The Communist Manifesto: Blueprint for World Revolt
The Manifesto: Blueprint for World Revolt
The way to win, in football or war, is first to recognize your own strength and weakness and then to know your opponent's. What do you know about the communists? What do they want? Why do they want it? How do they work to get it? How can we stop them?
Millions of Americans today are aware of the threat of communism. They are determined to do their bit if and when the shooting starts. Not having answered these simple questions, however, they are not aware that the shooting has already started and that, here as abroad, the bullets are ideas.
The communist objective in this "Cold War" is to weaken their opponents by "peaceful" means to the point where they are no longer morally or physically able to resist outright aggression. A long term program to do just that was laid out in 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in the Manifesto. To this day it remains the communist blueprint for world revolt.
This booklet can only touch the most important highlights of the Manifesto. It is written in the sincere hope that for you personally it will be only the beginning: that you will take the time to study the matter further if only to convince yourself that the meaning of the words and our interpretation of them have not suffered through taking them, where necessary, out of context.
The ultimate communist objective is the abolition of private property on a world-wide basis. As Karl Marx has written in the Manifesto:
"...the theory of the communists may be summed up in a single sentence: Abolition of private property."
This means all private property, your private property included. As Karl Marx has further written:
"In a word, you reproach us with intending to do away with your property. Precisely so; that is just what we intend....The middle class owner of property...must be swept out of the way, and made impossible."
WHY DO THEY WANT IT?
It is inconceivable to us that anyone actually should want to do away with private property. To us private property is the economic expression of freedom. How else can remain free if he can't control the things he earns? It is just as inconceivable to a communist that anyone should want to defend private property. To him it is the absolute negation of freedom. He is just as sincere in his determination to destroy it as we are in our determination to preserve it. In other words, it is not an objective (freedom) which splits the world today - it is the conception of that objective and the methods for securing it. To understand why, we must go back to our respective traditions.
Our own tradition is rooted in these ideas. (A) Man owes his primary allegiance to God, his Creator. It is a direct and individual relationship. God's moral laws apply directly to the individual and are not passed to him or interpreted for him by the state. (B) God has given man certain rights. These are inalienable. They include Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Not happiness, mind you, but the pursuit of happiness - recognition by our founders that happiness is an individual matter. (C) The function of government, which is a man-made thing, is to preserve and protect these rights - to keep some men from usurping the rights of others.
Politically, this results in a voluntary society in which force is abhorrent and only used as a last resort. Ours becomes a positive conception of freedom - freedom to: freedom to believe, to act, to speak, so long as we don't violate the equal rights of others. Our economic system is a result of this moral and political environment. It is a voluntary system in which man must want to work. And private property is the key.
THE COMMUNIST IDEA
The communist, however, has an entirely different concept of freedom which can only be understood if you trace his reasoning back to the Manifesto. In the first place, the Manifesto dismisses God and replaces Him with man. The cancels out moral law as we know it.
"The charges against Communism made from a religious...standpoint, are not deserving of serious examination...The Communist revolution is the most radical rupture with traditional property relations; no wonder that its development involves the most radical rupture with traditional ideas."
Instead of God as the starting point, Marx relies on the economic system. Says his collaborator, Engels, in his preface to the Manifesto:
"...the fundamental position which forms its nucleus, belongs to Marx. That proposition is: That in every historical epoch, the prevailing mode of ECONOMIC PRODUCTION AND EXCHANGE...FORM THE BASIS upon which it is built up, AND from which ALONE CAN be EXPLAINed, the POLITICAL AND INTELLECTUAL HISTORY of that epoch..." (emphasis added).
According to Marx, therefore, the way men make their living is the cause and not the result of their intellectual and political environment. We believe the opposite. The rest of communist theory is based on these two prime fallacies. Stripped of the complicated wording of the Manifesto, it goes like this.
Utopia by Force
Conflict, suffering and unhappiness exist in the world because too few people have too many of the material things which make life good. Controlling these things, they enslave the rest. Therefore, the way to abolish conflict, suffering and unhappiness is to take the things from the few and redistribute them equally among the many. Presto, peace!
But, reasons the Manifesto, people have been educated to accept private ownership. The "few" will object to having their things taken away from them. They will lie, cheat, and even kill to keep them. Therefore, you must be prepared to use force and to meet their lies, cheating and murder with your own. And, once you have redistributed everything, there will still be a tendency for people to try to get more than their fair share of things. Therefore, you must outlaw private property - and again you must be prepared to use force to keep it outlawed until everyone has been educated to accept communal living. Since God and His moral laws do not exist for the communists, all these things are morally right because he is using them for the good of the vast majority.
The Dictatorship of the Proletariat
Thus you have the so-called "Dictatorship of the Proletariat" - a period of force necessary to bring about communism. It is not communism in itself. It is a means to advance and protect the communist cause through the destruction of all existing property relations and then the "education" of people to accept communal living. Only then can true communism be built upon firm foundations. Only then, says Marx, will the dictatorship of the proletariat "wither away" when the need for it has ended.
