Communists should be considered criminals just as neo-nazis
Hope you are doing well this afternoon!
Please note I am not a Communist (nor Communist supporter) or Nazi (nor Nazi supporter). However, I disagree with you 1) that Neo-Nazi's are criminals and 2) That Communists should be viewed as Criminals.
You see in this great country we call in America we label a person as a criminal for violating a crime, or more specifically breaking the law. Adhering to a particular ideology is NOT a crime, and is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution for them to exercise their freedom of speech.
Therefore, you and I should be more than free to voice our disagreement with Nazi's or Communists. However, we should not regard these people as criminals on the basis of their ideas but only if their actions demonstrate that they have committed a crime.
I also disagree with your assessment of Communism that it is built on theft and legalized coercion against people. Communism is built on the idea to create a classless society by making the means of production publically owned. It is not a crime to think such a thing, and there are merits to it in the face of what we know about class divisions during the Industrial revolution that led up to Marx's ideas. The point is that this idea about how a society can operate is not in itself criminal, though may appear so to people who can only think in the ways of Capitalism and Democracy. I of course stated I am not a Communist, but that doesn't mean I can't objectively call out it's strengths and weaknesses, and this can only be done if allow freedom of speech and not labeling people who disagree with us as criminals.
If you are in support of freedom of speech, then you should agree with me that naming a Communist, Neo Nazi or anyone who disagrees you a criminal is wrong and contrary to the liberty this country was founded on.
Sure, on the legal side someone obviously can not be considered criminal just for adhering to an ideology or have certain ideas, that was an obvious argument that I was already expecting my contender to make, since I wrote the title of the topic to be intentionally provocative. Sorry for the misguidance.
Now to the matter.
My contender argues that communism is not built on theft and coercion, but on the idea of creating a classless society by publicly owning the means of production.
And this sounds like a great idea if it wasn't utterly authoritarian. In order to do those things like redistribute the wealth, even out the differences of classes and all those communist goals, you NECESSARILY need to use coercion and a dictator orchestrating it, because if people don't want to be part of it they either get exiled or killed (tens of millions just in maoist's China).
Nazis in WWII also thought their motives were just and right. Their premises were beautiful to them, doesn't make them right nor justify their actions.
But this isn't a topic to debunk communism since it's already been done massively. It's simply to reinforce that those ideas DO require theft and coercion. And somebody who's morally okay with those things isn't the type of person anyone would like in a society.
The same way Neo-nazis today are looked at with contempt, so I hope will happen to communists in the future.
I'll finish it with a few quotes from the leader of the Cuban regime, Fidel Castro.
"I am a Marxist Leninist and I will be one until the last day of my life."
"The revolution is a dictatorship of the exploited against the exploiters."
"The universities are available only to those who share my revolutionary beliefs."
Hope your days is going as well as mine is!
"Sure, on the legal side someone obviously can not be considered criminal just for adhering to an ideology or have certain ideas, that was an obvious argument that I was already expecting my contender to make, since I wrote the title of the topic to be intentionally provocative. Sorry for the misguidance."
Well, most of my disagreement stemmed from this point, but I will still humor you by playing the devil's advocate in regards to your other remarks here. :)
"My contender argues that communism is not built on theft and coercion, but on the idea of creating a classless society by publicly owning the means of production.
And this sounds like a great idea if it wasn't utterly authoritarian. In order to do those things like redistribute the wealth, even out the differences of classes and all those communist goals, you NECESSARILY need to use coercion and a dictator orchestrating it, because if people don't want to be part of it they either get exiled or killed (tens of millions just in maoist's China)."
I will concede this point, as it is irrefutable if we are to look at how Communism has been inaugurated throughout it's brief history. It has always been accomplished through coercion, though whether or not said coercion would be ultimately for the benefit of the greater good would introduce issues of the ethical sort, where we attempt to appreciate teleological values and if they can be warranted here. Also, because Communism requires a strong authoritarian style to government it can be somewhat susceptible to corruption, and completely destroys the inherent socialist values that come with a Communist state.
