07 April 2006

Manifesto, Part Two

Chapter one here.

In what relation do the Communists stand to the proletarians as a whole?

Wanna-be masters and eager slaves? Genocidal fucktards and gulag inmates? Militant dictators and starving subjects?

The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to the other working-class parties.

There are twenty-five communist parties in the United States, according to Wikipedia's count. It would seem that actual communists never make it this far into the manifesto. Marx intended that communists would join and support “other working-class parties”. This is because seizing power in the name of such a small group (urban industrial workers in the early stages of the industrial revolution or canadians) requires that the small group in question be led from within. Most communists, even Marx and Engels, are not from that small group and are inclined to herd it from without instead of leading from within.

They have no interests separate and apart from those of the proletariat as a whole.

Their interests separate on all matters except their dislike of the upper classes and their disdain for the lower classes. The proletariat's primary interest every time they've been able to express it as a group is to try to force their way into the bourgeoisie, to have the property, rights, and privileges that they see as bourgeoisie traits. The communists intend to destroy everything that makes it possible to have bourgeoisie traits, therefore intend to thwart the proletariat.

They do not set up any sectarian principles of their own, by which to shape and mould the proletarian movement.

Sectarian principles are precisely why the communists identify themselves as communists and not proletarians although they proclaim to have the same goals, why rural workers (“peasants”) are not counted as part of the proletariat, why they view elections that can expose their internal differences as bourgeoisie trickery.

The Communists are distinguished from the other working-class parties by this only: 1. In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries, they point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat, independently of all nationality. 2. In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through, they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole.

1)They need to gloss over the differences between different regions, because unless they count all of their supporters from all regions, they're pitifully small compared to PTA's, the AARP, or AAA.
2)This is a problem that recurs within Marx's ideology. Here he states that they have to represent “the interests of the movement as a whole.” The problem is that he's assuming that sectarian differences don't exist, haven't existed, and will never exist. We know that even before the manifesto was written, communist organizations fractured frequently. The IWA itself was split between communists and “mutualists” (supporters of collective wage agreements and abolition of profit margins) while Marx was on the governing “General Council.” This blind assumption that deep down everyone secretly supports marxism is not a mistake made of ignorance, but of conceit. Marx and his supporters can't see how anyone not in the bourgeoisie could disagree with even their most ludicrous claims.

The Communists, therefore, are on the one hand, practically, the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country, that section which pushes forward all others; on the other hand, theoretically, they have over the great mass of the proletariat the advantage of clearly understanding the lines of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement.

The commuists don't want to make anyone's life better, they just want to destroy any means of measuring whether or not anyone's life is better, and they see themselves as enlightened for obfuscating openly stated goals. They also believe that this 'enlightened' position makes them the natural leaders of all labor related movements.

The immediate aim of the Communists is the same as that of all other proletarian parties: formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat.

They'll also cure cancer, cure HIV, walk your dog, paint your house, and help your kids with their homework. What they really want to do is form the proletariat into a class, and then use that class's urban location to take over the cities. Then, the peasantry is supposed to obediently enslave itself to provide the cities with free food, while the peasants, bourgeoisie, and other classes compliantly kill themselves to solidify the proletariat's claims of being a universal class.

The theoretical conclusions of the Communists are in no way based on ideas or principles that have been invented, or discovered, by this or that would-be universal reformer.

The theoretical conclusions of the communists are based entirely on ideas and principles that have been invented by communists for the advancement of their genocidal cause.

They merely express, in general terms, actual relations springing from an existing class struggle, from a historical movement going on under our very eyes. The abolition of existing property relations is not at all a distinctive feature of communism.

No, it's not. It's a selective interpretation and sometimes openly fraudulent distortions to push their claim to be the natural leadership for the destruction of civilization. More on the property bit in a moment.

All property relations in the past have continually been subject to historical change consequent upon the change in historical conditions.

But never the abolition of property relations. History is full of changes to property rights, coincidental to changes in power structures, to which class warfare was an incidental portion. The complete abolition of property and property rights is a distinctive feature of communism and was a driving force behind the development of anarchist groups.

