Marx, Marxism, and The Communist Manifesto

Ackbach

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I just finished reading Marx's The Communist Manifesto, and have come to the following conclusion:

Marx's The Communist Manifesto is one of the most evil (and just plain wrong!) books ever written in the entire history of the planet.
Why anyone takes him seriously today is beyond me. The very first sentence in the book is simply factually incorrect:

The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.
No, not really. Have there been class struggles? Undeniably. But to reduce all of history to class struggles is incorrect. History is a lot more about the struggle just to survive against mighty obstacles like famine, natural disasters, etc. There's lots of war, to be sure; but there were few wars I could call "class struggle". In addition, you find classes, as often as not, cooperating instead of competing (maybe not in India).

Marx implements his ideas of class struggle and identity politics (you are primarily a member of your group or class, and not an individual) in the economic sphere. More on that below. His ideas have proven not only without value, but it is valuable actively to reject them.

He bases the whole pamphlet on this seriously flawed premise.

But today, alive and well, we have the critical theorists, radical leftists, and post-modernists using the same, tired, WRONG philosophy, only applied to power instead of economics. It's still wrong! All you have to do to debunk identity politics is to examine the logical outcome of identity politics: intersectionality. This is the idea that as you are a member of more groups, you partake of the same oppressed/oppressor status as those groups. I, of course, as an adult white male, have only "privileged status", and am therefore classified only as an oppressor. I would be allowed zero voice on anything by the critical theorists. If, on the other hand, I was a young black female, I could talk about things (unless I didn't tow the line of the radical left, in which case I would again be ostracized like Candace Owens Farmer). The problem with intersectionality, of course, is that by the time you compute all the characteristics of all the groups to which you belong (and there's no logical reason to leave any out), you are the ONLY member of the resulting class. So you're down to the individual, anyway.

From a biblical perspective, the idea of not punishing a man for his father's sins would seem to apply here. For example, as far as I know, no one in my relatively immediate ancestry owned slaves. I certainly have not owned slaves, nor do I condone slavery. I am therefore NOT GUILTY of slavery in any sense whatsoever. To lump me in with the white male slaveowners of previous centuries is WRONG.

Marx also wrote the following:

But the price of a commodity, and therefore also of labour, is equal to its cost of production.
This is one of the more dangerously wrong ideas he put forth. All you need to debunk this lie is to conduct a thought experiment. Suppose a man wants to sell sewing pins. So he goes to the mine, mines coal and iron, smelts the iron into steel, and finally hammers out a few dozen pins on his blacksmith's anvil. Because his cost of production is so high, he decides to sell the pins for $100 each. Meanwhile, his neighbor, taking advantage of the division of labor, is selling sewing pins, 100 to the box, at the price of $3 per box. How many pins is our industrious entrepreneur going to sell? Zero! Evidently, then, the pins he makes are not worth $100 each.

The answer to Marx here is that people assign value to goods and services. What is a good or service worth? Answer: what people are willing to pay for it. It's that simple.

We need to reject Marxism actively, including its ugly offshoots of critical theory, postmodernism, and the radical left. Misinterpretations of Christianity have killed their thousands, but Marxism has killed its hundreds of millions.

Christians of all countries, unite!
 

tango

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Curious. That line the price of a commodity, and therefore also of labour, is equal to its cost of production seems to defeat the purpose of working in the first place. The reason for working at all is to turn my time into money. How does one value human effort if the price is equal to the cost of production? What is the cost of production of my labor? Is it the price of the fuel required to get me to work and the food I need to keep working through the day (if so we can safely slash minimum wage to a fraction of what it is now)? Is it the cumulative cost of raising me from an infant divided by the number of hours I have been alive? Is it something else entirely?

One could argue that the price of something can be set however one chooses (as in the example of the pins you gave) but that the market will decide value. There's no reason why the first man shouldn't price his product at $100 per pin - the total lack of buyers at that price doesn't prevent him from continuing to offer his product for sale, merely that the market assigns a lower value.

External forces may dictate prices although typically the result is little more than either market distortion or the supply drying up completely. When Robert Mugabe decreed that bakers were profiteering from the currency crisis and imposed caps on the price of bread the end result was swift and predictable - bakers couldn't afford to sell bread for the price he dictated and so didn't sell it at all. The situation shifted from being able to buy bread if you had money to not being able to buy bread at any price.

An interesting quirk of human nature is that many things are seen as good or bad depending on whether they are generating a profit or loss for us. If we have something scarce and someone else wants it we are happy to take the money, we're just not as happy to pay the money if we need something that is scarce.
 

