Communism: Would You Really Rather be Dead than Red?

I must admit that when we were assigned to read the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, I was less than thrilled. I thought that it’d just be another batch of “commie” agenda. I never once thought that it could be an amazingly well written piece of literature, which is by no means all that it is, it was just surprising to me that something with such a bad wrap here in America was a rather bright piece. It calls into question the ideas that many have against communists. Based purely on the text and not on the many communist regimes, both past and present, successful and unsuccessful, I wanted to prove that communists are not the horrible reds that we so loathe and fear, but rather a group of revolutionists who want a better world for the working class and everyone.

This plays on both the idea that communists wish to completely destroy all class lines--eradicate class completely--and the distaste with which many view communism itself.

First of all, communists point out the class struggle that has persisted throughout all societies and now finally accumulates in the class struggle between the working class, the proletariats, and the capitalist upper class, the bourgeoisie. That the bourgeoisie continuously put down the proletariat so as to further there own economic gain. They ensure that the social gap between the two classes grows and grows, all the while using the proletariat masses to fuel this process. The bourgeoisie become fat off of the spoils of others, while the proletariat dwindles in a state of slavery. Communists declare that this social injustice cannot continue forever, that one day the proletariat will be pushed to a point in which it is no longer bearable, and when that time comes, the bourgeoisie will succumb to the revolutionary masses of the proletariat.

Of this, I am sure that most everyone knew about the communist fundamentals. However, I am not too sure to what extent is understood the depth of their conviction of this truth. It is their basic premise and the thing to which they will forever strive. They wish to instill a new society in which everyone is equal, in which everyone has equal resources and capital. They view a perfect society as one in which there is no privately owned property, but rather a communal society with everything owned by the state, a society in which everyone works, but they only take as much as they need to survive, nothing more, so that everyone may live equally and no one can take control over another. They view this as their very core and everything they do is not the advancement of this idea.

Every act, every move they make is to create that environment which will lead to the social revolution. In that, I believe that many governments had the legitimate right to fear the communist party, whether or not their resulting treatment of the communist party members was justified or right. They wish the best for the working class, and wish to provide a state in which all can live in an equal unity, in which one is all, and all is one.

The symbol of Communism placed over an image of the world. I thought it was a fitting image to represent the Communist idea of eventual eradication of national lines as the whole world undergoes this proletariat revolution--as the whole world eventually becomes communistic.

Communism is a radical movement. Everything about it calls for revolution; it is composed of fighting ideals and a rather despotic initializing “government.” They wish for the overthrow of every government and economic system. They are revolutionists. And in that they are dangerous for governments and the established upper class. But they are not dangerous in the sense that they wish to eradicate everyone and everything. They simply wish to help the majority by setting straight minority in power and providing an equal playing field. And is that truly a bad thing? Isn’t that something that we all wish for? A chance to be truly equal for a change?

This is a link to a cartoon about communism. The man who edited it together used American cartoons to illustrate the communist theory. The narration is composed of excerpts from the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels:

Here is a communist take on the American economic and political system—it’s a very different take on our society:

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What is a “Feminist?”

What do you think of when you hear the term “feminist?” Many people, unfortunately, picture a hairy man of a woman—totally lacking in all “femininity” and reason. They see someone so mad at men and societies that they lack all rationality; you picture, as Rush Limbaugh said, a “feminazi.” However, this is not feminism. Well, don’t get me wrong, it definitely is a form of feminism, albeit a rather radical one, although it is not all that feminism is. Feminism is the idea and study of the roles and lives of women—and just like any good idea or realm of study; it has many different views and theories.

For instance, there are the more mainstream and socially accepted liberal feminists. Their views focus on equality for women gained through the legal systems. They believe that men should and must be included in the process of gender equality. These qualities make them more palatable to the general population as their values seem logical and reasonable—they are seen more as reformers and less as man-haters.

            There are also the socialist feminists who focus more on the plight of women as a separate class distinction; they see women’s struggle as another form of class struggle, with the bourgeoisie represented by the men and the proletariat represented by the women. They follow more on the lines of complete and social equality and believe that “capitalism and patriarchy must go down together or not at all” if the class struggle is to finally end (Bart, 1991: 255)

Going back to the radical feminists, they do have strong views against men. Theirs are the saltiest and hardest feminist theories and ideals for society to recognize and accept, with many of their ideas completely against gender equality between men and women. Instead, those ideals seem to focus more on taking down the established patriarchal system and replace it with a matriarchal one. In regards to these ideal, I have to ask, how would this make society better? Wouldn’t that merely reverse the problem?

