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Communist Manifesto Analysis
A Complete & Brief Understanding of Marxism
by Michael Johnathan McDonald (Fall, 2007)
Marxism must be understood as a theocracy, George Orwell, explained in “Prevention of Literature.” This is to say, he framed it in the concept that totalitarianism is a theocracy. Frederich Engel’s and Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto is a religious document which represents not only a prophecy, but its adherents believe its scripture and dogmatically conform to its ideological truths in order for the human race to reach heaven on earth. Thomas Moore framed communism as an earthly “Utopia” of mankind. Nostradamus responded in his Propheties, that the “Law of the Moore” was “Seductive.” To Marx, traditional religion was seductive. That is to say, religion and the state went hand in hand to seduce human lives to follow their will. Marxism replaced the transcendental spiritual form of religion in a corruptible world and fostered the belief that human’s can by revolutionary methods bring about an earthy heaven and live in a religious community of a communitarian political movement. If effect, one “will” was replaced by the other” will,” this was just another system for a religion. It was not until the later decades of the nineteenth century that this church of Marxism began its universal ascendancy upon the lattice of historical progression. Its doctrine is logically argued and viperously defended, with rhetoric that traditional religion was the cause of all the wars in history and all of men’s sadness. Coupled with Marx’s epiphany of capitalist distinction, an anti-capitalist government-church would replace the “void.” Since Marx believed religion and politics went hand in hand in history, Marxism represents one religion replacing the other religion. This is why we call it a theocracy. However, the adherents of Marxism truly believe they have the “perfected” the religion-state (theocracy). Still, history has shown that to keep the mythology of the perfection of this Marxist theocracy, Communist must suppress its faults, its inconsistencies, and ultimately hide its horrors from our memories. Since Russia traditionally had always been a theocracy, albeit in practice or theory (both pertain to periods of ruler(s)), Russia had no complications in accepting Leninist-Marxism as its revolutionary ideology – its continuing religion – its modernism of its own evolutionary theocracy. Fascism, on the other hand, sought not to eliminate the Church’s influence of its religious prescriptions, but fascists demoted its role in politics significantly – while not replacing it with Marxist religion. Italian fascists did not want to destroy the Catholic Church as Lenin had destroyed the Russian Orthodox Church. Ultimately, Lenin sought to rid Russia of Orthodox Christianity because of direct competition to Marxism (the theocratic religion now in power). This explains Lenin’s destruction of the Church apparatus in Russia as one of his priorities. This is not to lessen the fact that Stalin sought to remove the Ukrainian -Jew theocrats from existence as well. Jews pertain to their own theocratic religion, while they have lived in lands with contentious religious dominates. Although the historical argument will lean toward other explanations, the life style of the Jews competed with the George Orwellian totalitarian theocracy of Stalin. One had to surpass the other in order for the one-state religion.
It is understood that from Russia (with religion), Marxism was pushed upon the world as the “new” saving grace of humankind. The committees set up by Lenin and many communist parties continued under Stalin and Russia sent envoys into each part of the earth to ultimately create the Russian dominance of the world under its own version of the religion – the theocracy of totalitarian communism.
How to Understand the Communist Manifesto
In 1848, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels had finished collaboration on a pamphlet called the Communist Manifesto for the Communist League. Only after Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels' other writings had made their views on socialism widely known, did the pamphlet become a standard text. For about a century it was one of the most widely read (and some would argue misread) documents in the world. This work inaugurated a conceptual scheme of critical empirical observations [propositions-- Gregor] which explained a historical process of socio-economic history of our world and which suggested a solution for liberating man from class conflict. Marx was Hegelianist, who saw reason behind signs and meanings. He saw everything political as a result of materialistic forces. This could explain some of his structures for his propositions laid out in the Communist Manifesto. After Marx had finished the Communist Manifesto he continued writing on communism for the rest of his life. Marx’s main economic theories on communism lay in Das Capital.
Marx’s and Engel’s intentions were to leave the world with a body of writings, in which acted as guide, for those who would follow, to achieve a universal revolution and achieve an ultimate liberation of man from class struggle. What was critical to understand was if twentieth century revolutionaries could understand and follow what Marx had proposed; or if they did, what would they adopt or not in their systems of revolution. Some can argue that understanding Marx’s writing could possible determine the courses action taken by Benito Mussolini and V.I. Lenin who led the mass-mobilizing revolutions of the twentieth century. This would ultimately explain in history if their revolutions were a success.
Marx sees men’s historical process through the means of production. With the advent of the Industrial Revolution preceded by the Scientific Revolution, Marx empirically observed the advance of technology and the rise of global capitalism as a corollary to the mass mobilization of workers into factories. He proposes an epochal change had occurred in the fundamental complexity of class interest groups. In earlier epochs, Marx argued, there had been consistent empirical observation of “manifold gradation” of social ranks. In this epoch, beginning of Europe’s emergence from the Middle Ages, the Industrial Revolution revealed a “distinct feature.” The manifold gradation of social ranks began to simplify and bi-fabricate into two distinct and important classes. The facilitator for this revolutionary process, as Marx saw it, was the rise of the merchant (burgess) class that “sprang” from the serfs of the Middle Ages. “From these burgesses the first elements of the bourgeoisies were developed.”
