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A Manifesto on the “Manifesto” PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Paul Kengor   
Tuesday, 04 May 2010 05:40

I knew the time would come. America's public schools and ideologically monolithic universities have spawned a generation woefully uninformed in the most elementary facts about free markets, socialism, and communism. Personally, after teaching this material for years, I'm getting an inordinate number of questions about communism in particular, as that word is bandied about like crazy -- the result of America's decisive lurch leftward since the election of November 2008.

There's so much to say, especially about communism in practice, where the story is unprecedented misery: a death toll of 100 million to 140 million human beings since 1917. That's twice the combined corpses of World War I and World War II.

But what about communism as a theory?

We constantly hear the claim: Communism in theory is not as bad as communism in practice. If you read Marx, you'll see that communism promotes sharing, equality, love of man.

In truth, this is arrant nonsense. When I hear it, I know the person has never read Marx's Communist Manifesto, a plainly awful book, packed with hatred and, frankly, stupidity. But rather than just say this, I thought I'd attempt a public service by laying out key facts on the Communist Manifesto -- another teachable moment. So, here we go.

First off, Marx's Manifesto is very brief and inexpensive, leaving no excuse for someone with a strong opinion to not read it. Originally published in 1848, there are several recent editions, small enough to fit in your pocket. Most have decent introductions by some recognized authority. Here, I'll refer to a 1998 edition by Penguin's Signet Classics ($5.95), with an introduction by the outstanding scholar Martin Malia, a Harvard Ph.D. and UC-Berkeley professor. This edition contains several earlier prefaces, with the actual Manifesto covering 42 pages.

Marx's writing was painfully ambiguous, though certain identifiable elements emerge, from his revulsion of religion to disgust of traditional morality and the family. (Click here for my 2007 lecture on the communist war on religion.) Yet Marx's common thread, which we need to remember, was his contempt for private property. On page 67, he emphasized something all Americans should know, particularly students suffering the perverse professor who somehow admires communism. Stated Marx: "The theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property."

That's the essence of communism, which Marx returned to repeatedly, including in the final paragraph of the Manifesto.

Of course, on this point, a first grader -- let alone a grown adult -- ought to immediately recognize that Marxism can't work. Abolishing private property is completely contrary to human nature, violating the most innate precepts of all peoples, from the cave to the courthouse. It shatters Judeo-Christian thinking, Western philosophy, the ancient and modern worlds, Cicero, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Locke, Jefferson, Old Testament, New Testament, Moses, Jesus, you name it. Only a fool would not instantly, intuitively realize that implementing this vision would generate mass bloodshed.

This is why, I imagine, most Marxist professors dare not have students read the Communist Manifesto.

In another illuminating section (page 75), Marx interrupted his meandering sophistries with a 10-point program of specific policy recommendations. I'm not going to shy from stating the obvious: Marx's list is chillingly similar -- in some respects, certainly not all -- to what to what the American left has pushed for decades, from progressive income taxes to inheritance taxes to centralization and nationalization. Here they are, in direct quotation:

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

  2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

  3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.

  4. Confiscation of all property of emigrants and rebels.

  5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.

  6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.

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

  8. Equal obligation of all to work ... .

  9. ... gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equitable distribution of the population over the country.

  10. Free education for all children in public schools ... .

That's what the Communist Manifesto really says, and, worse, desired for not one country but the whole world (page 91). It's a prescription for despotism, as Marx himself conceded, prefacing his 10 points: "Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads."

Marxism wasn't hijacked by despots; Marxism demanded despots.

Communism is not a good idea, in theory or practice, and likewise for its ugly stepsister: socialism. Both are about statism, collectivism, redistribution, nationalization, appropriation, excessive taxation, the inane assertion that public services are "free" services, and, overall, government control. They -- along with modern progressivism -- differ in degree.

Americans must understand this. They must in order to know what not to support, and, most important, whom not to vote for.

