Talk:Communism

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Communist symbolism[edit]

Here is something on the psychological nature of symbolism as a product of the destructive communist mentality - do please read through and decide if it may fit into the external links section of any wikipedia article epistemologically associable. Wiki Chymyst 12:18, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

Seems very far-fetched, and doesn't have much to do with Communism.--Jack Upland (talk) 03:23, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
At least that. But also, bolstered by an explicit claim that the "communist mentality", however you might define it, is inherently destructive, it fails the WP NPOV principle.PårWöet (talk) 03:27, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

Recent edits have cut down the references to actual Communist governments (Maoism, Hoxhaism, Titoism, Juche etc) but left the sections on obscure alternative movements, many of which like Situationism aren't normally thought of as Communist. This is really distorting the article.--Jack Upland (talk) 01:21, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

This is an article about communism, not "communist states". If you are seeking that information, you would rather find it in the articles of the history of the People's Republic of China, Albania, Yugoslavia, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Maoism, Hoxhaism, Titoism and Juche have no ideological relevance. They are Marxism-Leninism, and the sections about them were only describing Mao, Hoxha, Tito and Kim's personal preferences. There are already extensive articles which talk about them. I mean, look at what they had been saying:
Maoism is the Marxist-Leninist trend of communism associated with Chairman Mao Zedong of the Communist Party of China and was mostly practiced within China. Nikita Khrushchev's reforms heightened ideological differences between China and the Soviet Union, which became increasingly apparent in the 1960s. Parties and groups that supported the Communist Party of China (CPC) in their criticism against the new Soviet leadership proclaimed themselves as 'anti-revisionist' and denounced the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the parties aligned with it as revisionist "capitalist-roaders." The Sino-Soviet Split resulted in divisions amongst communist parties around the world. Notably, the Party of Labour of Albania sided with the People's Republic of China. Effectively, the CPC under Mao's leadership became the rallying force behind a parallel international Communist tendency.
And that's all the Maoism section was saying before it was cut down... and the exact same for Hoxhaism, Titoism, and Juche. Yeah, ok, that has no ideological relevance at all. This is only saying "Maoism is Marxism-Leninism but the politics in China were different from these in the Soviet Union". So what I did was cut Hoxhaism and Maoism to one single paragraph: which explains that they are variants of Marxism-Leninism, which explains the "anti-revisionist movement", and which explains the distancing of certain other "socialist states" (Albania, China...) from the Soviet Union. Clean and nice. The article was too long, now it's just the perfect length and virtually no information was removed - it was simply re-structured in an efficient way, and with each section being allocated as much notability as it has in this topic (which is "communism", not "communist state", not "socialist state", not "Marxism-Leninism", not "Mao Zedong", not "History of the People's Republic of China", not "Sino-Soviet Split", not "Soviet Union", not...) Zozs (talk) 17:53, 17 August 2014 (UTC)
This gives undue weight to obscure alternative movements, and downplays Communism as it was actually practised.--Jack Upland (talk) 01:25, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
These "obscure alternative movements" are relevant to the article at hand ("Communism"). The explanation about Maoism and Hoxhaism was kept, but written more efficiently in a shorter space (which it deserves for THIS topic - ideology of communism) - without removing any information at all, there just isn't a huge picture of Mao now. Like I said, you're looking for other articles; this is the article for "communism", not "state socialism", not "Soviet Union", ... Zozs (talk) 18:41, 18 August 2014 (UTC)
This article is about "Communism", not the Ideology of Communism". Before my reason edits, this article had 43 mentions of "anarch-", 21 of "Trotsky-", and only 10 of "Mao-". China just happens to be the most populist country in the world. I think it's more notable than some squat in Europe. Ideologically, Maoism has been as significant as Trotskyism, in that it developed a dissident Communist movement, differing in that it saw the degeneration of the USSR as occurring after Stalin, rather than after Lenin, and in that it orientated towards less developed countries. I have deleted the sections on "Autonomism" and "Situationism" as the text of their main articles did not identify them as "Communist". I raised this issue a year ago. There has been no substantial response. Rather, the recent edits have given more and more weight to these marginally relevant movements.--Jack Upland (talk) 11:13, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
