Monday, January 30, 2012

Lesson 18: Principles of Communism - Segment #2

I hold weekly anti-communist meetings for interested parties here in Hendersonville, NC.

Synopsis of Week 18

The Principles of Communism

By Frederick Engels



We continue studying Engels’ The Principles of Communism, very important as a primer. Remind yourself at all times that the goal of the communist is not to educate but to subvert.

12. “What were the further consequences of the industrial revolution? Big industry created in the steam engine, and other machines, the means of endlessly expanding industrial production, speeding it up, and cutting its costs. With production thus facilitated, the free competition, which is necessarily bound up with big industry, assumed the most extreme forms; a multitude of capitalists invaded industry, and, in a short while, more was produced than was needed. As a consequence, finished commodities could not be sold, and a so-called commercial crisis broke out. Factories had to be closed, their owners went bankrupt, and the workers were without bread. Deepest misery reigned everywhere. After a time, the superfluous products were sold, the factories began to operate again, wages rose, and gradually business got better than ever. But it was not long before too many commodities were again produced and a new crisis broke out, only to follow the same course as its predecessor. Ever since the beginning of this (19th) century, the condition of industry has constantly fluctuated between periods of prosperity and periods of crisis; nearly every five to seven years, a fresh crisis has intervened, always with the greatest hardship for workers, and always accompanied by general revolutionary stirrings and the direct peril to the whole existing order of things.”

First, it is not within our range of experience to comment upon every mode from the Industrial Revolution which did not concur with healthy economics. Nevertheless, keeping in mind that human nature, not government, rules the actual free market, it is easy to understand the boom-bust cycle as a measurement of economic enthusiasm, not moral decay (Engels’ provocation). Obviously, when business is booming, a company lays up inventory in anticipation of fast turnaround, not in order to furlough employees. Only when economic enthusiasm (macro or specific) fades do workers find themselves laid off. Under a guise of compassion for the proletariat (to “liberate”), the means of production is to be seized. In reality, the proletariat will then become a slave of the communist state, never unemployed, but subject to more scrutiny and (historically) even worse living conditions than supposed under capitalism.

Second, the perils of capitalism are mainly tied up in the consumer base. Production rates should optimally meet market demand. Unfortunately for businessmen and for the economy at large, the whims of human beings cannot be thus calculated, never mind controlled - except under complete domination. Therefore, the communist seeks not only to take the means of production but also to eliminate the natural cycles of human caprice through strict oversight of both supply and demand.

Finally, to his discredit, Engels omits the influence of government, which in large part, through easy credit and prejudicial regulations, not to mention the promise of taxpayer-funded bailouts, creates the circumstances for overbuilding and overproduction. Without these political protections, big industry would be subject to a level playing field of economic risks, therefore treading more carefully and avoiding the circumstances of financial and social ruin which communists daily prey upon.

13. What follows from these periodic commercial crises? First: That, though big industry in its earliest stage created free competition, it has now outgrown free competition; that, for big industry, competition and generally the individualistic organization of production have become a fetter which it must and will shatter; that, so long as big industry remains on its present footing, it can be maintained only at the cost of general chaos every seven years, each time threatening the whole of civilization and not only plunging the proletarians into misery but also ruining large sections of the bourgeoisie; hence, either that big industry must itself be given up, which is an absolute impossibility, or that it makes unavoidably necessary an entirely new organization of society in which production is no longer directed by mutually competing individual industrialists but rather by the whole society operating according to a definite plan and taking account of the needs of all.

The grievance is now admired. The misery of the proletariat is given full adherence, but the bourgeoisie is dragged into it also. The purpose of this casting net is to catch as many fish as possible, for in the lake of “big industry” capitalism there are sure to be casualties of war who would gladly trade their current poverty for a “secure” future.

This bailout syndrome exemplifies the communist target, that is, those who live in economic and/or social terror. It should be noted that to be terror-stricken is no sin of man or God, but to remain continuously in that mindset or position is to eventually invite a “savior” to overcome the oppressiveness.

Communism is offered as the solution, the “new organization of society” which does not threaten to destroy big industry but take it to the next level. Utopia is promised, measured in the term “taking account of the needs of all.” This is a careful lie. To “take account” of needs does not necessarily translate to meeting them, whether intentionally or not.

Then is the question of “need.” Who is to be appointed the arbiter of need? Certainly not the individual, for the query “what do you need?” would almost always be answered with a desire, a “want.” Such desires breed the necessity for niche markets, and therefore capitalism. Instead, the communist society must determine “scientifically” the human requirement on average for food, water, heat, electricity, light, living space, and so forth. In this way, there is neither overproduction nor a decrease in consumer demand. Lovely, isn’t it?

Second: That big industry, and the limitless expansion of production which it makes possible, bring within the range of feasibility a social order in which so much is produced that every member of society will be in a position to exercise and develop all his powers and faculties in complete freedom. It thus appears that the very qualities of big industry which, in our present-day society, produce misery and crises are those which, in a different form of society, will abolish this misery and these catastrophic depressions. We see with the greatest clarity: (i) That all these evils are from now on to be ascribed solely to a social order which no longer corresponds to the requirements of the real situation; and (ii) That it is possible, through a new social order, to do away with these evils altogether.

Only by stealing capitalist ideas and machinations can the communist fulfill his destiny! This envy of productive capacity is the highest form of flattery for capitalism.

By what means does the communist believe this may be achieved? Through sheer numbers. The unions of labor amalgamated are to be wielded as a weapon, through method of general strike, and even by riot if need be. The essential element which propels this mob is anger, driven by the root feeling of “unfairness.” Only “fairness” or “justice” will compensate, and the communist counts upon the compassion of sympathizers to make the rational case for this social unrest and violence even as the mace of the managed crowd is hurtled against the perceived oppressor.

“A social order in which so much is produced that every member of society will be in a position to exercise and develop all his powers and faculties in complete freedom” is the selling point. The communist state will, according to Engels, be a playground and laboratory where every manner of physical and intellectual pursuit shall be opened in liberty. This is nonsense. The communist abhors individuality, considering it a basic building block for capitalism. Historically, the socialist nation utilizes perceived talents and skills for the good of the state, and without “complete freedom.”

Note also that communism forbids a man’s individualistic quest for religious and biblical knowledge, therefore in reality denying access to “all his powers and faculties.”

14. What will this new social order have to be like? Above all, it will have to take the control of industry and of all branches of production out of the hands of mutually competing individuals, and instead institute a system in which all these branches of production are operated by society as a whole – that is, for the common account, according to a common plan, and with the participation of all members of society. It will, in other words, abolish competition and replace it with association. Moreover, since the management of industry by individuals necessarily implies private property, and since competition is in reality merely the manner and form in which the control of industry by private property owners expresses itself, it follows that private property cannot be separated from competition and the individual management of industry. Private property must, therefore, be abolished and in its place must come the common utilization of all instruments of production and the distribution of all products according to common agreement – in a word, what is called the communal ownership of goods. In fact, the abolition of private property is, doubtless, the shortest and most significant way to characterize the revolution in the whole social order which has been made necessary by the development of industry – and for this reason it is rightly advanced by communists as their main demand.

No pretence is made that the abolition of private property is the primary goal of communism.

Engels postulates that by such abolition the action of “competition” shall likewise disappear. Upon further contemplation, it should become clear that the communist state fears competition. The proper node to this fear is the foresight that production by “association” will, through necessary devaluation of human nature, be of mediocre quality. In other words, Engels has confessed that communism is not superior to, not even equal with, capitalism.

The corollary is equally apparent, that is, communism must come about through force. There is no preponderance of persons who shall agree to a diminished lifestyle in order to bring society to an equality of means, and therefore communism can only be by coercion. It must sublimate human ambition. It must eradicate contention and crime. In short, it must become supremely fascist.

Nevertheless, the ideology is couched in such terms of egalitarianism that those afflicted with bleeding hearts cannot but be touched to action. Even history cannot penetrate the foggy brains of those predisposed to do-gooding. Every generation is thus populated with future communist dupes, ready, yes, eager, to be directed against the “establishment” (oppressor), a representation of capitalism. Therefore, we repeatedly see popular protest against the bankers, the corporations, the moral majority, and every other target of communism.

15. Was not the abolition of private property possible at an earlier time? No. Every change in the social order, every revolution in property relations, is the necessary consequence of the creation of new forces of production which no longer fit into the old property relations. Private property has not always existed. When, towards the end of the Middle Ages, there arose a new mode of production which could not be carried on under the then existing feudal and guild forms of property, this manufacture, which had outgrown the old property relations, created a new property form, private property. And for manufacture and the earliest stage of development of big industry, private property was the only possible property form; the social order based on it was the only possible social order.

Of course, this is absolutely incorrect. Private property as a concept is embedded in the Ten Commandments. “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house” is the fence before “Thou shalt not steal” (as “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife” is the preventative to “Thou shalt not commit adultery”), for it is the desire to take which leads to taking.

This neglect to mention God’s Law (Torah) underscores the communist aim to eliminate Judaism (see Lesson 3), for Judaism is Law, and communism is rejection of any rule or law but its own arbitrary regulation. Marx said, “In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.” He understood that the elimination of Torah would lead not only to the secularization of both Jews and Christians (a communist aim) but also to the end of capitalism, which Marx defined as a Jewish invention.

So long as it is not possible to produce so much that there is enough for all, with more left over for expanding the social capital and extending the forces of production – so long as this is not possible, there must always be a ruling class directing the use of society’s productive forces, and a poor, oppressed class. How these classes are constituted depends on the stage of development. The agrarian Middle Ages give us the baron and the serf; the cities of the later Middle Ages show us the guildmaster and the journeyman and the day laborer; the 17th century has its manufacturing workers; the 19th has big factory owners and proletarians. It is clear that, up to now, the forces of production have never been developed to the point where enough could be developed for all, and that private property has become a fetter and a barrier in relation to the further development of the forces of production. Now, however, the development of big industry has ushered in a new period. Capital and the forces of production have been expanded to an unprecedented extent, and the means are at hand to multiply them without limit in the near future. Moreover, the forces of production have been concentrated in the hands of a few bourgeois, while the great mass of the people are more and more falling into the proletariat, their situation becoming more wretched and intolerable in proportion to the increase of wealth of the bourgeoisie. And finally, these mighty and easily extended forces of production have so far outgrown private property and the bourgeoisie, that they threaten at any moment to unleash the most violent disturbances of the social order. Now, under these conditions, the abolition of private property has become not only possible but absolutely necessary.

This is merely fear-mongering and rabble-rousing, barely worth analysis. The goal is to strike fear in the hearts of the upper class while arousing the temper of the collective middle and lower classes. The mechanism is the supposed immediacy to supplant “big industry” with an evolutionary form of production, namely a change of hands. Huzzah.

16. Will the peaceful abolition of private property be possible? It would be desirable if this could happen, and the communists would certainly be the last to oppose it. Communists know only too well that all conspiracies are not only useless, but even harmful. They know all too well that revolutions are not made intentionally and arbitrarily, but that, everywhere and always, they have been the necessary consequence of conditions which were wholly independent of the will and direction of individual parties and entire classes. But they also see that the development of the proletariat in nearly all civilized countries has been violently suppressed, and that in this way the opponents of communism have been working toward a revolution with all their strength. If the oppressed proletariat is finally driven to revolution, then we communists will defend the interests of the proletarians with deeds as we now defend them with words.

Not to be taken lightly, this warning shot manifested itself throughout the 19th century before exploding into the Russian Revolution of 1917. Nevertheless, it is the progressive (the Fabian Socialist) who now dominates, eschewing violent revolution for the slow and internal corrosion of capitalist society, subverting the culture and, finally, the law to its own means and measure.

17. Will it be possible for private property to be abolished at one stroke? No, no more than existing forces of production can at one stroke be multiplied to the extent necessary for the creation of a communal society. In all probability, the proletarian revolution will transform existing society gradually and will be able to abolish private property only when the means of production are available in sufficient quantity.

The concept of progressiveness is postulated early.

18. What will be the course of this revolution? Above all, it will establish a democratic constitution, and through this, the direct or indirect dominance of the proletariat. Direct in England, where the proletarians are already a majority of the people. Indirect in France and Germany, where the majority of the people consists not only of proletarians, but also of small peasants and petty bourgeois who are in the process of falling into the proletariat, who are more and more dependent in all their political interests on the proletariat, and who must, therefore, soon adapt to the demands of the proletariat. Perhaps this will cost a second struggle, but the outcome can only be the victory of the proletariat. Democracy would be wholly valueless to the proletariat if it were not immediately used as a means for putting through measures directed against private property and ensuring the livelihood of the proletariat. The main measures, emerging as the necessary result of existing relations, are the following:

(i) Limitation of private property through progressive taxation, heavy inheritance taxes, abolition of inheritance through collateral lines (brothers, nephews, etc.) forced loans, etc.

Despite the fact that such are naught but governmental theft, the United States’ progressive tax system and inheritance tax are viewed by many as necessary agents for loosening capital! They are in fact communistic.

As to “forced loans,” we might loosely say that sub-prime mortgages coerced through the actions of community organizers (ACORN), and backed with the might of federal legislation (such as CRA), are exactly what Engels had in mind.

(ii) Gradual expropriation of landowners, industrialists, railroad magnates and shipowners, partly through competition by state industry, partly directly through compensation in the form of bonds.

In Venezuela, Chavez has nationalized much industry through a combination of such tactics. In the United States, we have seen such expropriation through monetization of the debt, that is, technical confiscation of private property through collateralization of government bonds issued. But communist takeover by this method would seem to be easily resisted, leading instead to collapse of the currency.

Note that such communist pilferage results through “competition” by state industry, a clear hypocrisy.

(iii) Confiscation of the possessions of all emigrants and rebels against the majority of the people.

First, those who flee are not able to retain their property by any means. This point is, however, moot, since under communism contracts in general would not be honored. Second, “rebels” are defined in order to continue the pillaging. Both are pure highway theft.

(iv) Organization of labor or employment of proletarians on publicly owned land, in factories and workshops, with competition among the workers being abolished and with the factory owners, in so far as they still exist, being obliged to pay the same high wages as those paid by the state.

Among the flotsam of recommendations is this measly example which seeks to implant that by some small concession the capitalist concern might continue, though heavily regulated and dunned by unfair competition. In actuality, the industrialist for this example is employed by the state, a front.

(v) An equal obligation on all members of society to work until such time as private property has been completely abolished. Formation of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

There are a few disturbing elements here. First, communist agriculture is a state rather than individual concern. This entails a minimization of variety (no asparagus!) and a focus upon lowest common denominator (wheat, potatoes, etc). Second, the “formation of industrial armies” is a clear intimation of hierarchy, with overseers and commandants who get a “fairer share” (or, as Orwell put it, “some animals are more equal than others”). Third, it may be extrapolated that a society based on “work” (visualized through the hammer and sickle) must weed out the unproductive, which include the infirm and elderly as well as those not willing to procreate. Fourth, an “obligation” to work, which is the compartmentalization of talent. Music and the arts exist as the state deems it necessary, and by those who display not only the correct talents but also loyalties.

(vi) Centralization of money and credit in the hands of the state through a national bank with state capital, and the suppression of all private banks and bankers.

The use of money and credit as a necessary means of exchange, even within the communist state, proves not only the fabric of capitalism to be the superior economic framework, but also that communism has no original creativity.

Further, a positive network of goods and services is able to remain intact only when self-interest is permitted to flourish.

Even under his barbed wired financial system, Engels has articulated that the willingness of the people to accept certain scrip and transactions in exchange for their labor rests upon some measure of trust in both government and currency, which itself must be subject to the higher rule of God’s Law, not the manufactured regulation of a tyrant. In the United States, 100 years of Federal Reserve central banking is now teaching this ancient lesson.

(vii) Increase in the number of national factories, workshops, railroads, ships; bringing new lands into cultivation and improvement of land already under cultivation – all in proportion to the growth of the capital and labor force at the disposal of the nation.

Although Engels must have been well aware that such growth is the product of past success, the unrealistic expectation of hive mentality suddenly makes its appearance, as if the promise of grandeur alone can be the motivator for nationalist pride. For Engels, it is a moment of immense arrogance, or, more likely, of tremendous dialectic.

(viii) Education of all children, from the moment they can leave their mother’s care, in national establishments at national cost. Education and production together.

The purpose of education, according to Engels, is to teach work (“production”). This is a strong argument, for technical prowess is a boon. However, the basis is weak, for there is predicated beforehand an assumption that the work itself must be assented by association rather than by individual choice. Thereby, the rich tapestry of creativity found among the capitalist nations is stunted under communism, and for two reasons. First, self-interest is to be purged in the early years of education, replaced by loyalty to the state. Second, the methods of coercive peer pressure (secret police, spying for reward, etc) which accompany collectivism supplant the joy of discovery with the fear of reprisal.

Historically, we have seen these education factories in Germany, Russia, China, and other socialist nations. Why does it continue without struggle? Simply, superior firepower. The tyrants have the guns. In the United States, however, there are so many weapons in individual hands that it constructively is impossible for central government to demand this type of public education. Only by virtue of the Second Amendment is our government somewhat cowed to respect the decisions of the individual (for education, that means home schooling and private schools).

Under communism, the “family” is null, only a union of man and woman to procreate the next generation of worker. One hideous conclusion is that, after the child-bearing years are past, such “marriages” may be dissolved by the state.

(ix) Construction, on public lands, of great palaces as communal dwellings for associated groups of citizens engaged in both industry and agriculture and combining in their way of life the advantages of urban and rural conditions while avoiding the one-sidedness and drawbacks of each.

This is Agenda 21.

(x) Destruction of all unhealthy and jerry-built dwellings in urban districts.

There is nothing inherently distasteful here, except the expectation of communist double-speak.

(xi) Equal inheritance rights for children born in and out of wedlock.

Seemingly benign, this actually promotes promiscuity while simultaneously adding to the work population.

(xii) Concentration of all means of transportation in the hands of the nation.

A natural consequence of communism, this controls mobility, that is, escape.

It is impossible, of course, to carry out all these measures at once. But one will always bring others in its wake. Once the first radical attack on private property has been launched, the proletariat will find itself forced to go ever further, to concentrate increasingly in the hands of the state all capital, all agriculture, all transport, all trade. All the foregoing measures are directed to this end; and they will become practicable and feasible, capable of producing their centralizing effects to precisely the degree that the proletariat, through its labor, multiplies the country’s productive forces. Finally, when all capital, all production, all exchange have been brought together in the hands of the nation, private property will disappear of its own accord, money will become superfluous, and production will so expand and man so change that society will be able to slough off whatever of its old economic habits may remain.

A little communism within a capitalist state makes the fuse for the grenade. Communist infiltration is the game.

The utopia so described is impossible. First, it presupposes no contact with the outside world. For once capitalism is tasted, even smelled, the genie cannot again be bottled. Second, it assumes human nature to be non-capitalistic, that is, non-individualistic. If this were true, there would be no need for God’s Law or redemption from sin. It would furthermore be a mistake to conclude that Marx and Engels were ignorant of these basic tenets. They were not starry-eyed dreamers but incredibly evil seducers.

19. Will it be possible for this revolution to take place in one country alone? No. By creating the world market, big industry has already brought all the peoples of the Earth, and especially the civilized peoples, into such close relation with one another that none is independent of what happens to the others. Further, it has co-ordinated the social development of the civilized countries to such an extent that, in all of them, bourgeoisie and proletariat have become the decisive classes, and the struggle between them the great struggle of the day. It follows that the communist revolution will not merely be a national phenomenon but must take place simultaneously in all civilized countries – that is to say, at least in England, America, France, and Germany. It will develop in each of these countries more or less rapidly, according as one country or the other has a more developed industry, greater wealth, a more significant mass of productive forces. Hence, it will go slowest and will meet most obstacles in Germany, most rapidly and with the fewest difficulties in England. It will have a powerful impact on the other countries of the world, and will radically alter the course of development which they have followed up to now, while greatly stepping up its pace. It is a universal revolution and will, accordingly, have a universal range.

World domination is the end.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lesson 17: Principles of Communism - Segment #1

I hold weekly anti-communist meetings for interested parties here in Hendersonville, NC.

Synopsis of Week 17

The Principles of Communism

By Frederick Engels



Introduction. Composed in 1847, The Principles of Communism was to be a type of creed for the “League of the Just” (the first incarnation of the Communist League). After the League rejected a draft from Moses Hess (the man credited with converting Engels to communism, and moving Karl Marx to revolutionary dialectical materialism), Engels was instructed to work out his own version, initially to be a “Confession of Faith.”

