The philosophy of communism in the world is to distribute wealth and resources equitably. This concept was developed by Karl Marx who he noted that equality helps in the realization of freedom of human beings. According to Karl Marx, one of the characteristic features of communism is living in a class society, which will result in conflicts between classes and bring about a system of governance where everything will be publicly owned. Citizens are bound to benefit from this ideology, because the resources will be distributed to them by the government. However, it was later realized that there is a big divide between the rich and the poor. The rich appropriate public resources, while the poor are left to scratch a living. In this discussion, the argument is that communism has failed the world and that it is not an ideal solution for any country (Leung, 2002). Communism has failed, because political leaders have set themselves apart as a class, and it is not possible for a political class to make decisions on behalf of the society.
Influence of Political Leaders on a Society
In a society governed by law, politics is the order of the day. In a number of countries which are regarded as poor, failures are attributed to bad governance. Bad governance is blamed on officials sitting on law-making bodies represented by parliaments in commonwealth countries, or a senate in the United States of America. Communism as an ideology sought to create a class society, in which everybody would be equal. Communism ideologists’ vision was that everybody was created the same, and that each person should be allowed to access wealth and resources in a country. Some countries, such as Tanzania, have achieved this vision by living like a brotherhood. However, the idea has failed in a number of other countries. A classic example is China, where some live in abject poverty, while others get richer. The rich have used the concept of communism to enrich themselves, and the government favors the rich (Hauss & Haussman, 2012).
According to Leung (2002), China uses a system of government, in which only one party rules. The Communist Party governs the nation, and this is entrenched in the supreme document of the country. China’s constitution recognizes this party as the only one in the country. Therefore, the powers of the state are to be exercised through this party and the central government. There have been a lot of political repressions in the country, especially against political figures that oppose the ruling elites. The elites in the country control virtually everything, and there is very little freedom. The current state of affairs in the country is attributed to the results of adhering to one party-rule or communism. Though the intention of communism was not to divide the society into two, world leaders have taken it upon themselves to oppress common people in the society and enrich themselves (Yamamoto, 2000).
The modern China has not confined itself to helping its people. China has a lot of wealth and resources, and those who have managed to maneuver in politics have gained a lot of influence over the society. According to Leung (2002), China is a country living in the past, because it has a lot of wealth and resources, which only few people can make use of. The country’s elites are represented by political leaders and those affiliated to them. The country is ruled from the center, i.e. Beijing, which means that very many regions in the country are neglected, and only the central-based leadership is in charge of everything (Leung, 2002).
The rest of the world is advancing towards upholding human rights. On the other hand, China has been accused of human torture. Over the last few years, a lot of criticism has been directed at China, and protests in the country indicate that all is not well. The media praise the leadership of the country and ignores failures of the government. Political figures are everything when it comes to making critical decisions. Since the country is ruled by one party, it is not possible to criticize decisions made by its political leaders. Therefore, a number of people in the country remain in abject poverty, while the elites continue to enrich themselves. There is a need to reconsider the way China is governed to avoid further degradation of human rights. It is up to the few in the country how they would like their country to change. Communism, as practiced in this country, has failed in many respects. China always supports countries that tend to suppress their people’s rights, especially those in Africa (Huang, 2006).
A number of decisions made by Chinese political leaders indicate that communism is bad for the world. According to Huang (2006), China is an emerging force in the world in terms of economic might, but this might has not been used to improve the lives of people in China. The government of China is reported to have more than $2.5 trillion in foreign currency reserves. The money is not for poor people, because it has not been used to help them. It is meant for the rich and political elites of the country. The government’s hypocritical statements about major accomplishments being achieved contrast sharply with the actual state of affairs in the country. The government made a clear decision to ban progressive media including the Internet. It means that a progressive person cannot be given airtime to voice views opposite to those of the government (Huang, 2006).
