Category talk:Communism

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Christian communism predates secular communism[edit]

I added Christian communism because of articles linking to this category which had previously only addressed secular communism. A previous editor removed the introduction to Christian communism which then rendered the page devoid of meaning since Christian communism predates the version inspired by Karl Marx and those who came after him. While some may have a religious POV that cannot understand the interpretation of Christian communism, that is only a POV, one interpretation. The purpose of this encyclopedia is to document all articles that belong on Wikipedia and part of that documentation requires placing articles in various categories. Clearly the subject of communism covers all forms of communism whether religious or secular and the religious interpretation came long before the secular version. It could easily be argued by others that no reference to Soviet communism should be included since the USSR had deviated from the original intent of Karl Marx and therefore since communism did not really exist in the USSR, no articles about the USSR should be linked here. Removing or deleting a valid explanation is merely pushing a POV which is not in the spirit of Wikipedia. I am not stating that the wording that I have written is the perfect explanation, but it is far better than no explanation. I welcome discussion (if necessary) on this subject, but please let us not engage in a form of censorship by attemped deletion. Thank you. MPLX/MH 23:28, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Class Warefare Redirect to Class Conflict Falls under the Communism Project??[edit]

Since when does Class Warefare fall exclusively under the domain of Communism?? It happened in Rwanda, it happened in Aristocratic France and it's happening in Plutocratic USA now. Brandishing the graphic of the Soviet hammer and cycle with a red star is the fastest way to communicate that this is an exclusively Communist idealistic struggle. Which it's not. The Upper class (Rich) are just as responsible for Class Warfare (redirect: Class Conflict) as the Proletariat. From the Proletariat to the Rich, it's the struggle against financial repression shared by billions around the world. That is not the definition or exclusive domain of Communism. I've added the article to the group on "Capitalism" so as to balance out the article until further agreements can be come upon.--XB70Valyrie (talk) 21:37, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

Categorization of Communism, Totalitarianism, Authoritarianism[edit]

Snow close -No to all. Clear agreement that while many 20th century regimes have been authoritarian or totalitarian, communism itself is not intrinsically either of these and has forms which are not. General academic opinion would also be that it is not inherently either, despite individual political writers and commentators having claimed it to be one or the other. Non-admin close Pincrete (talk) 12:23, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


There are three questions:

  1. Should Category:Communism be a subcategory of Category:Totalitarianism or Category:Authoritarianism?
  2. Should the article Totalitarianism be categorized in Category:Communism?
  3. Should the article Authoritarianism be categorized in Category:Communism?

RFC posted 03:03, 17 October 2020 (UTC)