The French Revolution, for example, abolished feudal property in favour of bourgeois property.

Property rights were not abolished, they merely changed hands.

The distinguishing feature of Communism is not the abolition of property generally, but the abolition of bourgeois property. But modern bourgeois private property is the final and most complete expression of the system of producing and appropriating products, that is based on class antagonisms, on the exploitation of the many by the few.

Okay, not general property, just bourgeoisie property.

In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.

Okay, abolition of property in general, bourgeoisie or not. This sort of double-talk is found in most communist writings.

We Communists have been reproached with the desire of abolishing the right of personally acquiring property as the fruit of a man’s own labour, which property is alleged to be the groundwork of all personal freedom, activity and independence.

Yes, bad commie, bad.

Hard-won, self-acquired, self-earned property! Do you mean the property of petty artisan and of the small peasant, a form of property that preceded the bourgeois form? There is no need to abolish that; the development of industry has to a great extent already destroyed it, and is still destroying it daily.

Marx thinks not all property rights need to be abolished by communists, as the parts that won't be won't survive until communists take over.

Or do you mean the modern bourgeois private property?

Hee's already said that he wants to abolish all 'property'. He's just trying to be clever.

But does wage-labour create any property for the labourer? Not a bit. It creates capital, i.e., that kind of property which exploits wage-labour, and which cannot increase except upon condition of begetting a new supply of wage-labour for fresh exploitation. Property, in its present form, is based on the antagonism of capital and wage labour. Let us examine both sides of this antagonism.

It creates wages, which are an interchangeable form of labor which can be used to get property. Like a computer with which to read the communist manifesto online. Or a tv, or a chair, or a hat, or a broach, or pants, or... etc. Not everyone has a beachfront home, but even my cat has stuff (two scratching thingies, a few toys, a litterbox, food and water dishes, and a pink leash that she HATES and wouldn't mind the abolition of).

To be a capitalist, is to have not only a purely personal, but a social status in production. Capital is a collective product, and only by the united action of many members, nay, in the last resort, only by the united action of all members of society, can it be set in motion.

Capital is not a collective product, as wages are capital, making wage-labor a capitalist endeavor. Capital is mass-produced by industry, rewarding the owners and investors far more than the labor in most cases. There are disproportionate rewards, but to say that the individual laborer doesn't benefit is dishonest.

Capital is therefore not only personal; it is a social power.

Especially if you don't want to get caught at this year's COMINTERN meeting wearing last year's fashion. In a free society, anything can be indicative of social status and power.

When, therefore, capital is converted into common property, into the property of all members of society, personal property is not thereby transformed into social property. It is only the social character of the property that is changed. It loses its class character.

This assumes that the concept of social power and influence can be destroyed, but if the concept of social power and influence can be destroyed (to rob the property of it's social value) then the abolition of anybody's property rights is rendered unnecessary, since it ceases to mean anything. The abolition of a concept, insofar as all known human history, is impossible, rendering this goal unachievable. Someone will always have nicer stuff (even if it's just less worn) than someone else, and they'll both know it.

Let us now take wage-labour.

Yes, let's.

The average price of wage-labour is the minimum wage, i.e., that quantum of the means of subsistence which is absolutely requisite to keep the labourer in bare existence as a labourer. What, therefore, the wage-labourer appropriates by means of his labour, merely suffices to prolong and reproduce a bare existence. We by no means intend to abolish this personal appropriation of the products of labour, an appropriation that is made for the maintenance and reproduction of human life, and that leaves no surplus wherewith to command the labour of others. All that we want to do away with is the miserable character of this appropriation, under which the labourer lives merely to increase capital, and is allowed to live only in so far as the interest of the ruling class requires it.

This is, of course, based on the assumption that wages are useless for anything but food and rent. That the wages a person is paid can't be invested or used to acquire property because they are only sufficient for food and rent, and that if a person worked longer hours, there would not be an increase in wages permitting them to have excess to invest/save/acquire property with. In short, it's wrong.

In bourgeois society, living labour is but a means to increase accumulated labour. In Communist society, accumulated labour is but a means to widen, to enrich, to promote the existence of the labourer.

