What Are the Positives and Negatives of Communism?

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Proponents of communism say the socioeconomic structure ensures equal access to education, health care and other basic human needs for all, while opponents say it encourages laziness and greed and often results in what amounts to a dictatorship. A handful of nations, including China, North Korea and Cuba, continue to operate under the communist form of government.

According to an article on the pros and cons of communism in Cuba published in The Week, Cuba offers schoolchildren ample sporting opportunities as well as an excellent education. There is one teacher for every 10 Cuban students versus one per 15 in the United States. The article also cites free healthcare's impact on the nation's overall well-being as an advantage to communism. For example, infant mortality is lower in Cuba than in America.

On the other hand, according to the article, half of all Cubans survive on less than $1 a day, the country's transportation infrastructure is antiquated and deteriorating, and free speech restrictions are severe. The nation's regime has imprisoned hundreds of political dissidents, many for up to 20 years for non-violent protests. Even though homosexuality is not a crime in Cuba, those who are known to be LGBT are frequently harassed without protections.