Communism tends to Capitalism

Being brought up in a family which was dead against communism and anything to do with it, I grew up thinking it was a dirty word, and thought it was pronounced “Khamyouneesam!” forcing itself out of the throat with saliva and hatred.

It was only recently, when I came across the Communist Manifesto, written by Marx and Engels, did I realize there was more to it than everyone made it out to be. Obviously, I won’t be able to give you a neutral person’s point of view in this regard. Nevertheless, I endeavor to list out both the pros and cons of this ideology, and how it has impacted the world.

“Communism is a socioeconomic structure and political ideology that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless society based on common ownership and control of the means of ownership and property in general.

Communism attempts to offer an alternative to the problems with the capitalist market economy and the legacy of imperialism and nationalism. Marx states that the only way to solve these problems is for the working class (proletariat), who according to Marx are the main producers of wealth in society and are exploited by the Capitalist-class (bourgeoisie), to replace the bourgeoisie as the ruling class in order to establish a free society, without class or racial divisions.”

Source: Wiki

It is a noble concept, really, when you think about it, but how far is it practicable in today’s world,we have seen. Not one pure Communist regime in world history has kept its people happy for long, be it Cuba, China, Cambodia, or the erstwhile Soviet Union (which was Socialist, but Communism is a branch of Socialism).

A communist regime has only limited benefits, with the cons greatly outnumbering the pros.Capitalism is an evil by itself, but it is the better of the to evils.When the British left India, we were the twenty first most industrialized nation in the world.By 1967, when we were staunch socialist, we were reeling under poverty,and the Rupee value was a joke.Forty years we invested in socialism,to what avail?It was only in the liberalisation phase that we saw our country develop to an extent.What the administrators didn’t realise was, Socialism needs a vast amount of money beforehand.Its ideals states that the cost of expansion will be shared by the masses, but that’s only bad economics.You cannot expect Ratan Tata to share his money with a populous of lazy people who aren’t willing to work hard for the development of the nation.

A perfect example of this is Air India.Indira Gandhi took it over from the Tatas and nationalised it.It became a failure soon after because like anything government,it was horrible and had low standards.

Just like thermodynamics,politics too has an ideal situation.Ideally, after independence,if we had embraced strict Marxist communism for ten years, and then shifted to capitalism,we could have eradicated poverty,and then focused on development.But reality would differ.Politicians would be power hungry.A permanent emergency would have been set up in the country, just as in Pakistan.Resources remain the same,Economics differ.Capitalism makes the rich richer, and the poor-poorer.Communism gives everyone a middle class lifestyle.Which is better?Debatable.

The main problem with communism is that it goes against human nature.Man will work only if he sees the carrot at the end of a stick.If you tell a man to work,telling him he will be rewarded with a carrot irrespective of whether he manages to complete his job,he will not bother.In the erstwhile Soviet,a Doctor and a Sweeper were paid the same salary.If I had lived at that time and place,I wouldn’t have bothered studying for the decade it takes to become a doctor,when I could have just as lavish a lifestyle by picking up a broom.

Communist nations have managed to develop,but only by using capitalist ideals.China realised, as early as 1971(after the death of Mao),that liberalisation is the way forward.The method of working of the entire politburo changed,and they overtook most nations in terms of development.Kerala and West Bengal, too, are now following capitalist ideals in the name of communism.Only the party name is Communist.That explains why Kolkata now has Israeli electronics,American IT ,and an Indian automobile company(which was driven out by the people) setting up base.

The main difference between Communism in India and that abroad is that we have the only two democratically elected communist governments in the world. First, was Kerala, followed by West Bengal.There exist vast differences between these two governments as well, such as;

Update: Tripura is also ruled by the Marxists,so that makes it three democratically elected communist governments.

The West Bengal communists are a group of elitists who were educated in the most sought after universities in the west, and are driven by strong Marxist principles. The Kerala communists, on the other hand are a bunch of labourers who turned to politics as a means to make money and enjoy a sense of power, and aren’t aware of any of Marx and Engel’s thoughts. This is clearly seen from the fact that Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee continues to live in a single bedroom apartment,even after becoming Chief Minister.A kerala Communist leader, on the other hand, will move into a mansion,complete with a swimming pool, two dogs and a dozen coconut trees.

