Day 50 – Q 3. Why did communism fail as a politico-economic system? Critically analyse. (15 Marks)

  • IASbaba
  • March 21, 2022
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GS 1, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing, World History
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3. Why did communism fail as a politico-economic system? Critically analyse. (15 Marks)

एक राजनीतिकआर्थिक व्यवस्था के रूप में साम्यवाद क्यों विफल हो गया? समालोचनात्मक विश्लेषण करें।


Candidates need to critically analyse why did communism fail as a politico-economic system Introduction.


There are numerous reasons to justify that communism in practice had major weaknesses as an economic system but the main concern would be the issue of human incentive. The theory of communism assumed that every human under its ruling would have a “good heart” with the incentive to work for the overall benefit of the country. In human nature, it is natural for humans to express self-centred feelings as a primary instinct but communism expected society to take a more humanitarian approach to the functioning of an economy. 

Why did communism fail as a politico-economic system? 

  • Communism collapsed because it didn’t take into account the capabilities and potential of individual people, and it measured potential as an entire contribution of society. Famous examples of when this didn’t work was the Russian revolution.
  • By default, a communist country, such as the Soviet Union, valued utilitarianism above everything else. This meant that every action performed within the state had to have a palpable ending. 
  • A reason for the failure of Communism as an economic system is because communism expected the country to be an autarky. 
  • This meant that there would be no international trading of any produce and resources, including labour. 
  • Consequently, this would hinder the global distribution of technology as well as a varied and skilled workforce. 
  • This would result in slower economic development, because making revenue from tourism and exports wouldn’t even exist, as well as causing the country to become increasingly disjointed from the world to an extent where society could become ignorant of modern practices and technological advancements. 
  • When all of this occurs, there would be a lack in modernity throughout a communist economy, and this would cause the country to become underdeveloped and backwards moving, rather than a fully functioning representation of a developed economy.
  • In communism, individualism makes room for the collective. Ideals like freedom of speech were considered dangerous to the Communist party. 
  • The forced collectivization act and the lack of artistic freedom are just two examples of how communism chose to circumvent some of the fundamental human rights.
  •  Another reason is that communism would treat everyone homogenously which means that everyone would follow one order of beliefs or culture regardless of their language, religious or cultural differences. 
  • A non-existent multicultural society, while supplemented by the lack of tourism would not be economically beneficial for the economy. 


Overall, communism failed as an economic system because it did not adapt for ever changing requirements, and due to its economic restrictions, it could not develop as quickly as capitalist countries. Looking at communism from a more diplomatic perspective, one could argue that Karl Marx’s theory of how capitalism was a flawed economic system whereby ultimately economy would collapse is also a true representation of what occurs in a communist state.

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