But what promotes the enrichment, width, or existence of a laborer if property and social status are abolished? If the laborer has nothing to aspire to, to what purpose are they laboring? How would this differ from Marx's claim that the bourgeoisie keep the proletariat as pseudo-slaves if Marx intends to keep them as slaves but abolish the masters?

In bourgeois society, therefore, the past dominates the present; in Communist society, the present dominates the past. In bourgeois society capital is independent and has individuality, while the living person is dependent and has no individuality.

In communist society, the propaganda dominates past and present, to the detriment of reality, liberty, and individuality. Anybody who thinks people don't have individuality in a bourgeoisie society hasn't heard of tattoo's or piercings. Anybody who thinks people living in bourgeoisie society are dependent hasn't heard of the small industry of 'off the grid' equipment and supplies, an industry that makes it possible for people to be as independent or involved as they wish.

And the abolition of this state of things is called by the bourgeois, abolition of individuality and freedom! And rightly so. The abolition of bourgeois individuality, bourgeois independence, and bourgeois freedom is undoubtedly aimed at.

It's not just individuality and freedom being destroyed for the bourgeoisie, but for everyone. It's the enslavement of all the classes to benefit the proletariat, including themselves. The complete abolition of liberty for every single person. It's been pointed out often that the only way to make everyone equal is to drag people down to the lowest level. This was not only known by Marx, but embraced as a fundamental principle of communism.

By freedom is meant, under the present bourgeois conditions of production, free trade, free selling and buying.

Which is pretty much every type of monetary transaction, the purchasing or selling of goods or services.

But if selling and buying disappears, free selling and buying disappears also. This talk about free selling and buying, and all the other “brave words” of our bourgeois about freedom in general, have a meaning, if any, only in contrast with restricted selling and buying, with the fettered traders of the Middle Ages, but have no meaning when opposed to the Communistic abolition of buying and selling, of the bourgeois conditions of production, and of the bourgeoisie itself.

This is a gibberish version of “I'm not saying what you think I'm saying even though I said it.” Abolishing trade abolishes free trade only if you have a medieval perspective, but abolishing trade doesn't abolish anything if you have a communist perspective. Maybe if you're a communist, you can also have tea and no tea at the same time.

You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths. You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society.

My cat has far less property than most of the 1840's urban workers that this was written for, yet my cat has property. To say that people have no property when they clearly do is dishonest, making it another pillar of communist ideology.

In one word, you reproach us with intending to do away with your property. Precisely so; that is just what we intend.

A little honesty refreshingly slips in and Marx admits that it's YOUR property that they want to abolish, not his, and not turn proletariat clothing into a find-your-size free-for-all.

From the moment when labour can no longer be converted into capital, money, or rent, into a social power capable of being monopolised, i.e., from the moment when individual property can no longer be transformed into bourgeois property, into capital, from that moment, you say, individuality vanishes.

The moment that labor can no longer be converted into money, it ceases to be worth doing except for direct personal gain. Money is just a physical representation of labor value, and if you can't buy food, what will you eat if you're an urban worker? You have nothing to trade that isn't some form of monetary representation of labor, and doing labor directly in exchange for food places you back into Marx's paradigm of proletariats being given a subsistence living by the bourgeoisie in exchange for labor. Marx won't address this because a) he's dead, b) he's more interested in laying the groundwork to be the leader of a proletariat dictatorship than in making one that could be functional, even in a fantasy world.

You must, therefore, confess that by “individual” you mean no other person than the bourgeois, than the middle-class owner of property. This person must, indeed, be swept out of the way, and made impossible.

Another contradiction. He claims that the bourgeoisie economy is destroying proletariat individualism but claims that to free the proletariat, they must destroy individualism.

Communism deprives no man of the power to appropriate the products of society; all that it does is to deprive him of the power to subjugate the labour of others by means of such appropriations.

Which means that he can't have anything that he can't manufacture or grow himself. Which means that any person not living on arable land will just have to starve to death for the greater good.

It has been objected that upon the abolition of private property, all work will cease, and universal laziness will overtake us.

