Friday, June 24, 2022

The left's marching orders

The Communist Manifesto is a 28-page pamphlet published in 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

It's not economic insights that makes The Communist Manifesto so popular, but rather the attitudes that it fosters. Its legacy has been extremely inviting to those with a particular mindset.

The founders of Black Lives Matter are self-avowed Marxists. Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of the group, has said this about her and her fellow founders, "We are trained Marxists. We are super-versed on, sort of, ideological theories."

If you read Manifesto, you will feel that you are reading the marching orders for the modern Left, that you are reading what all leftists have sworn allegiance to. It is virtually a complete list of their grievances — victimhood, religion, borders, the family, private schools, and private property. Marxism is like an addiction for leftists. The reason it has been able to do so much damage is that it has been so alluring to so many people for so many years.

The Communist Manifesto tells those people what they want to hear, especially those people who would rather blame society or the system instead of taking personal responsibility.

In common with today's leftists and progressives, The Communist Manifesto reflects attitudes of resentment, bitterness, envy, victimhood, and arrogance.

The Communist Manifesto is above all utopian. In his book Ameritopia Mark Levin reviews previous utopian literature — Plato's Republic, Thomas More's Utopia, Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan, and Marx's Communist Manifesto. Levin begins his book as follows: "Tyranny, broadly defined, is the use of power to dehumanize the individual and delegitimize his nature. Political utopianism is tyranny disguised as a desirable, workable, and even paradisiacal governing ideology."

There is a proclivity in human nature to believe that society and individuals are capable of perfection, that if we only had the proper economic and political system heaven on Earth would be ours.

The Manifesto contains no details regarding what would replace the existing foundations of our civilization. That's a common attitude among utopians even to this day. For them all that's necessary is to knock the pillars out from civilization (especially capitalism) and trust that everything will then be glorious.

As is true with modern leftists, Marx had a monocausal view of the economy and society. The demise of capitalism would mark the end of societal problems. His theories are perfect examples of wishful thinking or what is now referred to as "confirmation bias." Unfortunately, the fact that he was wrong about everything has not reduced his appeal. Marxism is a hydra-headed monster impossible to kill.

The Manifesto is almost comical. Marx claimed to have gotten to the bottom of history once and for all, e.g., "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles." He asserted that economic structures determine virtually everything else ("dialectical materialism"). He maintained that he had discovered not just the themes of history but the actual laws of history. Knowing with absolute certainty the laws of history was supposed to allow him to predict the future with confidence.

Marx's objective in The Communist Manifesto was not to discover truth but to start a revolution. If you're trying to recruit an army of revolutionaries, you can't be mealymouthed. Being certain makes your followers believe they are on the right side of history. It helps as well to be simplistic, e.g., to stress that populations consist of only two groups, the oppressed and the oppressors. Marxism is a simplistic ideology designed to appeal to simple-minded people.

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The left's marching orders at American Thinker June 24, 2022

Ron Ross Ph.D. is a former economics professor and author of The Unbeatable Market. Ron resides in Arcata, California and is a founder of Premier Financial Group, a wealth management firm located in Eureka, California. He is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma and can be reached at rossecon@gmail.com.

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