  • No to all (RFC initiator). #1: No per WP:SUBCAT. Communism does not have an "is-a" relationship with Totalitarianism or Authoritarianism... not all communists are totalitarian or authoritarian. Neither logic nor WP:SUBCAT provide a reason why Cat:Communism should be a subcat of either Cat:Totalitarianism or Cat:Authoritarianism. #2 and #3: No per WP:DIFFUSE. Category:Communism is a diffusing category and has the {{diffuse}} notice. Both articles Totalitarianism and Authoritarianism are categorized under one or more sub-categories of Category:Communism (e.g. Category:Stalinism or Category:Marxism–Leninism), and thus they should not also be categorized in the parent category Category:Communism. Additionally, no per WP:DEFINING. Neither totalitarianism nor authoritarianism are defining characteristics of communism (not all communists are totalitarian/authoritarian). Notices posted to the article talk pages and Wikiprojects. Lev!vich 03:03, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
  • (Summoned by bot) Point 1: yes (both); points 2-3: no. All historical communist regimes that survived their first couple of weeks in power have introduced totalitarian and authoritarian governments. Borsoka (talk) 04:40, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
  • No to all per Levivich's reasons. Communism is not a kind of authoritarianism or totalitarianism, nor are either of the latter a kind of communism. There may be overlap, but none are subsets of the others. --Pfhorrest (talk) 04:57, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
  • No per Levivich 78.108.180.118 (talk) 06:15, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
  • No to all per Levivich's reasons.--Jack Upland (talk) 06:16, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Yes for Category:Communism to remain subcategory of Category:Totalitarianism, in this case the question of "Should Category:Communism be a subcategory of Category:Authoritarianism" is irrelevant since the Category:Totalitarianism is already the subcategory of Category:Authoritarianism. Yes for also 2-3. However @Levivich: forgot to the mention that Category:Marxism–Leninism is NOT the subcategory of Category:Communism - which he falsely implied here and in the recent edits by the Totalitarianism and Authoritarianism articles, despite this was noted in the article's talk pages already, as well question 2-3 is already being under discussion there as well (in one another RFC already open). Besides it was pointed out also there that we should not confuse categorization of articles and the (sub)categorization of categories, the nominators question regarding 2-3 here is redundant and those has to be addressed there, since those discussions cannot be ignored.(KIENGIR (talk) 14:05, 17 October 2020 (UTC))
  • Comment: Totalitarianism is a regime where an individual or group of individuals have absolute power. Authoritarianism on the other hand, is a regime where the people in power are in power through an illegitimate authority, that doesn't respect the norms of liberty and democracy. A Totalitarian regime, is by definition, also authoritarian. Totalitarianism is an extreme version of authoritarianism. Dictatorships and absolute monarchies are authoritarian but not necessarly totalitarian. In recent history, communism, fascism and nazism were all totalitarian regimes. So, in theory: I would suggest: Totalitarianism as an extreme version of Authoritarianism. And Communism as an example of a totalitarian regime. In practice, I don't perfectly understand how categories work on Wikipedia, so I will let other users decide. LordRogalDorn (talk) 13:19, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment What is "communism" in this context? Is it the desire (already given expression by numerous figures long before Marx was born) for the abolition of private property and for the production and distribution of products based on need? There are certainly many who would argue that attempting to "realize" such a system can only end in tyranny (e.g. Leszek Kołakowski.) But linking Communism on Wikipedia to Totalitarianism and Authoritarianism for this reason can open a can of worms since, after all, there are many critics of socialism (e.g. Hayek) who argue that a socialist society will similarly end up becoming authoritarian or totalitarian no matter whether the socialist anticipates the realization of his system by revolution or reform. --Ismail (talk) 14:38, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
    @Ismail, I believe it's all of them in this context, as it is a link to many other pages. Socialism is not communism. You can have socialism without having a communist regime. I would argue the can of worms applies only when one does not make the difference between socialism and communism. They, of course, have similarities, but also have notable differences. It also depends what kind of socialism are we talking about. As far as Wikipedia is concerned, the difference can be noted by not linking Socialism to Totalitarianism. A criticism of communism is not necessarly a criticism of socialism. But Hayek and Leszek Kołakowski seem to criticize socialism directly with no connection (at least from the text you provided) to communism. LordRogalDorn (talk) 16:00, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
    Kołakowski actually identified with social-democracy (at least in the 1970s-80s) when he was criticizing communism. Hayek, of course, didn't. But the point is that if communism as a proposed system of production and distribution (independent of whether its advocate is a Marxist or not) is to be linked to authoritarianism and/or totalitarianism solely because it is argued communism can be realized in no other way, then I'd argue a can of worms does logically exist for the same labeling of any definition of socialism which seeks to do away with private property. Of course, if by "socialism" one only means a "mixed economy" and ensuring a "fairer" distribution of wealth created under capitalism without doing away with the latter, then the aforementioned logic doesn't apply. But that also obviously doesn't apply to large segments of self-proclaimed socialists throughout history. At the end of the day I don't think labeling either communist or socialist thought ipso facto authoritarian/totalitarian is warranted, either on Wikipedia or in real life. For example the communist utopia depicted in Étienne Cabet's Voyage to Icaria does have some "totalitarian" features, but the communist utopia depicted in William Morris' News from Nowhere doesn't. Likewise Marx criticized what he termed "barracks communism" which was at odds with his own conception of how a communist society would come into being and function. --Ismail (talk) 21:48, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
    "Communism" is an ideology, a system of ideas, not to be confused with "communist state". Communism is not just about the communist states (e.g. Lenin, Stalin or Mao), but also includes the Marxism of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, and other types of communism such as Anarcho-communism, Christian communism, and many, many others (see Category:Communism and all the subcats and pages there). Communist state is categorized in Cats:Totalitarianism and Authoritarianism (categorizations which are not being challenged by this RFC); the broad topic "communism", however, should not be. Lev!vich 16:25, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
  • No to all. Lev!vich got it right. --Guy Macon (talk) 15:52, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
  • No to all Communist thought is not necessarily authoritarian or totalitarian in nature, despite the way communist states developed in the 20th century. Totalitarianism includes fascism and its sub-branches (such as Nazism) , which are far from being communist. Authoritarian regimes have existed throughout history and they are not all communist in nature. Far from it. Dimadick (talk) 08:19, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
  • No to all. Only Marxist–Leninists have advocated one-party states, dissident and other communists have actually died for and because of it and communism is a broad philosophy and movement that cannot and should not be reduced to that. A disagreement about property rights does not imply authoritarianism or totalitarianism. Communists favour common property, so wanting to turn private property into common property does not make it authoritarian. By the same logic, capitalism is authoritarian because it denies common property rights;[nb 1] whom do you think the common land belonged to during the enclosure and the genocide of indigenous peoples?

