Do liberals realize communism just doesn’t work?

As the guy, who came from USSR and actually seen the communist party at work, I can say that CPSU has much more parallels with Republicans.

  1. Intertwining the government and the industry
  2. Blown up military budget just for the sake of supplying meaningless jobs
  3. Ridiculous social conservatism
  4. Fake fiscal conservatism. CPSU had a slogan – “Economics must be economical” (whatever that means).
  5. Resistance to change
  6. Majority of supporters financially depend on the government. Like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, disability, government job, job at government contractor or supplier.
  7. Disregard for democracy and voter suppression.
  8. Interpretation of political opposition or dissent as a psychiatric problem. Political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union – Wikipedia vs. Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder – Wikipedia
  9. Mass incarceration with extremely strict punishments for nonviolent crimes
  10. Idolizing the founders of the nation.

Yep, communism does not work.


You can’t make this up… The Miss USA, who is GETTING HEALTH CARE FROM THE GOVERNMENT, just said that healthcare should be the “privilege”, which only comes with the job.
Here are thoughts from Lenin He who does not work, neither shall he eat – Wikipedia

Do liberals realise communism doesn’t work? Before I answer this, if I may, I would like to define liberalism and communism to set the context.

According to Wikipedia:

Liberalism is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality.

Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas and programmes such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free markets, civil rights, democratic societies, secular governments, gender equality, and international cooperation


In political and social sciences, communism (from Latin communis, “common, universal” is the philosophical, social, political, and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, which is a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money, and the state

Now if you will throughly analyse the definitions , I feel you should have your answer. To equate liberalism with communism is akin to equating democracy with theocracy. Both claim to represent people and their choice but who has a bigger say in things varies. Now, if you notice, basic idea of liberalism is to promote liberty and equality. Communism also wishes to have equality. However definitions of equality drastically differs in the both the systems. Equality under liberalism equates to everybody having equal rights in the justice system, equal opportunities with respect to education, career opportunities, and everybody having right to elect their leader irrespective of their financial , religious, gender and ethnic background. A large majority of us homosapiens are liberals by nature, many times due to our own selfish needs. I don’t think in the event of a crime commited against you, you would want to have less rights than the rich preparator. Liberalism is an ideal societies aspire to. Nations and societies are formed to establish liberalism. Courts, parliaments and senates are liberal institutions by their very own nature. Ideally courts punish the criminal irrespective of their background. Congressmen/women and senators are expected to speak for you, the fisherman who is losing his/her livelihood and factory worker who is losing his/her job. If your congressman/woman gives equal importance to rights of factory workers as that of silicon valley entrepreneur then he/she is a liberal. Regarding trade, liberals disagree by a wide margin. Few are proponent of globalisation , free trade and increased corporations between countries and few detest it with passion. Here comes into picture subclass of liberals i.e. socially liberal but economically conservative. Bernie Sanders is a good example of this subclass. He campaigns for equal rights however is opposed to free trade agreements. This is where where people make mistake of equating liberalism with communism. However if you look into it, you will realise it is closer to Donald Trump’s trade vision than that of communists. Also liberals like Sanders oppose free trade not because they are against wealth creation but because they feel this puts lower strata of society into a disadvantageous position. Now I am not arguing that this is a right stand. Personally I feel in any society, some people are going to be at disadvantageous position irrespective of the system of economics or governance they are in. Equality of all in all spheres of life is an utopia. However we must aspire to reach what would you call in mathematical terms limit of equality so that we can consider equality for all practical purposes.

Now, communism on the other hand believes that in the existing societal structure , it is not possible to achieve true equality and only by usurping current bourgeoisie class who have been exploiting the masses since the dawn of time, we can establish a just society (As per Communist Manifesto). Communism also proposes violent means to overthrow the current system. Now, first of all this puts current bourgeoisie class in a position where they can not claim equality. As per Communist Manifesto, Communism also prohibits private ownership which even includes your own home. Communism believes that to bring a true equality into the society, individuals should not be allowed to create wealth. Primary function of money in communist society is to be medium for day to day transaction. Communism opposes items of luxury as they create bourgeoisie class. Communists believe in a society where collective ownership (i.e. Government for all practical purposes) is primary provider for masses ensuring equality for all. In the case of religion, while liberals aspire for a secular society which gives equal rights to all religions, communism prohibits practice of any religion. Marx famously declared religion as opium of masses (Which I agree with however personally I feel all of our utopian visions are opiods and religions is just one among them). As per communist manifesto, ultimate aim of communism is to create a communist society throughout the world and first step in this direction is to establish communist society at national levels by eradicating bourgeoisie class. Now as you would notice, both liberalism and communism push for international corporation however mode of achievement is quite different. Liberals aspire for, communist believe in snatching it. Communism believes, to protect the rights of poor, rich must pay the price as they have caused suffering in the first place however as I pointed out earlier, liberals believe in a society where we have equal representations and rights.

