by Stanley Godfrey
“Fidel Castro is Dead!”
Is what president elect Donald Trump said on his twitter Friday November 25th, quickly following the news announcing that the Cuban communist leader had died.
Heated arguments about whether he was a hero or a villain spiraled across major news outlets the day of his death. Much of the hate towards him also questioned communism’s effectiveness.
Starting in the 1950’s communism has been vilified in the US due to both the Vietnam and Cold War. Now after decades of change and turmoil between Soviet nations and Democracies, the use of the word “communism” has become more agreeable.
Here at Hale, with a myriad of diverse opinions and thoughts, communism and socialism is not left out.
Robert Votendahl, a Junior, is an avid student of Karl Marx’s literary works.
“Communism is a transitional period,” states Votendahl. “It has militaristic vibes, to change governments effectively.”
He then discusses that after communism is achieved, leaders can create a more socialist government where citizens follow rules. With these rules there would be a less significant gap between rich and poor.
“One of the big problems with capitalism is instability. Capitalist policies can harm one group while supporting another.”
Paul Shaw, a Freshman and a Russian history enthusiast, spoke about his love of communist armies.
“What Russia is doing now, is everyone needs to serve by doing civil services like being a garbage man all the way to working in the military. It contributes to moving society forward” Shaw explains.
“This system makes Russia have more military personnel than most countries.”
Despite the international symbols of communism and democracy being at odds for nearly a century, Shaw believes that the greatest threat to democracy is capitalism.
“I do not like capitalism because it is consumer based, and is all about mass production and individual wealth,” Shaw explains.
“So it gives a lot of power to those who are higher. Like our new president Donald Trump, he had many advantages due to his capitalist background.”
Of course, there are also those more opposed to communism in Hale.
Sean McGlynn, a junior, came forward to explain the flaws of communism.
“Communism is neutral. Everyone is stuck at the same level because your payments come from one government,” Sean said. “Being above others because of your work is part of human nature.”
While Sean says there are flaws in communism, he also said that it is important to also make sure that all citizens have jobs and not too many fall behind. This is something he said can happen with communism.
McGlynn had a different opinion of Fidel Castro than both Votendahl and Shaw.
“Its very good for the Cuban community, because it is freeing them” McGlynn exclaims. “Fidel was a communist dictator, it was not a free country, and that is a reason why communism doesn’t work.”
Although Castro was one of the last communist leaders to die, it is obvious that communist spirit still exists.
“Castro will forever be in every communists heart,” Shaw says.
Photo by Antonio Martins