Visualization of narrower problems
An economic, social and political system theoretically based on common property and an equal distribution of income and wealth, communism may be seen as temporary or part of an evolutionary process, or as inherently repressive and a menace which can only be avoided if the system is prevented democratically or otherwise from obtaining power. Many opponents of the system see no alternative to the latter interpretation.
Throughout history a variety of communist movements and societies have existed sporadically. Modern communism is exemplified by Marxism or Marxism-Leninism but the ideology of communism is still evolving and new forms and compromises with communist utopian theory are emerging in western Europe and Asia.
It has been estimated that, at a minimum, the social cost of communism appears to have involved 50 million fatalities. Summary executions in the process of taking power involved at least 1 million people in the USSR, several million in China, about 100,000 in eastern Europe and at least 150,000 in Viet Nam. If execution of political opponents after the acquisition of power is included, the combined total has been about 5 million. The extermination of people belonging to certain social categories deemed to be hostile, increases this by some 3 to 5 million. The liquidation of the independent peasantry adds a further 10 million. Fatalities associated with mass deportation and forced resettlement put the number of victims in the USSR at between 7 and 10 million, and in China at about 27 million. The execution or death of purged communists in labour camps resulted in the liquidation of over 1 million between 1936 and 1938. In eastern Europe in the late 1940s and early 1950s tens of thousands of communists were killed or imprisoned. In China, particularly during the Cultural Revolution, it is estimated that several million must have suffered a similar fate.

Despite the overthrow of communist monopolies in eastern Europe, local communist parties are using the new democracies to create a new role for themselves. In some former republics, its institutional structures have survived in their entirety, while in all of them millions of cadre officials remain in reserve. Its roots remain embedded in the consciousness and life of the people. In contrast with the crowds in the streets and their fledgling political competitors, the communist parties have the political habit, know-how and organization to encourage their ambitious and able members to seek a new role through which to influence the evolution of their societies. Given the weakness and fragmentation of their competitors, possibly following the immediate changes, there is some probability that their influence could predominate once again. Indeed, in 1992 and 1993, respectively, communist governments were elected in Lithuania and Poland. Other former Soviet-bloc countries have revamped their communist governments by casting out old ideologies and adopting new names and new, younger leaders. Most notable are Serbia, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine. Communist-type parties remain active forces in the political scene in Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary and Latvia.

The end of communism acclaimed in 1990, was primarily of significance in Europe. Of the 1.7 billion people living under communist rule in 1989, 1.4 billion continued to do so in 1993.

1. Marx and Engels were only a movement in the history of the delusion that the State (or party) can solve all problems. The materialism of the communist philosophy and political science accords well with seventeenth and eighteenth century mechanistic conceptions of the universe and the belief that the well-ordered machine of humanity and the world could be planned, monitored, controlled or subjugated by edicts and dogmas.

2, Because of the iron discipline and utter ruthlessness, especially of Leninist parties, communists are more skilful at creating chaos and seizing power. And once in power their ideology enables them to eliminate opposition and hold power successfully. It is in this sense that the communist bloc has been described by the President of the USA as an "evil empire". It is not only oppressive and bereft of popular support, but it regards any deviation from the "party line" of the moment as "heresy". The sovereignty of such a political religion is different from, and infinitely more depraved than, any traditional political tyranny. It constitutes what has come to be known as totalitarianism.

3. Communism is what it professes to be, soulless. Communist theory considers humans as strictly material beings. Its tyranny has enslaved nations. Most of the obstacles to peace today result from communist expansionist policies. Since 1974 over 100 million people have come under communist domination or have been alienated from the West by communist lies, cheating, government subversion and disrupted elections. Communists subsidize terrorism and wage wars by proxy. They stand behind the aggressors in virtually every one of the world's conflict areas and have instigated every postwar confrontation between the superpowers. As a result, since the end of World War II millions of refugees have been on the move, from communism to freedom. They flee from war, from communist coercion, and from extreme poverty.

4. Productivity and growth rates in communist countries are very low. In 1982, private farms, which occupied only three percent of the Soviet Union's arable land, produced nearly one-quarter of farm output and a third of meat products and vegetables. Worker and public morale crumble. The standard of living in communist countries has sunk so much that the life expectancy is actually decreasing. The minimum wage in Brazil, a developing country, is higher than the average wage of most communist workers, even in so-called developed countries.

5. Communists have never won a majority in a free election anywhere in the world. Their ideology is losing its appeal because their system has failed in practice to produce the results they predicted. Communism is inefficient, rigid, inhumane and irreversible except by revolution.

1. Communism is the positive abolition of private property, of human self-alienation, and thus the real appropriation of human nature through and for man. It is therefore the return of man himself as a social, namely a real human being (Marx).

2. Communism is a vital social force that arises spontaneously in every country when the excesses and deficiencies of the private ownership and privileged classes systems inevitably come to light. Communism offers the only rational solutions to the world problems which begin with personal selfishness and end in international aggression.

3. It is much too easy to assume that capitalism automatically safeguards democracy and human rights, by contrast with Communism. The horrors of apartheid were committed in the name of maintaining western values and defeating Communism, and were committed with the support of capitalist countries. There have been many successful capitalist systems, including that of Nazi Germany and Panama under Noriega, which have suppressed human rights in the name of anti-Communism. Many business interests, whether foreign or domestic, prefer to deal with autocratic systems because they can be more decisive and reliable than changeable democracies.

4. Communism has not yet existed anywhere. It remains a high ideal. What is condemned as communism is the perversion of socialism in the form of Stalinism and not socialism itself.

5. Although the earthly ideal of socialism-communism has collapsed, the problems it purports to solve remain: the brazen use of social advantage and capital to direct the flow of events.

(C) Cross-sectoral problems