Communism and Socialism are NOT the SAME

There would not be many choices for someone that wanted to move to a socialist country. There are only four in the world: PRC (mainland China), Republic of Cuba, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. These countries once had Communist governments but that isn’t entirely true anymore.

However, there are 189 countries (of the 193 that are members of the United Nations) that are not socialist but do have socialist programs/policies.

Socialism and communism are ideological doctrines that have many similarities as well as many differences. One point that is frequently raised to distinguish socialism from communism is that socialism generally refers to an economic system, and communism generally refers to both an economic system and a political system.

The fall of communism in the Soviet Union does not mean socialism failed. It means that the autocratic one-party system that defines communism failed.

Russia, for example, still has Social Security policies that fund health and pension programs.  With at last five years of coverage, men age 60 and women age 55 are covered for old-age pensions. Russia also offers a disability pension and a survivor pension.

To discover the details of Russia’s socialist policies, I suggest you visit this site at the U.S. Social Security Administration. In fact, the SSA has information on its site for Social Security programs/policies around the world

The GOP and Mitt Romney may want to return to industrial capitalism. Pay attention to the video to discover what that means. You may be shocked and decide that some socialist policies are necessary to protect the quality of life for most people that do not have the benefit of achieving great wealth.

As an economic system, socialism seeks to manage the economy through deliberate and collective social control. Communism, however, seeks to manage both the economy and the society by ensuring that property is owned collectively and that control over the distribution of resources is centralized to achieve both classlessness and statelessness. Under communism, all people are considered equal and are provided for equally, regardless of their contributions to the economy or to society.

Having Socialist policies does not mean a country is socialist or communist. For example, the United States is not a socialist country just because it has socialist policies such as Medicare, Obamacare or Social Security–the United States still has private ownership of property and businesses and has a multi-party political system.

In addition. although China’s Communist government adopted capitalist policies in the early 1980s and joined the World Trade Organization, a substantial part of the economy is still state-run, although there are not as many social programs as there once were and universal healthcare has been eliminated but China still has a Socialist-type foreign policy, for the most part, due to decisions made within the CCP based on consensus (majority opinion). There are eighty million members in China’s Communist Party and they vote.

To learn about China’s Socialist Policies, here’s the link at US SSA Office of Retirement and Disability Policy

In addition, in China no one in the private sector may own land (yet).  Instead, private citizens may lease land in urban areas while land in most rural areas is still owned by village collectives in conjunction with the central government and cannot be bought or sold because no one holds the title to most rural land.

Discover Dictatorship or One Party Republic

NOTE: The reason for this post is a conservative site at Right where I left a comment. The response to my comment was an ignorant unreasoned emotional rant, and then I had trouble leaving reasoned comments with cited evidence and sources in response to that trollish rant. In reality, my voice was censored—a common practice among American far-right neoconservatives and fundamentalist evangelical Christians (FECs) that attempt to control the conversation with bully insults and logical fallacies. This is the second time I’ve run into this sort of conservative, political site. The first time was a Tea Party loyalist site that censored (removed) a comment I wrote that did not meet the American Tea Party’s rigid beliefs. You may not know this but 40% of the Tea Party membership are FECs. Both American neoconservatives and FECs practice the use of the noble lie to achieve political and/or religious goals as evidenced by Mitt Romney and his VP running mate during the Presidential and VP debates of the 2012 election in the US. I’ve written a number of posts focused on the debates at Lloyd and the last post in this series will appear Saturday, October 27, 2012.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China

8 Responses to Communism and Socialism are NOT the SAME

  1. I believe that universal health care coverage has recently been restored. Coverage amounts sound laughable, but apparently they are well-received by rural and poor people.
    China’s Health Minister is a very heavy hitter (and a non-Communist). He is approaching health care from all sides, simultaneously, and his progress is worth observing.

    • Godfree,

      I sort of recall reading about the CCP planning to restore universal health care but I think the rural farmers still have to pay some sort of low (by our economic standards but maybe not by theirs) mandatory annual premium? One of the hurdles was to build clinics in rural areas and then staffing them. I wonder how that is going.

      Until Obamacare, wasn’t the US the last developed country in the world to enact universal health care or was there another country too?

      • Godfree Roberts says:

        It may be means-tested but I know it’s made a real impact on poor rural folk, who can now afford long-delayed procedures that we wouldn’t consider ‘elective’.
        There’s a crash training program for medicos. I don’t know how it’s going and I’d love to know if Cuba is assisting.

      • Godfree,

        I’m sure that China studied what Cuba has done with its healthcare. In fact, the CCP is known to send out teams to study what other countries are doing in the private/public financial, government, military and health care sectors to discover and learn all of the options before coming up with a plan that will fit China’s culture. Nothing is perfect so mistakes will happen, which China’s critics will point out, but it is better than doing nothing and leaving health care up to the private sector is the same as doing nothing.

        I’m going to offer a more details response to your comment in a new post that will be up momentarily for this reason: Many that visit a Blog probably read fresh posts more than the comments to one post.

  2. Yes, there’s a lot of blind fear and ignorance out there about socialism. Too many people are happy to label something and be done with it, instead of actually looking into the facts. When it comes right down to it, government is socialism. If we don’t want any collectively owned things, we have an anarchy. So at the end of the day, it is merely how many things the state owns and runs, and how many things are privatized. Countries make their choices and there’s a full spectrum out there.

    • Thank you. I see no problem with balancing a consumer, market economy (capitalism) with socialist policies such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and even Obamacare. In fact, most of the people (employers and employees) that benefit from these socialist policies paid into them for decades by paying a tax that was specifically designed to fund those benefits. In the US, to qualify for both Social Security and Medicare requires someone living in the US (age 65 or older) to have worked at least ten years or more and payedinto the Social Security system through a Social Security Tax. There is also a Medicare Tax that most working Americans and employers pay into. Even unemployment benefits are paid for and people that lose jobs in the US must qualify to collect that social benefit.

      In fact, I read at the Huffington Post, that many unemployed workers that qualify for unemployment benefits never collect them.

      The Huffington Post reported, “Critics have derided the federal government (another example of emotional ignorance) for being wasteful when it comes to unemployment benefits, but the reality is that it’s much more common for jobless benefits to go unclaimed than to be wasted.

      “Only half of eligible unemployed Americans during the most recent recession actually collected unemployment benefits, according to a new analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. And over the past 22 years, only one-third of those eligible for jobless benefits collected them on average.

      “If everyone that qualified for unemployment benefits in 2009 collected them, then the government would have spent $108 billion more on jobless benefits that year: That’s roughly 10 times more than the $11 billion that the government overpaid in jobless benefits that year, according to the analysis.”

      The Huffington Post also said that 2,362 millionaires collected unemployment benefits in 2009.

      It may come as no surprise that 12 of the 14 states with the most poverty and illiteracy vote overwhelmingly Republican in elections (against their own interests) and that may explain why Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign has exaggerated and made false claims more than twice that of Obama campaign. If a large number of GOP voters are poor, illiterate and ignorant and they only listen to what the GOP candidate has to say because they do not trust the other side, then it makes sense to flood them with propaganda to manipulate their emotions and opinions to insure they vote for you.

Comments are welcome — pro or con. However, comments must focus on the topic of the post, be civil and avoid ad hominem attacks.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: