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Communism vs. Capitalism Death Toll

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#1
Frozenwolf150

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An idiotic argument those on the far right frequently invoke is the claim that Communism killed 100,000,000 people.  They use this to argue against Socialism, because they're too stupid to know the difference.  They also use this to argue against "Cultural Marxism" which is a Red Scare boogeyman that has been used for nearly a century, including by Nazi Germany under Hitler.  To these people, everything to the left of Mike Pence falls under "Communism" and they use all the terms interchangeably, even though they have very different meanings.  They equate Authoritarian Communism with Democratic Socialism, the latter being the ideology with which progressives like Bernie Sanders and AOC identify; however even that is a misnomer because the policies of Bernie Sanders are actually Social Democratic.

 

Back to the argument about the death toll of Communism, this is something many political hacks will trot out without providing any evidence or citing any sources.  To anyone who has been debating religion and atheism as long as I have, and a lot of you have, this will sound very familiar.  It's similar to the claim by fundamentalist Christians that "atheism" killed X million people, where they say Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and other Authoritarian Communist dictators were atheists who killed in the name of atheism.  Figures range from 50-100 million.  This claim is incredibly stupid and easy to debunk, given that atheism is not a religion, and Communist rulers only implemented state atheism to prevent other religions from competing with their political ideology.  Their actual religion was Authoritarian Communism and worship of the state, where all the power and wealth was consolidated.  There was no overabundance of rational thought or humanist values.

 

Even if you accept the premise that Communism caused all these deaths, most of the deaths resulted from structural violence, meaning poverty and starvation.  It could also be argued that rulers like Stalin were not actual Communists, and only claimed to be in order to pretend they were on the side of working people.  Notice how most authoritarian rulers dress up in military uniforms.  This is a facade intended to show that they're just like anyone else who would serve their country, rather than a god emperor.  For a self-proclaimed Communist, Stalin cracked down on worker's rights, including the right to collective bargaining and healthcare, and amassed resources in the state instead of redistributing them to those in need.

 

However, let's assume all of those premises are true.  Using that same logic, what is the death toll of Capitalism?  Well--

http://guerrillaonto...sms-death-toll/

 

That's more than twice the number, and that's looking only at the US since its founding.  It does not include the policies, war crimes, and human rights abuses of other imperial powers.  If it did, that figure would be much higher, because one would have to include the effects of European imperialism, as well as Japanese imperialism in the leadup to WWII.  European imperialism brought the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, and the colonization of the New World, Africa, and Asia.  This included the genocide of Native American civilizations, the horrific wars that carved up Africa, and in China two of the bloodiest land wars prior to WWI when the people tried to rebel against the puppet government in the Taiping and Boxer Rebellions.

 

To quote Vladmir Lenin, imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism.  We're seeing it today, where the US must continuously invade other countries to jack their natural resources, to punish them for going off the petrodollar, and to install puppet regimes that do our bidding.  War is a racket, war means profits for weapon manufacturers, military contractors, and fossil fuel companies.

 

If those on the far right really want to compare body counts, the Capitalist system they worship is unequivocally worse.


The new Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy: Massacre a crowd of civilians, draw a target around them, and declare they were all terrorists.


#2
jonathanlobl

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Usually when I encounter this argument, it's in the context of -- Atheism killed more people than religion.  Generally, the idiot who pushes it, is impervious to reason.

 

I have also encountered the idiots, who couldn't tell the difference between Soviet Communists, Chines Communists, or the DNC.  

 

The depth of stupidity really hurts.  I never argue with it.  I have also, in general, learned never to argue with Fundamentalist Christians.  It's pure seamless insanity, not even loosely connected to external reality.

 

I used to think that I could reason with anybody.  I was mistaken.

 

Changing the topic:

 

When I have argued with the religious mind -- not actually an oxymoron -- I have discovered that when I say Atheist, it's taken as an argument over metaphysics.  To be clear, in my view, a metaphysic should only be resorted to, when regular physics, like prune juice and fiber, are not strong enough.

 

I have also had poor success with Agnostic.  They think it means that I can't make up my mind.

 

They also distort Apatheist, but so far, it has served me well, in ending stupid arguments.


Edited by jonathanlobl, 12 May 2019 - 03:07 AM.

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#3
Ungodly

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Capitalism is inherently cannibalistic. It seems inevitable that a capitalist system will oppress the masses most effectively.

Communism maybe less harmful, especially if it bears some resemblance to socialism. 

 

Modified capitalism or a form of socialism that partially tolerates capitalism seem likely a happy compromise to me.


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#4
jonathanlobl

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Capitalism is inherently cannibalistic. It seems inevitable that a capitalist system will oppress the masses most effectively.

Communism maybe less harmful, especially if it bears some resemblance to socialism. 

 

Modified capitalism or a form of socialism that partially tolerates capitalism seem likely a happy compromise to me.

 

 

 

We can find good examples of happy and healthy, Socialist countries.  Communist?  Not so much.  The examples that come to mind -- the Soviet Union, China, Cuba -- are not and were not examples of  "worker's paradise".


Minister, Universal Church Triumphant of the Apathetic Agnostic (02/20/2002)
"We don't know and we don't care."

Minister, First Church of Atheism (05/10/2008)


"Never trust the clergy!" Jonathan Lobl

#5
Cousin Ricky

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A worker’s paradise would be wonderful. Alas, to date none have been implemented.


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#6
Frozenwolf150

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Capitalism is inherently cannibalistic. It seems inevitable that a capitalist system will oppress the masses most effectively.

Communism maybe less harmful, especially if it bears some resemblance to socialism. 

 

Modified capitalism or a form of socialism that partially tolerates capitalism seem likely a happy compromise to me.

 

Socialism, if you go by the definition, is actually a modified form of Capitalism.  Socialism simply means the workers owning the means to production.  You're still producing goods and selling them, which means there's still a market and competition.  We currently have both of those today, including in the US.  Some businesses are run by worker co-ops that make decisions democratically.

 

This is a policy I'd like to see proposed, even though nobody in the Democratic field has done so.  If a big business is about to fail and requires a bailout to stay solvent, don't give the money to the CEOs.  Instead, bail out the workers themselves, and give them the means to purchase the company.  That way, they won't end up unemployed, and the CEOs won't get rewarded for making stupid-ass decisions.  I fail to see how the workers could do a worse job of running the business than the previous owners who ran it into the ground.


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The new Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy: Massacre a crowd of civilians, draw a target around them, and declare they were all terrorists.


#7
Ungodly

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This is a policy I'd like to see proposed, even though nobody in the Democratic field has done so.  If a big business is about to fail and requires a bailout to stay solvent, don't give the money to the CEOs.  Instead, bail out the workers themselves, and give them the means to purchase the company.  That way, they won't end up unemployed, and the CEOs won't get rewarded for making stupid-ass decisions.  I fail to see how the workers could do a worse job of running the business than the previous owners who ran it into the ground.

 

I like this idea. It would add a lot of stability to people's lives and help the economy too.


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