The particular section the information was in was "Marxist communism" - which is clearly a section about ideology, and thus only things which are ideologically notable. Maoism is not ideologically relevant in the same way Trotskyism is whether it is a tendency more followed or not - Maoism is little more than Mao's brand of Marxism-Leninism. The difference between Marxism-Leninism and Trotskyism and the historical split between them is very significant, notable and ideologically relevant, the rest is not. By the way, I don't mind your edits so far (they may very well be making the article better, I don't know), but I don't know if someone else would. Zozs (talk) 17:31, 19 August 2014 (UTC)
@Jack Upland, Zozs: I agree with Jack Upland, the latest edits are bad. And to be clear, Maoism means three different things; Mao Zedong Thought, Marxism–Leninism–Maoism and Maoism (Third Worldism)). The term Maoism is used by the West, not by China or the actual communists.. At last, Mao Zedong Thought was not a Marxist–Leninist trend, it was Marxism–Leninism adapted to Chinese conditions (similar to the later concept socialism with Chinese characteristics).. That Hoxhaism and Titoism is mention one is laughable, and that Juche is not mentioned at all just proves how bad this article is... At last, the "Etymology and terminology" is terrible. Needs a complete overhaul. --TIAYN (talk) 20:00, 21 August 2014 (UTC)
It is irrelevant whether Maoists refer to themselves as "Maoists" or not. Here we go by reliable sources, not primary sources. If Maoism is "Marxism-Leninism adapted to Chinese conditions", then it obviously is a "Marxist-Leninist trend" (and "socialism with Chinese characteristics" is nothing but a propaganda term used by the CPC to suggest that the party is sticking to "socialism"...). Juche does not have anything to do with this article; it is not a communist tendency, not even by their own definition. Hoxhaism is really nothing but Marxism-Leninism and opposition to post-Stalin Soviet policies, there's nothing to write on it. The section about "Marxist communism" is about ideologies, not about what certain leaders did in certain countries. Zozs (talk) 19:40, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
@Zozs: You're opinions have no place in WP; Juche was conceived to follow the Marxist-Leninist tradition (the references were later dropped), and socialism with Chinese characteristics is a Marxist-socialist term conceived by the Chinese. You don't have the right to define what is, and what is not Marxist/Communist, and you don't have the right to state that an ideological concept by the CPC is merely "propaganda" (where is you're proof that it was conceived purely for propaganda purposes)?.. And from you're writings, its seem like you hardly know what communism/Marxism is.. You should stop editing articles you know little about (you're opinions are damaging the article).. At last, it does matter what the Maoists think, since we are talking about three separate ideologies. It had been different if there were one, but there are three... On a side note, even the Wall Street Journal refers to China as socialist :P --TIAYN (talk) 20:38, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
I am basing myself on reliable independent sources. You are basing yourself on primary sources and your own personal opinions. Juche is not a Marxist-Leninist trend; North Korea was started off as a Marxist-Leninist state is what you meant. I agree: I don't decide it, reliable sources have to define it. The rest is simply personal attacks on me - please do not use these. The article is only part of a blog, and says: "That Xi is clearly an admirer of at least some of the ways that Mao sought to keep China on the socialist path is no surprise". This is really no source to define the economic system as China at all. Zozs (talk) 00:57, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
The only thing you do Zozs is cherry-picking, why you're even online is difficult to understand. --TIAYN (talk) 02:32, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Mundopopular edits[edit]

Thank you for your contributions, Mundopopular, but I believe that some of them make the article worse and therefore I will argument here why so.

Edit #1. Changed "The movement to develop communism, in its Marxist–Leninist interpretations, significantly influenced the history of the 20th century, which saw intense rivalry between the states which followed this ideology and those who didn't." to "The movement to develop communism, in its Marxist–Leninist interpretations, significantly influenced the history of the 20th century, which saw intense rivalry between the world's most advanced capitalist states and socialist states."

The original sentence is perfectly neutral; the second one is not. A reliable source used within the article gives proof of the notability of the differing views on whether these states were "socialist" or not; therefore, making any such judgment must be avoided.

Edit #2. Removed "(even though there are communist tendencies which are not Marxist)." out of "Communism was first developed into a scientific theory by German philosopher and social scientist] Karl Marx, and the collective understanding of this Scientific socialism|scientific approach is today commonly referred to as Marxism (even though there are communist tendencies which are not Marxist)."

I see no reason why remove this information. The article says that communism was first developed into a scientific theory by Karl Marx, and that that is known as Marxism; it seems appropriate to mention that Marxism is not the only form of communism, something which the wording may lead into thinking. It is the proper place and it is stated nowhere else in the lead.

Edit #3. Changed "bourgeoisie - a minority who derive profit from private ownership of the means of production" to "bourgeoisie - a minority who privately own the means of production and purchase proletarian labour to operate them at a fraction of its true value, the surplus being derived as profit."

I honestly see no reason to go into such explanations in the lead of the article; it is more elaborated upon later on. The first sentence explains the exact same in an easier to understand and concise manner.

Edit #4. Changed "As scarcity disappears from the development of the productive forces, goods are made available on the basis of free access. This results in the disappearance of social classes and money." to "As scarcity disappears from the development of the productive forces, goods and services are made available on a communal basis of free access. This ultimately results in the reduction and end of individual economic calculations and exchanges, and thereupon the disappearance of social classes and money."

What does a "communal basis" mean? That is much harder to understand for the average reader. One of the points of the final development of communism is that free access exists; there is no exclusion at all. Also, "communal" entails a specific system; what this system may imply may not apply here.

Why make the wording complex to explain the exact same? Zozs (talk) 01:18, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Recent edits, same old stuff[edit]

This is copied from my talk page. @Zozs: Yes, people have spoken against these changes (whether certain states can be described socialist, or the status of North Korea). Several times. In previous discussions. All you've done is try to push through your preferred version, ignoring previous discussions, acting with an extreme case of WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT. In particular with regard to the issue of whether certain states can be described as socialist or not. There's already several pages of discussion on this on the article talk page and elsewhere. All you've done, is just waited a month till old discussion were archived and tried to do the same damn thing over again. I believe this is like the third or fourth time you've tried to pull this off. Until you convince people of your views, you should really cease this kind of tendentious behavior. I'm not going to waste my time repeating the same damn thing over and over again, especially when it's been said by other people. It's up to YOU to present novel arguments, not badger and bore people into submission.Volunteer Marek (talk) 07:40, 25 August 2014 (UTC)

Not sure what this guy is going on about but he admitted that he has no point in his user talk page. Zozs (talk) 19:58, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't take Das Kapital to figure out that North Korea is not socialist at all. Σσς(Sigma) 22:37, 25 August 2014 (UTC)
Sigma, lay off the original research. Zozs, you know very well what I'm talking about. You've been pushing a particular POV and annoying the hell out of people for several months now. You come to some article try to ram through your changes, you get reverted and warned for disruptive editing you then try it on another article then get reverted and warned again. Then you lay low for a week or two, come back and try the same thing again. Over and over. You're suffering from a bad case of WP:IDIDN'THEARTHAT and you're basically just wasting productive time and labor of others (Marx wouldn't approve).Volunteer Marek (talk) 00:13, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
... do you have anything to back yourself up at all? All my changes are backed by reliable sources. At your talk page we already discussed and you conceded your point, asking me to "leave you alone". Zozs (talk) 00:55, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Lay off the western propaganda. North Korean society is nowhere near the "democratic control of the means of production by the working class for the good of the community rather than capitalist profit". Σσς(Sigma) 02:14, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
"Western propaganda"??? Oooookkkkayyyyy.Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:15, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I've updated the article to reflect this. Σσς(Sigma) 02:25, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
??? Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:47, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Too much is being made of the terminology used by North Korea. It is true that North Korea has gradually replaced "Marxism-Leninism" with "Juche" as the guiding doctrine, and more recently dropped mention of "Communism" from the Constitution. However, it still describes itself as "socialist", and its Constitution uses similar language to the Chinese Constitution. More importantly, these changes in official language were not accompanied by significant political or economic changes. On the contrary, North Korea has not embraced the reforms undertaken by the rest of the "socialist camp". Rather the terminological changes express an estrangement from the wider Communist movement. North Korea has not changed. It still has a personality cult like those of Stalin and Mao. It still has a command economy which suppresses private markets. Of course, you can argue that this is a distortion of what Communism should be. But this is only one point of view, and it applies equally to the other "Communist countries".--Jack Upland (talk) 07:31, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
There's private markets (which are de facto allowed and very prominent, omnipresent in fact), and many state-run companies are de facto ran by capitalist individuals but held as "state company" on paper (which means nothing anymore). The private markets are very well known and widely acknowledged by reliable sources so I don't think I need to explain them further. As for the private companies: [1]. Another article in The Telegraph spots: "As much as three-quarters of the country's household income now comes from the private sector, estimates Andrei Lankov, a professor at Kookmin University in Seoul." And many more... just look it up. Zozs (talk) 19:19, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
@Jack Upland, Zozs: Who cares if they allow private markets; in all other cases, its the movement which is allowed to redefine their ideology (but it seems that communism is an exception). Its not like the Democrats are not the Democrats any longer because do not support slavery any longer or the suppression of black civil liberties, its not like Gorbachev stopped being a communist since he introduced democratic reforms, its not like the former president of Brazil Lula stopped being socialist when he pursued a reformist approach during his presidency.... Chen Yuan once said (responding to a comment made a Westerner that China was no longer a communist country); "We are the Communist Party and we decide what communism means." This would totally cynical if not for the fact that Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, Hoxha, Mao and everyone really, redefine basic features of communism to serve their interests. Why suddenly China or North Korea for that matter is less socialist because of that I don't know. Of course, I must admit, I don't consider North Korea socialist in any sense (rather just a republic with monarchial pretensions), but to claim that Juche doesn't belong in an article about communism is nonsense. Nonsense I tell you. It has every right to be here, just as Stalinism, Trotskyism and so on. Remember? Stalin referred to trotskyism as a reactionary, anti-revolutionary course (should we remove trotskyism too), remember China claimed the USSR was state capitalist from post-1953 until 1981/2 (should we remove every mention of Khrushchev, Brezhnev and co)? Of course not, stop censuring WP you fool. --TIAYN (talk) 22:49, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
