Jamie Freeze Baird
You know Communism has failed when you're out of toilet paper
By Jamie Freeze Baird
August 17, 2009

According to recent news reports, Cuba is entering crisis mode: They are running out of toilet paper. Cuba both imports toilet paper and makes its own, but raw materials are hard to come by given the global economic mess. State-run company officials say that importing more toilet paper won't be an option until the end of the year. However, in order to deal with the harsh economic crisis, the Cuban government cut imports by twenty percent which reduced the number of goods available in state-run stores. In addition to cutting imports, the government lowered prices on "twenty-four essential goods" like canned squid, mayonnaise, and barbeque sauce. Prices remain the same for perceived non-essential items like cooking oil. Sorry kids, looks like we're having barbequed squid for dinner tonight AGAIN!

Never one to blame the Communist system, President (and I use that term loosely) Raul Castro blames the economic crunch on the US trade embargo, last year's hurricanes that caused over $10 billion in damage, and low productivity. Low productivity? I thought Communism was supposed to inspire mass productivity for the common good of the people? Why isn't Communism, a system touted by many professors and leftists, working?

Karl Marx and Frederich Engels, authors of the Manifesto of the Communist Party, wanted a utopia that was egalitarian, classless and stateless. Sounds, great, right? Marx and Engels believed that Communism would be the final stage in human society after capitalism was eradicated and a dictatorship of the working class ruled. After all, they believed that capitalism was the root of all evil. Marx argued that capitalism was based on endless competition for profit which inevitably led to exploitation and oppression of workers. Thus, Marx believed that only Communism brought the full realization of human freedom.

Marx and Engels must not have seen the human nature that I've seen. They must have envisioned a world where people danced about in fields full of butterflies and flowers and where everyone's needs were meet through the common goodwill of the community. Thomas Hobbes had quite a different view of human nature. Hobbes believed that a life without government would live in a state of nature where each person would have a right to everything in the world. This, he argued, inevitably leads to conflict, and thus lives that are "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." Hobbes understood the depravity of human nature. Hobbes knew that men were basically evil and incapable of taking care of each other without some guidance. For anyone who doesn't agree with Hobbes, I urge them to spend one day observing criminal court proceedings.

Marx and Engels, despite their good intentions, were woefully out of touch with reality. However, their writings have inspired Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Castro (among others) to subject millions of people to oppression and starvation because of policies that just don't work. Under Lenin and Stalin, millions of people died because they had no food. Russia still has not recovered from its Communist experiment. Mao departed slightly from Lenin and Stalin and purged China of the "elite" or those who were educated. He encouraged the Chinese people to make steel in their backyards which of course led to disaster. China still clings to many Maoist principles like denying basic human rights. Castro socialized education and healthcare, nationalized property, businesses, and communication outlets, and purged Cuba of moderates and educators.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Cuba was bankrupt after eighty-five percent of its markets disappeared, which caused gas and water outages and severe power and food shortages. In 1994, Cuba's economy was on the brink of collapse. Castro legalized the US dollar and opened Cuba up to tourism. It was only after these minor quasi-capitalist concessions that Cuba's economy started to move forward.

Now, however, Cuba's refusal to reject a system that has only met failure is underscored by their shortage of toilet paper. I've yet to hear of a capitalist country facing a toilet paper shortage. Since the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917, the world has had almost a hundred years to watch Communism fail in various forms and outlets. However, the world has had hundreds of years to watch free markets and capitalism succeed. I once heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again expecting a different result. Is it too early to call people who cling to Communist philosophy insane? Seems to me, you know Communism has failed when you're out of toilet paper.

© Jamie Freeze Baird


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Jamie Freeze Baird

Jamie Baird received battlefield experience in the war of ideology while attending the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. While earning her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History, she served as Vice President of the College Republicans and was the lone conservative opinion columnist for The Carolinian, UNCG's student newspaper. After surviving college without becoming a liberal, she graduated in 2009. Jamie received her Master of Arts in Government, with certification in Law and Public Policy from Regent University in 2011, where she was also active in the College Republicans. You can contact Jamie at jamiebaird12@gmail.com with questions, comments, rants, and snide remarks.


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