Let’s get real about Communism, historically.
I know, I just triggered basically every single reader who has ever been to university. They would claim that historically, there has never been an instance of Communism. Not in Russia, not in Cambodia, not in China or Vietnam or Hungary.
They might be right. You never know. On the other hand, the same claim could be made for capitalism, in that light. There has never existed completely unregulated, ungoverned capitalism. With those two extremes dealt with forever and therefore not a consideration in our discussion today, we must turn to historical precedent. That, after all, represents the total continuum of what humans are capable of, as far as we know.
If it’s true that past behaviour is the best indicator of future behaviour, then Communism has a long, ribald story to tell. It’s the equivalent to the trickster pirate you might have read about in novels, carelessly fooling and destroying the rich for a few extra gold coins. With a deceptive glint in his eye and an easy, infectious way of speaking, Captain Communism’s primary contribution to humanity has been making them poorer and killing them in large numbers. That last makes him somewhat less of an attractive figure, wouldn’t you agree?
Well, lots of people wouldn’t.
Communism has a lot of faces, and geopolitically, every single one of those faces has been relevant since the idea sprang up from Karl Marx’s pen in the nineteenth century. We know many of these faces, but rarely do we understand exactly what we’re referencing when we mention them without “Communism” added as a contextual definition.
So let me clear a few things up.
Communism is a philosophy wherein people put their productivity into a central pot, which is then evenly distributed out to everyone.
Sounds great, right? But there’s a few problems right off the top. The first is that every country on Earth, every country that ever has been, already does this. It’s just not total. They call it “donation,” but you probably call it “taxation.”
So what comes to mind when you think of taxation? For me, it’s the lack of ability to abstain voluntarily. If you don’t pay taxes, someone comes and puts you in jail. This is the main point that I want to put forward. In that context, it doesn’t actually matter if you think that that contribution should be voluntary. Or even that it can be justified that it is voluntary—here in Canada, for example, if you purposefully make little enough money, you will pay very little or no income tax. So you could always elect to do work which pays little and therefore is taxed little.
That doesn’t matter, though, because the system is based on the threat.
The threat is therefore what actually makes it Communism. Now, that’s going to have a lot of people disagreeing—they would contend that ideally, everyone voluntarily contributes and then someone (probably a rotating membership of someones) portions out the pot. They probably need a sizeable calculator, too.
That’s not realistic, though. I don’t really feel like I need to explain why. People are not enlightened, basically, and even some of them were, other people would eventually wind up not trusting them, and so on and so forth.
Eventually, the threat and the force would emerge, and you would wind up with the type of system which has characterised Communism in the twentieth century—so far having accounted for over a hundred million deaths. Possibly, much over.
We can get into why Communism invariably becomes a police state, but we already kind of did. The root of the issue is that this far-left stance, like other far-left stances, is organised around a single question of control.
In a nutshell, that is the right versus the left. Everything else is symptomatic, or tools to be used by either side.
Is there a government? Does it control things?
If the answer is “yes,” in any vague way, then you have a leftist system. Now, you might be center-left. You might even be close to the rightward extreme where there is no control. But it remains a leftist system.
Issues like racism, human rights, the economy, social mobility, the status of various social programs—these are how countries shape themselves according to the whims of whoever wants to stay in charge. Today’s fad is free stuff, and victimhood, and in a lot of ways those two things dominate all exchanges.
Geopolitically, when Communism begins to creep, it becomes a polarising issue. As the EU, the United States, Canada, and most other Western democracies drift into late-stage decay and begin to socialise more and more things, the pendulum began to swing the other way.
In another time and another place, the pendulum swung the initial way. The pendulum swung left in Petrograd, and a man named Lenin came to power. His successor was a madman, and as country after country began to turn red, walls began to go up.
Here’s the thing about Communist economies. Because they control wage and prices and quotas, all in a vain attempt to try to undermine the law of supply and demand. That means they can’t actually trade properly with economies that don’t work as hard to control supply and demand and therefore have realistic prices on things.
You’re not going to overpay for items when you can’t recoup the money, right? So if salt and sugar are ten bucks a pound in America, a Soviet Russian can’t buy them because the government has decreed that salt and sugar should cost five bucks a pound. Nobody’s going to take a deal where they’re losing five dollars a pound.
The reason Communist countries rarely overvalue goods is because they confiscate their people’s money. Leaving people with no capital makes it extremely difficult to dictate high prices on goods.
Therefore, only Communist countries can trade with Communist countries, and often only the same Communist countries, sometimes referred to as “blocs,” because there are committees that negotiate the prices of things.
So what you get when Communist creep happens is a rapidly polarising world where two sides aren’t trading or talking, and that usually leads to hostility.
