Let Us Put Another Anti-Communist Lie to Rest, While We Are At It

On the previous post, a commenter reiterates a classic rejoinder about Communism:

But anyway, the point is that Communism hasn’t worked, and it never will. It simply goes against human nature.Capitalism, on the other hand, fits perfectly with human nature. People are selfish, self-interested, ambitious, and opportunistic beings by nature.

This isn’t really true. This lie has two parts:

1. Communism has never worked.

2. Communism goes against human nature.

The problem with this is that capitalism is a fairly recent invention. Before that, there was feudalism. Many primitive tribes lived in what is called “primitive Communism.” Read Marx to understand these essential facts.

Many of them still live under primitive Communism to this very day. Sure, some people had more than others, but there was no exploitation of labor, marking up of labor value and profiting from the exploitation of labor.

Many other societies seemed to work according to some sort of collective ownership like modern-day collectives, but once again, without profits. People who worked harder did not make more money, or get more of anything for that matter. Sure, the chief had more, but that was it. There was little reward for working hard, and little punishment for not pulling your weight.

So there answer to #1 is that Communism has in fact worked, maybe not in the modern era, but surely for the vast majority of man’s past.

The answer to #2 is that Communism cannot possibly go against human nature, since mankind lived under primitive Communism for most of his history.

I suppose that this capitalist talking point could be reworked to say that Communism had not worked in the past century, and that it goes against human nature as human nature has evolved in the past century. This might be a more accurate framing of the argument.

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5 thoughts on “Let Us Put Another Anti-Communist Lie to Rest, While We Are At It”

  1. I’m going to hearken back to what Paul Greenville wrote to you in another post and say that your lack of deep analysis makes most of your superficial, non-sourced articles nonsense.

    You could say primitive man was communal but NOT communist. There is no such thing as voluntary Socialism/Capitalism. Such are contradiction in terms, Robert. If work within a group are completely voluntary, then it is by definition a free market. If they were forced to work together, then it was some sort of authoritarian-ruled collective. Either way your argument is bunk.

  2. Well, as far as deep analysis of communism, Marxism or whatever goes, you can find your fill of it on the web – threads upon threads of arguments about articles about books about books about what Lenin or Trotsky or Kautsky or Bukharin or a thousand others said in the footnote of a not-available-in-English tome about … So where does this all go? How many more theories about Marx do we need? And what are they for? Marx said that he intended ‘Capital’ to be a resource for those engaged in class struggle; so at some point you have to take something from it and communicate it to someone else, someone say who doesn’t read books but watches football and drinks beer … If you can’t say it in under thirty words it’s not fit for purpose. All the fine theory is just word games until it meets the average Joe and wins him over. So these off-the-cuff discussions here where you get readers with such a wide range of outlooks – that’s what Marxism is FOR.

  3. Possibly, people in past societies weren’t money worshipers like American people. They weren’t concerned so much with being “king of the world”. So they didn’t really care if the chief made more, and they didn’t mind working hard on stuff that would gain a large personal monetary reward.

    Look at it in the terms of sports. A lot of people try hard on their team, simply to see the team win the championship. They’re not doing it, because they expect more rewards than the other players.

  4. Meant to say “and they didn’t mind working hard on stuff that would NOT gain a large personal monetary reward.”

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