The 10 Points of Marxism (Marxism: Part II)

Read Part III.
Read Part I.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote a short work called The Communist Manifesto. It is a manual for Marxism. About half way through, there is a 10 point summary. I list those ten points below with comments related to their application in America.

First, however, I need to add a qualification: I am banking on God in Christ, and not America. I don’t analyze America and Marxism as if I think that the USA is somehow the center of God’s redemptive plan for a climactic future. I care about my country, but my affections are elsewhere.

The 10 Points of Marxism, quoted from an English translation of the Communist Manifesto:

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

I know a certain man who is retired. He paid off his house back in the 1970s. He now pays more per month for property tax than he used to pay when he had a mortgage in the 1970s, and must continue to rent the place (as it were) from the government.

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

Compare this to America’s tax rates.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

America does not do this (rather, inheritance is taxed with an estate tax).

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

This does not apply to America. If it did, someone would have to define “rebel.” But notice the power of Homeland Security (DHS), the IRS, SEC, EPA, CIA, NSA and FBI. Who can oppose the IRS or EPA?

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

America has a Federal Reserve, Federal Banking System, Federal mint, and the new bail-out programs.

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

In America, there is the FCC and things of that sort (even the new Internet Czar). For transportation there is the Department of Transportation (with all of its agencies), America has the FAA, the Federal Highway Administration, government weigh-stations (everywhere), regulated trucking, the Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, interstate regulations by the Surface Transportation Board and the new TSA, and the Federal Government even has a stake in car companies.

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.

The approximation of this in America is the union (or, rather, unions: most of them aligned with the government in varying degrees).

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

American does not oblige anyone to work.

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.

America has farm subsidies and regulates agriculture and food with the FDA. We also have the FSIS and USDA.

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

Free education is provided for preschoolers and toddlers. And America’s public universities are the places of the transferring of these ten ideals. And from those colleges, America obtains its teachers who work in the elementary and secondary schools — with the national educational union (NEA) integrated throughout.

For a list of most of the US federal agencies and bodies, see this article.

16 thoughts on “The 10 Points of Marxism (Marxism: Part II)

  1. “These ten-points look like a party platform I know about. Which platform though? The Communist Party? The Republican Party? Hmmm. It’s not that hard to tell.”

    How in the world would the Ten Points relate to the Republican Party? Their ideals state that they want as little government as possible and a totally free market.

  2. I thank you for putting this great article together and pray that this will soon become common knowledge among the American people!

  3. You are welcome, Jackson. I read the Communist Manifesto back in 1995. At that time, I felt like it mapped to the direction I saw the country going. Marxism is a form of thievery. It gets the government to rob its citizens on behalf of others. These are thieves who are too sophisticated to break-in and take what it is they want, so they pass laws to force their neighbor to hand over the objects they desire. Marxism is against divine providence. It is discouraged that God has distributed gifts among men, and so it seeks a mechanism of redistribution.

    Marxists seek to rule over men while claiming to be benevolent. Like the pagan gods, they themselves fear their subjects and terrorize them; they control with threats and power and judgment as to protect themselves. Marxism is anthropology moved upstairs. It is man climbing into the seat of glory, as it were, to rule over fellow men. It is anti-theological by turning anthropology into theology. Men make themselves to be kings and lords, and they are intoxicated with their power, and simultaneous afraid of losing it. The Marxist government seeks to protect itself from the citizens. Marxism ends up being the system of alienation. They alienate man from freedom. Marxism is a system of objectification. It makes men objects to be managed. Marxism is a system of class distinctions. It makes the party bosses to be lords who are of higher class.

  4. That is totally true! It is amazing how some Americans don’t even realize that this nation is communist and that it is going down the path that every communist country has faced! It couldn’t be any clearer that we are Marxist after reading this article. Thanks again!

  5. Funny that Steve Rieves would call Marxism thievery, because it redistributes “what God has distributed among men”. The bible doesn’t tell us that, it actually says something very different, and so does Marx. Jesus’ enemies made similar arguments, but you’ll recall what Christ thought about the profanity of doing Mammon’s work (money changers) inside the temple of God. Marx (like most socialism before and after Marx) begins with the argument that capitalism is a form of theft, just as the bible says “One soweth, and another reapeth”(John: 4; 37).

