Socialism and Communism Do They Really Work?

Socialism and communism defend the fight for the common good and for a more just and equitable society, but do they really work, do they fulfill their objectives? Are countries with socialist / communist regimes happier, more prosperous and democratic?

The failure of the socialist and communist models

Socialism promises to achieve a social organization where equality prevails in political, social and economic aspects.

Communism is intended for the State to distribute goods equitably and according to the needs of the people. They are conceived as two phases of the same process.

In the phase of socialism, state intervention and control increasingly regulates the economic and political system. In the next phase, the ideal of a classless society would be achieved. There would be no private property, since the State would be the sole controller of the means of production.

The failure of socialism / communism has been documented throughout the 20th century and the two decades that have elapsed in the 21st century. Famines, mass migrations, genocides, humanitarian crises are part of the list of evils attributed to them.

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall revealed the failure of socialism and communism. They revealed the inability of this system to satisfy the needs of the people and provide them with well-being. Recently, the economic, political and social collapse of Venezuela, which has caused a migration crisis in South America, has once again exposed the flaws of the socialist system.

One of the problems that prevent socialism and communism from working is that it is practically impossible to achieve equality upwards. That is, to make all the people in a society have equal wealth. Equality downward toward poverty has proven more feasible for socialist and communist systems to implement.

Another major problem is the impossibility of absolutely intervening in the social, economic, political and cultural aspects of a country. A total planning of the economy generates low productivity and lack of competitiveness. The pretense of controlling everything has a high probability of leading to an economic disaster.

Big losses caused by socialism / communism

Millions of human lives were lost in the 20th century due to political and economic decisions made by socialist / communist governments.

  • Ukraine: His fight against the collectivization that the Soviet Union wanted to impose, made him pay a high price: the Holodomor (1932-1933). It was a great famine caused by Stalin’s political decision to expropriate land, prevent resources from reaching the country and prohibit migration. More than three million people died of hunger.
  • China: Between 1959 and 1961, 30 million Chinese lost their lives in the biggest famine recorded during the last century. The cause of the tragedy was the plan “The great leap forward”, ordered for Mao Tse Tung. With this plan that militarized the entire society, Mao wanted to demonstrate the superiority of socialism over capitalism. He imposed massive industrialization, which produced abandonment of fields and crops, and destruction of private property. These measures unleashed misery and millions of people died of hunger and disease.
  • Cambodia: the Cambodian genocide perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge regime killed more than a million and a half people between 1975 and 1979. Under the leadership of Pol Pot, the regime wanted to impose a socialist agrarian model. A forced ruralization of the country was undertaken, and those who opposed were victims of torture and mass executions.
  • North Korea: about two million people died from the famine that occurred in the mid-1990s. The socialist / communist regime was affected by the elimination of subsidies after the demise of the Soviet Union.
  • Ethiopia: one million people died of starvation in the mid-1980s. The tragedy was largely caused by the statist policies of the regime of socialist dictator Haile Mengistu.

The fall of the Soviet Union it also brought down the socialist / communist regime of Cuba. With no subsidies from the superpower, the economy fell into a depression in the early 1990s. A special period which resulted in energy restrictions that affected the population. The communist dictatorship was forced to make economic reforms to overcome the period of crisis.

Already in this century, in Venezuela the Socialism of the XXI century was established. It is characterized by strong military intervention and extensive social, political and economic state controls. These policies have led the country to economic collapse causing a humanitarian crisis.

The failure of socialism and communism is a myth

That society and the socialist economy do not work, it is because the class struggle still persists. It is the argument of the supporters of socialism and communism. Failure does not exist it is a perception promoted by conservative and neoliberal forces to sell capitalism as the best system.

If workers in a socialist system suffer poor living conditions, it is because the class struggle is still alive, the bourgeoisie continues to attack. Therefore, it is necessary that socialism and communism constantly face the oppositions of the capitalist system, and not make concessions to it. Socialist and Communist regimes to be successful must pay attention and control pressures from capitalist countriessuch as wars and corruption. These attacks can have negative consequences and lead to unemployment, hunger and death.

For supporters of socialism / communism, the great defenders of capitalism are quickly activated when they observe that a nation seeks equality under socialism. They will try to destroy any attempt to establish nationalistic and egalitarian policies, and to prevent other countries from following the path of socialism / communism. For it, wage media wars, and create conditions for sabotage to occur that hinder socialist measures and policies.

They explain that socialism and communism have suffered defeats to capitalism. The setbacks have shown that it is only possible to achieve the welfare of society with the capitalist system.

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