History and Origin of Communism
In general, many textbooks tend to link the rise of communism due to the theoretical reflection pointed out by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. However, this idea that communism would be the result of a mere reflection of two nineteenth-century theorists can be seen in a different light.
It is enough to understand communism as a socially lived experience and, at the same time, seek to see traces of that same experience in the speech of other thinkers.
Communism can be understood as a certain type of social, political and economic ordering where inequalities would be systematically abolished. Through this premise, the communist experience starts from a common assumption where social inequality generates problems that unfold into issues such as violence, misery and wars.
The intention to ban the differences between men ends up making many see communism as a utopia that is difficult to reach.
In Ancient Greece, the philosopher Plato sought to devise an ideal form of government where private property and families would be extinguished. The end of the family and property reinforced an ideal of community that would put individual and family interests in the background.
Sexual union should have a temporary character and the raising of children would be the responsibility of the State. Without addressing the issue of slavery, Platonic thought does not make a total critique of the values of its time.
During the Middle Ages, the crisis of the feudal system and the great enrichment of the Church propelled the formation of movements that tried to abolish inequalities. Inspired by a discourse with a strong religious trait, some of the medieval heresies not only criticized the inequalities of their time.
Endowed with a more radical tendency, some religious movements of this period defended the suppression of the noble class and the peasant revolt as mechanisms of social justice.
In the period of the rise of the mercantile bourgeoisie, other thinkers were also concerned with criticizing the values of their time in favor of an ideal society. In the 16th century, the British philosopher, Thomas Morus wrote the work “Utopia”, launched new bases where communism would be lived through mechanism that subordinated individuality in favor of collectivism.
Contrary to a trend in Renaissance thought (individualism), Morus sought greater social communion.
In the following century, the advent of the English Revolution was seen as a historical experience that gave way to communist practices. Amid the demands of the rising British bourgeoisie, urban workers and peasants demanded the end of private property and the equal collectivization of wealth.
At that time, a group known as “diggers” (diggers) planted in public lots and distributed the harvested food among the English population.
The development of capitalist society brought new inspirations to communist thought. The height of these attempts to explain inequalities came with the presuppositions of scientific socialism by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
Inspired by the Hegelian dialectic and a historical interpretation of societies, these thinkers sought in material reality the construction of an argument that placed the bases for the transformation of the world in the antagonism of social classes.
In this way, socialism launched a bold proposal for transformation by seeking rational means of change in class struggle and historical materialism. According to Marxist thought, inequalities would be suppressed when the subordinate classes took control of the state. By controlling this institution, they would have the historic mission of promoting changes that are favorable to the end of social and economic inequalities.
This government guided by the interests of the workers, over time, would reinforce practices and customs in favor of communism. According to socialist thought, the real institution of communism would only happen when the state (understood as an institution of control) was extinguished in favor of a society in which wealth was equally divided to all those who contributed their strength of work.