Marxism: The Appeal Of Communism

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What was so fascinating and appealing about Marxism/Communism Marxism has long been the alternative philosophical approach to capitalism as a way to model a society. Whereas, western civilization opted for capitalism, countries in the east, most notably Russia and China, embraced a Marxist identity. The debate on which is the better philosophy, capitalism or Marxism, was settled by the fall of the Berlin Wall, yet, there has been tremendous appeal of the Marxist ideals both before and after Ronald Reagan famously enjoined Mr. Gorbachev to “tear down this wall” (Reagan). That historic event may have formally ended communism, evidenced by the fact that even deeply-red China enjoys the fruits of capitalism today. So why has Marxism fascinated …show more content…
After all, a person with subpar work skills and poor prospects of earning a decent living based on their education and training will find tremendous appeal in the “to each according to their need” part of the Marxist slogan (Marx). If they need something, that will be provided by the state. Who would not subscribe to this philosophy if they were at the receiving end of such a philosophy’s generosity. Any ideology that proposes to end the injustices of inequality, especially the injustices perceived by the underprivileged, will attract a lot of adherents. However, this argument only serves to explain the appeal of Marxism or communism to the masses, or the so called proletariat. The same argument cannot be proposed to justify the appeal of this ideology to the social scientists, people who are not necessarily receiving the benefits of communism’s largess. The intellectuals, philosophers, and thought leaders must have some other attraction to the message of the …show more content…
Set in post-World War II Eastern Europe, The Captive Mind by Czeslaw Milosz examines what happens when the same ideology that seemed suitable when applied to the labor-business equation, is applied to the dynamics between the intellectual and the communist state. In a communist culture, there are essentially two levels of society. First there is the communist party, or the state, and then there is everyone else. Reminds one of the famous quote by George Orwell in Animal Farm, “all animals are equal / but some are more equal than others.” Every individual is deemed to be the same, and there is not much scope for standing out for anyone, or they will be whipped back into compliance. Ayn Rand in her novel Anthem exposed this inherent flaw in communism by creating a dystopian society based upon an extreme display of equality for all beneath the state. From the point of view of the intellectual, the artist, the creative types, the situation can be very stifling. True individuality and creativity can only flourish and thrive with the freedom to express oneself without fear of retribution. When placed under the duress of a repressive regime, creative people feign outward acceptance of the rules imposed on them by communist rulers and are forced to live a lie. This is one of the themes of

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