Letter to the Editor

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From Ryan Nielsen

Scott Yockey’s anti-communism article printed in last week’s issue of The Argus is alarming for two reasons.  It not only shows a complete lack of analytical capacity, but also espouses a dangerous ideological standpoint that amounts to an excuse for oppression.

Yockey argues that communism and socialism “take from the people who work hard” and give to the people who don’t. Yet, the people who succeed monetarily today are those who are simply shooting money around the globe as part of the global, speculative capitalist economy.

Meanwhile, there are people who work for minimum wage or less cleaning homes, picking the food you buy from the grocery store, or serving in restaurants. It’s not right that someone who has attained an exploitative position in society as a result of generations of privilege can send money around the globe with the push of a button—shattering lives and destroying jobs all the while—and be praised for that.

The ruling class of this country, as in the rest of the world, has built its fortune as a result of government policies that, for hundreds of years, have benefitted the rich and beat down the poor.  Few of them have truly pulled themselves up by their bootstraps.

Yockey claims that “people expect the government to bail them out of their problems.” May I remind him that it was the banks that recently got “bailed out?” The government has struggled to save the dying and exploitative system of capitalism. Under capitalism, people are born into circumstances that either allow them to succeed or doom them to fail. This type of society is ugly and oppressive and is a system that must be overthrown.

Yockey claims that the idea of “taking from the rich” goes against everything he has learned in his 20 years of existence, with the implication that this should not be questioned. This logic is absurd and infantile. Were people not taught that slavery was normal and natural? History’s great problems are a result of not questioning what has been blasted at us our whole lives.

Further, it is quite clear that Yockey wrote a fallacious article without delving into the complex details of what communism and socialism are. Yockey claims that Chinese “communism” has allowed capitalism to flourish in China. Just because the ruling Party of China calls itself “communist” does not mean that it is.

When China was actually a socialist country, it managed to end the 6000+ years of oppression of the peasants, collectivize agriculture to end hunger, create the best healthcare system in the developing world, and liberate women from traditional patriarchal oppression such as foot-binding, etc. Socialist China created a society that benefitted the broad masses of the people instead of being a place where the few benefit while the rest languish.

All of this progress was destroyed by the coup in 1976 when capitalism was restored. Today, Chinese factory workers—among the most oppressed workers in the world—are threatening mass suicide in a desperate attempt to impede their exploitation. Communism has no room for such oppression, but China is neither communist nor socialist.

Further, Yockey claims that the rise of industry in China was not the result of government efforts. In fact, China’s industry is built on the infrastructure and industry developed from 1949-1976, when the country was socialist.

Yockey’s faulty reasoning and dangerous “it’s not what I’ve been told” logic is symptomatic of the oppressive system we live under. Don’t be bridled by the lies put out about communism. Let’s struggle to imagine and build a better and truly equal world. Capitalism is nothing but a paper tiger.