Communism: The Promise and the Reality

Communism: The Promise and the Reality

2000, Politics  -   155 Comments
Ratings: 6.24/10 from 130 users.

CommunismThis a PBS documentary which looks into how Communism started with Vladimir Lenin's Bolsheviks revolution. Also offers testimony of members of the Red Guard, party activists, students, and workers striving to build a modern industrial state.

Communism is a social structure and political ideology in which property is commonly controlled. Communism (written with a capital C) is a modern political movement that aims to overthrow capitalism via revolution to create a classless society where all goods are publicly owned. Karl Marx posited that communism would be the final stage in human society, which would be achieved through a proletarian revolution and only becoming possible after a socialist stage develops the productive forces, leading to a superabundance of goods and services.

"Pure communism" in the Marxian sense refers to a classless, stateless and oppression-free society where decisions on what to produce and what policies to pursue are made democratically, allowing every member of society to participate in the decision-making process in both the political and economic spheres of life.

In modern usage, communism is often used to refer to Bolshevism or Marxism-Leninism and the policies of the various communist states which had government ownership of all the means of production and centrally planned economies. Communist regimes have historically been authoritarian, repressive, and coercive governments concerned primarily with preserving their own power. Episodes included: 1. Red Flag, 2. Fallout, 3. Brave New World, 4. Great Leap Forward, 5. Guerrilla Wars, and 6. People Power.

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155 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Glossing-over the millions of poor peasants that Lenin Ruthlessly butchered seems a bit disingenuous to me. Lenin was a sadist and a madman. He promised poor people a better life. Then when he gained absolute power he began systematically murdering anyone who spoke against his party. He burned every church he could find and killed religious leaders all over the country. This film is pro communist propaganda. They trot out some ancient hardline communist party members and anti-capitalist socialists in an effort to make Marxism look like a good thing. Seeking to deceive a new generation? Communism is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of millions of people world-wide. Marx was a lunatic, Lenin was a sadist and communism is a failure.

    1. What rubbish. Every single attempt at socialism or communism without exception was crushed by western intervention. Russia was invaded by 120,000 troops in 1918 that allowed Stalin to seize power and caused the famine that killed millions. The Spanish revolution was put down by Franco, the Italian revolution by Mussolini. 3 revolutions in Germany, 1918, 1923, 1933...all put down by force

      In 1965 the Indonesian workers took control, so the USA and Australia intervened and supported the Indonesian military in murdering 700,000 people and putting the dictator Suharto

      As for Lenin slaughtering peasants, he had 100 Kuklas hung for withholding grain and profiteering during the civil war, something they knew carried the death penalty.

      As for the west, the idiots take over in the final days of crumbling civilizations. Idiot generals wage endless, unwinnable wars that bankrupt the nation. Idiot economists call for reducing taxes for the rich and cutting social service programs for the poor, and project economic growth on the basis of myth. Idiot industrialists poison the water, the soil and the air, slash jobs and depress wages. Idiot bankers gamble on self-created financial bubbles and impose crippling debt peonage on the citizens. Idiot journalists and public intellectuals pretend despotism is democracy.

      This moment in history marks the end of a long, sad tale of greed and murder by the white races. Europeans and Americans have spent five centuries conquering, plundering, exploiting and polluting the earth in the name of human progress. They used their technological superiority to create the most efficient killing machines on the planet, directed against anyone and anything, especially indigenous cultures, that stood in their way. They stole and hoarded the planet’s wealth and resources. They believed that this orgy of blood and gold would never end, and they still believe it. They do not understand that the dark ethic of ceaseless capitalist and imperialist expansion is dooming the exploiters as well as the exploited.

      Half the country may live in poverty, our civil liberties may be taken from us, militarized police may murder unarmed citizens in the streets and we may run the world’s largest prison system and murderous war machine, but all these truths are studiously ignored. Trump and now Biden are the kings of the idiots.

  2. Just the Facts: US Military Interventions

    Envío team

    The US population has a strong self-image of charity toward those "less fortunate," both at home and abroad. Many, as a result, cannot comprehend the common use in the Third World of the term imperialist to describe the United States, or the frequency with which the slogan "Yankee Go Home" is written on walls all over Latin America. Equally incomprehensible, it would appear, is the response of many Latin American nations to the current US military invasion of Panama. Their demands for non-intervention, for the recognition of sovereignty and self-determination, fall on the deaf ears of those in the United States proud of their government's role as "policeman" of the region—a self-appointed role consecrated in the Monroe Doctrine of 1922 and carried out unilaterally ever since.

    We list below the nearly 100 US military interventions in and occupations of Latin American countries since 1798. The list does not include US-sponsored military coups such as in Guatemala in 1954; destabilization efforts such as those the US implemented in Chile in 1970-73; or US-financed wars by local allies such as that fought in Nicaragua for the past eight years.

    Mexico: 1806, 1814-25, 1836, 1842, 1844, 1846-48, 1859, 1866, 1870, 1873, 1876, 1913, 1914-17, 1918-19.

    Cuba: 1814-25, 1822, 1823, 1824, 1825, 1898-99, 1906-09, 1912, 1917-33, 1933, 1956-58, 1961, 1962.

    Dominican Republic: 1798-1800, 1814-1825, 1903, 1904, 1914, 1916-24, 1961, 1964, 1965.

    Haiti: 1888, 1891, 1914, 1915-34, 1957.

    Puerto Rico: 1814-25, 1898-99.

    Jamaica, Antigua, Trinidad, Bermuda, St. Lucia, Bahamas: 1940

    Grenada: 1983.

    Guatemala: 1920, 1962

    Honduras: 1903, 1907, 1911, 1912, 1919, 1924, 1925.

    Nicaragua: 1853, 1854, 1857, 1894, 1896, 1898, 1899, 1910, 1912-25, 1926-33.

    Costa Rica: 1921

    Panama: 1856, 1865, 1885, 1903-14, 1918-20, 1921, 1925, 1959, 1964, 1989

    Colombia: 1860, 1868, 1873, 1895, 1901, 1902.

    Brazil: 1894

    Peru: 1835-36.

    Paraguay: 1859

    Chile: 1891

    Uruguay: 1855, 1858, 1868

    Argentina: 1831-32, 1833, 1852-53, 1890.

  3. greed will never let it work

  4. Anti-communist propaganda. So blatantly wrong from the historical point of view, that it borders the unwatchable.

    1. So Lenin did NOT have millions tortured, starved, beaten, raped and murdered? Stalin did not purge his land of detractors real or imagined by the most brutal and sadistic means available? You think Marx has clean hands? that madman spread the filthy diseased ideas of materialism and used darwinism to reduce the value of human life to that of a cow, pig or chicken. Just another animal in the jungle that must use conflict to advance. Academia run amok always leads people to a bad end. Communism in Russia was an abysmal failure and the only reason that chinses communism has not failed yet is because they have embraced enough capitalistic characteristics to stave-off economic ruin, so far... PRC is the ultimate hybrid government, having taken communism, fascism and capitalism and blended them together into a super-sad super-state. Mark my words, China will end badly.

    2. bro....i have lived under communism! is the worst ideology which you can use and transform however you want, just to fulfill the interests of the criminal cliques which pretend to be communists or marxists. in every country that cancer of human race was practiced different! marxism is the sum of the 'scientific' theories which never got laws but drive the humans to LUCIS and MONKEYS! COMMUNISM SHOULD BE PROHIBITED EVEN TO TALK ABOUT.

  5. communism is a disease. democracy is no better. it is more of the attempt to run the machinery of civilization by the mob

    1. @ksd Yes, we need rich plutocrats (USA), oligarchs (USA and Russia) and dictators (USSR) to control us, using state capitalism as their tool. Only the rich and powerful deserve good lives. The rest of us are the unwashed disgusting masses, or as you put it so well, the mob. Down with people, up with the rich!

