Communism: Theory Vs. Reality

As we read Karl Marx’s The Communist Manifesto, I began to see that there were many good aspects of Communism. Marx describes Communism as a society in which “class distinctions have disappeared” (page 244 The Communist Manifesto), so people would be equal. Tensions previously caused by disparities of wealth or power would not exist, nor would political tensions exist because: “…every class struggle is a political struggle” (page 230). Free education “for all children in public schools” (page 244) would provide equal educational opportunities to everyone. Abolition of nationality (page 241) and of “…the distinction between town and country…” (page 244) would promote harmony among people everywhere. Society would take care of those in need. Marx also points out many problems with Capitalism. According to Marx, everything in a Capitalist society is rooted in the desire for money and power: “…every form of society has been based… on the antagonism of oppressing and oppressed classes” (page 232). Marx argues that there is great disparity between the economic statuses of different classes, and that many people are very poor while others are very rich. Marx notes that even the family has been “reduced…to a mere money relation” (page 222). In theory, Communism seems very appealing. However, in practice, Communist societies can be very oppressive. Why is Communism in practice so much less appealing than Communism in theory? Why is there such a disconnect between theory and reality? What do you think?

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3 Responses to Communism: Theory Vs. Reality

  1. Will says:

    Communism in theory is so extraordinarily different from communism in practice – I agree with you Madison. In theory, communism envisions an “utopian” world where everyone is equal. But, as we have seen numerous times in literature, such as “Fahrenheit 451,” “Brave New World,” and “The Giver,” utopian societies are actually very imperfect and generally suppress innate human desires and emotions that should not, and more importantly, cannot be contained. I think the same is true for communism. Communism is impractical because it eliminates competition and ambition, the two underlying conditions of human progress. So, if in a communist society where there is no room for competition or ambition, can there be progress? I do not think so. Furthermore, it is quite ironic that leaders who have tried to implement communism do not adhere to the communistic ideals themselves. For example, according to an article on ( Castro held a ridiculous fortune. This just shows that even those who wish to bestow communism on a group of people cannot even follow communism themselves. How can a fan of communism expect ordinary citizens to thrive under communism, if he/she cannot his/herself. Communism cannot exist because it is impossible to oppress and contain competition and ambition.

  2. ageyelin2015 says:

    I think that the reason for the consistent failures of Communism is the fact that it is human nature to have ambition, and to want more. If there is no ability to get better, get more, or otherwise improve yourself, what incentive is there to work hard? It is natural for people to want more, and to want to become wealthier, but Communism does not allow for that. This creates tension and discontent, and over time the system ultimately will fall as a result of the people’s frustration. The fundamental principles of Communism do sound appealing, just, and positive, but they do not account for human nature, so as a result, Communism begins to be oppressive of those attempting to become wealthier/higher in society.

  3. Dr. K says:


    Why, under communism, couldn’t people get better or improve themselves? Is getting better the same thing as getting more money?

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