The idealistic goal of actualiz-

ing a more equitable society based

upon the economic ideas of Karl

Marx has always been considered

to be a noble pursuit, and while I

agree with Brooke Hill that there

is a widespread misunderstanding

of the theory of communism–

perhaps the last vestiges of Red

Scare propaganda, which can be

detrimental to any healthy pro-

gressive political discussion– I

very much disagree with [Hill’s]

sentiment that “communism is a

really cool idea and we should try

to make it happen.”

 

The reality of what campus

communists most often neglect to

address is that the perilous path to

a communist society is historically

well-trodden and paved with vio-

lent revolution. Of course, there

are reformists like social Dem-

ocrats who reject revolutionary

socialism. However, oftentimes

these ideas are antiquated in our

modern society and incapable

of toppling the hierarchical sys-

tems of power propped up by

pro-capitalist governments. Only

through direct action can any sort

of meaningful implementation of

socialism be brought into reality –

as Mao Zedong once said, “Polit-

ical power grows out of the barrel

of a gun.”

 

Additionally, the argument of

“but that’s not real communism”

is highly tiresome. According to

many Marxist doctrines, the state

is a necessary tool of the proletar-

iat to achieve a communist soci-

ety; however, it is often the state

which is the largest antagonist to

the “real communism,” being that

the state is intrinsically opposed to

libertarian socialism. For example,

in Chinese Marxist thought, the

use of the “socialist market econo-

my” was supposed to be a transi-

tionary period for the country that

would have encouraged economic

growth, which was required be-

fore a more idealistic form of so-

cialism could be achieved. How-

ever, this resulted in just another

form of state capitalism and statist

oppression. China wasn’t free in

1949, it wasn’t free in 1989, and

it sure isn’t free now.

 

Our society and government,

as a concept of human creation, is

subject to the same level of inher-

ent corruptibility that constitutes

human nature. As a result, the goal

of a utopia is always rewarding in

thought, but the delicate balance

that those utopias are built upon is

easy to be disfigured. I, like many

others who have experienced liv-

ing in a socialist state, have seen

how the well-intentioned were led

astray and the devastating results

of those systems of government.

As a society, we should continue

to strive towards those utopian

goals, but we shouldn’t forget

that the process to achieve them

is messy, and we need to evaluate

whether we are willing to commit

to that level of sacrifice. Sure, per-

haps we liberate ourselves from

the chains of capitalist oppression,

but are we just trading one set of

chains for another? Like lambs

to the slaughter, an ignorant so-

ciety indoctrinated with poor-

ly understood idealistic Marxist

theories — being led down the

path to communism will result in

our own enslavement of a much

worse kind.

 

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