Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Communism and the orange analogy

Last night I was watching Blame it on Fidel, a French movie about a little girl whose parents become politically active communists. At one point the girl is talking to some of the bearded leftists that have gathered at her parents' apartment and asks what communism is all about. One of them responds by holding out an orange and saying that communists favor giving everyone a piece of the orange rather than just letting one individual enjoy it.

While this is at least partially true -- communists certainly favor wealth redistribution -- it doesn't tell the whole story. Here's what I would have said to the girl by using the orange analogy:
  • Communists are able to give out parts of the orange because they take it from someone who either bought or grew it. Would farmers keep growing oranges if anyone could just steal them? Would you be happy if an orange you bought was taken from you and given to someone else?
  • What do you think is more likely, that everyone will get equal parts of the orange or that those distributing the oranges will give their friends the juiciest parts? While everyone in communism is equal, some are more equal than others.
  • When pieces of the orange run out, the rest of the people will have to form a line in hopes that another orange will appear.
  • Instead of dividing up oranges, capitalists prefer that we produce more of them.

No comments: