Communism in America

In late November of 2012, the Russian political newspaper associated with the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, known as Pravda, stated, “Communists have won in America…” in reference to President Obama’s reelection.  Then, Pravda furthered their criticism of the President with the powerful quote, “He is a Communist without question supporting the Communist Manifesto without calling it so.”  After reading the Communist Manifesto this past week and discussing it in class, I could not help but wonder whether or not America has redefined itself in the past decades.  I next came upon a website that published the “Current Communist Goals,” which was an excerpt from Cleon Skousen’s The Naked Communist brought to our nation’s Capitol in 1963.  As I read this relatively long list of Communist aspirations, I was quite surprised to see that some of these long term goals have been fulfilled in recent years.  For example, one of the goals was to “Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist denomination.”  Today, the United States gives foreign aid to over 150 of the 192 countries of the world, including Communist China.   Regardless of your political preference, do you believe that America is transforming into a Communist society?  Do you believe that Pravda’s comments regarding our nation’s President were baseless and inappropriate, or justified?

Here are the “Current Communist Goals” as mentioned above:



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10 Responses to Communism in America

  1. rladov2015 says:

    I believe that the Russians are wrong in this case (as they usually are). As it says in the website, we have indeed acquired several communist- like traits in our culture however the way that our government is ran and our officials elected is, has been, and will most likely remain 100% democratic.

    • rladov2015 says:

      I also believe that the comments and accusations made against our country and president were very opinionated and in no way reflect our nation, its morals, ethics or leaders.

  2. Madison says:

    According to Karl Marx, as he explained communism in The Communist Manifesto, communist societies are societies in which everyone works and is paid based on his or her needs and abilities. Property is not owned by individuals, but rather owned publicly. Joe, you asked whether or not I feel that America is becoming a communist society. I feel that, based on Marx’s definition, the US has not become a communist society. People own property in their own right and earn money not based on need but rather through skill and hard work. If anything, the fact that there is so much inequality in wealth shows we remain a capitalist country. Also, just because the United States helps other countries, does not transform us into a communist society. In fact, during the Cold War, much of the foreign aid the United States gave to other countries was intended to fight the spread of communism.

  3. Joe says:

    Madison, I agree with your comment that Americans have the ability to own property and earn money based on skill and determination to succeed, and I also find it troubling that income inequality is so prevalent throughout the United States. In regards to modern Communism, these countries similarly experience the American issue of increasing income inequality. For example, Cuba’s Gini index of income inequality has risen steadily from .24 in 1986 to .38 in 2000, with new estimates predicting that this number has risen from 2000 as well. Complete equality in the workforce would earn a 0 on the scale, and complete inequality would receive a .99 on the scale. Today, the United States is not too far off from where Cuba likely is on the index, as our nation had a post-tax Gini of .378 in the late 2000s. Therefore, income inequality really is not that much different in Cuba as it is in the United States. A number of capitalist nations in Europe actually have lower income inequality than communist countries such as Vietnam and Laos. While I feel that we are not a Communist society, I was surprised after reading some articles regarding how America has changed and how there have been some tendencies similar to neo-Socialist societies.

  4. sweiswasser2015 says:

    Joe, I think you have introduced a fascinating question of modern debate that is definitely applicable to Marx’s “The Communist Manifesto”. I agree with you and Madison that this society is not communistic, compared to that of true communistic governments (i.e China, North Korea). The United States encourages capitalism and private businesses, as seen during the presidential election of 2012 when the candidates both mentioned encouraging small businesses consistently. Small businesses are privately owned and are therefore the antithesis of communism- private business and personal wealth determined by individual efforts. In addition, income inequality is indicative of a capitalist society, given that one’s income is dependent on their occupation and thus their personal efforts.

    There are aspects of our society, however, that often strike me as slightly socialist. For instance, Obama’s newly instated Obamacare has been criticized of being socialist, as it allows the government to control what people purchase.

  5. Dr. K says:

    I think the key thing to do here is to establish how you’re defining terms. Madison provides a definition for communism, a la Marx. Sarah, what do you have in mind when you use the word socialist?

    • sweiswasser2015 says:

      I think I was more trying to say that there are aspects of modern society such as Obamacare that lean more towards the idea that the government controls what people purchase. By socialism, I meant that the government controls what people purchase.

  6. Will says:

    Very bluntly – the United States is not a communist country. Although modern communist countries do not congruently match the communist society envisioned in the “Communist Manifesto,” and communist nations in practice do not reflect communist nations in thought, I think it is absurd to say, “Communists have won in America.” First and foremost, the Pravda is a completely unreliable and biased source that is looking to create propaganda instead of thoughtful political discussion. In reality, a communist publishing such as the Pravda, would be heads over heels with joy if a powerful nation, such as the United States, was a communist nation. The United States cannot be considered communistic for the following reasons: 1) There are many rich, wealthy elite in the country, and these people are generally those who encompass the political framework of the country and would be representative of a “ruling class” in Marxian terminology; 2) the income inequality is quite large; 3) according to the USA census, 16.3% of the population lives in poverty – and communists societies are supposed to be void of poverty; and the reasons do not stop there. Obama cannot be labeled a communist either. During his first term, poverty rates increased from 13.2% in 2008 to 16.3% in 2012 – obviously not a statistic that reflects communism. I think the Pravda’s outrageous statement is born not in their joy of communism prevailing in America, but rather, to mask their frustration that communism does not play a major role in the governing of the United States.

  7. Armodillo says:

    red star, red fish, one two three, how many communists do you see? NONE! Communism in the US is basicly nonexist.

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