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April 2017 Policy Study, Number 17-8


A Commentary on American Public Policy


Part 3



The Ten Planks of The Communist Manifesto


1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.


This is exactly what property tax does, whether or not it is intended.  Property tax is a claim against your ownership of land.  When you cannot hold land in alodial title, then in reality you do not own the land as property.  See “alodium” in your dictionary (i.e. full and free possession, free from all; in law, land owned independently, without any rent, payment in service, etc.; a freehold estate . . . ).  It would be a fair bet that today few people have heard of this form of ownership, much less actually own any real estate in this form of title.  Over the years, the term “property” has been perverted to the point that the general public no longer even understands what private property really is.  With true private property, no one, including government, holds any claim on the property except with the voluntary permission of the owner (i.e. a mortgage).


2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.


Other than to note that this is an extraordinarily efficient and effective way to diminish and eventually extinguish the right to private property, there is no need for current comment on this one.


3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.


As “all” is an absolute term, we haven’t gone quite “all the way” with this one.  But let me hasten to point out to you that we do have a serious inheritance tax problem.  The heirs of many farmers and small businessmen who haven’t incorporated many times must sell the work of a lifetime when they find they can’t pay the onerous inheritance tax which is imposed.  This is working almost exactly as Mr. Marx envisioned.  I say “almost” because his perverse vision was to prohibit the hard-won assets of one generation from being passed along to the next.  Instead, they were to accrue to the whole people, that is, the government.


Our current inheritance laws “only” make it prohibitive.  This action is very destructive inasmuch as it causes the heirs to borrow deeply to pay the taxes required to maintain the operation.  This means that a great deal of their production goes to the reduction of debt rather than into further production, which in turn means that there is less production.  And as a reduction in supply will cause a rise in price, we all, as consumers, pay the price for the application of an inheritance tax at the checkout counter.  At best it is counterproductive or, more probably, it is actually destructive.


4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.


Here is another one where we haven’t gone all the way but where we are well along.  We have already spoken of confiscation in the case of “rebels” or “accused criminals” in an earlier chapter, a “rebel” being one who is accused of a “crime.”  In some instances, they can be relieved of their property merely upon the accusation.  As for emigrants, we really don’t have all that many.  But suppose you made your fortune and you wanted to escape high federal and state taxes by moving to another country.  You would quickly find that, although we don’t confiscate all the property, we do take an exorbitantly high amount.


5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.


You are undoubtedly familiar with the Federal Reserve Bank.  The Federal Reserve Bank is a private institution.  It is no more “federal” than Federal Express or Federal Cartridge Company.  Although, strictly speaking, the Federal Reserve is not in the hands of the state, it is heavily influenced by the state, and it produces most of the (deleterious) effects which Mr. Marx envisioned — as do the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and World Bank.  A full explanation of these effects is not within the scope of this Commentary.  Suffice it to say that they have the power to expand and contract the fiat money supply at will.  That means that they have the power to cause inflation and deflation at will.  You need only contemplate how this affects you and your family.


6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.


It appears, at least on the surface, that it is in these two areas Marx has achieved his least success.  But within the Federal Communications Commission and the Interstate Commerce Commission, you can bet there are lawmakers and bureaucrats working on it.


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.


Here again it appears Marx’s program is not so far advanced as in some of the earlier planks.  But with the some of the rules and regulations being foisted on industry, as well as some of the actions promulgated by the United States Department of Agriculture, presumably on behalf of the legislature, it would be naïve to believe his protégés have given up.  In a very real sense, the state doesn’t actually need to own “the instruments of production.”  The state need only control the instruments of production to achieve Marx’s ends; and tax codes, rules, and regulations serve the purpose nicely.


8. Equal liability of all to labor.  Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.


This is Marx’s attempt to make everyone exactly equal and to dilute the individuality of the self.  His proposed idea is to have one amorphous class (labor) to which all would belong.  Each member, no longer an individual, would be equally liable for all that needs to be done.  The closest analogy of which I can conceive is an ant colony; but even ants have specialized responsibilities, and for a very good reason.  Without individual responsibility, there is no possibility of accountability.  Reward for labor becomes totally disconnected from responsibility to produce.  Everyone is responsible; consequently, no one is responsible.  Without accountability, human behavior then dictates that the individual acts in his own best self-interest without consideration for any but the closest of his fellow men.  Without accountability, we lose a most basic benefit of a civil society.  We exacerbate the very condition Marx proposes to abolish.


9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.


As with number eight, this is yet again another attempt by Marx to obfuscate the distinction and the necessity of the individual.  Everyone would be liable for everything that needs to be done, and everything is to be equal, right down to the dispersal of individuals over the land.


10. Free education for all children in public schools.  Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form.  Combination of education with industrial production, &c., &c.


Let’s see what use Marx intends for this plank by reading his own words:


“The Communists have not invented the intervention of society in education; they do but seek to alter the character of that intervention, and to rescue education from the influence of the ruling class.”  (The Communist Manifesto, Part II).


He wants to “rescue education from the influence of the ruling class.”  This would definitely include those who were currently in charge of education and would presumably include the persons who should have the most influence over the students’ education, those being the parents.  He wants to intervene, and he does “but seek to alter the character of that intervention” which is imposed by those currently in charge.  He wants to replace their education and impose his own.  And so he has.


This is an area where Marx’s view has been thoroughly established in this country.  Our children are now as much indoctrinated as educated.  And with the current method of public funding for education, the parent retains almost no control over the education his or her child receives.  The sole alternative is to assume the large additional expense of educating the student at a private institution.  Even so, more parents are choosing this course of action with each passing year.


Why do parents choose this course?  Because they realize their children have the potential to be exposed to more than just reading, writing, and arithmetic.  In fact, time that should be spent perfecting these basic instructions is used to teach about such things as environmentalism, not in teaching about the environment and ecology, but in teaching “environmentalism,” which is a pseudoscience at best.  Instead of their children being taught about right and wrong, they are taught situational ethics.  Instead of being taught about the establishment of this country and its history in a factual manner, they are taught that Columbus was an awful man who enslaved North America and gave the natives disease.  Their children are taught that the answer to pregnancy outside of marriage is a condom and possibly that marriage itself is an outdated and unnecessary institution.  We could continue, but you get the idea.


Not all schools expose children to all these things.  One would hope that schools would do none of these things.  Yet, today most public institutions do.  And when these types of things are taught to our young people, it undermines the civilization we honor and makes it ripe for a transformation into a new society that we may not find to our liking.  In a previous Commentary, it was stated that the diminution and subjugation of religion was a necessary precursor to the establishment of Socialism.  Read what Marx had to say:


But Communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis; it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience.  (The Communist Manifesto, Part II).


Marx knew exactly what Communism would do, and he was perfectly willing to use public education to indoctrinate children (they are more easily molded than adults.), as well as the force of government, to bring about those ends.  He also knew the condition of society he wished to produce with the other planks of his Manifesto.  And to bring about his desired ends, he knew it was necessary to, in his own words, “abolish eternal truths” such as religion and morality.  The reason is that religion and morality are absolute anathema to socialism.  If your allegiance is to God instead of absolutely to the state, or if you retain any moral scruples that conflict with the policies that must be imposed to foster socialism, then socialism fails. 




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