Communism-Advantages and Disadvantages

Posted on: 15th May 2020


Before we dive into the detail that should be contained in an essay on communism, here is what you should know.

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What is Communism?

The term communism comes from the Latin word “communis” that means “common” or “shared.” Communism is an economic and political doctrine that aims to replace capitalism. It yearns for something better than a profit-based, and private property economy. It looks to help bring about communal control and public ownership of the property for major sectors of production. From this definition, we can tell that there is a relation between communism and socialism.

In fact, communism is seen as a form of socialism but of a more advanced and higher degree. Sometimes there are debates on the exact difference between socialism and communism, but the distinction usually rests on the fact that communism depends on the Karl Marx revolutionary socialism. [College papers for sale]

History of communism

The term communism is known to have come into existence during the 1840s. However, during the 4th century BCE, there was a society that seems to have lived in a way considered communism. In this society, the governing class devoted themselves to helping and serving the interest of the whole community.

The leaders in these communities believed that private ownership of property would corrupt people’s minds and encourage selfishness. As such, they lived as one large family that shared almost everything they owned. They shared not only material property but also children and spouses.

Other forms of communism witnessed in the early years drew their encouragement and inspiration from religion. Christianity renounces worldly possessions, which is a kind of communism, although it doesn’t advocate for the sharing of spouses and children like the early days’ communism. [Top Grade Essays for Cheap Money]

It was this same inspiration and motive that led to the formation of monastic orders. The monastic orders involved monks taking vows and promising that they’d share their worldly belongings with the poor and other people.

Other types of communistic utopias also exist. However, some of them are fictional. For instance, it’s said that the English Civil war led to diggers to advocate for communism. They wanted a society where there was freedom and where the earth could become a “common treasure.”

Communism in current times

 Modern-day communism started between 1918 and 1922 during the Russian Civil War. This was after Bolsheviks put all productive sectors and property such as railroads, mines, and factories under government control. Although Bolsheviks and Russia are part of communist history, some nations today still use this system. Here are a few structures, activities, and the different periods' nations embraced communism.  

Communist countries and their structures in the 19th century

  • In North Korea, workers, food distribution and farmland are all controlled by the government
  • In Cuba, medical professionals, medical supplies and hospitals are under the Cuban government
  • Afghanistan - was a communist nation between 1978 and 1992. During these 14 years, Afghanistan was known as the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
  • Czechoslovakia - Czechoslovakia was a communistic nation between 1948 and 1989. During these 41 years, Czechoslovakia was known as the People’s Republic of Czechoslovakia
  • East Germany - East Germany was communistic between 1949 and 1990. During these 41 years, East Germany was known as the German Democratic Republic
  • Laos has been a communistic nation since 1975. Its official name changed to Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Today, Lao is ruled by a political party known as the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party. The Soviet Union supported the change of name and revolution in 1975
  • Cambodia was a communist state between 1975 and 1989
  • Albania – Albania was a communistic nation between 1944 and 1992. During these 48 years, Albania was known as the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania
  • Ethiopia – Ethiopia was a communistic nation between 1987 and 1991. During these 4 years, Ethiopia was known as the People’s Republic of Ethiopia
  • Hungary – Hungary was a communistic nation between 1947 and 1989. During these 41 years, Hungary was known as the People’s Republic of Hungary
    In China in the 1950s, President Mao Zedong developed something that pushed farmers into becoming communist. It was known as “The Great Leap Forward.” However, he took their land and made them become slaves
  • Angola – Angola was a communistic nation between 1975 and 1991. During these 16 years, Angola was known as the People’s Republic of Angola.
  • Benin - Benin was a communistic nation between 1975 and 1990. During these 25 years, Benin was known as the People’s Republic of Benin.
  • Bulgaria – Bulgaria was a communistic nation between 1946 and 1990. During these 44 years, Bulgaria was known as the People’s Republic of Bulgaria
  • Congo - Congo was a communistic nation between 1970 and 1991. During these 21 years, Congo was known as the People’s Republic of Congo
  • Vietnam-Immediately after the 1st Indochina War, Vietnam becomes divided. South Vietnam became a democratic state, while North Vietnam became a communist state. South Vietnam was supported by the United States, while the United States backed North Vietnam. However, in 1976 the North and south put their differences aside and were unified to form a communist nation–with a communism political party known as the Communist Party of Vietnam
  • In China today, the Chinese government controls a thriving manufacturing industry that earns the nation large amounts of profit through the export of electronics and other consumer goods.