Now I understand if you think that I am biased and may be skewing their ideas to meet my needs, so I’ll tell you plainly where I stand on the issue. As I read the various articles pertaining to these topics, it became apparent to me that my personal ideals and beliefs lie primarily with the liberal feminists, although I do occasionally fall within the socialist feminist category. I see and understand some of the logic behind a few of the radical feminists’ theories on things such as sexual harassment and some of their stances on pornography, although I fail to agree with them entirely. Mainly I think that feminism is a much needed thing and that the inequality suffered is horrid and must be remedied, but I do not think that society needs to be destroyed in order to do it. It should be a progressive movement that moves with as peaceful transition as possible. I believe that a revolt in order to change societal values done in violence will only strengthen opposition or cause a deep fissure between men and women once equality is attained.

This is one video which I thought summed up the differences and some of the similarities between the three types of socialists: 

Bart, Pauline B.  1991. “Feminist Theories”  Pp. 246-265 in The Renaissance of Sociological Theory: Classical and Contemporary, edited by Etzkowitz, Henry and Ronald M. Glassman.Itasca,IL: R. E. Peacock Publishers, Inc.

Euthanasia: Secular vs. Devout—Or Is It?

Euthanasia is a widely controversial topic.  The debate surrounding euthanasia and assisted suicide seems to be linked with suicide and abortion, with some of the leading arguments for or against the idea spreading from religion and liberal rights.  But what it comes down to is the idea that in a more secularized world, the opinions toward euthanasia are more positive, while in a more devout world, there is a poor opinion of euthanasia.  It’s a basic ideas of the sanctity of life and the value of personal rights clashing together—to some, the “old” vs. the “new.”

In our postmodern society, people are rejecting the preconceived beliefs and values of our previous modern society; they are starting to rebel and ask why? This new society of ours promotes individuality and the need to dissect every aspect of the set system until all is as they see fit—dwindling and gone are the days of the strict institutions and the common values that society used to thrive with.

At least, this was the idea that prevailed until a few years ago when sociologists began coming at this topic from another angle.  They decided to test other arguments used by both sides to see if there was a correlation with the perceived acceptability of euthanasia.

(above) Chantal Sebire, 52, had suffered from esthesioneuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer, for around eight years. She had requested a medically-assisted suicide, at which the French government turned her down. She later was found having committed suicide in her own home.

In one study done by Ellen Verbakel and Eva Jaspers, they used four arguments used for and against euthanasia, instead of just the one.  They sought to discover whether the idea of the “slippery slope,” the idea that euthanasia may go too far if made legal and one day people will be involuntarily euthanized, the idea of autonomy, and the idea of a right to a death of dignity.  What they found was the already discovered concept that religion plays a large part in the permissiveness of euthanasia, but also that in devout countries, there is a larger gap between the religious and non-religious persons’ view points, while in a more secular country, there is less of a gap between the view points.  However, they were unable to conclude a cause for this in this particular study.  They also found that the hypotheses on autonomy and the “slippery slope” also contribute to the tolerance of euthanasia, while the notion of death with dignity was only partially supported by their findings (Verbakel and Jaspers 2010).

There are many factors which lead to a persons’ own view and society’s view on euthanasia.  Many of these factors are still being studied and are not completely understood.  Due to this and the many different ideas and arguments surrounding euthanasia, it has fallen into a gray area in society’s morality.  With such a wide array of opinions, it is difficult to pinpoint the rightness attributed with it, a fact which will perpetuate the storm of ideas and conflict associated with it.

Reference:

Verbakel, Ellen and Eva Jaspers. 2010. “A Comparative Study on Permissiveness toward Euthanasia: Religiosity, Slippery Slope, Autonomy, and Death with Dignity.” Public Opinion Quarterly 74:109-39.

Hello world!

If you are reading this, then I heartily thank you for taking time out of your busy day to do so! I hope that I can make your time worthwhile and that at least some of the things I plan on writing will perk your interests enough to take a deeper lok into them!

Thank you for your time and happy perusing!

~Pandapirate

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