TED Conversations

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

If communism was working the way its progenitors wanted it to, would it be better than capitalism?

The main reason why communism was made was people wanted to be equal without getting restricted by their environment, but nowadays communism is abused by some dictators such as North Korean leaders. Besides, capitalism also has its own problem. There are so many people who didn't have opportunities to try what they really wanted to do due to their poverty or else.
If communism was working as it should be, would it be better than capitalism?
(When there are no dictators)

Topics: Communism

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Apr 25 2013: As systems of government, both communism and capitalism work best within a democratic setup. For instance, the Indian state of Kerala was the first and perhaps the only national/sub-national entity where a communist government had been elected to office, and enjoys popular support. The advent of communism led to the breakdown of multiple social barriers including caste inequality, illiteracy, gender inequality etc. Today, the population is the most well-off in India (and competes with the West) on HDI indicators. The contrast within India is communist rule within the state of Bengal, which has been a disaster for that state. There, the communists have held on to power, often through the use of violence. I guess what happened with Kerala was that communist rule gave the population that necessary re-start in terms of equality of opportunities which was needed in order to prepare the population for a more free-market, capitalist future. Mercantilist capitalism, the type which most people refer to, definitely has its drawbacks when unrestrained and when technologically mismatched people interact - this is exactly what happened with Asian countries when dealing with the European mercantile states. In direct contrast to what many people say, capitalism does not ensure the survival of the fittest - that depends on how liquid the system is - social mobility. It is amazing how people equate communism with dictatorship so simply - it is indeed possible for left-wing politics to exist within a democratic setup. Also, I doubt even in Communist countries that people actually envy the rich - it is the inability to avail of such opportunities, and the monopolisation of such opportunities in the hands of a few that really irks people and feeds the demand for equality, and in political terms, communism. While communism may not cater to whiz kids, the effort there is to try to ensure at least basic survival for the vast majority, and for most, that is enough.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.