    Might we ask the wealthy few, who own our large estates and factories, what Jesus said to his disciples: “you…reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor”(John: 4; 38). The capitalists cease from resting only to eat, while you cease from working only to rest, and eat only when you can.

    Do you believe that Jesus favored such injustice, he who said, “by their fruits ye shall know them”(Mathew: 7; 20)?

    The teachings of Christ were the inspiration for the first socialists, long before Marx was even born. It was concern for the suffering of the poor after the Enclosure Acts creating the first private property, and the mass poverty that followed as rural farmers were forced of their lands, to live and work in city factories. The problem of “the social question” is the beginning of socialism in this time: how to minister to the suffering and poor created — not by God distributing wealth — but by men, distributing privileges and industry in Parliament. Socialism means being on the side of the poor and those suffering such injustices: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor…to preach deliverance to the captives.” (Luke: 4; 18)

    The bible also tells us:

    “Woe unto you that are rich, for ye have received your consolation.”(Luke: 6; 24).

    “No man can serve two masters…Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew: 6; 24)

    “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”(Matthew: 19; 23)

    Marx explained in the same way how capitalism stole from labor, while the capitalist “reaps whereon he bestows no labor”: the value that a laborer produces in a day exceeds what it takes to keep that laborer alive. For part of the day, the workers produce the value that covers the cost of their own existence. In essence, what the workers produce the rest of the day is unpaid labor.

    Marx called this extra value that the worker produces during the course of a day’s work “surplus value.” Under capitalism, the owners of capital—the ones who buy the workers’ labor power—own the fruits of that labor. This is how the capitalists make profits—when the commodity produced by the workers is sold in the marketplace, its price is far above the amount the capitalist had to spend in wages to produce it. The capitalist takes the difference. The capitalist owns the surplus value.

    To the employer, labor power has a very clear use value: it earns the capitalist a profit. This is the basic inequality built into the capitalist system. As long as one small class of owners controls the surplus value created by the working class, there will always be rich and poor, wealth and poverty.

    Unlike the classical capitalist economists who only touched on the subject of surplus value, Marx understood that surplus value was the basis of capitalist profit.

    Based on a full understanding of the labor theory of value, surplus value, and the nature of capitalism, it becomes clear that exploitation and thievery are built into capitalist relations. In the drive for increasing profits, wages are held as low as possible, and by the “magic” of laws that enforce ownership of factories, farms, and all usable land or technology for production, the majority of the population is fleeced of what they create. They live pitiful lives actively making others rich, while those who profit do little or nothing at all. They enjoy the privilege of “being” something, such that they need no “do” anything. They “are” owners.

    Socialists aim to abolish the right of the tiny capitalist class to own in private the surplus value that is created by the millions of workers in society. Instead of serving private gain, the productivity of humanity and society’s surplus would benefit the vast majority of society—those who produce it.

    Socialism is the exact opposite of capitalism. In socialism, every man carries an equal burden of work and shares equally in the good things that society has to offer. There is no poverty, because all the idle land and machines have been put to use to produce the things people want. Unemployment is not deliberately manufactured to manipulate markets, or to pacify the population (if you think this isn’t done in the US, research the Federal Reserve’s role in creating the recession of 1990).

    In socialism (as in Christ’s teaching) production is aimed at satisfying the needs of the masses rather than the profit interest of a few. The Golden Rule—”as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise”(Luke: 6; 31)—has become the rule which all men follow in their daily lives.

    Also, be careful not to commit the fallacy of confusing private property with personal property. These are antiquated terms that have lost their former meaning in economic circles since the mid 18th century. Private property only means “the means of production” when reading Marx, the factories and industrial production that keep society going, not the car you own or the shoes you wear.

    Private property is not a term that exists before things like Enclosure in Britain; it’s a modern concept. Before that there was only “the commons”, believed for ages to be created by God for all to thrive on. Private property is not a Christian idea, and itself “redistributes what God has distributed”. So when the Marxist says that private ownership of things that society needs to feed itself and stay alive, things “distributed” to all humanity by God’s act of creation — things redistributed by man using government to create large industrial production — it only means that those things society as a whole uses to survive should be owned equally by all society, not by a privileged few.