  6. Looks like this doco has a low rating, because of the communists not liking the truth.
    Human nature dictates that communism will never work.
    Communism is based on force, and theft.

    1. Cheers Gus, I'II give this one a miss

    2. That's capitalism, white people are just so stupid they do not realize they are still landless serfs.

      “The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said "This is mine," and found people naïve enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.”

      ― Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality


  7. Summary: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  8. Let's get down to the brass tacks and remove Marx's and his successors labels and ideology and see what a "communist" state actual is or perhaps resembles: USSR and China were/are respectively empires. A central nation ruling other states/ethnicities over vast territories is an empire. No two ways about it! It can be argued they can be categorized as theocratic empires because the ruling state imposes a dogma over its "assimilated" lands. Questioning the sacrosanct message carries huge penalties. Smaller states (Cuba, Vietnam, etc.) are client kingdoms or vassals or what have you.

    A rose by any other name, ladies and gentlemen. I would argue that revolutionaries Lenin, Mao, and their inner circles used Marx's body of work (silly shit at best) to trick their respective motherlands peasant population into trading one type of despotism for another. It is undeniable that Tsar and Emperor were exchanged for Premier and Chairman respectively.

    Quite the ruse.

    1. Well said!

  9. In fact that, quite simply, is precisely what this country - not to mention many, many others! - should do right away.

  10. If greed were made a capital offence and evident displays of greed were legally punishable in a court of law, the result would make an infinitely better and far more equable society - which, as far as I can see, would make everyone's lives - except the demonstrably greedy, of course - so very much better. Indeed, downright civilised all round. How "COOL" is that...???

    1. far as you can see... That seems to be not far into the past I think. Who will enforce this oh-so-noble anti-greed law? who will watch the watchers. Any attempt to govern peoples motives or ambition will always end in failure. Have you any idea at all how many simple farmers and workers were slaughtered by communism's leadership? They took everything the people had including the seeds to replant then left them to starve. Lenin wrote letters about how successful he was sighting all of the dead bodies piling up. How F*****G cool is that?

  11. Which, of course, means that Capitalism is the root of all evil. Because it inevitably invites greed as the overall controlling element and therefore always LEADS to war...!

    1. Nom, Kindly point us to the society that is free of war, crime, poverty and abuse of authority. This is the human condition. Everyone wants more. Everyone is trying to fill a hole inside. Clever, ambitious and greedy men gather together and seize power over others in order to fulfill their vision of society. Always with themselves and their party at the top. There is only one fix for this problem yet mankind continues to reject it. They reject it because it is not self-serving. Jesus is the answer. The one true king of kings. A healer who teaches forgiveness and mercy. The world is lost and dying but he offers hope and salvation. The answer is found in the book of John, chapter 3 verses 3:16-17. you took the time to watch a video take 3 minutes to read the word and find out if it speaks to your heart.

  12. delia ruhe is absolutely right. And Capitalists are absolutely wrong. Why...?

    Because they are ALWAYS the ones on the lookout for ways to amass more and more money - solely for themselves...!

  13. After a while you get tired of blaming soviet communism on Marx. Marx definitely did not figure into his theory an attempt to outspend the US military. Indeed, nowhere in the Marxian model will you even find a standing army.

    It also pays to remember that Lenin was no Marxist. Marx didn't envision a vanguard that would do all the governing while the people would do all the labour -- a sure recipe for oppression of the masses.

    Some very useful Marxist principles can be woven into a steady-state capitalism, but the point-one-percent would never permit an economic system without the growth that leads to excesses of wealth for the rich and environmental destruction for the rest of us.

  14. Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov...Lenin was a pseudonym to help him escape capture and certain death, unfortunately, his pseudonym didn't help, c. 1896/97 he was arrested, imprisoned, and sent into exile to Siberia.

  15. Who was the director?

  16. The Russian people continue to respect Lenin and the Soviet state.

    Their judgement should count for something.

    And Christianity and Islam cost a lot of sacrifices, too.

  17. Deterioration of ancient mummies may be caused by climate change

  18. Communism: the monopoly of everything by the biggest and most powerful evil corporation of them all.

  19. five minutes on the legendary cuban revolution? nothing on yugoslavia? and not the most unbiased documentary I have ever seen...

  20. so you are saying that the biggest capitalist nation in the world has not killed one singel person in the name of liberty?Or that theres no such thing as capitalist nations with poor and starving people?
    wow....are you serious??

    P.S as far as know dictatorship and communism are two different things....

    1. That is ignorant. Point to one single communist state that is not run by dictation...
      You cannot, because it does not exist. Communism only works so long as the people are suppressed and tightly regulated by the party. That party dictates law with zero regard for the will of it's people.

  21. so you are saying that the biggest capitalist nation in the world has not killed one singel person in the name of liberty? or capitalist nations with starving people?? are seriuos??

    as far as know dictatorship and communism are two different things....

  22. It is horrific what these communist regimes did, the genocide and denial of basic civil liberties. You have to remember though that there are many communists who want total economic equality within a democratic system, who are totally disgusted by the USSR and who view that supposed form of "communism" as totally alien. All dictatorships and totalitarian states are in my mind fascist, whatever ideological claims they make themsleves.

    It is a mistake to view communism as monolithic and to say the ideology is responsible for these crimes and so communists of whatever stripe are somehow complicit. Supporters of capitalism are no more responsible for the many millions who have died under capitalist systems, during the pursuit of profit (largely under European Imperialism), than are communists for the Great Leap Forward. FYI not a communist.

    1. I hear you Frasier,
      I used to feel that way myself. But after educating myself on the roots of communism I must reject this premise outright. Here's why;
      Humans are NOT just another animal. We are special. Endowed by a creator with a soul. Want proof? here is the easiest proof to understand in my opinion.
      Have you ever seen an animal in the wild kill another animal? I have. Many times. They feel no shame or remorse. They kill to eat or to survive or to protect their territory. No court in any nation anywhere on the planet has charged a cat with murder for killing a bird. No lion was ever charged with assault for ripping-up a hyena. This is because we all know that they are simply behaving in the manner that they must. There is no reason, no moral compunction and no guilt. They are blameless. THEY ARE ANIMAL.
      Conversely, there is no state known to exist that allows people to kill one another for food or property. Everyone knows the difference between right and wrong. Marx used Darwin's work to classify mankind with the animals. No one goes to jail for killing an animal unless that animal is the property of another human or state. When human life is reduced to the same value as livestock it is much easier for evil regimes to slaughter them an-mass for political or economic reasons. So, yes Communism is monolithic and it is wicked from it's very conception.

  23. If only communism didn't have to own up to its track record and live by its results... but it does. A tough fact for the privileged adolescents who made all these worthless comments and whose power will never be more than theoretical.

    1. Bingo!

  24. I love the people who talk about Marx, but never read him. I love the people who talk about Communism, but cant define it correctly.I love the people who talk about communism as if it was a super welfare state. I love the people who talk about Lenin, as if Bolshevism wasn't a complete failure and a divergence from communist analysis. I love the people who talk about the Soviet Union, but cant give respectable critique that isn't a false regurgitation of what their parents told them. I love the people who talk about the success of capitalism, even though it has been the most destructive and murderous economic system that has ever existed.

    You will find all these people on this thread. Enjoy the facepalm.

    1. Wow, communism has murdered 100 million over the last 100 years, yet you somehow manage to define capitalism as "the most destructive and murderous economic system that has ever existed".
      Communists idealize dreams over reality, killing everyone in their way who doesn't share the dream.

      Stalin, Mau, Pol Pot, and others, murdered millions strictly in the name, and under the ideology of communism.