Also, in West Bengal, the party has been sitting tight since 1977,with Jyoti Basu being the longest serving CM(23 years) in the country,and was succeeded by Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, a member of the same party.Meanwhile in Kerala, there has been an alternating of power since 1982 between CPI-M and the Congress, neither party managing to get re-elected even once.

Yet, Kerala is in better shape than Bengal. The Communists gave them literacy.Free books were provided,reading rooms opened all over the state, and Malayalam newspapers were made available.The money lenders and landlords could no longer cheat the public.

If Kerala has a high GDP right now, no credit goes to the politicians.It happened because the Mallus are an industrious lot.They went abroad,and brought back a lot of foreign currency.

If Kolkata is a great city, it’s because the British developed it,and once development happens, it continues even if the bureaucrats aren’t doing anything about it.Outside of Kolkata, the state has nothing worth mention.

An inside source of the SFI(Student Federation of India) who does not wish to be named(I have to thank him profusely.Without him, this post wouldn’t have been possible at all), confided to me the main reason why the CPI-M in Bengal manages to win elections every time, though this cannot be confirmed.In the Bengal countryside, when a girl child is born, Communist goons plant a teak sapling in the house.When the girl is old enough to get married, the father can cut the tree,sell the wood,and pay off her dowry.This is the sole reason why they have such a strong presence in the villages, though they might soon lose it due to the Nandigram incident,and the salt-lake land allotments.

In the end, I would say this: Marx was a genius.The kind of genius who is born into this world only once every millennium.Communism is an ideal which can serve the people better than any other can ever hope to,but humanity hasn’t matured enough to make good use of it.Man won’t work for the greater good of humanity, and hasn’t learnt to use power responsibly.

With this, I would say, that the country had best vote out the communist government.Communism came to places where people asked for change, but the change they got, was not the change they wanted.It is very easy to get seduced into communism, but impossible to follow its ideals.If we knew how to use it,the Tiananmen massacre in China,the killing of 10 million people in Gulags by Stalin, and  the Nandigram incident wouldn’t have happened.

In the upcoming elections, I ask you, no wait, I IMPLORE you all to vote out the communists.They are being ousted from positions of power all over the world, and it’s high time India followed suit.

OK…TATA…HORN PLEASE

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34 responses to “Communism tends to Capitalism

  • Venkiraja

    This is getting really serious. Come on folks, staap it ya. I know that we tamils enjoy in raping the language which ruled us a century ago, But still when will this self-bashing phase end? I mean.. don’t the Spanish or even the very own British have a unique style of pronouncing syllable permutations? Allow me to repitex talk maen, I veel taak laik thissu wonlee, wogay? (Goundamani’s voiceover: “Nee indhuvu-la ezhuduviyo, sandhula ezhudhuviyo!)

  • Aditya

    LOL! Venkatesh does not seem to want anything serious here, or in any blog.

    Anyway, about the post, it is obvious that you have done your homework before posting this. It shows that you really do know your stuff and are trying pretty hard to learn quite a bit. Well, more than me at least. I don’t know about the rest of the family, but I sure have never been a fan of communism right from school, when I read about it in the history books.

    You seem to have said it all here. Nothing much for me to add. But I will try saying something here anyway.

    In our country, the communists are just plain stupid. It is obviously that the communists in Kerala and Bengal are far from what communists really do stand for. The reading rooms, free books and Malayalam newspapers might have done a lot of good to the state of Kerala, but imagine the amount of corruption involved in establishing the same. Not just that, I am sure that there were several other personal gain involved for the politicians. Besides, you can’t call the government of a state as a communist government when it is elected through public voting and has to report to a socialist government at the centre. That just does not work! Call yourself whatever you want, but you just can’t be communist enough to call yourself by that name in the Indian scenario.

