Thoughts from a half-black, bleeding-heart, right-leaning, recently converted liberal.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I Don't Know Why I Do This To Myself

Today I finished reading The Communist Manifesto.

It sucked.

The end.

But seriously, I didn't give it a fair shake; I had an opinion going in. It was better and worse than I had anticipated.

The entire thing is an exercise in fallacy – primarily appeal to probability and negative proof. Marx and Engels made a host of claims and were either unaware that they were supposed to, or, believe themselves to be above providing any empirical data to prove their points.

They specifically spoke of arguments that they claimed were not worth addressing – as though they were somehow transcendent enough to determine which arguments held any weight. It struck me as the epitome of arrogance.

It seemed to me that the logical end of the argument should have lead to some sort of peaceful anarchy until the end of chapter two, where the ten points outline how the state will make classes disappear by running everyone's lives. My dear friend Parker makes a good point that both Marx and people like Shane Claiborne are dangerously naïve. I tend to agree.

Whether this was apparent before any government had implemented Communism, I'm not sure, but in the end, the state becomes the bourgeoisie and the people become the working class: the very problem Marx and Engels were working to solve. The whole endeavor was a plan of attack against a straw man, and in my opinion, a little embarrassing. It's really depressing to me that this pathetic 40 pages changed the world.


Hyphenated American said...

You had it easy, comrade - I had to read it when I was about 14, and then we had an exam on it. Granted, I was born in the USSR, so this was a routine thing. But if you are really interested in marxism - I suggest you read "Marxism" by Thomas Sowell. It's a wonderful book, and it was the first book by Sowell that I saw - and after that he became one of my favourite authors.

Anyway, if you got time, check out my blog:

Janelle said...

Bright, sane and beautiful, Victoria.

Eric D. said...

You chose your words perfectly- great review! :-)
I look forward to reading more of your blog in the future too...check out my site,

God Bless & Walk with the King,

PersonalFailure said...

It's useful to study the history behind the movement if you really want to understand the movement, i.e., what were the lives of people like in the area Marx lived in at the time he wrote his manifesto? What issues affected him and others, how were they addressed or not, and how did that affect Marx's thinking?

I'm not saying the Communist Manifesto is a theory to live by, but you might understand it better.

Anonymous said...

I didn't read it 'til later in life, and did so after going back to school to finish getting the degree I dropped out of when I got married in my early 20s. I'd taken my social sciences requirement, "The Family" (btw, I was a liberal democrat at the time, was one until last November, I'm 50), and the textbook was repugnant to me. Dividing human beings into little pigeonholes, with narrow minded, defamatory stereotypes attributed to each. The teacher was a woman, she was in her late 20s and a self identified structural Marxist...

That was my reason for picking up a copy of the Communist Manifesto, to try and comprehend why anyone who claimed they were activist in the cause of justice and fairness could unflinchingly rationalize the elitist, racist, moronic drivel espoused in the course work (I was very naive, what more can I say?).

I came away feeling that it was something like one would expect to be written by leaders of a cult, and I read more, specifically about Marx and Engels. Both came from fairly affluent backgrounds, Marx less so, though he never actually held a real job in his life. He borrowed money from affluent friends, including Engels. They never actually spent time with actual poor people, Marx's "research" was essentially reading statistics in libraries, to plump up his claims. Marx's wife was the daughter of a baron, in her letters she wrote about her husband's desire to live a bourgeoisie lifestyle.. and I can't help but wonder if that is why he married her.

The entire premise of Marxism is to exploit the poor. First as blood sacrifices in a revolution to up end society, and through which Marx and his fellow elites hoped to take up the roles of feudalistic overlords. The dictatorship of the masses, is actually a dictatorship over the masses. No right to self determination, to think, speak and act for one's self, because to question anything is a threat to the order. It's slavery, pure and simple. One thing that made me laugh, is that Marx and Engel's propaganda is itself laid out as the dogma that is intended to be the opiate of the masses, false promises laid out to dupe them into falling for this nonsense, and yet the so called elites who buy into this, and are themselves dupes, sneer at those who hold actual religious beliefs.

These fools are ignorant of history, including that under Marxist forms of government, because those examples are filled with how those like them are useful idiots who were cast aside, most unpleasantly, once they had out lived their usefulness.

Marxism is dangerous, especially to the young and in all candor, such writings, and I include the writings of Che Guevara and those like him in this, because they are written in a way that appeals especially to adolescents, at a time in their lives when they are confused, and for the most part desiring a sense of personal autonomy, and independence.. they are at this stage in life easily lured in by such readings.

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