      Go educate yourself.

    2. How many has Capitalism killed? How many countries are poor, and have starving kids? How many of those countries had ties to imperialism? How many natives had to die before a profit was made?

    3. Communist nations have still killed well over any poverty related deaths in the majority of capitalist nations worldwide. The difference is capitalist nations did not directly, nor intentionally murder their poor. Communist dictatorships did. Mass murder campaigns were "required" to keep "Communism" going as a social system. Not "true" communism, you say? Perhaps not. But I'd argue that "true" communism has never existed, if Communist China, Russia, North Korea, Cuba, and Vietnam don't count. Each of those nations has become somewhat of a dictatorship by the way.... With poverty and lack of freedom, and marked by numerous human rights violations.

    4. Ah yes, of course... Right out of page 2 of the Communist Manifesto: "mass murder all the poor."
      Are you kidding me? What kind of far-right neoliberal think tank entertains that type of nonsense? Communism is FOR the poor and exploited... It does not "require" their mass murder in ANY capacity. Socialism sustained itself just fine before being violently undermined by western imperialist powers.
      By the way, the USSR had full employment, free healthcare, free housing, and free education. And functioned democratically through soviets. Each and every capitalist nation in the world is a dictatorship of the capitalist class that has poverty and lacks freedom. And don't even get me started on capitalism's human rights records.. When Lenin legalized homosexuality in Russia the U.S. ran homophobic propaganda against them. Weird irony huh....

    5. If you have ever read anything about Communism you wouldn't have described these people as "Communist".

      If a dog walks like a chicken, that does not make it less of a dog. It still has the body and face of a dog.

      Its quite a simple concept really, just because someone says "Hi, I'm a Communist" does not mean that this person is a real Marxist -.-

    6. It was in the name of communism that the Soviet Union was able to destroy millions of lives. It was a distortion of Karl Marxs original intentions, but Vladimir Lenin created a tyrannical dictatorship under the guise of "ending poverty" and creating equality. In the end, all the Soviet Union really achieved was creating a new class system where you were part of the dictatorship, or a slave.

      "True" Marxism has never existed if it was never reflected in Russia, China, or North Korea and Cuba. All nations in history that have laid claim to the title "communist" and ascribed to a form of Marxism have ended up dictatorships unwilling to relinquish their power to the people, and ultimately dragging people into further depth of poverty and injustice than just about all capitalistic nations in earths history combined. THAT, is something to consider. Maybe Marxism can work. But it has never happened before, or if it has it has always crumbled within a generation or two.

    7. I do not believe that you love ...
      I believe you hate...
      And THAT is the communist way...

  25. I loved the remark at the 2:20 time mark, "the fruits of their labor will be hospitals, housing, and schools." In America, the left has controlled education for years. Government dispensing money to schools, with socialist strings attached, and the Federal government has taken over student loans. Housing is also controlled by the federal government through regulations, the Federal Reserve, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae under the guise of providing "Affordible Housing" for the poor. Healthcare was nationalized through Obamacare and its just a time before all healthcare workers become De facto government employees .

    1. There is no left in America. There is a right, and a farther right. Social programs are not Socialism. Keynesianism is not socialism.

  26. this whole "in theory, communism is a good idea" is just WISHFUL THINKING.. good ideas WORK.. bad ideas FAIL.. communism is a FAILURE everywhere it has been tried.. any attempts to shift blame from communism to the failure of pathocrats is just like moving the goalpost.. oh.. if only this leader or that leader did exactly has how marx infinitum.. the problem is that communism's "champions" won't apply critical thinking to their own ideas.. they whisper these ideas like prayers hoping for a great outcome, and like the religionists that they hate, they can't let go.. they simply can't.. communism is a MACRO-SOCIAL EVIL and a MORAL EVIL.. it relegates people into objects/material producers, it doesn't generate intellectuals and idealists, just conformists and cynics.. every. damn. time. #ponerology

    1. So by your powers of deduction, capitalism works because it is good idea and is a moral good which elevates people above the position of material producers.

    2. Capitalism isn't perfect but its certainly better than communism, because HISTORY has already proven it.

    3. How so? Capitalism is already failing as an economic system. I would say China is super successful, but isn't real communism, a mix of sorts. So far that seems to be working great ( depending your definition of great).

    4. Yugoslavia did it best. They had human rights that America don't like the right to free healthcare and the right to a job within your ability that will pay enough to feed you and your family. The West didn't get it, and had to tear it apart.

    5. No such thing as free healthcare or free anything really. You pay for it somehow

  27. Capitalism could have been a great idea, but it isn' enterprise sounds awesome...if only it were free... the trickle down theory sounds great but it doesn't work .. Capitalism in today's world is about making the most amount of money without spending alot ...its about deregulation...its about outsourcing ...its about multi billion dollar corporations setting up shop in impoverished countries to make obscene amounts of money but not giving anything back to the community that its feeding off of.
    Its not style of government or economic system that is flawed its the corrupt people/rulers/presidents/CEO's running these practices that are flawed. It looked like Communism had a good start with Lenin, but he died before Communism had a chance to solidify and then Stalin took over this brand new form of government which was still being birthed and turned it into a weapon against the people, so blame Stalin not Communism. then we had the whole "Red Scare" witch hunts developed by our government to incite fear into the public and that fear still lingers today ...Democratic Socialism on the other hand has a good chance in the 21st century a system of government that focuses on social issues not profit.

    1. the double standard of commie-useful id*ots -- blame the pathocrat, not his ideology.. of course, they blame the "ideology" of capitalism, seldom capitalism's pathocrats.. that way, the commie-useful i*iot can maintain his dogma/protect his own fragile ego and even when faced with the incontrovertible fact that communism never worked anywhere it was tried

    2. I sense...some hostility in you comment not sure why just giving my opinion that still matters right ...sure its no longer socially acceptable behavior to discuss politics ... but hey Capitalism,... very aggressive Capitalism like we see today i mean were actually invading and occupying foreign countries for their natural resources...and we should all know is that the two party system we have is a sham its two parties with the same agenda money and power... not the welfare of the people its large multi billion dollar corporations profiting from not only our misery but the misery from other countries. but hey ...and your absolutely right communism has not worked anywhere except for the case of Scandinavia and numerous other countries such as France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Norway... i understand that people get scared or upset when they hear the word "communism" or "Socialism" they think of tanks and marching waving a red flag behind barbed wire.. no that right there is "Stalinist Communism" authoritarian i encourage you to read Lenin Anthology's , Marx or Marx/Engels and understand what its saying ...yeah its kinda dry reading but informative..Socialism or Social Democracy Lenin/Marx version is anti war...peace ..disarmament high social standards..equality, pro working technology...and i don't think the united states is not ready for this change because we have corrupt politicians who would destroy the concept.

      Why do we even need to call it communism or socialism why not just call it The People where they actually have a voice and are able to vote where the people are not trampled on by large banks or corporations..universal health care provided ..and so on.. lol sorry to go on a rant here im done.

    3. Free market capitalism no longer exist in America today. Our economy is best described as a form of statist crony capitalism.

    4. Precisely. We are ruined by government manipulation. The free markets are greatly manipulated governmental entrenchment in all sorts of business where they never belonged.

    5. Everything, all the negatives you describe are a result of social/communist ideas, not of plain free markets.
      Government is behind all the failures.

  28. Communism would work if there was no human greed, however there are things that wouldnt work. People have opinions, and have dreams, and will never give that up. You need to think about it more as a human being, no nationality or race. The countries will fall, but in todays "communist" societies there will be no fairness, because all humans have greed. Everyone should be able to experience love, religion, and not be forced into doing what some person that has never met them decides for them to do. Whats the point in life if you just do what has been laid out for you. Listen to Charley Chaplin's "Machine Men" speech. Id rather die on my feet than live on my knees.

