20A009 Freddy, Karl & Bernie by Jim Davies, 3/3/2020     


Both Freddy and Karl were raised in Germany, but wound up in England and found they shared ideas about changing society. Friedrich Engels' father was a successful textile manufacturer in Prussia, and was sent to Manchester to work in his English subsidiary. Freddy rose eventually to become a managing partner in the factory and lived well, even joining the local fox hunt.

Karl Marx settled in London to write the foundational works of socialism, and Freddy so admired him as to pay his living expenses; in fact that's the reason he gave for continuing to work in a capitalist enterprise - to "help the cause."

Currently here it seems likely that in November Trump will be challenged by the self-described socialist Bernie Sanders, so it may be worth a review of what that's all about. Karl wrote in 1847 the Communist Manifesto thus:

1. Abolition of Property in Land and Application of all Rents of Land to Public Purpose
2. A Heavy Progressive or Graduated Income Tax.
3. Abolition of All Rights of Inheritance
4. Confiscation of the Property of All 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 Liability of All to Labor. Establishment of Industrial Armies, Especially for Agriculture.
9. Combination of Agriculture with Manufacturing Industries; Gradual Abolition of the Distinction Between Town and Country by a More Equable Distribution of the Population over the Country
10. Free Education for All Children in Public Schools. Abolition of Children's Factory Labor in it's Present Form. Combination of Education with Industrial Production.

Two features are obvious. First, all of these proposals must be imposed from above; none of them will happen naturally. Marx openly called for (#8) an "equal liability for labor" for example, meaning that if someone wouldn't work, he'd be punished. It's altogether an authoritarian list; some rule, all others get ruled. Then second, all ten ideas appear to have the aim of achieving equality of outcome. Land ownership (at the time, the primary source of wealth) was to be abolished, and incomes were to be savagely taxed at higher rates, the more that was earned. Marx wasn't just proposing equal opportunity, he called for equal results, or outcomes; nobody was to be either very poor or very rich.

That was the big selling point. Under Pareto's 80/20 principle there will always be an unequal distribution of wealth, no matter what; and in 1847 England, as in Russia, there was still a lot of abject poverty; so the Manifesto was written to have a wide appeal. A deep irony is that at the time he wrote it, England especially was in the throes of the fastest, biggest rise in prosperity for all, especially the poor, in human history; he was surrounded by it, Engels was actually helping it happen, yet both willfully ignored it.

The other deep irony is that in order to try to achieve the impossible (equality of outcome) they openly visualized a system of imposed force to attain it; which is the very opposite of equality! It's an absolute contradiction; either everyone has the same status and wealth, or else the many are ruled by the few, in some form of hierarchy. In Orwell's words, some pigs are more equal than others.

BS, if he should defeat DJT, will make it far worse for sure - but notice, a great deal of the Marxist Manifesto is already law in the US. For example: nobody owns land, for government claims dominion over the whole, and may by "eminent domain" cancel even the illusion of ownership if it thinks fit. There's Plank #1. There has for a century past been a "graduated income tax" enforced, sometimes very heavily. There's #2. "Rights of Inheritance" have been wickedly curtailed by death taxes, though recently DJT has much reduced them; #3. Anyone who renounces US citizenship and takes his money to a tax haven is forced to pay tax on his way out; #4. A banking cartel has been in place since 1913, and currently the artificially low cost of borrowing is offset by a central control over who gets the loans; #5.

All roads and railroads are monopolized by the state, and air transport is subject to tight ATC and FAA controls; ID must be shown before boarding many buses and many cars, even, can be tracked by satellite surveillance. There's #6.

Planks #7 thru 9 may be exceptions; eg state ownership of factories has not been implemented... yet. What Bernie will do, if elected, remains to be seen. But #10 has been in place even before Marx wrote his sinister list, and continues to corrupt the minds of every rising generation.

DJT should have no problem defeating BS, provided he's well briefed by free-market economists. But what is already in place shows no signs of going away. That's what you and I have to do.


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