Honestly I feel communism failed the day proponents decided to release a manifesto. Any system which aspires to bring just society for 7 billion homonsapiens, can not have a 100 page guideline like a user manual of a refrigerator. It has to account all the complexities and intricacies of human nature and society. Painting one class of population as oppressor and another as oppressed is a sure shot receipe for disaster.

Where modern liberalism fails is, they also do not consider inherent human nature. Yes ideally we all should have equal rights however any time it infringes on rights of a large mass of population, it is not going to be accepted by anyone. If you force down equality, it creates resentment. However I do not have any right answer for this. In many cases government had to force equality irrespective of the resentment of the masses and in the end it became new norm. What to do about resentmemt? The truth of the matter is, we will have resentmemt and we must accept it as part of our society. So our societies will have cycles of reformation and resentment and there is nothing we can do about it. We all want to be equal which is a theoretical possibility but practical impossibility.

We are currently in the resentment phase however sooner or later we will have a reformation cycle.

Do liberals realise that communism doesn’t work? If they have understood both liberalism and communism then they should. A true liberal can propose or agree with few of the ideas of the communism however liberals as per their inherent nature are going to oppose communism. They are more likely to be foes than friends.

P.S. I may have not directly answered the question however in my opinion this was the only way I could explain two complex constructs. I also apologize for all the grammatical errors as English isn’t my native language however please free to suggest edits if you deem fit.



Reluctant Nihilist

Of course we do. But there are different kinds. There is totalitarian communism (think Stalin), communitarianism (think Amish), etc. Communism has many facets that are shared by other political systems, just as one of the commentators said, the Republican party has features similar to communism, just as it also has features shared by fascism. It is a fallacy to think of political models as being closed and unique. There is a constant sharing of features and facets across the models. Many totalitarian regimes like to play word games. For example, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is anything but. USSR, same thing. North Korea’s hodgepodge names, and the list goes on. Look at how the government works and not at the country’s name.

Strange that you link “liberals” and “communism “. I haven’t heard commie pinko liberal in decades.

Communism sounds awesome on paper. A lot of things do. But it failed in three applications (Cuba, the Soviets, and Mao) so we know it lacks practicality.

I am guessing you are a fan of unfettered capitalism. That too, looks great on paper. But when the playing field is sharply skewed, when Corporations play monopoly, and fix prices, or limit production to drive up demand, it really doesn’t work that well either.

Have a lovely day!

Wouldn’t it be more prudent to ask communists this question rather than asking liberals? Liberals aren’t communists and communists aren’t liberals. It is always strange to me when someone asks one group a question better suited for another group.

It’s like asking, “Filmmakers, why don’t you realize that windmills aren’t for cooling purposes?” Filmmakers COULD speak on it, but it’s a question better suited for those that say that they are for cooling purposes.

But I’ll speak on it anyway: the concept of “communism” (with a lowercase “c”) in fact does work, but only in very small communities. Like 20 people or whatever. It doesn’t work as a national concept because it denies human nature. Same goes for socialism. Same goes for capitalism. Same goes for fascism. None of these concepts actually work, all for the same reason: it denies human nature.

You need a mixture to cover all variables of human nature.

Yes, because no liberal running for office campaigned on a communist platform. Even the “socialist” Bernie Sanders is more conservative than most Republicans were a generation or two ago. Universal basic income, universal healthcare, and price controls were all supported by the Nixon administration. Nixon and Eisenhower also supported tax rates far higher than Bernie Sanders is even discussing.

“Communism doesn’t work “. For starters, liberals are not “communists”. Liberals in the western tradition are simply social progressives who believe in a safety net for the disadvantaged, and also are very pro personal freedoms. So now that we have that out of the way, the fact that you have no idea what communism is, allow me to make the next point. Capitalism is not a great system either. Because if capitalism was so great, then the US wouldn’t have high infant mortality rate it does. It wouldn’t have the high levels of poverty it does. It wouldn’t have the violent crime it does. It wouldn’t have the levels of obesity it does. It wouldn’t have the poor education outcomes it has. Meanwhile, the social democracies such as Norway, Germany, Australia, Finland, New Zealand etc, you know, countries with the kinds of systems that “liberals “ aspire to, have higher life expectancies, lower infant mortality rates, higher literacy rates, less violent crime, less homelessness etc. Generally, those “liberal” countries tend to have a better quality of life. So, when are people such as yourself going to admit that capitalism doesn’t work?

