How can communism lead to a totalitarian regime?

Communism is the social system in which property and means of production belong to the community. That makes the “community” (whatever that means) the ultimate decision maker. However, the “community” in this context may be so broadly defined that it has no specific meaning and becomes an abstract concept. An abstract concept cannot manage property and production of goods and services, therefore, in order for the society to function, someone must be appointed as representatives of “community”, all people of the nation, and once it is done, they receive the absolute power because they act in the name of “the people”, “the community”, and there are no checks and balances of the democratic system to limit their power, because there is just one party – the Communist party, as all other parties contradict the very idea of communism. Therefore, those who disagree or attempt to critisize the communist leaders put themselves in the position of the enemies of the people.

However, that’s just one side of the equation. Another one is the people, who realize that they can personally benefit from the status quo by conforming with whatever the leaders say; this way they become the assistants of the regime and get their own share of power, expressed in the name of “the people”. “What, are you saying I’m wrong and have no right to do that? Do you know who I am? I am acting on behalf of our Leader in the name of the people! Are you saying you are against the people? Against the happiness of the people and justice for them?” – that’s how it worked in the USSR, for example, reinforced by the legal action against those who criticized anything Soviet (basically, anything in general, because everything was Soviet, including “the people”) and propaganda saying that the country was surrounded by the enemies and whoever criticized anything is assisting those enemies and therefore an enemy him/herself.

Communism can’t.

But a totalitarian regime can say that they are communist, but actually carry out capitalist goals and interests for elites.

I doubt very much this could happen again like it did in the early 20th century. People have better access to information in developed countries, and they could definitely smell bullshit if someone packaged up a few of Marx’s philosophies to gain power.

Plus post-industrial natured societies doesn’t allow Marx’s scope of the industrial world translate well.

That of course, does not deter people from assuming that communists are all modern day early Russian revolutionaries, who are going to be duped into following a crazy leader who throws everyone into the Gulag after they gain power.

Ideologies that manipulate people are all about the times. In modern times in western society, it seems that the hammer and sickle does not have the juice it used to. However, fascist-like xenophobia of olden times, appeal of divinity of even more olden times, and politically packaged tropes from first year economics courses seem like effective means of getting people to give up their autonomous consent.

This is a very complicated question really. But i’ll try to look at it from a non-ideological and a more practical kind of way.

Let me make a premise, firstly you have managed to install a way of living which is indirect competition to another system, which would be capitalism and fascism in this case. You have only installed this system in one country or a particular area of the world. It is a fact that every other area and country in the world is controlled by people of another ideology or system opposing yours.

Second part of the premise is that we acknowledge that most people can be influenced by outside sources.

So, now the problem is that the entire world is against you, because you have introduced a competitive alternative to their way of life, and if you assume that their way of life and ideology is based on territorial control and exploitation (like a good Marxist would), then you are a natural enemy of almost the entire world.

Now your ideological enemies want to defeat you by any means, in this case the different ones tried different things. Fascists would invade you with military means, which may not have worked. But the other group decides on a more devious one. They will undermine you instead. So they start broadcasting on every radio station false messages and lies about how your country, society and way of life is bad, and how in their part of the world, everyone is happy and no problems exist.

Your people hear these things, and while you tell them it isn’t true, they hear promises of amazing life styles, while they are told that you are keeping them in slavery. And their lives are hard, so perhaps the man on the radio is the one telling the truth. Not only that, he promises that everyone who flees your country will be given money upon arrival in the west!

So hundreds of thousands of people leave your country, people whom received free education and healthcare for decades growing up, are taking all the resources you put into them and going to another place contributing nothing to your country. For how long can your economy sustain itself like that?

Not long, so you begin controlling these aspects, you ban the radio stations, and you build heavily guarded border areas. Now you are totalitarian. Sometimes it’s a matter of existing as a totalitarian regime, or not existing at all.

we can argue over how communistic that actually is, but it is a practical problem that is a real problem, and it really happened. In the 1950s and 1960s the West strongly encouraged immigration, to the point of paying people to leave their own country promising them a house, a car and other things.

Communism idealizes human nature and ignores thousands of years of human history, It sees humans as they SHOULD be rather than how they really are. It is idealistic and naive. The attempt to be “fair” strays into an area where government decisions become completely subjective and untrammeled by law.

If I am in a position of power then it is only fair I should have a limo for the good work that I do. Who is to say that it is unfair? Too much power gets concentrated in a small group, checks and balances diminish, and hubris sets in where the power group decides they truly represent the flag, mom, and apple pie. It makes sense that anyone questioning my Messiah status must be evil.

Power is addictive. Mugabe and Madero have run their countries into the ground. There is little left to challenge them. They may have started with good intentions but hubris set in so a challenge to their ideas becomes a personal attack.

A wise government recognizes humanity’s greed, competitiveness and flaws and tries to channel these impulses into more constructive channels. Capitalism is an example. At times it overshoots the mark but in general it is a more realistic approach. Communism pretends these human flaws do not exist.

At its core communism is an oxymoron. The core fanatics are convinced they are a righteous elite representing a secular god but internally they are looking for power. The mass supporters are motivated by the idea that they will gain materially by fleecing the rich. It is a whore wearing virginal robes.

As long as evolution has not eliminated man’s reptilian brain, communism is a wonderful idea, food for academics to bandy about with abstract words, and provides bricks for fuzzy castles. As a reality it is a pipe dream. To imagine that somewhere there is a group that can rule without corruption, will remain honest and fair, and is not eventually seduced by power is hopelessly naive.

The human ape is not ready for it.

By not tolerating “counter revolutionaries” ie any party other than your own or those who have been integrated into the system.

A democratic regime accepts that after a few years the public have the right to vote them out and put someone else in charge. A Marxist regime believes in a historic progress whereby once the leaders of the proletariat have taken power they are under no obligation to surrender that power simply because the people have changed their minds.

A communist regime, at least a communist regime of the sort we have seen in the last 100 years, believes in taking control of the means of production and distribution. I doubt it would be possible to do that and continue to have a free press, certainly not a press that thought itself sufficiently free to criticise the dear leader and their fellow kleptocrats, let alone give positive coverage of their political opponents.

In a true communist/socialist society it would be impossible for a totalitarian regime to come into existence. Democratic control of the means of existence by the global community and the decision making process of Direct/Delegated Participatory Democracy would be sufficient to proscribe any thoughts of totalitarianism from the socialist agenda.

What’s Wrong With Using Parliament

Usually the communists steal all of the factories, money, valuables etc. and put them under the control of the Party.

Who leads the Party? A small handful of people.

If these people are jerks they’ll use that total power to maintain a dictatorship in the name of communism.

Though there are a few instances whe a communist government went on to become a totalitarian regime like the one of stalin in russia mostly i personally feel it is not true