Why Communism failed during the cold-war Era? / Junpeng Zhang

Since I am from China, which also has a communist history, I started to learn that part of history in high school. All I know is that communism failed because of politics and some objective reasons. But after I visited Europe, especially the Communist Museum in Prague, Czech Republic, I realized there really are other reasons to make their system fail.

From my perspective, I think it should be broken down in two parts, ideal reasons and objective reasons. Ideal reasons are mostly the knowledge learned from textbooks, which are analyzed from political angles. However, Europeans not only experienced those political dramas, but also some social turbulence.

During my group’s trip weekend, I went to Denmark to visit my mom’s best friend from her childhood, let’s just say she is my aunt. When I stayed at her home, suddenly, the curiosity of communism came into my mind, so I had a deep conversation with my aunt and uncle. I asked them to tell me how they thought about it and looked at it. They told me they didn’t have many memories from their childhood since communism ended very quickly when my aunt and uncle were young.

But I didn’t give up asking them, so they continued to provide their thoughts on it. Basically, they know what communism had done to Europe, but they didn’t want to consider it as evil as some politicians described it. We concluded that the communist idea failed in Europe because it was very unrealistic during that period.

At that moment, the amount of food and service supplies was not sufficient for all citizens beyond communism. In fact, they tried to divide things equally among people, but the productivity was still low. The general idea was that people only work for the hours they think they need to; in other words, if you don’t want to work, which based on this social system you can, you would still be provided with everything like food and the services you need in your life by the government.

That’s one of the problems, which shows that the Soviet government hadn’t considered very properly its plans. They even ignored that some countries had barren lands. Because of this circumstance, there turned out being insufficient necessities for everyone. People in this system felt frustrated and upset, and they finally burst into rallies against the armies of government.


“From my perspective, I think it should be broken down in two parts, ideal reasons and objective reasons. Ideal reasons are mostly the knowledge learned from textbooks, which are analyzed from political angles. However, Europeans not only experienced those political dramas, but also some social turbulence.”

In addition, pictures and displays in the museum show a lot of evidences of how Czech people were upset with the local government and communism. They sat at Wenceslas Square and had confrontations with soldiers who wanted to expel the peaceful protestors. This came at the very end of the communist period.

What the communist party did to these eastern European countries was miserable and unforgettable. Once they heard someone disagreed with their political opinions, they removed opposition parties brutally. Furthermore, they forbid “good” social-media works, like ones advocating how evil capitalism was.  They even cut off the natural connections with Europe, controlling travel and making eastern Europe a forbidden place to the outside world.

In my opinion, indeed, it is undeniable that communism did really bad things to Europeans in these pro-Soviet countries. I truly understand to protect the stability of a political power, sometimes forces are needed.  No regime can avoid this problem. Things always have two sides to consider, I think Stalin had communism working for a good purpose, but after he died, things gradually changed, so they fell off the right track.


Currently, in some high-welfare European countries, sociologists have started to debate if it is possible to see a future when communism will come again one day. Since the development of science, robots can replace human beings and be the biggest working power at the production line in this planet. People are curious that once the day comes with no need for people to work, will everyone get everything equally?

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