Since its publication the Communist Manifesto has influenced most forms of government. The ideology has mutated from one of utopian ambition to providing a framework that uses the language of egalitarian justice. Marxist ideology no longer has a revolutionary spirit for liberation, but instead has become a template for authority and rule itself.
According to Karl Marx there are ten points outlining the necessities of a free society. These points share commonalities with other parts of government ideology that have no historic relationship with Marxism. Even modern right-wing conservatives and left-wing social democrats have variating ideals in common with the Communist Manifesto. It’s not to say that all governments are Marxist, only that what was once considered radical is now normal, even “conservative.”
Traditionally, communism and socialism claimed intention to liberate the oppressed while creating a paradise on Earth. In using the language of revolution and justice, Marxists found appeal among the miserable at a time when past elites were interested in preserving their traditional power bases of feudalistic variants and imperialism. Intellectual and revolutionary missionaries spread the religion and fought alongside those who were victims of war lods, dictators, imperialists, and big business exploitation.
The ideology has mutated and adapted itself for the modern world by appealing to the bourgeois. The ‘”worker’” is no longer the sweaty person in the field or factory but is just an abstract idea. Central planning has remained the constant, an instinct to control millions of lives via committee while self-interested elites claim to represent the needs of the proletariat, the nation, or the planet itself. The mean are everything, and as the ability to control becomes more absolute over time, the promised utopia loses emphasis.
Karl Marx and his comrades were as flawed and biased as any human beings. They saw the world from the prism of their own isoalted period. It’s been for those who came afterwards to interpret them and use their templates for inspiration. For example the Bolsheviks and Maoists, in their respective desires to extrapolate what suited them, expanded upon and centrally planed at a murderous pace to uplift their empires into industrial tyrannies (using Marx’s promised utopia as justification).
Today we live in a society of debt and inflationary fiat, business subsidies, and welfare that benefits a dependent class, not an exploited one. Luxury and present security are all that matter. A painkiller society has been created where it’s impossible to imagine any endurable discomfort before utopia is accomplished. We’re surrounded by bread, debt, circuses, and entitlements.
When Karl Marx and his comrades conjured up a world of anti-capitalism in 19th century Europe they could not have imagined what the coming two centuries would produce. Free markets and liberalism (in its original defintion) would give way to a centrally planned smorgasbord of horrors, with variants of fascism, non-monarchical imperialism, and many flavors of democracy and autocracy in between. The state has remained ever present as free markets and individual liberty have been slowly sacrificed in the quest for freedom from choice, responsibility, and risk.
According to the Communist Manifesto, “in most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable.”
- Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
The eradication of private property ownership is cited as one of the fundamental definitions of communism. If the government can regulate, tax, invade and seize property that is “owned” by a private person or business, then the government itself establishes a super ownership. Through this control, outright nationalization is only an emergency away.
- A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
This exists in most places, and even under a flat tax the many other layers of taxation that individuals and businesses are forced to pay soon becomes graduated as such. The more spending, whether through need or luxury, the more taxation. Taxes in turn can be used as a means of punishment, deterrence, and prohibition to satisfy the egalitarian ideological bias.
- Abolition of all rights on inheritance.
Inheritance tax is a punishment and deterrent when it comes to passing on generational wealth. It is also a free for all for the many bodies that get a bite due to the process of death and thereafter. A punishment on the materially wealthy, it can often harm those far from it. It is an obsession on the material and ignores other traits, benefits, and negatives that one may gain from their family.
- Confiscation of all emigrants and rebels.
The ability to marginalize and criminalize someone based on their status as a human being, beliefs, profession, race and so on is a constant when it comes to governments through history and across the world. Nation-states have borders, there is a perpetual bias against those born outside of those boundaries, and so migration requires a process that usually leads to taxation. The ability to steal from one because they are condemned as pariah is often allowable legally but also a socially celebrated act. Rebels are those who are different or dissent from the state and the culture that sustains it.
- Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
Most nation-states have their own central bank. For modern government a central bank is integral to all policy funding. One nation’s central bank can influence the private incomes and speculatory practices of those in many other countries. Modern war and welfare would be impossible without a central bank, and most traditional models on economics have become obsolete over the past century. Central banks allow for unimaginable debt, leading to inflation and otherwise unnatural levels of wealth. Religion may not be the opium for the masses, but central banking perhaps is.
- Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.
“Who would build the roads?” Beyond the fact that most states do own and maintain roads, other forms of transportation are usually government run or heavily regulated. The internet and advanced, encrypted means of communication have provided small expressions of liberty so that individuals may have intimate conversations with loved ones or so whistleblowers can communicate to journalists. The independent media has been thriving for many years as a rejection of the corporate model of legacy media. The jailing of Ross Ulbricht because he created a website and the punishment of Julian Assange for journalism are examples of the limits placed on press by the state.
- 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.
It’s not uncommon for industries to be reliant on subsidies and regulated, which acts as a means of control. This often leads to dependence and inefficiencies which in turn destroys industry, as does nationalization. Central planning has a history of destroying food production and in recent years soil degradation has become a common problem with nutrition and food security. Many droughts and fires have come about due to regulation and constraints. Those big companies, often complicit, are protected by a government and act as a pseudo-monopoly thanks to protectionism.
- Equal liability of all labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
Written from the prism of the 19th century with a traditional trade union concept in mind, the modern world has seen the rise of lobbyists, bureaucracies, and government agencies that control and influence industry. Trade unions have less relevance in the west and in communist and fascist nations become “nationalized.” Automation and modern technology has made the traditional mass employment model of industries obsolete. The world also relies on complicated international trade that can transcend a single factory or labor sector.
- Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
Urban and suburban sprawl is an inevitable outcome of the modern world and while many romance the idea of rural living they lack the ability to do so. Instead of bringing the country life back, the suburbs have pushed the country further afield. Regulation and the menace of bureaucracy, along with technology, has shrunk the world by even combining industries. Many primary producers have on-site packaging and distribution. Rural communities are dying out and central planners often require incentives to push populations into those regions. More extreme regimes have moved entire populations into the countryside, such as the Khmer Rouge, with severe consequence.
- Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production,
State run or controlled schools are a given in the modern world. Even for private schools and homeschooling families, the state still mandates the curriculum. Many critics of public schools point to the Prussian model and its adoption in various forms the world over, a key component is preparing children for employment. Most schools are structured to give children an education that will help them with traditional employment while propagating certain beliefs and ideals important to the national interest. Over time the bias of schooling is reflected in the contemporary ideologies of academia, which trains the teachers and public servants who write the curriculum.
It is believed that once the ten points are imposed, we will have paradise on Earth. Does it feel like it yet?