Why doesn't Communism work?

Why do people point to historical examples of communism and say that "Clearly, communism is great in theory, but doesn't work in reality"? But those same people are able to look at tons of examples of Christians doing extremely evil things: i.e. crusades, witch burnings, conquistadors, pogroms, KKK, Holocaust (Hitler was Christian not atheist), slavery, and they say that "people are imperfect, and those people are not 'true' Christians, thus they do not affect the validity or value of Christ's teachings." In the end, the implementations of communism thus far do not truly reflect the genius of Karl Marx, therefore, how can you say history proves anything about communism's validity? Why don't people give communism the same benefit of the doubt as they give Christianity?

Am I on to something? Tell me what you think, and help me understand why there's a double standard where it seems like nothing can tarnish Christianity's reputation.


OK, apparently some people aren't understanding how I'm relating Communism to Christianity. Both of these ideologies in pure form are beautiful and idealistic, and both of these ideologies have a blood-soaked past. Why is one deemed socially acceptable while the other is deemed to be evil?

Update 2:

Oh yeah, and by the way, I'm NOT attacking Christianity. I just found the parallels between Communism and Christianity extremely strong. I just want to understand why people can excuse Christianity for all the terrible things done by those who call themselves Christians by cherry-picking the definition of "true Christian" while people are not merciful to Communism by cherry-picking the definition of "true Communist."

12 Answers

  • DJ
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Communism doesn't work because it doesn't take into account human nature. It assumes that those in power will work for the betterment of everyone at the expense of personal luxury. No matter what anyone says about how they would do it, in truth very few people would be willing to work so that they are on the exact same (low) level as everyone else rather then trying to improve their own station in life.

    As for the whole Christianity thing... first of all, I don't see how you would argue that it caused slavery or the Holocaust. Slavery flourished because it advanced the station in life of the people who had power. As for the Holocaust, whatever Hitler may have personally believed, he didn't base his actions in Christianity nor did he act on the behalf of the church. Just because he might subscribe to the faith on some superficial level doesn't mean that it was responsible for what happened.

    I'm not Christian, but I also don't think it's fair to blame those horrible acts on Christianity.

    All that aside, Christianity has accomplished a tremendous amount of good in the world in addition to all the evils that have been committed in its name.

    Can Communism say the same?

  • 1 decade ago

    First of all, a theory can only work if the people following it are on the same page.

    Christianity for example. The vast majority of people who are Christian believe that Jesus is their savior and that the strength of their personal relationship with Christ will determine their destiny in the afterlife.

    Those whose beliefs are different, like the crusaders and the inquisitors, do not share the same beliefs and used the name of Christianity to perform political acts in the name of religion. For example, after the dark ages, there was an abnormally large number of soldiers in europe due to the fighting among clans and slowly developing nation states. These soldiers, in a similar way to the ones today, found it hard to adjust to normal society. For this reason, the Church sought a way to reconcile this reality. To solve this problem, as a political power that it was, the Church declared a holy war against the Muslims and sent Europe's soldiers to the holy land. In a similar way, the time of the Inquisition was a period of discovery and enlightenment. The scientists of the day were discovering new things that debunked a lot of what the Church had told it's people. These new (and provable) ideas made sense to the people, but frightened the Church. The Church, being the political power of the day, was afraid that if people began to question and redefine their beliefs on scientific issues that they would do the same thing with their religious beliefs as well. The Church sought to stop this by punishing anyone who questioned any of the beliefs the Church had a stance on.

    Communism, however, worked completely differently. Nearly everyone in the Church had the same (or similar views). Most people who lived under communist rule had no idea what communism was or what it was supposed to be. Only those who organised the revolutions had any idea of what was going on and what was going to happen.

    I think, to answer the second half of your question, that the errors of the Church have been overlooked for the same reason that the faults of US presidents have been overlooked. Most of the Church's history has been 'good'. However, people choose not to concentrate on the rough edges of the Church's history lest it give a false impression of the Church.

    Every group in history has had it's good and bad moments, it's good and bad leaders. One must understand that to understand why Christianity hasn't been 'tarnished'. It hasn't been tarnished because it's history is no dirtier than any other organisation. I mean, many people argue that the Jews killed Christ. Others argue that the Muslims provocated the Crusades. Terrorists provoked the War on Terror, and so on. Humanity has always tried to find someone to blame for their problems. It's so much easier that way than to accept fault ourselves. It's not right, but it's a very human thing to do.

