A Layman's Look at the Communist Manifesto

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Partially
Educated

The
Communist
Manifesto
is one of those documents I was aware of, but had
never taken the time to actually read. As a woefully undereducated
product of the public education system, I somehow managed to slip
by the class that required reading of the old Marx and Engels classic.
So, in the course of continuing liberty self-education, I found
a translation on the web in order to better understand this failed
canon of anti-freedom. My reaction: wow. The Communist Manifesto,
written in 1848, looks a lot like the Democratic
Party Positions
, written in 2000.

The
Pseudo-History of Class Warfare

The
first chapter of the Manifesto is a rambling pseudo-history that
rails against the bourgeois as the historically re-incarnated oppressors
vis-à-vis the continually oppressed proletariat. I was reminded
of the slave reparations, minority oppression, women oppression,
and other Democratic Party class based arguments. The second chapter
is a lengthy list of "Bourgeois" complaints against the
generally perceived Communist aims, and the communist response to
them. Among the Bourgeois complaints the manifesto defends are:
abolition of family, abolition of religion, socialization of education,
and abolition of nations. Does this remind us of current complaints
within the political system? Interestingly, the manifesto presents
the following observation regarding the abolition of nations:

National
differences and antagonism between peoples are daily more and more
vanishing, owing to the development of the bourgeoisie, to freedom
of commerce, to the world market, to uniformity in the mode of production
and in the conditions of life corresponding thereto.

This
is a fairly prescient assessment, given the franchise-ization of
the world. As an aside, I spent 9 months in various cities as part
of my job in 1998. The thing that surprised me most in my tour of
30-odd medium and large American town was the uniformity. Like Edward
Norton in Fight
Club
, I found the same hotel soaps in the same hotels, next
to the same Applebee's or Chili's. It was Generica, not America.
That, however, is a different article; one that addresses how government
zoning laws and tax schemes aide and abet big business in destroying
small, local competition. Back to the original point, however, I
wonder what Marx and Engels saw as the downside to the vanishing
of “antagonism between peoples” that bourgeoisie and freedom of
commerce had brought about. I suppose it was their follow-on predication,
which is wrong.

The
supremacy of the proletariat will cause them (national differences
and antagonism) to vanish still faster.

The
Tyranny of Democracy

Like
any wacko
manifesto
, the Communist Manifesto has just enough facts, just
enough history, and just enough lucid observations to cover the
other 90% of it, which is utter crap. One of the lucid observations
in the Manifesto, is that the proletariat constitute the majority
of the population. The communists realized that by organizing the
proletariat politically, they could just vote themselves more power.
This is one of the two the real gems of chapter two. It explains
a great deal about the tyranny of democracy, and the modus operandi
of our current political parties.

The
Politics of Jealousy

The
other gem in chapter two immediately follows the observation that
the proletariat must first seize control of "political supremacy".
Once that is accomplished, well, Marx and Engels say it best: "The
proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degree,
all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralize all instruments
of production in the hands of the state…" The Democrats, like
the Communists, realize that by dividing people into groups, all
with a chip on their shoulder against the oppressor, they can vote
themselves chunks of the oppressors' property. Let's call this the
politics of jealousy and victimhood. I suppose this explains how
communism could organize itself, at least initially. There will
always be people of extraordinary talent running businesses, inventing
new things, and generally pushing the boundaries of science, technology,
and commerce. Let's use Bill Gates as an example of this natural
elite. For every Bill Gates, there are a thousand Joe Programmers
at Microsoft who are smart and talented. They are the second line
of the elite, in Marx's view, the bourgeois. For every Joe Programmer
at Microsoft, there are a thousand Mary Secretaries, a thousand
Bob Lawnmower, a thousand Doug Factoryworker, and Susie Governmentbureaucrat;
these are the proletariat in the Marxian view. None of them have
the combination of mental ability, circumstance, and determination
that Bill Gates has, and most of them know it. However, these thousands
have a lot more votes than Bill and his programmers. Those votes
are political power, and the Marxists know it.

