The Transformation of America Into a One-Party State

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (WV) warned against the “ill advised” Democratic impeachment effort against the president, noting that there isn’t support for it in the Senate. [Daily Wire]

Going forward–if we’re real about it–there is just one political party in the U.S. I will label it the UNICRAT party. So dissension within the ranks will be interesting to watch. Manchin is going against the grain by daring to question the self-evidently irrational agenda of Big Media, Big Tech, Big Corporate Socialist Fascist Government, and all the rest. Manchin is no good guy. There are NO good guys in this cabal we call a government. Good guys could not stand to be a part of it. Anyone who is good will not last long …

Former UK prime minister Tony Blair wants a “COVID pass” required for all U.K. citizens (and the current prime minister is listening to him, according to Breitbart News). A COVID pass would be a card showing that you had the COVID vaccine, plus conform to anything else the government sees as desirable. Blair would like to see a COVID pass as a requirement for even leaving the house, or at a minimum to be able to travel on an airplane or go to a concert or ball game. The U.K., so insane it’s on the verge of monitoring people in their bathrooms to make sure they’re wearing masks, will surely go this route. Raise your hand if you think this will happen in the United States. And, if you don’t think so, then who will be in any kind of power to stop it? …

Look! Lefties learned a new word: “Seditious”…think they know what it means? …

When, in human history, has a censored, underground movement consisted of 75 million people?

Without free speech, and without honest elections, where are dissenters to go? How can this end well for anyone?

If the President of the United States may no longer speak freely, the United States is no longer a free country.

Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason

The Great Socialist Mirage

As resurgent Democrats move to consolidate their hold over the national political apparatus – presidency, Senate, House – assisted by the corporate media and Big Tech, could their reputed, new-found socialism offer any kind of guide to the future? Could an American socialism, historically-marginalized up to the present, finally end up as a genuine possibility? Might the seemingly invulnerable capitalist behemoth be thrown into a state of siege by the likes of Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and their “progressive” squad, all ready for action after four excruciating years of the Orange Menace? Could the events of January sixth serve to heighten such prospects?

We know that something resembling a socialist fantasy has been circulating within leading Democratic circles for the past few years, accelerated by the arrival of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and other squad members, including Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Presley, and Cori Bush – three of whom (AOC, Tlaib, Bush) belong to the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). With the 2016 ascent of Donald Trump to the White House, traditionally problematic references to a politics associated with Marx, Lenin, and Stalin in American political culture seem to have softened, no longer taboo. Nowadays “socialism” has reportedly become fashionable among cool millennials, though its definition remains elusive. A June 2020 Harris poll showed that 55 percent of women aged 18 to 54 would prefer socialism over capitalism, while a surprising four in ten Americans say they would be happy living under socialism.

Since 2015 the ranks of DSA have swollen rapidly (reaching 86,000 in December), mostly owing to the influence of Senator Bernie Sanders, who has always identified as a “democratic socialist” – that is, a leftist far removed from the nightmare of Soviet totalitarianism. We are not talking here about the dictatorial systems of the USSR or North Korea, or even the more recent social chaos of Venezuela. In fact a number of familiar Democratic proposals – Green New Deal, Medicare-for-all, free public higher education – could be integrated into Sanders’ reformist agenda, and that would require no overturning of the modern corporate oligarchy.

Elected in 2018 as a “democratic socialist”, AOC points out that “when millennials talk about concepts like socialism, we’re not talking about these kinds of ‘Red Scare’ bogeymen. We’re talking about countries and systems that presently exist that have already proven to be successful in the modern world. We’re talking about single-payer health care that has already been successful . . . from Finland to Canada to the U.K.” That model, of course, should not be confused with Stalinism — though some FOX commentators do just that. When viewed in Scandinavian terms, 76 percent of Democrats say they would vote for a socialist candidate (presumably with Sanders and AOC in mind), according to a recent Gallup survey.

Senator Ed Markey, co-author of the Green New Deal, appears scarcely bothered by the “socialist” label. Thus: “What I say is: give us some of that socialism for wind, and solar, and all-electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrids and storage-battery technology. And we will be looking at the fossil-fuel industry in the rear-view mirror of history.” Markey, it should be noted, has never been identified as any kind of socialist politician.