In November 1847, Engels wrote to Marx, saying, “Think over the Confession of Faith a bit. I believe we had better drop the catechism form and call the thing: Communist Manifesto. As more or less history has got to be related in it, the form it has been in hitherto is quite unsuitable. I am bringing what I have done here with me; it is in simple narrative form, but miserably worded, in fearful haste. ...”

Despite Engels’ objection to his own material, it is bedrock. To know these principles is to understand the longevity of communist theory, which goes on despite the carnage of Marxism and other forms of collectivist ideology. What is it about communism that appeals?

Due to the absolute fact that there are and have ever been only two forms of economic system, capitalism (accumulation of individual wealth and private property) and communism (all labor for the common good), not including any alloys, the inherent flaws of the one are noticeable to the other. Disregarding use of either for the domination of the world, the motivation towards socialism is fueled by the idea that it is more “humane” than capitalism. Naturally, this warrants the question, “Humane to whom?”

We know that in every collectivist society, irrespective of any ultimate goal, it is necessary to steal from one to give to the other. We use the word “steal” in a very narrow context, that is, to take by force and without permission. Collectivist stealing includes through taxation, but also, and more to the point here, by governmental confiscation of private property. It will therefore be important to recognize throughout this analysis for Principles of Communism that every point made in the name of humaneness ends in subversion against ownership of private property.

1. What is Communism? Communism is the doctrine of the conditions of the liberation of the proletariat.

The subversion begins immediately, promising “liberation” of the “proletariat.”

2. What is the proletariat? The proletariat is that class in society which lives entirely from the sale of its labor and does not draw profit from any kind of capital; whose weal and woe, whose life and death, whose sole existence depends on the demand for labor – hence, on the changing state of business, on the vagaries of unbridled competition. The proletariat, or the class of proletarians, is, in a word, the working class of the 19th century.

Perhaps in Engels’ time, these proletariat were common, living this lack of opportunity. Today, the point is moot. First, the American dream is the rags-to-riches story, undermining the class warfare propaganda that once a poor man, always a poor man. Second, under the principles of credit and time payments, it has become the absolute norm for nearly all workers in Western civilization to have an incarnation of every amenity available (running water, hot water, automobiles, television, computers, cell phones, etc).

3. Proletarians, then, have not always existed? No. There have always been poor and working classes; and the working class have mostly been poor. But there have not always been workers and poor people living under conditions as they are today; in other words, there have not always been proletarians, any more than there has always been free unbridled competitions.

The terminology is concentrated and static, a vagary not deliberately subversive but only archaic. Nevertheless, we find within the past few years a resurgence of the idea that opportunity has escaped the mainframe of labor, despite the fact that such strikers often have better wages and benefits packages than their “luckier” counterparts!

4. How did the proletariat originate? The Proletariat originated in the industrial revolution, which took place in England in the last half of the last (18th) century, and which has since then been repeated in all the civilized countries of the world. This industrial revolution was precipitated by the discovery of the steam engine, various spinning machines, the mechanical loom, and a whole series of other mechanical devices. These machines, which were very expensive and hence could be bought only by big capitalists, altered the whole mode of production and displaced the former workers, because the machines turned out cheaper and better commodities than the workers could produce with their inefficient spinning wheels and handlooms. The machines delivered industry wholly into the hands of the big capitalists and rendered entirely worthless the meagre property of the workers (tools, looms, etc.). The result was that the capitalists soon had everything in their hands and nothing remained to the workers. This marked the introduction of the factory system into the textile industry. Once the impulse to the introduction of machinery and the factory system had been given, this system spread quickly to all other branches of industry, especially cloth- and book-printing, pottery, and the metal industries. Labor was more and more divided among the individual workers so that the worker who previously had done a complete piece of work now did only a part of that piece. This division of labor made it possible to produce things faster and cheaper. It reduced the activity of the individual worker to simple, endlessly repeated mechanical motions which could be performed not only as well but much better by a machine. In this way, all these industries fell, one after another, under the dominance of steam, machinery, and the factory system, just as spinning and weaving had already done. But at the same time, they also fell into the hands of big capitalists, and their workers were deprived of whatever independence remained to them. Gradually, not only genuine manufacture but also handicrafts came within the province of the factory system as big capitalists increasingly displaced the small master craftsmen by setting up huge workshops, which saved many expenses and permitted an elaborate division of labor. This is how it has come about that in civilized countries at the present time nearly all kinds of labor are performed in factories – and, in nearly all branches of work, handicrafts and manufacture have been superseded. This process has, to an ever greater degree, ruined the old middle class, especially the small handicraftsmen; it has entirely transformed the condition of the workers; and two new classes have been created which are gradually swallowing up all the others. These are: (i) The class of big capitalists, who, in all civilized countries, are already in almost exclusive possession of all the means of subsistence and of the instruments (machines, factories) and materials necessary for the production of the means of subsistence. This is the bourgeois class, or the bourgeoisie. (ii) The class of the wholly propertyless, who are obliged to sell their labor to the bourgeoisie in order to get, in exchange, the means of subsistence for their support. This is called the class of proletarians, or the proletariat.

Essentially, the grievance is that, by a combination of ingenuity and accumulated wealth, the capitalist figuratively steals entire industries from a certain populace.

For a recent example, it was common to hear in the 1960’s and 1970’s that the modern supermarket had ruined the mom-and-pop grocery store. True, many such small and inefficient markets were closed due their inability to keep up with the variety and low prices afforded by the conglomerate. However, niche markets soon opened which catered to particular tastes and offbeat products, including that of the “retro” mom-and-pop grocery store! In fact, an entire industry was born from fighting against and rejecting the supermarket. Thus is uncovered the basic fallacy of the “proletarian argument.” It is not a truism that once the corporation takes over, it is all-destructive.

It is as if to say that the invention of Coca-Cola prevented any small competitor. Yet, as we know, not only are there many large and small opponents to Coke, but Pepsi is a major contender, if not many times the victor. This brings us to a secondary error with the proletarian argument. It is false that corporations are invincible. In fact, they are subject to the same, if not worse, market pressures as their smaller counterparts.

The reason the “big capitalist” (in modern parlance, the global corporatist) appears to have an extreme edge is not due to its size, but to its relationship with government. There is, however, a grave distinction to make. It is not that big business controls government, it is that government agrees to collude. For without the collusion, every corporation (or other concern) would be at the whim of the free market, that is, at great risk, and therefore on a level playing field. But with the collusion is protection of that corporation from failure, by a great variety of tax breaks, different (easier) regulations, tariffs, and taxpayer-funded bailouts.

Presently, we see these communist errors played out on the streets. It’s called Occupy Wall Street, a movement mostly dedicated to “exposing” that corporations and banks undermine and destroy the opportunities inherent in capitalist society. Familiar territory, to be sure.