  • 1 decade ago

    Communism works for a while when it's labeled something else.

    Feminism has been hugely successful and some of their "equal outcome" laws are pulled straight from the communist playbook.

    If they came out in the open and tipped their hand by calling themselves communists , they'd get nowhere.

    People today are beginning to question their ways and it appears that once again...

    society has gone sour on communism.

    People want to know that their hard work will be rewarded. When others can do 1/2 the work and still be compensated the same way, it always causes rifts.

  • 1 decade ago

    Christianity works as a religion because the actions of it's followers are irrelevent. According to the theology, the wages of sin are paid by the blood of Christ. Religion isn't a form of government or economic model. Christianity doesn't appear to work because what the Bible asks of us runs contrary to our human nature. But... the same book that says "don't do this" also says "if you do, you are forgiven" Ask any Christian if it is possible to attain Christ-like perfection on your own, and they would clearly answer... no.

    Communism, on the other hand, doesn't work because it requires a mindset that, in general, runs contrary to human nature. The theory of Communism also makes the error of boiling all of human conflict down to terms of economics - which is foolish.

    What is interesting in your question is that in many ways Christian ideology is more in harmony with Communism than Atheism is. Indeed some of the earliest "utopian" Christian (17th century Puritans come to mind) communities attempted to form what would be considered a Communist state. In more recent decades, Communism gets a bad rap from religious believers because the great Communist powers have tried to silence religion.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Why doesn't communism work?

    There are several reasons. The first and primary reason communism does not work, is because of HUMAN NATURE.

    After a communist revolution, should the revolution actually take place and lead to the formation of a central party, rather than taking another direction, the central party is SUPPOSE to dissolve itself after Bourgeoisie reprisal was no longer a threat. BUT, the central party will always be reluctant to dissolve itself after experiencing it new found power and status. It never has happened, and never will.

    Marx's whole purpose of communism was to end exploitation and to prevent the alienation the working class would feel from themselves as a result of loss of control of means of production and distribution in a capitalist system. But that will not happen since the central party will just put a new face on the explotation, which may be even worse as they exploit the working class, oppressing them while claiming to be doing what they do for their own good.

    Also, capitalism is more resiliant than Marx gave it credit for, and during the time that the central party is ruling the state, before it dissolves itself, capitalist factors may be introduced, that not only stop the progress toward communism, but put it on a path to fascism or socialism(usually fascism) depending on the will of the new ruling class.

    Correcting something someone above said, communism/socialism has not been responsible for the atrocities that has been credited to it by capitalists. In reality, the trend toward communism was interrupted and the whole system redirected toward fascism and or totalitarianism before the atrocities were done.

    if you want to compare religion to communism, the only way you can accurately do so, is the fact that niether Christianity nor Communism were responsible for those atrocities that were committed, but the interpretation of them by the people in power is what was responsible for every historical event leading to the deaths of millions in the name of communism or Christianity.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Ummm correction Hitler was a Zionist. And, it is because The Cold War we knew who the enemy was. And, due to Indiana Jones 4 now it sparked up the Cold War again. Russia wants to attack us now due to the movie. Because Lucas, Spielberg, Banchett, and Ford are CIA PIG Lap Licking Dogs.

    Long Live the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I am reading a book right now that talks about some of the communist type communities that were set up in the early 19th century. None of them lasted more than 10 years. The problem is when everyone is rewarded the same regardless of how hard they work. The lazy tend to do nothing and the hard workers realize there is nothing to gain by working harder than anyone else.

  • 1 decade ago

    well, marx wrote about socialism, and communism is hardly a socialist venture,,, but long story short it doesn't work unless you're a hippy, see you'd have to be high to work in a community farm and still be chill about everybody eating the food but most of the people not doing the work, laying around drunk all day, and then enjoying the end results of your toil. it's totally lame, when you look at it that way,,, so a commune can work if you're stoned,,, it's the same reason we get people to work as dish washers at restaurants, they''re high

  • Rada S
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Humans need to be motivated by reward...money or money to buy things they want as a reward for their effort....Communism does not reward the Worker Bee and if everyone sits around getting high , who will go out and Hunt and bring in the MEAT? It does not work in the animal kingdom nor in the Human Kingdom!!!

  • jj
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I'm not sure I follow, do you like communism and dislike Christianity ? one is a form of government the other a religion,what should Christan's do stop believing in their faith and start flying planes into buildings !!!!!!!!!!

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