"But the Soviet Union wasn't communist / socialist!"

published Sep 16, 2013

Doesn't matter what name you give to evil. What matters is the evil itself.

From time to time, we in the /r/Anarcho_Capitalism subreddit get people attemping to set the record straight w.r.t the U.S.S.R. having been communist, or what the "true" definition of communism is.  Today was one of these days, as you can see from this post.

Here's the truth about what we think of "communism" and "socialism".  We (most of us) don't say that the U.S.S.R. was communist or pure socialist.  We don't care, really.   What we care about, what we say, is that the U.S.S.R. (and China, and North Korea, and Cuba) is what happens in reality when a group of people set out to implement the policies stated by the supporters of communism or pure socialism.

Whether the U.S.S.R. (or any other one of those murderous states) was or wasn't communist / socialist, is entirely irrelevant. What matters is reality, not the names used to refer to that reality.

Let's say that I, as an anarcho-capitalist, posit that Xism is an evil idea because it leads to mass murders. If I do so, I do that because of the following historical observation:

  • every time loud advocates of Xism,
  • struggling to implement Xism,
  • consolidate enough support to get their way,
  • people "inexplicably" die by the millions, and
  • "somehow", mysteriously, these people never get to Xism.

Does it matter that the people seduced by Xism did not actually get to fully implement Xism? No. Of course not.

What matters is that pursuing Xism unquestionably and undebatably drove them to murder each other, steal from each other, ruin each other.

That is to say, the only thing a sane person can conclude, the very thing that cannot be denied, no matter how hard anyone plays with words, is that communism is an evil idea that ultimately drives people to do evil shit to each other.   Doesn't matter what name you use to call it, or how inoffensively you define it, what matters is what happens when people do under the influence of the idea.

And that is what matters.