That’s a hard question to answer. Under the banner “liberals,” do you also include socialists like myself? Or communists like some of my esteemed friends on Quora? You see, the answer will change according to what the definition of “liberal” includes.

Then there’s “communism”; that’s a surprisingly tricky term, too. It could mean the Stalinist big, one-party state; it could mean the managed capitalism of the Chinese Communist party; it could mean any ownership of means of production by the state, such as I grew up to regard as normal in Canada though it is less common now; it could even mean just the establishment of a truly progressive income tax to fund a number of universal, effective public services.

If I had to grab at the most likely definitions of those two terms, based on my guess about the question’s intent, then the question is whether anyone who wants higher taxes for the rich and better universal social services for the poor realizes that that combination “doesn’t work.”

I can answer that one. It does work, so I guess many of us don’t “realize that” at all.

You are probably a US national, aren’t you?

When I hear that communism “doesn’t work” from Americans, the only thing I ask is “when did America reached nearly 100% literacy rate?”. It turns out that it hasn’t yet: Literacy in the United States – WikipediCompare this to USSR that reached nearly 100% literacy rate in early 1950s: Likbez – Wikipedia.

(I hope, you won’t be triggered by a feminist poster in the beginning of the paper.)

Surely, communism has some disadvantages: for example, you cannot be an enterpreneur (well, in USSR you could be one till 1960 (Artel – Wikipedia)). But it was Khruschev, not Stalin, who banished Soviet enterpreneurship. And since Soviet economy started to stagnate from 1960s, this indeed leads to some thoughts.

Another troll posing a political statement as a question. It is intended as a slur by restricting the answers to “liberals”.

North Korea is a Communist military dictatorship. Nobody thinks it works. Cuba thinks it is working towards a Marxist dictatorship of the proletariat. It to is a military dictatorship. It doesn’t work either, although it is better than North Korea.

No, liberals do not think Soviet style communism works. Community level communism is a different issue together. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t.

Of course. That’s one of the reasons we’re liberals, not communists.

Liberal –

“Willing to respect or accept behaviour or opinions different from one’s own”

“Favourable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms.”

“favouring individual liberty, free trade, and moderate political and social reform.”

You do understand that Liberalism and advocacy for communism are not interrelated, correct?

John F. Kennedy was a Liberal, yet a fierce opponent of communism. I’m fairly certain a case can be made that he knew that communism does not work.

Yes. Liberals “realize that communism just doesn’t work’. That of course won’t keep opponents of liberalism from claiming that liberalism, communism and fascism are all the same things. After all, a claim doesn’t have to be true to be effective.

Yes. That’s probably the biggest thing wrong with Communism, really.

That’s why they don’t advocate it.

Socialism is not the same as Communism.

Communism requires the abolition of individual property, and usually requires a single legitimate political party, neither of which is required in socialism.

Perhaps you are confused. Communism is an economic principle and is not the same an undemocratic. If you examine the first world countries and their economies, the USA has abysmal ratings for income equality. Almost every other first world country is more socialistic than the USA—and, you can deny but not refute—are all healthier and most happier.

Perhaps if we put down our Glocks and bibles and picked up a salad and some compassion,, …

I am a liberal and I am well aware that communism doesn’t work. But does the OP realize that being a liberal and being a communist are two completely different and utterly  unrelated things?

Ostensibly, this is why they are liberals and not communists.

Liberals do realize that “pure Communism” doesn’t work and recognize that many people know such a system would be a disaster in reality. But they still follow their own decent humanitarian impulses we all share in the hope that, somehow, they can still make the “transaction” one where those who have more will be forced by government to share with everyone who cannot or will not acquire the same level of wealth and benefits as those who have them.

Forced sharing in the name of sympathy, empathy and compassion inevitably runs into the effects it causes on those who are forced to share. It’s overriding free will and therefore overriding a freedom we all have: to get the best by doing the best.

I think a good part of our democratic republic is based on persuasion. I think of the example of the Gates Foundation which is dedicated to spending billions of dollars belonging to the Gates’s on “buying” goods and services needed by those who badly need those goods and services. I’m not sure whether Mr. Gates and his wife were “persuaded” or decided on their own(maybe someone can tell us) but at least we know it’s voluntary on the part of the billionaire Gates’s.

I think, in other words, that Liberalism should concentrate more on persuading us all to be generous within our means toward the needy or victimized among us. They are good people but should abandon the notion they have that government is a “good tool for a good purpose.” Government is good at using force and the threat of force, not much else.

Do liberals realize communism just doesn’t work?

Of course. Do you understand what communism is? Hint: it’s not “everything that somehow benefits poor people”.

Yes we realize communism doesn’t work. We also realize that unfettered capitalism with no regulation or government intervention doesn’t work either. We understand that something’s are better left to the free market and others are better under government control.