Socialism Marxism Capitalism Confusionism! Trotskyism Communism ? Conservatism ? Leninism Maoism Liberalism Stalinism Fascism
I am reminded of 4 definitions: a radical man is a man with both feet firmly planted - in the air; a conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk; a reactionary is a somnambulist walking backwards; a liberal is a man who uses his legs and hands at the behest of his head. Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) US Democratic President
The GREAT COW ANALOGY SOCIALISM You have two cows. Give one to your neighbour. COMMUNISM You have two cows. Give both cows to the government, and they may give you some milk. FASCISM You have two cows. You give all the milk to the government, and the government sells it. NAZISM You have two cows. The government shoots you and takes both cows. ANARCHISM You have two cows. Keep both the cows, shoot the government agent, and steal another cow. CAPITALISM You have two cows. Sell one cow and buy a bull.
And continued… PURE COMMUNISM You have two cows. Your neighbours help you take care of them, and you all share the milk. RUSSIAN COMMUNISM You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk. SINGAPOREAN DEMOCRACY You have two cows. The government fines you for keeping two unlicensed farm animals in an apartment. AMERICAN DEMOCRACY The government promises to give you two cows if you vote for it. After the election, the president in impeached for speculating in cow futures. The press dubs the affair ‘cowgate’.
COMMUNISM according to Karl MARX & Friedrich ENGELS ie. MARXIST COMMUNISM
Karl Marx Marx caricature Index | Political Cartoon Archive
COMMUNISM – noun • A theoretical economic system characterised by the collective ownership of property and by the organisation of labour for the common advantage of all members. • i. A system of government in which the State plans and controls the economy and a single, often authoritarian party holds power, claiming to make progress towards a higher social order in which goods are equally shared. • ii. The Marxist version of the Communist doctrine that advocates the progression of society through the violent overthrown of the dominant classes and the eventual creation of a classless society.
Imagineby John Lennon Imagine there’s no heaven It’s easy if you try No hell below us Above us only sky Imagine all the people Living for today… Imagine there’s no country It isn’t hard to do Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too Imagine all the people Living life in peace... Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can No need for greed or hunger A brotherhood of man Imagine all the people Sharing all the world… You may say I a dreamer But I’m not the only one I hope someday you’ll join us And the world will be as one.
Karl Marx1818 - 1883 • German philosopher, economist, and social theorist whose ideas have exercised an enormous influence on later thinkers and political activists.
Let the ruling classes tremble before a communist revolution: the workers have nothing to lose by it but their chains… They have the world to win…Workers of every land, unite! Marx & Engels 1848
History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. Karl Marx (1818-83)
The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, that is, the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. Karl Marx (1818-83)
Capital is dead labour, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks. Karl Marx (1818-83)
Stages in History… …the inevitable progress of history = historical determinism Primitive Communism Feudalism Capitalism Socialism Communism (Utopia) PASSAGE OF TIME Evolution Violent Revolution Violent Revolution Transition
The history of all societies is the ‘history of class struggle’: Owners of the ‘means of production’ against/versus workers of the ‘means of production’. PRIMITIVE COMMUNISM (no government) = Classless society (based on subsistence living – very few commodities) Pre Industrial Society FEUDALISM (usually an absolute monarchy) = Aristocracy (landowners) versus Peasantry (land-workers) Industrial Society CAPITALISM (parliamentary democracy defending bourgeois principles) = Bourgeoisie (factory owners) versus Proletariat (factory workers) Revolution
The history of all societies is the history of class struggle: PRIMITIVE COMMUNISM FEUDALISM CAPITALISM SOCIALISM Dictatorship of the Proletariat = Workers control the State to resist counter-revolution… as the threat diminishes, so the State becomes less powerful! Society becomes more equal with class system breaking down and goods more fairly distributed. COMMUNISM Classless society - no State, just the administration of things! All equal where plentiful goods are fairly shared: ‘From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs’. Capitalist Revolution Socialist Revolution Gradual transition
Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. Karl Marx (1818-83)
Communism is the opiate of the intellectuals (with) no cure except as a guillotine might be called a cure for dandruff. Clare Boothe Luce (1903-87) US Diplomat
In brief – the most important ideas of Karl Marx: • All societies are made up of classes, and in modern, industrial societies there are two main classes – the capitalists and the proletariat. • These two classes must always be in conflict, and in capitalist societies the state – or machinery of government – it used to control the workers. • The workers must use revolutionary force to overthrow the capitalists. • The revolution will be successful only when the masses of workers become class-conscious – that is, realise how they are cheated by the capitalists. • After the revolution the workers will create a classless society in which all men will be equal. As it will no longer be needed, the state or machinery of government, will wither away.
What is a Communist? One who has yearnings for the equal division of unequal earnings! Ebenezer Elliot (1781-1849) English Pamphleteer
From George Orwell’s Animal Farm– a ‘fairy story’ written as a comment on Communism: Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland, Beasts of every land and clime, Hearken to my joyful tidings Of the golden future time. Soon or late the day is coming, Tyrant Man shall be overthrown, And the fruitful fields of England Shall be trod by beast alone. Rings shall vanish from our noses, And the harness from our back, Bit and spur shall rust forever, Cruel whips no more shall crack. Riches more than mind can picture, Wheat and barley, oats and hay, Clover, beans, and mangel-wurzels Shall be ours upon that day. Bright will shine the fields of England, Purer shall its waters be, Sweeter yet shall blow its breezes On the day that sets us free. For that day we must all labour, Though we die before it breaks; Cows and horses, geese and turkeys, All must toil for freedom’s sake. Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland, Beasts of every land and clime, Hearken well and spread my tidings Of the golden future time.
Therefore, according to MARX – history is not a record of wars, monarchs or great statesmen, but rather is a record of how individuals organise themselves to satisfy their material needs for food, shelter and clothing. • Marx argued all societies can be characterised by two features: • The means of production: • this refers to land, factories, capital, labour, machinery, knowledge – all of which are used in the production of material goods. • The relations of production: • this refers to the social relationships people enter into in order to produce goods. • Marx also argued that the means of production gives rise to the particular set of social relationships.
According to Marx & Engels – the history of mankind is the history of ‘class struggle’ in which working people were always fighting against the people who oppressed them. • In the Communist Manifesto, they claimed that: • Workers (the proletariat) were exploited by those who controlled money and invested in business (capitalists) • Most workers received poor wages and worked in terrible conditions which capitalists made large profits. • This unfair situation could not continue and would inevitably lead to a communist revolution. • The workers would overthrow the capitalists and a new, classless society would emerge. • They believed that communism was the last stage in history.
Class and class conflict: The means and relations of production give rise to unequal and antagonistic social classes – namely, a ‘ruling class’ and one or more ‘subject classes’. An individual’s class position is determined by his/her relationship to the means of production. Therefore, it is ownership or non-ownership of the means of production that determines class position. And, again according to Marx, economic power is the basis of political power.
Pre-Industrial Society • Feudal society – based on agricultural land • Means of production = land, peasant labour, simple technology, livestock • Relations of production = Landlord exploits serf/peasant • Industrial Society • Capitalist society – based on industrial production • Means of production = capital, labour, factory, complex technology/knowledge • Relations of production = Bourgeoisie (capitalist/owner) exploits Proletariat (wage worker)