Plus the fact that most people won't have access to the things they need to survive, and won't have access to the raw materials needed to make those things for themselves. Those who survive the global famine will probably give up communism pretty quick to get a barter 'bourgeoisie' economy going.

According to this, bourgeois society ought long ago to have gone to the dogs through sheer idleness; for those those of its members who work, acquire nothing, and those who acquire anything do not work. The whole of this objection is but another expression of the tautology: that there can no longer be any wage-labour when there is no longer any capital.

Except that capital is incentive enough to be productive. The proletariat is rewarded with money (exchangeable for food, water, shelter, clothing, entertainment, etc) and thereby given incentive to work. The bourgeoisie is rewarded with the EXACT SAME THING, just in differing quantities. This all or nothing view of disbursement is dishonest, but dishonesty is an important part of communist ideology.

All objections urged against the Communistic mode of producing and appropriating material products, have, in the same way, been urged against the Communistic mode of producing and appropriating intellectual products. Just as, to the bourgeois, the disappearance of class property is the disappearance of production itself, so the disappearance of class culture is to him identical with the disappearance of all culture.

Since property is mostly the result of production, and all classes within a society share a common foundation for their culture, it is not unreasonable to think that destroying property requires that no more be produced or that destroying the underlying social foundations is to destroy the society resting upon it.

That culture, the loss of which he laments, is, for the enormous majority, a mere training to act as a machine.

Except that it's wasn't a majority when he wrote that, and isn't one today. The majority of the population in the western world is bourgeoisie or petty bourgeoisie, and for the rest of the world, it's the agrarian peasants. Proletariats made up the majority nowhere, ever, except in the cities that they apparently never wandered far enough away from to spot the countryside.

But don’t wrangle with us so long as you apply, to our intended abolition of bourgeois property, the standard of your bourgeois notions of freedom, culture, law, &c. Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of the conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class made into a law for all, a will whose essential character and direction are determined by the economical conditions of existence of your class.

This is Marx going “You don't understand me! NEENER! NEENER! NEENER! The words I keep using do not mean what you think they mean!”

The selfish misconception that induces you to transform into eternal laws of nature and of reason, the social forms springing from your present mode of production and form of property – historical relations that rise and disappear in the progress of production – this misconception you share with every ruling class that has preceded you. What you see clearly in the case of ancient property, what you admit in the case of feudal property, you are of course forbidden to admit in the case of your own bourgeois form of property.

The society he is condemning is always competing with variations of itself for efficiency. Western civilization didn't advance so far in the sciences by being ignorant or adhering to fallacies, yet Marx believes that bourgeoisie culture is based not on fundamental principles of human nature that have existed for thousands of years, but entirely on post-feudal social structures. While post-feudal social structures are important, they are adapted forms of social structures that have existed for thousands of years, not post-feudal innovations to support the bourgeoisie, but post-feudal adaptations of social structures as old as humanity.

Abolition [Aufhebung] of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists.

At last! A solution to 'deadbeat dads'! No fathers, no mothers, women will just drop any kids they happen to have off at the local orphanarium.

On what foundation is the present family, the bourgeois family, based? On capital, on private gain. In its completely developed form, this family exists only among the bourgeoisie. But this state of things finds its complement in the practical absence of the family among the proletarians, and in public prostitution.

The present family is based on the need of our species to propagate itself and protect/prepare it's young so that they may do likewise. People take care of sick relatives because it's family, not because there's a profit motive. People have kids because they want kids or don't bother to use birth control, not because they can make money selling them for lab experiments.

The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes, and both will vanish with the vanishing of capital.

Even poor people have families. Even people in Zimbabwe have families. Family is not an extension of capital but of our needs to reproduce and be amongst those we know. This makes it one of the “eternal laws of nature” that communists don't believe in.

Do you charge us with wanting to stop the exploitation of children by their parents? To this crime we plead guilty.

Without the ability to feed themselves, and prevented by communists from exploiting the labor of others to sustain themselves, children will cease to be shortly after birth. Insofar as exploitation for profit goes, child labor laws were enacted without a great communist revolution.

