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Communism Vs. Capitalism: Essay

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With loud machines that produce millions of products to profit the rich, capitalism continues to be glorified. Capitalism is constantly portrayed as the ideal economic system, one that promotes freedom and hope. Communism, on the other hand, carries a terrorizing and despairing image. Positive Western ideas of capitalism have matriculated on a global scale, hiding the violence that happens behind the scenes. As rational thinkers, it is imperative to evaluate arguments from both sides and not dismiss a particular worldview due to its popularity. In order to formulate a defensible opinion, I decided to dive into the study of a man named Karl Marx, the founder of Marxism, an ideology of economic equity through the elimination of private property.

To begin with, who is Karl Marx? Karl Marx is a German philosopher and social revolutionist. Although Marx was surrounded by religious influences, he was more influenced by socialist enlightenment ideas. Marx was a rebellious child who would never hesitate to argue with ideas he disagreed with. Marx participated in social rallies to promote radical ideas and went on to study law at the University of Berlin. There, Marx introduced himself to Hegelian thought, which emphasized material experiences instead of spiritual beliefs with no tangible proof. Then, Marx went on to study 'radical' beliefs that were geared towards improving the material conditions of all, which contradicted the actions and thoughts of church leaders. His radical beliefs prevented him from securing a teaching position and ultimately led him to become an editor for a liberal newspaper, where he started pursuing his theory.

Before discussing the theory of Marxism, Marx believes that capitalism is not a sustainable framework. Marx is not referring to the housing crisis of 2007 or the Great Depression, but something significantly worse. Marxism believes that capitalism makes human extinction inevitable—escalating ecological catastrophes and violence across racial and gendered lines. Rising ocean levels, extreme weather patterns, species extinction, and rampant pollution around the world all stem from a capitalist mindset of maximizing profit and private ownership. Private corporations prioritize individual profit over environmental disasters, resulting in the absolute destruction of the Earth’s resources. Furthermore, capitalism makes basic necessities inaccessible. When hospitals become privately owned (or controlled by capitalist partners), they aim for maximizing profit instead of aiding the sick. A capitalist structure not only allows for this type of behavior but promotes it. Capitalism also creates racist desires in the media. In order for beauty corporations to profit, the industry persuades the public that darker skin equates to inferiority while lighter skin resembles elegance and intelligence. This tactic brainwashes the media to desire to be whiter, generating astronomical amounts of money. The one percent essentially controls the information that is distributed to the public, advertising an 'anyone can do it' or 'the American dream' slogan that encourages the poor to continually work for private entities when their social-economic position will remain as static as ever. Capitalism cherry-picks the success of individuals who were not expected to succeed to justify their innocence in perpetuating violence. The model minority myth is a phenomenal example that illustrates this malicious deception. Highly educated Asians were selectively selected to enter the United States as 'minorities' who successfully lived the 'American dream', The United States Government then used this phenomenon to characterize black people as lazy and unintelligent, despite the massive racial barriers that prevented them from being 'successful' in America. This myth then justifies the ethicality of the United States (which was under pressure from other countries for inhuman enslavement and settler colonialism), promoting capitalism as the ideal structure for resolving racism.

Now the thesis question: how is communism (or Marxism) going to prevent all of the issues capitalism perpetuates? To begin answering this question, one must understand that a world of communism is not a world of dictatorship, but a world of economic equity. Communism solves ecological problems because corporations don’t act on private impulses, but instead on the greatest good for humanity. Economic production will be controlled instead of profit-driven, allowing humanity to dictate the ideal production course that will meet humanity’s needs and support the Earth’s limited resources. Moreover, communism allows for access to equal resources. Hospitals will not be built to save those who can afford health care but to save all those who are sick. Resourceful schools will not be built for the rich, but for all who are eager to learn. Communism also takes away tools that perpetuate racism. Private cosmetic corporations no longer advertise colonial and Western images of humans because cosmetics as an industry is no longer tied to beauty but to proper skincare. Marxists believe that communism provides a more sustainable, equal framework for humans to live in.

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However, communism may sound utopian and unrealistic. Many critics of communism say that humans’ selfish nature makes a completely communist society impossible. Critiques say people will always value their own well-being over others in any economic structure. Another problem with communism is creativity. Marxists would respond to this argument by claiming that humanity should strive to abolish its inherent nature as much as possible. Marxists believe there are still realistic steps that can take society into a more communist form, even if people are selfish by nature. Capitalists also claim that communism kills creativity as people don’t have the incentive to work due to their limited rewards. Marxists would respond to this argument by claiming that people are tricked into working for private corporations in the status quo in the first place and that communism allows people to truly pursue their passion since people don’t have to worry about jobs that can or cannot be financially sustainable.

Karl Marx’s thoughts on economic structure drastically influenced humanity. His writings influenced European nations, leading to the creation of the Soviet Union and the spreading of communism after world war two. Although Marx wouldn’t say that the spread of communism was what he had envisioned, they are still impacted by his works. Marx’s thoughts also inspired the Russian Revolution and countless protests during the Industrial Revolution.

Marxism agrees with parts of Christianity and disagrees with other parts. Marxism tries to fight against humanity’s selfish nature, which may be referred to as 'sinful nature' in Christian thought. A lot of selfish, harmful behaviors originating from capitalism run parallel with what the Bible deems as sinful or evil. Both studies seek a fundamental problem within us and try to remedy that problem. Marxism disagrees with Christianity by identifying different problems. Marxists believe that evil is rooted in capitalism, whereas Christianity believes that evil is rooted in sin or Satan.

Throughout the process of researching Marx’s ideologies, I’ve come to grips with many fundamental problems of our current capitalist society. Whether it is the terrifying thought of ecological disasters or people left without adequate living necessities, I believe the government should heavily regulate private institutions. However, I don’t think I am truly convinced by communism either. Even though Marxists would not call current 'communist' countries true forms of communism, it demonstrates what countries would look like after they seek to pursue a true form of communism. I generally believe that a communist society is vulnerable to unethical leaders whose decisions can have much more weight than a capitalist society.

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Communism Vs. Capitalism: Essay. (2023, November 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 5, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/communism-vs-capitalism-essay/
“Communism Vs. Capitalism: Essay.” Edubirdie, 21 Nov. 2023, edubirdie.com/examples/communism-vs-capitalism-essay/
Communism Vs. Capitalism: Essay. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/communism-vs-capitalism-essay/> [Accessed 5 Mar. 2024].
Communism Vs. Capitalism: Essay [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Nov 21 [cited 2024 Mar 5]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/communism-vs-capitalism-essay/
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