These are just a few examples of nations that experienced communism in the 19th century. There are more nations. When you write this kind of essay, you need to do in-depth research.

Advantages and Disadvantages of communism

Advantages of Communism

1. Reduces socio-economic difference

When enforced, communism ensures people are at the same level when it comes to socio-economic differences, except for top government officials. Everyone contributes towards the development and success of the nation. There is no difference between jobs. This ensures people are seen as equals regardless of what they do. As such, there are no “blue-collar” or “white collar” job positions. 

2. Almost everyone is employed

Since everyone contributes towards the growth of the country, almost everyone who can work tends to be employed. However, all roles are the same, which enforces the idea of equality. This leads to low crime rates since people know that the government will provide basic needs.

Sometimes people are compelled to do some tasks because of their high level of skills in those particular tasks. People are forced to work, based on their skills, because what they do is essential- it's for the greater good of the whole community. The government will tell you to do some work based on your expertise, and you'll be glad to help since you are aware many people will benefit.

3. Increased education opportunity

Almost every child under a communist structure goes to school to acquire necessary life skills. This is because the aim is to improve society as a whole. Thus, it’s the role of society to educate most of its people.

When the communist government took over power in China, its first role was to teach citizens how to read and write. They then encouraged them to enroll in vocational training, especially those who lived in urban centers. These vocational training institutions helped many citizens learn how to be productive in agriculture, manufacturing, and industrial processes. The training helped improve the living standards of many Chinese citizens up to today.  

4. Creates a strong social community

Communism aims to help people live as a community. It encourages citizens to think of one another as a family and look out for each other. With this, everyone is given equal treatment. However, when people get to power, they tend to focus on people who have disagreed with them spiritually, politically, and economically. This usually prevents most citizens from rebelling against the government and bringing about unity and strong social bond among communities.

Disadvantages of Communism

1. Restriction of individual rights

Since people must work together, they are not free to think and pursue their own interests. Usually, jobs are assigned according to a community’s requirements. However, some people may be good at things that they are never assigned. For instance, a great mechanic can be assigned to work as a writer–which may be very unproductive.

2. Opposition is not permitted

A communist society has an absolute rule for everyone. If you don’t follow these rules and direction of society, you are likely to be imprisoned or face other consequences. Any communist believes the government works for the interest of the entire community. As such, people who want to have individual freedom are seen as rebels or people who are not after the greater good of the whole community.

However, the only reason for restricting freedom and individual independence is to keep those in power strong because there is no opposition.

3. Central Planning and implementation problem

The government’s responsibility is to centrally plan how it can meet the needs of its citizens. Most governments make plans but fail to implement them. Since it’s a communist system, people will not react even when their needs are not met. However, people have to survive, and this leads to the emergence of setups like black markets.

4. No efficiency

Communism has no motive for efficiency. And this makes most people in these communities struggle to balance supply and demand. This is because the government only produces goods based on what they think the population need. This is not a good idea since others may have the goods supplied by the government. Due to the surplus, they may need to exchange what they have for other products and services. But this is not possible.

5. Strict rules

In addition to controlling means of production, a communist government places strict rules and regulations for people and businesses that operate in their markets. They do this to ensure there is no class structure within communities. For instance, the government allocates the same amount of funds for all sectors of the economy regardless of their industry. 

This means that peasant farmers can also earn the same amount of money as administrative workers. This usually causes emotional unrest among citizens since some of them don’t receive recognition or respect for the kind of work they do. Some people can be more productive but remain the same, economically, as those who work for a few hours.

6. Abuse of power

Since the government runs almost all sectors of the economy, there is a very high risk of misuse of power and control. Those in power can do this whenever they are in pursuit of their own agendas because they are the ones who are in control of government resources. They can decide where to distribute commodities to and where not to share resources. As such, people live at the mercies of the government–which isn’t good.

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