Baby Boomers: Stop with the BS…
Communism is the most well-known competitor to classical liberalism. As a result, it is no surprise that communism is demonized in classical liberal societies; people don’t want other people trying to drastically change their way of life. We like our lives the way they are. Therefore, like Fascism, there is much hoopla and rabble rousing when Communism gets mentioned at the dinner table. But the rejection is more visceral and raw because Communism is seen as an actual threat, whereas Fascism is seen as a ‘joke’ ideology that no one will legitimately follow.
But all this 1950s crying, pouting, and hurt feelings (sorry baby boomers…) doesn’t help those people who are genuinely in the dark. All of this is to your own detriment. Teenagers rebel to the unknown, the exotic, and the incendiary (in order to find identity and garner attention). So your confused, white, middle class teenagers put on a Che shirt, grow dread locks and become a libertine communist. After watching our teenagers dance so hard on that edge they cut themselves, let’s go over the solution; obliterate it with truth. Then they can rebel as something that doesn’t cost you money; like leaving the house to get a job (you know, become an actual proletariat that they keep yammering on about; it’s a win-win).
So let’s get down to it; what do Communists actually believe? Well, put on your adventure hat because we are going on a wild adventure full of human solidarity, worker comradery, and the smashing of bourgeoisie decadence! Exciting stuff!
Capitalism Will Consume Itself
Communism began as an anti-ideology because the creators were raised as Liberals. Therefore, a refutation of our current way of life was first on the list. Why should we pick an alternative ideology if the current way of social organization is awesome? So enter a communist’s critique of capital; it goes something like this.
- Capitalism is exploitative to workers. People who own factories and businesses (the bourgeoisie) reap an unfair share from workers (the proletariat).
- Therefore the tendency is to get workers to work more and to pay them less for said work; to increase profits.
- This is necessary because it is practically impossible to achieve profit through the purchase/sale of a standard commodity. The “value” added to raw materials is done through labor, not through buying low and selling high.
- The laborer is mad that he/she has to work more for equal or less pay. The bourgeoisie continues to see how far they can push the envelope. This results in what communists consider to be a ‘class struggle’ as workers fight back through violence.
- This is a feedback loop for capitalism’s own destruction. As capitalism works to starve and overwork our proletariat, the bourgeoisie become wealthier and wealthier. As demands for production increase eventually we reach the tipping point where we can reach a number of final states which lead to capitalism cannibalizing itself (without workers rising up). Such as,
- As workers become poorer they take on debt to continue consumption. Essentially becoming wage slaves, they must work more to pay debt they cannot afford. Eventually society will stop lending, mass defaults proceed, and society is screwed.
- As demand for production increases, natural resources get consumed with increased fervor to the point where we physically have no more land to exploit/pollute. We kill ourselves in our attempt to consume/reproduce beyond our means (like ants).
- As demand for production increases, domestic natural resources deplete rapidly. The bourgeoisie engage in warfare (using the proletariat to fight) with other nations in order to secure resources to continue production and consumption. We nuke ourselves to death, or the entire populace dies from attrition invading some foreign lands (like Russia invading Germany in WW1).
- Of course, the more likely scenario is that workers rise against their evil bosses. This occurs through our class struggle. To make it clear, the workers are pissed off of the way things are (they are poorer, they are in debt, their materialistic way of life is meaningless, etc. etc.), they group together and spontaneously decide that Socialism is the way forward. Heads roll, history marches on.
Communism is Inevitable
As mentioned in my last post about the history of Communism; a key corner stone of the movement is the idea that ‘history is on our side’. That is, like Feudalism turned into Capitalism, Socialism will spring from Capitalism. Socialism is inevitable because capitalism isn’t logically sustainable due to the class struggle dynamic. As a result, the communist really sees the current state of society as a waiting game for the workers to rise against their masters.
Once the workers take control of the means of production (the proletariat own the factories, businesses, political superstructure), then Socialism begins. The state exists as long as the bourgeoisie remain. Step two of this Socialist society is to reform humans to be less materialistic and return to a more evolved state of compassion and self-motivation (rather than through threat of starvation or violence).
Once we are satisfied that all the old rich capitalists are gone, the State begins to wither away as it no longer has any purpose. Finally, a communist society develops to replace it. This communist society is humanities final political evolution. We all behold in it’s everlasting glory.
What does this communist society look like? Well, Marx is very vague on this point. But it’s easy enough to imagine a commune where we all live without sexism/racism/violence, each person is free to work as they wish (not based on market demands); production is shared and we live happily ever after (that was easy to imagine… right?).
Philosophical “Opinions”: Abolish Property
A communist does not see the world in the way liberals do. Marx was very much anti-“pie in the sky” thinking and all for action. He saw his political work as an intellectual, but realistic portrayal of our political world. As the manifesto puts it
“…the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property.”
The reason is clear, private property does not benefit the poor proletariat farmer (who hardly owns private property anyway, maybe a car and a house at most). The greatest beneficiaries of ‘private’ property are those who own the means of production to use this property; who are… you guessed it, the bourgeoisie.
This doesn’t mean communists want to break your windows and steal your treasured N64 or kick you out of your house; the primary focus of the abolition of private property is to establish worker control over land which produces capital (factories, mines, woodland, etc.). The fruits of your labor should be shared between all members of society, not filtered off to those who steal it from workers.
Capitalists who attempt to argue against communism claim that Communists seek to abolish private property and on the same stroke abolish ‘individuality’ and ‘freedom’. So, I’ll defend the abolition of private property in the style of the Communist Manifesto.
Whose property are you defending?
A Defense of Abolishing Private Property
The proletariat are wage slaves, they only work so they can consume and consume so that they may survive. Each year brings with it a stagnant wage with goods at higher cost. Every year yields more profits toward the rich and greater suffering toward the poor. Whose freedom do we protect by keeping this property in the hands of the wealthy?
You ask, do we not abolish freedom by abolishing private property?
We ask, whose freedom are you protecting by keeping private property?
Certainly not the freedom of the proletariat, for private property protects the freedom of the bourgeoisie to exploit that property. That property is exploited further by using your labor to do so. It should be no surprise that you do not receive the true value of your labor in the form of a paycheck. For how would the bourgeoisie command profit? For every dollar you generate for the bourgeoisie you earn a pitiful fraction in return, and each year that amount shrinks through inflation and stagnant wage. Who is the free one? The owner of capital, or the slave chained to its mechanisms? Who would we free by abolishing this so called ‘private’ property? We would free YOU. You keep your house, you can keep your car, but the business you work in and the land we extract value from will be owned by the community such that it may benefit the community.
Then you ask, do we not abolish individuality by abolishing private property?
We ask, whose individuality?
Do you protect the rights of the rich and famous to flaunt wealth, purchase extravagant clothes, and express themselves through their own media? Or should we be protecting the individuality of the workers to express themselves without cultural repression brought about by bourgeoisie religion and cultural dogma?
In bourgeoisie ‘free’ media, who speaks? Those who support the capitalist mode of production, that is, the bourgeoisie. The media is not free, the media is controlled by groups who wish to remain in power. As a result, those who are subjugated by this media have their own individuality repressed to conform to their desires for the poor; that is, to not complain, work dutifully, and to consume trinkets.
When you say individuality is abolished by socialism, what you are really saying is bourgeoisie individuality is abolished by socialism. And for that reason I say we abolish private property to free you from it’s chains.