5. Under what conditions does this sale of the labor of the proletarians to the bourgeoisie take place? Labor is a commodity, like any other, and its price is therefore determined by exactly the same laws that apply to other commodities. In a regime of big industry or of free competition – as we shall see, the two come to the same thing – the price of a commodity is, on the average, always equal to its cost of production. Hence, the price of labor is also equal to the cost of production of labor. But, the costs of production of labor consist of precisely the quantity of means of subsistence necessary to enable the worker to continue working, and to prevent the working class from dying out. The worker will therefore get no more for his labor than is necessary for this purpose; the price of labor, or the wage, will, in other words, be the lowest, the minimum, required for the maintenance of life. However, since business is sometimes better and sometimes worse, it follows that the worker sometimes gets more and sometimes gets less for his commodities. But, again, just as the industrialist, on the average of good times and bad, gets no more and no less for his commodities than what they cost, similarly on the average the worker gets no more and no less than his minimum. This economic law of wages operates the more strictly the greater the degree to which big industry has taken possession of all branches of production.

This naïve view of the “minimum wage” is based on the same static views which plague communism in general. First, that men are not mobile. In fact, it is the Industrial Revolution which has enabled such free movement. Second, that upstart companies are unable to woo talented workers from despicable working conditions. Certainly, there are exceptions, but the rule is that to succeed in business one must treat labor fairly, or else watch them disappear to a better workplace.

It is generally when a segment of the population is sequestered (ghettoized) that long-term exploitation is more probable. This is, however, a problem with government and not industry. For government is meant by God to be a means of justice, to keep level the field of opportunity. But when government refuses to outlaw slavery, to police the ghettos with the same treatment as the suburbs, to disallow filthy and unsafe workplaces, there is this created proletariat of which Engels writes.

The solution is nevertheless not a communist one. The rejection of private and property and wealth accumulation does not remove the fascism of a strong central government, and this thesis is proved by the tyrannies which have followed “peasant uprisings” in Russia, China, Cuba, and so forth.

6. What working classes were there before the industrial revolution? The working classes have always, according to the different stages of development of society, lived in different circumstances and had different relations to the owning and ruling classes. In antiquity, the workers were the slaves of the owners, just as they still are in many backward countries and even in the southern part of the United States. In the Middle Ages, they were the serfs of the land-owning nobility, as they still are in Hungary, Poland, and Russia. In the Middle Ages, and indeed right up to the industrial revolution, there were also journeymen in the cities who worked in the service of petty bourgeois masters. Gradually, as manufacture developed, these journeymen became manufacturing workers who were even then employed by larger capitalists.

The maddening aspect of this type of screed is that for us it dwells in the distant past. While some may protest, slavery and serfdom have become nearly extinct (except perhaps if viewed from a more effete perch); and the journeyman has again become a respected breed.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) notes eight main forms of forced labor in the world today. The following is a table of such forced labor and the nations in which found:





A "physical abduction" followed by forced labor.

Congo, Liberia, Mauritania, Sierra Leone and Sudan

Farm and rural debt bondage

Workers see all their wages go to paying for transportation, food and shelter because they've been "locked into debt" by unscrupulous job recruiters and landowners - and they can't leave because of force, threats or the remote location of the worksites.

Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Cote d'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Togo

Bonded labor

Another form of debt bondage, it often starts with the worker agreeing to provide labor in exchange for a loan, but quickly develops into bondage as the employer adds more and more "debt" to the bargain.

Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistán, Sri Lanka

People trafficking

Individuals are forced or tricked into going somewhere by someone who will profit from selling them or forcing them to work against their will, most often in sexual trades. Many countries are both "origins" and "destinations" for victims.

Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Cote d'Ivoire, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Republic of Korea, Laos, Latvia, Malaysia, Moldova, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, Vietnam, Yugoslavia

Abuse of domestic workers

Maids and other domestic servants are sold to their employers or bonded to them by debts.

Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, France, Haiti, the Middle East

Prison labor

The contracting out of prison labor or forcing of prisoners to work for profit-making enterprises.

Australia, Austria, China, Cote d'Ivoire, France, Germany, New Zealand, Madagascar, Malaysia, USA

Compulsory work

People are required by law to work on public construction projects such as roads and bridges.

Cambodia, the Central African Republic, Kenya, Burma (also known as Myanmar), Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tanzania, Vietnam

Military labor

Civilians are forced to do work for government authorities or the military.

Burma (also known as Myanmar)

As is apparent, except for “prison labor” (a false flag of compassion) and “people trafficking” (not quite a government-sanctioned activity), forced labor is not the worldwide capitalist scourge which communists would have you believe.

7. In what way do proletarians differ from slaves? The slave is sold once and for all; the proletarian must sell himself daily and hourly. The individual slave, property of one master, is assured an existence, however miserable it may be, because of the master’s interest. The individual proletarian, property as it were of the entire bourgeois class which buys his labor only when someone has need of it, has no secure existence. This existence is assured only to the class as a whole. The slave is outside competition; the proletarian is in it and experiences all its vagaries. The slave counts as a thing, not as a member of society. Thus, the slave can have a better existence than the proletarian, while the proletarian belongs to a higher stage of social development and, himself, stands on a higher social level than the slave. The slave frees himself when, of all the relations of private property, he abolishes only the relation of slavery and thereby becomes a proletarian; the proletarian can free himself only by abolishing private property in general.

The natural selection of the proletariat for his workload is given a heavy hand, the slave many times, according to Engels, having “a better existence,” the only solution being the abolition of private property.

8. In what way do proletarians differ from serfs? The serf possesses and uses an instrument of production, a piece of land, in exchange for which he gives up a part of his product or part of the services of his labor. The proletarian works with the instruments of production of another, for the account of this other, in exchange for a part of the product. The serf gives up, the proletarian receives. The serf has an assured existence, the proletarian has not. The serf is outside competition, the proletarian is in it. The serf liberates himself in one of three ways: either he runs away to the city and there becomes a handicraftsman; or, instead of products and services, he gives money to his lord and thereby becomes a free tenant; or he overthrows his feudal lord and himself becomes a property owner. In short, by one route or another, he gets into the owning class and enters into competition. The proletarian liberates himself by abolishing competition, private property, and all class differences.

The difference made between serf and proletarian is not logical. Why should we believe that the tenant-farmer is not subject to competition? Is not the feudal lord able to find the best serf to till the land? Whether serf or proletariat, the inefficient, untalented, or otherwise unproductive worker is (perhaps even must be) laid to the side.

We come thus to a main communist grievance card, which is that the inefficient worker is valued so without good reason. Their solution, of course, is by so-called compassion, making the lesser worker equally valuated to the better worker (by “valuated” is meant per the state, not the employer). Communism is a “participation prize” for having entered the world. It is “humaneness” to the unwanted, a hand up to those cast aside for one reason or another. But though is established this protocol and priority, the communist way is to remove “unfairness” by means of a coercive and strong central government, that is, by the absolute abolition of private property.

This is in contraindication to true charity, which is performed from free individual choice (whether or not such choice is made by spiritual or biblical pressures). Naturally so, for communism does not recognize such metaphysical inspirations or the religion which organizes these urges and commandments (yes) into positive actions.