    1. Greed isn't the problem with communism, at least, not with Marx. Marx didn't say very much at all about what his new society would look like, but here is one of the things he did say about it:

      "It recognizes no class differences, because everyone is only a worker like everyone else; but it tacitly recognizes unequal individual endowment, and thus productive capacity, as a natural privilege. It is, therefore, a right of inequality, in its content, like every right. Right, by its very nature, can consist only in the application of an equal standard"

      Marx recognized ambition and allowed for it in his vision of a communist society.

      The problem with communism was never a theoretical one. The problem with communism was that it was an attempt to plan out a history of the future, and history won't be dictated to. Societies evolve according to complex factors of the environment they operate in, not according to master plans or the wishes of their members. When we have attempted to implement ideologies, invariably we find that in order to implement them, they have to be modified so severely that they no longer resemble the theories on which they're based, but come to reflect the environment.

      The Americans revolted against taxes - and only a few short years later, Alexander Hamilton imposed the most expensive system of tarriffs and duties the nation had ever known, and Washington was forced to turn his guns against citizens rebelling against whiskey taxes (the Whiskey Rebellion). The French revolted against the tyranny of monarchs and nobles, and shortly after found themselves under the new tyranny of the Reign of Terror. Likewise, the communist revolution was kicked off when the sailors of Petrograd revolted, stormed the Winter Palace, and arrested the Czar. A few years later the Red Army killed them off because they were a threat to the new big man, Lenin. And now, after getting rid of communism, they have Putin.

      We can try to change things but history will follow its own logic despite our best-laid plans.

    2. That is not true in the least, quite the opposite is true. There is no predetermined path on which history will travel despite our best efforts to change it. It is our choice what happens in the future. The reasons that the USSR failed were because;
      1) From the moment it was created it was at a constant state of war. Its development despite this fact is quite amazing as states need time to stabilize and develop.
      2) Because of the external pressures heaped on the government of the USSR to compete for survival, Lenin expelled the Soviet (workers council) representatives from the parliament. This, in his eyes, was to maintain a united front in combating their aggressors. This decision was fatal for the USSR, as without an effective opposition the power of the state went unchallenged, as shown by the power wielded by Stalin.
      3) The USSR developed from a feudal society into a pre-capitalist society, not a communist society. As is the case in modern day Cuba, a new generation who are unfamiliar with the real implications of capitalism wish to have access to consumer goods. Many buy into the notion that life under capitalism will resemble that of rich westerners, therefore they become disillusioned with communism. Take a look at what its like to be a working class capitalist in Russia today, and argue it was worse under communism.
      4) Workers were not motivated to work hard as the profit motive was removed. Jobs were guaranteed. If you increased your productivity, you were simply expected to produce workers produced the minimum and not the maximum.

      All these problems are fixable. If you inspect the problems of capitalism you will notice that they are worse - yet no-one says that 'capitalism is a good idea in theory, but it doesn't work in practice'.

    3. False. Every communist country has failed. You can make up similar excuses for each. Null hypothesis.

    4. A powerful and insightful analysis. I bow to your superior knowledge. Please tell me more generic analysis, so i don't have to think for myself.

    5. if greed is allowed to work after abolition of state and all the boundries created by it (eg. absolute freedom of movement, developing to developed nations) it wont cause as much inequality, deprivation and intolerance( the kind of money spent in universalising tastes through advertisements)

    6. The word "greed" is a leftist propaganda word meant to invoke resentment for success and hatred for a system that promotes success. Its original meant to have or want more than one needs or deserves." So who decides how much is too much, and why don't you think that is a dangerous thing? I certainly don't want someone like YOU deciding how much I need or deserve; and, I'll bet you don't want someone like me deciding how much you need or deserve. How about Ted Kaczynski?

      BTW - Charley Chaplin was a communist, He once said ""Socialism won't fail in Russia, or anywhere else" at a time when Stalin was murdering millions of people. He claimed to be a "peace-monger" yet he advocated America's support for Russia's war with Hitler. Lets not forget Stalin supported Hitler's European conquest until Hitler turned on him. I would rather LIVE as a poor man in a free society than SUBSIST on government hand outs at the expense of my fellow citizens.

      "But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever." - John Adams

    7. Leftists only use the word "greed" to describe other's unwillingness to give away what they've earned.
      They of course don't consider their own desire to take it from them, as "greed".

  29. I have to say I was a bit disappointed because of several reasons:
    1. there are no statistics (at least estimates) of how many people died from the regimes, were sent to the work camps etc.
    2. the second part has practically nothing to do with communism - it´s about the international competition for who will get further in the field of mass destruction weapons, which is interesting, but doesn´t really talk about communism.
    3. there is practically no information on how the WWII evolved and ended (with occupation of many countries by the soviet union) - where the soviet union stood in the beginning and at the end of the war.
    4. some communist regimes have been kept out of the movie almost completely - there is only a 5 min material on Cuba (just about the guerilla wars, no insight at all in what happened in Cuba after Castro took control) and absolutely nothing about Africa and guerilla wars there.
    5. the last episode is dedicated to the fall of the Berlin wall and the collapse of the soviet union, but it mentions only a few countries that separated and doesn´t talk at all about regions like the Baltic states (which in the whole documentary aren´t mentioned even once) and the fight for freedom there as if they were non-existing.
    All in all it´s ok, but there´s a whole host of things and facts that are missing.

  30. if it does not include a MacDonnalds i am out!

  31. Silvia, you should get your head checked out, if you can find a good neurologist in your communist Serbia...

    1. .... well edjucated i see....must be an american..hahaha you guys are complete tards...

    2. tards that invented computers, internet, landed on the moon, etc etc stop using our inventions you hypocrite.

  32. Dear Julia Tyler Baizley: I'm very sorry to hear that. And unfortunately, there has always been, and there will always be poverty. And all the communism in the world never changed that. In fact, quite the opposite. I've never lived a grand life, but I've lived in both spectrums, and I can tell you, the only people people who get rich are the government, and their hand picked favorites that destroys competition..and guess what? You pay what they TELL you to pay. That's what happens when you nationalize an economy. I really wish people would start reading up on Lenin, Marx, Darwin and the like. Maybe throw in some Communist Manifesto, Stalin, Hitler, and Moa reading. See what communism brought starving peasants, and the aforementioned mens' reaction to it. It's chilling. I've seen firsthand what Soros did to Hungary introducing capitalism after the Soviets. If that's capitalism, then I'm Santa Claus. By the way, the poor in America are RICH compared to the poor in Europe. That is all for now. I do truly wish you a speedy recovery, and good health. Don't give up. It'll get better...but socialism, aka communism isn't the answer.

  33. So many success stories for you all to share. Communism, Fascism, and Socialism have killed millions. How smart you all are to put your faith in the hands of a few, mere mortals. YOU ARE SO STUPID. Live in Europe and see how you like it. I AM. And capitalism rocks. #Serbia

    1. i am sorry my friend but it doesnt. but i understand you. you are born in a part of the former Yogoslavia where like ussr and so many other countries socialism where overthrown and in many times shoed its worst to the people. but you will soon realize that capitalism is the hell for the working class...

    2. Serbia is a democracy in name only. It's just as communist as it ever was. So don't tell me about things you know nothing about. I can't even get brown sugar here, smartass. Capitalism is FREE market. Not INSULAR. So don't be sorry. A few elections were just stolen here too. So yes, fool, if you put your fate in the hands of the few, communism is hell for the working class. The only people who get ahead here are in GOVERNMENT.

