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Why Did Communism Fail In So Many Countries?

1027 words - 5 pages

Before getting deep into the topic of communism, it helps to know what communism is. The system has six defining characteristics: a monopoly of power, rigid discipline and strict hierarchy, it contains a centralized command economy (which fixed prices on everything produced), the state owns production, also the citizen’s sense of belonging to communism, and finally, the desire of the citizen to further the communist cause. (Brown, 2) The communist system also demands total submission to the state government, and the desire of the ordinary working class citizen to be controlled by the power-hungry leaders of the state’s regime. The malfunctioning of this system brought down the Soviet regime in the early 1990s along with the governments of most other countries that have tried to implement the communist system.
The mismanagement of resources and inefficiency of the system was a determining factor of the downfall of communism. Under the system, business owners were to donate a majority of the goods to the government in return for basic and essential goods being given to them. (Pollick, 6) Most countries did not have the resources to support the needs of every last one of its people, eventually this system began to fail and a supply shortage would usually arise. The health care of most communist regimes was badly inadequate, and this would also result in the dissatisfaction of the people. The ambulances would take days, or even weeks, to arrive on most occasions. (Johnson, 4) With these factors, the spirits of the people would fail causing the country’s communist government to deal with an uprising on many occasions.
From an economic standpoint, the communist system was a disaster. Under communist rule, free markets were abolished, which resulted in the party’s top officials having no market prices to guide them in planning production. The USSR launched a central committee for economic planning, but the system just would not allow it to work. Raw materials, tools, and machinery could not be privately owned, so no one could buy or sell them, and this resulted in a lack of production, and therefore halting the flow of money and failing the economy. (Greaves, 3) The communists only used what materials they had at their disposal to produce military weaponry and heavy machinery. They could not produce consumer goods, which were essential to the needs of the people. Since the economy was not getting the amount of money it needed, it was constantly failing, and the majority of that country’s people were poor and most had to resorting to farming.
One of the most defining things about the communist system was how the government of a communist country was run. Most people think of communist states as having a single, hostile leader and that leader not hesitating to kill any of his citizens at will, such as that ran by Josef Stalin in the USSR. This is true, but Stalinism in Russia was not communism in the ideal sense,...

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