Lämmchen

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[MENTION=31]vince284[/MENTION] I think you said that you've read up on this?
 

vince284

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[MENTION=31]vince284[/MENTION] I think you said that you've read up on this?
Oh, it's been a long time. Back in the day, I did study Russian history along with Communism, actually during the cold war. But I just remember considering "Marxism" a theory of economics. Basically along with other theorist, as I remember it, they suggested that labor be the most important part in determining the value of a certain item. The cost of human labor should be considered over everything else. But of course it doesn't work for everything, as we know. But according to them, it should. That is the problem. So if a baseball bat was made in 3 hours, and it took 6 hours to produce a tennis racket, then the tennis racket would be worth two baseball bats. That's including the time/labor to make or acquire all the components to make the items.

About class struggle, it would just be too much to entertain in a forum like this. "Classes" have always been with us, and struggles between them have always been there. There are just too many examples of class struggle happening in every corner of the globe right now. Only war, natural catastrophes, something larger than the class struggle manages to muddle the classes and make them at least cooperate for the relative short time of the external struggle.

I remember 911, for the short time it united us. Only for a short time. I saw flags go up on neighbors homes that had never flown a flag before. Look at us now. Here in the USA along with a very few other countries the classes are between economic classes for the most part. The opportunities are available if you are in the right economic class, but in many more countries even if you have the money you can't just jump classes. Here we have micro examples of this, you just can't walk onto Augusta National with your clubs and play a round of golf no matter how much money you have.

I read up in a post something about not being punished for our father's sin, Jeremiah 31:29-34, but why am I suffering and dying... because of Adam and Eve? I didn't eat the fruit.
 

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[MENTION=31]vince284[/MENTION] I think you said that you've read up on this?
Oh, it's been a long time. Back in the day, I did study Russian history along with Communism, actually during the cold war. But I just remember considering "Marxism" a theory of economics. Basically along with other theorist, as I remember it, they suggested that labor be the most important part in determining the value of a certain item. The cost of human labor should be considered over everything else. But of course it doesn't work for everything, as we know. But according to them, it should. That is the problem. So if a baseball bat was made in 3 hours, and it took 6 hours to produce a tennis racket, then the tennis racket would be worth two baseball bats. That's including the time/labor to make or acquire all the components to make the items.

About class struggle, it would just be too much to entertain in a forum like this. "Classes" have always been with us, and struggles between them have always been there. There are just too many examples of class struggle happening in every corner of the globe right now. Only war, natural catastrophes, something larger than the class struggle manages to muddle the classes and make them at least cooperate for the relative short time of the external struggle.

I remember 911, for the short time it united us. Only for a short time. I saw flags go up on neighbors homes that had never flown a flag before. Look at us now. Here in the USA along with a very few other countries the classes are between economic classes for the most part. The opportunities are available if you are in the right economic class, but in many more countries even if you have the money you can't just jump classes. Here we have micro examples of this, you just can't walk onto Augusta National with your clubs and play a round of golf no matter how much money you have.

I read up in a post something about not being punished for our father's sin, Jeremiah 31:29-34, but why am I suffering and dying... because of Adam and Eve? I didn't eat the fruit.
 

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My Lutheran pastor told of a Luther Land Tour he took back when it was still East Germany and still Communist. He spoke of rubble from WW2 still being piled up... buildings still in ruins decades after that war was over.... stores closed and nearly empty except for a few hours a week, when a LONG line would form, most never getting in. Smog and air pollution SO bad he could hardly breathe and you couldn't lean against anything because it was so dirty with grime, signs so dirty with grime they could hardly be read. Police everywhere, with big automatic guns on their side. Little old cars pillowing smoke and very loud. There was a farmer's market where people could sell the stuff from their own personal gardens - it was BY FAR the most active commercial enterprise, the only place to get a nice selection of good food, pure capitolism. They had to tell the police everywhere they were and planned to be, they had to turn in their passports to the police every night and could not leave the hotel (even just to go outside for a breath of very polluted air) until the police returned their passports. There were apartment houses that looked abandoned until you saw curtains in the kitchen window and realized people actually lived in these horrible buildings. He also visited West Germany on the same trip and noted the contrast could not be more dramatic!

He commented that anytime someone speaks of the glory of socialism or communism.... anytime anyone speaks of the glories of big government.... he thinks of his time in East Germany.

He came back and changed his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.
 

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I read up in a post something about not being punished for our father's sin, Jeremiah 31:29-34, but why am I suffering and dying... because of Adam and Eve? I didn't eat the fruit.
If the men in your family have receding hairlines and go bald...will you? If both of your parents wear glasses, do you also?

Is that "fair?"

Is there an explanation for why 'it is what it is,' however??
 

vince284

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If the men in your family have receding hairlines and go bald...will you? If both of your parents wear glasses, do you also?

