In my first column for clashdaily.com I promised readers that I would tell a story in the coming weeks about Ideology. THIS column is my first attempt to start that process. I decided to tell the story in a “series” of columns since that is the only way to actually do it. Any attempt to condense 100 years of history into 600 words would be folly, and a misuse of my time and yours.
Normally, I hate conspiracy theories and conspiracy theorists. Ninety nine percent of them are either right straight out of their minds, or on somebody’s payroll. But, what I’m about to relate to you actually happened and continues to happen to the present day.
At this point, enter Karl Marx and his famous Communist Manifesto, written in 1848. What does The Communist Manifesto have to do with the United States in the 20th and 21st centuries, you might ask? A great deal, as it turns out. We all know Marx as the Father of Communism, but his ideas were MUCH more far-reaching than simply a “how-to” on economic organization. Oh no, he had LOTS of really interesting ideas about people and what motivates them. And he inspired legions of other “thinkers” to expand on his voluminous theories of wealth, happiness, sex, deviance and a whole host of societal matters.
Along with Marx’s theories about wealth and how to deal with it, (notice I don’t say how to create wealth, since Marx had no idea about those things) were his virulent anti-Semitic leanings, his sketchy ideas about women, his ideas that Africans were inferior to Europeans, or his notions that, for instance, Mexicans were lazy and that the land they lost in the Mexican-American War (Arizona, New Mexico, California, etc) would have gone to waste had they kept it as part of their territory. He was a real “peach”.
Marx saw the stages of human development as “savagery, barbarism, feudalism, and then capitalism,” culminating with socialism. But things didn’t go exactly the way Marx had predicted. No, the “evils” of capitalism which should have brought it tumbling down into the lap of Marxist victory just did not come about the way he had envisioned they would.
So, Marx writes his manifesto and no one here in America pays too much attention to it, as they were busy living their lives and building a gigantic, great, and prosperous nation. But, as the years pass some “scholars” do begin to study his ideas and begin to promote, and in some cases adopt some of them as alternatives to free market economics and the free-market of ideas.
Meanwhile, a violent revolution in Russia (1917) installs the world’s first genuine Communist government – “violent” being the operative word there. I’ll have more on that as this series progresses. Long story short, the Bolsheviks take over, murder most of their political opponents, throw the rest in jail, and along with their Communist brethren around the world go on to murder another 70,000,000 people over the course of the 20th century – but, I digress.