I'm not exactly pro capitalism. I understand it's flaws, but I don't understand how communism is better. Whenever I think of communism I think of the ussr or north korea which aren't good selling points. Also I was always told as a student all the benefits of a free market economy. I admit I am uneducated in this topic, and haven't done outside research. I'd like to explore this point of view. Can you explain a bit more the benefits of communism?
Allow me to preface my political ideologies with this:
It matters just as much who’s running the system as it does what system is being run. That is to say, there are good capitalist leaders and good communist leaders, there are bad capitalist leaders and bad communist leaders. Keep that in mind, as often communism is presented (especially in America) based only on Authoritarian and oppressive regimes of the past. This makes it difficult for many to truly ‘get’ what communism is all about.
But before we get to communism, I’ll talk about capitalism:
Under communism, there is a class of workers, called the proletariat, that collectively own the means of production (a common misconception is that everyone takes ownership of your personal belongings, but that isn’t necessary), and redistribute the produced wealth equally among everyone. Socialism is like communism, but on a smaller scale: individual businesses are collectively owned by the 'employees’, and wealth is redistributed to workers, but not to everyone in the state-system.
In a communist system, the proletariat must have some way to enforce their will; this is known as the dictatorship of the proletariat. Oftentimes, historically, the dictatorship of the proletariat evolved into a straight-up dictatorship (like in the countries you mentioned) in the same way private companies can devolve into monopolies under capitalism. The fact is, some people just want to control the wealth. This, however, is a fundamentally capitalist social construction - the idea that the money comes first is taught from a very young age, and imprinted in even the most radical thinkers. Under a truly communist system, however, the will of the general public comes first and foremost. This means that companies no longer operate by means of profiteering, instead they make products that are actually useful and well-built and long-lasting, unlike the products generated today.
What is in today’s time a 'moneyocracy’ will become a meritocracy, where innovation and the entire human experience can push forward at an unprecedented rate - and this will involve everyone and not just the top few. Everyone’s standard of living will rise. “A high tide raises all ships” they say.
With an eased atmosphere of not having to worry about dying because your work isn’t valued by your society, this creates what is called the 'socialist archetype’ (originally called the 'new soviet man’, but I don’t want to make this USSR or male specific). The socialist archetype is a person that is no longer oriented by profit and money seeking, instead they are oriented by what they can contribute to the society they live in. Because they don’t have to worry about literally starving, they have the opportunity to seek higher education (and it would be free!), design or build something, become an artist, or anything else - this archetypal person is simultaneously no type of worker and every type of worker, because they are looking to advance the human condition, and not fill their own wallet. This is essentially the end goal of socialism and communism, and we think it’s pretty cool.
Keep in mind that in the current day and age, most if not all arms of injustice extend from the body of capitalism. So we tend to be less pro-socialism than we are anti-capitalist, as we have to fix our broken world before we can build on it.
If you’re looking for a really good read on communism, I recommend nothing less than The Communist Manifesto itself. It’s only 35 pages long, and relatively accessible - you can probably find it online for free.
I hope this answer will suffice, and that you (and hopefully other members of our audience) will continue to learn and develop your opinions! Cheers!
“Upon the different forms of property, upon the social conditions of existence, rises an entire superstructure of distinct and peculiarly formed sentiments, illusions, modes of thought, and views of life. The entire class creates and forms them out of its material foundations and out of the corresponding social relations. The single individual, who derives them through tradition and upbringing, may imagine that they form the real motives and the starting point of his activity.”
The centerpiece of this issue is a 64-page feature on the protests against police and white supremacy that spread from Ferguson, Missouri across the United States. It traces the conflict from its origins in the antebellum South, offering a timeline of the clashes vividly illustrated with narratives from the front lines. We especially urge everyone to read the transcript of a debrief discussion among anarchist participants from Missouri, reflecting on their role in predominantly black struggles and the ramifications of joining in street confrontations that include arson and gunfire.
Two more features elaborate an anarchist analysis of sex work, beyond the second-wave feminist discourse of victimization and the third-wave feminist discourse of empowerment. From across the Atlantic, we present interviews with Turkish anarchists who crossed the Syrian border to join Kurdish fighters in pushing the Islamic State out of Kobanê, and an analysis of the rise of new left parties in Greece and around Europe as a phase in the neutralization of autonomous social movements. Elsewhere in the issue, a testimonial recounts one daring individual’s efforts to rid his community of surveillance cameras by physically destroying them.
As for theory, this issue offers a critique of demand-based political organizing and an intimate look at how what Foucault termed biopower functions in jails and cancer wards. All this, plus poetry and graffiti from the Egyptian revolution—comics about Loukanikos, the celebrated riot dog of Athens—stories from the life of Biófilo Panclasta, the most mysterious and mythologized of anarchist vagabonds—the usual stunning photography, acerbic commentary, and strategic reflection—and much, much more! Altogether, this issue is 154 pages, which places it alongside the books we’ve published as one of our most ambitious projects.
With how often Stalinists removed people from pictures, it’s only fair to do the same with Stalin! I think it looks much better, though I think Rosa Luxemburg should be represented on her own red flag between Engels and Lenin.