Commies... Reds... Russians... Russia.
Call them what you will, they epitomise the picture we all have of communism, and its failed ideals.
The extreme, yet simplistically perfect failed state scenario of a superpower that stopped pretending over night.
The images that followed are those of Lenin and Stalin statues, shattered all over an almost forgotten world, leaving a stern reminder of a time when nearly a quarter of the inhabited planet was covered by a man made Iron Curtain... masking the true nature of absolute power.
Life, or rather choosing a way of life, was simpler back then. People either supported capitalism or communism. The bad guys were the ones not supporting your choice and America was the shining beacon of western civilisation.
Yet strangely, the world needed the balance that communism via the Cold War created.
The two most powerful nations on earth stood on opposite sides of opposing ideologies, creating an unthinkable, lost war, situation for the supporters on both sides.
Without boring you with the finer details of capitalism versus communism, as most people are surely aware, the crux of the sales pitch back then, was freedom against equality.
To those with the will and ability to flourish financially, only capitalism created an environment for the strong to be strong and allowed economic theory to evolve to fact.
Yet on the other hand, some believed, as they still do, that the concept of freedom is not confined to financial affairs. In fact, they believe that true freedom can only be achieved by alleviating mankind of its ultimate burden... in their minds, the tool to become more than others...to attain ultimate power... Money, or the pursuit thereof in anyway.
Some people believe that this all stems from mistrust in others, creating the need to be superiorly rich and powerful, in an effort to secure protection against the world and its unstable population.
Hence, the following formulation...
“Necessity is blind until it becomes conscious. Freedom is the consciousness of necessity.” - Karl Marx
Few words strike to the heart of truth as those spoken by arguably the most controversial idealist of the modern age... none other than the father of communism himself.
The downside to the quotation above is that it actually boils down to the ignorance is bliss situation, which in turn creates the need to withhold information, and feed propaganda jargon in its place.
The bottom line was that we are supposed to be free, peaceful and humane if the need to compete against one another economically was eradicated – hence communism, as long as everyone is kept stupid.
What his ideal failed to consider was the will of humans to move forward, and the fact that absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Any system thus governed by humans, will ultimately have the effect that governance is corrupted at the cost of the man in the street; the concept of Constitutional Rule, where an ideal rather than people govern a nation, is evident of this.
This made an autocratic, communistic government one of the most dangerous things on earth, as absolute power was appropriated to it.
Capitalism on the other hand, coupled with its normal association... democracy... creates the atmosphere for absolute freedom, short of living on an island on your own.
Perfect scenario then, wouldn’t you agree?
It was none other than Clem Sunter, former Anglo-boss turned notorious column writer, who coined the term ...the poor young billions... and in contrast the ...rich old millions..., in an open letter to the then U.S president, George W Bush.
Even more notable is the fact that the letter was written before the 9/11 attacks, granting substantial legitimacy to the issue raised therein, after the fall of the twin towers.
Regardless of your opinion of the United States, it is a classic example of a victim of its own success.
The U.S is a living ideology that made itself known to the developing world, awaking the hunger to achieve with the poor young billions.
Consider the idea that everyone in the world is rich...
That means that no one is rich, because the essence of the concept is based on relativity to other people. The ultimate goal of capitalism is to enrich those with the capacity to become rich... and obviously those already rich. However, this always pre-supposes a fair amount of poor, to keep the rich... rich.
The prolonging of the situation also makes it harder to become rich, creating the eventuality that the pool of poor will grow exponentially as opposed to the rich.
The earth’s population size may already have reached a point where the vast majority will always be impoverished, creating the aversion towards the rich of the world, and the system they promote; Capitalism.
It is the poorest people on earth, who will grasp at equality in the form of communism, rather than a system which, in their minds, works to the advantage of a smaller number of people.
I suppose the point is that capitalism, as an ideology, will always have to defend itself against the world, because it represents freedom at the cost of others.
In essence, because it creates absolute freedom towards strong and weak alike, the natural balance of all things dictates that the rich will always dominate the poor, as those with the ability to become rich will trample the majority who do not possess the ability to do so.
So what’s the point of the argument then?
Quite simply that no ideological system should be allowed to exist in absolution, free to dictate to the world how its subjects should live, or accept to live in anyway.
The problem with both systems was that both believed their existence to be at the cost of the other, creating a nemesis that balanced the earth, human perception and necessary evil.
Human nature dictates that conflict is necessary from time to time, and that ultimate peace is notoriously unattainable.
The conflict between communism and capitalism regressed to the rights of the individual as opposed to the perception of the greater good, spurring China on to attempt a middle path by granting democracy to its people, whilst still pursuing the communist ideal.
However, this is anything but democracy as political freedom is held hostage by economic ideology.
Allow me to explain...
Every Chinese citizen needs to realise that the fall of the communist party, defeated in an election, would change the system of government to such an extent that its own economy would collapse, as it fundamentally is communistic.
This means that the country will always have to be governed by one party, the Communist party, rendering free political choice absolutely useless.
This means that each election is nothing more than a formality, undermining the reason for the existence of democracy... freedom.
If there is one thing the Chinese have in common with Russia, it is the eventuality of its economic demise, creating a massive recession, quite possibly a full depression within the next two to three decades.
Unfortunately, by the time this happens, the size of the Chinese economy would be its greatest liability, as it would simply be too big to successfully be revived.
Naturally, the world economy would be influenced, but should recover far quicker than China, rendering the swift uprising the Eastern Giant currently experiences to a cash swallowing abyss... way too expensive to touch by anyone else.
Fundamentals will always be fundamentals for a reason. You can’t change them or call them something they are not. A free market economy can never be maintained on communist fundamentals... with the illusion of democracy.
So, how necessary is communism then?
Well, about as much as kryptonite is to Superman, black to white... yin to yang.
The two ideologies are destined to do battle with one another as long as humans roam the earth, the one keeping the other in check.
Capitalism will always benefit the strong and communism the weak and the bottom line will always be nothing more than the constant struggle between ultimate freedom, and the equality of the masses.
Both are equally destructive in its purest form, so take your pick... in the end it still boils down to a fine balance... a necessity both ways and quite possibly the only two evils we can never do without.