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.
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.
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