The problem with communism is that it imposes standards on human beings that are not biologically backed up. For instance, equality, the basic foundation of communism, is actually just an outcome of human thought and conscience. Human beings are not biologically/naturally geared towards equality. Man\’s desire to excel above his peers betrays his need to be unequal. So, to achieve this inequality, you can either pull yourself up or push others down or do both simultaneously. It doesn\’t help that homogeneity is against nature\’s design.
As opposed to capitalism, which is purely an economic system, communism is an econo-political system. It propounds a way of society, while capitalism just expounds a system for circulating money and value. Capitalism has as its ally, democracy, which is actually the political system that lets capitalism proliferate in the most prudent fashion. Still, because of the overarching nature of communism, the communistic thought has been popular with thinkers and liberal intellectuals over the years.
If humanism is the doing of communism, then human nature has been the undoing of it. When a nation-state is established and governance begins, greed easily overshadows conscience, and misplaced concerns and myopic judgement supplant the basic ethos of communism.
Have you ever wondered how capitalistic consumerism appeals to most of the masses? People may complain about economic inequality, but will sooner indulge in conspicuous/inconspicuous consumerism when they lay their hands on money, than share it with their fellow citizens. \”Have money, will shop!\”
It all boils down to choice. The history of the evolution of the human species is one of overcoming limitations and inventing options; of struggling to find an alternative to what we\’ve been handed down. It is a history of not being satisfied, itching for improvement, finding an easier, better way, working hard to become lazy and taking the long way to find a short cut. Human beings are naturally attuned to bettering their lot, of wanting to have an option, of wanting to express themselves creatively. This is where communism fails. It simply stifles people. The collective smothers the individual. And that just wont do in the long run.
Democracy, on the other hand, lets the collective and the individual coexist in a kind of an uneasy state of truce. It is aided by capitalism in this effort. While democracy maintains the collective decorum, capitalism lets the individual have choices, options and creative outlets. It is only when capitalism starts playing dirty that the truce falters. Therefore, sometimes democracy has to reprimand capitalism and restore the truce.
It is true that given all circumstances, capitalism can succeed only as long as it does not breach the limits of human sensibilities. Greed, among humans, will be tolerated only so much. People may eat meat, but they still love their pets and appreciate wildlife. Excess of anything is bad. But maintaining that state of equilibrium between greed and conscience is a very delicate affair and an extremely difficult one. As of now, democracy is our best bet. But what\’s next?