Communism views religion as an arm of capitalist society, but this ideology is only a smokescreen. In fact, it is the underlying righteousness which communism must eradicate, for it is not faith but law, specifically God’s Law (Torah), which is feared. In order to function, communism, unlike capitalism, must have no countervailing authority. Therefore, the destruction of private property is at its core a strike at the Ten Commandments (“Thou Shalt Not Steal... thy neighbor’s property”), which itself is the most resplendent segment of Torah.

Thus, we understand again Marx’s determination to destroy Judaism (which is identified by its strict adherence to God’s Law), and furthermore Proudhon’s anti-Semitic call for the removal of all Jews from France, whether by eviction or destruction.

9. In what way do proletarians differ from handicraftsmen? In contrast to the proletarian, the so-called handicraftsman, as he still existed almost everywhere in the past (eighteenth) century and still exists here and there at present, is a proletarian at most temporarily. His goal is to acquire capital himself wherewith to exploit other workers. He can often achieve this goal where guilds still exist or where freedom from guild restrictions has not yet led to the introduction of factory-style methods into the crafts nor yet to fierce competition But as soon as the factory system has been introduced into the crafts and competition flourishes fully, this perspective dwindles away and the handicraftsman becomes more and more a proletarian. The handicraftsman therefore frees himself by becoming either bourgeois or entering the middle class in general, or becoming a proletarian because of competition (as is now more often the case). In which case he can free himself by joining the proletarian movement, i.e., the more or less communist movement.

In this section of the draft, the craftsman is made to feel either guilty or exploited, giving no recourse to the pursuit of happiness.

The goal of communism is to organize as many disgruntled working class as possible, this for no other reason than to wield the necessary power to seize control of the government and the superstructure of society (means of production, the churches, the family, etc).

10. In what way do proletarians differ from manufacturing workers? The manufacturing worker of the 16th to the 18th centuries still had, with but few exception, an instrument of production in his own possession – his loom, the family spinning wheel, a little plot of land which he cultivated in his spare time. The proletarian has none of these things. The manufacturing worker almost always lives in the countryside and in a more or less patriarchal relation to his landlord or employer; the proletarian lives, for the most part, in the city and his relation to his employer is purely a cash relation. The manufacturing worker is torn out of his patriarchal relation by big industry, loses whatever property he still has, and in this way becomes a proletarian.

There is here the homely truth that many who aspire are not prepared for it.

The “heirloom” was literally a loom, and served to qualify the “manufacturing worker” to a better class than the unskilled or unequipped. That the Industrial Revolution diminished the loom business is not indicative of rapaciousness, but of fair competition. For if the hand loom carried such weight in society, the automated loom could not supplant it. Even so, the loss of such craftsmanship almost always engenders its revival, a response to the “commercialism” of mass production.

In a modern example, it might be assumed that the drum machine and synthesizer makes obsolete the human drummer, saxophonist, trumpeter, and so forth. Not so! For there are not only niche industries dedicated to the “warmth” of analog recordings and performances, but there also has been a backlash against computerized and other digital music, another cottage industry.

It is this ingenuity of capitalist thought (the dream of financial independence, or some other abstract economic freedom), coupled with the rising tide of available cash (actually, a consequence of Keynesian central banking), which makes communist economics an unpalatable alternative to the wondrous quality of rugged individualism.

11. What were the immediate consequences of the industrial revolution and of the division of society into bourgeoisie and proletariat? First, the lower and lower prices of industrial products brought about by machine labor totally destroyed, in all countries of the world, the old system of manufacture or industry based upon hand labor. In this way, all semi-barbarian countries, which had hitherto been more or less strangers to historical development, and whose industry had been based on manufacture, were violently forced out of their isolation. They bought the cheaper commodities of the English and allowed their own manufacturing workers to be ruined. Countries which had known no progress for thousands of years – for example, India – were thoroughly revolutionized, and even China is now on the way to a revolution. We have come to the point where a new machine invented in England deprives millions of Chinese workers of their livelihood within a year’s time. In this way, big industry has brought all the people of the Earth into contact with each other, has merged all local markets into one world market, has spread civilization and progress everywhere and has thus ensured that whatever happens in civilized countries will have repercussions in all other countries. It follows that if the workers in England or France now liberate themselves, this must set off revolution in all other countries – revolutions which, sooner or later, must accomplish the liberation of their respective working class.

In and of itself, this description of a movable capitalist economy is correct. Nevertheless, it was never the cause of any revolution, only a reason later given to further establish communism as both viable and prominent.

The Russian Revolution, for example, reacted to the long-term tyranny of Czarist Russia, which itself was, by Engels’ own admission, a serf state, not an industrial capitalist nation. The Second French Revolution (1848), for another, bubbled from collusion between government and business, not the effects from capitalism per se.

Some may say this is misleading, that separating capitalism from collusion is an impossibility. But though we recognize the influence of money in political systems, we nonetheless reject the accumulation of wealth as the root of evil. Instead, the evil we see in every instance is rejection of Torah, that is, of law and order, which neglect causes all corruption.

Second, wherever big industries displaced manufacture, the bourgeoisie developed in wealth and power to the utmost and made itself the first class of the country. The result was that wherever this happened, the bourgeoisie took political power into its own hands and displaced the hitherto ruling classes, the aristocracy, the guildmasters, and their representative, the absolute monarchy. The bourgeoisie annihilated the power of the aristocracy, the nobility, by abolishing the entailment of estates – in other words, by making landed property subject to purchase and sale, and by doing away with the special privileges of the nobility. It destroyed the power of the guildmasters by abolishing guilds and handicraft privileges. In their place, it put competition – that is, a state of society in which everyone has the right to enter into any branch of industry, the only obstacle being a lack of the necessary capital. The introduction of free competition is thus public declaration that from now on the members of society are unequal only to the extent that their capitals are unequal, that capital is the decisive power, and that therefore the capitalists, the bourgeoisie, have become the first class in society. Free competition is necessary for the establishment of big industry, because it is the only condition of society in which big industry can make its way. Having destroyed the social power of the nobility and the guildmasters, the bourgeois also destroyed their political power. Having raised itself to the actual position of first class in society, it proclaims itself to be also the dominant political class. This it does through the introduction of the representative system which rests on bourgeois equality before the law and the recognition of free competition, and in European countries takes the form of constitutional monarchy. In these constitutional monarchies, only those who possess a certain capital are voters – that is to say, only members of the bourgeoisie. These bourgeois voters choose the deputies, and these bourgeois deputies, by using their right to refuse to vote taxes, choose a bourgeois government.

This common complaint from the communist has thrust, but is incomplete. For where there has been common grievance, amendments to such constitutions have equalized the right to vote, and to such an extent that mob rule nearly transpires. The vox populi can then be manipulated for the subversion of the system itself, the superstructure to be subsumed. In America 2012, we see this destruction of the capitalist system as a distinct goal of a very powerful populist movement.

