The Communist Manifesto

Over the weekend I read The Communist Manifesto for the first time. I expected some sort of almost magical power to draw me into embracing the evil. I was surprised, disappointed, and finally I had a sinking feeling of emptiness as I thought about it more.

The book was like a synopsis of a poorly written alternate history novel. Assumptions critical to the reasoning which followed were unsupported and, at least to my present day perspective, either blatantly wrong or highly suspect. Even conceding the authors their assumptions without contest the conclusions reached with such confidence were as unstable as any house of cards.

And this is the book that convinced millions of people to murder hundreds of millions of others? Is this all that it takes to remove the thin veneer off of civilized behavior and enable the most evil empires human history as ever known? Self described intellectuals accept this book as a valid political philosophy? These “intellectuals” regard themselves as my betters? Wow!

The typical two year old child or even the family dog wouldn’t accept the conclusions unless they were forced into compliance. It’s no wonder the authors state, “The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can only be attained by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.”

But in talking to Ry about the book I got a new perspective. He said that he first read it when he was about 12 years old and it was like the scales had been removed from his eyes and he saw everything clearly for the first time. Furthermore he said it is no wonder Communists killed off older people with any education or even if they wore glasses. It’s no wonder they attack capitalist societies through the school system. We were and are in a war most people don’t even realize exists (see also The Handbook of 5GW). Ry went on to claim that the book was aimed at the young and “the people with guns, the muscle” who would do the “heavy lifting” of “forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions.” These would be people without the intellectual rigor to challenge the assumptions, reasoning, or conclusions.

Okay… I can buy into that hypothesis for now.

The obvious question then becomes why do the people who claim to be the intellectuals of our society so much more likely to advocate for Communism?

I know a professor who admits he is a Marxist. He once insisted our family should not be allowed to own the home we do because we “don’t need such a big house.” The “government should let someone with a bigger family use that house.” This professor told me the previous dozens or hundreds failed attempts at implementing a Communist utopia failed because, “The right people weren’t in charge. We just need to have the right people.” I explained that concentrated power of that sort attracts the “wrong” people who would always succeed in the acquisition and control of that power. He insisted that “we just need to get the right people in power.” I then sent him a copy of The Road to Serfdom. I don’t know if he even read it but I do know his attitude has not changed. He believes he is an intellectual superior in our society. He is a professor. He knows what is best for our society. Of course you know he voted for Obama. But I could have given you 20 chances and you would not have guessed that he is a professor in a school of business.

So one answer to the obvious question is we are at war and most people don’t even know it.

Another possible answer is something Sarah once asked me, “Have you ever noticed that liberals are not very bright?” I was a bit shocked. Someone else noticed? I am a bit sensitive about challenging the intellectual capacity of others because I know there are many things that I don’t know and seem to be beyond my capacity to understand (such as the mass appeal of The Communist Manifesto). But here was someone else, without an engineer’s mind, who noticed it too. As I pondered the book and Ry’s observations I realized that was another plausible answer to the obvious question.

The Communist Manifesto tells its readers that supporters of Communism are the intelligent people. They deserve, are destined to, and the good of all human kind depends on them, being in charge. That they “understand” the benefits of Communism to the bafflement of others is probably proof to them that they are the intellectual superiors of those that think Communism is, at best, prone to abuse.

In other words the second plausible answer to the obvious question is that those that advocate Communism are not very bright people who want to believe they are the brightest of all people. And that The Communist Manifesto tells them they are the brightest enables them to then claim themselves as intellectuals.

Regardless of the plausible answers I have no choice but to view Communism as a cancer which has metastasized beyond the point which surgery or chemotherapy can do little more than delay the death of the host. And it can all be traced back to one little book. I’ve written thousands of blog posts on freedom related topics and thousands of others far smarter than me have written hundreds of times more than me with hundreds of examples of Communism evil and failure. Yet we are losing to a couple of guys who have been dead for 120 years who wrote something that was little more than a synopsis of a poorly written alternate history novel.