The
10 Measures of Communism

And
how will the proletariat use their political clout to wrest capital
away from the capitalists? With the 10 measures Marx and Engels
laid out in 1848. As the master communists aver, the exact implementation
will vary slightly from county to country, but will follow the general
thrust of the measures.

Here
are the 10 measures the proletariat will use to bring about the
full realization of the communist utopian dream, once they have
the political power:

  1. Abolition
    of property in land and application of all rents of land to
    public purposes.
  2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
  3. Abolition
    of all rights of inheritance.
  4. Confiscation
    of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
  5. Centralization
    of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national
    bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
  6. Centralization
    of the means of communication and transport in the hands of
    the state.
  7. Extension
    of factories and instruments of production owned by the state;
    the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement
    of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
  8. Equal
    obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies,
    especially for agriculture.
  9. Combination
    of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition
    of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable
    distribution of the populace over the country.
  10. Free
    education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s
    factory labor in its present form. Combination of education
    with industrial production, etc.

Take
a second to compare them with the Democratic Party Positions.

Note that the communists speak in terms of oppressed and oppressor,
guilty rich, and noble worker, just like the Democrats. Solely by
observing the title link of the various positions, you can see the
Democrats place no value on Americans in general, but play race
and class warfare by dividing people into ethnic, social, gender,
and special interest groups.

Observations
on The Communist Goals

Here
are the 10 points from the Communist Manifesto again, with a few
observations.

  1. Abolition
    of property in land and application of all rents of land to
    public purposes.

    The
    communist revolution is about half successful here. Private property
    rights are eroded daily in this country. Property Tax in most
    areas goes directly to fund the “public purpose” of public education.
    (confer #10). The
    US government is the single largest land owner
    , but instead
    of selling off “public” land, the government continues to acquire
    more under the guide of “protecting wilderness” or some other
    such nonsense. The land under direct federal control is not the
    only property held by the government. The use of executive branch
    regulatory edicts to put severe restrictions on private property
    has the effect of putting much more property in the hands of the
    government. Do you really own that South Florida beachfront property
    if you can't build a beach house on it? As long as it's to save
    the Red Mangrove, Loggerhead Turtle, and Brown Pelican, you see.

  1. A
    heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
  2. Can
    someone please explain how a flat tax RATE is not already graduated?
    A truly flat tax would be something like $500 per person per year.
    A graduated tax is 5% per person per year. A punitive tax on innovation
    and achievement is our current manipulative system. When historians
    look back at the United States, they will ask how, in this day
    and age of instant access to information and history, a people
    could fail to see the obvious parallels between the Gestapo, the
    KGB, and the IRS. They all use fear, intimidation, spying, and
    invasion of privacy to keep people in line. This awful agency
    should be abolished and replaced with nothing. The tax code is
    such an obvious tool of social manipulation that it absolutely
    disgusts me. Do you think its any coincidence that the tax code
    has a marriage penalty, and the number of unmarried couples living
    together has gone up? Check off one of the previously stated goals
    of the communists as partially achieved: abolition of the family.

  3. Abolition
    of all rights of inheritance.
  4. Well,
    the current Estate Tax rate of 55% means we're just over half
    way towards this one. Part of the communist goal of ultimate state
    power is the destruction of the family (outlined in chapter 2
    of the manifesto). One of the ties that bind families together,
    as well as encourage parents to work for the betterment of their
    children is the promise of leaving an estate or inheritance. By
    legislating that the property owned and accumulated over a lifetime
    can't be passed on, we help replace the idea of the parent and
    family with the idea of a benevolent state. Further, the idea
    of ownership of one's labor and the property earned by it is undermined.
    One of the tests of ownership is the ability to grant a thing
    to another person. If you aren't free to do that, you don't really
    own something.

  5. Confiscation
    of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
  6. The
    US has relatively few emigrants, but we have plenty of rebels.
    While assorted tax resistors and government regulatory resistors
    fall in the rebel category, the new favorite catch-all prosecutorial
    group is "suspected" drug dealers. Suppose I sell my
    1986 Honda CRX for $800 cash, then drive to the bank to deposit
    it, get stopped on the way, searched (under duress, naturally),
    and the cop decides the cash might be used for drugs. Buh-bye
    cash. I just might be a drug dealer. I'm suspected, and suspicion
    is all it takes. No need to worry about due process or anything,
    kind of like Salem, circa 1692. This is the drug war. Police Forces
    can confiscate your entire house if they find one pot leaf in
    it. The same holds true for your car, or boat. Having a pile of
    money that could be used to buy drugs is suspicious.

