A Growing Problem with Communism

I’ve got a growing problem with leftist thinkers and people who associate themselves with the revolutionary movement. I used to be really comfortable with Marxist thought, the idea of communism, and even revered the people who had the balls to say they were “red” in the university. At one point, I even considered myself some sort of a closet Marxist even though I thoroughly believe in postmodernism, especially Nietzsche.

But somehow, I guess I’ve lost that fire. I cannot say with a straight face anymore that I want society to be communist, whatever that kind of society is. I know leftists would simply think of my condition as the victory of alienation over the human agent. Capitalist society had triumphed in infusing my being with ideology; and now I feel that everything here will last forever, and as such, I should just go with the flow like the million other deadwood of existences floating in this murky river of injustice.

Maybe they are right.

But what I wouldn’t concede is they are completely right. First of all, I still admire and support this movement to distribute the resources of society more equally. No one wants our fellowmen to die of hunger on the streets, or our farmers shot dead, or our women raped. That’s common sense. But what irks me now, as it never irked me before, is the idea of helping society push forward to that glorious moment of revolution.

It’s everything that happened in my life after I graduated from the university that’s to be blamed for this kind of thinking, I guess. After joining the workforce, especially the BPO industry, I felt what every Juan and Maria had to go through: try to earn, give back to your family, save some, and try to avoid getting fired. It’s simple enough when you put it like that but it’s anything but.

I’ve seen co-workers petrified and crying when the announcement that they’re terminated became official. That gripping fear of an unstable future had also sent shivers down my spine a number of times. I’ve heard of people putting in unimaginable number of hours to make more money and reach for their ambitions. While all of these may sound cheesy, I am not romanticizing anything. The scenario in the world outside the university was far more dangerous, stressful and complex than what I had imagined when I was a student.

And as I live this life day after day, the thought that all of these things are being consciously and deliberately put in danger by a group of people motivated by a political belief system is slowly but surely making me angry. Yes, everyone’s action is politically motivated, consciously or unconsciously; I don’t need to go into that. But what’s deeply troubling to me is this vengeful desire for a state of things that could only be achieved by violence that erupts from those on the left.

Because when I think about it, I just can’t see how communism can be achieved without society turning into a sea of blood. Overturning the entire massively entrenched system? How could such an end goal be peaceful?

And so I have come to this conviction that real revolutionaries out there are really pushing us closer to a bloody, violent conflict. And we’re not talking about vague statistics here, but real people: my mother, my sister, my family, all of our loved ones slowly pushed to the edge of a grisly revolution.

That idea not only irks me on the moral level, but also in terms of its likelihood of becoming real. I keep thinking, if people are serious about this (as I once was), then are they realistically wishing for a violent struggle? When people on facebook proudly proclaim they are for communism, do they honestly stand by their words or are they merely proud by virtue of their safe existences? Let’s face it. A lot of people cry revolution but their lives are so comfortable you can’t really say if they can stand a pint of gushing blood. Do these people even realize what Marxism entails?

Yes, maybe revolution can happen without a bloody conflict. Maybe through years of trial and error, society itself will finally get it right. But from where I stand, I just can’t see it apart from the very definition of wide-scale murder.

And all of these reflections converge into this moment when I read someone’s theory-laden criticism of ordinary “bourgeois” lifestyle, or maybe just some kind of lifestyle or belief that isn’t what you’d call revolutionary or enlightened. I think of all my experiences in life and all the things I’ve pondered, and I can’t help thinking, “This person doesn’t know what he’s talking about. What right does he have to judge our life’s worth and meaning? He didn’t live my life. How dare he impose! What the heck does he want from me? He wants humanity to be saved in the expense of others, and he thinks that process is hindered by me? Who the fuck is this person? Does he honestly think this is righteous — and does he honestly believe he has the better, more intellectually informed opinion?”

And I think that and I feel guilty. Somehow, my years as a Sociology student taught me how to be ashamed of defending feelings for what is conveniently called the “status quo” — something, which, if ever such a thing exists, I also wouldn’t be defending. But even the thought of myself unconsciously repenting to the leftist angel is revolting. Why must I be disgusted with myself and how I chose to live my life? Who is this god of man who tells me I am worthless?

I guess all I want is for people to look deeper into themselves and really see what revolution means. I live a mediocre life, and all of these are mediocre thoughts, but I am confident that I can’t see nothing more real than these.

4 thoughts on “A Growing Problem with Communism

  1. I’ve recently been doing some reading on Red October and the Spanish Civil War. The “Revolution” is generally manifested by people taking things from other people, regardless of whether or not they really deserve it more. It usually starts with the poor, starving masses taking it from the rich folk, and ends with the leaders of the poor, starving masses taking it for themselves. People as a whole are not really good enough to give all their wealth to others. That’s why wealth has to be “taken.” It is better for it to be “taken” through capitalism, than with a gun and sword.

    1. That’s a good point. Maybe you didn’t intend it, but you’re kind of hinting at “human nature” here. Is it our nature to save some for ourselves (profit)? Are we physically made up to refuse to put into practice and fail to understand true communal existence? I don’t know if there is indeed “human nature,” but I do know the very concept of wealth is problematic.

      The whole issue of wealth, property, how it’s supposed to be distributed, etc. is a rabbit hole. Once you seriously go down there, questions will never end until you decide to just break your head against a wall.

      Just to illustrate, Marxists would like the concept of “private property” to be abolished. But is there really such a thing as a kind of property that’s different from what is private? Can people really not “own” something? Socialist societies are held by law to communally own resources, but would the people really like to do so without the whip of the law?

      Again, like I said in this article, it could be that I’m just falsely conscious. But all of us must still be unenlightened because we all cannot imagine exactly how a private property-less society would work. If all of us can’t imagine it, then why the hell do some of us would like to go in that direction?

      So to me, unless anyone steps up and shows me a detailed, functional model of how such a society would work, I will find people who claim they are for the revolution very hypocritical and blind.

  2. For me there are two revolutions, the personal revolution, and there is the social revolution. But i think, realistically, there’s no country (or individual in the same sense) that is free from any certain kind of defect; there something wrong with just about everyone.

    It is a courageous idea to try to correct these defects by dissimulating these faults. And the individuals who revolt around this idea will always be revered as unique among its people – “what is least expected is most valued.” It is the natural order of things.

    1. I have no problems with correcting society’s faults. Farmers are exploited? It is common sense to give them more land. Women are discriminated against? Let’s treat them fairly in all sectors. Protesters are kidnapped and killed? Let’s go after the psychopaths who perpetrate these crimes and use the full force of the law against them. There are a thousand concrete problems in the here and now that — if people really wanted to solve sincerely — I think they could, with corrections in the government and all other sectors of society.

      What irks me is solving these problems with the aim of reaching for something as inconceivable as “communism.” Imagining communism is like imagining the face of god. It’s impossible. What irritates me more are people who proclaim they are Marxists and for the revolution when they probably don’t have the slightest idea how bloody such a revolution can be.

      Can we not correct society’s faults without putting up some kind of magical end goal with an enchanted name? I’m sure that’s possible.

      I would only listen to someone who is against “profit” if that someone doesn’t reserve something for himself. The last person who did that was Jesus and we’re not even sure he existed. If someone can show me a modern Jesus, then maybe I’ll listen to his sermon about communism. But if you’re just someone who lives an average life like me, who has personal problems of his own he cannot resolve, who can’t reconcile his private life and public life, who just read a social theory book and went on to preach — please, you’re just wasting my time.

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