As a constant user of social media and someone who frequents young social spaces, oftentimes spaces that claim to be socially conscious, I recognise a trend that’s happening: being a communist is cool! The older generation finds this is an alarming epidemic.
If you surf the web long enough, you’ll come across some Twitter profiles that bear the infamous sickle and hammer icon in their bio or their headline.
This is used to distinguish their political and social beliefs. This is done not only to make users aware of their views but to attract other minds alike and repel any opposers as well.
These communist users range from all ages and backgrounds, but are generally younger individuals, who seem to be the most vocal about their political leanings.
It is similar on Instagram. There are many meme accounts that curate obscure images and inside jokes relating to communism. For the generation before ours, communism’s alarming popularity might seem like a severe threat.
How can a generation that didn’t experience the tense anxieties of the cold war and the gripping dictatorship of Joseph Stalin and Mao Zheng Dong act so nonchalant? They blame sex, drugs, and rock and roll, but mainly ignorance. I counter that claim.
It’s true that millions have died under the extreme imposition of communism; around 100 million due to famine, labor camps, and genocide.
However, I want to make it known that modern communists and socialists don’t deny that trauma. Moreover, we cannot act as if capitalism is without its faults. It is just as violent as any other faulty system.
Capitalism denies diabetics insulin by gatekeeping prices, hiking prices up to $540 per vial when it only costs about an average of $5 to make it, according to The Guardian. Under capitalism, the homeless go without shelter while homes remain vacant for the highest bidder.
It allows billionaires to hoard wealth they can’t completely spend even if they had ten lifetimes to spend it. It allows companies to open sweatshops in third world countries, harming, even killing, the people that work there and ruining the surrounding environment.
It encourages imperialism, the ransacking of once-prosperous nations that now qualify as the most war-torn and poorest places. Let’s not forget colonialism, which made the enslavement of a human being the richest commodity for centuries.
I do not argue this to belittle the horrors that came about during the communist regime but to lift the veil of ignorance and expose the flaws of the current government system that we live under.
It is roughly calculated that capitalism has killed 120 million, but that’s a conservative estimate that is still rising as the years go by.
While ideal capitalism will always need a low class for a wealthy class to exist, ideal socialism and communism assure that everyone has basic needs met first before extending the wealth.
Desiring that the basic needs of society be met isn’t radical and it shouldn’t be, no matter what economic system is pursued.
Photo by Arie Wubben on Unsplash