Communism was originally formed as a fair means of governance wherein everyone in society has an equal opportunity, eliminating the distinctions cropping up between different labor categories or societal strata. And, therein, lies its deceit. As a concept, it projects the potential for the overall empowerment of the people in every segment of industry or field of interest. However, when practiced, the most obvious outcome that has been manifested is the manipulation of power and unnecessary influence by the state governing body.
Fading of the idealistic facade of communism
Apart from the fact that anywhere they have operated in the world, they have been responsible for millions of deaths worldwide, communist regimes seek to strip their societies of any individualistic traits. They have been bent on destroying morality, religion, and traditional values, and control every aspect of the lives of their subjects.
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Religion and tradition are the primary targets of communist regimes. They propagate these aspects of humanity to be detrimental to the overall progress and replace them with propaganda. In the absence of religion, people lose their moral compass and suffer spiritual deterioration. In the absence of traditional values passed on by previous generations, people lose their sense of pride, self-worth, and culture.
According to the Washington Post: “The biggest communist atrocities were perpetrated not by corrupt party bosses, but by true believers like Lenin, Stalin, and Mao. Precisely because they were true believers, they were willing to do whatever it might take to make their utopian dreams a reality.”
Death and destruction
Communist regimes have been directly involved in the killing of more than 100 million people all over the world collectively. This is much greater than any of the other totalitarian regimes that have been operating anywhere in the world combined. The most gruesome killings were associated with the centralization of agriculture and stripping traditional farmers of the right to own property.
If you take the case of China, the Great Leap Forward, spearheaded by Mao Zedong, was responsible for the biggest manmade famine in which 45 million people died. The agricultural centralization or collectivization efforts of Joseph Stalin in the USSR resulted in the deaths of close to 10 million lives. The same examples can be seen in communist regimes operating in countries all over the world, from North Korea and Cambodia to Ethiopia and Cuba.
These are not just isolated events that happened coincidentally. Each regime followed the model of operation of another regime in another country. They were all fully aware of the consequences of the policies they were trying to implement and went ahead with them regardless.
Collectivization was just one of the factors associated with the mass murder of subjects in a communist state. The communist regimes operated labor camps where millions died. Examples of these include the Gulag system in the USSR. There were also mass executions that occurred without trial. These were rampant in the Killing Fields in Cambodia as well as the Great Purge led by Stalin in the USSR.
Mass killings were just the beginning. The survivors of these killing camps were subjected to extreme degrees of repression. These people were stripped of their freedom of speech and freedom to practice religion, and were labeled criminals for implementing standard economic practices. At the end of it all, they were robbed of any property that they owned.
Every communist regime promised the same thing — the prosperity of the working class. Ironically, it was the working class that faced mass extermination and the states were dragged into poverty. Although the reasons for the monumental failure of communism are many and vary from regime to regime, the extreme concentration of power led to massive corruption and injustice.