But, you say, we destroy the most hallowed of relations, when we replace home education by social.

Schools have existed for as long as there has been writing. That lower classes send their children to school is a function of the same bourgeoisie that Marx condemns for not wanting children to go to school. Mandatory education was pushed through by the educated upper classes, not communist masses.

And your education! Is not that also social, and determined by the social conditions under which you educate, by the intervention direct or indirect, of society, by means of schools, &c.? The Communists have not invented the intervention of society in education; they do but seek to alter the character of that intervention, and to rescue education from the influence of the ruling class.

Here, by social, Marx doesn't mean public schooling versus home tutoring as above, but means using educational systems as a means of indoctrinating children into the communist cult. Communists want schools to be primarily a means of distributing propaganda and indoctrination along the lines of re-education centers.

The bourgeois clap-trap about the family and education, about the hallowed co-relation of parents and child, becomes all the more disgusting, the more, by the action of Modern Industry, all the family ties among the proletarians are torn asunder, and their children transformed into simple articles of commerce and instruments of labour.

Simple and minor labor laws stopped children from being used for labor without their parents consent, not communist revolution. These laws were passed because the bourgeoisie wanted them passed, not because of pressure from communist organizations or their political allies.

But you Communists would introduce community of women, screams the bourgeoisie in chorus.

Women were gathering in groups and gossiping long before Marx and will be for millenia to come. More on this later.

The bourgeois sees his wife a mere instrument of production. He hears that the instruments of production are to be exploited in common, and, naturally, can come to no other conclusion that the lot of being common to all will likewise fall to the women.

The bourgeois sees his wife as someone who will be very upset if he forgets her birthday, their anniversary, or St. Valentine's Day. Apparently Marx never knew any man henpecked by their wife. And yes, most men don't want their wives to be “exploited in common”.

He has not even a suspicion that the real point aimed at is to do away with the status of women as mere instruments of production.

This was something women proved quite capable of doing on their own. Marx wrote this long after Queen Elizabeth I, Katherine the Great, Isabella of Castille, etc, so he should have known better.

For the rest, nothing is more ridiculous than the virtuous indignation of our bourgeois at the community of women which, they pretend, is to be openly and officially established by the Communists. The Communists have no need to introduce community of women; it has existed almost from time immemorial.

Woohoo, Marx acknowledges that women can gather together on their own. This, of course, totally obliviates any communist position on the status of women, and therefor means that there was no need to claim to have one.

Our bourgeois, not content with having wives and daughters of their proletarians at their disposal, not to speak of common prostitutes, take the greatest pleasure in seducing each other’s wives.

Now he's mad that the bourgeois are sleeping with the wives of other bourgeois, as if that were a greater affront to communist ideology than sleeping with the wives of proletarians or prostitutes.

Bourgeois marriage is, in reality, a system of wives in common and thus, at the most, what the Communists might possibly be reproached with is that they desire to introduce, in substitution for a hypocritically concealed, an openly legalised community of women. For the rest, it is self-evident that the abolition of the present system of production must bring with it the abolition of the community of women springing from that system, i.e., of prostitution both public and private.

Marx's solution to the problem of adultery and failure to keep marital commitments is to abolish marriage. Bathwater, baby, bye-bye.

The Communists are further reproached with desiring to abolish countries and nationality.

Yes, in that anyone with dreams of global domination desires the abolition of countries and nationalities other than their own, rendering the concept moot.

The working men have no country. We cannot take from them what they have not got. Since the proletariat must first of all acquire political supremacy, must rise to be the leading class of the nation, must constitute itself the nation, it is so far, itself national, though not in the bourgeois sense of the word.

Working men have no country only if they can honestly deny deriving benefit from their country's customs and laws. Laws which guarantee payment for work, provide aid when work is unavailable, protection from criminals, provide public sanitation to prevent the spread of diseases, etc. We rely on organizations larger than ourselves, and those organizations rely on larger ones in turn, leading up to the nation as an entity. It is not something that can be abolished without abolishing the need for small local organizations as well.

