Communism is a movement which aims to create a classless, money less and stateless social order structured upon common ownership of the means of production, as well as a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of this social order. Mention the word communism or communist in Britain today and the majority of people believe that it is some kind of subversive and controlling ideology which looks to strip away the freedoms of the individual and forces slavery on people with little or no reward.
In Britain the children of the Seventies and Eighties were brought up in a capitalist country at war with places like the Soviet Union where we were able to witness poverty and persecution by the governing state of these ‘communist’ countries. Even today, it is seen that a communist country is a corrupt one at the expense of the people of that nation, well the majority of them anyway.
The trouble with this belief is that it isn’t the whole picture, as the examples we have of communism at work tend to be those managed by a corrupt few or countries where the social and economic wellbeing of that country or its people is heavily affected by the actions of dominating capitalist countries which causes the structure of the organisation of a communist country to fail.
If we learn not to fear communism, then we can in fact butcher its notion and use the good bits for the benefit of the nation. And believe it or not, there are a great many good bits to be had. As humans we require a few basic needs: shelter from the elements, warmth from the cold, water to drink, food to eat, medicines to keep us healthy, education to develop us mentally and the arts for enabling the expression of what being human is. Those are the basics, and yes, you could get rid of the education and the arts and still survive, but what would be the point?
If in a society we are able to provide systems which provide the above for all of the people of that society then surely we are meeting the basic needs of the society, and that can’t be bad. Although we do have systems in place that provide all of the above, they are not available for everyone and this is because these basic necessities have to a large extent been privatised. Wouldn’t it make sense to have a system in place, where everyone contributes towards meeting these basic needs for the benefit of themselves and everyone else, shouldn’t this be managed on behalf of the people, for the people? Common sense says it is more than possible to have successful, government-run infrastructure which provides the above, for if the current privatised systems are making enough money to have ‘profits’ which benefit the few, then surely if they were managed by the people, then the people, rather than receiving profits, instead receive the services…
Commonsense communism would mean a re-nationalisation of the ‘necessities’ benefiting the people of the country, unfortunately, just as in the 1980’s when large companies bought out smaller companies, broke them up, sold them off and in doing so created vast monopolies, so is the capitalist culture within our political system today. And that just doesn’t make sense at all.