Plenty of stupid ideas kill people. But one man’s stupid ideas have killed over a hundred million people.
Karl Marx was born 200 years ago today. And despite the utter failure of his communist philosophy in practice, the cult lives on. Still people want to try again… this time they will get it right.
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels originally published The Communist Manifesto in 1848. It laid out the beliefs and action plan of the Communist Party. The goal was to get communists of every nationality to rise up and unite to overthrow their “capitalist oppressors.”
Little did they know their words would be used by the likes of Stalin and Mao as justification for over 100 million murders meant to supposedly move society forward.
In America, the goals of the communists have crept their way into society with little fanfare. Many people have no idea that public schools, the graduated income tax, and even a central state-controlled bank (like the Federal Reserve) were tenets of the Communist Manifesto.
The points are boiled down in one section of the manifesto to a list of ten main goals. These are the goals, in Marx and Engels’ own words, followed by an analysis of how deeply they have seeped into the United States governing structure.
“1. Abolition of all public land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.”
Also known as property taxes. Can you really say you own land if you must pay the government every year in order to keep it? Fail to pay your rent, and they will eventually confiscate “your” land. This money is then used for “public purposes” like public schools (just wait for #10) and police, who will remove you from the government’s land if you fail to pay your rent.
And if the local government can fine you for keeping a front yard garden, or backyard chickens, do you really own the land anyway? Sounds like the proletariat traded capitalist oppressors for government oppressors.
The federal government owns outright 28% of all land in the United States, 640 million acres. This includes the Bureau of Land Management’s 248 million acre turf used to control or oppress political dissidents like Cliven Bundy. “The BLM is also responsible for subsurface mineral resources in areas totaling 700 million acres.” That means they control almost three times as much land as they own.
Each state government owns an average of 8.7% of its state’s land. This source claims the feds own over 31% of the U.S. landmass, which brings the combined state and federal total ownership to almost 40% of all land in the USA.
And let’s not forget about eminent domain, where the government can just take your land for “public use” (or public benefit) with “just compensation.” If the compensation isn’t just, simply take the most powerful government on Earth to court–courts that they own. I’m sure you will be treated fairly.
“2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.”
Even after the latest tax cuts, the federal income tax rates range from 10% to 37%.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the top 20% of income earners in the U.S. will pay 87% of all income taxes this year. These people who earn $150,000 or more account for 52% of the income earned in the USA, but will pay almost all of the income taxes, 87%.
The top 1% of earners– the evil bourgeois making over $730,000 per year–will actually pay over 43% of all income taxes this year.
So 1% of earners who make 16% of the country’s total income will pay 43% of the total income tax.
Sounds like way more than their “fair share” to me, but the communists won’t be satisfied until everything is owned by the state.
“3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.”
They want to fleece the rich one more time when they die, even though all that wealth was taxed already as income or capital gains.
Estate Tax, or Death Tax, is one of the more egregious oppressions of the federal government.
There is a hefty exemption–the first $11 million is not taxed. While that means few typical people will be affected, it still fits with the communist strategy of demonizing the rich.
And every dollar over that exemption is taxed at 40%.
When you think about it, $11 million is not so much money when you are talking about a business, even relatively small family businesses that might be passed down through inheritance.
If a business is worth $15 million, the family of the deceased would owe $1.6 million. If they don’t have $1.6 million hanging around, they might have to dismantle the business in order to pay the taxes. That could mean a loss of good proletariat jobs and a hit to the economy.
The same could happen to a piece of land or estate that has been in the family for generations.
State level estate taxes add additional costs, sometimes with lower exemptions.
But the communists are smart, they demonize the people they rob. So no one feels bad for “the rich” because they will have plenty left over when the government is done with them. Although that too could change…
“4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.”
Let’s start with the Exit Tax.
Why don’t you just move out of America if you don’t like the taxes?
Well, America taxes it’s citizens worldwide, even if they do not live or work in the USA.
Why not renounce your citizenship then?
That is one option. But it’s actually not free. In fact, the U.S. confiscates a serious percentage of property from emigrants.
It is called the Exit Tax. It gets complicated, but basically, the government is going to tax you on your net worth, as if you just sold all your assets.
If you don’t have the liquid cash to cover that, you would actually have to start selling assets–property, stocks, etc.–in order to pay the Exit Tax. Of course, you would be taxed on the income or capital gains first, and then would have to pay the exit tax with what is left over… The good news (?) is you would have less overall net worth to be taxed upon your renunciation.
Okay, but again, a big part of being a communist is hating rich people. People with less than $700,000 of capital gains in their net worth are much less affected by the exit tax.
So let’s turn to confiscation of rebels’ property that affects the poorest proletariat… civil asset forfeiture.
This is often used against poor people who cannot afford to defend themselves in court. The police simply steal property or cash that they “suspect” was involved in some type of crime, without having to prove anything. You have to prove your innocence if you want your car, house, or cash back.
So if cops think a wad of cash came from selling drugs, it’s theirs. If they think your car was bought with the proceeds of drug sales, maybe because they found an ounce of weed and some baggies, they can take the car, without charging you with a drug dealing.
Police seized over $50,000 from a Christian Rock band that had collected donations for an orphanage. Between 2001 and 2016, “more than $2.5 billion in cash seizures had occurred on the nation’s highways without either a search warrant or an indictment.”
And that’s not even counting the more than $3.2 billion the DEA has seized since 2007 without filing civil or criminal charges.
Just having cash is a pretty low bar to be considered a rebel. Then again, what should we expect from a communist doctrine?
“5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.”