Conservatives, for their part, relish framing Democrats as fire-breathing socialists ready to carry out an American-style Bolshevik revolution. The Finnish and Danish models are, for them, largely irrelevant, part of an entirely different universe. Trump, many vocal Republicans, and some FOX pundits routinely claim Democrats want to take the country along the path of socialist (or Communist) catastrophe. Referring to the November election, Trump stated: “Despite all our greatness as a nation, everything we have achieved is now endangered. This election will decide whether we save the American Dream, or whether we allow a socialist agenda to demolish our cherished destiny.” Could the Democrats as we have come to know them, however filled with hateful self-righteousness, possibly manage to pull off something than no movement or party has ever pulled off in an advanced capitalist society?

At the Republican National Convention this past summer, Vice President Mike Pence said that “Joe Biden would set America on a path of socialism and decline.” Really, Biden – that most establishment and boring of pols? Others followed the same worn script. RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel announced that “Democrats have chosen to go down the road of socialism”, Lara Trump adding, ominously: “This is not just a choice between Republican and Democrat or left and right – this is an election that will decide if we keep America as itself, America, or if we head down an uncharted, frightening path towards socialism.” Now that Dems have accrued such oversized power, might the ostensible blessings of socialism be on the horizon? Could Biden and the squad improbably wind up the bearers of a new society? If so, I would argue, the guiding theorist will likely turn out to be George Orwell, not Karl Marx.

Judging from roughly a century of European history, ambitious reforms of the sort entertained by many Dems could in fact be adopted without even moderately altering the deeply-entrenched class and power relations of modern capitalism – even assuming party elites are seriously committed to such reforms. At best the outcome would be social democracy now familiar to several European countries – Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Holland, France, etc. From all indications, Sanders would be perfectly happy with that outcome.

A more conservative elite in the U.S. has long resisted this trajectory, a form of expanded social Keynesianism, opting instead for a more emphatically military Keynesianism. Historical socialism, on the other hand, has always meant opposition to capitalism as a system of economic and political power, replacing corporate interests (or “the market”) with public ownership; the main centers of power (transnational corporations, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, military-industrial complex, etc.) would accordingly be overturned. Alas, none of the Dems, including Sanders and AOC, envision a future beyond these centers of power; the best they could offer is reformed capitalism, that is, garden-variety social democracy.

At present the “leftist” (or DSA) strategy is to eventually transform the Democratic party in to something more radical by means of electoral politics, a rather naïve belief considering how wedded to the power structure the Dems have become. The DSA program, according to official statements, looks toward a “humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution, feminism, racial equality, and non-oppressive relationships.” Whatever one thinks of this schema, it lacks the concreteness needed for a viable socialist politics. Put differently, it would easily coexist with requirements for maximizing elite wealth and power.

Problems loom. One of those goes to the heart of the matter: just how far can the Dems, fully aligned with every pillar of the American power structure, be pushed significantly leftward? Deep corporate attachments and dependencies will not be seamlessly pushed aside to satisfy a “more humane social order”, no matter how many enlightened videos are produced by AOC and her comrades of the recently re-labeled #fraudsquad. Decades of experience tells us that electoral activity inevitably dictates moderation, “centrism”. Meanwhile, the continued existence of a massive military-industrial complex – never questioned by any of these Dems — is by itself enough to turn hopes for socialism in to a distant mirage.

In the end there is nothing very progressive, much less socialist, about American Dems in their current incarnation, since we are dealing with a party that ritually gravitates toward oligarchy, authoritarianism, militarism, and, nowadays, intensified social and ideological controls. As the new 117th House was being seated in Washington, the warmonger Pelosi was re-elected speaker, her margin of victory furnished by AOC and other squad members. Pelosi and allies Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff, Jerrold Nadler, and Eric Swalwell were driving forces behind the Russiagate scheme, the Mueller probe, and impeachment, while taking the U.S. closer to outright confrontation with a nuclear-armed state. With Schumer and Rep. Jim Clyburn, she worked tirelessly to destroy Sanders’ presidential bid. It was Pelosi, moreover, who orchestrated the CARES Act bailout, facilitating the largest upward transfer of wealth in U.S. history – a scandal later matched by the largely Democratic COVID-justified lockdowns.

