Last Updated on Sun Jun 20, 2021 by JR Rioux
My father and I used to have such crazy long conversations talking about anything and everything. Now, my dad was a huge sci-fi fan, deeply religious, and highly realistic about most things. We loved having these conversations, because they were incredibly stimulating and a lot of fun as we shared information and debated topics. One of those that was repetitive was discussions of society as a whole.
Now, for those who don’t know, I have a… history with violence; both as the aggressor and as the victim, if I am to be perfectly honest. I was a hothead in my youth, though you could blame some of that on my earlier experiences with violence. However, once I matured a bit, I became more and more pacifistic. It gets tiresome to be angry or bracing for a hit all the time and I simply stopped having the energy to expend on such nonsense.
Now, when I was growing up, the USSR was the biggest enemy. They were the opposition. We were told they were evil and the people were abused by their government, they imprisoned people who practiced religion and blah, blah, blah. You know, the stuff we’ve been hearing for the last… well, about 100 years now. So, Russia was our enemy, the Berlin Wall was still a thing, and we were all going to die in a nuclear holocaust when they would send the bombs over. That we would kill them off as well wasn’t really comforting knowledge.
Oh, and we had drills where we hid under our desks and covered our heads (what the holy hell was that going to do?) as if the wood would do something against a nuclear bomb. You’d be incinerated before you even knew a bomb had hit (depending on how close it is).
Now, with that in mind, what I have learned about how communism is supposed to work, and it is really awesome. The concept is utopia. It’s peace and no one going hungry, and everyone having a chance for a good life, and everyone serving a purpose. Now, pay attention to what I say, because I am NOT supporting any communist government on our planet as they exist – they are corrupted and twisted to benefit a few, while others go without.
See, one of Dad’s favorite shows, and mine (I was a Daddy’s girl), was Star Trek. This was before the next generation came out, so… it’s been a while. We still had payphones and the cell phone was a distant theory, to give you an idea. Almost all men had mustaches, most women had long hair, and John Denver’s songs were huge. Oh, and he was still alive, John Ritter was still doing 3’s Company, Robin Williams was still mostly known for Mork & Mindy, Sean Connery still had color in his hair, and Ronald Reagan was President. But, I digress.
In Star Trek, there’s no money on Earth. The ‘government’ owns everything and everyone has food, housing, a job, a chance for college, health care, and so forth. That is a utopia. No starving, no mass deaths from famine or drought, no suffering from untreated health issues, and so on. Peace, understanding, and contentment around the world. To me, that was the way the world SHOULD work and I have deeply desired it since. Everyone gets a fair shake. If you have more, you’ve really done something great to earn it, and reasonable people would agree that it is a fair system. If they were a leader or something, they would like to have a bit of an upgrade for their very difficult, mentally taxing, and/or extremely dangerous work. But everyone serves a purpose – and they are free to choose their education and/or training without cost.
That, my darlings, is communism in a nutshell.
Isn’t that awesome? Reasonable work hours, free healthcare, food, childcare, education, etc., and in return, you do a job you probably love.
Seriously. It’s perfect.
But, as my dad pointed out (bursting my fantasy bubble), we, as human beings, are simply too flawed for such a system to work. There are too many greedy for wealth, power, influence, notoriety. Too many who are sick and twisted, loving to hurt people or hating them for some ridiculous reason – differences that don’t matter, like color, religion, sexuality, orientation, territory (do you REALIZE how big the the world is?), and other nonsense. These are difference we should explore and understand, not hate because… it’s not the way you do it? You don’t like it that way? It goes against what you believe/think/feel?
I’ll never understand that. I have always liked varieties of people. Colors, accents, clothing, religion, sexuality, orientation, etc. to me are just differences I find make the world a more interesting place. As my father and aunt have said: ‘What fun would things be if everyone was the same?’. It wouldn’t be. It would be boring, and I’ve known that since early childhood. I wasn’t taught to see things that were different as scary. New things have always been a source of curiosity and excitement.
But I’m not like most people. There are plenty of people who, like me, don’t view differences with the fear that fuels prejudice. But, unfortunately, a lot more people see those differences as justifications for all sorts of callous behavior.
Especially when it comes to government. While ‘America’ may not be a wholly racist country, our government hasn’t exactly had a good history in dealing with those who weren’t part of the ‘status quo’. That has shifted over the years, but corrections tend to fail to be made when new groups come in that many people choose to discriminate against. Meaning, once your group has been discriminated against, they may never achieve equal footing. Or, it could, as in the case of Natives, Blacks, and Hispanics, take 100’s of years before it’s even discussed.
This is why communism cannot work in any type of widespread fashion in the world as it exists. We make jokes about Karens and other entitled types, but they are part of what causes communism to be easily corrupted – and we’ve all seen and heard of the horrors that have come as a result. While not in name, Russia is still, in many aspects, a communist country. China and the countless horrors inflicted on their people. Some dictatorships have been far kinder and treated their people more equally than China has in any of the last 6+ decades under Communism.
And that’s really the saddest part of all. There are plenty of communes that could be described as communist communities. We’ve seen in small groups, it can work beautifully. They can be some of the most peaceful communities in the US (I don’t know about other countries), where everyone has an active role and necessaries like food are shared. So, it CAN be done. It can be an all but utopic society.
But sadly, there are always those who want power or control or wealth and are willing to step on anyone who might get in their way.
But man, wouldn’t it be nice if we could, someday, achieve a level where we could see communism working at it’s best in larger groups? I know, I’m a dreamer who wants peace on earth and for all man to generally get along.