The merchant class, Marx claims, took on a materialistic character that proposes a set of evolving class distinctions. First, it was a revolutionary class. This class ended Middle Aged guilds, created a manufacturing system, predicated on free-trade. Through its “naked self interests,” it had “torn asunder” the ties that bound man to his “natural superiors.” It had “resolved personal [human] worth into exchange value.”
Secondly, it created “industrial millionaires” who organized workers into “industrial armies.” It sought expansion into far off lands in search of raw materials, and idyllic soil and climate conditions, in order to establish world markets. In this expansion, colonization was realized, which had ended the natural historical process of indigenous people’s traditional life. In general, in expansion to all world localities, it tore “away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relations into mere money relations.” It had disrupted all traditional social conditions by “unconsiousable freedom” that would result in “everlasting uncertainty and agitation.” This could be explained as the process of imperialism. The merchant class “on pain of extinction,” forced foreigners to capitulate and to adopt their modes of production.
Thirdly, as this merchant class matured, expanded, and monopolized, it took on the characteristic of a globalized group that dominated social-political change. It ended traditional national boundaries, which led to a rise of cosmopolitan cities. It fostered new industries and destroyed old industry. It created a globalized language. It fostered advancement in technology. It increased the life span of humans which led to a population explosion. It brought the backward nations into its sphere of civilization. In essence, it modernized the world.
Fourthly, what this merchant class accomplished was to create a new phenomenon called capitalism and a new class of people. Now fully characterized class, the “bourgeoisies distinguished itself as socially and politically superior. Furthermore, this class claimed a perceptual right to create man’s destiny. Marx proposes that this class possessed “unconsiousable freedom” in which its priority was to its self interests and to expand Free-Trade in search for higher-and-higher profit margins. With this distinctive set of characteristics, Marx proposed, the bourgeoisies had created a new class – the proletariat. Finally, Marx empirically observed the old aristocracy had faded into the background as the bourgeoisies took over governments and the modes of production. Engel’s defined the “Proletariat” in the notes added to the 1888 English edition of the “Communist Manifesto.” Engel’s wrote, the Proletariat is “the class of modern wage laborers who, having no means of production of their own, are reduced to selling their labor power in order to live.”
In Marx’s work “Das Capital,” in chapter eight “The Working Day” Marx claims “And the most fundamental right under the law of capital is the equal exploitation of labour-power by all capitalists.” In this chapter Marx elaborates on what can be called the “Labor Theory of Value.” Marx had collected newsclippings, court documents, and various inspector reports on English factories during England’s industrial revolution that contributed to empirical data that Marx attained in order to construct a theory of human labor value. The bourgeoisies, Marx explains, copiously calculated the English factor workers’ living costs from birth until death. According to the bourgeoisies, each human being had a value and the capitalists calculated the total cost of their value to decide how little they could pay each factory worker from birth until death –an estimate of the production output of that laborer over the life-span of the individual. Each individual amounted to capital, that is to say, each individual or potential factory worker represented value. Therefore, the individual’s value is the amount of labor involved in its production over the span of his or her life. This produced an economic theory of labor subsistence. The equation was, the laborer must produce the child, feed it, raise it, and put it through school or college and/or into the factory. Therefore, the bourgeoisies, the factory owners, calculated the costs inherent in birthing, raising a child and placed it into an equation referred too as subsistence – the necessary price of labor. Marx concluded, the factory owner paid the least amount of money calculated on subsistence. At the time Marx was writing, he had witnessed many worker rights movements, which included better pay and working conditions. However, he deemed the problem was not only a salary problem based upon subsistence, but how far a factory owner could push his factor workers to produce profits. These factors entailed longer working days, the exclusion of breaks and time off, and demanding as much production out of each factory worker without killing the workers – which meant for the factory owner lost profits. So laborers work harder and at the price of subsistence. Marx didn’t live to see substantial changes to the worker’s wages, better working conditions, full restrictions on child labor and labor unions who worked for worker’s rights. However, the labor theory of value, as he empirically recorded it, made logical sense. Therefore, “Capitalism” demonstrated to Marx an exploitation of the working class. Out of these characteristics of human exploitation, the proletariat reveals its class consciousness. Finally, an ultimate struggle is proposed between the two classes which reveal further sets of characteristics that will appear globally.
First, as more and more profit emerges into the hands of the few, the market becomes saturated with commodities. While the workers are paid subsistent wages, technology also advances which requires less labor power. The market is saturated with commodities, and the bourgeoisies see the market rate approach zero. At subsistent wages, the wage laborer can no longer afford to buy commodities. This creates a phenomenon of humans living on the edge of subsistence (that is pauperism). The bourgeoisies have no course of action but to seek new markets.