Man, that sure does suck.

9 thoughts on “The Communist Manifesto

  1. My wife is a (semi) recovering Communist. As I understand it, it’s a lot like alcoholism, in that you never really get over it, you just keep getting better. We were having a discussion about the subject a while back, and I mentioned the fact that, in a general sense, the whole thing was destined to fail because it was too easy to graft it, hence the wholesale slaughter and destruction that has occurred in most of the places it has been REALLY tried. When the crooked bastard that makes the rules tells people that tomorrow is the new beginning, if we just kill off all these dissidents, he tends to get the people that would cause HIM in specific the most trouble, first. Her response was that it was never meant for a developing country, it was meant to start in Germany and England, and advance from there. It didn’t hit me until later what the truth of that statement was. Far from being, as I truly think she believed, the natural progression of the culture (hence the term ‘Progressive’, right?) the meat of that statement is that it was meant, from the very beginning, to be a non-supportable culture; it relied completely upon capitalism and industry to build every amenity,after which Communism would launch, and assume ownership of all that others had built. It was designed, from the ground up, to be an act of theft. It was never meant to build, it was always intended to live on the corpse of capitalism. At what point is that a worthwhile goal? How ‘Progressive’ is it to plan your utopia on the idea of waiting until others have achieved greatness, then killing them and taking what is theirs?

  2. “I then sent him a copy of The Road to Serfdom.”

    I did the same but added Captialism and Freedom plus Free to Choose by Milton Friedman to my future sister in law. She is an economics major at a major liberal university. I can only imagine the economics classes that are taught resemble Paul Krugman columns in the NYT.

    We’ll see how it turns out. I’m hoping for full on Paul-bot conversion with included wookie suit, but I’ll take a reasoned moderate as a consolidation prize.

  3. I think we have to come to grips with the fact that there is evil in the world and that it will worm its way into any niche it can find.

    Wolfman; It’s a simple life strategy that’s been around since shortly after life began on Earth, billions of years ago. It’s parasitism. Communists rationalize it every which way possible, but it’s still the behavior of the basic parasite. That humans are prone to envy and other emotional behaivior only helps it along much more, to the point that it goes wild. Rather than be satisfied with eating their own, they’ll kill and kill and kill, until they’ve killed the slaves that feed them, down to a pathetic few– just enough to sustain them at some lower level. That America exists, with its impressive vitality and all of our goodies, is used to feed the hate upon which the evil builds its power. We have to learn how to turn it around.

    This is something that will never go away, but must be dealt with constantly. History shows that it can be beaten back for a time, after which people lose their vigilance while wanting peace, wanting it even more than freedom, and then it starts all over again. We get lazy, evil sees that, and takes advantage of it. We’ve all seen it on a personal level– that personality that is always searching for weakness in other people. You know what I mean. It gets its feelings of power or purpose, or its vindication, by creating conflict. “You’re not so great– look what I made you do.”

    In recent decades the trick has been to try shaming anyone who speaks out. The “Opposition Research” kicks in and the person speaking out is made to look like a fool, or some other social pressure is brought to bear to silence them. In that we are all guilty (or most of us. I know I have been) to some extent, because we’ve either gone along with it or said nothing. Strength is made to look silly or evil, while weakness is made to look like a virtue. Evil good and good evil. And of course the young are the most vulnerable because they’re still searching for a place in the world, but partly (or is it mostly) because we as parents have been failing in our duties.

    It’s pretty simple, I think. Attack strength, courage, respect and love and promote weakness, fear, envy and hate. Any way you can (and there are a lot of ways). It works because so many of us have failed for so long to see it. It infiltrates and we’re told not to look at it or we’re told that what we see is not what we see. We’re told to feel stupid or weak, or that we’re victims, or we’re warned that other people will laugh at us, and when we fall for it, just a little bit, that starts the cycle wherein we’re feeding the problem.

