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.
END OF SEGMENT #2