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Red Politics, Defending Communism

What is communism?

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Without a doubt, you’ve probably heard about communism. And, also without a doubt, you’ve probably heard all sorts of horror stories about it — from your teachers, from the media, from politicians, even from your church pastor or preacher.

They tried to scare you. They want to keep you from finding out for yourself. If you asked one authority figure for a second opinion, they usually told you to ask another authority figure. And if that didn't satisfy you, then they told you to read the history books they wrote for you.

Do you see a pattern here? The one person they will never tell you to talk to, however, is a communist. Why? Because a communist might go off script and tell you something they don't want you to hear.

So, what is communism? Well, there is communism, the theory, and communism, the society. Let's first deal with communism, the society.

To begin with, communism is a society without bosses or servants, without superiors or subordinates, without masters or slaves. In short, communism is a society without classes and the stress, conflict and antagonisms that go with the existence of classes. Contrary to the history they teach you, classes are a relatively new thing in the human experience, having been around for only about 25,000 of the last 50 million years of human existence.

“But,” someone might say, “there are a lot more people alive today than there were back then.” That’s true. What’s also true is that we are smarter, more conscious of our world and more technologically advanced than our ancestors. We really don’t need someone standing over us, telling us what to do and when to do it. If necessary, we can work that out together, in common.

Because it is a society without classes, communism is also a society where all aspects of society are developed and administered in common. That means not only the political system, but the economy, culture and social (not personal) relations too. Can you imagine, having an equal voice, along with your co-workers, in deciding how conditions at your job would be determined? Or, having a say, along with your neighbors, in shaping how the city’s budget will be spent?

Democracy is a key element in the development of communism — but not the stale, formal “democracy” we are taught about in school; we are talking about democracy as a practice, a real-world tool that works for those who work.

As well, communism is a society without a state. Now, when we talk about a “state,” we are not talking about councils and assemblies that debate issues and adopt policy. When we say “state,” we mean the armed organizations that enforce “order” (the rulers’ “order,” that is), like the police and military.

“No police?!” Yes, no police. What are the police really for? Well, when you live in a society where goods and services are restricted to a few, you end up with the many in need. When you have so many in need, you need to maintain order. However, if you live in a society where the needs of everyone in society are met, what need is there for police? If everyone’s basic needs — good food, decent housing, worthwhile education, etc. — are met, what basis is there for most of the crime in society?

Sure, there may be times here and there that may require some kind of investigation or enforcement unit, but those times would be relatively few and far between, and could easily be handled as they come up.

It is also the case that communism is a society without money. “Without money?!” Yes, without money. Why does money exist? Basically, it was invented so that one group of owners wouldn’t get screwed by another set of owners. But, if you have a society where the factories and workplaces are owned in common, and we can sit down and plan out three months, six months or even a year in advance what we have to produce to provide all that we need, what point is there to having money?

Also, if we’re all working together to produce what we need and administer our own affairs, we can cut out a lot of things we don’t need. For example, we don’t need all those layers of managers and officials that we pay (through our labor and the profits it creates) to tell us to work harder. Similarly, we don’t need all of those professional politicians and bureaucrats in the government who do everything they can to convince us that our future should be in the hands of “professionals” who have no clue what we deal with on a daily basis. For that matter, we don’t need all those worthless professions that exist only because we live in a profit-driven society, like advertising, marketing, business management, etc. The resources poured into those jobs can be put to better use.

And we can do all of this while working less and enjoying life more. Because a communist society produces for our needs and well-being, and not for creating more profits for the bosses, we can reduce the amount of working time each of us has to do. For that matter, depending on how well we can use technology to our advantage, we have the ability to calculate how much working time each of us will have to do in our lives in order to provide for all our needs throughout our lives.

Think of it! Retiring at age 40 and not having to worry about where your next meal is coming from, because you’ve already put in your share for society! Think of what you can do with all that time! If you wanted, you could go back to school and become a doctor, or learn how to paint or sculpt, or see the world. For that matter, you could spend your summers in moderate weather and your winters in warm areas. Why should the birds be the only ones with the sense to migrate when the weather changes?

Finally, we should point out that communism is a world system and society. We live in a world that is more and more unified by economics, culture and our own common interests. Communism looks to bring all of those who work for their living together in a common struggle to liberate ourselves from this rotten system. But, unlike those who call themselves “boss” and want to control the world, communism looks to join the people of the world together as brothers and sisters to build a better future for ourselves and our children.

So, does this sound like something you’d like to see? Well, that brings us to communism, the theory ... and the movement. Communism doesn’t come about without the help of all of you. Because we have to sweep away a lot of garbage from this sick society, we need the help of millions to make it happen. “I get all of that,” you might say, “but no one else will go for it.” Really? Ask your friends, your neighbors and your co-workers what they think about what we say above. Chances are they would like to see this kind of new society, too.

How you choose to get involved is up to you, of course. There are all sorts of ways to help bring this society about. If you’re not sure of what you can do, ask one of us. We can sit down and talk about what’s possible. The important thing is that you get involved somehow. That’s what communism is about: being an active part of creating your own future. Represent yourself! Join the fight for a communist future!