Look, you may not understand this, but words have definitions and articles on Wikipedia are not subject to be stick to information propagated by states. Gorbachev a communist, Lula a socialist? No offense, but are you on drugs? And we define things by what they say of themselves? No, we don't. Yet you cite "we define what communism means" - implying that Wikipedia must follow whatever definitions are in use by people currently in power somewhere, who claim to be the current exponent of a certain topic, and immediately treat as truth any "information" they spew - even if they admit they are re-defining just for their own benefit. Please review Wikipedia guidelines; a core lack of understanding is revealed here. Also, if they have the right to redefine what they are, well, North Korea purged all references to communism. Juche simply has no relevance within communism article, because in practice it is not distinguishable from Marxism-Leninism and in theory it has abandoned "communism". As simple as that. Zozs (talk) 23:02, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
I said that North Korea suppresses private markets, not eliminates them. Here is an article by Lankov which demonstrates that point: [2]. If you travelled between China and North Korea, you would notice a stark contrast. If private markets are omnipresent, why are they invisible? To say, "Juche simply has no relevance within communism article, because in practice it is not distinguishable from Marxism-Leninism" is a total non-sequitur.--Jack Upland (talk) 00:10, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
What do you propose is added about Juche that makes sense within both the lesser context and greater context of the article, that is not redundant, and that is more extensive than explaining it is the tendency in North Korea? Zozs (talk) 00:24, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
@Zozs, Jack Upland, Σ, Volunteer Marek: Juche is communist; all the socialist states of the world considered it socialist, officially at least, then it is socialist (and people in the free world most commonly associated Juche with Stalinism, eg a form of socialism)... Alas, people still call Gorbachev a communist, people still call Lula socialist, people still call North Korea Stalinists, and people still call China socialist/communist whatever. You're seeking a clear definition, but that doesn't exist. There does not exist, and has never existed one definition of what communism is; the Soviet Union under Stalin pretended that one definition existed, but that is clearly not true. The only way to define what is communism is by its shared, and shared attributes, and I tell you this; China and North Korea share many attributes to the Soviet Union before 1985.--TIAYN (talk) 07:37, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia is written based on reliable sources. Therefore, it doesn't matter what "socialist states" say of each other, and it doesn't matter what "people" call other people. Scholarly definitions exist, and Wikipedia is based on them. Zozs (talk) 07:41, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
The scholarly of Juche is that it is socialist in the sense that it is Stalinist; the second view is that is not socialist but xenophobic nationalist. Yes, it does matter what the other socialist states believed. --TIAYN (talk) 07:59, 27 August 2014 (UTC)
Beyond North Korea, the issue is that the article as it stands minimises actual Communist governments, as most people would understand them. Furthermore, the statement that Trotsky and Trotskyists have opposed "Marxism-Leninism" is not one that I think Trotsky or Trotskyists have generally made.--Jack Upland (talk) 10:14, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
Trotskyists are Marxists and Leninists... it's different from Marxism-Leninism, which is the name Stalin invented for his own ideology. Trotskyists tend to call Marxism-Leninism by a more suitable name: "Stalinism" (and yes, Trotskyists acknowledge that "Marxism-Leninism is Stalinism"). They criticize it a lot. Zozs (talk) 20:26, 28 August 2014 (UTC)
I agree with your point, but I think the expression of it is likely to confuse the ordinary person. This is why Wikipedia has a NPOV policy. If people want to read about the Trotskyist position they can go to other websites. And furthermore, whatever you think of him, Trotsky himself would never have accepted a worldview that minimised the relevance of actual governments (though they might be "deformed workers states" in his terms) and boosted armchair activists.--Jack Upland (talk) 10:13, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
What changes do you propose, then? It seems just natural, when describing the rise of Stalin, to also say that the de facto leader of the opposition was Trotsky. Zozs (talk) 04:01, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
Neutrality.--Jack Upland (talk) 09:44, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
How to make it more neutral? All POVs are notable and attributed. I'm open to suggestions, though. Zozs (talk) 02:09, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
I think the issues have been amply discussed above.--Jack Upland (talk) 10:36, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
@Zozs: Discussion with you is nonsense. Who cares what they think? Gorbachev believed that Stalin had deformed socialism (which he claimed had dropped basics socialist tenets in the name of totalitarianism), and he introduced perestroika/glasnost to return the Soviet Union to the proper socialist road. Despite this Stalinism still remains a socialist ideology.. Stop removing valuable information. --TIAYN (talk) 21:45, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