Third, everywhere the proletariat develops in step with the bourgeoisie. In proportion, as the bourgeoisie grows in wealth, the proletariat grows in numbers. For, since the proletarians can be employed only by capital, and since capital extends only through employing labor, it follows that the growth of the proletariat proceeds at precisely the same pace as the growth of capital. Simultaneously, this process draws members of the bourgeoisie and proletarians together into the great cities where industry can be carried on most profitably, and by thus throwing great masses in one spot it gives to the proletarians a consciousness of their own strength. Moreover, the further this process advances, the more new labor-saving machines are invented, the greater is the pressure exercised by big industry on wages, which, as we have seen, sink to their minimum and therewith render the condition of the proletariat increasingly unbearable. The growing dissatisfaction of the proletariat thus joins with its rising power to prepare a proletarian social revolution.

Though we may think them destructive, the advents of the credit system, the public union, and a number of technological achievements have made possible many thousands of new careers and entrepreneurial ventures. In turn, wealth has been shoveled in disproportion to all manner of financial markets, performing the duty of creating more millionaires who spend their profits for a plethora of products and services, upturning again the communist idea that “non-productive” profiteering is an economic drain. Thus, Engels is incorrect when he states that “the growth of the proletariat proceeds at precisely the same pace as the growth of capital.”

Engels’ “dissatisfaction” of the proletarian is not formed in an economic or even social vacuum, but is “helped” by Marx’s version of Hegelianism, the dialectical materialism which extenuates itself as “revolution.” The duty and goal of communism is to sow these seeds of dissent.

Our key to survival is to always know and recall that communist dissent does not end with improvement to our capitalist economic/social order, but in destruction of it, to be replaced first by a nebulous “dictatorship of the proletariat” (which we have never seen), then a stateless and classless society (a fairy tale).


Monday, January 16, 2012

Lesson 16: Marxism Dismantled (The Poverty of Philosophy)

I hold weekly anti-communist meetings for interested parties here in Hendersonville, NC.

Synopsis of Week 16

Some Notations on Marx’s The Poverty of Philosophy

Though I commented briefly (Lesson 8) on The Poverty of Philosophy (1847), Marx’s critique of Proudhon’s The Philosophy of Poverty, I wish to return to it in order to make clear a few points:

(1) In discussing the idea of “value,” that is, what is something worth, Marx takes great pains to involve “labor” as having a particular value. Thereby, he seeks to simplify that “production” should take no greater cost than its labor value. Now, even should we permit such a concept, forgetting even the cost of materials, facilities, services, and other needs, which vary from enterprise to enterprise, the value of labor is itself proportional in two ways.

First, labor is performed by human beings, and each human being has particular skills, talents, personal limitations, and other characteristics which make one’s labor more or less valuable to a particular enterprise at any given time. Such include (whether fair or not) age, gender, work history, even biases of the employer.

Second, the enterprise itself has a demand which sets an abstract limit on wages which the employer is unable, financially or psychologically, to exceed.

Labor is therefore not a commodity which can be valued according to general needs, in the same way as, for example, corn or cotton.

This decimates Marx’s scientific approach to an egalitarian workers’ society; for, all things being equal, there can be no equality. There will always be deficiencies to the human character, and frailties to the body, creating havoc for the type of productive utopia Marxism requires.

The only solutions to such erratic labor value appear to be destructive. First, reduce the variety of products to be manufactured, food to be cultivated, or services to be offered. This provides the type of limited supervisory authority necessary to avoid a bourgeoisie class. At once, however, we see the error of this way, for it does not attend to the unique tastes of each person. Capitalism, however, does, and therefore will always be the more popular structure and superstructure, irrespective of its inequalities. Self-interest is always more powerful than collective good. If limitation of variety is to be the Marxist future, it can only be by force, and thus utopia becomes dystopia.

Second, eradicate labor which is not within certain parameters of acceptability. Naturally, the Marxists will deny such a possibility. After all, to them belongs the ideology of compassion, no? However, we need not rely upon their assurances, for history shows quite clearly that under Marxist regimes those who are “inferior” (not to mention those who don’t agree) become fodder for reeducation, slavery or death. The capitalist society, on the other hand, despite its dog-eat-dog inequity, often makes great provision for charity, both privately and publicly (unfortunately, this latter often skirts off into socialist do-good-ism, eventually reeling into virulent anti-capitalism), and there are no gulags for undesirables. Capitalism is, without advertisement, the most humane economic plan.

(2) In discussing “money,” Marx begins a diatribe against hoarding, that is, the accumulation of wealth in any fashion, whether that be excess coin (gold, silver), paper (scrip, contracts), or commodities (sheep, corn), even surplus labor.

The Marxian tack against hoarding, that is, “private property,” is quite philosophically pure, being not yet axiomatic against such ethical compunctions as greed, but instead relying upon a scientific view of property’s impossibility to provide anything beyond power, whether that be of governments or landlords.

One miscalculation, however, is that Marx fails, whether deliberately or without enough wisdom, to include and explain that hoarding (wealth) provides personal power against such wicked governments and landlords. We know this phenomenon as financial independence.

Marx should not be excused from this omission, even if it be argued that he focused only upon central Europe (his philosophical filling station). For the Jews there, always (without just cause) persecuted and stripped of their wealth and citizenship, were nevertheless able to claw back time and again from poverty to very high positions of status and gain. This ability of oppressed European Jews (and, later, American immigrants of various ethnicity) to, against all odds, amass “money” (property and leisure time) makes a mockery of Marxist class warfare rhetoric. No wonder Marx thought Judaism to be not only the cause of capitalism but also his greatest nemesis! Proudhon went further, and suggested (in a diary entry, dated December 26, 1847) that all Jews be either expelled from France or exterminated.

(3) Examining the Hegelian dialectic in terms of political economy, “to keep the good side, while eliminating the bad,” Marx speaks of slavery as an “economic category like any other.”

In a pontification regarding North America, Marx states, “Direct slavery is just as much the pivot of bourgeois industry as machinery, credits, etc. Without slavery you have no cotton; without cotton you have no modern industry. It is slavery that gave the colonies their value; it is the colonies that created world trade, and it is world trade that is the precondition of large-scale industry. Thus slavery is an economic category of the greatest importance... Wipe North America off the map of the world, and you will have anarchy – the complete decay of modern commerce and civilization. Cause slavery to disappear and you will have wiped America off the map of nations.”

Marx, of course, was wrong. Although many fine cases may be made to say in which way the American South suffered after the Civil War (loss of life, loss of sovereignty, loss of slave labor, overseas competition), America itself weathered the storm. Even if one argues that such hardiness only was possible through further manifest destiny and oppression, it still exposes the falsities of Marxist thought. In fact, one might say that Leninism is the repudiation of this particular facet of Marxism, that is, confidence in Hegelian-type revolution, embracing instead the more imperialistic tendencies of the West.

