What Is Wrong With Communism?

Critics of communism allege that it raises false hopes of a perfect future, gives the government excessive authoritarian powers, limits human rights and individual liberties, hampers economic prosperity and damages the environment.

Some say that communist governments make unrealistic promises. The communist ideal is for everyone to become prosperous, but that hasn't happened in nations that have adopted the ideology.

Communist states typically have dictatorships that cling to power without the consent of the governed by preventing legitimate elections. Authorities restrict personal freedoms, execute political dissidents, and sometimes engage in ethnic cleansing and other human-rights abuses. Secret police, government propaganda, state-run news media, censorship and public surveillance are common characteristics of a communist system. Critics consider such practices tyrannical.

Another allegation is that communist countries don't perform well economically. They have often achieved lower production than capitalist countries and failed to meet the needs of their people. Communist regimes also allegedly cause more damage to the environment. Opponents point to the former Soviet Union's emphasis on industry, the military and space exploration. Such endeavors create pollution and other undesirable ecological effects.

Opponents maintain that the theory behind communism is flawed. They reject Marxist ideology as utopian and unachievable and say it doesn't stand up under scientific analysis.