Communism and Malaysia (exposing the unseen)
Posted by jingoisticbuthornydesperado on August 3, 2008
Communism is almost a dirty word in Malaysia and world wide, however very few comprehend the original socialistic purpose of communism. In Malaysia, the thought of communism immediately conjures up gun-totting, merciless Chinese men with cruel laughter ‘hyuk hyuk hyuk’.
The image most Malaysians have in mind of communism is synonymous to barbaric militarism and dictatorship. Communism preaches about social equality not blood lust. It is the Western media propaganda and to a certain extent, our unbalanced historical lessons. Mind you, ideologies can take a blood lust approach even for democracy. Take a look at US, it is a democratic gun-totting nation invading oil rich Iraq and establishing an American ‘dictatorship’ in Iraq in the guise of Iraqi democracy (using the current Iraq government merely as a figurehead).
Communism fights for the working class while working hard to eliminate social and class inequality. Let’s take a real world example, a kampong boy and the son of a prestigious lawyer are both going to universities. Both want to study engineering. The kampong boy can only afford to go to a messed up local, public university, while the son of the prestigious lawyer get to go to MIT, even though both have the same grades. The one who has the privilege to go to MIT does so because he has a rich father who can fund his overseas studies. He is better exposed and gets better opportunities in MIT than the kampong boy just because he is given a head start by just being in a better social class. And it can be sometimes viewed as inequality in life chances. Communism strives to eliminate this class and economic differences. Karl Marx viewed these differences as barriers to fulfilment of human freedom. Without social and economic differences, there will be no one who wishes to exploit another (since it doesn’t help them to stay a class ahead of the rest). With no exploitation, people are freer to do what they want without having some ambitious people to restrict other people’s endeavours.
Now, can anyone tell me if the ideology shows at all an ounce of evil? One of the main reasons, the democratic and capitalistic nations fear communism has more to do with self-interest. They wouldn’t be able to invest in communist countries as economics in communist countries are state planned and micro-managed without being controlled by foreigners. Communists view capitalism as just another form of imperialism. They view capitalistic ventures as parasites that invest for the sake of sucking out all the available natural resources without giving many benefits to the local populace. Do many Malaysians know about this? No, because of bias history and world wide propaganda.
Communism can sometimes be good for the early part of a nation’s history. China was fractured firstly from the toppling the last dynastic government, civil war between communism and democracy, then long drawn out strive with the Japanese, then civil war again between two contrasting ideologies. Most of the populace was impoverished, and democratic government was viewed as a corrupted one with elitists few. Communism was the force that was able to unite the nation, the peasants were disgruntled at the democratic but corrupted government.
Same goes for the Vietnam War. The population was impoverished partly attributed to militaristic approach to gaining independence from the French. Most of the population was supporting the communist north. Most of the American aids for the democratic south never reach the poor due to gross corruption and the Vietnamese knows that hence they support the communist north. The Americans weren’t in there for the Vietnamese, they were they out of pure self-interest.
So let’s talk about communism right back into our own backyard. Malaysia is different, luckily not as unfortunate as Vietnam or China. Malaysia was slightly better off and it was never in a pro-longed conflict like what Vietnam and China faced. The un-militaristic approach ensures that most of the infrastructure was/is still there, people can live a slightly better life. Capitalism is not all that bad either and in this context, I favour capitalism more than communism. Capitalism ensures that people have to work hard to achieve better life without being state-controlled to how well you can achieve in life. I believe that a little self-centred and self-motivated approach to a better life makes people more productive. It will be better to the society in the long run. After all, survival for the fittest rule always apply, and capitalism helps us to remain competitive and serves as a subconscious reminder that the world does not owe us a living, that we have to eke a living for ourselves the way we want it to be. Competition is what makes a species survive and not go extinct.