Many state-controlled businesses are run by political elites, and not those outside of politics. Since the government should serve all people and not only for the Communist Party, government jobs are supposed to be accessible to everybody. Instead, it depends on the kind of influence a person has. Those belonging to elites and being close to the government are given the jobs, while those opposing the government or the poor are disregarded. Such a system of government spawns inequality and contrasts sharply with the vision communist ideologists like Karl Marx had in mind when they came up with the idea. Resources and wealth are not distributed equally, but rather the rich remain rich and the poor remain poor. China can only realize the potential it requires, if it focuses on hardworking people. Focusing on political elites will only lead to a state divided into two. It is time the country abolished the shameful practices and began to attain the real vision of communism. The government has to allow opposition in the country and abolish the current constitution (Service, 2007).
Political Leaders Versus the Society Under Communism
As discussed above, the main aim of communism is to achieve equality, which means that the political leaders in communist countries are supposed to always care about the poor. However, as noted in the case of China, these political leaders enrich themselves, while the rest live in abject poverty. Therefore, there is no way political leaders can make good decisions on behalf of the society. According to Yamamoto (2000), communism harbors atrocities, and these atrocities are committed by the rich or politically-connected individuals against the poor and society at large. In the case of China, the past few years have witnessed a lot of protests that are not only confined to China, but also other countries of the world where Chinese people live. It has been argued that it is time China recognized that political leaders cannot make sole decisions on behalf of millions of people (Yamamoto, 2000).
Atrocities committed by political leaders in communist-led countries do not only include torture, but also denying people the freedom to express themselves or say what should be changed in their countries. In the case of China, it is easy to understand why political leaders there cannot make good decisions on behalf of the society. For example, the Communist Party, whose ideas are enshrined in the constitution, was formed by an individual. It, therefore, means that there would always be control of governance by the person who came up with the idea of the party. There were other parties which sought to rule the country in a fair and unifying manner, but they were not given an opportunity to do so. According to Yamamoto (2000), Sun Yat-sen had founded the Nationalist Party in 1912. However, there were radical plans, which diminished the influence of this party. Single-party rule, therefore, remains, and all the rules are made by the country’s political leaders. Essentially, everybody belongs to the Communist Party not by choice, but by force.
China is just an example of badly run politics. There are a number of other countries controlled by communism ideologies, which have only made the countries appear bad. Other than China, there is North Korea, East Germany, Bulgaria, Poland, Laos, Cuba, Hungary and Vietnam. By and large, these countries are renowned for using some kind of violence. For example, the ideology of Germany led to the First World War, while the ideology of North Korea led to the Korean War and the country’s international isolation. Vietnam is known for being a country where violence is practiced, while Poland is, to a certain extent, blamed for lack of freedom. According to Hauss & Haussman (2012), degradation of good governance in a number of communist countries is due to one-party rule. It shows that leaders of those countries are not ready to make sacrifies on behalf of their people. There is no way political leaders will represent the poor and the society in the best way possible (Leung, 2002).
Overall, communism has never worked. Many countries have tried this form of governance, but the result has always been disparity. According to Skousen (2007), very few countries can be said to have done well in terms of applying communism. The only country which almost achieved communism is Germany, but its history is well-known. Based on the example of China, communism can be blamed for disregarding human laws and freedom, intimidations coming from the political class, open insurrection which is used as a tool to quell dissenting voices, violation of major treaties, as well as violation of human rights and deceit. The above is a perfect description of what China has turned into. The country disregards human rights and freedom of press, resorts to political deceit, violates treaties, and practices intimidation and ruthlessness. Being a wealthy country, China could achieve near-equality, as witnessed in countries, such as the United Kingdom, South Korea and the United States of America (Service, 2007)
The population of the United States is comprised of different categories, e.g. white Americans, black Americans, Hispanics and Indian Americans. Other than the white races, other races have enjoyed freedom in the country, and this is a strong indication that the country has achieved a lot in terms of human rights. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about China. China’s population is dominated by native Chinese, and so intimidation and violation of human rights are rife. The media cannot express views due to being controlled by the government, while opposition cannot operate freely in the country. A Chinese person, who wants to express his or her views, cannot do so without fear of suppression. The most realistic way for one to express one’s opinion is to leave the country. That is not what Karl Marx and his likes had in mind when they conceived communism. Their idea was to achieve equality in a given country. Overall, communism does not take care of the interest of the poor, but only defends the interests of the rich and powerful (Skousen, 2007).