    3. PS...I'm an AMERICAN in Serbia.

    4. Serbia is a democracy in name only. It's just as communist as it ever was. So don't tell me about things you know nothing about. I can't even get brown sugar here, smartass. Capitalism is FREE market. Not INSULAR. So don't be sorry. A few elections were just stolen here too. So yes, fool, if you put your fate in the hands of the few, communism is hell for the working class. The only people who get ahead here are in GOVERNMENT.

    5. Capitalism ain't roses either. Capitalism is leading the US in a pretty bad direction. Companies post record profits, the rich are richer than ever, and the middle class is progressively dying into poverty. There are basically two classes already: the rich and working poor. We believed in the dream and put in as much work as possible in this family. A house, a couple cars, a pool, it was grand. Now, we teeter on homelessness because of nothing we did ourselves. We already lost our home. We can barely afford rent. This is after a lifetime of working. Our backs were broken to benefit the fat cats and we're poor now.

    6. I couldnt agree more. Capitalism in the hands of those that currently control it is working really well for a few at the top but its squeezing eveyone else till their eyes pop in the name of efficiency or whatever. Its been going this way for a while but I've noticed it gather more and more momentum in the last 10 or 15 years.

      In a sense capitalism has failed because it increasingly serves a minority. Yes we have all done quite well from it but it's been in decline for while unless your at or near the top of the ladder, in which case it's been mostly very good. It can't go on in it's present form, it can only lead to disaster.

      Meanwhile, I'm opting out, getting off the treadmill, getting out of the rat race. I'm going to live simply. I'm going to give as little as possible of my hard earned wages to the money masters. I'm not buying into their myths and I'm not falling for their lies and manipulations. I need very little their wares and none of their junk. You can't beat 'em and it's unlikely you can join 'em but you can choose to distance yourself as far away as is possible given your circumstances.

    7. "How smart you all are to put your faith in the hands of a few, mere mortals..."

      That's not how it works, start reading books.

  34. In the entire history of mankind, a communist state has never existed and none do right now. The USSR wasn’t communist, China isn’t, North Korea isn’t. For most people this will be a shock – but it is entirely true. In reality, what most people think of as communism is actually socialism. 

    1. I find it interesting that you know exactly what communism is considering that Karl Marx himself never even said exactly what it is...

  35. The only reason communism doesn't work is because it is controlled by a central authority. Peer-peer communism has never been tried. Voluntary communism has never been tried. The problem is authority, not sharing resources.

    1. Obviously. Because, you know, people are smart and always vote for the thing the benefits everyone, and not just themselves.

    2. Indeed people are smart! A lot smarter than "people" give them credit for! The voting procedures wouldn't be covering a large scope, but rather local problems - say the decisions to be made in a worker-controlled factory. I understand why you're skeptical given that we live under hierarchical power relations in so many facets of society (home, work, church, school, etc.) that we inherit this selfish mentality and try to grasp for as much power because that equates in some sense to autonomy, although of an extremely limited sort. But I think that in a society free from authority, we would be much more altruistic and our decisions would be based no only on material uplifting for us and our family, but for others in our community, who would be considered an extension of our family! As Albert Einstein once said: "A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security."

    3. I completely agree with this. ^u^
      The problem is most certainly unjustified authority. Anarchism is the way to go! I am in no doubts that anarchism is the best, so now it remains: how do we live anarchically? I mean to say something more like: how do we replace the current complex of power relations with something more horizontal and free?

  36. Besides, if you don´t like the oppresive-mass-media-monopolistic system where you live you can always leave for a "less capitalist" country (there are a few yet). No steel wall would stop you. Could people leave their beautiful communist paradises so easily?

  37. Marx was on of the greatest critics of capitalism and probably one of the best thinkers in his time. However, he was just that, a thinker. His theories completely ignored what human nature is all about. It was not people who seized power in October 1917 Revolution, but an all-powerful oppressive and greedy bureaucracy. Did Marx really expect what would the practical developments of his theory turned out to be? Of course he couldn´t see them. He firmly expected that the state would eventually disappear, when it turned out to be just the opposite. It´s just the dangers of beautiful theories when put into practice.

    Of course, there are many t they things don´t want me to see in western newspapers, but at least I can freely talk or write about them even if I don´t know what they really are. Can they do the same in communist country or in any dictatorship?

  38. Communism is the biggest lie in history. A failured and inefficient system promises a paradise on earth to those who believed (some still do) that the only way to defeat capitalism is by means of left-wing dictatorships and personality worship. It´s hard to find substantial differences between them and fascist "Hitler styled" gobernments. Just have a look at the remains of communism nowadays: Cuba and North Corea. They have become monarchy systems supported by official propaganda and thorough brainwashing, while many of their people starve and demand freedom secretly. Of course many people in western countries starve, but at least I can learn it from newspapers.

    Alberto, Madrid, Spain

    1. "They have become monarchy systems supported by official propaganda and thorough brainwashing, while many of their people starve and demand freedom secretly. Of course many people in western countries starve, but at least I can learn it from newspapers"

      - Welcome to the West :D
      Sorry, but you could easily be defining the UK or US in that statement, and don't be so sure you'd be reading about things they don't want you to see in the newspapers^

      I agree, Communism's reality was a horrible failure, but the Marxist philosophy of Communism was no lie, it was only those who used its beauty to mask their own ugly agenda that now present it as a lie.

      Marx was genius, he just didn't like to admit that most human beings our current society produces are self-serving greedy filth... And Capitalism is just as bad, the controlling group just figured out how to trick people into thinking they were free with a more pervasive media and instant gratification by the bucket load.

    2. Communism Is a incredibly stupid idea, because it would just lead to stasis if it actually worked, and that's everything that humans rebel against.

    3. Research communism better, it has nothing to do with dictatorship as in soviet-style stalinist regimes.

  39. so what will be the next big experiment?

    1. thats exactly the point, there is no political left any more it is crying out for a new idea. which is pretty scary! lets hope it goes better than what is documented here

    2. Leftists idea's are still good idea's. In theory it would mean a much better world. In practice.. thats debatable among socialists and communists.

  40. communism is a very interesting idea that can only be gradually achieved. any great social change that still requires men or women to be in charge can only go one direction and that direction will always be dictatorship.
    with the growing energy crisis, food shortage and lack of equal health care coupled with the increasing freedom of information, intellectual property and soon physical property i can only assume that the answer to all our problems is the gradual devaluing of all materials.

    as soon as we live in a society that has abundant energy, food and health care then the need for money will slowly disappear and the result will be communism. machines are the best way to produce the things we need, we will very soon be able to produce all the food we need in labs and hydroponic systems, we will soon (although not nearly soon enough) be totally detached from our need for oil and therefore the crippling monetary and social constraints that go with it. slowly but surely, the better we get at this and the more efficient our technology then it will be only a matter of time before people realize that paying for something that accessible is ridiculous. it has already happened with music and film (intellectual property) thanks to the incredible accessibility given to us by the internet.

    this (i believe) is the only way to truly reach our human potential to learn, express, create and be free. not "free" to buy this product or that product but truly free.
    we've come an incredibly long way in the last 200 years even with (Lenin would have said because of) the tremendous set backs of mass genocide and inequality and in my opinion the uphill struggle that we started almost 200,000 years ago is leveling out in some pretty spectacular ways. i have great faith in what lies ahead.

    1. You're totally detached from reality. Your pervert communist dreams make no sense to a rationally thinking person. If you had some education, you wouldn't talk this way.

    2. i love the specifics! "don't like what you said!" great argument. don't rationally thinking people go into some sort of detail? i wouldn't know i suppose........

    3. I think that the main problem with this theory is that our needs are always changing and our desires are unpredictable. Communism breeds stagnation and an inability to adjust to future needs. We cannot rely on a government to cater to every need.

      No system of government is ideal but democracy is still the least worst option.

