In 1848, Karl Marx and his collaborator, Freidrich Engels, published the Communist Manifesto that was to be the pattern for an unsuccessful German Revolution that year. Nikolai Lenin and others resurrected the Manifesto between 1908 and the 1917 Russian Revolution, and Joseph Stalin later made modifications in the doctrinal documents establishing the precepts of Russian Marxism-Leninism for the rest of the 20th Century.
The Wall came crumbling down in 1989, and with it, the Communist Manifesto doctrine again began gathering dust as another failed attempt to alter basic human freedoms. Other nations experimented with some of its offerings over the years - Cuba, North Korea, North Vietnam, Eastern Europe. All found it unusable or at least seriously flawed. Cuba and North Korea have been either out of the mainstream or starving with its use. Despite the criticism that the Vietnam War was a failure, it should be noted that no nation has become Communist since.
Now, the Manifesto, and some of its companion documents, are possibly being dusted off here in America. In Section 2 of the Manifesto, "Proletarians and Communists," Marx calls for the Proletariat to be given more power transferred from the "Bourgeois" (Capitalist Class) by giving them more control over the means of production. It is also important to note especially the 10 platform planks for successful takeover contained in the Manifesto:
"1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purpose.
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Centralisation (sic) of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6. Centralisation (sic) of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of wastelands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8. Equal liability of all labour (also sic). Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equal distribution of the population over the country.
10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production."
(The above is taken from Wikipedia with its note, "The Communist Manifesto at Project Gutenburg, accessed on Jan. 24, 2007.")
Now for just a few thoughts. Has anyone noticed that the United Auto Workers got a significant, perhaps unexplainable, control position in the new auto companies' structures, and it is being discussed that labor union members might not have to pay tax on health benefits that others might have to pay?
There has been some general discussion for a more progressive income tax to "level the playing field." Have you seen any efforts to do away with the inheritance tax succeed? National bank; never happen? Broadband to every community to help equalize communications between urban and rural areas; heard that?
Has there been any discussion lately about regulating anything that private companies do? And as for public education, has there been any discussion of anything else like school choice/vouchers?
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