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Top 5 Facts About Communism

VO: Chris Masson
Script written by Shane Fraser It's often talked about but rarely understood. Welcome to WatchMojo's Top 5 Facts. In this instalment, we're counting down our picks for the top 5 most revealing facts about Communism. This probably won't be anything new to serious students of history, but for the average person, these facts will ought to shine a new light on the so-called Red Devil. Special thanks to our users Daniel Fong and jkellis for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Written by Shane Fraser

Top 5 Communism Facts

It’s often talked about but rarely understood. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts. In this instalment, we’re counting down our picks for the top 5 most revealing facts about Communism. This probably won’t be anything new to serious students of history, but for the average person, these facts will ought to shine a new light on the so-called Red Devil.

#5: Its Main Principles Were Established by Karl Marx

Nineteenth century philosopher Karl Marx founded Marxism; a socio-economic system in which class and state are abolished. Its tenets were outlined in “The Communist Manifesto,” a pamphlet co-written by Marx and Friedrich Engels, and detailing the steps a nation would have to take in order to become self-sustaining. In the 160-plus years since its publication, Marxism has given way to Communism and Socialism, which are the main political implementations of the Marxist philosophy. Because they are governing systems, the original ideas of Marxism have been tweaked to fit their respective agendas, which is counter-intuitive since true Marxism is the absence of government. Due to this mistreatment of ideals, Communism has mutated into a brutal dictatorship, while Socialism is considered Communism’s easy-going cousin; still considered troublesome by many but with more safeguards and individual rights.

#4: The Cold War Was a Result of Capitalism and Communism Clashing

The U.S. and the USSR were allies in WWII. They worked together to take down Hitler, end the holocaust, and bring temporary peace to Earth. Because Germany, Italy, and Japan were defeated, and the majority of Eurasia was in ruins, America and the Soviet Union became the world’s superpowers, responsible for cleaning up the residual mess and restoring order to the displaced countries. They shared custody of the remaining war-torn nations, but, because of their governments’ conflicting ideologies, locked horns on how they were to be run. Before you knew it, walls were being built, deals were being broken, and countries were being invaded. By the late 40s, the two were sworn enemies, and the promise of mutually assured destruction resulted in nearly 50 years of tension. But now, they’re totally besties; Americans love Valdimir Putin.

#3: The “Red Scare” Turned Artists into Enemies

Communism is anti-Capitalist. The sort of consumeristic bliss that America started vibing on after World War II was completely incompatible with the weird, egalitarian austerity that Soviet Russia was rocking. And so, Communism was vilified in American political discourse. Enter Senator Joe McCarthy, who in the 40s and 50s, manned a witch-hunt to find and punish American citizens who were considered pro-Communist; that came to mean anyone who was anti-war, anti-segregation, Liberal-leaning, or ideologically different in any way. Of course, who better to influence Americans negatively than artists, and McCarthy’s House Un-American Activities Commitee took a special interest in them. A few were jailed, but many more were blacklisted from working in the entertainment industry. These included Hollywood legends like Lloyd Bridges, Orson Welles, and Charlie Chaplin.

#2: It Is Idyllic in Theory but Pretty Rough in Practice

The purest form of Communism is without government and money. It is a utopia where everybody works for each other, everybody feeds each other, and everyone is self-governed. A person does not have to worry about inequality, poverty, or hunger, as his fellow man will help him, and in turn, he will help his fellow man, for the greater good of everyone. However, no country has ever succeeded in pulling this off, possibly because humans are inherently selfish and greedy. Instead, the world has had tyrannical regimes under the guise of Communism. Regimes where, despite whatever positive things may have come of them, hundreds of millions of civilians starved, were worked to death in labour camps, and were systematically executed in great purges carried out, ironically, for the greater good.

#1: Communism Helped and Hurt the Civil Rights Movement in America

In theory, Communism believes in racial equality. As such, the Communist Party was significant in defending and promoting civil rights for African Americans, lobbying for desegregation, unionized workers, and voting rights. Many African-Americans joined the party and supported the only organization that would include them. In the 1940s, one black communist, Benjamin J. Davis Jr., was elected to New York City Council, before being ousted and jailed for being a communist. The association with Communism eventually hurt the civil rights movement though; there was a time during the Cold War when anyone who spoke of equality—whether Communist-affiliated or not—was deemed Anti-American. Some historians speculate that if the Cold War never happened, and equality wasn’t considered such an abhorrent word, civil rights would have been granted a lot earlier.

So, do you view Communism the same way as before? For more glorious, revolutionary Top 10s and blacklisted Top 5s, be sure to subscribe to

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