    4. Thats actually the whole point of Marxisms approach to communism. No real Marxist in their right mind would ever claim that communism is an immediate process, even when true socialism is finally established it will still require at the very least a full century before we start to see signs of real communism. At present we lack the capacity to live as communist, our species must evolve to this level. On another note this documentary is total garbage, and highly inaccurate.

    5. So I am definitely not a communist, but i feel it important to note that some people seem to be confusing governmental systems with economic systems. Capitalism and Communism are economic systems while Democracy and Dictatorships are governmental systems. Communism and Democracy are not mutually exclusive , just as Capitalism and Dictatorships are not mutually exclusive .

      Also, there are very few pure economies because it has been proven that pure economies of any kind suck and are doomed to fail. In fact, most economist would agree that the mixed economy system is superior. I feel like some of the people commenting don't know that America has a mixed economy. While we have wages and salaries, there are also things like Social Security and free public education which are socialist practices.

      SIDE BAR- My fellow Americans, please stop commenting unnecessarily rude and misinformed things under these posts. You're making us all look bad.

  41. I grew up under the communism and my country is still under its control. I don't know what was Karl Marx's theory about communism for I have never read his book. But in my country, communism means denial of personal identity. You cannot protect your private property and safety of you and your family. The government can take away anything from you. They can kill you at any moment for no reason and then they lie to other people so that everyone believe that you are guilty. Many of my countrymen immigrated to the western countries and they are still afraid to criticize the communist party in public with real name for the fear of secret police.

    1. what country are you in?
      you seem to have some level of freedom on the internet to be able to come here and watch this and say what you did. thats good.

      but remember, that is not a flaw in communism. it is a flaw of the people in power. if you had honest good people in power then communism would work.

    2. "honest good people", that is a fairy tale, I think. I believe you have done a lot of reading in communism and I believe that theory must appeared to be flawless. But it forgets to take human nature into account. Any social science theory which ignores the dark side of human nature is doomed to failure. By the way, I am a Chinese. But I am not living in China now. I am not sure whether this site is blocked by the GFW.

    3. China is no longer communist just oppressive so its better there now than 30 years ago when it was like north korea

    4. Same is true in a capitalist country. In the UK they are driving out travelers who own there own land, merely because they are the wrong class of people. Theres many examples of Stalinist like actions in western countrys, and its getting worse as time goes along.

    5. If what you say is true - then it is no longer a Captalist country - it is a Communist country.

    6. just because a nation claims to be communist doesn't make it so. For instance North Korea is in no way communist, in fact at present their are no communist nations, nor are their any real socialist nations. We need to become more aware of what is, and what isnt socialism, aka communism, in doing so we stand a much better chance at actually one day achieving it.

  42. 'KC you said “Communism is at its heart a flawed and inherently evil system.” I just want to point out that there has never been a communist system ever! Those that called themselves communist were in fact distorted versions of their ideological selves, plagued with totalitarianism and a state which does not exist under a true communist system. We have never seen true communism as it was intended by Marx.'

    This is ceertainly true. Although I do not support a comunist system, I do not believe that it has ever been achieved.

    'and filled with the ugly truth of this jewish ideology, which amounts to nothing more than Gentile pest control. Peter'

    Anti-semitism filth. I am an athiest and hate biggots like you. If there is a hell your type will rot in it.

    1. Correctamundo! Communism has never been implemented, always being taken over by totalitarianism, that itself a result of the fight to the death attitudes of capitalists who held global power and had several centuries of experience of doing so. Doubters only need look at the freedom loving democracies' reaction to modern terrorism - "We shall restrict all rights to protect your freedom". That is not to say all rights are actively curtailed in day to day life, but the provisions for doing so are now on our statutes meaning we don''t have the rights, just the privilege of not having the full weight of anti terror laws on our backs on universal daily basis. Communism also registered a big FAIL in the P.R. department. That is why people who know nothing of Communism,socialism or Marxism can spout contempt for its ideas without knowing any of its ideas just the image that has hung around it. It is the same thing that has happened to Liberalism, a very dirty accusation in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Now when Americans (generally in the press etc that is) speak of liberals, socialists and conservatives they are off the mark as far as the classic political definitions are concerned. This distance increases when elections come around, that's how Sarah Palin can be labelled a conservative candidate with a straight face.

    2. "Communism has never been implemented, always being taken over by totalitarianism..." - perfectly said!!

    3. Yeah however if we correctly research history, real history that is, then we will find that the actions taken by imperialists nations were often the main cause in many of the so called atrocities that are so often attributed to the period shortly after the Russian revolution, and the Maoist era. Both the Britts, and the Yanks enforced blockades preventing food shipments into and out of the Russia, and China, not to mention their continued support of counter revolution, etc. Much of the same has been practiced with Cuba, Castro on numerous occasions had said he would have held democratic elections so long as the US lift the blockade, and cease all involvement in Cuban affairs of course the US would never agree to this. The US has always been willing to accept any dictator no matter how corrupt and evil they might be so long as they oppose communism. Its just to bad that the common man doesn't realize just how fearful the bourgeois is of socialism actually succeeding, of the commoner actually having a say in their future. Its funny how easily history can be rewritten, how simple it is for a lie to take the place of the truth.

    4. Leon Trotsky: Marxism has always taught the workers that even their struggle for higher wages and shorter hours cannot be successful unless waged as an international struggle. [1928:71]... The working
      class is powerless against imperialism as long as its great organizations stand by their old opportunist tactics. The working class will be all-powerful against imperialism when it takes to the battlefield of Social Revolution. The methods of national-parliamentary opposition not only fail to produce practical results, but also cease to make an appeal to the laboring masses, because the workers find that, behind the backs of the parliamentarians, imperialism, by armed force, reduces the wages and the very lives of the workers to ever greater dependence on its successes in the world market. [1915:69]... [The] crisis of the proletarian leadership,
      having become the crisis in mankind’s culture, can be resolved only by the Fourth International. The strategic task of the next period –a pre-revolutionary period of agitation,propaganda and organization – consists in overcoming the contradiction between the maturity
      of the objective revolutionary conditions and the immaturity of the proletariat and its vanguard (the confusion and disappointment of the older generation; the inexperience of the younger generation). It is necessary to help the masses in the process of the daily struggle to find the bridge between present demands and the socialist program of the revolution. This bridge should include a system of transitional demands, stemming from today’s conditions and from
      today’s consciousness of wide layers of the working class and unalterably leading to one finalconclusion: the conquest of power by the proletariat. [1938:36]

    5. Out of all communists i find the revisionist bozos like your self the most anti intellectual. You can not define an ideology by its utopian goals but only by the hard facts of reality that implementation brings.

      I can assure you that the world doesnt need another bozo proclaiming: "Oh, you have all misunderstood Marx, but fear not cause THIS is what Marx really ment:...."

  43. Characteristics od Communist :

    1. He works less and expects more.
    2. He fights for rights but forgets resposibilities.
    3. He is never satisfied with any system.
    4. He is always envious towards employer, dreams to make him poor.
    5. He Speaks language of philosophy.
    6. He always hates Americans, Jews and Hindus.

    1. You forgot to add:


      He is part of an International Criminal Conspiracy.

    2. I don't hate anyone. Everybody should have the same opportunities and should be equal. Don't be judgemental man. Of course you'll work less when you don't feel inspired about how things are. Everybody have to compete and deliver in this society, i don't want to "win" against anyone, rather that we both are happy. But everything is about winning and loosing in this society and i choose to either not compete at all or to loose. Im from Sweden so im sorry about the spelling. Take care!