Paul Kengor is professor of political science and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. His books include The Judge: William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan's Top Hand, God & Ronald Reagan, and The Crusader: Ronald Reagan & the Fall of Communism.

Comments (2)Add Comment
written by schqc, May 06, 2010
Interestingly the Apostles and the first Christians lived in a communist manner. In the books of Acts you will see God strike down an early follower for not sharing his wealth with the others.

Jesus said to the man who wanted to know how to get into heaven, "Take all that you have and give it to the poor".

One can hardly say the early Christians or Jesus were capitalists who believed in "private property" a term that was all but unknown during that time.

Capitalism is an inane system that assumes that a "price" can be found for things and that "value" somehow relates to this price. A system which starves some while others revel in excess beyond imagining in NOT Christian, and to claim otherwise is a deep blindness or ignorance.
Tea Party Pledge
written by JSC, May 07, 2010
Read this in careful detail as these guys really do have good insight into just how badly infiltrated by Socialists and socialism we have become. This pledge form shows you just how you can resist it.

To all Tea Party members, I urge you to take the following pledge before before socialism destroys your life. Please pass it on to fellow members.

I do solemnly swear to uphold the principles of a socialism-free society and heretofore pledge my word that I shall abstain from the use of and participation in any socialist goods and services including but not limited to the following:

*Social Security
*State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP)
*Police, Fire, and Emergency Services
*US Postal Service
*Roads and Highways
*Air Travel (regulated by the socialist FAA)
*The US Railway System
*Public Subways and Metro Systems
*Public Bus and Lightrail Systems
*Rest Areas on Highways
*All Government-Funded Local/State Projects
*Public Water and Sewer Services (goodbye socialist toilet, shower, dishwasher, kitchen sink, outdoor hose!)
*Public and State Universities and Colleges
*Public Primary and Secondary Schools
*Sesame Street
*Publicly Funded Anti-Drug Use Education for Children
*Public Museums
*Public Parks and Beaches
*State and National Parks
*Public Zoos
*Unemployment Insurance
*Municipal Garbage and Recycling Services
*Treatment at Any Hospital or Clinic That Ever Received Funding From Local, State or Federal Government (pretty much all of them)
*Medical Services and Medications That Were Created or Derived From Any Government Grant or Research Funding (again, pretty much all of them)
*Socialist Byproducts of Government Investment Such as Duct Tape and Velcro (Nazi-NASA Inventions)
*Use of the Internets, email, and networked computers, as the DoD's ARPANET was the basis for subsequent computer networking
*Foodstuffs, Meats, Produce and Crops That Were Grown With, Fed With, Raised With or That Contain Inputs From Crops Grown With Government Subsidies
*Clothing Made from Crops (e.g. cotton) That Were Grown With or That Contain Inputs From Government Subsidies
If a veteran of the government-run socialist US military, I will forego my VA benefits and insist on paying for my own medical care I will not tour socialist government buildings like the Capitol in Washington, D.C. I pledge to never take myself, my family, or my children on a tour of the following types of socialist locations, including but not limited
*Smithsonian Museums such as the Air and Space Museum or Museum of American History
*The socialist Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson Monuments
*The government-operated Statue of Liberty
*The Grand Canyon
*The socialist World War II and Vietnam Veterans Memorials
*The government-run socialist-propaganda location known as Arlington National Cemetery
*All other public-funded socialist sites, whether it be in my state or in Washington, DC

I will urge my Member of Congress and Senators to forego their government salary and government-provided healthcare.

I will oppose and condemn the government-funded and therefore socialist military of the United States of America.

I will boycott the products of socialist defense contractors such as GE, Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Raytheon, Humana, FedEx, General Motors, Honeywell, and hundreds of others that are paid by our socialist government to produce goods for our socialist army.

I will protest socialist security departments such as the Pentagon, FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security, TSA, Department of Justice and their socialist employees.

Upon reaching eligible retirement age, I will tear up my socialist Social Security checks.

Upon reaching age 65, I will forego Medicare and pay for my own private health insurance until I die.

_____________ _________________________________
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