History of Communism and its Failures
The history of communism dates back to 1840, when Karl Marx came up with the idea. At that time, the prospect and vision of communism was to make the society equal by enabling everybody to access the wealth and resources of a country without any hindrances. Karl Marx wanted to create a class conflict, whereby everybody would be governed under the same laws and government. The government was to be the custodian of the wealth and resources of a country, and these were to be distributed to all people in the country equally. According to Service (2007), this idea easily became a relic. There were a lot of transformations in the countries, which practiced the idea. However, the societies and countries practicing this ideology gradually degenerated into dictatorships. The rule of law was ignored and respect for human rights was not sustained. Politically-connected individuals gained a lot of influence over the rest of people in the society (Skousen, 2007).
There are a lot of failures that are attributed to the practice of communism. The ideology was supposed to produce humanism, rich and happy people and limitless wealth. However, it brought social division, lack of human rights respect, political instability, dictatorships and poor distribution of wealth and resources. The first outcome of this ideology was removal of capitalist leadership by using violence. There are a number of examples when revolutions triggered chaos or resulted in violence. For example, in a country such as Uganda, a number of leaders were overthrown by the opposition. According to Service (2007), most revolutions result in military actions, whereby the opposition tends to use guerilla tactics to overthrow a legitimate government. Communism has only resulted in violence, especially in cases when the opposition wanted to install a good government. A case in point is modern China where the government has used force to quell tensions and disquiet.
Communism has become a recipe for dictatorship. A case in point is Germany, North Korea and China. Germany instigated violence in the world when it wanted to conquer Poland. Adolf Hitler favoured communism, and he used the one-party rule to instill fear not only in his country, but also in the neighboring countries. Hitler wanted to conquer Poland as a way of gaining more powers for himself and Germany, as well as getting ahead of France and Britain. China is a classic example of dictatorship, where even the media have to work under the watchful eye of the government. When the Internet began to gain popularity in the country, the government issued a warning, thus making people fear. If this is the case, there is no way people cannot feel free in China. The government used a lot of force to quell disquiet in the country which is bad for a modern country. Modernity dictates that government should serve people, and so should all political leaders. Instead, China has become dictatorial to her own people (Yamamoto, 2000).
In recent times, and especially in association with dictatorial regimes, the term communism has become synonymous with violence. The violence that took place in China due to protests is a strong indication that all is not well in the country. A country with vast wealth and resources can be powerful if it concentrates on giving power to its people. Instead, one-party rule has turned out to be dictatorial, resulting in a lot of violence and mass murders. Since powerful institutions, such as the media, are government-controlled, there is no way the voice of the people can be heard. The international media have tried to let the Chinese people speak, but to no avail. Violence and mass murders continue to be practiced unabated. Unless China and other countries practicing communism realize that humanism is more important than being in power, the term communism will continue being associated with violence, torture, disrespect for human rights and mass murders (Skousen, 2007).
When the term ‘communism’ was coined by Karl Marx, the idea was to give some power to the oppressed. However, the term has grown to be associated with violence, and the countries continuing to practice communism are regarded as lawless. A country like China has a lot of wealth, but a number of people in it live in abject poverty, because communism has given vast power to the elites and political leaders. On the other hand, the poor continue to be poor. The conclusion arrived at in this paper is that communism is a bad ideology, which should not continue to be practiced in the world. It is in the best interests of modern governments to give freedom to people and remove one-party dictatorship. Communism has only served the interests of the few, especially those with political connections, the rich and elites, while oppressing the poor and less powerful.