Freedom of Expression

In a country shaped by communist theories, communal interests would ideally match the interests of each individual. Diverse amounts of individual speech would be limited seeing as the population would be seen as one individual with one main belief. However, we know that this is not a reasonable expectation. This is one of the reasons why it is a strongly held belief that freedom of speech is necessary and greatly valued in an ideal Communist state. Communist values involve giving each individual an equal voice in order to promote freedom and justice. Censorship is greatly frowned upon by those considered the creators of the Communist system and has been labeled a system of oppression. Originally, it was thought that the regulation of free expression and speech was enforced by those in power and must be eliminated, however, this has shifted as time goes on. Despite freedom of speech, publication, assembly, association, procession, and demonstration being in their constitution, four out of the five currently existing communist countries take up spots on the list of the top ten most censored countries. Communist leaders use the public’s dislike for a certain government figure, as well as the encouragement of free expression, to take power over a country or community. After taking power, however, all freedom of speech, expression, or criticism of the government is restricted and censored. 

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In Vietnam, all art exhibitions must be approved by a section of the government called the Ministry of Culture. However, this branch is extremely disorganized and corrupt. Because of this, many things go unnoticed and therefore uncensored. As a result of that, visual artists have a great amount of freedom. Many art pieces and trends have been created in the wake of social and political movements. Communist revolutions, in general, have inspired artists throughout history in places like Russia, China, and even the United States. For Vietnam, the Communist revolution was the beginning of contemporary art. Other than visual art, however, expression can be very limited. Journalists, for example, are strictly monitored and often oppressed. When charged with crimes, many journalists never get a trial, much less a fair one. 


Internet and Media

The ever-expanding world of the internet has become an extremely interesting and heavily covered topic, especially within Communist countries. Many places, such as China, have systems in place that prevent citizens to view certain content or reach certain people. A few countries, like Cuba and North Korea, have little to no internet access at all. This may be due to the fact that a few of these countries have suffered economically, however for the most part this is caused by government censorship and control.