View Poll Results: Is communism possible in the USA?

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  • Yes, Soviet type of communism

    12 10.62%
  • Yes, community type of communism

    14 12.39%
  • Yes, religious type of communism

    2 1.77%
  • Yes, other type of communism

    14 12.39%
  • No, not possible

    61 53.98%
  • Dunno

    3 2.65%
  • Other

    7 6.19%
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Thread: Is communism possible in the USA?

  1. #251
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    Re: Is communism possible in the USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by ashurbanipal View Post
    It really doesn't seem possible that history (i.e. the things that happened...or perhaps more perspicuously, the stories we tell about the things that happened) could reveal what someone's ideas and motivations were or are. The best it can do is give us a clue about them, but with some obvious caveats. To say otherwise, you may as well claim that (for example) business owners who start a business but fail intend to fail, or that someone whose house is struck by a tornado wanted their house to be struck by a tornado, or that Albert Einstein and Marie Curie intended for people to make nuclear bombs.

    I wonder if you could point out where, in The Communist Manifesto, Marx explicitly called for systematic bloodshed and oppression. He thought there would be a revolution, of course...but you can say that about any numer of proponents of democracy and market economics. You could also say that about Jesus--indeed, it was his anti-establishment rhetoric that got him crucified in the first place. So, show us where Marx thought it should be necessary to do massive and cruel violence over and above what was necessary to revoke the established social order.
    Marx believed that the Paris Commune should have executed many more people, to name just one example.
    Fact is that Communist regimes and parties have demonstrated throughout history that mass-murder and brutal oppression are the hallmarks of Communism.

  2. #252
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    Re: Is communism possible in the USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Artevelde
    Marx believed that the Paris Commune should have executed many more people, to name just one example.
    I'm curious about your source for this information. I've read, for example, The Civil War in France and didn't see any evidence he thought there should be widespread executions. He did think that it would have been better, in retrospect, to kill the leaders of the former regime. But that seems to be something that happens generally whenever a revolution is fought and won (however temporarily). Either the victors kill the most dangerous among the losers, or they end up not sitting in power for long. So it doesn't seem this is terribly exceptional. The early Christians did the same thing when they moved up into Europe, or back into the Middle East.

    The burden that is before you is to show that Marx intended communism to be exceptionally violent and brutal, and moreover, that this was a core ideal of his.

    Quote Originally Posted by artevelde
    Fact is that Communist regimes and parties have demonstrated throughout history that mass-murder and brutal oppression are the hallmarks of Communism.
    This is not established. Communist regimes have been responsible for a large number of deaths. This does not mean that communism requires mass killings of the sort the world saw under Stalin or Mao. Those horrors may just as easily have been the result of the personalities and cultures involved.

  3. #253
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    Re: Is communism possible in the USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by ashurbanipal View Post
    I'm curious about your source for this information. I've read, for example, The Civil War in France and didn't see any evidence he thought there should be widespread executions. He did think that it would have been better, in retrospect, to kill the leaders of the former regime. But that seems to be something that happens generally whenever a revolution is fought and won (however temporarily). Either the victors kill the most dangerous among the losers, or they end up not sitting in power for long. So it doesn't seem this is terribly exceptional. The early Christians did the same thing when they moved up into Europe, or back into the Middle East.

    The burden that is before you is to show that Marx intended communism to be exceptionally violent and brutal, and moreover, that this was a core ideal of his.



    This is not established. Communist regimes have been responsible for a large number of deaths. This does not mean that communism requires mass killings of the sort the world saw under Stalin or Mao. Those horrors may just as easily have been the result of the personalities and cultures involved.
    You need to read a bit of serious history.

    And all Communist regimes have been bloodthirsty and extremely repressive. Communism is one of the most murderous ideologies in all of human history.

  4. #254
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    Re: Is communism possible in the USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Artevelde
    You need to read a bit of serious history.
    I read history quite avidly, and typically don't find myself rolling on the floor laughing afterward. I wonder whether "serious history" isn't just a code word for "history that agrees with Artevelde's worldview" here. Perhaps you could give me some examples of what you mean by "serious history." That is, perhaps you could point out some authors and titles that constitute "serious history."

