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Sadly it is no longer en vogue to call the statists among us Communists. That is because they have become  a little bit more sophisticated since the disrobing of that horrific monstrosity of a political-economic system roughly 20 years ago. Now, those folks who despise private property, who do not believe that man emerges onto this Earth with any natural rights, who do not believe the average person to be of sufficient intelligence to make decisions for himself, who believe that by virtue of being born you obtain a positive right to everyone else but yourself, prefer to call themselves Progressives. Let us revisit what their intellectual forefather said about “how to get from here to there.” In other words, how did Karl Marx indicate that we should move from a vicious, exploitive capitalist world to a world with no private property.

Of course Mr. Marx and his current followers forgot to tell people that just a few elites in government would control the property, with no chance at all for the working man to get his share. They thought that for Communism to work, it had to be done using existing governmental structures. Why? Well, I was interested to learn that the original anarchists in the post Industrial Revolution era were communo-socialist idealists who believed that since the state sanctions and protects private property, the state ought to be eliminated.

However, both Marx and Lenin and the practicing communists despaired at such an idea because they properly understood and believed that the natural state of man is to create, define and defend property and there would be no way they would peacefully dispose of all claims to property in an anarchy. In other words, we had to violently separate people from property, and have the state take it over. So pure Communism cannot exist without the state. And of course, the leaders of the Communist movement were more than happy to be the ultimate property owners once it was forcefully taken from the evil capitalists.

Let’s look at the checklist Marx put together and see how well the gameplan is working out for today’s “Progressives” ahem, Marxists.

  • Marx believed that the working class had to win the battle of democracy over the existing capitalists. Election of 2008 – check (with the caveat that it was a win over a slightly less Marxist government).

Now I quote Marx directly:

The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest … all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the State, i.e., of the proletariat organised as the ruling class; and to increase the total productive forces as rapidly as possible.

And as I said above, this is not exactly going to be done peacefully.

Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures, therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionising the mode of production.

So, here is Marx’s 10 step plan to eliminating private property. Use your imagination to ask how much, if any, of this applies. In red text next to Marx, I put a slight suggestion for today’s scoreboard on the matter.

1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes. (we dont’ abuse eminent domain here, do we? We don’t have oppressive property taxes here, do we? And of course, we would never, ever, tax the income that is generated from land)

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax. Hmm, 50 million Americans pay no income tax, and the top 1% pays 40% of the income taxes in the country. I suppose it could be more progressive.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance. Here is your fearless leader on the estate tax, “Let’s call this trillion dollar giveaway what it is–the Paris Hilton Tax Break. It’s about giving billions of dollars to billionaire heirs and heiresses as a time when American taxpayers just can’t afford it.” Obama has proposed to “reverse some of those tax cuts that went to the wealthiest Americans.” As Obama put it, “It’s not as if rich people were suffering under Bill Clinton,” and perhaps here.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels. The Liberty Dollar is no more.

5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly. Need I comment on this?  Note that Marx wrote over 60 years before the Fed was founded.

6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.Try this on for size. Or this. Or this.
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. First on the latter, check out modern cronyism in the name of environmental protection. For the former, this has been a great year! See here and here and here and here for starters.

8. Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture. It is easy to imagine a world of zero unemployment rates. Try this or this.
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.Ever heard of urban planning?
10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c, &c. I don’t need to go over that one again, do I?

Making great progress fellas. Uncle Karl would be proud.

3 Responses to “If You Thought This Was an April Fools’ Joke, Think Again”

  1. Speedmaster says:

    Frankly, scary as hell when you lay it all out like that.

  2. Michael says:

    Work will set you free.

  3. Harry says:

    A brilliant piece, Wintercow. So much packed into it.

    My only critique is your phrase “…it is no longer in vogue to call the statists among us Communists.”

    In my lifetime it was never in vogue, and though I can’t speak for my parents, I doubt it was in vogue for them, either.

    To the contrary, whenever the subject of Communism came up that I can think of, nearly everyone was careful to change the subject, or especially the meaning of words, as in “Soviet Communism may have led to purges of millions, but true communism is with a little C, and it would never do anything like that.” Such conversations were common if one raised the subject of Stalin, Alger Hiss, or Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Stalin was guilty and should have been punished for his corruption of communism, Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs were innocent, and in any case are irrelevant when we talk of G. Rexford Tugwell or Harry Hopkins.

    Your piece draws together the philosophical assumptions common to the two sides of the honest argument at hand: do we emerge from the earth with natural rights to freedom and property, or is it a question of who has the power to say who gets freedom and property?

    To me, freedom and property are tied inextricably. I guess temporarily you can have freedom of speech and religion and expression without property rights, but then the peasants had some of that under the feudal king. It all works for a while and then breaks down.

    That’s why the communists addressed that problem: deny people the right to property and speech, and tolerate religion a bit by not executing anyone who makes no waves. It all works, you know, if you have nowhere else to go that is free.

    I’m not about to call all of my college professors communists. They were progressives who believed that society could be perfected by them, and that Hegel and Marx were important thinkers, Lenin was a Pragmatist, and that if we could only get someone as enlightened as Henry Waxman at the levers of power. I’m not about to call anyone else a communist, because I fear their ability to flag this post and put it into Dave Axelrod’s archive of Enemies of the Revolution.

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