I like the theory of communist as taught by Karl Marx. I believe that the people in a society should take care of each other, rather than compete fiercely for selfish ends. I also like the concept of common ownership of property that are made available for use by the people. Many limited resources are actually owned by the state, and they can be put to better use.
I saw a history documentary in TV about China. I was surprised to learn the Confucius taught the people to live in harmony, rather than to compete against each other. This lead to a harmonious society, which did not make much progress, but give a happy life to its people. This concept of community purpose, rather than selfish purpose, actually occurs before Karl Marx.
I asked a Russian couple whether life was better in Russia under Communism or the free market. The woman, who was a school teacher, preferred the previous Communist era, as life was more predictable. The man, who was a small entrepreneur, prefer the present free market era.
In recent history, Communist states failed because the leaders worked only for their own ends, and were oppressive in seeking to retain power. This desire to retain power occurs in democratic societies as well. The leaders changed the election boundaries (i.e. gerrymandering) and the election rules to ensure that they can be re-elected. This practice occurs even in America, a society that aims to champion the cause of democracy.
In some "democratic" countries, the political leaders assassinate their rivals. In other countries, they find other ways to fix their rivals.
We should not associate communism with oppression. According to Karl Marx theory, the decisions on the priorities for society has to be carried out by democratic means. The members of society decide what they want.
Tan Kin Lian
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