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Response to JDPriestly (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 11:49 AM

2. The Problem with Manifestos


Karl Marx was not in the late 19th century the monster he is today portrayed as being. He was more of what might be seen today as a particularly gifted union activist concerned with the powerlessness of the working poor, and who had apparently read Thomas Mores’ book, Utopia, about a fictional country whose society was pretty much based on Christian values. Being intellectually inclined and idealistically motivated, he researched the possibility that such a state might be attained and, based on his research and his background in Hegelian philosophical logic, he concluded that such a state was inevitable and proceeded to explain why it was inevitable and how it would come to be.

Unfortunately, though a Communist State sounds wonderful, it is fictional. It cannot possibly work beyond a relatively small community and even then in a world of ever expanding community it would be short lived. Marx speculated that it could only work under a benevolent dictator (much as Democracy has worked so far under an American Republic and similar government institutions), but he assumed the dictatorship would wither and die as the populace became accustomed to mutual cooperation.

Two problems (probably more) were not considered; number one, a benevolent dictator will not live forever and there is no assurance that a benevolent dictator will be followed by another benevolent dictator – in fact, history suggests just the opposite – and number two, though evolution is not the survival of the fittest, life does survive by feasting on other life (we are combative and personal advantage is inborn, part of who we are and may be suppressed for a time, but probably not eliminated altogether (even if it could be, we would be at a serious disadvantage if a situation should arise that threatens our life or the lives of our loved ones and we are unable or unwilling to fight back effectively).

Even if the above were not true and a successful Communist State were possible, all visionaries become the victims of their disciples. I am pretty sure that the authors of our Holy Books would be horrified and mortified if they could see what their followers have done with their message. The same is true of a lesser book, “Das Kapital” and its related pamphlet, “The Communist Manifesto”.

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JDPriestly Jun 2014 OP
Ken Burch Jul 2014 #1
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Paul Edward Snyder Jul 2014 #2
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