    That was common property which was forcefully turned into private property. Communists oppose the private ownership of land and capital; they do not oppose personal property or small property holdings that can be managed by a few persons. Communism is not like fascism that it has authoritarianism as a core tenet. You are confusing small-c communism for capital-c Communism (i.e. Stalinism and Marxism–Leninism, the state ideology of Communist states).

    If communism is added because of Communist states, then we may as well add capitalism, conservatism, liberalism, populism, nationalism and God knows how many others, for all those ideologies had authoritarian or totalitarian states and tendencies. That is why I actually propose we remove any ideology as category from both Authoritarianism and Totalitarianism; as an example, we should list Authoritarianism as a Category at Fascism because "[a]uthoritarianism is considered a core concept of fascism and scholars agree that a fascist regime is foremost an authoritarian form of government, although not all authoritarian regimes are fascist. While authoritarianism is a defining characteristic of fascism, scholars argue that more distinguishing traits are needed to make an authoritarian regime fascist." But for the same reason we should not list it at Authoritarianism as it is more than just fascism and it may also avoid the common but misleading notion that sees fascism used to refer to any form of authoritarianism rather than actual fascism.
  1. ^ Of course, capitalist supporters would say that communists can set up their own commune within capitalism, but the point is communists advocate common property and the negation of property rights to be the dominant and common sense view, the same way private property is dominant today and favoured over all other types of property rights; the same way private property is much more widespread than, say, cooperative ownership or other types of ownership. In other words, communists would let 'private' property enjoy the same small percentage communes, cooperatives and public ownership are given today.

