Articles

Thoughts on the Communist Manifesto

In Uncategorized on June 2, 2010 by Sukrit

I just finished reading the Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels. Well it certainly does live upto its stature of being one of the leading political theories . This however does not imply that i quite agree with Marx. On the contrary his vision of a proletariat revolution, a unified army, with equality for everyone, optimum use of resources is one which goes against the very identity of humans. It challenges our beliefs in the morality of human beings. I am not a religious person so i wont comment on religion, but destroying the principle of competition goes against nature itself, goes against ‘Natural Selection’ .

The Manifesto has certainly succeeded quite brilliantly in tracing the evolution of capitalism and socialism through the feudal ages. Indeed its rendering of socialism as nothing more than a truce flag by aristocrats is quite formidable. The manifesto starts on a solid foundation by highlighting some of the adverse effects of the development of modern industry. The pitiable state of the wage earners and the exploitation and concentration of power in the hands of individuals is something that retains its relevance even today. But Marx’s dream of a world governed through equality is rather disturbing.

Ever since man has learned to think intelligently( i mean since the advent of philosophers) the question has always raged – Where is the human race headed ? What about the principles of human development ? these questions and their answers have changed with the changing conditions of living whether it is feudalism, capitalism and communism. However the only unchanging sacred principle of humanity has been- The Equality of all human beings. In my view the adherence of Marx to this principle is his shortcoming. Human beings cannot be equal.They are different in their ability, the brain, intelligence, behaviour etc. In any form of society those most hardworking and intelligent or superior to others in some form rise to the top and dominate. Indeed Marx himself has quoted examples of this- Human civilization started by living in equal groups, which then led slowly to chiefs of groups, to kings, to popes, and now to industrialists(or politicians its pretty much the same thing). As history shows this has always been the case and will continue to be the case. Quoting Marx- Human history is but a history of class struggles.

In my view human development will continue to be a story of class struggles. The quest for human equality is wrong and unjustified. Rather what we must aim for is equality of opportunity to all. Marx by his proletarian revolution is not achieving equality; of course not. He is destroying the very concept of equality. He is destroying the comparison of one human being to other. He is destroying the ability, the individuality of the person, indeed the very basis of human development. That is what Marx aims to achieve by the destruction of individual property. The proletariat revolution is not the defeat of the privileged minority by the exploited majority rather its the defeat of the individuality and intelligence by mediocrity. That is the basis of all of Karl Marx’s theory. Ofcourse he doesn’t say it this way. Its a bit honey coated in the manifesto. Communism with its vision of no ties to family, no religious or philosophical belief will create an army of beings scarcely resembling humans.

My own views about humanity are not coherent as of yet. But still i am in agreement with most of what is advocated by George Orwell and Ayn Rand.  I recommend you read Animal Farm by Orwell and We the living by Rand.

Sukrit

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