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The answers so far are not answering the question. People are saying why they believe communism is morally wrong, not why Americans believe it is evil. The American Cultural Context The simple answer is that America has always been deeply suspicious of foreign ideas, especially those which conflict with values considered quintessentially American (WASP)....


214

Fundamental to communist ideology is the common ownership of the means of production and abolishment of social classes and social hierarchy. In practice, that means no (or very few) private property rights, and forced redistribution of wealth from those who are most able to produce to those who are less able or unwilling to do so. Private property and the ...


175

TL;DR: because communism did, in fact, kill people. Between 23 million (low estimate) and 100 million (high estimate) of them killed by regimes that collectively self-branded themselves as led by "communist" parties. The question contains two premises, both 100% false: That the only reason Communism is seen as evil is "because propaganda" and "because the ...


122

National Socialism is a specific thing. You can't just take parts of the name and then assume what it means based on these parts (another example: The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is not a democracy). National Socialism is not simply a nationalist version of socialism (Stalin's Socialism in one country would be closer to that). National Socialism ...


111

Basically Bernie Sanders used the wrong term and it stuck. For some unfathomable reason, he refers to himself as a socialist while espousing policies that are clearly social Democrat in line with most European states. He has done himself no favors. If he had said social democrat, he wouldn't have received as much McCarthy-ist style attacks. He is definitely ...


101

Yes. You have set up a false dichotomy: that either a country is "socialist" or "capitalist". Nearly all countries have aspects of both. In socialism, the ownership of property and the "means of production" are held in common (typically ownership is assigned to a government). In capitalism, ownership is held by private individuals and companies. Denmark ...


92

The reason Venezuela's economy collapsed was its over-reliance on oil exports. In the last half of the 20th century, the Venezuelan economy focused on growing its oil industry, while relying on imports for most other products. This worked quite well while the oil prices were exceptionally high. It stopped working in 2014 when the global oil price plummeted ...


86

Wait up a minute. Who says Cuba didn't fail spectacularly? Miami (and Florida in general) have a huge Cuban population. Generally, because Cubans did anything they could to leave that country during the 90's - even to the extent of risking their lives trying to boat/raft/etc their way up north. Here is the story of a person who grew up in Cuba after the ...


70

Why is communism considered as evil (like fascism and nazism) in western countries? Simple answer is them vs us. This was previously nationality, but cold-war era saw this them vs us line drawn more on economic lines as alliances spanned multiple nations. Them vs us is a 100% with or 100% against perception (no middle ground between two polar opposites) ...


63

Why is it that Bernie Sanders always called a "socialist"? I think getting a quick history lesson to get some context might help explain how "socialist" is used in US media. First, I want to highlight the long history of anti-(anti-capitalism); second, show how anything anti-capitalism is generally conflated; and third, how this is the case in the ...


59

Communism has committed atrocities far greater than the Holocaust. Holodomor: up to 12 million dead Khmer Rouge: up to 3 million dead The Great Leap Forward: up to 55 million dead Tanzania Experiment: no deaths, only near famine Death, famine, and genocide are usually considered evil.


59

It seems likely that people call him a socialist because he's self-identified as one on multiple occasions. and When he first won election to the House in 1990, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) embraced his political identity. "I am a socialist and everyone knows that," Sanders said, responding to an ad that tried to link him to the regime of Fidel ...


56

What you are describing is a Mixed Economy. Essentially the state takes over certain markets either through direct control or regulation while letting others be more free-market. Numerous economies ranging from the United States to Cuba fit into that model to varying degrees. Going further, the concept of a Universal Basic Income combined with state ...


53

The trouble with plain "social recognition" is that it doesn't scale. Dunbar's Number is the number of people you can "know" in the sense of having stable social relationships with them; its about the number in the average Christmas card list, for example. Its generally thought to be around 150, although there is no doubt that some people ...


51

Why is communism considered as evil (like fascism and nazism) in the United States? Short Answer The background necessary to accurately answer your question is complex in both history and culture, but perhaps one short introduction could be: Due to a series of actions done and promoted by various agents in the USA starting roughly after 1917, following ...