Is that "fair?"

Is there an explanation for why 'it is what it is,' however??
I'm not sure I understand the comment but I don't believe the examples are choices at this point. I don't have a choice of physical death. I believe Adam and Eve did.
 

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I'm not sure I understand the comment but I don't believe the examples are choices at this point. I don't have a choice of physical death. I believe Adam and Eve did.
Well, that isn't the point. The point was about the consequences of Adam and Eve's decision to defy God. They chose that course and there were consequences--and not just spiritual ones. The Bible itemizes changes in the human as a result. Bearing children in pain, for example. Or having to die a physical death!

You want to be judged on your own as if you were another Adam. In reality, what God did was create the human race. When it changed its stripes, you as a human, inherited the changes too. So my analogy to hair loss or less than perfect vision or, for that matter, the likelihood of you inheriting some disease is apt. Do you think it is incomprehensible or unfair that if your parents are short, you are not likely to grow up to play center on the basketball team?

No, you take those things for granted as part of genetics or whatever. So also is the situation you were asking about.
 

vince284

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Well, that isn't the point. The point was about the consequences of Adam and Eve's decision to defy God. They chose that course and there were consequences--and not just spiritual ones. The Bible itemizes changes in the human as a result. Bearing children in pain, for example. Or having to die a physical death!

You want to be judged on your own as if you were another Adam. In reality, what God did was create the human race. When it changed its stripes, you as a human, inherited the changes too. So my analogy to hair loss or less than perfect vision or, for that matter, the likelihood of you inheriting some disease is apt. Do you think it is incomprehensible or unfair that if your parents are short, you are not likely to grow up to play center on the basketball team?

No, you take those things for granted as part of genetics or whatever. So also is the situation you were asking about.
I really don't want anything, basically because I really don't care... it was a comment on the OP where they wrote...

"From a biblical perspective, the idea of not punishing a man for his father's sins would seem to apply here. For example, as far as I know, no one in my relatively immediate ancestry owned slaves. I certainly have not owned slaves, nor do I condone slavery. I am therefore NOT GUILTY of slavery in any sense whatsoever. To lump me in with the white male slaveowners of previous centuries is WRONG."
 

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I really don't want anything, basically because I really don't care... it was a comment on the OP where they wrote...

"From a biblical perspective, the idea of not punishing a man for his father's sins would seem to apply here. For example, as far as I know, no one in my relatively immediate ancestry owned slaves. I certainly have not owned slaves, nor do I condone slavery. I am therefore NOT GUILTY of slavery in any sense whatsoever. To lump me in with the white male slaveowners of previous centuries is WRONG."
I stand by what I said, despite also believing vigorously in original sin (the sinful nature of Adam is transmitted to all his posterity by ordinary generation, because he was a covenant representative of the entire human race). There are a number of verses in Scripture that attest to this idea that each person should be held accountable for their own sins, and not the sins of their parents or their children. Deut. 24:16 comes to mind, as does 2 Kings 14:6 and Ezekiel 18:17-20. I think these passages are talking about actual guilt. There are other passages that talk about God "visiting the iniquity" on subsequent generations. I think that's talking more about the earthly consequences of sin, not the guilt of it.
 

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I stand by what I said, despite also believing vigorously in original sin (the sinful nature of Adam is transmitted to all his posterity by ordinary generation, because he was a covenant representative of the entire human race). There are a number of verses in Scripture that attest to this idea that each person should be held accountable for their own sins, and not the sins of their parents or their children. Deut. 24:16 comes to mind, as does 2 Kings 14:6 and Ezekiel 18:17-20. I think these passages are talking about actual guilt. There are other passages that talk about God "visiting the iniquity" on subsequent generations. I think that's talking more about the earthly consequences of sin, not the guilt of it.
There is a verse that says we are sinners from the womb or something of that nature
 

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Sin is not limited to some ACT done or not done. Our NATURE is sinful - even if at this moment I'm not obviously DOING something bad.

I don't buy the Anabaptist invention of "Age of Accountability." It is an unbiblical invention. Yes, God DOES hold people accountable - even before some "age" the Anabaptists refused to disclose (making the whole invention WORTHLESS). The Bible says that the "wages of sin is death" (another translation might be "The result of sin is death" or "God punishes sin with death") Now, the Anabaptists LOVED to insist God was really sloppy and bad about how He worded things... and they love to insist "dead" here doesn't mean physical death so that Jesus didn't have to actually physically die on the Cross.... but I think the (until the Anabaptists came along) universal understanding of it is that AT LEAST FOR HUMANS, death (um, heart stops, etc) IS punishment for death. Well.... some babies die in the womb. If God does not hold them accountable for their sinful nature, then God is unjust to take their lives. Now, interesting, because all life dies..... some indicated Genesis conveys that ALL Creation "fell" and suffers from what Adam and Eve did, others that death for humans is such punishment. But the whole idea is worthless...... since no one can know what AGE that is. And of course if it is true, then there is only one way to insure all go to heaven - kill them on the day before that birthday (if we only had some way to know what birthday that is - but they won't tell you).