  44. Most of the people here know about Communism what they read or hear about it. I did not need to do any reading, for I lived through it in the first 20 some years of my life. The extreme poverty, the unlimited power of the security police to take away, torture and kill people at will (sometime for their own personal sadistic pleasure) and the constant fear from everyone. Even your best friend could have been black- mailed to report on you. To me that is what Communism IS, not the ideological fairy tail from Marx. The leaders of the communist countries are responsible for murdering more people during the 70 years than all the dead, fallen or killed, during WW2. Only Hitler came close to them, but fortunately for the world he was in power for much shorter time. Though what we have here today makes me agitated time to time, yet the choice is absolutely clear: no Communism for me again, ever!!!

    1. The thing is the stuff you are talking about can happen in capitalist countrys as well. Many third world countrys have a secret police that torture people. I agree Communism is shit. (I'm a anarchist btw.) Capitalism is just as bad IMHO.

  45. What's missing in this is that Marx, was the sone of a jewish rabbi, and was approached by a goup of front-men for the International Banking house of Rothschilds to create a systen that could be used to polarize the world. And, Brett, i read the Manifesto, and was one of the more rediculous books i ever read - may communism be abandoned forever, it has only ever brought pain to human beings. Read the "Black Book of Communism" , 18 yrs. of research, several think tanks of largely former communists, and filled with the ugly truth of this jewish ideology, which amounts to nothing more than Gentile pest control. Peter

  46. KC, I am a sociology major and I can tell you honestly that communism is not a "flawed and inherently evil system." The only way you could have come to that conclusion is by judging communism by the deeds of the nations that have identified themselves as such. If you ever get a chance to read the "Communist Manifesto" do so. It is very enlightening.

  47. KC you said "Communism is at its heart a flawed and inherently evil system." I just want to point out that there has never been a communist system ever! Those that called themselves communist were in fact distorted versions of their ideological selves, plagued with totalitarianism and a state which does not exist under a true communist system. We have never seen true communism as it was intended by Marx.

  48. @XenoLair

    I couldn't agree more. True Communism would infer commonality, a commonality amongst all men. A universal rule or motto that creates and strengthens a bond between us all. The only challenge then is to reinvent a system where any position of authority can not be corrupted, where there is no benefit to corruption. Call it communism call it what you will. A pipe dream maybe? But if the opportunity is to present itself where the people "the commons" can overcome counterrevolution, socialism, totalitarianism, is it not possible that we could create a technological based system that produces mass goods on a level that satisfies the basic needs of the entire civilization without the loss of human dignity, without the fear of exploitation from shadow influences? Only then can communism truly have a chance for reinvention, sustainability.

  49. A bit subjective but it was historically correct wasn't it?
    Though Mao did a lot of great for the country in the 50's but for the failures of the cultural revolution and the great leap forward, blame his dictatorship, not the economy system that is communism. Same with Stalin, the guy was a dictator with a communist economy system.
    Even the 14th Dalai Lama said: "The failure of the regime in the former Soviet Union was, for me, not the failure of Marxism but the failure of totalitarianism. For this reason I still think of myself as half-Marxist, half-Buddhist."

  50. i basically think we should have as much freedom as possible as individuals and capitalism seems to offer this. I think helping others should be a choice we make rather than forced by communsim (i.e. working for others). So capitalism with a conscience seems the best to me.

    However, I'd like to learn more about socialism, it seems like a bit of a mid way between capitalism and communism because capitilism can be too selfish and communism too selfless....

    1. Now thats just the kind of dumb s**t people who have been educated by Hollywood say. Capitalism = Freedom, Communism = repression. Read a little history and you will find many a socialist system that represented its populace brutally overthrown by capitalist forces. The terror was maintained as the new capitalist overlords were never going to be accepted as natural rulers. If you are going to learn about socialism please steer clear of american education. Obama is described as a liberal and a socialist by the same political commentators on American politics. Only in America can one be both. Indeed only in America can Obama be called a socialist. To the rest of the world he is just another President, just with better manners and awareness of how America can get caught up in itself.

  51. I felt like there was a strong american swing on the telling of these histories and although i'm no communist the presenters set out with bias towards it. It ought to have been more objective but they were very interesting documentaries, thanks.

  52. I'm not even half-way through this documentary, and already I see huge discrepancies in the death toll count from the atomic bombings in Japan.

    Guess this statement still holds true: "history is written by the victor"

    And I thought PBS was more objective than to stoop as low as making light of how many people really died from those bombs.

  53. I believe Marxism draws a false dichotomy between "working class" and "bourgeois". The real division is between those of good-will and those who are not of good-will.
    This good-will/bad-will dichotomy exists within, not just across, all social and economic divisions. As a Christian I would define good-will as seeking to do good to others in the capacity you are able to from a good heart.

  54. Predation is the basis of the world. Without predation, there would be no natural selection and therefore no life. Controlled predation is nice though. Predation with a conscience...:)

  55. @KC...
    A concise and relatively accurate summation of the history of the body politic. Out technological advances have far outstripped our ethics and compassion, making us far more efficient at repression and mass murder. In effect, we are predatory bands of animals that have evolved our brains primarily to develop tools that enhance our predation on weaker beings.

  56. Communism is at its heart a flawed and inherently evil system. So is capitalism, socialism, totalitarianism and any other 'ism' created by man because man is also a flawed and inherently evil animal. You will never have a political system that doesn't rob the poor for the benefit of the wealthy because THATS THE ENTIRE POINT OF POWER. True democracy is nice in theory, unless you're a member of the 49% who lost the vote. There is no political system that if not carefully controlled (by the people, through armed action when necessary) will not devour its constituency. Its a sad fact of the world. Powerful people hate and exploit 'non-powerful people.' That's what gives them power.

    However, a libertarian republic with a true free market economy(America prior to say....1913) is probably one of the few systems in the world where the lower class has an opportunity for upward mobility. They will be trampled and abused by rich people because that's what the rich and powerful do. They'll be made into slaves and they will die, but we all die and we're all slaves to someone. The world isn't a pretty place. Yes, the rich have far more power in this system, but you at least have the possibility of one day being able to join the upper crust and f--k the people below you like was done to you. In almost all other systems, the idea is to bring everyone down to the same level. In this system, you may at least be able to strive and through hard work and lots of luck, improve your place in society. At very least you may be able to worry less whether your government dictated that your life choices are illegal this week and they'll probably only commit major atrocities overseas.

    Short of a benevolent dictator (oxymoron...)this is the only way that people have an opportunity in the long run. And the only way you can wrest power from the oligarchs that run the world now is by taking the head the body will follow. Much like in 1917, change is gonna come. Hopefully, it'll be a different type of change and a little less bloody. A little....

  57. Conseco has a sense of humour.

  58. Have a look at Michael Parenti on Youtube to understand the system of economics an free market.

  59. I don't really care that much about politics these days really, there is no politics in britain now, It's all right winged and corrupt, end of the day I've gone into right and wrong, i've been on the side of right and wrong, but there is one thing I cannot do my friends and that is let another person suffer no matter what there past, I can't walk down the street past a begger without thinking what has happened in his life to make him lose everything. We live in a very uncaring and greedy society and the american philosophy is that survival of the fittest and strength of mind is gods justice for the pursuit of happyness, it's pathetic and I don't sympathise with anything the america reeps from country's they have pillaged and conquered. Let me ask you something, presuming you understand that for every man that has luxury there is another man suffering, imagine if you will that a family of slaves in the east who work there fingers to the bone so you can have cable tv, turn to alcohol for relief yeh, reasonable to assume under the circumstances, spiral into poverty because they have no means to live with the basic's of clean running water to drink and wash, a break from work, there only thing to look forward to in life is to re-produce and enjoy making babies, after all that is the only reason for existence and so it should because there is no greater feeling than becoming a parent, that poor down trodden family have a baby ok, are you telling me that baby deserves to suffer all it's life just because of circumstance and the luck of the draw. tough the american's say, and if it's not tough then it's fight your way out for the american dream. yeh yeh, thats ok for you lot of so called middle americans to say but you would, you have never had to suffer or fight, you have been born into wealth, and in order for that other people around the world or in your own country as had to suffer, simple. I understand there as to be a place for everyone, and some people are more intelligent than others, yes have managers and leaders but for god's sake look at the man on the street and give him is dignity back because if you don't you will never, ever make piece with your soul

  60. @Tim

    Wow, so your only idea other than our current monetary system is a bronze-age barter system? And you spent all those keystrokes on explaining why it wouldnt work nowadays? Internet arguing at its best.

