Posted by: Martin Scherer | 14/08/2011

Is Britain a communist society? Is this where the USA is heading?

What a crazy question.  Or is it?

Where is society heading?

One of the earliest and most persuasive predictions came from Karl Marx. When we think of Communism today, we think of practical examples – Russia, China, Cuba, Eastern Europe and North Korea. Is that what Marx meant? Returning from the first Russian revolution, Marx said “Je ne suis pas un Marxist.” In other words, “If Russia is communism, then I am not a communist.” How right he was. So what did Marx say was communism?    

Karl Marx was an economic historian considered brilliant by many and in recent times a darling of Wall Street. Yes, that is strange. Marx’s reputation rests on the fact that he was one of the first in the new science of society, which emerged at the start of the last century. To this day, Marx is considered one of the four founding fathers of Sociology. Like the ideas of Freud, many of Marx’s ideas have been adopted into society. The marketing slogan, A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play, comes from the Marxist belief that rather then working every waking hour to earn a crust, people should work for no more than eight hours, sleep for eight and then?  Marx did not say ‘play’. Marx said ‘enrich their lives’ – physical exercise and self-education. Hence Welsh miners were once famous for rugby football, song and reading to self-educate. The objective of rugby was not to win, it was to exercise by playing the game. Marx would turn in his grave if he knew that miner’s grandchildren today watch TV and play video games destroying an imaginary evil empire.

Society evovles through stages.

Marx’s scientific contribution was to identify stages of social evolution – for him they were: Agriculture, Industry and post-industrial. Marx was an Economic Historian and thereby he was the least scientific of the four founding fathers. Marx missed crucial developments that occurred in his own life time – Such as the rise of managerial capitalism.

If there is a hope for science, it is that science can predict the future. Marx predicted the down-trodden masses would rise and take control. Is that what the ‘underclass’ does on the streets of London, Paris and L.A? Marx called this dictatorship by the masses, in contrast to the dictators of his day – Factory and mine owners who exploited children, women and blacks, and dominated government to keep their right to exploit.

What will be the next stage?

In Marx’s prediction, society would be lead by an altruistic community – from those according to their abilities, to those according to their needs. This was the post industrial society that Marx saw: A communal society managed by the people for the people. Marx coined the term communism to label it and he predicted that would be the next stage in the evolution of society.

Marx was wrong on many grounds. First he predicted the next stage would first occur in the most ‘developed’ countries of the time – Britain and France. Logical, but was he right? The masses rose first in France and chopped of the heads of the aristocracy. Ignorant masses took over and gorged themselves on a feast of slaughter. George Orwell translated the French Revolution into Animal Farm as a warning of what Russian communism had become. The pigs ruled. Russia was the worst example of naked capitalism. An industrial monopoly for the glorification of a vicious dictator, supported by pig-fat party officials.

Is evolution predictable?

Marx’s greatest fallacy was his claim he could predict social evolution. The first principle of evolution is that evolution is unpredictable. Science can only predict the future if all things stay the same. Evolution only occurs when the environment changes, not when it stays the same. The greatest rate of evolution occurs with the greatest environmental change. Our species, Homo-Sapiens, probably gained dominance because of unpredictable change – Eruption of a super-volcano that wiped out a competing and stronger human species – Homo-Erectus. All we can say, is that evolution will happen and by changes in physical or social environment. We cannot say when, where or what it will be. We have to wait and see.

Will the next stage be better or worse?

Marx’s other great fallacy was to believe that the next stage of social evolution was always for the better. That is another fallacy of many evolutionists.  It’s not true. Dinosaurs were the largest and most powerful animals to walk this earth, but they were extinguished by environmental change. As a historian, Marx was remarkable ignorant. When Greek and Roman societies collapsed, were the dark ages that followed better? Look at Muslim society. Once the most advanced on earth, but since fallen into a century long time warp. Will the next stage of Western Christian society necessarily be better?

What might it look like?

What if Marx was right? That society does evolve through stages. That the next stage will first be seen in those societies that have been through industrialisation for longest? England. What if England is now in the next stage of social evolution? What does it look like?

Bankers who line their pockets with bonuses they cannot hope to spend. Looters who sit on state benefits taking very opportunity to steal what they cannot earn and afford. Professionals who keep socially incompetent people dependent and create pointless regulations to justify their employment away from the front line of real work?

Pupils who demand pass marks whatever the quality of their answers. Teachers more interested in a peaceful day than telling pupils they have failed and must try again.  Employees who want protection from work realities, where the only people fired for incompetence are those on TV
fantasy ‘reality’ shows?

Newspaper and TV barons more interested in profit though titillation and folk devils than informing the public of the facts. Walking along Oxford Street, London on the second day of the riots, my daughter sent a ‘txt’. “Its like end of the world stuff here. All the shops are being boarded, police barriers everywhere. This is being vastly exaggerated.” Murdoch is not an evil aberration, he is just the best at it.

Politicians more interested in being elected to an easy, high paid, status job, than taking unpopular decisions. Politicians who collude with the media to get high-profile exposure to increase their chances of being re-elected?

If friends don’t please you, ditch them. You can get a hundred more on Facebook. Who needs friends or neighbours when you can watch it on TV? If a lover doesn’t flatter you, dump them, there’s a dozen more on anonymous dating sites. Who needs a husband to bring home the bacon, when big daddy state will provide it for you? If children are a handful for you or teachers dump them on the state, or stuff them with Ritalin. Drug companies, a thousand social workers and specialist teachers will welcome the employment at exorbitant cost.

Have we entered the communist stage of society?

Marx defined a communist society as one in which the masses dictated that wealth should be taken from those with the ability to create wealth and given to those who have needs.  We no longer use such terms. In the place of dictatorship we have democracy. In the place of masses we have the will of the voting majority.

In England, government serves the people. Needs are no longer defined by starvation and life threatening illness. Instead the majority have thew right to state benefits that enable them to buy a TV, eat to obesity, smoke and drink to excess. An army of state medics serve the people with free health-care including gastric bands, smoking therapy and sick notes to treat their indulgences or excuse them from the work they are no longer fit to do. If they don’t earn sufficient to house themselves, the state must provide it and keep it repaired clean. State employed teachers must serve their pupils. No-one saves for a rainy day any more. Employers must protect employees from the burdens of work and the realities of economies. State police hold owners responsible for their loss rather than chasing the criminal who stole and if owners seek to protect their property, the police threaten to prosecute for taking the law into their own hands. If the state cannot afford to serve the people with their ‘needs’, then politicians must borrow or print more

We are there. The people elect politicians to run the state to serve them.  This is communism. That must be the logical conclusion of the person who defined communism, if he were alive today.

Isn’t it wonderful?

What’s the problem?

Greece, Italy, France and even the USA are catching up fast.

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