    The
    drug war has flown this one in under the Radar of most commie-fighting
    Republicans who roundly support the new prohibition, but as Marx
    and Engels noted "The forms these take will vary from country
    to country". The Communists are ends-justify-the means kind
    of folks.

  7. Centralization
    of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national
    bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
  8. Done.
    Don't think so? Quick, who's Chairman of the Federal Reserve?
    That's right, our good friend, Alan Greenspan. He and the rest
    of the board set the prime-lending rate, and control the money
    supply. In my Keynesian slanted Macro Economic class, they called
    this "fiscal and monetary policy". After a good dose
    of Austrian economics, I now spot it as "Objective 5 of the
    Communist Manifesto — Government Command Economy" or "taxation
    via inflation". Control of the banking system by the fed
    is so complete that Wall Street, the supposed paragon of free-market
    capitalism, wags up and down to the mumblings of a single un-elected
    bureaucrat.

  9. Centralization
    of the means of communication and transport in he hands of the
    state.
  10. AT&T
    was a government sanctioned monopoly for 70 years.
    Thanks
    to the heroic Carter Phone Company making a phone other than black,
    and suing to break the government imposed monopoly, the communications
    industry has been making spectacular progress after begin stifled
    for three-quarters of a century, thanks to Uncle Stalin, errr,
    Sam. Jeremy
    Sapienza
    asks if we might not be online in 1950 if not for
    Intellectual Property restrictions. Given that the telephone took
    67 years to get to 50% of US households thanks to the strangling
    effects of monopoly status, compared with 6 years for the World
    Wide Web to hit 50%, Mr. Sapienza may be right.

    While
    the free market has broken the communications impasse electronically,
    the real world still has only one choice for "first class"
    mail, and the transportation system is still in the hands of the
    state. Think about this the next time you're in traffic. When
    was the last time you went to a grocery store where the checkout
    lines were routinely so frustratingly long that the patrons started
    shooting each other. I would love nothing better than for a private
    company to start leasing tracts of land on the north side of Atlanta,
    build an outer perimeter based on profit sharing of toll revenue
    collected from wireless tags, and then watch the MARTA and highway
    planning goofballs tear their hair. What kind of organization
    actually plans 20 years down the road when traffic jams are driving
    people bonkers today? A government agency of course. Back to the
    communist aspects of this, the central planners love the idea
    that everyone has the same kind of transportation. How dare we
    express individuality, or class distinction based on the kind
    of car we drive.

  11. Extension
    of factories and instruments of production owned by the state;
    the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement
    of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
  12. Governor
    Gray Davis of California has a few things to say about this: namely,
    he's all for it. In fact, having wrecked havoc on California's
    electric and utility companies through price controls, he's proposed
    confiscating them and giving them to the state to run. Governor
    Davis, welcome to the pantheon of fellow communist confiscators:
    Mao, Stalin, and Castro.

  13. Equal
    obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies,
    especially for agriculture.
  14. Marx
    and Engels knew that growing food in a collective commune would
    require some of the very productivity advances brought about by
    capitalism and the industrial revolution in order to supply anything
    above a subsistence level. The solution for them was that everyone
    would work, and agriculture would use industrial techniques. In
    this analysis, they were correct: agriculture in the 21st
    century is often referred to as agribusiness. It looks a lot more
    like steel refining than the picturesque farmer of yore, tilling
    his fields behind an ox, or the post Great Depression family farmer
    on his tractor. Hurray for it. Getting food was the daily occupation
    for most of humanity for as long as we've been on this planet.
    In 1800, it's estimated that 80% of the American workforce was
    involved in farming. In 1990, it's estimated that 3% of the American
    workforce was involved in farming. 3% of the population provides
    food for the other 97%, of their own free will, without hoarding,
    price fixing, or the other bugga-bears of the free market.

