“WORKING MEN OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!” – Karl Marx
I will always believe you can learn a lot more from good books than you can from bad books, that being said, you can still learn a lot from bad books. The May Book of the Month is perhaps one of the worst “books” ever written, the Manifesto of the Communist Party or normally called the Communist Manifesto. You can easily find an html or pdf of the (approximately) 30 pages manuscript free online.
Lots has been written about this, however it need not be, as there is very little substance or anything of interest in it. It is sad that many “intellectuals” and those with post-secondary degrees largely side with or have sympathy for communists/socialist tendencies. Of course, this is not surprising because it appears that most people do. If you were to ask these same intellectuals their thoughts on Mises, Rothbard or the desire to live in a free society, they will have nothing intelligent to say on the subject matter.
It’s also important to consider that many of those who support free-market capitalism have taken the time to read books such as the Communist Manifesto, whereas one could bet that those who are anti-capitalism have taken little to know time to read Human Action, Man Economy, and State, The Road to Serfdom or even an introductory book like Economics in One Lesson.
For those who have already read Marx, I’m preaching to the choir, while if you haven’t, here is an excerpt from the Manifesto which is more than enough to make a decision about communism/socialism.
These measures will of course be different in different countries. Nevertheless in the most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable.
- Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
- A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
- Abolition of all right of inheritance.
- Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
- Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
- Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
- Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
- Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
- Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.
- Free education for all children in public schools.
Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form.
Combination of education with industrial production…
The story concludes that all employees literally kill their bosses and take over the factory then divide the spoils of war. This ushers in a new era of peace and prosperity. Who will do the work appear to be beyond the scope of the idea, but it doesn’t matter, it’s a system based on fairness and equality; so in the end, what can go wrong?