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GRE: Is communism better than capitalism?

Hedonist 1 / 1  
Aug 22, 2012   #1
'The classless society where everyone has equal ownership on the means of production and everyone works as much as they can and receives what he or she needs', thus 'communism' is defined as such by economists all around the sphere. And the privatization of means of production and the share of profits on the time of work done constitute another economic system, namely 'capitalism'. To reach a valid conclusion out of the two, it is always advisable to study what each system has to offer to the society on its own.

Marx and Engels in their book 'Das Kommunische Manifest' (The Communist Manifesto) stated that in this new system of society, the struggles of the proletariat striving for equal distribution of wealth against the Bourgeois may, much often, result in armed conflict and revolution. Thus the core theory of communism presages the outcome of social unrest and puts the society in a backward pace. The schism of Germany after the Second World War, for instance, illustrates why a developing society argues for capitalist economic system rather than a communist one. Germany was divided in two at the end of the Second World War- West Germany came under the control of capitalist powers such as USA, Great Britain, and France; and East Germany came under direct communist rule from Moscow. The first demand of the Communist Manifesto was classless distribution of wealth. However, it was in East Germany that 'classless' distribution of wealth became 'careless' distribution of wealth as almost a quarter of the production profits was sent to Moscow to fund the Red Army's armament budget. What happened to the ideology of all workers earning the same? The GDP, according to the 1989 report by European Economic Council (EEC), in West Germany was about $1140 compared to a mere $650 in the East. Thus the first demand of communism is invalidated.

If employment is taken into consideration, the auspicious advantage of communism is low unemployment rate compared to that of its rival system. And it is this auspicious advantage that puts the economy of a communist state on the decline. Communism has always argued for 'equality' and a society where everyone works. Thus in communist communities, child and elderly people also have to work along with the fit working population. According to the recent report 'Child-labor in 2012' published by UNICEF, the communist countries such as China and North Korea leads the list of nations that advocates child labor. Thus, in communist countries quality is compromised for quantity. Furthermore, the rate of production decreases, economy experiences a downward trend and the standards of living demeaned. On the other hand, capitalism espouses quality rather than quantity and thus the efficiency in production helps the economy to flourish and thus the standards of living improved. Thus to a developing community, capitalism improves its standards of living and working conditions.

Last but not the least is the issue of political indoctrination. The capitalist societies have legal provisions to protect the right of freedom of speech. The idea of individual freedom is incompatible with communism. Mao-Tse Tung in 1945 proclaimed 'Two principles must be observed: (1) say all you know and without reserve; (2) do not blame the speaker, take his words as a warning." If (2) is observed genuinely, the result would not be (1). Such can be observed in China and North Korea now. China restricts the media to publish news of the crackdown on the Tibetan protesters. North Korea bans foreign media, to keep its people in the dark of the crime that their regime is committing. The same way East Germany kept the foreign media at far from publishing news on the East German policies.

After such a discussion on capitalism and communism, it can be concluded that capitalism is the mode of economy that fosters economic growth, increases GDP, bring about the standard of living, and safeguard our political freedom. Thus 'No' is the answer when faced with a question 'Is Communism worth it?'

Your comments would be heartily accepted. And also score this out of 6.

dixiej 1 / 6  
Aug 22, 2012   #2
It is a good start. At this point, I would give it a 4. Some of my comments-

communist countries...leads that advocates

in order to add clarity, might want to add, quality of labor is compromised for quality

the economy

You have not said why the rate of production will decrease. It is the yield per employee that will decrease due to the lack of optimization of the labor pool. Less economic output per person will lead to a lower country-wide GDP, with the end result being a lower standard of living for the individual worker. In contrast, capitalism allows for a mobile labor pool where, in theory, job openings and labor skills are matched. This efficient use of human capital helps the economy to flourish, improving the standards of living for all.

In the next paragraph (political indoctrination). Might want to talk about how a free press is not available, but more necessary, in a communist society. The governmet allocates the resources as it sees fit, with no other entity or group to keep an eye on them. The average citizen must depend on the altruism of the country's leadership.
OP Hedonist 1 / 1  
Aug 22, 2012   #3
Thank you for your feedback.

Yes, I would be working on those points. Thank you again.

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