The sad truth is that American Democrats now veer closer to fascism than to socialism, whatever their ideological pretenses. The power structure, embedded in many trillions of dollars in material resources and monetary wealth, will never be challenged by such bankrupt poseurs. Beneath all their talk of diversity and multiculturalism, all their wokeness, Dem elites are more than anything hellbent on single-party domination, at which point even mild deviations from establishment political norms will be verboten, indeed criminalized. Dissent will no longer be tolerated.

As the corrupt and easily-manipulated Biden enters the White House, the great COVID disaster offers further pretext for heightened authoritarianism and repression, surrounded as he is by a group of lockdown and hyper-partisan fanatics. The January 6th events will provide additional pretext, where needed. As for “democratic socialism”, its Orwellian character should be laid bare for everyone but the pundits at CNN, the New York Times, and Washington Post to fully grasp.

Carl Boggs, UNZ Review

Catholic League: ‘The Left Always Screws the Poor’

Catholic League president Bill Donohue has noted history’s great irony that “no segment of society punishes the poor more than those who champion their cause.”

In a scathing essay Tuesday, Dr. Donohue insists that the latest Marxist to “screw the poor” is New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is undermining the cause of the lower classes by alienating those who generate wealth and create jobs.

De Blasio’s scheme to raise taxes on the rich in order to “redistribute wealth” and to close the “COVID achievement gap” is senseless, Donohue observes, since “the rich are leaving New York in droves” because of the city’s absurdly high taxes and taxing them at a higher rate “will only encourage more to leave.”

“They are taking their tax contributions and their jobs with them,” he adds.

Despite de Blasio’s claims, “fleecing the rich will do absolutely nothing to enhance academic achievement,” Donohue observes. “We have known for decades that there is no correlation between spending on students per capita and academic achievement.”

While de Blasio focuses on race, he turns a blind eye to the real causes of poverty and underachievement, Donohue asserts, noting that Asians are “people of color,” yet they have no problem succeeding in school.

“That’s because, unlike African Americans, the typical Asian family has a father and a mother at home,” he adds.

“So the ‘color’ argument that de Blasio favors — structural racism is holding blacks back — is completely false,” he continues. “Black kids from two-parent families are not failing in school. The real issue is the family, not race.”

Like others on the left, de Blasio cares more about upholding the public school monopoly and protecting the teachers’ union than helping kids.

If he really wanted poor kids to succeed in school, “he would spend money on charter schools, provide scholarships to private schools, endorse school choice, and allow the poor to enroll in Catholic schools,” Donohue observes. “Instead, he fights every initiative that works.”

While pretending to be a champion of the poor, de Blasio’s actions harm those he claims to defend.

Thus, he “drives the rich out of New York, shrinks the tax base, and does nothing to help the poor succeed in school,” Donohue notes.

Thomas D. Williams, Catholic League, Breitbart

Systemic Chaos in Liberal Education Land

It’s hard to decide whether to laugh or cry at the education chaos in Liberal Land. There’s Dalton, the swank private school on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, whose staff has just issued a 24-point anti-racist manifesto demanding, amongst other things, twelve diversity officers. Thusly,

Expand the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to include at least 12 full-time positions: one Director, one Office Assistant, three full-time staff members per division, and one full-time staff member for PE/Athletics.

Back when I went to a swank private school in England in the 1960s, I’d say the total administrative staff, from headmaster and bursar down to office staff, was no more than five.

Then there’s the school district in swank Brookline, Massachusetts, a town full to the brim with highly-credentialed, well-paid experts and NPR honchos like Meghna Chakrabarti who all seem to have the credentials to boss around the school district and its teachers’ union.

I wonder if Chakrabarti is a relative of Sandy O’s former eminence-griseSaikat Chakrabarti? Maybe not: Chakraborty means “ruler of the country,” peasants. I have an idea. Maybe this system of politics-and-protest is a good way to cause chaos in our children’s education.

Rather like  billionaire-inspired nationwide reform, like No Child Left Behind and Common Core.

Right in line with Harvard president James B. Conant’s Fifties vision of mega high schools.

Remember the late 19th century system of schools that would prepare children to be good factory workers?

Or the excerable Transcendentalist Horace Mann’s 1830s vision of the “common school” that would keep the Puritans and the Catholic Irish in Boston in their place.

Hey, Mann wasn’t all bad. He inspired the Irish to build their own school system with the slogan “first build the school, then build the church,” and so the Catholic Irish had pretty good schools for a century and a bit.

