, is a diminution of the grounds for discontent in the less prosperous parts of the non-communist world. ...Communism is a doctrine bred of poverty, hatred and strife. Its spread can only be arrested by diminishing the area of poverty and hatred.
I think all the great religions of the world - Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Communism – both untrue and harmful.
, My Religious Reminiscences
(1957) reprinted in The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell
I dislike Communism because it is undemocratic, and capitalism because it favors exploitation.
Communism, including its first phase (socialism), is an ideology based on destroying harmony among social classes and eliminating traditional beliefs and moral values.
"Do people still respect him?"
"The government pays lip service to his memory, but the hero worship of past eras is over."
"And what about the ordinary people?"
"The so-called proletariat?"
"They've found another god to follow."
The history of Communism, originally inspired by noble ideals, clearly illustrates what happens when people attempt to change external reality – create a new earth – without any prior change in their inner reality, their state of consciousness
. They make plans without taking into account the blueprint for dysfunction that every human being carries within: the ego
It was in prison that we found the hope of salvation for the Communists. It was there that we developed a sense of responsibility toward them. It was in being tortured by them that we learned to love them.
Some tell me "Preach the pure gospel!" This reminds me that the Communist secret police also told me to preach Christ, but not to mention communism. Is it really so, that those who are for what is called "a pure gospel" are inspired by the same spirit as those of the Communist secret police?
The biggest threat to America today is not communism. It's moving America toward a fascist
theocracy, and everything that's happened during the Reagan
administration is steering us right down that pipe … I really think that. … When you have a government that prefers a certain moral code derived from a certain religion and that moral code turns into legislation to suit one certain religious point of view, and if that code happens to be very, very right wing, almost toward Attila
We communists are like seeds and the people are the soil. Wherever we go, we must unite with the people, take root and blossom among them.
, Quotations from Chairman Mao Zedong (The Little Red Book)
To white Americans of the thirties, however, blacks North and South were invisible. Only the radicals made an attempt to break the racial barriers: Socialists, Trotskyists, Communists most of all.
Howard Zinn, A Peoples History of The United States
The perversion of Stalinist Communism consists in the fact that the view by means of which the Party looks at history coincides immediately with history's gaze upon itself. To use good old Stalinist jargon, today already half-forgotten, Communists act immediately in the name of "objective laws of historical progress"; it is history itself, its necessity, that speaks through their mouths.
Last edited on 18 September 2021, at 09:00
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