Why You're Wrong about Communism

so sometimes you know what you know and sometimes you know what you don't know and sometimes as the fire sign theater says everything in Oz Rock you know that you're wrong but you fear you're right you suspect you're out of six things that you're out of your mind everything you know is wrong despite being decades removed from the Cold War McCarthyism and red scares communism is still a dirty word in American politics and society today it's thanks in large part to a total lack of understanding that Americans have when it comes to communism and many of people who don't understand communism also don't understand the true nature of capitalism so if you think that only communist governments rely on violence or the capitalism is synonymous with individuality then everything you know is wrong joining me now is Jesse Meyerson journalist and contributor to salon.com in Rolling Stone magazine Jesse welcome back thanks for having me Beck town your most recent piece for Salon which was brilliant by the way is title G uy you're wrong about communism seven misperceptions about it and capitalism and I think frankly the misperceptions about capitalism are even more important than the misperceptions about communism but you know let's let's just touch on some of this stuff first of all what do you see as the most pernicious of the misperceptions about both communism and capitalism well the main thing that I've been getting over the last month since them the five economic reforms piece that I had in Rolling Stone is the simple invocation by right-wingers of the name Stalin or Mao as though that performs some sort of like argumentative work when of course it doesn't because if you want to invoke the human rights atrocities that happened under communist governments then I'm afraid you've also got to account for the human rights atrocities that happened or capitalist governments and nobody's prepared to do that and the thing that I found out with this piece the one in salon comparing the two is that um you know uh people like me who are who are willing to acknowledge that there were Horrors that happened under communist dictatorships the great Chinese famine and the gulags and stuff like that we're willing to admit that whereas the defenders of capitalism either ignore or deny the atrocities that happen in capitalism and you know when you confront them on it it's like total cognitive dissonance because we've been taught in this country frankly that capitalism is in every case and everywhere in the world Liberatore and righteous and that communism is the great evil and you know that neither of those is really backed up by the history so what are the horrors of capitalism well I mean there's so many you know that at the very beginning of industrial capitalism when Britain really really had its first stirrings of the industrial revolution the great commodity that was really fueling industrialism was textiles and anybody who knows where cotton was coming from in the you know late seventeen hundreds early eighteen hundreds knows that capitalism therefore thrived on the atlantic slave trade not to mention the extermination of the indigenous population of this country the this book by mike davis late victorian holocaust which talk about basically British imperialist starvation and and not just British but European imperialist starvation and slaughters in Africa Southeast Asia Latin America and then of course the various massacres and coos and you know horrors perpetrated by the US the CIA and its allies its proxies all over the world to defeat communism after this the Second World War including you know the movie that is now nominated for an Oscar the documentary the act of killing which details how a million so-called communists in Indonesia were killed their names supplied by the CIA I mean these are things that you know good patriotic Americans are never asked to account for because we are simply told that like like I remember my third-grade teacher telling me that communism and democracy were opposites I can see now how ridiculous that is and we can see that the terrible bankruptcy of intellectual understanding that education like that causes when when I release it bees like this so what is this backlash from the right what are the components of communism that we should seriously have a conversation about integrating into the American body politic and economic I would say that the two big things that that I really want to struggle for over my lifetime that I consider basically approaches towards communism is D commodifying everything you know we see in the United States that everything including like caring for other people and all of the things that we find essential to our lives are need to be priced in order to be exchanged in markets and I just don't think that that's true I mean I think that lots of things are inherently valuable in ought to be treated that way and shouldn't be treated like they're they're just commodities for exchange and then the other thing is work I mean the the CBO report that came out saying that you know two or three million people are going to leave work because like they're not hostage to work anymore because they have health care that's a good thing and the the more that we can free people from the tyranny not just I mean libertarians have it right the governments can be tyrannical obviously that's true but the other thing that's tyrannical that libertarians won't acknowledge is the tyranny of work you know we live in this democracy but we put ourselves in tyranny for eight hours a day they can fire you and if you don't have a job you're basically cut off from the means of your own subsistence so liberating people from that second tyranny of work and making sure that people can live a full life and produce culture and community without having to work for a boss that's trying to work them harder and pay them less in order to get rich that that's really the essence I think of a socialist or if you prefer communist vision do you think do you think one way to start moving in that direction is this movement that is the the Swiss are going to be voting on this in a few months of a guaranteed minimum income and there's a variation of it actually going on in Alaska with the Permanent Fund everybody man woman child baby everybody gets two thousand dollars a year yeah absolutely I can't see a step forward from capita meaningful step forward from capitalism to a more Liberatore fulfilling economic system that doesn't include a universal basic income I think that's absolutely crucial I think it's best paired with the job guarantee for several reasons but basically it makes whereas right now what we have is involuntarily unemployment millions of people who want a job and can't find them and in voluntary employment where there's millions of people want to quit their job but can't because they need the pension or they need health care or whatever we want to move to a system that has voluntary employment and voluntary unemployment and I think that's really really crucial universe basic income is is will be necessary for that sort of emancipatory transformation jesse Meyerson thanks so much as a brilliant analysis thanks time now everything you know about communism is right

  1. After all, you united statians (I'm not united statian), mostly hate or don't hate communism?
    cuz, what we see out of the US, specially talking about the -Purchasing power-, all of you love and are able to have anything you want by working and making some paper…
    It's very awful seeing some people wishing US were under a cammunist government.