Now, what that has to do with Marxism..... well, I never claimed to be the sharpest tool in the shed....
 

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Changing the subject only slightly - to socialism:
 

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For the record, misinterpretations of Christianity has killed its hundreds, maybe its thousands. (See below for why it must be misinterpretations!) Marxism and Communism has killed its hundreds of millions. If I can figure out a way to blame abortion on postmodernism and/or critical theory (identity politics and intersectionality), then I can say that neo-Marxism has killed its tens of millions! Working on that... Certainly, moral relativism is essential to understanding Roe vs. Wade and moral relativism is a central plank of postmodernism (there is no meta-narrative in postmodernism). That's not an open-and-shut case, however. I'd love to hear your ideas, here.

1. "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." - Eph. 6:12.

2. "For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete." - 2 Cor. 10:3-6.

3. "And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." - Matt. 22:39.

4. "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers." - Rom. 8:28-29.

The thrust of these passages shows us that we are to tear down arguments that set themselves up against the knowledge of God. And why? Because we love our neighbor. Don't forget that obeying God and loving God are identical, and that if you love God you will love your neighbor. What does it mean to love your neighbor? The Greek word for "love" is "agape", which means it's an unconditional love that wants what is best for the the loved one. And what is best for everyone? The Romans passage shows us that the best thing for anyone is to become more like Christ.

All of Marxism, communism, socialism, critical theory, identity politics with or without intersectionality, and postmodernism are utterly incompatible with Christianity. We are to tear them all down and leave behind their corpses. And we are to do this precisely because we love our neighbors - yes, those neighbors that hold these ideas! To tear down an idea is evidently quite compatible, possibly, with NOT tearing down a person who holds that idea. Granted, it's possible to speak the truth without love. We can tear down arguments in a hateful way. But it is a great mistake to think that, therefore, it's not possible to tear down arguments in a loving way. Yes, it most emphatically is! And we are called to do that! Let's get to it!
 

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I don't agree with Marx, generally speaking - BUT, I can see how people could fall for it. I mean, the poverty in much of the world is eye-popping! Well, in fact, there is no social mobility. Social mobility is something unique to western countries (It seems that way.).

Anyway, from my observations living in the USA (a native), I think a big barrier to social mobility is credit - but it could be that many Americans are poor due to financial ignorance, but I cannot say the same about places outside the west.
 

tango

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I don't agree with Marx, generally speaking - BUT, I can see how people could fall for it. I mean, the poverty in much of the world is eye-popping! Well, in fact, there is no social mobility. Social mobility is something unique to western countries (It seems that way.).

Anyway, from my observations living in the USA (a native), I think a big barrier to social mobility is credit - but it could be that many Americans are poor due to financial ignorance, but I cannot say the same about places outside the west.
Lack of access to credit can be a barrier but for many the trouble is too much access to credit. When people don't regard it as even a little bit unusual to have five-figure credit card balances with 20% interest accumulating while they make small payments every month they may get the sense of mobility but reality will bite soon enough. A couple I knew seemed to be doing pretty well but it turned out they had numerous debts in all sorts of places, that only came to light when they divorced. They had north of $25,000 on one card alone - at 20% interest that means in the region of $400/month in interest before even touching the actual debt. Spending $400/month in interest on one card alone is the sort of thing that would stop most people from having much real social mobility.
 

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I don't agree with Marx, generally speaking - BUT, I can see how people could fall for it. I mean, the poverty in much of the world is eye-popping! Well, in fact, there is no social mobility. Social mobility is something unique to western countries (It seems that way.).

Anyway, from my observations living in the USA (a native), I think a big barrier to social mobility is credit - but it could be that many Americans are poor due to financial ignorance, but I cannot say the same about places outside the west.
One interesting thing that has come about in the last few years is the distinct rise from poverty in many places in the world. The formerly mainstream media, as Nancy Pearcey has taught us to call it, ignores this inconvenient fact. It's worthwhile noting that pure communist countries such as Venezuela and North Korea are NOT seeing this increase.
 

tango

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Another interesting observation is to look at the sheer number of people who flee capitalist states to make a new life in a socialist state. Because, you know, there are so many of them.....
 

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