    So this parasite is feeding not only on our material wealth, it’s a cycle that includes turning us into wild animals to vindicate itself. To steal a phrase from a friend; It has turned that “intellectual” professor of Joe’s into a monkey and made the monkey think it’s a man.

  4. There’s also Das Kapital, which is (apparently) much more developed. Also longer. I tried to start reading it once, got bored & confused, & gave up. I always figured I could get back to it later, and maybe I still will, but who knows…Hayek, Ayn Rand, and a few other authors in this vein kind of caught my fancy in the meantime.

  5. I’d say Solzhenitsyn made a pretty indelible mark on me, as well. Got into him before the others, come to think of it.

  6. “Have you ever noticed that liberals are not very bright?”
    Most people are not “very bright” because we define “bright” as being on the upper end of the bell curve.
    Intelligence is a vector quantity.

  7. “Regardless of the plausible answers I have no choice but to view Communism as a cancer which has metastasized beyond the point which surgery or chemotherapy can do little more than delay the death of the host.”

    There is hope. Some people with metastasized cancer drastically change their lifestyle and take unconventional measures to reduce or even stop their cancer (i.e., increase ingestion of supplements, opt out of chemo, improve diet/exercise, more).

    Offering a liberal supplements, fresh squeezed juice, a sip of hydrated bentonite, and providing a colon cleanse would perhaps aid in detoxifying their mind garbage, easing yet speeding their transition from liberal to logical.

    There is hope.

    I used to be a self-proclaimed liberal, but recovered from the condition, after reading Harry Browne’s book, back in the 90’s. Also took a bunch of supplements, read a few more books, etc. It was a cleansing experience.

  8. It’s kind of the same fallacy as some atheists seem to have, isn’t it, when they claim that in order to eliminate the suffering caused in the name of religion the solution would be to eliminate all religions? Would that really change anything? Humans are humans, an atheist world would not be that different from what we have now, and it might very well be worse since the need to believe in something beyond what we can see seems to be rather inbuilt in most of us. I guess Marx and Engels might have started with something like that – they saw suffering and things which didn’t work, and then jumped to the conclusion that the only way to go would be to eliminate what was and create something completely different, with no regard to what did work in the existing system. It’s the simple solution.

    And kids like simple solutions.

    I have, by the way, nothing against atheism as a personal choice, or communism as a household or small commune way of living for that matter, I just don’t believe either works in a larger scale. Okay, communism is doubtful even in small scale, at least as a long term solution, might work if it’s temporary. But do what you want, just don’t try to force me to do it too.

  9. “It’s kind of the same fallacy as some atheists seem to have, isn’t it, when they claim that in order to eliminate the suffering caused in the name of religion the solution would be to eliminate all religions?”

    This is one of my pet peeves in certain atheist/believer debates: the assumption that atheism or belief is both necessary and sufficient to be moral.

    There are a lot of atheists who are moral–that is, they generally try to do the right thing, at least, inasmuch as we are able to as mortal, “fallen” humans–and there are certainly atheists who do evil, despicable things. And atheists of both types will sometimes use their lack of belief to justify their actions.

    Likewise, there are many people who believe in God, who are moral–that is, they generally try to do the right thing, at least, inasmuch as we are able to as mortal, fallen humans–and there are certainly believers who do evil, despicable things; and like atheists, believers of both types sometimes use their belief to justify their actions. (This can be particularly odd for those who claim belief, because they’ll justify their actions, even when the teachings of a given religion very clearly teach that what they are doing is wrong.)

    Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what we believe, with regards to God: we are ultimately accountable for all our actions, both big and small, and to the extent that we are immoral, we will likely be miserable, and we will make others miserable as well; while to the extent that we are moral, we will likely be happy, and help others be happy as well. (And even this is an over-simplification of what happens in our lives!)

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