What could one possibly build with just ten little planks? I suppose it depends upon the planks and one’s imagination. (Or lack thereof.) If they’re wide planks, one might build a desk, a table, a bookcase or a doghouse. Or, sawing the planks into smaller pieces, one could build several somethings. But the ten planks I’m writing about today are not made of wood and they aren’t used for building, for construction. They’re used in tearing down, for destruction, as in whole societies. As in our society. As in freedom and the rights of the individual. Keep in mind recent events as you read these, the Ten Planks, as they appear in the Communist Manifesto.*
The Ten Planks from the Communist Manifesto. (Gee, where have I heard these ideas before?)
- Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes.
- A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
- Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
- Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
- Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
- Centralization of the means of communications and transportation 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 labor. 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 equitable distribution of population over the country.
- Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.
And this may be one of my favorite quotes from the book. I can just hear Marx spitting the words from his mouth.
“The charges against Communism made from a religious, a philosophical and generally from an ideological standpoint, are not deserving of serious examination.” — Karl Marx, the Communist Manifesto.
Personally, I find his ideology hard to read (not because I’m too stupid to understand it but because reading Marx makes me ill). I find his ideas impossible to accept and I worry about those who do accept them.
1. Engels contributed less as a co-author than as an editor and publisher for Marx, though many assume that Marx and Engels wrote together and give them equal credit for the Manifesto. It’s a false impression. See Engels, page 35 in the 1883 German edition of the Manifesto: “…the Manifesto was ‘essentially Marx’s work’ and that ‘the basic thought… belongs solely and exclusively to Marx…'”