Second, when the world no longer reveals potential markets, that is to say, the world has reached its full maturation of capitalism, a collapse of the system signals the proletariat to emerge as the new revolutionary class. In this last stage of the historical process, the bourgeoisies are no longer able to hold on to their power and modes of production. They have become the minority. The proletariat now controls the modes of production.
Finally, out of these set of observable characteristics the time has arrived for the proletarian to organize into a single communitarian party. The proletariat first, Marx proposes, “centralizes” the numerous local struggles. Marx proposes the proletariat form a communitarian political movement first within their nations or localities. He then proposes that by advanced technology of communication, trains, highways and shipping, what the bourgeoisies had created, can be utilized to organize various national parities into a single world party. The universal revolution is the ultimate liberation and end of class antagonism. Marx’s final proposal for the proletariat revolutionary class, now a world and monolithic class, is to abolish private ownership and capitalism. Now, Marx claims, the proletariat will produce in abundance, freely that is to say, without competition.
This brief explanation of Men’s historical process through the means of production described Marx’s ultimate liberating revolutionary class which can be used as conceptual schemata for proactive action. To determine a courses action, we can suggest to follow these simple propositions. The liberation of the individual for Marx can be explained as following: (1) To form the proletariat into a communitarian political movement, independently of all nationality. This can begin by centralizing the proletariats into a single party in each nation; (2) Anticipate the universal revolution of the proletariat. That is to say, keep an eye out for profit rates to reach zero and the collapse of the free-market system in the developed nations. This is conjoined by an observation of the proletariat, now the majority class in the world, who are in full control of the modes of production. That is to say they are able to control the modes of production in the advanced developed nations and had already reached a consciousness for a revolutionary class; (3) This would signify the time for a “universal war” against the bourgeoisies, with the objectives to finally destroy industry and commerce. The proletariat will take control of all the socio-political institutions and take them away from the minority bourgeois class; (4) Then, the communitarian political movement addresses the matter at hand, after the proletariats are in full control. They are to abolish private ownership completely and any residue of free-market capitalism; and finally, (5) they are to produce commodities freely without competition, without value, and live free within the common interests of the entire proletariat class.
Who followed Marx?
Benito Mussolini had been educated in Marxism during his two year stay in Switzerland from 1902-‘03. His father was a self-educated revolutionary socialist, and his mother was a school teacher. In addition, the Italian socialist and revolutionary factions had understood the preconditions set down for a classical Marxist revolution. The anticipation for a Marx revolution had resulted in critical debate within France and Italy. Many intellects had understood that to have a Marxist revolution, the proletariat would have to control the modes of production in an already advanced and developed nation. In Italy this was impossible, they claimed.
V.I. Lenin had heeded Marx’s proposition to organize a communist party. He put together the Bolshevik party around the notion of universal proletariat revolution. In a sense, this was a communitarian political movement. He looked for a location, and deemed Russia a candidate. Many European authorities on Marx had denounced the Bolshevik intentions of starting a revolutionary movement in backward Russia. Lenin went about making revolution in Russia anyway, but he had to change some of Marx’s propositions. One of those changes was to start the revolution in a backward country and wait for the rest of the world to begin the universal revolution. Lenin found out the Russia people, as a whole, had not reached the revolutionary consciousness. He, for reason still argued over today, went about forcing other Marx propositions to great resistance of the Russia population. Two of those propositions consisted of eliminating capitalists and eliminating private ownership. The resistance by farmers backfired and Lenin was reduced to eliminating them by force. Many were killed, exiled or placed in work camps. The results were a loss in human labor power. This decision ultimately led to a slow start for the Bolsheviks plans to modernize Russia. Although, one could argue that Lenin put together a classic communitarian political movement, many Marxist authorities today including Professor A. James Gregor have considered Lenin’s era to be a developmental dictatorship. Many communist and socialist commentators have claimed that Lenin’s decisions led to a disaster.
On the other hand, Italian Fascist had deemed eliminating private ownership and capitalists would in fact delay the development of Italy. Accreditation for the observation for these decisions were more or less communally agreed upon by many associated with the Italian revolutionary movement. This could be explained by many authorities on Marxist, who had made it known of the disasters happening in Russia under the Lenin-Marxists. The success of the Fascist ideas related to a notion of unifying a communitarian political movement in a national, anti-universal, sense. By not eliminating capitalist and private ownership, Italy forgone the resistance to the communitarian party as witnessed in Russia. The resistance, in comparison to Russia, was limited. Fewer individuals were killed as a result of the Fascist revolution. The result explains a shorter period in which Italy had began the modernization process. By taking this rout, Italy had not eliminated their labor force. In this way, Italian Fascist believed they had taken the correct rout.
 Furet, Francios, The Passing of an Illusion: The Idea of Communism in the Twentieth Century (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1999), 385.
 Karl Marx, Capital, trans. Ben Fowkes, 2nd ed., (London: Penguin Books, 2000), 405.
Note interlocutor was a commentary by Marx toward the French faction of Marxists.
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