Do these delta-minus progressive morons really think that their CRT 24-point manifestos to build a race culture at Dalton is going to do a thing to ameliorate race disparities or that their expert-led political games are going to make a blind bit of difference among the $1.5 million homes in Brookline?

Ah! I see you are way ahead of me. They are not thinking at all, you say. They are just mindlessly rehearsing the cultural protocols that they have been carefully taught since K-12.

And these are the best people, the committed people, the educated people, that presume to rule over us?

Well, I got introduced to the blogger and YouTuber Steve Turley the other day. He gave me a bit of encouragement:

The key here is that because the rising tide of populism is just beginning and promises only to get bigger, it is almost inevitable that populist lite parties will indeed work themselves out into bona fide populist Right parties.

By “populist lite” Turley means center-right parties that co-opt populists but that “easily [digress] back to technocratic globalist norms.” But not forever.

Okay. Now I am going to go off into the weeds, and get all Jungian. See, this mad passion for system — the 24-point system that will eliminate racism at Dalton, or the systematic experts that will right the ship in Brookline — results in chaos. Just like Joe Stalin’s USSR.

Jung’s line is that our notion that we are ruled by our conscious-mind’s reason is an illusion. Ninety-odd percent of our mind is unconscious, and we don’t know how it works and what it is doing. When we get too systematic or rational, he argues, the irrational takes over and centers us back to a balance between reason and emotion. Maybe it overcorrects into chaos.

You can see why I like that. My “Great Reaction” line is that the left is a lurch back to chaotic primitivism:

Socialism is a return to slavery; the welfare state is a return to feudalism; identity politics is neo-tribalism; reparations is…

So when we create an inhuman but oh-so-rational system — say like our government child-custodial facilities — our unconscious minds eventually rebel and kick over the traces.

As I wrote a week ago, lefty systems leave chaos in their wake, humans pounded into rubble.

But still, there is also the notion of Mercia Eliade in The Myth of the Eternal Return:

The primitive… cannot conceive of an unprovoked suffering; it arises from a personal fault… or from his neighbor’s malevolence… but there is always a fault at the bottom of it[.]

So, if we Deplorables are suffering from the idiocy of the progressives and their mad systems, is it from our own “personal fault” or from the progressives’ “malevolence?” Or is it all simply due to quantum-mechanical indeterminacy?

Oops! I forgot! It is all the fault of “systemic racism” and the malevolence of “white supremacy.” Which all goes to demonstrate the truth of the Jungian chaotic system that drives our liberal friends to Wokie insanity.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

Individualism and the Industrial Revolution

Liberals stressed the importance of the individual. The 19th-century liberals already considered the development of the individual the most important thing. “Individual and individualism” was the progressive and liberal slogan. Reactionaries had already attacked this position at the beginning of the 19th century.

The rationalists and liberals of the 18th century pointed out that what was needed was good laws. Ancient customs that could not be justified by rationality should be abandoned. The only justification for a law was whether or not it was liable to promote the public social welfare. In many countries the liberals and rationalists asked for written constitutions, the codification of laws, and for new laws which would permit the development of the faculties of every individual.

A reaction to this idea developed, especially in Germany where the jurist and legal historian Friedrich Karl von Savigny (1779–1861) was active. Savigny declared that laws cannot be written by men; laws are developed in some mystical way by the soul of the whole unit. It isn’t the individual that thinks—it is the nation or a social entity which uses the individual only for the expression of its own thoughts. This idea was very much emphasized by Marx and the Marxists. In this regard the Marxists were not followers of Hegel, whose main idea of historical evolution was an evolution toward freedom of the individual.

From the viewpoint of Marx and Engels, the individual was a negligible thing in the eyes of the nation. Marx and Engels denied that the individual played a role in historical evolution. According to them, history goes its own way. The material productive forces go their own way, developing independently of the wills of individuals. And historical events come with the inevitability of a law of nature. The material productive forces work like a director in an opera; they must have a substitute available in case of a problem, as the opera director must have a substitute if the singer gets sick. According to this idea, Napoleon and Dante, for instance, were unimportant—if they had not appeared to take their own special place in history, someone else would have appeared on stage to fill their shoes.

