My good friend’s father was both a manufacturer and a Marxist. In the first capacity he made a lot of money. In his second hypostasis he refused to invest it. Wealth, he was certain, had to be produced by one’s labour, not one’s money.
Even within his own framework he wasn’t wholly consistent. For he still appropriated the ‘surplus value’ of his workers’ labour, thus transgressing against another commandment of his creed. But thank God for such paradoxes: if Marxists were invariably and relentlessly consistent, we’d all be dead.
Many equate Marxism with religion, and it is of course fideistic. But it’s a religion only in the same sense in which the Antichrist is Christ. What Marxism illustrates is that, when political philosophy is cut adrift from religion, sooner or later it’ll destroy itself.
The essence of the West’s dominant faith, Christianity, can be summed up with one word: love. The essence of the West’s dominant philosophy, Marxism, is hate.
The most obvious reason for Marxism’s ascent to its lofty status is its success in taking over Russia in 1917. It thus could spew its venom through the greatest propaganda machine in history, one that extended its tentacles to every corner of the world.
But the real reason lies deeper, as it always does. For, as any publicity man will tell you, propaganda can succeed only if it enunciates and appeals to some intuitive cravings already felt.
Envy is one of the seven deadly sins, and it made that distinguished list precisely because its spread is universal. Add a bit of passion to envy and, ideally, some quasi-scientific post-rationalisation, and it turns into hatred of those on the receiving end. This explains the on-going success of Marxist propaganda: it activates and expiates the least commendable of human emotions.
Marxism neither originated when the Soviet Union appeared nor died when it ‘collapsed’. This pernicious doctrine has been so influential not because it lived for a while in Russia, but because it always lives in the dark recesses of the human heart.
That’s why I see red whenever yet another ignoramus avers that Marxism is a wonderful idea but lamentably one perverted by the Soviets. ‘Have you read The Communist Manifesto?’ I invariably ask, and they invariably answer ‘yes’. They lie.
In fact, I’m often tempted to have a pocket edition of that disgusting brochure with me whenever attending a gathering where such conversations could ensue. For the Manifesto and the entire edifice created on its basis by Marx and Engels contains everything we know and love about modernity. In fact, one can go so far as to say that Marxism inspires most modern governments, either in what I call their nihilist or philistine incarnation.
The nihilist regimes of modernity, those openly calling themselves Marxist, brought to fruition Marxist dictates on concentration camps (Engels called them ‘special guarded places’), slavery (Marx: ‘Slavery is… an economic category of paramount importance’), mass murder (Marx: ‘the victorious party must maintain its rule by means of the terror which its arms inspire in the reactionaries’), anti-Semitism (Marx: ‘…the Polish Jews… this dirtiest of all races,’ ‘Thus we find every tyrant backed by a Jew’), genocide (Engels: ‘All the other large and small nationalities and peoples are destined to perish before long in the revolutionary holocaust.’).
The philistine regimes, such as the one governing Britain at present, focus on the less carnivorous legacy of Marxism, singling out its economics as a day-to-day guide. The destruction they perpetrate is therefore delayed-action, but the bomb is ticking away.
The Manifesto demands wholesale abolition of private property, especially of land, but this ideal couldn’t be attained even in the Soviet Union. Still, various Western governments are doing their level best to chip away at private property, relying on other prescriptions from the Manifesto.
The present proposals championed by two and a half of our three major parties are aimed at taxing wealth, from houses to jewellery, from paintings to pension funds – all acquired with money already taxed. Now experience of every country where wealth taxes have been tried shows that their net effect on public finances is negative – even Sweden, in the past the most Marxist of all Western countries, has abolished such taxation, with its finances instantly improving.
But our Eds, Vinces, Nicks and other visceral Marxists prove that sound reason need not apply where evil emotions are at work. As far as they’re concerned, MP may as well stand for Marxist Partisan. These chaps are driven by Marxist envy and resulting hatred, not by actuarial concerns. Their aim is not to cushion failure but to punish success. If this destroys the economy, then so be it. For it’s destruction and not creation that every hater sees in his mind’s eye.
‘Abolition of all rights to inheritance’ is another dictate from the Manifesto. This worthy goal is very much on the agenda, but it’s hard to achieve all at once without ‘revolutionary terror’, so beloved of Marx. In its absence, progress has to be made slowly, but no less surely for that. Thus every mooted plan to increase the threshold of inheritance tax has been shelved, while plans to lower it will soon become law.
It has to be said that both wealth taxes and higher inheritance tax are being opposed by many. What most people are taking for granted these days is another Manifesto prescription: ‘a heavy progressive and graduated income tax’.
One doesn’t hear many protests against this Marxist abomination, and yet it violates the most fundamental principle of Western civilisation: equality before the law. Those who make more money obviously must pay a greater amount in tax. However, making them pay up to five times the proportion of their income is immoral, unjust and economically counterproductive.
Yet our most sacred tenets have no chance when assailed by Marxist envy. If those people who claim they’ve read The Communist Manifesto had actually done so, the situation would perhaps be slightly better. But it wouldn’t be much better: the poison of Marxism has seeped into the bloodstream of the West, and nothing short of a complete transfusion can cure it.
Alas our governments have for generations lacked the conviction and inner resolve to administer such treatment. Now they exceedingly lack even the technical means: the electorate has been so thoroughly corrupted that it’ll never vote in a passionately anti-Marxist government. Hence Marxism lives so the West may die.