This explains why a communist can sincerely support the Soviet dictatorship in the very name of freedom. His whole scheme of reference is entirely different from our own. His concept of freedom is essentially negative: freedom from hunger, from want, from care, etc. These are all splendid objectives when undertaken on a voluntary basis. But, once they become the aim and objective of government force, as the Manifesto proposes, they destroy the very meaning of the word - since freedom from necessarily means provision by someone else, the government, and control therefore passes from the individual to the state. But to the communist his concept of freedom makes eminently good sense because his roots go back to the Manifesto.
HOW DO THEY WORK TO GET IT?
We have said the communist Manifesto is a blueprint for world revolt, and it is precisely that. There is nothing constructive about it. It is a hymn of hate against the existing order of things which ends with this crescendo:
"The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workingmen of all countries, unite!"
This is your yardstick by which to judge a communist whenever you must have dealings with him.
Subversion, Step by Step
This they propose to do by boring from within.
"The Communists do not form a separate party opposed to other working class parties."
"The Communists fight for the attainment of the immediate aims, for the enforcement of the momentary interests of the working class; but in the movement of the present, they also represent and take care of the future of the movement."
"In short, the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing order of things. In all these movements they bring to the front, as the leading question in each case, the property question, no matter what its degree of development at the time."
And the believe they hold the winning cards.
How to Abolish Private Property
One the first step of the revolution has been accomplished and the proletariat has become the ruling class, its next objective is to:
"...use its political supremacy to WREST, BY DEGREES, ALL CAPITAL FROM THE BOURGOEISE, to CENTRALIZE ALL instruments of PRODUCTION IN THE HANDS OF THE STATE..." (emphasis added).
Marx gives ten steps through which this can be done. "These measures," he points out, "will of course be different in different countries. Nevertheless in the most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable.
"1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
"2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
"3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.
"4. Confiscation of all the property of all emigrants and rebels.
"5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and exclusive monopoly.
"6. Centralization 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 waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
"8. Equal obligation of all to work. 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 equable distribution of the population over the country.
"10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of child factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc."
How Far Have We Gone?
Some of these steps, No. 10 in particular, will come as a shock to many Americans because of the degree to which we ourselves accept and promote them. This illustrates sharply the necessity for further study on your own. Marx clarifies what he means by public education in another part of the Manifesto:
"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."
Even so, no thinking person can view these steps without being worried about what is happening in the USA, the capitalist arch-enemy of the communist regime. Remember, none of these steps are communism in themselves. They are steps toward communism, according to Marx. Few of them look dangerous to our concept of freedom when examined superficially, one at a time, by the voting public. The trouble is, once adopted, they outstrip themselves and, as Marx puts it, "necessitate further inroads upon the social order." Together, they provide a "peaceful" long-term program to transfer by degrees (1) economic control and (2) political control from the individual to the state. They are, Marx says, "unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionizing the mode of production," in order to provide and intellectual and political climate in which true communism can be built.
HOW CAN WE STOP THEM?
There is a tendency among many when first confronted with the communist program to throw up their hands in dismay or lash out indiscriminately at other equally patriotic Americans who happen to have different views. Either course helps the communists - the first through lack of resistance - the second through inciting the antagonisms on which communism thrives. Brains and moral courage are needed to stop the communists, not brawn and lung power. The remedies we suggest are undramatic and require effort. Therefore, they will probably be unpopular. In our opinion, they are the only sane approach.
Remember, in a voluntary society such as our there is only one person you can compel to act - yourself. Effective resistance to communism begins with you, regardless of how small your contribution may appear to be.
Learn before acting. Read the volumes listed in [the Appendix]...Then read the Manifesto. Be prepared for difficult going here unless you are fortunate enough to be able to get a copy of "How to Win an Argument with a Communist", by Ray W. Sherman...
Start at home. Look at the issues in your own community. The big national and International issues depend on these "little" issues for their support or rejection. And it is at home that your individual effort will have the greatest force.
Take an active interest in your organizations. Does your influence end with your dues? Or is it a definite factor in shaping the programs of the organizations you support?
Take an active interest in your government. What about politics in your own community? Who are your committeemen and women? Do you know they are often the key to the political behaviour of your particular party? Who are your representatives, local, state and national? Do they know your views? Express your views regularly by mail. Express them always at the polls regardless of how "local" or "unimportant" the election seems to be.
Is all this worth it? We leave it up to you. As Edmund Burke once wrote: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men neglect the problem and do nothing."
The Mainspring of Human Progress, by Henry Grady Weaver.
Essays on Liberty in 2 volumes. The Foundation for Economic Education.
Key to Peace, by Clarence Manion.
The Declaration of Independence and its Story. US Government Printing Office.
The Constitution of the United States, Its Sources and Its Application. By Thomas James Norton.
Your Rugged Constitution, by Bruce & Esther Findlay.
The Constitution of the United States, by James Musatti.
The Key to the Constitution of the United States, by Francis Clay Harley.
How To Keep Our Liberty, by Raymond Moley.
A Creed for Free Enterprise, by Clarance B. Randall.
This post is a transcript of: The Communist Manifesto: Blueprint for World Revolt, by Peter Steele. Associated Industries of Missouri (1956)