    About the communism at the global level, Cambodia and Cuba have suffered enough, the present state of the erstwhile Soviet Union is despicable and China, being CHINA, can’t be emulated by any other nation, EVER! So why even talk about all that?

    You are right, it is time we got rid of communism. The Mallus of the world can help improve their home-state even if communist forces did not prevail all the time. I am sure that Amundsen and Norgay came across Mallu tea-shop owners at the Antarctica and Mount Everest, respectively, when they “first” got there. Mallus are like mosquitoes-ubiquitous! They are everywhere! There must be a dozen Mallu tea shops in the Sahara desert too, I guess. So yeah, they can make enough money and send all of it back home for their few relatives living back in mallu-land to live happily. They can take care of themselves.

    The Bengalis are the problem here. I wish most of them would start thinking they were fish and just jump into the Bay of Bengal and drown themselves or something. Okay, I hate most Bengalis. Have had issues with more than just one Bengali in the past, and that is the reason for such a statement. I really don’t care what happens to them as long as I don’t have to see a cretin like Pranab Mukherjee as one of the most important ministers of the country, making “polotically correct” but absolutely moronic statements most of the time. Actually, it is not just him. There are many more too. But I am in the mood for some Bengal-bashing at the moment. :-p

    Okay, I think it is best I stopped here. To conclude, communism is something which might have done India loads of good, but we have lost too much time to implement it. Now is the time to get rid of the communist forces which do exist in our country. Actually, it is the time to get rid of most politicians in the country. Anybody with me? I could teach you to handle the pea shooter. If aimed properly, I have a reason to believe that it can make the strongest of men writhe in pain(if he is not wearing an abdomen guard, worn by the jobless people who play a stupid sport called cricket). Contact me at killthepoliticians@theyallsuck.com

    • aniramzee

      Hmm.Never thought about the corruption involved there(the kerala literacy thing).It seemed like a noble act done out of self righteousness.And you might have a problem with Bongs but please don’t do any public bashing of a community on my blog.The politicians deserve venom,but there are a lot of nice Bongs I know too.You can’t generalise a community like that.
      And even Kerala will throw the Communists out, but Bengal will take time.

  • Anirudh

    Communism ideals are noble, like you have elucidated yourself. So I believe, this ideal environment is required at some point in time and maybe it is the way to the future! Who knows?

    Capitalism itself has a lot of shortcomings. Communist principles have been badly abused and brought down to this level where ‘some people are more equal than others’. (I wonder if you have read Animal Farm and 1984, both by Orwell)

    Anyway, I commend you on the work done on this post. Keep it going… It signifies how jobless you are too 🙂

    • aniramzee

      Hmm I’ll make it a point to read it then.And capitalism as an ideal has a lot more shortcomings than communism, but atleast it is better suited for man’s needs.And I did it not out of joblessness but out of interest 🙂

  • Lalita Haran

    WOW!

    Doesn’t look like you were brought up in a family dead against “KHamyounisa…”

    Infact, your writing shows that whoever raised you has encouraged your power of free thinking and expression.

    Way to go!

    • aniramzee

      It was a very pleasant surprise finding your name on my dashboard 🙂 I can see Amma is doing a bit of publicity work around the family.And as for your comment,the latter I agree, but if you look at our family, they really are against it all, and rightly so.

  • Lalita Haran

    You are within your rights to express your opinion. But…

    If you really get tired of everyone sounding horns here then take a look at this site http://www.rocketcontest.org/
    to get above the ground and up in the air. It might be quiet up there. But if you do not want to go high up in the Space here is anothe site http://www.haranlaw.com to baffle you with some Legales for your fun. Feel free to leave your comment there. Good legal luck.

    But guess you should have known it already.

  • Devraj

    I think communism has a freedom with responsibility aspect to it.
    So does capitalism.. now that I look at it.
    But with capitalism, only a small group of people (the capitalists) have to be responsible.

    Competition is what drives progress.
    Without the need to survive, most people stop making an effort. (The mistake America is beginning to make)
    That’s why communism wont work in India or the world.
    India is filled with irresponsible people..like the rest of the world.

