Professor Frazier
Eng. 1101-125 TR 10:00-11:45
2 November 2015
Compare & Contrast: Communism vs. Democracy
Communism and Democracy are two different ideologies that mandate how political systems should work. Even though both share the philosophy of “giving power to the people”, the two systems of government structure society in vastly different ways.
Communism was an economic-political philosophy founded by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the 19th century. Marx and Engels met in 1844, and discovered that they had similar principles. In 1848 they wrote and published "The Communist Manifesto." The Athenians are generally credited with coming up with the idea of a democracy in the 6th century B.C., although there are theories that democracy stretches back quite a bit further in a more primitive form. The first democracy was established in 508-7 BC. Athenians were randomly selected to fill government administrative and judicial offices, and the legislative assembly was made up of all Athenian citizens, who had a right to speak and vote. Unfortunately, this excluded women, slaves, foreigners and anyone under the age of 20.
Communism is both a social and political ideology which shows how government and social organization will be established. The government will provide what people need and advances in technology allow for abundance. In a democracy, most citizens get equal say in decisions. A big difference between the two is their economic system. In communism, production is organized to provide for human needs directly without any use for money. The government has complete control over the production and distribution of goods and all the resources and it is shared equally in the society. In democracy on the other hand, this concept in not there.
In communism, the community or the society hold the major resources and production. This prevents any single person or a group of people from raising to a higher position than others or becoming rich. In democracy, free enterprising is allowed, which means that people or groups can have their own businesses. This can lead to rich and poor in society. There are no specific principles that define democracy, but democracy is based on the principle of equality and freedom. It is also based on citizens having equal rights. Another principle that defines democracy is that the citizens have certain liberties and freedoms, which are protected by the constitution.
Communist states have been criticized for poor human rights records with the belief that Communist governments have been responsible for starvation, purges and war. Communism was deemed responsible for the deaths of almost 100 million people in the 20th century. Democracy has been criticized has been criticized as a system that allows the uninformed to make decisions on the same level as the informed. In reality, no true communist states exist regardless of the names that certain governments have historically given to their system of government. Cuba, the Soviet Union, and China have typically referred to themselves as communist but private property and ownership was never fully established. They were all countries with a dictatorship that borrows limited ways from communist ideology. Democratic countries exist all around the world and the majority of our nations have democratic political systems. North America and Europe are both almost fully democratic in terms of the government system used by countries on those continents.