To understand certain words, you must understand the German language. From the 17th century on, considerable effort was spent in fighting the use of Latin words and in eliminating them from the German language. In many cases a foreign word remained although there was also a German expression with the same meaning. The two words began as synonyms, but in the course of history, they acquired different meanings. For instance, take the word Umwälzung, the literal German translation of the Latin word revolution. In the Latin word there was no sense of fighting. Thus, there evolved two meanings for the word “revolution”—one by violence, and the other meaning a gradual revolution like the “Industrial Revolution.” However, Marx uses the German word Revolution not only for violent revolutions such as the French or Russian revolutions, but also for the gradual Industrial Revolution.

Incidentally, the term Industrial Revolution was introduced by Arnold Toynbee (1852–1883). Marxists say that “What furthers the overthrow of capitalism is not revolution—look at the Industrial Revolution.”

Marx assigned a special meaning to slavery, serfdom, and other systems of bondage. It was necessary, he said, for the workers to be free in order for the exploiter to exploit them. This idea came from the interpretation he gave to the situation of the feudal lord who had to care for his workers even when they weren’t working. Marx interpreted the liberal changes that developed as freeing the exploiter of the responsibility for the lives of the workers. Marx didn’t see that the liberal movement was directed at the abolition of inequality under law, as between serf and lord.

Karl Marx believed that capital accumulation was an obstacle. In his eyes, the only explanation for wealth accumulation was that somebody had robbed somebody else. For Karl Marx the whole Industrial Revolution simply consisted of the exploitation of the workers by the capitalists. According to him, the situation of the workers became worse with the coming of capitalism. The difference between their situation and that of slaves and serfs was only that the capitalist had no obligation to care for workers who were no longer exploitable, while the lord was bound to care for slaves and serfs. This is another of the insoluble contradictions in the Marxian system. Yet it is accepted by many economists today without realizing of what this contradiction consists.

According to Marx, capitalism is a necessary and inevitable stage in the history of mankind leading men from primitive conditions to the millennium of socialism. If capitalism is a necessary and inevitable step on the road to socialism, then one cannot consistently claim, from the point of view of Marx, that what the capitalist does is ethically and morally bad. Therefore, why does Marx attack the capitalists?

Marx says part of production is appropriated by the capitalists and withheld from the workers. According to Marx, this is very bad. The consequence is that the workers are no longer in a position to consume the whole production produced. A part of what they have produced, therefore, remains unconsumed; there is “underconsumption.” For this reason, because there is underconsumption, economic depressions occur regularly. This is the Marxian underconsumption theory of depressions. Yet Marx contradicts this theory elsewhere.

Marxian writers do not explain why production proceeds from simpler to more and more complicated methods.

Nor did Marx mention the following fact: About 1700, the population of Great Britain was about 5.5 million; by the middle of 1700, the population was 6.5 million, about 500,000 of whom were simply destitute. The whole economic system had produced a “surplus” population. The surplus population problem appeared earlier in Great Britain than on continental Europe. This happened, first of all, because Great Britain was an island and so was not subject to invasion by foreign armies, which helped to reduce the populations in Europe. The wars in Great Britain were civil wars, which were bad, but they stopped. And then this outlet for the surplus population disappeared, so the numbers of surplus people grew. In Europe the situation was different; for one thing, the opportunity to work in agriculture was more favorable than in England.

The old economic system in England couldn’t cope with the surplus population. The surplus people were mostly very bad people—beggars and robbers and thieves and prostitutes. They were supported by various institutions, the poor laws,1 and the charity of the communities. Some were impressed into the army and navy for service abroad. There were also superfluous people in agriculture. The existing system of guilds and other monopolies in the processing industries made the expansion of industry impossible.

In those precapitalist ages, there was a sharp division between the classes of society who could afford new shoes and new clothes, and those who could not. The processing industries produced by and large for the upper classes. Those who could not afford new clothes wore hand-me-downs. There was then a very considerable trade in secondhand clothes—a trade which disappeared almost completely when modern industry began to produce also for the lower classes. If capitalism had not provided the means of sustenance for these “surplus” people, they would have died from starvation. Smallpox accounted for many deaths in precapitalist times; it has now been practically wiped out. Improvements in medicine are also a product of capitalism.

What Marx called the great catastrophe of the Industrial Revolution was not a catastrophe at all; it brought about a tremendous improvement in the conditions of the people. Many survived who wouldn’t have survived otherwise. It is not true, as Marx said, that the improvements in technology are available only to the exploiters and that the masses are living in a state much worse than on the eve of the Industrial Revolution. Everything the Marxists say about exploitation is absolutely wrong! Lies! In fact, capitalism made it possible for many persons to survive who wouldn’t have otherwise. And today many people, or most people, live at a much higher standard of living than that at which their ancestors lived 100 or 200 years ago.