    Read Animal Farm. I hated it but it is a brilliant book.

    The success of capitalism is witness to the sham that the world has become

    (
    I hope that you’d be more liberal to the social groups you cannot stand in your next post.
    😦
    )

  • Devraj

    It was a lot of fun!

  • Raghav Haran

    hey ani nice post

  • aniramzee

    @ Adi
    This is exactly what I didn’t want.Devraj is a Bong and is a very good friend of mine in coll.Now he thinks my family is against his community 😐
    @ Devraj
    Brilliant comment.I only wish I had thought of that myself.You’ve made it clearer than I had hoped to do so.

    “The success of capitalism is witness to the sham that the world has become”
    That was putting my entire post in one line 🙂

  • aniramzee

    And here’s something I should’ve mentioned in my post;

    “Capitalism makes the rich richer, and the poor-poorer.Communism gives everyone a middle class lifestyle.Which is better?Debatable”

    Some capitalist nations have a very small percentage of poor people,so you could say this definition of capitalism does not hold good there.But the thing is,they become rich while making the rest of the world poor.I forgot to look at the big picture then.

  • Anirudh RG

    There’s no doubt that Karl Marx was a genius, he did after all predict the Great Depression of the 1930’s well before it really happened. But in all his genius, I find one flaw, that being the belief that a community can exist in which all people are equal. I remember someone, I don’t remember who, saying that “In the Great Communist Paradise of the U.S.S.R, all people are equal, but some are more equal than the others”. The sad truth is that there will always be distinctions between people, be it of a social or economic nature. And as you put it in your example of the Doctor and the Sweeper, there HAVE to be some distinctions. Merit can be awarded only when there is a system of incentives in place, and economics, at its base level, is just that: a system of incentives.

    And Communism as a system limits the scope for development in a country. How many industries have we seen reluctant to set up a base in Communist ruled states for fear of being haunted by trade unions?

    Nice post Ani, its quite obvious you’ve worked on this one.

  • Aditya

    At least it got you a comment from a guy who doesn’t post here too often. :-p

    On a serious note, I never said that I hated ALL Bongs. I said most. There are a few good ones. At least, that is what I feel. Let me not elaborate on that and brew a massive issue in your blog, which you totally don’t want.

    Yes, it is indeed a pleasant surprise to see Lalli Chitthi’s comments here. And Raghav’s too for that matter. Nice to see you getting more response, Ani.

    Back to the topic now. Capitalism sure does make the rich richer and the poor poorer. But in today’s world, capitalism(which relies heavily on competition for progress) is what brings about the change at a faster rate. That, you can say, is debatable, but I think it is very true. At least, that is the only thing which will work in our country. With the ever increasing population(and with the baby boom happening right now!), the economy not at its best, and with the politics at its worst, India sure can’t dream of getting any better even if it did come under communist rule.

    Devraj said “communism has a freedom with responsibility aspect to it.
    So does capitalism.. now that I look at it.”

    Communism has less freedom than capitalism does, but higher responsibility. People might have the freedom to become what they want(everywhere, I guess) but they still do have to work just the same. A doctor and a sweeper might get the same pay. You can choose what you want to become, but you don’t get paid if you do not “help the nation” by working each day.

    Capitalism is different. The country doesn’t really care what you do. You do whatever you want, to survive. If you manage to make a lot of money, you usually have many people who are relying on you to make money themselves. You can make them richer or poorer. You, in turn, will be dependent on several other factors. So capitalism can be looked at as a dog-eat-dog world. But progress happens.

    The bottom line is, more than the “type” of government it is the government itself, along with the people of the nation, that decides the fate of the country. There will be poor people in every nation. That can’t really be changed. We keep looking for the ideal government-type and for the ideal policies of each government, when we are the ones who elect the governments each time in our country. And yet each and every person has something or the other to crib about. We call it our freedom of speech, and we whine. That is all we do. How about we tried to do something ourselves? You complain about the economic divide. We all do. Do you have a solution to it? A feasible one, mind you. If you do, how about doing something at a small level and seeing if it really works? Rope in people around you. Make it bigger. We need the change. How about YOU “BE” the change? Forget capitalism and communism for a while. Work on making this a better place for all of us.

