While I do think communism is totally unrealistic I don’t buy the usual narrative about communism being this horrible plague upon the world. The horrible outcomes is as much due to the strong opposition to the idea as to the idea itself. Bloody communist revolutions happened in deeply oppressed states. These revolutions got ever more bloody for much the same reasons as the French revolution got bloody. Nobody today would claim democracy is an idea which disrespect human life just because the French revolution and the American war of independence spilled blood.
In the French revolution things got bloody because strong forces of the establishment tried to undermine the transition to democracy. All major European powers invaded France to re-establish the Monarchy.
Tyrants like Napoleon rose to power in France specifically to counter this. France may have been a democracy much earlier if not for everybody else trying to sabotage it. Instead we got the Napoleonic wars with countless dead. Are we to say: “Oh if only the French had not wanted democracy, so many would not have died.”
It is much the same for communism. Basically every country that had a communist revolution, the establishment tried to regain power and foreign powers invaded. About 18 nations invaded Russia to put the Czar back in power. Such actions naturally breed extremism which pushes horrible guys like Stalin at the top. A strong man to counter all the threats internally and externally. If everybody is trying to overthrow your new state, you naturally become less concerned with respecting the liberties of the citizens and more concerned with squashing all the threats to the government. That is how you create a paranoid oppressive dictatorship. You cannot look at this in isolation and say communism magically just creates oppression.
It is highly doubtful that communists winning elections in a free and democratic country would lead to such bloodshed and oppression.
One also has to keep in mind that a lot of the narrative about how blood thirsty communism has been greatly inflated by western propaganda. I know, because I was subject to that propaganda growing up during the cold war. I was feed many direct lies about the USSR despite living in a social democracy. But we took the American narrative as the gospel truth all too often.
People like to talk about how Stalin and Mao starved people to death. Yet few ever mention how Democratic and capitalist colonial Britain made tens of millions of Indian’s starve to death in the name of capitalist profit. Or that over a million Irish died due to a capitalist ideology. When the famines spread in Ireland, the capitalist fanboys insisted that the state should not come to aid, as that would interfere with the precious market. Had Ireland had a population similar to Russia or China, the Brits would have easily outdone both Mao and Stalin in deaths.
Nor is there any need to remind you I think that the horrors in the Congo was not perpetrated by communists.
I don’t believe in communism but I also don’t buy the idea that communism is somehow the worst idea ever. It would be the same as claiming the horrors in the Syrian civil war is owned by liberals and democrats. After all if these people had not fought for freedom, so many would not have died.