New edits[edit]

Before edit: Communism is most associated with Marxism, which considers itself the embodiment of scientific socialism. According to Marxism,

After edit: The German philosopher and social scientist Karl Marx, generally credited as the father of scientific socialism, predicted that communism is the end goal of all social development which will inevitably come into being as the most advanced socio-economic system. According to Marx's theory,

First of all, "scientific socialism" is a term invented by Friedrich Engels to refer to Marxism and its superiority (according to him) over utopian socialism. Marx is not "generally credited as the father of scientific socialism", because that would imply that there are disagreements over this, or that "scientific socialism" is some sort of global concept which has multiple variants.

Marx never "predicted" that communism is the "end goal of social development". For starters, according to Marxism, one of the major differences between Marxism and utopian socialism is that whereas utopian socialism reflects an author's personal thoughts about a better society and holds that it can be implemented "on will", Marxism analyzes the natural evolution of history, not "goals". Consequently, according to Marxism, communism is the natural evolution over capitalism, not the "end goal of all social development". Additionally, Marx never said that communism represents some sort of final stage, where history gets frozen. That is ridiculous. At most, it would shift the field of historical change from the kind that is studied in historical materialism to another, but even this Marx did not say. This is not "all social development". Marx also never said that communism is "the most advanced mode of production/socio-economic system" (what does this even mean? how is "advanced" measured? which sources use this term) that would ever exist. And Marxism is not "Marx's theory", it is Marxism... surely still a theory and still developed by Marx, but the emphasis on that it is "Marx's" and that it is a "theory" is undue weight.

Before edit: The October Revolution, led by Lenin and Trotsky, set the conditions for the rise to power of a Marxist party in Russia, eventually resulting in the creation of the Soviet Union, with the aim of developing socialism and eventually communism. Lenin never claimed that the Soviet Union had achieved socialism; in fact, Lenin openly admitted that state capitalism was in place, but also stated that socialism was eventually going to be developed. Lenin, in his last days, asked for Stalin to be removed from his position.

After edit: The October Revolution, led by Lenin and Trotsky, led to the establishment of the world's first socialist government in Russia and its former subjects, which were reunited as the Soviet Union. Lenin, the founder and leader of the Russian Communist Party, believed that because it was so backward compared to the rest of Europe (and anticipating the greater revolutions to take place in the industrial centres of Germany and Britain), Russia would have to develop through the capitalist phase of development under socialist regulations and close supervision until the conditions would allow for socialist production to take over; Lenin called this "state capitalism"

First of all, the sourced statement that Lenin asked for Stalin to be removed (which is relevant because of the article structure - it is directly the next topic to discuss; the conflict between Stalinism and the opposition for power) has been deleted.

The edit is based on original research, and has no supporting sources. First of all, there are two possible meanings of the word socialist we can use in this context. The Soviet definition of "socialism", and the definition that "a socialist government is one which is ran by a socialist party". By definition, what was being done under the "capitalist phase of development" does not match the former, and, as we can see, the second definition is nearly useless, only serves to confuse, and is often subject to editors' interest. For instance, Spain would never be named a "Socialist government" in the way it is being done here, even though it's been run by a "Socialist" party. If by "Socialist" we mean a party which names itself this way, then what is so interesting here, when even in a completely ordinary state such as Spain there can be a "socialist government"? There were, in fact, probably also earlier "socialist governments" of this kind. What is relevant in Russia is obviously that it is the first place where a Marxist party rose to power.

Lenin was not the founder of the "Russian Communist Party", - wait, were we not naming governments based on the party's name, would it not be a communist government then? How ridiculous - a term which did not even exist in that time. He was part of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party and led the split between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks - being the leader of the Bolshevik faction. And, applying the naming-based-on-party logic again, would it not be a "social democratic government", then!?

What we can, without doubt, say about the Soviet Union, which is completely objective and accurate, is that its professed goal was to develop communism. This is relevant seeing as this is the lead for the "Communism" article, and if it had nothing to do with communism then it makes no sense to write about the Soviet Union here.

The October Revolution did not, by itself, reunite anything. The Soviet Union was established later, as they became reunited.

What is a "socialist regulation"? In fact, regulations as used in this context, i.e. management over capitalism, implies the exclusion of socialism. This term was invented by the editor.

The point in the state capitalist debate is not whether there are "regulations" (which would actually imply regular capitalism rather than state capitalism). The point is nationalization vs. socialization; i.e., the difference between ownership by state and actual management of the means of production by society, a very important topic within Marxism. When the economy is nationalized, that is what is called state capitalism, and when it is socialized, it is rather known as socialism or communism.

Considering all of this, I prefer the older version of the lead, before these two edits. Zozs (talk) 05:26, 19 September 2014 (UTC)