Speech about Hammer and Sickle

Mark Ma

Professor Hamilton

English 137, Section 009

09/20/2017

When you see the portraits of Stalin or Mao Tse-tung, what are some words that first come to your mind? Red Terror? Excruciation? Or Repression? How about the symbol of “Communism”: Hammer and Sickle? Is this next Nazi’s symbolism? However, at this moment, I want to discuss the original idea and the origin about this artifact, the real “Communism“: why “Communism” is abused and the misunderstanding by Western society. Hopefully, after my speech, you could all have a brand-new view of Communism instead of some stereotypes you heard from media or even the government.

 

  • The history of Hammer and Sickle
    •  Was conceived during the Russian Revolution
      • The hammer represented for industrial laborers
      • The sickle represented for peasantry
    • Why was this artifact used?
      • Represented the worker-peasant alliance worked as a whole (also called Bolsheviks led by Lenin)
      • Against White movement (represented the ruling class, like Tsar)
      • And Allied intervention during the Revolution (represented foreign Capitalism).
    • After WWI and Russian Civil war
      • Was used as the emblem of the USSR
      • Caused several Communist movements in worldwide.
    • Nowadays
      • Communist Party of China
      • Represented the fundamental interests of working class and broad masses.
      • Only 4 countries left under “Communism”: China, Cuba, Lao, and Vietnam.

Transition: At this point, you probably still confused about why “communism” can be called Red terror, because “Communism” is still a symbol of most of the people’s interests against ruling class (we called that democracy) instead of autarchy. Then the next topic I’m going to talk about the real “Communism” and how this idea was abused.

 

  • The theoretical basis-Marxism (formed by Marx and Engels)
    • General Purpose
      • From each according to his ability, to each according to his need
      • to establish a communist society, which is a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money and the state.
        • The whole society produces goods based on the needs instead of interests
      • Against Capitalism
        • Capitalism – The best way to work with exploitation is to allow anyone to do it, too.
          • Bourgeoisie- people who owned physical capital- tools that used to produce goods
          • Proletariat-people who sell their labor without the tools to produce goods by themselves
        • Making working opportunity is a lie, which caused exploitation
      • Capitalism-Socialism-Communism
      • It was mostly economic theory! Not political

Transition: That information above was the general idea about the real “Communism” that a theoretic perfect society that formed by Marx and Engels, a utopian conception. However, after the death of Marx, his theory divided into two major factions: Comintern and Revisionism.

  • Comintern
    • Like Leninism, then Stalin and Mao used this theory.
      • The revolution could start right now and would be successful soon.
        • Armed rebellion
        • Use violence to destroy all the wealth, law, morality and even the flesh of the bourgeoisie, strongly resisted by the capitalist countries.
        • Succeeded in Russia, China and etc.
  • Revisionism
    • Also called democratic socialism
      • An ideology that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a capitalist economy
      • Nowadays, can be found in Northern Europe
        • Didn’t get that much of resistance compared to Comintern
      • The one that Marx realized when he near to die

Transition: Those two factions all came from the same idea but had such a different results and consequences. Moreover, the stereotypes were raised by the United States during the cold war and used it as an enemy to fight against for.

  • The name “Communist State”
    • Used to call USSR and other “communist” countries.
    • However, the Totalitarianism they tried to blame was not Communism at all!!!
      • Those countries didn’t even call themselves as Communism because communism was their supreme goal.
  • Freedom, Utopia, and mandatory
    • Having a Utopia is not terrible, but when someone’s Utopia became mandatory for everyone in the country, then everything becomes terrible
      • White Terror
      • Red Terror

Conclusion: Farewell to Utopia is always easy, but it is difficult to get out of mandatory. Politically correct is always mandatory but it changed so quick in a short period of time. The United States used to strongly condemn an enemy called “Communist State” and didn’t establish a diplomatic relation until 1976; by the way, People’s Republic of China was established at 1949. However, nowadays, China has become the biggest trade partner and you can easily find “Made in China” sign, especially in Wal-Mart. I heard a sentence before that represent that situation the most: “ The weapon is not an evil, but the people use it.”  Our values and morals are always changing, but the true diamond won’t.

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