Most interesting, however, is Marx’s apparent “message” to the collectivists residing in the United States, that is, to assist the Abolitionists and thereby destroy the capitalist nation most upsetting for communists. This is not to say that the Abolitionists were Marxist – far from it – but only that the communist approach, even at this early stage, seems to have been settled. Working specifically toward the needs of the working class (in this case, North American slaves), (1) find a grievance of high moral division, (2) sympathize with it, (3) help tirelessly until viewed as supremely sacrificial, (4) organize those around you, (5) use that power bloc for the purpose of anti-capitalist subversion.

(4) On “division of labor,” Marx agrees with Proudhon that it is all degradation, morally and financially, by “meagerness of the wage,” by “giving him a master” (a foreman), by sinking “from the rank of artisan to that of common labourer.”

Disregarding the historical bases for Marx’s agreements and further remarks, there is within the entire conversation a deep resentment over “authority.” That is, “Who made you the boss?” While this may seem much too simple an explanation for Marxism, it is in fact central. This is exploitation of the “grievance.” Concerning authority, it comes down to two roots, force or fraud.

Force is easy to understand: “I am boss because I have the superior weapon.” Marx concentrates mainly on the force of law, of military, of church, and therefore cultivates moral grievances against coercion and other economic and social pressures. This he does to sow the seeds of dissent against the society proper, and not only to perform the Hegelian plastic surgery (of which he nevertheless accuses Proudhon!). Marx does not, however, compute the value of intangible weapons, such as intelligence or salesmanship, which in their highest form are rare and valuable. In capitalism, these traits are naturally esteemed, but in communism they do not perform the “value” of “work” (they do, but Marx ignores this).

Fraud is a bit more subtle. Here, Marx complains of phony valuations in money, in work, and in production; but also in attribution of royalty, of honor, of land ownership. Depending on his target, Marx’s arguments range from the sensible to the ridiculous. When discussing the debasement of currency, he is a strict conservative. However, when questioning such things as corporate hierarchy, he is merely a troublemaker, in fact at times implying that a stronger laborer has more right to lead (by physical force) than does a non-productive manager. Naturally, many laborers agree with this analysis, but, even if some laborers have better qualification to be manager than the present manager, the use of force will not normally make that change transpire (unless we live by law of the jungle). Furthermore, if it is absolute change Marx seeks, why promise the laborer anything at all (see #7 below)?

(5) On the principles of “competition,” Marx seems confused. Taking into consideration that he is in this treatise merely criticizing Proudhon, we might be inclined to say that Marx accepts competition, if for no other reason than communism is itself a competitor against capitalism for the hearts and minds of men. Marx, if present, might object to that definition, instead invoking the Hegelian inevitability of communism, but that is merely sloughing off his exegesis concerning the need for revolution.

It is in transit with the negative particulates of competition where Marx begins to percolate:

“Competition engenders misery, it foments civil war, it ‘changes natural zones,’ mixes up nationalities, causes trouble in families, corrupts the public conscience, ‘subverts the notion of equity, of justice,’ of morality, and what is worse, it destroys free, honest trade, and does not even give in exchange synthetic value, fixed, honest price. It disillusions everyone, even economists. It pushes things so far as to destroy its very self.”

Harsh medicine, and there are none who would disagree. Yet, there is a fallacy coming, where Marx goes off the rails:

Thesis: Feudal monopoly, before competition. Antithesis: Competition. Synthesis: Modern monopoly, which is the negation of feudal monopoly, in so far as it implies the system of competition, and the negation of competition in so far as it is monopoly.”

While acknowledging feudal monopolies as “artificial” and modern (bourgeoisie) monopolies as “natural” (or “rational”), he sees no real solution in it. This is incomplete. Marx ends here, not seeing or knowing the future of capitalism, that is, in the expansion of credit and the utilization of central banking. For with these monopolistic tendencies, all aspects of human life, including health, education, and technology, have been expanded (some might disagree with “improved”) to hitherto unknown levels. Some might argue that the ability for world domination has grown in concert with this expansion, yet it can be equally argued that Old World nationalistic dynasties were no less destructive. The question is, Are we better off for having had progress? According to Marx, not at all.

With such a philosophy, Marx becomes increasingly more difficult to fathom. For if his goal is the absence of tyranny, why should he espouse a regressive economy which dedicates itself to minimizing individuality? Further, by which method other than nationalism shall he stay the hand of the warrior usurper? Quite simply, there is no other choice but force. The communist goal of world domination is proof of this concession, for the sterility and inherent weakness of Marxism cannot survive with only voluntary submission.

It is capitalism alone which produces the superior economic and social superstructure, which in turn causes its inhabitants to defend that superstructure (call it “freedom”) all the more ferociously against coups and invasions. As often mentioned, the few freedoms afforded by real constitutions far surpasses the grey actuality of collectivism.

(6) Where it concerns “rent,” neither Marx nor Proudhon can seem to wrap his mind around the notion that property is purchased for appreciation, not only production. Or, if they do, they are so disgusted by the activity that it is displaced from conversation. When one takes a mortgage to speculate on land values, a renter-tenant is often secured to cover the monthly payment to the creditor. According to Marx, this is nonproductive and therefore breeds a type of parasite class. Naturally, this static view of property produces the errant conclusion, for land which is fallow only stays that way in a stagnant economy. When a location becomes desirable, it rarely remains vacant.

Naturally, rent may be charged on property already owned, without mortgage, but such transactions are under the aegis of competition, which is to say, “location, location, location.” As such, it falls entirely outside the sight of the communist, who in purity would never indulge in such free-market activity.

Private property ownership is a central evil with the collectivist. In fairness, many cases may be brought forth to show that some land ownership has derived from either force or fraud, both of which ethically or legally negate any right to collect rent. Deeds, of course, prove transaction, but where that deed was first taken immorally or illegally, or created from thin air, there is an historical taint. This is a worldwide phenomenon, and, in reality, is unsolvable.

How interesting then that the Marxist solution is to take all private property and put it in the hands of central governance! Stealing shall atone for stealing! Again, Marx proves that force is to replace force, structure for structure. Ad nauseum, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

(7) Regarding “combinations” (unions), Marx says thus:

“And we, as socialists, tell you that, apart from the money question, you will continue nonetheless to be workers, and the masters will still continue to be the masters, just as before. So no combination! No politics! For is not entering into combination engaging in politics?”

Surprising? Not really. The communist pretends to be an anarchist for the sake of the romance, saying, “The socialists want the workers to leave the old society alone, the better to be able to enter the new society which they have prepared for them with so much foresight.”

Realizing his audience might understand the difference between "dictatorship of the proletariat" and true anarchy (the promised utopia), Marx performs obvious self-analysis, asking and answering , “Does this mean that after the fall of the old society there will be a new class domination culminating in a new political power? No.” Nevertheless, Marx knows that he is indeed proposing a new order from the ashes of the old, scavenging the superstructure of capitalism.

His usual patronization, “The condition for the emancipation of the working class is the abolition of every class, just as the condition for the liberation of the third estate, of the bourgeois order, was the abolition of all estates and all orders,” is unable to ring true, for historically it has never come close to emerging, even in the most ardently Bolshevik states; and it never shall.