    "..i think all of you are extremly smart but your just not asking the right questions think deeper dont be afraid to ask the really hard questions"

    I think he had a point here.

    Scenario: There would be a huge monetary reward (paradoxal yes, but meh) for someone who invented a modern trade system not based on money, aimed at making actual production and resources more valuable instead of having the means of measuring value having the value itself.

  61. and could i just add to the point of the guy who couldn't think deep enough for the barter system, its nothing to do with money and its nothing to do with trade, they are issues that only arise because most humans are inheritly greedy by nature, the problem is we have come too far for politics not to exist, yin or yan money has to be god, its how we share the wealth that is the issue in the modern world, lets not kid ourselves here and say that the only way to cleanse and purify propaganda is to wipe man kind out and start again and don't let greed rear its ugly head(apple), now the only people brave enough to try that have been the nazi's and the communists, its called ethnic cleansing, I think noah in ancient times. anyway my point is that the only way for man to live in harmony is for a few good men to take control and to enforce control for the good of the majority and some upper class, royalist, or slave driven fat cats, socialist revolution will always break free, the meek shall inherit the earth

  62. thought it was really good until the American presenter lied and said that communist's were atheist's and started to pull down church's. I don't know, they do exactly the same with there films, they have really good story line's and good actors and then start doing the old Rambo or Rocky kind of cr^p, sorry yet again America is inventing other peoples history yet again, they just can't except that the way they have gone as lead the world into the age of Armageddon.

  63. Brothers, sisters............

    All systems are extremely Negative.......we in the third world call it Politricks(playing with peoples lives).

    The best is the clan........which isn't a system, but rules of nurture respected within a specific territory, which mother earth has endowed by birth to a respective peoele.

    Remember not robbed.

  64. Right @johnphilippines, English only.

  65. P.S. the question marks that appear in my previous comment are Chinese characters. I think it can't be viewed in your site.

  66. @Vlatko, thanks for sharing this documentary. It augmented my knowledge about Communism. I'm in the Philippines now but I'll be going to China on the 30th. I'll visit your site even in "zhong gou". All the best! Maraming salamat! ??????!

  67. A good documentary series. I loved it. I also liked the lively discussion. Thanks a lot!

  68. Karen, you are absolutely right. There was evil long before there was money. Or maybe we're still not asking the "right" questions. I wonder what they are!

  69. MAO,
    is the book to read when talking about communism, how it works and why. Historically very good, have even the money transfers and communication between Stalin and MAO covered. Also have a solid calculation on the number of deaths caused in China alone. Ruffly 70 MILLION. Most of them starved to death, to pay for the nuclear technology by sending food to Russia. Second in the queue downstairs would be Stalin who succeded to kill somewhere between 20 and 40 million. Only number three is the third communist, who said quote "Stalin and MAO talk about communism, I am the only one who really introduced it". He succeded killing about 6 million mostly jews. Name Adolf Hitler.

  70. And for Charles that is why we were kicked out of the garden of eden.

  71. The barter system only works in small closed societies. That is the past and you can't go backwards in time. Populations are hugh now and production has been mechanicalized, and most people do not live off the land anymore. Even then there was status and a drive for power. People will always be greedy no matter what the ideology of the culture, and it is not a consequence of currency. Before there was money, there were theives. They can sell the communistic propaganda and rhetoric of utopia all they want but it does not change the fact that somebody has to be in charge and lots of people want to be sheep so the end result will be somebody getting taken advantage of, somebody being the tyrant, and sombody who refuses to contribute. That is human nature.

  72. fear and loathing:

    Interesting idea! There actually is already a name for what you are proposing. It's called a barter economy. I haven't heard anyone suggest using that since before the Bronze Age, but I assume this is what you're proposing. Without some form of currency, a barter economy is really the only option. But this brings up a few minor problems:

    One benefit of having representative currency is that it is of value to everyone. If someone is selling something that you want, you can buy it as long as you have the required currency. But in a barter economy, you must find someone who wants what you have and who has what you want. This was much easier in pre-industrial times, when there were fewer types of goods and services available. But these days, there are so many things you could barter with! Finding someone who is willing to trade you the new Depeche Mode album for your biology textbook will take some time. Fortunately, there are websites like Craigslist to help us out, but good luck getting someone's attention among the trillions of posts!

    Another problem: How would we pay people for their labor? Well, goods and services essentially work the same way. We'd have to use whatever is on hand. Your employer might pay you with a chair or a necklace or an old refrigerator, or he/she might fix your plumbing. Not interested? Well, you'll have to come to some kind of agreement beforehand. Maybe you can agree to work for one chicken a week. Well, you might not want one of those either. If your employer doesn't have anything you want, you might have to find employment elsewhere. This in turn leaves employers in quite a bind. They have to work extra hard to secure the goods that potential employees are willing to work for. They can have a thousand chickens, but that won't do them any good unless a whole lot of people want to work for chickens.

    The best solution to these problems is to simplify everything. And this will happen naturally anyway. Only the most essential goods, i.e. those that most people want to give and want to have, will remain valuable to the common person in a barter economy. Most industries will collapse because doing business will be almost impossible (Imagine going to the grocery store with a pillowcase full of your belongings and trying to haggle over what used to be $200 worth of food). We'll have to return to an agrarian lifestyle of course, seeing as it would now be the most reliable way to get the food you need. You can say goodbye to all the technological luxuries of modern society, but who needs those anyway? Of course they'll still be around for a while, at least until our computers die or the electricity stops flowing. But heck, who needs all those things anyway? Oh, and good luck living past 30. If the roving bands of marauders don't kill you, the lack of sanitation definitely will. But at least the root of all evil will be gone.

    P.S.: What is a "cretic"?

  73. capitalism, communism there all just different cretics in of same monotary economy we dont need another political philosophy or ism wat we need is simple in theory abolish any money based systems and think of different way to run the world thats wat we need MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL! so instead of thinking of new ism to solve all the worlds problems think of new ways for society to function with out money because theres not that many ideas and i think all of you are extremly smart but your just not asking the right questions think deeper dont be afraid to ask the really hard questions

  74. A very informative series. The propaganda stuff was hilarious.

  75. Yeah,This is the BLOODY Truth,it was very bad live with fake illusions.

  76. Any system, capitalist or communist, when it becomes too powerful, is harmful to the great majority of people out of power. Remember always, POWER CORRUPTS THE HUMAN SOUL. Unless the human heart is changed from the grass roots up, no political structure will change this.

    People must not give too much power to leaders.

  77. hey falcon
    capitalism just as deadly. has hijacked democracy. depends on a what a person chooses to look at. i have never studied a government or lived under one that i like. all governments corrupt. so, no politicians never my heros. :)

  78. jamie, communism is the worst genocide ideology ever, over 26 million just in China. I hope Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot isn't your heroes, but I agree that finance capitalism is a bad system.

  79. capitalism is destroying the world

  80. It's intersting, but not historically thorough. I don't like these kind of dokumentaries. I love the pictures, but not the comments. Unless you are American. Sorry to say.