    God’s gift to all took government intervention to become a gift for a select few.

    Pray for insight into that possibility.

  6. Aoi, I only let your comment through because it is instructive as to how a person will turn the Bible into a communist manifesto. It happens with non-Marxists too, so you are not alone. You pervert the Scriptures for your own cause. Dude, wake up.

  7. Steve, can’t it also be said that you’ve perverted the scriptures for your own cause? Do you claim to know the exact way that god intended for the Bible to be written? Aoi has also made several great points that didn’t even cite the Bible that you have yet to refute. I’m interested in hearing your full rebuttal to Aoi and to myself.

  8. Hey Brandon. You asked, “can’t it also be said that you’ve perverted the scriptures for your own cause?” and my answer to your question is Yes!, absolutely it could be said that I have perverted the scriptures for my own cause. In fact, anything can be said. Demonstrating it is another matter.

    Your second question is, “Do you claim to know the exact way that god intended for the Bible to be written?” We have the Bible, so we need only read it to find out what it says about itself (or, rather, what God says about his own speaking). God explains himself. So it is not that I have some private knowledge, rather we all have his written word (which Aoi quoted from). That is, I am not making a claim to any special or private knowledge.

    You wrote, “Aoi has also made several great points that didn’t even cite the Bible that you have yet to refute. I’m interested in hearing your full rebuttal to Aoi and to myself.”

    I wanted to write a longer reply to Aoi. I really did — and Lord willing, I will some day. For now, I will only add that his reply is helpful in that it lays out the major contours of how one can justify his position from the selective quotes from the Bible–Aoi quotes Jesus. Those quotes can be shown to be selective slivers taken out of a larger discourse, so I would first of all appeal to the larger discourses. That is, my reply to Aoi with respect to his quotes from Jesus would be along the lines of laying out the larger sections where the quotes belong, and then letting the context of Jesus’ own discourse demonstrate that the subject is not what Aoi has made it to be. Having just said that, one can go himself, read the larger sections, and accomplish for themselves what would take me a very long time to write.

    This is all very public knowledge, because the words of Jesus are readily available in Bibles. This is not a struggle over esoteric interpretations or privatized views. The words of the Bible are words — sentences, paragraphs, precepts, etc. — and work according to the common features of language. So it is sufficient for one to make a reasonable inspection of the Bible to check Aoi.

    Regarding the “several great points that didn’t even cite the bible”, maybe you could reiterate a particular one that you’d like me to deal with. Time simply won’t permit me to interact with all that Aoi said. However, I could take a shot at some sub-point.

    Thanks to you and Aoi both for writing, and Best Regards,

    Steve

  9. Bible was written to control the masses. There are many religions, which one is right? Obama will ruin America, it is already happening. Where will the money come from to subsidize the people who do not want to work, sucking the system dry, when the other 52% of the population has had enough and stops working?

  10. Interesting article. Deeply flawed but interesting. The main problem you have is in interpreting just what Communism is. A Socialist government that is the “dictatorship of the proletariat” in the process of “building Communism” is the sole employer, not as in the case of the American government the employer of last resort. I say “building Communism”, because true “Communism” never existed on the Earth in the manner Marx described, a Utopian endeavor where there was no government, there were no owners, and everyone labored for the good of his fellow man. Equally, only one Warsaw Pact nation was ever audacious enough to claim that the true state of Communism was less than 10 years away. Even the USSR never claimed it was close to establishing Communism.)

    So, for instance, your assertion that Unionized works are the owners/employers/controllers of factories is unfounded. The owners of the factories determine what will and won’t be made. Compare our model of ownership to the Soviet Union where the government was the owner of all business inside its domain. The various regional committees did turn a blind eye to black market dealing, fueled by theft from government owned factories. In the end, the government controlled all means of production.