41

There are many in the United States who lack a basic understanding of Socialism in even a few of its many forms. The most damning indictment is when a person uses Communism, Nazism, and Socialism as though they are synonyms. It would be lost on them to attempt to explain nuances between Social Democracy and Democratic Socialism. There are numerous programs ...


41

Because nationalization is not necessarily socialist Nationalization is the government taking ownership of private property. Socialism is "social ownership" of the means of production. Depending on what definitions of "social ownership" you accept, that may not involve the government at all. "Social ownership" usually also ...


40

Because US Democratic party is not left wing, it's just slightly more to the left than extremely right wing Republican party. This is an important point, one that is worth expanding. The ideology of the Democratic Party is closer to that of European Centre-Right parties like the UK Conservative Party and the German CDU than it is to the European Centre-Left,...


35

It depends on your definition of communism - AND religion. Marx, as another answerer noted, officially denounced religion. This was for three distinct reasons: Organized religion (church) for hundreds of years was either a political power, or co-opted by another power (monarchs) to help pacify the oppressed lower classes. The official version of what was ...


35

There are over 40 definitions of socialism. However a common-enough one (SEP) is that: The bulk of the means of production is under social, democratic control. And in contrast the corresponding definition of capitalism entails: The bulk of the means of production is privately owned and controlled. Under these definition the answer is no, you can't ...


34

Venezuela's economy Venezuela is a communist planned economy with an authoritarian government. It is, therefore, an example of Socialism. Under Chavez and Maduro, Venezuela's economy became a planned economy based on oil production, with few other industries, its oil industry has been nationalized since 1973, and there were significant petrol subsidies for ...


30

What is the reason for this idea that communism is evil or like Nazism and fascism and aims to kill people? Because the leaders of Communist nations (chiefly Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot) happily slaughtered millions of their own people in the name of revolution, or instituted policies that led to famine and mass death. Per Wikipedia, fully a quarter of ...


30

Q: How does Hitler's interpretation of “Nationalist Socialism” relate to the modern interpretation of “Socialism” and “Nationalism”? In easy English and fairly short sentences: The definitions of the words did not change. The "relations" between them have therefore also not changed. The person of interest did not interpret any "Nationalist Socialism" The ...


29

Modern production requires enormous coordination and incentivization across cultural, technological, temporal, and geographic barriers ("scale"), often even within a single country much less across the global trade network. Money has proven to be really good at coordinating that activity because of some very specific desirable properties as e.g. a ...


26

Happiness is hard to measure, both because it's intensely personal and also somewhat nebulous. It's also (in no small part for the reasons mentioned above) hard for an economic system to provide in an direct fashion. But proceeding from the (hopefully uncontroversial) idea that in general people would prefer more access to jobs/healthcare/infrastructure/...


25

Venezuela made a headlong rush into state ownership of businesses, at the direction of Chavez and Maduro. Consequently, the businesses saw their experienced executives replaced by friends of Chavez and Maduro, with more of an eye on loyalty than competence. As a direct result of this displacement of experienced people, not only was Venezuela hurt badly by ...


24

What is capitalism's approach to facilitating happiness? I'm going to reframe this as: Who is best-equipped to decide how you can you happy? Capitalism's answer is you. You yourself are best-equipped to decide how you can be happy. Socialism's answer is someone else. A politician, bureaucrat, subject matter expert, or someone else is better-equipped ...


24

First of all, at risk of stating the obvious, I think it is important to be clear that terms like these, especially democratic socialism, have politically contested meanings. To understand what is meant by them, it is important to look closely at who is using the term and who their intended audience is. It is also helpful to keep in mind that the meanings of ...


21

Other answers have commented on the US side of the question but I am not sure that France's Parti Socialiste “proudly” calls itself socialist. In fact, the prime minister (who presently comes from this party) floated the idea of changing its name less than a month ago. In any case, most European centre-left parties have kept their traditional name (“...


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