  2. Oh, communism is a dirty word? I wonder why a word that encompasses hundreds of millions of murdered and tortured people would be perceived as dirty…

  3. Opinion: communism has a branding problem. Communist need to drop the hammer & sickle, cult of personalities, and dare I say it; the communist title. Those should of been put to bed after the Soviet Union collapsed.
    The brain washing of America is complete and things related to the Soviets. Americans need to feel special and unique, so using out dated symbols that are seen as evil by a majority of Americans (I assume) is counter productive.

  4. This guy wants people to have voluntary employment and voluntary unemployment if you choose so!! That's what capitalism provides! First you start a business which is 'voluntary employment' when it becomes successful you can leave it to others while you voluntarily unemploy yourself and go play golf the whole day!
    Basically communist want the benefits of success without putting in the work needed to get the money to pay for your enjoyment! The only way that people can be wealthy is to cut the crap and short cut communism pretends to offer and go and hustle and bustle till you make your own wealth, this is planet earth not some heaven utopia!

  5. @Jesse Myerson There are no "capitalist governments." Capitalism is a name given to a free market economy where sellers and buyers negotiate for goods and services. It does not describe a system of governing at all.

    Communism is an approach to society that encompasses all aspects of life, economic, socio-politcal, and by extension individual pursuits, and thoughts. You are giving an apples to oranges comparison.

    That said, a free society, where individual negative liberty is respected, can tolerate a subsection of society operating as a commune. The reverse, a communist society tolerating a subsection of individuals operating with out imposition on their economic or sociological pursuits (ex. free expression), is not the case. The moment individuals agitate to operate outside the commune it threatens the communes very existence. So follows the compulsory service of the populace, speech monitoring, gulags, secret police and all the rest.

  6. I love freedom and ilove god and democracy and why kim jung un kill many people his own people

  7. The idea of Communism is that everyone is equal.
    Communism giving people equal rights also gives people equal opportunities to manipulate the way of life into Totalitarianism, which is why it’s bad 😂

  8. 100 million dead. How many more millions of people need to die because of these fucked up ideologies?! Thom Hartmann is a fucking huxter. Oh Communists were evil and violent just like some capitalists were? And therefore communism is good?! This is their argument? Are you insane?

  9. No society can survive if people don't work. No society can survive if some people work hard, & others are allowed to do nothing but live off the government.

  10. Work doesn't disappear under Communism, they believe in quotas just as much as the Capitalists do. They force you to work, they tell you where, how much you earn, you're considered a "parasite " if you don't (which is the only thing they're right about )

  11. Communism tells you where you can work how much you can earn, & you are forced to give most of your products to the government for distribution or they keep it for their personal use.

  12. There is no incentive in Communism. Even Huey Newton said that "Marx & Lenin were pretty lazy dudes when it came to work ".

  13. Communists never achieved their so called "Classless Society ", people with power & influence continued to benefit at the expense of the average citizen of the country that experimented with Communism.

  14. Communism failed in the past and always will because it goes against ypur biological thinking and aspirations ,, IF YOUR GUARANTEED A JOB AND EVERYONE GETS PAYED THE SAME THERE IS ZERO MOTIVATION TO WORK HARD,,, IN A CAPITALIST country your mind from goes how hard I can work to get ahead in life too under Communism what the least I can get away with and still get payed!! So whats the result ? GDP GOES DOWN economy shrinks and that guaranteed check is worth less amd less as inflation goes up,, PLUS YOU CANT CHANGE PEOPLE THERE IS GREED IN EVERY PERSON TO A POINT .. All these communist leaders live lavish lifestyles as the common people suffer. What makes Government Greed more noble than Corperate greed? Besides I like to see these Pure hearted GOOD SPIRITED ANGELS they elect in office ? Hell i dont trust myself much less anyone else!!!

  15. Yet more proof that the Russian government still spreads Communist misinformation and worships the totalitarian government that killed 70 million people in the Soviet Union, 66 million of whom died between 1918-1957 and the high birth rate at the time of 4-6 children per family helped keep the population from collapsing. So fuck you RT for upholding lies about WW2 and the holocaust as well.

    Who Murdered 66 Million Russians!?: https://youtu.be/4IHD2xO5UnE

  16. This version of Communism is scarier than the one I learned in elementary school when they told us our country has been taken over by communism and we were going to get demerits for this and demerits for that. we needed to tell on our parents if they stole bread for us to eat. All the teachers put on black armbands and all the children were crying. The whole time I was wanting to run out the room thinking I'm going to kick somebody in the shin. Over 30 years later I'm still pissed we were traumatized. But I have a much better understanding of Communism than to professional in this video. Volunteer unemployment volunteer employment everyone gets a set pay sounds like mass extinction. I guess it's America's turn to kill a hundred million of its citizens…. if we could only get Americans to vote for communism. First we need to take away their guns and the government needs to take over Healthcare. Freedom is what's wrong with America I guess.

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