I wonder if today’s communists are aware of this one. They can’t possibly think the Federal Reserve helps the proletariat, yet that is exactly what the manifesto describes.
Some people might disagree that the Federal Reserve is state owned. Technically it has a private board, although board members are appointed by politicians. I suppose in that sense you could call it more fascist than communist–the government doesn’t own the bank, the bank owns the government.
The Fed sets the interest rates, prints money, and finances much of the debt of the United States government. Without the Fed, it would be much harder for the government to control the people–the homes they buy, the loans they get, the interest on their savings, and even how much of that savings is robbed through inflation.
“6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.”
FCC, FTC, DOT, FAA, TSA, CBP–oh it’s an alphabet soup of communications and transport regulators.
They regulate the phone lines, the roadways, air traffic, rails, mail and package delivery.
This is nothing new. Around the same time, Marx was writing the manifesto, Lysander Spooner was doing something productive with his time. Spooner started the American Letter Mail Company to compete with the U.S. Postal Service. He undercut their prices and provided better customer service, but was fined and cited for breaking laws which protected the government monopoly. He was forced out of business in 1851.
The government doesn’t quite have control over the internet, but they did create the conditions to allow a handful of companies control access to the internet.
The NSA monitors every communication, and the Department of Homeland Security commissioned a database to track all journalists and media influencers who mention the DHS. Customs and Border Protection performs unconstitutional searches at the border, whether you are an American or foreign.
And of course, you can’t go out in public without running the risk of being harassed by local, state, and federal police. You don’t have the right to travel without justifying every action to a police officer, while they often get off scot-free for murder.
“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 state has certainly dabbled in factory ownership, like the GM bailout. They control utilities like water and power. And they have certainly subsidized their fair share of business from oil and solar panels to sugar and corn.
We can refer back to #1 to see how much land the government controls, often under the auspices of improving soil and protecting wastelands.
Then there are plenty of government contractors which are basically the same thing as a government-owned company. If 100% of their revenue comes from the government, they are not a private company. This is especially prominent in the defense industry, which is where the term military-industrial-complex comes from. And then think about the roads the government contracts out to build.
The government spends about 34% of the GDP every year. That is a significant percentage of the economy which the government owns.
“8. Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.”
Yes, the Communist Manifesto proposes enslaving all those unwilling to work.
Now, it might not seem like the U.S. government forces people to work. But you have to make money just to park your ass on a plot of land. Local governments want property taxes, which means you must make a certain amount of money just to have a place to live.
Otherwise, you could conceivably save up for a piece of land, and once you buy it outright, you would be done. But even renting has the built-in costs of property tax.
And the fact that the government claims the authority to tax you on everything you earn basically means you have a liability to labor for the government if you want to labor at all.
Most of us cannot go through life without earning something to pay for necessities. But we can’t just earn what we need, we must earn way more than we need because the government will take a huge chunk of our income.
We tend to think about taxes as a percentage of our income. But what about as a percentage of our time? The government forces you to work as its slave from about January through April every year. In a typical career, you will spend in total more than 14 full years working as a slave for the government.
“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.”
The government helped create factory farming by regulating all the small-scale producers out of business.
Reason reports that USDA regulations have forced small slaughterhouses to close in favor of large factory-style slaughterhouses. This might sound like a good idea at first. But consider that when one infected animal makes its way to a slaughterhouse, it can contaminate so much meat.
Having many slaughterhouses distributed across the U.S. meant that any infections were localized, and affected far fewer people. Plus when the slaughterhouse is local, it is easier to know the owners and see the conditions for yourself. The animals are raised closer to home, also providing more opportunity for market oversight of the process. No hiding away from the consumers on a vast gated factory ranch.
The U.S. government has long subsidized large crop producers, which makes it that much harder for smaller farms to compete.
It started with the Farm Bill in 1933 and continues to this day.
What we get is cheap, but unhealthy products. And even though the products on the shelf look cheap, we already paid for them with our tax dollars.
The problem is, I don’t want to buy unhealthy things loaded with high fructose corn syrup. But my money will pay for that crap whether I like it or not. Then I have to spend my money on healthy items that are more expensive because they have to compete with subsidized products.
That’s where the government incentives for factory farming have got us.
“10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.”
This may be tenth on the list, but it is number one in ensuring all the rest fall into place.
American communists got this goal in place just four years after the Communist Manifesto was published, with Massachusetts enacting the first compulsory public education law in 1852. After that, it was only a matter of time until the population was indoctrinated to believe whatever the government taught them.
The book Teen 2.0: Saving Our Children and Families from the Torment of Adolescence delves in depth into the history and injustice of compulsory schooling.
It was designed so that the state and corporations could work together to train an obedient workforce, with the public footing the bill.
The point was not open minds and a desire to learn. The aim of the education was setting students up for whatever mediocre to low paying jobs the industrialists wanted them to fill.
The communists succeeded in getting exactly what they wanted out of American schools. And today we see the growing gap between what people learn in school, and what skills they actually need for good jobs. The communists have got the American education system stuck in a stagnant philosophy of industrial labor.
Of course, they did it with supposedly the best intentions. Sounds like a good idea to save kids from dangerous work. But in the process, they also robbed children and young adults of their autonomy and choice. They forced kids against their will into a government institution and set the course for their entire lives.
And that is the most important lesson that the communists want to teach in schools. It is all about obedience to government.
Karl Marx is like the anti-Midas. Everything his philosophy touches turns to shit. Is it any wonder that America is stagnating? You cannot grow with a communist philosophy. It doesn’t take into account the beautiful creative independence of individuals. It treats people like cattle. It robs people of the rewards of their labor.