During the 18th century, there appeared a number of eminent authors—the best known was Adam Smith (1723–1790)—who pleaded for freedom of trade. And they argued against monopoly, against the guilds, and against privileges given by the king and Parliament. Secondly, some ingenious individuals, almost without any savings and capital, began to organize starving paupers for production, not in factories but outside the factories, and not for the upper classes only. These newly organized producers began to make simple goods precisely for the great masses. This was the great change that took place; this was the Industrial Revolution. And this Industrial Revolution made more food and other goods available so that the population rose. Nobody saw less of what really was going on than Karl Marx. By the eve of the Second World War, the population had increased so much that there were 60 million Englishmen.

You can’t compare the United States with England. The United States began almost as a country of modern capitalism. But we may say by and large that out of eight people living today in the countries of Western civilization, seven are alive only because of the Industrial Revolution. Are you personally sure that you are the one out of eight who would have lived even in the absence of the Industrial Revolution? If you are not sure, stop and consider the consequences of the Industrial Revolution.

The interpretation given by Marx to the Industrial Revolution is applied also to the interpretation of the “superstructure.” Marx said the “material productive forces,” the tools and machines, produce the “production relations,” the social structure, property rights, and so forth, which produce the “superstructure,” the philosophy, art, and religion. The “superstructure,” said Marx, depends on the class situation of the individuals, i.e., whether he is a poet, painter, and so on. Marx interpreted everything that happened in the spiritual life of the nation from this point of view. Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860) was called a philosopher of the owners of common stock and bonds. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) was called the philosopher of big business. For every change in ideology, for every change in music, art, novel writing, play writing, the Marxians had an immediate interpretation. Every new book was explained by the “superstructure” of that particular day. Every book was assigned an adjective—”bourgeois” or “proletarian.” The bourgeoisie were considered an undifferentiated reactionary mass.

Don’t think it is possible for a man to practice all his life a certain ideology without believing in it. The use of the term “mature capitalism” shows how fully persons, who don’t think of themselves as Marxian in any way, have been influenced by Marx. Mr. and Mrs. Hammond, in fact almost all historians, have accepted the Marxian interpretation of the Industrial Revolution.2 The one exception is Ashton.3“Everything the Marxists say about exploitation is absolutely wrong! Lies! In fact, capitalism made it possible for many persons to survive who wouldn’t have otherwise.”

Karl Marx, in the second part of his career, was not an interventionist; he was in favor of laissez-faire. Because he expected the breakdown of capitalism and the substitution of socialism to come from the full maturity of capitalism, he was in favor of letting capitalism develop. In this regard he was, in his writings and in his books, a supporter of economic freedom.

Marx believed that interventionist measures were unfavorable because they delayed the coming of socialism. Labor unions recommended interventions and, therefore, Marx was opposed to them. Labor unions don’t produce anything anyway and it would have been impossible to raise wage rates if producers had not actually produced more.

Marx claimed interventions hurt the interests of the workers. The German socialists voted against [Otto von] Bismarck’s social reforms that he instituted circa 1881 (Marx died in 1883). And in this country the Communists were against the New Deal. Of course, the real reason for their opposition to the government in power was very different. No opposition party wants to assign so much power to another party. In drafting socialist programs, everybody assumes tacitly that he himself will be the planner or the dictator, or that the planner or dictator will be intellectually completely dependent on him and that the planner or dictator will be his handyman. No one wants to be a single member in the planning scheme of somebody else.

These ideas of planning go back to Plato’s treatise on the form of the commonwealth. Plato was very outspoken. He planned a system ruled exclusively by philosophers. He wanted to eliminate all individual rights and decisions. Nobody should go anywhere, rest, sleep, eat, drink, wash, unless he was told to do so. Plato wanted to reduce persons to the status of pawns in his plan. What is needed is a dictator who appoints a philosopher as a kind of prime minister or president of the central board of production management. The program of all such consistent socialists—Plato and Hitler, for instance—planned also for the production of future socialists, the breeding and education of future members of society.

During the 2,300 years since Plato, very little opposition has been registered to his ideas. Not even by Kant. The psychological bias in favor of socialism must be taken into consideration in discussing Marxian ideas. This is not limited to those who call themselves Marxian.