    This goes for the ownership of means of travel. Public transportation (trains, buses, subways) are about the only means of the majority of the public for getting around on the government dime. Cabs, airlines, cruise ships, and cargo trains are privately owned, though they are regulated for public safety. For some reason, the average Joe has some unreasonable desire that the vehicles traveling around him not blow up, fall out of the sky, or come crashing through the building he is occupying. Go figure.

    TSA is involved in securing the safety of air travel. Now, whether or not they are focused on the correct source of threat (i.e. passengers) is another story, but TSA is not there to determine when a plane can leave, where it can go, or how much tickets cost. The airlines set their own schedules. The FAA is only concerned with airplanes flying safely. The FAA does not determine the schedule or rate of fees the airlines (all privately owned) charge.

    As for America’s tax rates? Compared to many in the Socialist world, the American tax rate is laughably low. I have friends living in Denmark who are not among the 1% and did pay (as of the mid 2000′s) 50% or more of their income in taxes. Granted they got free tuition to college, free health care (and damn good health care at that), and free housing (to get them out of their parents’ homes and out into the working world) in exchange for that 1/2 their income.

    For us in the U.S., it is a question of how much we expect the government to do. If all we want is a small federal constabulary force to keep foreign nations from thinking they can take over this large expanse of territory, and maybe keep private citizens from knifing each other to steal property, then an almost non-existant tax rate is what we should have. If we accept that prior experience, large business owners will realize they are more rewarded by being unscrupulous and in essence robbing their supposed customers of every cent while paying their workers as little as they can get away with (i.e. not enough for a family to actually have enough to eat).

    You don’t have to go back to the 1910′s and 1920′s in the U.S. to see such malfeasance in running a business. Only a few months ago, the Libor and ISDAfix scandals broke, where the largest banks in the world (including some in the U.S.) purposely altered the world wide interest rates to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars literally stolen from their clients (you know, pension funds, U.S. city and U.S. state budgets, non-Fortune 500 U.S. businesses). These banks affected currency markets, the interest rates at which they loaned money, and as importantly what are called loan swap rates. These swap rates are how much a business or city government is charged to convert their variable rate loan to a fixed rate loan. So these 16 banks were making sure world wide these swap rates were high, while jimmying with the rates to ensure that the gamble taken by the borrower (that the current rate was as low as it could go and they wouldn’t lose out fixing the rate) and push rates lower to in essence screw the borrowers out of the benefit they could have had from the variable rate.

    Capitalism as defined only works with some oversight. Just about every economic theorist of note (say Adam Smith who wrote “Wealth of Nations”) had to come to grips with two things, the accumulation of much of the capital into a very few hands at the expenses of most, and the boom and bust cycles that seemed to occur regularly. Many supporting limited government oversight/regulation of the economy will point to Adam Smith and “Wealth of Nations” and Smith’s “a rising tide lifts all boats” to argue for laissez faire economics. However, they miss that Smith himself in that very book pointed out that business acting selfishly could cause harm and there was some need for oversight to ensure fair play in the market. I guess most folks have either not read the book or stopped when they saw what they needed.

    In response to your claiming farm subsidies are similar to collectivization of farms, I can only laugh. I’ll agree that agribusinesses in the U.S. (aka corporate or large scale farms) do not need the farm subsidies dreamed up in the 1930′s to rescue the family farms being abandoned in the wake of the dust bowl. The economic help meant to encourage small/family farmers to use crop rotation and allow some fields to lie fallow is not needed for these much larger modern farms. Equally things like the sugar subsidy are the very essence of crony capitalism and a thing that needs to go. But how many farms are in direct ownership and control of the government? How often do the farms of America get orders on the numbers and types of crops to grow? How often are the children of the upper middle class removed from college or their homes and sent to the farms to work because they are not close enough to the working roots of the common man? I’m thinking the answer there is “never.” Each farmer is allowed to determine what he will grow on his land. Granted, there are government programs meant to teach farmers more efficient use of their land, but these in no way command or compel the farmers.

