100 million killed? This is outrageous!

I found a bunch of flyers around school with the question, <i>“What has killed over 100 million people and is still around today?”</i> At the bottom of this flyer, supposedly the answer, is the hammer/sickle symbol of the Soviet Republic. I’ll assume the answer is supposed to be “Communism,” because if there’s one thing that isn’t around today so much, it’s the USSR.

But that’s all there was on this flyer for some sort of anti-communism group. On another flyer, someone had penned: “Christianity? Praise the Lord!”

I’m thinking, <i>The worst thing these people could think up about communism is that it killed over 100 million people?</i> Come now, cancer has killed at least that amount since I was born. How about the flu? Or AIDS? Or old age? I should start an anti-old age group here at school (we already have anti-cancer and anti-AIDS ones) and copy those flyers, but use a graphic of a walker and a doctor’s bill.

To be fair, Stalinism and Maoism killed most of those people.

And riots account for at least 10% of those.

I’ve killed over 150 million people and I’m still around today. Where’s my flyer?


Oh please… are you going to be one of those people who claim “Stalinism” and “Maoism” aren’t communism? I’m only asking because that routine gets old REALLY fast.

Well, they were communists.

But Communism doesn’t kill people. Stalin and Mao do.

(I need to make a shirt, this instant)

Also, didn’t our government kick the living shit out of an entire group of people? Who were they? Oh yeah, native americans. AND OUR GOVERNMENT IS STILL AROUND TODAY. I AM OUTRAGED.

Democracy doesn’t kill Injuns.

Jackson and Harrison do.

now they own casinos…

Jackson and Harrison own casinos? Damn!

Also, communism DOES kill people, just more slowly than Stalin or Mao. Communism, because it makes no sense, depresses market forces and makes everyone poor… so then they starve to death… which is usually fatal.

I’m with Phil, though. If you’re going to come up with a list of complaints against communism, you probably should look somewhere other than the number of people who died. You might instead start with total supression of rights and individuality, or spiralling poverty, or the fact that Marx’s predictions were ALL WRONG and communism has historically been a spectacular failure.

Or that it’s never actually been tried, and with good reason, since it’s impossible to even approach.

That’s a load of rich creamery butter.

In the later 1950’s - the fall of the USSR, starvation wasn’t a problem in the Soviet Union. Sure, everyone was dirt poor, but nobody was starving to death.

So, the flyer should read: Communism makes everyone stinky and poor!!!

You all have good points, but I think you’re going too far in assuming that the hammer and sickle represent Communism. I think whoever made the flyer is just trying to say that hammers and sickles have killed over 100 million people and are still around today.

I really think Steve is 100% correct on this one.

Hammers never hurt anyone, except maybe their thumbs or in extremely comedic situations also their internal organs. Sickles, though, they’re tricky bastards. They look like a knife, untill you look closer and see they are not a knife – but no! – they are curved. Curved! Sinister!

Refer to my above comment about how this is nonsense. By this logic, capitalism has never actually been tried… which is also nonsense.

What I mean is that communism is something that, by its definition, must have non-communist results (at least, if you reason according to good American principles, which is something I enjoy doing). You have this society with no government where everyone shares and is happy and no one is opressed, ie. a communistic society; in the absence of government intervention, we know, someone will wind up taking the rights of someone else. Thus inevitably this happens in our happy governmentless society, and the communistic society is broken, since by definition communism doesn’t have anyone opressing anyone else. Then you’re back at square one, and good ridance, since you were stupid enough to try to eliminate the protective influence of government. So working towards communism is wasted effort at best, except perhaps for you if you plan to take advantage of the situation. How’s that for an argument against communism? Why must you assume that I love the Marx?

Personal opinion which I don’t see many people taking issue with:

Communism isn’t a problem… as long as it’s not put into practice.

It’s great on paper, but terrible in the real world (see Mao/Stalin turning Communist revolutions into… well… Maoist/Stalinist totalitarian states… Totally against the real spirit of Marxist Socialism.)

I made no assumptions about your feelings for Karl Marx. (In fact, if you actually do love Marx, I have questions about your ability to process truth.) I merely pointed out that communism has been tried in the USSR, China, and so on. That it wasn’t “perfect communism,” whatever that is, is not an argument I’ll accept… for the same reason that, although nothing like “perfect capitalism” has ever been tried, it’s been close enough.

The assumption you make that communism must exist without the state is not one I’m prepared to allow you. For any economic system (other than Keynesian mishmash) to work in exactly the way it ought to work, it’s probably the case that no governments can exist - as they all must interfere in some way. But I don’t think it’s necessary for the government to be gone in order to get communism. Sure, Marx predicted it would wither away as it became less useful, but that was just one of his many blatantly incorrect predictions. Communism, though, only calls for shared possession of property - inasmuch as that is supposed to alleviate oppression and make the state obsolete. The USSR at least fits that bill.

I don’t have anywhere else to put this, so here is going to have to work:

Is this person making a good point?