“Communism: A Closer Look,” by Andrew Schatkin

“Communism: A Closer Look,” by Andrew Schatkin

Communism and the socialist and communist movement had its origins as a response to the excesses of the industrial revolution in Western Europe and Russia. The immediate architects and thinkers in connection with the growth of communism in the 19th century were Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Both produced a great deal of written work in the form of books and articles. Both can be seen as thinkers, philosophers, and as concerned with economics. Marx was preceded by theorists or utopian socialists such as the Frenchman St. Simon and the Welshman Owen. Other communist or socialist schemes for a communist system or society can be found in St. Thomas More and to Plato and his Republic. Marx held that there would be a world revolution of factory workers with the result being a new social and political order called communism or socialism. Communist theory envision the abolition of private property and the eventual dictatorship of the working class or, more exactly, the proletariat. The outline and presentation of Marxism and communism can be found in Marx’s tract The Communist Manifesto. It is certainly not clear that his society would involve the use of violence as was the case in Russia under Stalin.

What, then, can be said of the good or bad of this system? Communism or socialism as envisioned by Marx clearly seeks to bring about the abolition of classes; the kind of pure democratic system of rule by the people or workers; in some sense, the elimination of private property and domination by the monies classes; and, overall, eliminating greed as a factor in society and in the new economic system. There is no and can be no argument that the elimination of classes, the system where the people and people alone rule and taking greed and the rule of the wealthy out of the picture. are clearly good things, good goals, and good ideas. Why, in communist societies such as Russia, China, Cuba, and North Korea, violence came to be is a mystery. Perhaps all systems may and do involve the use of force and violence.

I conclude by saying that communist countries do not bring about what they say will be emplaced in the form of a new and ideal social and political order. I add this communism, in its theory, involves materialism and the rejection of religion and religious beliefs, i.e. atheism. In this, sense communism fails since it does not address or concede the deeply held element of human nature and the human soul that has within it and is within all of us a contact with and reaching out to the supernatural, or God.

The embrace by communism of materialism and atheism ignores the reality of human nature, its need for God and the supernatural, and will always be unsatisfactory. Humanity cannot be made and remade into the latest model car, or into to pretty new clothes.