I'm new here, so be patient

I'm new here, so be patient.

How can you defend an ideology (communism) that has proven time and time again to lead to totalitarian democide? From Mao to Stalin; from Pol Pot to Sankara, time and time again communism seems to end in death and despair.

Why is this? I like the ideas of Marx, and I do see worker exploitation as wrong, and I sympathise with the need to do something

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user, I…

First of all communism is not an ideology. Its a real movement to abolish the present state fo things and number 2 while the soviet union and china failed to create socialism they also managed to bring food security to one of the most food insecure regions in history, raise living standards by a lot and turn backwards peasant nations into industrial super powers.

Brah, he did nothing wrong.

Fine, maybe I'v heard incorrectly about Sankara, but what of Mao and Stalin? Approximately 80 million deaths between them.

"Communism" is a type of society and the end goal: classless, stateless, moneyless, fully democratic etc. If someone calls themselves a "communist" now it usually means they support Leninism and state socialism as a means to the end of communism. But there are shit loads of other approaches and ideologies that people subscribe to.

You don't have to be a Marx-Leninist to be a communist, look into other perspectives on Marx

Is more of a political system. Ideology is some variation of Marxism, that is shared between different tactical approaches to politics and government.

Every ideology has some failed applications. It isn't an argument for or against it.

Not to mention that both Mao's and Stalin's case is hugely falsified cold war propaganda. If it ended in death and despair, why are they hugely popular in Russia and China, despite Russia not even being communist anymore? Do you assume you know better than the people who witnessed history firsthand?

1) ML states aren't the end all be all of socialism are even Marxism
2) That being said these states where/are built under extremely difficult circumstances
3) These nations had their successes as well, and it very unlikely that this would have happened in others ways. Do you really think Russia would be better of under the Tsar or China under the Kuomintang?
4)The failures of these countries are exaggerated to almost comical degrees and are counted in dishonest ways.
5)The prosperity of capitalism is greatly exaggerated, and its atrocities are downplayed, ignored, and most important treated as not capitalist.
6)Even if 60, 80, 100 or whatever number the anti communist arbitrarily chooses it doesn't refute political economy. Capitalism is still unstable, tends towards imperialism, and exploits the worker. This is a recipe for conflict and sooner or later people in some part of the world will revolt.

How do you know? Where's the evidence?

To paraphrase a guy who lived in a Marxist-Leninist state:
"To say that Mao and Stalin killed a lot of people an thus are bad is correct, but useless. To assign their deaths to the ideology of communism is quite frankly self-destructive. You see it is not the fact that they killed people or under what flag they did it, but HOW they were able to do so: what power structures existed that allowed for the democides to occur. Because you see, the crimes of Mao and Stalin can occur in any political-economic paradigm, and saying they only occur communism allows for their occurrence under any system. Critique the system, not the ideology."
t. Zizek.

I don't. I'm a Social Democrat. We're the best and have the easiest time selling our ideology to normies, at least in the U.s.

Communism is not a political system or an ideology. Its a real movement to abolish the present state of things.

Because every single one of those countries were inspired the Stalinist model or were pressured to by the Soviet Union to mimic it.

Recent investigations into Stalin's rule by a bloke called Timothy Snyder (a curator of a holocaust history org and generally well-respected historian) puts Stalin's death figure at around 6-9 million, which is extremely high except when you consider the "20, 30m" figures that are thrown around and the saying "Stalin was worse than Hitler". A lot of the crimes of Marxist-Leninist regimes have been hyped up to fit an agenda, remember that the west had a VERY favourable view of the USSR during WWII so ignored or denied this: to the extent that Orwell could not get animal farm published. Trust what academic sources say, not the ramblings of resentful former residents. Remember that Richard Conquest himself says there is no actual proof of holodomor being any more a deliberate genocide than the irish potato famine, yet Ukraine as a nation demands its allies to recognise it as one.

I do not know. Calling someone a victim of government or regime or even the whole ideology isn't a factual statement: it is an opinion. You may call every person that died for any reason in the Soviet Union a victim of communism (which is actually kind of close if you put it at 100 million, which some propagandists do), You may call every person that died in the Soviet Union a natural causality or righteously punished.

We need some comparative and objective scale to assess it. Economic data, such as life expectancy and population, as well as approval of Communism and Stalin by the former Soviet citizens clearly demonstrates that Soviet regime resulted in tremendous benefit for the people.

People use communism for many different reasons. The most common of it is a synonym of Marxism-Leninism (after all, Lenin himself figured out to name his party communists), which is definitely a political system and a corresponding ideology.

It's about taking the critique of exploitation, of the state and of existing society in general to its ultimate conclusions imo. people who fetishise the USSR or any past 'revolution' for that matter are missing the point as much as liberals who insist the present state of things is always good and fine and any attempt to change anything can only lead to muh 10,000 quintillion. The catastrophe is already here, the current state of things is itself a catastrophe, it's up to us to find a way to deal with it.

Not really anybody believes the policies of the USSR were a gold-standard that we should follow. Even the most insane ☭TANKIE☭s recognize that Stalin and Mao made a lot of bad decisions, they just argue that these decisions were inevitable because of desperate geopolitical conditions or try to downplay the harm wrought by their failed policies.

Anyway, being a Marxist or a communist does not really mean supporting any particular political program. Marxists argue so much because Karl Marx did not write very much on how communism should come about. In fact, he deliberately avoided these questions. What non-socialists don't understand, and even many Marxists have trouble comprehending, is that communism is not a set of policies. It's not really something that can be built by top-down government action, despite the best intentions of 20th century projects to do exactly this.

Communism is instead a process, it is what exists after the abolition of private property and monetary exchange. It's what Karl Marx called "the real movement which abolishes the present state of things." 20th century socialist programs, which sought to construct a communism from above, really didn't abolish the conditions of capitalism at all. These governments seized property, but they never ceded economic ownership to the entire working class. Capital was never abolished and its relations not seriously transformed. Instead, the Soviet and Chinese state apparatus took the role of capitalist owner and employer and managed a capitalist economy through the bureaucracy.

please read Marx

I don't think that Marx can clarify the usage of a word in modern English.

How was Sankara totalitarian?

how was Pol Pot communist?

This, Pol Pot was agrarian Ethno-Primitivist

you've been misinformed

History doesn't "prove" anything.
You can sometimes isolate variables in hard sciences, but not in history.
Also, this.