by Simon Black
“The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workers of the world, unite!”
Most people remember Karl Marx’s most potent points and phrases, and the mountain of corpses his disciples left behind, especially in the 20th century.
However, most forget or don’t even know the specific policies that Marx advocated.
Within his 1848 Communist Manifesto, Marx outlined a list of ten short-term demands. These, he thought, would be the precursor to the ideal stateless, classless communist society.
Ironically in today’s world, Marx’s demands look pretty much mainstream.
That is because nearly every single item on the list has been implemented to varying degrees in the United States.
Think that couldn’t be possible in the Land of the Free? Just take a look.
Topping Marx’s list is the abolition of private property.
True, private property exists, but only until the state wants to take it. With its powers of eminent domain, the government can and does confiscate people’s property when it wants for public use.
Your property isn’t unconditionally yours. Just think of property taxes, for example.
If it’s actually YOUR private property, then why would you need to pay tax on it? And why do they have the authority to take it from you if you don’t pay?
Likewise, while we haven’t seen the complete abolition of inheritance (another Marx demand), the government can take up to 40% of your estate when you die.
So ultimately your estate is not your own. You don’t get to control what happens to your wealth and possessions when you die. It’s just a matter of proportion.
Marx also demanded the centralization of transportation and communication. Check, and check.
Try broadcasting over the airwaves in the Land of the Free without a license and special permission.
Practically the entire electromagnetic spectrum is tightly controlled by the state, centralized by a handful of government agencies.
Same with the network of roads and highways. Because, after all, without government, who would build the roads…
Another point of Marx is state-guided agricultural production and combination of agriculture and manufacturing.
And the Land of the Free does not disappoint. Though its activities may not be as prominent in the news, the US Department of Agriculture is easily one of the busiest government departments.
With a budget of $146 billion a year, and much more for subsidies, USDA tirelessly works to dictate every major and miniscule activity in the sector.
Next on the list, is equal liability of all to labor. If you have at any point wondered, as I have, why politicians are always pushing jobs for the sake of jobs, rather than value and wealth creation—now you know why.
Between minimum wage laws and the constant stream of legislation that promises jobs for all, it is clear that politicians have wholly internalized this Marxian ideal.
Now, you might think that this is just a fluke, just a coincidence that some US policies resemble what’s on Marx’s list of demands.
But then you see these demands, which have not only been fully implemented in the US already, but are thoroughly entrenched in the national psyche:
First, there’s free education for all children, to enable the uniformity of thought. Check.
Then there’s a heavy progressive income tax. Yep, I’m pretty sure you’re familiar with this one, which has actually become so mainstream, that to have any system other than this would be considered revolutionary. Check.
Third, is the confiscation of the property of emigrants (expatriates) and rebels.
Between the IRS bullying of political opposition groups and the imposition of exit taxes for those that renounce their citizenship, the United States is firmly set up to discourage dissent and escape. Check.
And last but not least, the centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank. Check.
Remember, Karl Marx thought central banking was a great idea—the same guy who thought that individual success and private property were evil.
Think about that the next time the Federal Reserve comes up with a plan to help businesses and fix the economy.
So now you know, America isn’t communist. It’s only about 70% communist. No reason to worry.