Sunday, March 30, 2008

Karl Marx

Friend of the blog Tom Mannis of The Bench has this picture on one of his posts ranting about Sen. Hillary Clinton's money woes as she seeks the Democratic nomination for President. Anyway, I'm stealing this because what you'll find here is Karl Marx's theory of justice. That quote at the very top of that picture.

I wish I could tell you what that meant. Perhaps that meant that money shouldn't be a measure of what you need and you shouldn't get more than you do need. Perhaps someone out there might have a better idea. That quote can be found if you read Marx's Critique of the Gotha Program.

I had a crash course in Marxism this past week. I understood that after overthrowing the bourgeoisie there will be a "dictatorship of the proletariat". This dictatorship I suppose could be represented by the dictatorship that existed in most of the communist states around the world. One could argue that the Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, and perhaps a few other communist states weren't true communism. Because these states were stuck in a phase and it was halfway between the end of the bourgeoisie and a truly communist society.

I learned in class that Marx just didn't account for human nature to rear it's ugly head. He didn't anticipate or indeed he wouldn't believe that the proletariat wouldn't ultimately give up it's newly found power in order to truly reach the ultimate goal. That goal was to reach this ideal communist society and in that society there would be no need for government. Idealistic, huh?

Well that explains why people have died for this idea. Especially in the course of violent revolution as this was supposed to take place. It explains why after many failures people still believe this is the ideal system. Yeah some people out there believed that communism is the best system even though in its various forms around the world it hadn't reached its potential. Some of them aren't accounting for what Marx accounted for, who knows if the bourgeoisie was overthrown (and read that as capitalism) then they might be the new proletariat unwilling to achieve the goal because of their new found power.

You know in spite of the capitalist system. Let me be honest when I say capitalism is hard. I said once that it sucks and someone took offense, but my statement only meant that capitalism is hard. It's almost like democracy.

Capitalism requires a lot of things. For example some of us have dreams, and I would expect that one of those dreams included being your own boss. That means you have to find your own way to make money. With this money, however you earned it and hopefully legally, you can provide for yourself the necessities you might need. At the bare minimum, you might want housing, food, if transportation is important then you might want to buy a car, for example.

Capitalism is hard because there are bound to be "winners" or "losers" in capitalism unfortunately. I would dare say some of these "losers" are the ones who aren't exactly strivers, the ones who are content from going to job to job without thinking much about advancement or even making more money than they would doing on the most menial of tasks. I would dare say these aren't the ones who aren't going out of their way to get an education or at least picking up a book and reading. That's an education, is it not. Most of these people might live off of the goodness of others.

Basically capitalism depends on the individual to make the most of the system. Of course if things are good, then they are good. If things are bad then they are bad. Hello, Great Depression! That was awful, but it just shows that economics or the business cycle is cyclical.

Hmmm, if people think communism is so wonderful perhaps they don't realize that even in those ideal societies there are economic cycles there as well. Sometimes there's no guarantee that the crop you planted might fully grow. There's no guarantee that there won't be a drought or even a flood. It's true under capitalism with an individual farmer as easily as it could be with communism if the state owned all the farms.

I could go all day with this, but I trust capitalism faster than I would trust communism. I would trust it because I know what I'm getting with capitalism while at the same time the allure of a communist society might sound great but I'm still at someone else's mercy. That is what communism might be able to provide they might taketh away or otherwise disappear because what is provided may not always be available.

BTW, I've yet to read The Communist Manifesto. Perhaps when I finally allow myself the opportunity I'd like to be able to talk about this in more detail.


Anonymous said...

Capitalism is hard because there are bound to be "winners" or "losers" in capitalism unfortunately.
This is not justice, this is why I struggle against capitalism.

Anonymous said...

If you actually believe a dictatorship is what makes a communism and therefore the proletariat you have problems that cant possibly be fixed and you are doomed to frolic for the rest of your life in the idiocy of American society. Nowhere does Marx say that a communism will be run without a government ideally. Whoever your teacher is he's an idiot. So i think you should read the communist manifesto as you like the rest of America seem to have been taught the wrong thing and end up thinking they know what they're talking about. Your next step would be reading other manuscripts by Marx, Engels, and Lenin.

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