    Heads will roll, yes. I wish they turn out to be the heads of the current crop of politicians.

    Sorry for digressing big time, Ani, but I just had to get that out.

    • aniramzee

      There’s something I stumbled upon recently.Capitalism itself is divided into Laissez faire and neo capitalism.It’s the former which makes the rich-richer and the poor-poorer,and it’s what most countries in the west used to become rich(by making us poor).The stress these days is on neo-capitalism,which raises the per-capita income of every individual.I don’t know how it works,but this is how they’re defined.

  • Aditya

    Just noticed Ramnath’s post. The problem with the “system of incentives” is that it causes issues at the grass root levels. Where do you think corruption came from? Corruption at all levels, mind you. System of incentives!

    You need to get your work done. It might be just applying for a driver’s license or a passport. Ever noticed how many people you need to go through if you want to get things done the right way, and how the “brokers” get things done easily by slipping in a few notes of cash at each level, to “make things easy” for you? Why does this happen? System of incentives.

    So what happens as a result of the system? Some get richer and some get poorer. So you want to be one of the few rich people. What do you do? You decide to study hard, and get the required qualifications. But to get there, you need to put up with the corrupt system on the way. You make a few others richer in the process. But you will get richer too, right? So all cool. So you work hard. You then meet a million other people on the way and make some richer, and some, poorer. You continue to work. You get richer, all thanks to the system of incentives. But then, you might be a doctor, an engineer or the mayor of a town, but you still do help the system continue working the way it was when you were still climbing the ladder, right?

    Now doesn’t that now sound like capitalism, the way most of you made it seem a while ago? :-p

    • aniramzee

      The system of incentives will exist in a communist government too,despite the government discouraging it.You really think an RTO official in a communist regime is going to refuse bribes?And that official in turn will have to bribe someone else to get his ration card,passport,voter ID etc.So no system is foolproof.Capitalism is the better of the two evils and corruption will exist as long as man exists.

  • Aditya

    More or less what I just said, but in a MUCH shorter post. :-p

  • Anirudh RG

    As I see it, there are two reasons behind the existence of corruption. As with every other economic situation, there is supply and demand. The suppliers being the corrupt officials who will get a job done for you below the radar for a higher price, and the demand coming from the ones giving the bribes. One of the biggest reasons for giving bribes would be to beat the bureaucracy and red tape that slow down processes and generally makes life a lot more painful for people. In Communist Russia, a factory owner had to fill out a dozen forms to replace a bolt or nut in a machine and had to wait weeks before he actually got the replacements. So yeah, I’m basically saying the same thing, that Communism is as susceptible to corruption as any other form of governance. The only way to tackle corruption is by eliminating the reasons for which it exists.

    • aniramzee

      Something which is never going to happen.If you’ve read Akbar & Birbal’s tales, there’s one particular story where Birbal proves a man can take bribes in any job under any circumstances.I don’t want to get into relating the story for that will look stupid.But basically, I’m trying to say corruption can be removed from the country only in movies like Sivaji.

  • Anirudh RG

    Note: I did not say REMOVE corruption, but TACKLE corruption. There’s a difference 🙂

  • Venkiraja

    //LOL! Venkatesh does not seem to want anything serious here, or in any blog.//

    X(
    Enna kodumai saravanan ithu? That was indeed a serious comment. Do you mean to criticize how other people, whose mother tongue ain’t English try to speak the language? Why only us? Damn!

  • zealofheretic

    Brilliant . My point exactly ( well it’s not just the fact that agreeing with everything u say makes this a lot easier , but i really do agree with u ) . Communism is strangely misunderstood , perhaps by it’s own propagators , but i have always found it a lot more appealing than our current capitalistic state of affairs .