    The
    modern form of the industrial army is undeniably the union. Just
    like an army, unions use force to get their way. Sometimes its
    physical force, other times political force. I fully support the
    freedom of and freedom from association. If a group of workers
    wants to form a club and bargain collectively, so be it. If their
    employer wants to fire them all together, well, that's fine too.
    Naturally, the unions, consisting of the democratic mob, have
    passed legislation making it legal for them to organize, but illegal
    for their employer to terminate them. Forward the communist army!

  15. Combination
    of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition
    of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable
    distribution of the populace over the country.
  16. The
    original aim of this communist policy seems to be melding the
    oppressor and oppressed classes: a mass of proletariat concentrated
    in the city, a countryside of peasant farmers, and a few aristocracy
    with massive tracts of hereditary land. Notice the reference to
    "equable distribution" of the populace. This can only
    be accomplished by land redistribution. The communists saw the
    distinction between city dwellers, townies, and country folk.
    They knew the city, filled with factory workers, was their natural
    base from which to mount an assault on the property rights conscious
    farmers and aristocratic landowners. While moving people into
    the countryside seems antithetical to today's environmental movement,
    the two are actually after the same goal: reduction of property
    rights. The greens realize the communist goal by forcing the people
    out of the country, and into the city and suburbs. Think Pol Pot
    and the Khmer Rouge in reverse. Thus, the common thread in these
    nihilistic, authoritarian political movements is revealed.

  17. Free
    education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s
    factory labor in its present form. Combination of education
    with industrial production, etc.

Well,
we've certainly reached the education camp ideal espoused in the
communist manifesto. Instead of universal access to “free” education,
we now have universal compulsory indoctrination. Look
at the assault on home-schoolers for further proof.
I asked
a friend of mine who recently graduated with an education degree
what she learned in her degree major classes. The response frightened
me; she had learned how to control classroom behavior. She told
me it usually “takes 3 or 4 years before children are broken in
to the idea of a teacher in charge”. She teaches 2nd graders. Stories
of public school officials promoting political agendas are legion.
Almost universally, that agenda takes its cues from the communist
manifesto, and its modern keepers.

Back
to point 10 of the Manifesto. The combination of education with
industrial production looks exactly like the work to school programs
that find such favor with our public education system. The abolition
of factory slave labor, and the preservation of third world "habitat"
are two verses in the same tribal chant of the neo-communist environmental
movement. This is all in the name of preventing the third world
country de jour in cahoots with Nike from wrecking the natural habitat
of their beautiful swamps and deserts while exploiting the children,
of course. The natural consequence that the now unemployed children
will have to beg or prostitute themselves to stay fed is ignored
by our enlightened watermelon (red with a thin green skin) protestors.

Conclusion

Am
I suggesting some massive conspiracy to infiltrate the Democratic
(and to a lesser degree the Republican) Party by the International
Commune? No. What I am suggesting is that communists gravitate towards
political parties that see no wrong in enforcing edicts via state
control. I am also suggesting that people with authoritarian tendencies
will never come out and directly say that they want to run your
life. They'll tell you to support some piece of legislation in the
name of fairness, or the environment, or safety, or the children,
or “our” future, or humanitarian intervention, or national security.
Those who oppose are branded heartless, or selfish, or sadistic,
or cowardly, or stupid, or greedy. The collectivists make the claim
to the moral high ground based on the false assumption that they
know what's best for someone else, and how dare you get in the way.
The worst part may be the fact that most Americans don't realize
the stated goals of communism, and the means to achieve those goals
are at work in our society today. I suppose most people assume the
communists will come out and say they want to run your life. No
one can be enslaved all at once; no one would volunteer for it.
But the incremental approach to control is insidious, and dishonest.
It doesn't speak its name, since detection would render people alert
to it, and ready to destroy it. Well, folks, here's your wakeup
call. You will know the authoritarians are attempting to gain control
by reading their Manifesto in their own words. It's
plain as day if you take the time to read it.

July
7, 2001

John Keller
[send
him mail]
owns a Technology
Consulting
and a Real
Estate
business in Atlanta, GA.

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