However, in more recent years particularly with China (granting it's initial truly terrible period of history) we have seen Communism flourish in ways many thought were not possible. China is projected to in the next 20 years become the leading economic super power in the world surpassing the USA. Here are some statistics about present day China, and their relation to the rest of the world and to where they have been.
GDP: 2nd US$8.277 Trillion
Overall Rank for Life Expectancy: 49th (a huge increase considering where they came from at 43 years old in 1960 to 74 in 2010)
Literacy: 95% (up from 20% in 1950)
These are just a few indicators that demonstrate China's rapid growth over the last 50 years to where they are today, which is due largely to the kind of political system they have.
Now I will say this, Communism will only work in certain countries and not others. China has done quite well with being a Communist nation, but if Communism were to be established as the government in America it could never work. This is because of the kinds of values our two countries differ in. We should recognize that Democracy might not be for everyone, just as Communism might not be for everyone and we should not demonize or criminalize those who disagree with us
“It has always been accomplished through coercion, though whether or not said coercion would be ultimately for the benefit of the greater good would introduce issues of the ethical sort, where we attempt to appreciate teleological values and if they can be warranted here. Also, because Communism requires a strong authoritarian style to government it can be somewhat susceptible to corruption, and completely destroys the inherent socialist values that come with a Communist state”
Teleology is definitely a good subject for another debate.
Anyway, partially agree. It does require an authoritarian style and is very susceptible to corruption, although I disagree when you say that “it destroys the inherent socialist values that come with a communist state”
I say that because these “socialist values” are not that much incompatible with what really happens in practice, they’re both terrible.
All those socialist/Marxist’s goals start from a wrong premise, that everyone is equal and aspire the same in life.
But anyway this is leaning towards a philosophical matter, so I’ll step out.
As for your remarks on China, you’ve committed a few mistakes
1) Mao Zedong’s is considered one of the darkest periods in China’s history.
2) “China's rapid growth over the last 50 years to where they are today, which is due largely to the kind of political system they have.” Not quite. It’s due to many economic reasons, if anything Tse-Tung just delayed its potential growth due to his communist regime.
3) China today is more capitalist than many so-called capitalist nations.
But these are all regular misconceptions people have, that I’d take a while to get into, which is why I’m leaving a piece of a great article I’d recommend you to read that demystifies a few common misconceptions towards this matter (links at the bottom).
“While the WTO is a flawed organization that in no way represents "free trade," China's willingness to accept its requirements to abolish tariffs restrictions and provide a more friendly foreign investment atmosphere demonstrates a marked shift in the thinking of the Communist Party. Indeed, just this summer the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) opened its membership to capitalists, a move that angered those who still cling to the socialist model as outlined by Mao Zedung."
"[...] In terms of free political expression and state indoctrination, China resembles the world of George Orwell's 1984. In the area of economic reform and growth, however, China is in the midst of an economic boom that will continue if the government stays the course of increased economic freedom.”
- China and the Development Myth - http://mises.org...
Sorry, was extremely busy this weekend.
I disagree that socialist values when applied in practice are always terrible, for instance the success of many European nations especially those in Scandinavia are built very much so on a socialist state (though without many of the extremes of Communism). Communism perhaps errs by going too far to see equality happening, though studies have repeatedly shown the harmful effects of income inequality in particular which presently plagues the more Capitalist nations of the world.
In regards to point 1. that you made, I did not in any way state that this was good for the nation of China. In fact, I stated the following.
"(granting it's initial truly terrible period of history)"
So there has been no mistake made here.
To address your second point, economies are built on economic systems and while Communist China might be a bit more reformed than other Communist nations, it still directly influences and involves economy so to state that China's success is despite it's being a Communist nation or does not involve it at all is in error.
To your third point, I suppose that is a matter of opinion, but I do agree they have some Capitalist tendencies which has lead to more income inequality in the nation itself.
What I think is really going on here is a larger metanarratives of Democratic and Socialist tendencies, which we all look through our particular bias and condemn and demonize the opposing group. When rather we should seek to correct the extremes, and learn to realize that maybe not one system of economy or government is fit for every society.
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