    This also debunks the argument that communists would not allow even small private property and that capitalism is supposedly pluralist because they would allow communists and non-private property rights (although history has disproven this idealistic notion; see colonialism, imperialism, union busting, anti-communism, etc.) while communists would not, even though communists, from Peter Kropotkin to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, explicitly stated they were opposed to bourgeois property, not to small property holdings, much less all property.
Davide King (talk) 13:42, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
  • No to all as per Levivich's excellent argumentation and the account of the meanings of these terms by Davide King. I would see it as a non-neutral move to have the suggested categorisations. It is a criticism of communism, an allegation put forth from the proponents of some other ideologies that it inevitably results in authoritarian or totalitarian rule even without the original intention of being authoritarian or totalitarian. The allegation itself demonstrates that communism is not in itself an ideology of authoritarianism or totalitarianism.OsFish (talk) 07:26, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
    • Additional comment Because I think there is a danger of some reading this discussion as defenders of communism saying no, I thought I would bring a confession and an analogous situation. I personally have a lot of sympathy with the argument that communism put into practice tends over time towards authoritarianism and totalitarianism. But I recognise it is an argument against communism, not a summary of what communism is. My analogy is with libertarianism. There are have long been arguments that it is, in practice, a sexist, patriarchal ideology. I have a lot of sympathy with these arguments. But I would also oppose libertarianism being categorised as such on Wikipedia.OsFish (talk) 16:30, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
  • No to all, per Levich & Davide King, and Comment: reregarding the examples of communist states that arose in the 20th Century, one thing to note is that, countries such as Russia and China were prior to communisation were, according to Marx & Engel's philosophy, about the poorest candidates for successfully building communist societies. The countries best equipped to build communist societies were the wealthiest western countries. Engels also specifically said that countries such as America and England could do so entirely within their existing democratic government frameworks. One could even make a reasonable argument that even one-party Marxist-Leninist states are not intrinsically any more authoritarian or less democratic than capitalist democracies that let the people choose between Party A or Party B, and all in government are governed by aristocratic bribers....but that's going down a tangent. Firejuggler86 (talk) 14:31, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment (Summoned by bot) My general feeling is no to all but I just wanted to add that even if they were changed it would not be the end of the world. Categories are rarely noticed by readers and mainly serve to create drama such as this. Coretheapple (talk) 18:45, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
  • No to all, per Lev!vich and Davide King. The only reason I would even consider yes to the first one is because real world examples of Communism have been totalitarian and authoritarian. However, in the strictest sense, communism as an idea does falls under either of those as much as capitalism does. It's an economic system, not a form of government. As for the other two, they are not taxonomically descendants of communism. Transcendence (talk) 23:58, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
  • No to all, as while the vast majority of communist regimes were authoritarian or totalitarian, this is not necessarily true for the abstract concept of communism.--Astral Leap (talk) 07:13, 20 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Yes to all, I can think of no Communist state which was or is not Authoritarian and/or Totalitarian. Wandavianempire (talk) 20:42, 20 October 2020 (UTC)
  • No to all: One of the articles that's a member of Category:Communism is anarcho-communism. The proposed changes would have us implicitly say that some anarchists are totalitarian, which strikes me as more than a little absurd. Loki (talk) 04:17, 21 October 2020 (UTC)
  • No to all – as previously explained. Mathglot (talk) 09:15, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Close? - Any objections to my closing this as "no to all"? Lev!vich 02:34, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. --Pfhorrest (talk) 03:47, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
Support a WP:SNOW close, but RfCs should be closed by uninvolved editors. Levivich !voted in this RfC. See WP:RFCCLOSE: "Any uninvolved editor can post a formal closing summary of the discussion. The editor removes the {{rfc}} tag at the same time." --Guy Macon (talk) 05:16, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
Guy, "RFCs should be closed by uninvolved editors" isn't what RFCCLOSE says. it says There are several ways in which RfCs end: ... 2. The RfC participants can agree to end it at any time, and one of them can remove the {{rfc}} template. ... 4. [the line you quoted] ... When an RfC is used to resolve a dispute, the resolution is determined the same way as for any other discussion: the participants in the discussion determine what they have agreed on and try to implement their agreement. ... If the matter under discussion is not contentious and the consensus is obvious to the participants, then formal closure is neither necessary nor advisable. Written closing statements are not required. Editors are expected to be able to evaluate and agree upon the results of most RfCs without outside assistance., bold is in the original. Lev!vich 05:23, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
Question asked at Wikipedia:Help desk#Who can close an RfC early?. --Guy Macon (talk) 06:26, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.