    As for colleges being the bastion of Communism and Communist thought, I again laugh. I was first educated at Texas A&M, the school that prides itself on its deep conservative roots and the fact that no “disruptions” occurred during the Sixties (to the tune of some outside agitators being run off by the President and a sizable portion of the student body). I finished my BA (after over a decade in the Army) at a school that had no agenda other than to separate me from my money and give in return enough of an education to call it good. My MA (soon to be finished) comes from a school that is more left leaning than not, though there is enough of a conservative bent to the students to call it more centrist. I will grant you that in U.S. colleges there is a certain “aging hippy” faction that is disparaging of the U.S. and has made national headlines, but they do not represent any of the teachers I have seen (“aging, anti-US hippies” 0, staunch Republicans disgusted at the current administration 3). As for the school teachers I have met, I’ve seen exactly 0 that can be said to be left/far-left/socialist/communist leaning.

    Unions serve a function. That function is not to indoctrinate their members into Communism as you seem to imply. It is to allow the less politically/monitarily powerful workers to demand more wage for their time. If you think that is bad, then I call on you to willingly take a pay cut and prove poverty is but a minor inconvenience. Real wages for middle and lower class families needs to go up. That being said, I think many Unions have lost sight of what they should be doing and can do as much harm as good.

    In so far as the U.S. centralizing communications, they regulate the content. The government does not dictate the content. Hell, the U.S. government doesn’t control what is being said. If they did Rush Limbaugh would be out of a job due to a government imposed gag order. He’d be banned on pain of imprisonment from broadcasting if a Soviet style regime was running things, assuming such a government couldn’t through threat and intimidation force him to become a mouthpiece. In the U.S.S.R. the government owned all means of communication. Stalin often wrote articles to be prominently run on the front page of Pravda and other government owned newspapers. The newspapers were propaganda machines telling the people what the government wanted the people to know. Are you really going to tell me U.S. newspapers (Washington Times, New York Post), news shows (Fox News), and radio stations (Rush, Hannity) are owned/operated/controlled by the U.S. government? Even the more left leaning media is still at times critical of the government. I guarantee you, if even the least read, middle of the paper, Pravda article writer was even vaguely critical of Stalin, the chances he would wind up denounced, fired, arrested, tortured, and sent off to a Siberian gulag are so high as to be a near 100% certainty. I’ve yet to hear of Rush’s tenure in an American work camp.

  11. Miles, thanks for taking the time to write. Your reply is 3x longer than the original article (which I sincerely take as a complement). I will try to read it and digest it as I can. I really want to understand your points. And, I hope what you wrote is stimulating for the readers here.

  12. I would like Steve Rives – or any advocate of capitalism – to explain how any system in which money is created as debt at interest (through a farcical, wholly unethical process of which banks have a monopoly), can ever pay back its debts. Well, as ever post neoclassical ecnomist knows, it cant. Under capitalism, there is always more owed than money in the system. For every dollar out of debt a good Christian is, someone is thus in proportional debt. Usually this unlucky fellow is brown or lives in the third world. That’s where capitalism likes to hide poverty. Eventually the system cant hide the debts, so it pushes it onto future generations, and then starts pushing it on white Americans who, gee, are shocked to realize that their system never actually worked and now its here to bite them in the butts too.

    Now this is a mathematics blog. Many here might be aware that we actually have AI models (Peter Victor, Adrian Dragulescu, Victor M. Yakovenko) showing that the sheer concept of profit causes or behaves exactly as Marx predicted. The breakthrough today, though, is that we now see that it (ie profit – an impossibility under physics) obeys thermodynamic laws and that money is quite literally conserved within the heat engine of capitalism. This is abhorent for those who advocate capitalism, because now we know that money itself is zero sum, dispite the inflationary nature of the system (every dollar of debt negates a dollar of value), and so capitalism can only ever produce massive inequality. Of course there’s also other factors to consider when further denouncing capitalism – many scientists speak of its unsustainability, its exponential energy requirements etc – but those are other topics.

    I also find it strange that this blog speaks capitalism’s triumphs when we know that 80 percent of the world lives on less than ten dollars a day, that there are more slaves now than in the 1800s and that the sheer act of participating harms another human being (yes Christians, you’re doing a bad job on the whole “being ethical thing”!).

    Communism has been demonized for decades by kings, the ruling class and such because it destroys their ability to amass profit. But as humanity evolves, some form of it will be necesssary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>