Marxians deny that there is such a thing as the search for knowledge for the sake of knowledge alone. But they are not consistent in this case either, for they say one of the purposes of the socialist state is to eliminate such a search for knowledge. It is an insult, they say, for persons to study things that are useless.

Now I want to discuss the meaning of the ideological distortion of truths. Class consciousness is not developed in the beginning, but it must inevitably come. Marx developed his doctrine of ideology because he realized he couldn’t answer the criticisms raised against socialism. His answer was, “What you say is not true. It is only ideology. What a man thinks, so long as we do not have a classless society, is necessarily a class ideology—that is, it is based on a false consciousness.” Without any further explanation, Marx assumed that such an ideology was useful to the class and to the members of the class that developed it. Such ideas had for their goal the pursuit of the aims of their class.

Marx and Engels appeared and developed the class ideas of the proletariat. Therefore, from this time on the doctrine of the bourgeoisie is absolutely useless. Perhaps one may say that the bourgeoisie needed this explanation to solve a bad conscience. But why should they have a bad conscience if their existence is necessary? And it is necessary, according to Marxian doctrine, for without the bourgeoisie, capitalism cannot develop. And until capitalism is “mature,” there cannot be any socialism.

According to Marx, bourgeois economics, sometimes called “apologetics for bourgeois production,” aided them, the bourgeoisie. The Marxians could have said that the thought the bourgeoisie gave to this bad bourgeois theory justified, in their eyes, as well as in the eyes of the exploited, the capitalist mode of production, thus making it possible for the system to exist. But this would have been a very un-Marxist explanation. First of all, according to Marxian doctrine, no justification is needed for the bourgeois system of production; the bourgeoisie exploit because it is their business to exploit, just as it is the business of the microbes to exploit. The bourgeoisie don’t need any justification. Their class consciousness shows them that they have to do this; it is the capitalist’s nature to exploit.

A Russian friend of Marx wrote him that the task of the socialists must be to help the bourgeoisie exploit better and Marx replied that that was not necessary. Marx then wrote a short note saying that Russia could reach socialism without going through the capitalist stage. The next morning he must have realized that, if he admitted that one country could skip one of the inevitable stages, this would destroy his whole theory. So he didn’t send the note. Engels, who was not so bright, discovered this piece of paper in the desk of Karl Marx, copied it in his own handwriting, and sent his copy to Vera Zasulich (1849–1919), who was famous in Russia because she had attempted to assassinate the police commissioner in St. Petersburg and been acquitted by the jury—she had a good defense counsel. This woman published Marx’s note, and it became one of the great assets of the Bolshevik Party.

The capitalist system is a system in which promotion is precisely according to merit. If people do not get ahead, there is bitterness in their minds. They are reluctant to admit that they do not advance because of their lack of intelligence. They take their lack of advancement out on society. Many blame society and turn to socialism.

This tendency is especially strong in the ranks of intellectuals. Because professionals treat each other as equals, the less capable professionals consider themselves “superior” to nonprofessionals and feel they deserve more recognition than they receive. Envy plays an important role. There is a philosophical predisposition among persons to be dissatisfied with the existing state of affairs. There is dissatisfaction, also, with political conditions. If you are dissatisfied, you ask what other kind of state can be considered.

Marx had “antitalent”—i.e., a lack of talent. He was influenced by Hegel and Feuerbach, especially by Feuerbach’s critique of Christianity. Marx admitted that the exploitation doctrine was taken from an anonymous pamphlet published in the 1820s. His economics were distortions taken over from [David] Ricardo (1772–1823).4

Marx was economically ignorant; he didn’t realize that there can be doubts concerning the best means of production to be applied. The big question is, how shall we use the available scarce factors of production. Marx assumed that what has to be done is obvious. He didn’t realize that the future is always uncertain, that it is the job of every businessman to provide for the unknown future. In the capitalist system, the workers and technologists obey the entrepreneur. Under socialism, they will obey the socialist official. Marx didn’t take into consideration the fact that there is a difference between saying what has to be done and doing what somebody else has said must be done. The socialist state is necessarily a police state.

The withering away of the state was just Marx’s attempt to avoid answering the question about what would happen under socialism. Under socialism, the convicts will know that they are being punished for the benefit of the whole society.