Skip to comments.Societal strife gives Marxism renewed clout (Mega Barf)
Posted on 05/02/2007 6:12:46 PM PDT by Thunder90
We frequently hear from academics, including more than a few UW political science professors, that Marxism is dead. However, the British government may be having second thoughts.
In a report forecasting political trends over the next 30 years, the British Ministry of Defense predicts, The middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by Marx. The report argues that mounting personal debt and a failing retirement system may fuel disillusionment in capitalism, and the worlds middle classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest. A spectre is haunting the Ministry of Defense!
Predictions aside, the ministry is correct that increasing inequality and the ongoing massacre in Iraq have caused many people to question our society and ask if there is an alternative. The International Socialist Organization will hold a meeting, The Revolutionary Ideas of Karl Marx, tonight at 7:30 in 1131 Humanities, to argue that Marxism holds the key to that alternative.
The gist of the reports segment on Marxism summarizes what many recent college graduates in the United States already know: The American Dream is a hoax. According to studies at Northeastern University, two-thirds of our generation will have a lower standard of living than our parents did. In the only wealthy nation without universal healthcare, many middle-class workers are one hospital visit away from a mountain of debt. And for the first time in American history, our generation will be less educated than the previous.
Of course, not everyone is doing so poorly. Between 2002 and 2004, the average CEO salary increased 25 percent, from $7.8 million to $9.6 million. Economics professors tell us that an individuals income is determined by how hard he or she works. I guess CEOs started working 25 percent harder in those two years.
Karl Marx observed that throughout history there have always been haves and have-nots: Freemen and slaves, patrician and plebian, lord and serf. He recognized capitalism as unique, that it was the first society in which poverty is not caused by a shortage of wealth, but by the way wealth is distributed.
For example, today enough food is produced worldwide to provide everyone on Earth a 2,800-Calorie diet, and yet six million children die every year of malnutrition. Starvation is not caused by a lack of food, but because there is no profitability in distributing food to those who need it most. Marxism continues to inspire today because Marx proposed a system based on human need instead of on profit.
Many non-Marxists will accept, or even admire, Marxs indictment of capitalism. However, Marx was not satisfied at pointing out what was wrong with society. Instead, he insisted on finding the best way to change it. Liberal commentators have dismissed Marxs vision of working-class revolution as too utopian. However, the strength of Marxs ideas lies in the fact that Marx was not a daydreamer, cooking up elaborate blueprints of a perfect society. Marx started his political career as a liberal, editing a radical German newspaper and trying to fend off government censorship. He developed his ideas by trying to change German society, and discovered that capitalism would only tolerate certain changes, and none too many.
Marxs ideas remain relevant because people are still trying to change society, and like Marx, they are discovering that capitalism is resistant to the changes they want. Two weeks ago, 100 UW students stormed Sen. Herb Kohls office, most honestly believing that their senator would agree to meet with them to discuss how to end the war. When Mr. Kohls staff threatened to arrest us, after we had endured a night of abuse from the security guards, many people were shocked. One activist wrote, I havent been this disillusioned in a while, not since I almost joined the Marines and believed the administration about the WMDs. I was angry and betrayed when I found out they were lying, but here was my senator my Democratic senator who had gone against us and used his police and his guards on us. In the process of struggle, illusions in our democracy get roughed up by reality.
It is this disillusionment that makes people into radicals. Today, many people in the United States (and the United Kingdom, if you can believe the Ministry of Defense) are realizing their country is not the country they learned about in school. For these people, Marxism is worth considering, but not because of Marxs genius. Marxisms strength lies in that it is a theory developed by people struggling to make real the lives capitalism promised them. If you are such a person, you should join us at the ISOs meeting tonight. The last words of The Communist Manifesto ring true today: The workers of the world have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.
Paul Pryse is a junior majoring in journalism. He is also a member of the International Socialist Organization.
And it was Marxist style nonsense that created the failing systems that they speak of (such as SS).
It’s not capitalism that’s the problem in England. It’s socialism.
I wish Marxism was dead, but it isn’t- it’s still murdering innocent people in various locales throughout the world and deceiving new recruits into its service.
Why must our tax dollars fund this stupidity?
Armor-piercing shells for iron-heads have not yet been invented!
The Gulag Archipelago.
Let’s face it, the US would be a whole lot better off if the rest of the world was Marxist. Then we would not have to compete with the Chinese and the Russians for oil, and they would pose no economic threat to us.
The once and future MSM!
Trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results?
If humans were cookies, all marching in step, Marxism would work great.
Human nature being what it is, there are doers and there are slackers and there are predators.
Under Marxism, the predators become leaders, the slackers become bureaucrats, and the remaining 20% do all the work.
Fails every time.
Maybe ever so slightly lower than the highest standard of living ever in the history of history, maybe not. Real good hoax. You wonder how a person can reach college age and consider the above to be reasoning.
There’s one problem, Paul. I bet you have never actually been a ‘worker’ as in having a real job. And like the Soviet constitution stated explicitly: “He who does not work shall not eat”.
Never mind that it's still a better standard than 98% of the rest of the world.
The American underclass, the "poverty folk', enjoy:
In the only wealthy nation without universal healthcare, many middle-class workers are one hospital visit away from a mountain of debt.
In the erzatz marxist (socialist) world that same illness is one step away from death while waiting for medical care. That's an "improvement"?
And for the first time in American history, our generation will be less educated than the previous.
Definitely the blame goes to Capitalism and a "free" society. The same dynamic that makes excellence in education available and possible, allows anyone to choose to become a dumb-as-a-post adult, courtesy of the "marxist" influences that finances a class of "pets".
Beria didn't mind.
Society is not perfect.
Society is perfect.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
Oh, that's beautiful!
Yup! Ask Oprah, Gates, Bond, and all the others that have made it here. That is nothing but Barbra Striesand...and you can ask her too.