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

People are saying very similar things today. The problem is that “national differences and antagonism” goes beyond commerce and into ethnicity, language, culture, religion, etc. While some will see humanity as one common people, the global commerce that makes it seem so can also illustrate the differences between peoples as well.

The supremacy of the proletariat will cause them to vanish still faster. United action, of the leading civilised countries at least, is one of the first conditions for the emancipation of the proletariat.

Putting the proletariat in charge won't erase nationality. In every case of nationality being denied, it is always replaced with either ideology (religious/philosophical) or ethnicity, thereby maintaining the same construct under a different pretense.

In proportion as the exploitation of one individual by another will also be put an end to, the exploitation of one nation by another will also be put an end to. In proportion as the antagonism between classes within the nation vanishes, the hostility of one nation to another will come to an end.

Nations quarrel for the same reasons that men quarrel, this is true. Rallying the proletariat to destroy anything associated with the bourgeoisie is hardly going to reduce antagonism or hostility between classes or nations though.

The charges against Communism made from a religious, a philosophical and, generally, from an ideological standpoint, are not deserving of serious examination.

This is the holy manifesto and shall not be questioned last the questioner be fed to a demonic hamster that dances! Marx can bite me.

Does it require deep intuition to comprehend that man’s ideas, views, and conception, in one word, man’s consciousness, changes with every change in the conditions of his material existence, in his social relations and in his social life?

Nope, it's pretty obvious that one's ideas, views, and perception change as things around them change.

What else does the history of ideas prove, than that intellectual production changes its character in proportion as material production is changed? The ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class.

Wrong, the dominant ideas of the feudal era were either religious or rudimentary scientific principles, wheres the ruling class of the day primarily embraced militarism to the detriment of all else. It has been that way for most of history, as military strength is what kept the ruling classes in power. The other classes, unless engaged in revolt, dealt with everything else of concern, such as the necessities of living, religion, commerce, etc.

When people speak of the ideas that revolutionise society, they do but express that fact that within the old society the elements of a new one have been created, and that the dissolution of the old ideas keeps even pace with the dissolution of the old conditions of existence.

Except that no society has been replaced by a new one pre-engineered to that purpose. These changes have always taken time and, as ideas and ideals are found to be inaccurate or unworkable and replaced, always led to something very similar to what has come before.

When the ancient world was in its last throes, the ancient religions were overcome by Christianity. When Christian ideas succumbed in the 18th century to rationalist ideas, feudal society fought its death battle with the then revolutionary bourgeoisie. The ideas of religious liberty and freedom of conscience merely gave expression to the sway of free competition within the domain of knowledge.

Since “religious liberty and freedom of conscience” are necessary to free competition within and without the “domain of knowledge”, it's existence protects them, and they are not casually discarded by the wayside as Marx implies. The rise and fall of religions, both “ancient” and Christianity, had little impact on economics, either micro or macro, excepting the Christian restrictions on banking that hindered commerce and development. Not change in religion changed the fundamental structures of society that Marx believes to be an illusory bourgeoisie construct.

“Undoubtedly,” it will be said, “religious, moral, philosophical, and juridical ideas have been modified in the course of historical development. But religion, morality, philosophy, political science, and law, constantly survived this change.”

Yes. Exactly.

“There are, besides, eternal truths, such as Freedom, Justice, etc., that are common to all states of society. But Communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis; it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience.”

Yes. Exactly!

What does this accusation reduce itself to? The history of all past society has consisted in the development of class antagonisms, antagonisms that assumed different forms at different epochs.

Every society has had striations of both social and economic class, but their history is not the history of those striations, but of what they as a people did. Those striations are a fundamental part of humanity and are unavoidable in everything we do, not an artificial creation to antagonize and enslave, and were not the driving force behind any social upheaval until the industrial revolution brought groups of workers so close to seats of power that they could taste it and wanted it for themselves. Revolutions prior to 1798 invariable saw not an abolition of striations but a rearrangement of the why and how of those striations.

