Interesting article: Why do people vote for communists?
The author is definitely biased, but it’s still a good read. I disagree with his fundamental hypothesis that people like communism because of fear of the responsibility required in a free society. I think it has more to do with the (promised) ideal that every one becomes equal, etc. Not saying anyone fulfilled this promise, though.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I also disagree with his assertion that communism is equal to totalitarianism. While I don’t think communism as it has been implemented so far has been a good thing, I can’t discount the possibility that a communist economic structure coupled with a democratic government wouldn’t be bad. What we’ve seen good evidence of so far is that Stalinism failed.
Could a communist structure with an elected government work? I don’t know. Obviously it would be hard, but if it were possible I think in general we’d be in a better position. This all supposes that people can get rid of their driving tendency towards greed. Is there any evidence to support this? Well, Cuba is an example of “something”, although it’s admittedly fuzzy. Cuba is doing fairly well under the circumstances, under a complete embargo from it’s large neighbour. Cuba does have a dictator, although obviously a much more benevolent one that Stalin. From my limited experience there people seem generally happy although obviously there’s a section of the population that craves the expensive material things available in the US. I didn’t meet anyone like this, but not sure what the ratio is.
Am I trying to use Cuba an an example of a “working” communist state? No, just a data point of one that is working better than Russia. It would be interesting to see what would happen if Cuba moved towards an elected government once Castro dies.
But the model shown by most of Europe with free markets and heavily socialist principles is probably the best answer for now.