Now take a look inside the West right now, where ANTIFA fights free-speech advocates, where the left is engaged with the alt-right, where normal people can’t talk to each other because they’re pissed about Trump being elected, or about affirmative action, or whatever it happens to be—it’s a climate that is ripe for warfare.
The reality of creeping Communism is that it doesn’t always work on a national level. When people develop preferences for state power to be used in certain ways, you have to go back a page or so and realise that these are all leftist ideas. To sway the government, you have to either persuade that government through whatever means (special interests, electorate, the army sometimes) or eliminate the competition.
And at some point, the second option is the only one left because the institutions become deadlocked.
When internal strife begins to divide the electorate, it can also begin to paralyse the executive functionality of the nation. Every single policy is interpreted by either side of a fracturing electorate as being negative, and public opinion becomes capricious. Officials are fired, moved around, or replaced as people desperately figure out how to fix whatever the population thinks is wrong, which leads to rapidly changing and then unstable policies. This creates regime uncertainty, which is a nasty economic disincentive when the government is heavily involved in defence spending and subsidising the economy in terms of schools, alternative energy and other sectors of the stock market.
So Communism isn’t just a “red” nation vs “blue” nation phenomenon. It can also be likened to a more vitriolic strain of cancer. If it has piled up multiple million corpses in the twentieth century, today it claims at least a fraction of every person’s life. Either their output is being stolen, or they are in an environment which cannot support meaningful opportunity or economic positioning because the currency is debasing because of increased social spending and decreasing value of currency, there is no regime certainty and therefore a total paralysis of the economy, or productivity is limited by anti-Communist views.
As an example of that last, Western productivity is dropping substantially because employers can no longer recognise by credential an employee likely to be productive. That is to say, the standards of education have collapsed because truthfully and honestly accepting the top one or two percent of applicants began to reveal obvious racial and gender-based trends. Overwhelming numbers of white and Asian males qualified, usually out-competing Hispanic and black citizens as well as most women.
Since Communism demands equality of outcome, its paragons began to dismantle the selection process. In the doing, they massively destabilised the cornerstone of academia, which is that the selection of students mostly likely to not only completely absorb and assimilate the curriculum but also extend it became massively watered down by inept comers.
Therefore, productivity and the ability of science, economics and other fields to advance became significantly forestalled. And that’s before we account for the general quality of public education collapsing as budgets did not change but the currency debased and inflation rose. That is to say, where budgets haven’t increased in Canada more than fractionally, both the population of children and the prices of things have risen enormously—that’s without taking into account that the children, now, are a diverse group which can no longer be said to be homogenous. Many are foreign-born, or raised in households with different literacy levels or different languages, which in turn increases the time cost and money cost (or the money cost and money cost) of bringing everyone up to the same par in a single year.
Transpose the position of the right. No, it isn’t fascism. Fascism is not in this equation at all, because, of course, fascism is a question of militant racial discrimination. Fascism could easily be used by either side, left or right, to determine the composition of its population by force.
The position of the right cannot control anything as it tends to withdraw from centralised government. It is a purveyor of the free market, which is a relatively new concept in human history. It may have arisen with a few of the Greek city states (Corinth, perhaps) sometime in the first millennia BC, but it’s hard to say for sure.
This means, necessarily, that it has to be more accepting of other people, and be in societies which are capable of integrating. However, that doesn’t meant it can accept anyone; in fact, right-wing societies will immediately become hostile to people with whom they cannot trade, or whom attempt to reduce their own freedoms.
Right wingers, therefore, organise along moral lines. Tolerance is a virtue so long as it is met with tolerance. Intolerance, though, must be exiled or eliminated outside reasonable boundaries.
So Communist creep is a disease that destroys nations. There’s yet to be a case where any type of autocracy is long-lasting and benevolent both. Rome is an outstanding example of the potential for the system, but it had, it can be loosely said, a few rough spots.
Today, we see that Communism has metastasised into two major religions. Islam, which has always been a militant theocracy (you may use the image of the KGB with it almost interchangeably now) and what I have chosen to define as ANTIFA.
ANTIFA includes anybody who is against free speech, because that is the root conflict. If you attribute any speech to hatred, if you have a proclivity to begin to discriminate against people who have opinions different from your own, you are at least lightly included in this category. It’s a wide spectrum, and we’re starting to see them become militant too—like Islam, they have become absorbed with the thoughts of others, and violent when those thoughts disagree with their own.
Currently, these problems are creating massive rifts in the Western world, which is about to fragment. I’d give it about three years. Once all the election cycles have concluded (I believe Canada is the last of the Western democracies to undergo one in October 2019) and in their aftermath, the world continues its slow slide toward economic collapse and dissolution, I do believe things will become extremely violent.
That is the result of Communist creep.
On the upside, once all the corpses have been buried and the dust has settled, we may have solved that problem for a few centuries.
That’s optimism, for you.