The short and simple reason for the failure of communism is that it is not in line with the fundamental human nature.
I have not read what Marx, Mao or Lenin said but I believe that I understand the true philosophy of communism. It would have been great if this social system was implementable in its true sense. But it is grossly impossible because this is not how human beings behave.
So, what is there in human nature that prevents success of communism?
It is greed.
Greed is inseparable part of human nature. Humans are the most intelligent organisms on planet Earth. This intelligence pushes us to act “smart” and the most vivid manifestation of being smart is being resourceful. This is the point where greed comes into the picture. More the resources, more the power. More the power, more the control. More the control, more the respect (sometimes imaginary to). Respect and the the feeling of being above others is the prime craving of humans.
I have studied social sciences in school only. Partly because of the quality of education (or the lack of it) in my schools —I could never understand the term Saamyavaad (Hindi for Communism). After leaving school, I became the student of science and never bothered myself with the social “isms”. But interest in reading books on a variety of subjects kept bringing me back to social sciences. On one fine day, in a forgotten book, I read a few paragraphs about what communism is. And within minutes I knew what it really is. As per my experiences, I guess I know it better than those who claim to be literate in the philosophies of big communist leaders.
Now, what is communism? I have never read it’s formal definition but what I have understood is that it is a social system which aims to create a society in which all people are equal. Resources are equally distributed irrespective of who earns what. Work and rewards are uniformly distributed among the members of the society. It is a classless society.
Such a beautiful system! … isn’t it? I only wish if it could work.
After fall of the Soviet Union, China is now the flag bearer of communism. But no matter what China says —it is, in truth, a military dictatorship in the guise of “people’s government”. Communist governments have always been run by dictators (or dictators claiming to be the revolutionaries). I am not claiming historical correctness of this statement —so please correct me if I am wrong. Despite of the fact that I am not sure of the accuracy of this statement I am pretty convinced that it would be correct! And the basis of my confidence again lies in just one word and i.e. Greed.
Greed and communism are anti-each-other. Communism can not wipe out greed but greed has the potential of deteriorating and eventually destroying the ideals of communism. On the other hand, guns and communism are always found together —first in the name of revolution, then in the name of social control… and eventually guns are used for oppression. A large human society can not survive sans hierarchy. Some sort of system is necessary to keep order and to ensure peaceful life in the society. While hierarchy is essential for the generation of such a system; hierarchy also ensures that some people in the society are more powerful than the others; which means inequality among people. With this the very basic ideals of communism disappear. What remains is an oppressive system. One may give this system a name whatever she likes —but let’s not call it communism.
Communism is a very humane and beautiful system but unfortunately it is only theoretical. It can not exist at larger levels of human society. Those who run communist governments they actually use the ideology behind this term to hide their vested interests.
For the success of true communism, trust and friendship are essential prerequisites. These things can exist but only if the number of people involved is not too high. Kibbutz in Israel are examples of successful implementation of communist ideas. But Kibbutz are just small villages. One can not think of having similar system in a larger social unit, like a country.
And this is why communism fails.
(I am an apolitical person and therefore I am neither for nor am I against the philosophy of communism. This write-up is more related with human psychology than with politics)