But whatever form they may have taken, one fact is common to all past ages, viz., the exploitation of one part of society by the other. No wonder, then, that the social consciousness of past ages, despite all the multiplicity and variety it displays, moves within certain common forms, or general ideas, which cannot completely vanish except with the total disappearance of class antagonisms.

Except that capital allows everyone to exploit everyone else. The worker is exploited by the businessman to produce goods, but the businessman is exploited by the worker to sell the goods, with each able to judge their value to the other by the value of their own labor and the labor of others doing comparable work. If exploitation is abolished entirely, then no one but the farmer can eat his crops, no one but a tailor can wear clothing, no one but a logger can use wood. It is not possible for one of us to meet all of our own needs and wants, so we trade our labor for money which can be traded for another's labor. Communists want to render us unable to meet our own needs and wants, and believe that we will be happier for it.

The Communist revolution is the most radical rupture with traditional property relations; no wonder that its development involved the most radical rupture with traditional ideas.

Also a pretty radical rupture with common sense, acceptance of free will, and human nature.

But let us have done with the bourgeois objections to Communism.

Oh, if you insist.

We have seen above, that the first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class to win the battle of democracy.

Except that he established in chapter one that Marxists don't believe in elections, or representation, and at the time the manifesto was written, the majority of workers were rural and “peasants”, not the proletariat that Marx wants to rule.

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

Yes, once in power, they plan to take everything from everyone else and keep it for themselves, using the state to seize and keep secure for the proletariat's use everything created through the labors of the proletariat (their own stuff), the peasants (help, help, they're being repressed), and the bourgeoisie (both the regular and decaffeinated petty bourgeoisie), thereby completely the great cycle of exploitation, elevating the proletariat into the bourgeoisie, lowering the bourgeoisie into the proletariat, and leaving the peasants alone in the fields without stars upon thars, and this is supposed to somehow make everything better.

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

Marx admits that it's going to hurt. It's going to be oppressive and repressive, and generally make everyone miserable. Each step will make the next step (which will be even worse) necessary, the people haven't any real say in the matter throughout the process, as their stuff is taken and their families ripped apart by governmental decree.

These measures will, of course, be different in different countries.

If you say so.

Nevertheless, in most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable.
1.Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.

So people pay rent to the government, thereby being exploited by the government, to prevent people from exploiting them by charging rent. Got it.

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

Yes, because taking away any financial incentive to work longer or harder won't discourage people from taking the day off and renting a portion of beach to lounge on.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

This would be easy since nothing could be owned, just rented.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

Since their property is being taken away anyways, it'll be easy!

5. Centralisation of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.

All your deposits are belong to us.

6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.

So that Mussolini can make the trains run on time, or at least raise the rent on people who complain that the train is late.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

Yes, because with sufficient expendable slave labor, anything is possible for the glory of the ruling workers! But where to find sufficient slave labor?

8. Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

We'll draft everyone and force them to do slave labor, much better plan than permitting them to follow their talents and be exploited by others for the higher quality or quantity of their work. Much better.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.

Yes, we don't want people living where food and water are either readily available or easily transported to. We want them living in a desert with no fresh water at all! Although drinking water would justify higher rent...

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c, &c.

Been there, done that, tradeschools abound.

When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organise itself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class.

Everything just fades away. The people will stop being conscripted into agricultural armies to tend fields, produce goods, and expand factories not by an official proclamation, but through apathy. People will just stop paying rent and nobody will care. No one will tend the pumps to irrigate the fields and no one else will care. No ambitions, no hopes, no aspirations, nothing to take joy in, nothing to find distasteful, nothing to fondly reminisce or anticipate. People will be nothing more than machines. Isn't this exactly what Marx was complaining about happening to the proletariat? This double-speak is at the heart of communist ideology.

In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.

Assuming that those compelling everyone else to work in industrial armies and collecting rent are somehow not just a new nobility ruling over a multitude of serfs, it would still require that hope and ambition be wiped not just from public awareness but from the minds of people not yet born.

Goe, because power doesn't stem from class antagonism.


Rachmeg said...

and yet A.W.N.S.E.R. grows stronger every day.

Rach - thinking it will get worse before it gets better.

Goemagog said...

You live!

Goe, happy.