As stated before highlighted sections are excerpts from a book by Thomas G. Reed, The Fallen Eagle.
Part II-- The History and Philosophy of Socialism:
Karl Marx, the 19th century economist, and his man-centered philosophies of socialism (and communism) are the major contributors to the dramatic change in capitalism. Marx’s writings were little read during his lifetime but yet exploded in the the 20th century’s most catastrophic phenomenon. His ideas clashed with predominant capitalist order but depending on the type of government, authoritarian or democratic, confrontations would either be violent and disruptive or settled quickly and peacefully.
Reed states in his book:
Socialist take advantage of democratic freedoms to peacefully transfer capitalism’s blessing to the politically active masses through a “democratic revolution.” Marx argued that democratic republics would be transformed into “dictatorships of the proletariat” by the numerical superiority of the working class. Workers would wrest political control from capitalist, thereby transforming the state into socialism.
In exchange for freedom , the state would offer security and economic equality. Since wealth belongs to everyone in society more or less equally, benefits would be offered to all, regardless of their job status. Ideally the state-supported system would evolve upward until the nation experienced utopian bliss; blessings would be accorded to one and all with absolutely no help from the Christian God.
Marx had no problem with a preeminent state or a defiled man because to him, there was no God in whom man could trust or to whom he should be subservient. Marx was convinced that man projected his ideals onto supernatural beings and actually created gods in his mind. He felt that the unfulfilled human desires for humane, just and loving relationships materialized as characteristics of the gods which man perceived as independent beings. Marx believed this would be corrected by creating conditions in which these desires could be fulfilled. He believed that the man-made product, be it God or money, assumed ascendancy over man. The reason behind this was the belief that man does not act as a free agent but reacts to external stimuli. Man is a product of his environment and especially his economic environment. How many times have we heard these words from those on the left. It has become their motto to blame all the conduct and ills of the criminal on “economic environment” and demand that more be done to correct this situation. In other words, take from the producer and give to the non-producer in order to improve his economic environment and with this done all the crime and criminal activities will cease. To Marx the evils of the world are not the result of man’s sinful nature but are products of institutions whose removal would bring happiness. The primary institution of evil to Marx and to those on the left was and is private enterprise as it exists under capitalism.
Paradoxically, Marx viewed capitalism as evil but necessary in the evolutionary process. In Marx ideal world Capitalism’s powerful forces of production would be turned into vehicles of social reform as they financed socialist human development projects and allowed man the leisure to develop his own creative potential. He believed however that the benefits derived from capitalism could not be fully realized as long as production and distribution capabilities were privately owned. He contended that the owners stole profits from the workers and that all profit motives must be eliminated altogether. He believed that once private ownership of business was replaced with public (social) ownership was achieved then capitalism would disappear. Of course we know that “public” should be translated as “government” as , in socialism, the state assumes ownership or control of previously privately owned institutions.
In the past two years we have seen Marx ideas played out before our very eyes with the seizing of auto manufacturing, banks, and insurance companies, all in the name of “salvation” of those institutions who were “too big to fail”. But was it for that reason? How far we have come, and now the questions posed is how and why.
Next: The Uniting of Enemies But Not By Choice.