Communism vs Socialism

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America is torn between two different economic and government philosophies. The extreme left wing is engrossed with changing America into a more socialistic country, while the extreme right wing wants America to return to a much more independent capitalistic nation. Today we have a capitalistic nation with socialistic programs that are intended to address the needs of deprived individuals.

America originated from a very proud, hard working and fiercely independent people. Carving a life from a wilderness or building a city from a small rural community while mentoring to a house full of children that attended church on a regular basis was no easy job. It took a unique set of individuals to perform these tasks, and it was these people that gave birth to a great nation.

As the country developed, other forms of governments also developed around the world. One of these was socialism. Also, Carl Marx created through his writings what would later be known as communism. Though similar in theory, there are subtle differences. Confusion developed when the two were discussed in the early years of development and Marx did little to correct the differences thus much of the philosophy has intermixed. We see this today as leftist and anarchist within America seek to change the complexion of our great country.

Socialism and communism both arose from exploitation of the working man during the industrial revolution in the 1800s. Working conditions in the mills and factories were extremely harsh and the class difference between the rich and the workers was great. There was little middle class. In today’s world it is convenient for anarchist to tell the masses that they are so desperately abused and class structure is such that they are being so terribly exploited. The masses are in such a horrible hole that they can never climb out of it. This rhetoric serves the same purpose as the true working conditions of the 1800s and early 1900s. The only problem is that billions around the world would give up everything for an opportunity to live in America. Much of the hateful speech spewed by anarchist is intended to incite violence that challenges the very pillars of democracy that have propped up our country for hundreds of years.

So what is the real difference between communism and socialism. Are we witnessing a movement to true socialism or are we seeing a socialism migration with communistic attributes attached to the movement.

The basic philosophy of socialism and communism are similar. The communist philosophy is “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” while the socialist philosophy is “From each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution.” The way ANTIFA is advocating the overthrow of American government is more in line with communism than socialism.

Both socialism and communism believe in central planning. Since the central planners are viewed as being superior to the average citizen, these planners will map how each person will live, what they will consume and the amount to consume. Freedom of choice is removed from the average citizen.

In communism all economic resources are publicly owned and controlled by the government. Individuals hold no personal property or assets. A person can not start a business nor have a personal farm or open a restaurant. In socialism individuals own personal property but all industrial and production capacity is communally owned and controlled by a democratically elected government. A person may own his company, or farm or restaurant, but the government will dictate how much the owner can provide thus dictating what a person’s financial income will be. This determines how large a company will grow and this in turn will determine the maximum number of employees a company can hire. Either form of government will destroy the internal will to achieve success in life.

In a communistic state, class is abolished. The ability to earn more than other workers is almost nonexistent. The will to work hard is diminished. Eventually the individual sees no reason to try to excel. In socialism classes exist, but differences are diminished. It is possible for some people to earn more than others. It is as if socialism is the transition from capitalism to communism. If socialism is adopted it will only be a matter of time before communism seeps into the country’s norm.

Possibly the biggest difference in the two anti-capitalistic approaches to government is religion. Communism effectively abolishes religion while socialism allows it to take place. Unfortunately, if America goes socialistic, it will only be a mater of time before the communist attack freedom of religion. I saw two posts on Facebook last week that were disheartening. One was a photo of a girl dressed in a devil suit with a sign proclaiming “Get God Out of California.” The other was an article pertaining to a recent religious march in Washington D.C. that was led by Franklin Graham. The comment of the person posting the article was, “All are idiots.”

While we seem to place each political party into a neat little package and decorate the boxes with a cute little bow and thus stereotype each party, it is far more complex. There are Democrats that are not pure socialist or communist and there are Republicans that are not pure capitalist. What we have to realize is that there is good in each party and negatives in each party. We have to pull together as one nation and forget this direct confrontation. It’s time to be Americans again.

Tuffy Fields may be reached by emailing thelouisianaexplorer@yahoo.com.