Monthly Archives: September 2015

What’s Wrong With Communism?

I’ve been asked this question — usually in the form “what’s wrong with socialism”.  But it’s really just Communism Lite anyway.  They same dynamics apply, they’re just eroded a bit in intensity.

Came up with this response right off my fingertips this morning when someone suggested that Communism was really Anarchy Lite, so I thought I’d post it for future reference.

In Marx’s theory, Communism would be everyone sharing everything with everyone else voluntarily. Which of course completely ducks the question of what you do with people who won’t voluntarily participate. Turns out, it is basic to human nature that they want to better their positions in life, maximize comfort, minimize effort, pass these things on to their offspring …. and this is wholly incompatible with everyone sharing everything with everyone.

Since everyone has to share everything with everyone, no effort is required from anyone to meet his basic needs. And since in communism nothing is truly yours, there is no point in trying to increase your own comfort level because you have to increase everyone else’s at the same rate – and the denominator effectively kills your ROI in effort.

So the incentives in communism tend toward not producing, since you have little to lose by not producing and little to gain by producing. Which is why everyone ends up poor — and it’s also why a communist government MUST be totalitarian – it must coerce people into producing. Which makes it not communist, technically, anymore if it is truly voluntary. But since trying to do it ALWAYS produces this dynamic in reality, it’s folly to separate them.

Communism outside of a family or tight-knit community is incompatible with human nature. And even in those you’re going to have your loafers who will require some sort of coercion to get in line — or to be kicked out.

And that’s what’s wrong with Communism.

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