    Quote Originally Posted by Artevelde
    And all Communist regimes have been bloodthirsty and extremely repressive. Communism is one of the most murderous ideologies in all of human history.
    I can't think of very many genuinely communist regimes. I agree that Russia and China have executed a lot of people. Cambodia and North Korea have as well (it's not clear that North Korea counts as a fully communist nation). On the other hand, as I previously pointed out, quite a few countries have implemented ideas from communism/socialism without a lot of violence (Sweden, Denmark, France, Norway, Canada, Spain...etc). So your argument may rest on a sampling problem. Again, we may well attribute the purges of Stalin and Mao to...well, Stalin and Mao, and not communism as such.

  5. #255
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    Re: Is communism possible in the USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by ashurbanipal View Post
    I read history quite avidly, and typically don't find myself rolling on the floor laughing afterward. I wonder whether "serious history" isn't just a code word for "history that agrees with Artevelde's worldview" here. Perhaps you could give me some examples of what you mean by "serious history." That is, perhaps you could point out some authors and titles that constitute "serious history."

    You can start with Robert Service's "Comrades: A History of World Communism".

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    Re: Is communism possible in the USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by ashurbanipal View Post

    I can't think of very many genuinely communist regimes. I agree that Russia and China have executed a lot of people. Cambodia and North Korea have as well (it's not clear that North Korea counts as a fully communist nation). On the other hand, as I previously pointed out, quite a few countries have implemented ideas from communism/socialism without a lot of violence (Sweden, Denmark, France, Norway, Canada, Spain...etc). So your argument may rest on a sampling problem. Again, we may well attribute the purges of Stalin and Mao to...well, Stalin and Mao, and not communism as such.
    The idea that Sweden, Denmark, France, Norway, Canada, Spain implemented Communism is ludicrous and shws you don't even have an elementary grasp of what Communism is.

    Communist regimes in the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Mongolia, Ethiopia, Poland, East-Germany, Czechoslovakia, Albania, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Cuba, ... have been responsible for the death of dozens of millions of people and the brutal imprisonment, deportation and torture of dozens of millions more.

  7. #257
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    Re: Is communism possible in the USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Artevelde
    You can start with Robert Service's "Comrades: A History of World Communism".
    What is it about this book that makes it "serious history"? Is there a general consensus among historians in the same subject that this is the definitive work?

    Quote Originally Posted by artevelde
    The idea that Sweden, Denmark, France, Norway, Canada, Spain implemented Communism is ludicrous and shws you don't even have an elementary grasp of what Communism is.
    I did not say they implemented communism. I said they implemented ideas from communism/socialism. In the same way, China has implemented ideas from democracy and capitalism...but you wouldn't describe China as a capitalist/democratic nation, would you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Artevelde
    Communist regimes in the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Mongolia, Ethiopia, Poland, East-Germany, Czechoslovakia, Albania, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Cuba, ... have been responsible for the death of dozens of millions of people and the brutal imprisonment, deportation and torture of dozens of millions more.
    There is no argument over this point. The argument is over whether Marx intended this to be the case, or not, and whether this is a core ideal and motivation of communism, or not.

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    Re: Is communism possible in the USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by ashurbanipal View Post
    What is it about this book that makes it "serious history"? Is there a general consensus among historians in the same subject that this is the definitive work?
    It is one of the best and most current general surveys by one of the foremost authorities on Communism.

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    Re: Is communism possible in the USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by ashurbanipal View Post
    I did not say they implemented communism. I said they implemented ideas from communism/socialism. In the same way, China has implemented ideas from democracy and capitalism...but you wouldn't describe China as a capitalist/democratic nation, would you?
    These countries didn't implement one iota of Communism. They are explicitely anti-Communist. And your attempt to mix up Communism and Socialism (by which you probably mean social democracy, which is yet something else) again shows you are without a clue.

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    Re: Is communism possible in the USA?

    Quote Originally Posted by ashurbanipal View Post
    There is no argument over this point. The argument is over whether Marx intended this to be the case, or not, and whether this is a core ideal and motivation of communism, or not.
    It is the defining characteristic of Communism.

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