    • aniramzee

      Hmm.Didn’t I mention that it’s very easy to get seduced into communism but impossible to follow it.Capitalism is a necessary evil because it suits man’s strange ways.And since you have a blog,log in when you comment.That way your name appears as a link.Never hurts to get a few more readers.Anyway I’ll help you out.
      http://zealofheretic.wordpress.com

  • jjjjj

    The author of this piece needs to read a bit more about communism before condemning it.

    First of all, you quote Karl Marx when he says that communism is a STATELESS and classless society. Then you procede to give all the examples of communists states and communists parties that advocate a takeover of the state by the party for the “working class”. This is obviously a contradiction. Therefore I consider your whole piece false because you give a definition of communism, and then use examples that are not of that defination to condemn communism.

    Obviously you have read a bit a about communism, and you agree with the “ideal” because you state that it is a “noble concept”, but you doubt that this ideal can be put into practice in the real world. I, as a Anarchist, suggest you read into Anarchism, because Anarchism is communism without the state. It is Libertarian Socialism, which advocates for the abolotion of both state and capatalism, and to be replaced with socialism andn direct democracy.

    Anarchism HAS been put into practice in many places, and quite successfuly. The most known is the Spanish Cival war of 1936 onward, but others are Russian Revolution for about 6 months afterwards, Paris Commune, Krondstadt Rebellion, Hungary 1956, Turin 1919, and various others.

    Anarchist communsim is in practice more communistic than those who are “communists” and are members of the various communist parties.

    We should not accept the “lesser of two evils” of Capatalism. Anarchism is the solution to both Capatalism and Statist and Totalitarian Communism.

  • aniramzee

    well isn’t the “stateless” and “classless” society pertaining to the ideal? The very fact that this hasn’t been implemented anywhere shows that it isn’t practical. All parties start off keeping in mind the ideal as their aim, but power is too tempting a fruit to let go of.

    I admit I haven’t read up much about anarchist communism. But I never was against softer variations of communism, only totalitarian communism and it’s power hungry proponents. If you read through my article, you’ll see that I mentioned most parties are only communist by name but don’t follow communistic principles after they’re well settled in power. This kind of governance is more desirable than the Stalinist or Leninist communism, but it’s hypocrisy,to which we all are against by principle.

    There are obviously a few good things about Communism as well, which is why Obama modelled the Healthcare policy largelty based on Cuba’s similar policy.
    I guess Anarchism can be compared to co-operatives, and the only place where I see that in India is in the Dairies. It is a largely successful model but it isn’t communism per se. In the end, the man whose cows give more milk to the pool gets a larger profit. I’d say it’s closer to Capitalism than Communism in the spectrum, so again, Communism is a downer.

  • Kishore Seetharaman

    From time immemmorial, man has been grappling with the issue of developing a system that is the magic formula to solve the problems of the society. Based on his own desires, knowledge and experience each man comes up with a system and experiments with that. No two persons in this world is compatible. Even one himself today is not compatible with himself the next day. So, to develop a fool proof system for the millions is a very garagantuan task, bordering to impossible.
    Any system is as good or as bad as the people handling it at the top. When vested interests take control of things, no system will work. To put in a different way, we can do good for the people even without any system, if one takes the concurrent situation into acccount and is able to fulfill the aspirations of the masses. Still many will be left unhappy.
    Our society is evolving and continue to. The quest for a perfect system will continue as long as we keep our own interests in mind. Let the debate continue….

  • aniramzee

    @ Kishore: So shouldn’t we choose the system which is most compatible for the people, and leaves lesser scope for the people on top to work with vested interests? Communism necessarily becomes autocratic after a period of time if left unchecked. It’s only in India that communism survives in democracy and that too because they’ve never had a ruling majority in the centre. They survive in certain pockets alone.

    There is no perfect system because as the adage goes “In one man’s misery is another man’s fortune.” It isn’t possible to keep all groups happy, and that’s why parties pick certain reliable voter banks.

  • 2010 in review « OK…TATA…HORN PLEASE

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